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Linkscoach

Recommend 22 pistol for young shooter

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My 12 year son is really starting to get interested in action shooting.  I've had him shooting a 22/45 for a couple of years now and he does really well with it.  It's not really set up well for action shooting though.  He's old enough that he would like to start practicing draws and reloads.  I would like to stick with a 22 at this point.  It's less expensive to feed it so he can shoot a lot more and I think the mild recoil is helping him develop good fundamentals.

 

Does anyone have any recommendations for a 22 caliber pistol that will allow him to work on reloads?  He has fairly big hands for a kid his age and is continuing to grow.  I've thought about the M&P 22 but don't really know anything about it.  What other options are out there?  Berretta 92 in 22?

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You could always get a .22 top end for a 1911 or 2011.

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I'd skip off to a nice 9mm, with very soft loads (you'd have to reload your own).

 

Get a plastic 9mm (Glock, S&W M&P, etc) for $500, get a complete reloading

outfit for $500, and you're off to the races.   

 

You can reload 9mm soft loads (PF 110 instead of 125) and he won't be able

to tell the difference, but he'll be shooting a real "action pistol" that he can use

for the rest of his life.

 

If you already reload, and already own a 9mm pistol, I'd download some ammo

and get him shooting with good muffs, outdoors only, at some reactive targets -

he'll have a Blast   :) 

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I agree with Hi-Power Jack.  Go ahead and get him a centerfire.

 

My daughter is 10 and has shot a 22/45 in steel challenge for about 2 years.  Recently I let her shoot a carry optics and an open gun.  She is hooked now.  Doesn't even want to talk about shooting the 22 anymore.  We have set her up with a Sig P320 X5.

 

 

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It's awesome to hear about kids getting into shooting.  Far too little of that these days.  Kudos to you sir.

 

You could get him a Marvel conversion if you have a spare 1911?  That would have him working the same controls and manual of arms he will most likely be using later.  

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As a Marvel owner.  I'd recommend getting a 9MM from the start.  Getting  quality magazines, reliable 22LR ammo  trying to get reliability is a head ache.

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Browning Buck Mark or Ruger Mark IV.  Good to start with a .22.  Later when he is familiar with rules and handling a gun a decent 9 mm would be good.

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The new Mk IV is excellent and far easier to takedown than previous models.  Be aware that there is a big recall on them right now.  I need to send mine back to Ruger.  Still, they are excellent and a good value.  

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Bought 12 &13 yr old daughters a 22 pistol and rifle thinking it was the obvious way to go (how my father introduced me to firearms), that lasted 6 months.  They ever so quickly graduated from M&P 15-22 to my AR & from a Walter P-22 to my Glock 34.  Now I have a Walther/M&P nobody really uses.  If you buy them a 22 to start, make sure it's something you don't mind adding to your own collection when your son makes the inevitable jump to centerfire!  Best of luck.

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I visited the USA a couple of years ago when my son was 11. I took him to a range that had a bunch of different hand guns available because he wanted to try out some guns there that he couldn't shoot back home. He had shot rimfire and centerfire rifles before, but never a handgun. We tried a couple of different rimfire revolvers and auto handguns (FWIW he loved the SIG Mosquito).

 

Then I bought a box of 9mm ammo and asked my son if he wanted to try a centrefire. He was apprehensive, but said ok. I loaded up a single round in chamber and no extra rounds in the mag so that worst case, he wasn't going to shoot his first round and then somehow have an AD after he fired the shot. Anyhow, once he fired the first shot, he realised he could easily manage the 9mm. He went ahead and tried 6 different 9mm autos and burned his way through the 50 rounds of ammo. 

 

I think unless the child is very nervous with gun handling, once they are 10 or 11, and with some good support and training, they can deal with a 9mm okay.

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If they have to provide their own ammunition they will quickly revert back to the .22s.   

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Ruger Mk III or IV.  That is a gun they will pass down to their kids...

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I just bought an M&P 9 to match my daughters M&P22.  Same size, same holster.  She is not ready to jump yet but its a start.

 

The 22/45 Lite is a great option.

Edited by dogtired

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I would go straight to a 9mm. I have found 1911 conversions to have a problem with the mainspring weight for 22s. Plus 22s in general can be fenicky. 

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On ‎6‎/‎19‎/‎2017 at 9:01 AM, Linkscoach said:

My 12 year son is really starting to get interested in action shooting.  I've had him shooting a 22/45 for a couple of years now and he does really well with it.  It's not really set up well for action shooting though.  He's old enough that he would like to start practicing draws and reloads.  I would like to stick with a 22 at this point.  It's less expensive to feed it so he can shoot a lot more and I think the mild recoil is helping him develop good fundamentals.

 

Does anyone have any recommendations for a 22 caliber pistol that will allow him to work on reloads?  He has fairly big hands for a kid his age and is continuing to grow.  I've thought about the M&P 22 but don't really know anything about it.  What other options are out there?  Berretta 92 in 22?

 

I quoted you, because I am going to try to stick to what you actually asked.  First, you already have one of the best .22s out there.  Nothing could be named that would make it worthwhile to purchase another gun for your intended purpose.  With that said, you would also be very unhappy, I think, with the other .22s out there for the purpose you state.  "Action shooting" comes in many forms, but no matter what form you are pursuing, the other .22s lack the reliable function you are already getting.  For draws and reloads, which seem to be the new focus - you could get a kydex holster for the 22/45 and practice draws with it.  I think I understand the nature of the question regarding reloads, in that .22s are not built for speed reloads like other competition pistols and you would like him to begin to learn something he can build on.  With that in mind, I would definitely say the same as others, its time for a 9mm.  Even if at this point its only to practice draws/reloads.  Pick a good production gun of your choice.  Another outstanding choice would be the 9mm 1911s out there now.  The 1911 is what the 22/45 was designed after.  Same ergonomics, same function layout, and an all steel one absorbs recoil significantly even of factory ammo.  If this was an area of interest and budget is a concern, I would personally go Colt Competition model - I started with the .45 model and though it doesn't see single stack USPSA much anymore, its still my Steel Challenge centerfire entry.  My daughter, now 14, loves that gun and has for several years, even in .45.  I don't know what action shooting you are currently doing with a .22, but if it were me, and I was at the beginning of what seemed like a transition to new skills for a young shooter, you cant go wrong with just a Glock 19 either for learning.  That's what my daughter trains with.  It fits the platform of a defense gun, which is the real important gun manipulation skill set, it affords the opportunity to learn the draw to include acquiring sight picture/ dry fire trigger pull, its perfect for slamming practiced reload after reload into a neutral platform, and we can beat the hell out of it without a care in the world.  I would actually be very interested in hearing more about exactly what your son is shooting...rimfire competition or local matches that allow him to shoot the .22 at matches? 

Edited by Hammer002

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On 8/3/2017 at 2:55 AM, Hammer002 said:

First, you already have one of the best .22s out there.  Nothing could be named that would make it worthwhile to purchase another gun for your intended purpose.  

I think Hammer02 hit the nail on the head. For what you want to do, you have the gun.

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On 6/24/2017 at 3:39 PM, Steve RA said:

If they have to provide their own ammunition they will quickly revert back to the .22s.   

Ha too true! 

 

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I would skip the Mark IV 22/45 Lite.   I've gone through 2 barrels already and still can't get it to shoot half as tight as my Mark III Hunter. 

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Stay with the Ruger until it is time to move up to center fire. I have 2 Ruger Mark IIs and a Marvel conversion for bullseye, my best targets have been with the Ruger. The Marvel conversion did help me with my 45 shooting.

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I’ll agree with what the others said about sticking withehat you’ve got, which is already a good gun.  Use it as an opportunity to introduce him to competition with known equipment so he can concentrate on fundamentals, safety, and etiquette rather than basic gun manipulation.  Kydex holsters for the 22/45 can be bought or made.  

 

If I’m in your position, I’d start with getting him a holster and taking him to some Ssteel Challenge or NSSF (now Rimfire Challenge Shooting Association) competitions to get him used to match pressure and etiquette in a low key environment while using the gun he’s already used to. He won’t be drawing from the holster but he can SLOWLY practice his proper form taking it in and out during the make ready process.  Same thing with reloads.  That venue will hone his shooting fundamentals, and when he’s looking good, graduate him up to a 9mm, and now he’ll be drawing for real but in an environment he’ll now be comfortable in.  When he’s looking good with that, then it’s time to start looking at USPSA.  

 

In short, I’d get him comfortable wth a match environment in something more low key like Steel before jumping straight into full-on “action” shooting where his attention will get divided between multiple simultaneous tasks on top of match pressure. 

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On 6/19/2017 at 10:01 AM, Linkscoach said:

My 12 year son is really starting to get interested in action shooting.  I've had him shooting a 22/45 for a couple of years now and he does really well with it.  It's not really set up well for action shooting though.  He's old enough that he would like to start practicing draws and reloads.  I would like to stick with a 22 at this point.  It's less expensive to feed it so he can shoot a lot more and I think the mild recoil is helping him develop good fundamentals.

 

Does anyone have any recommendations for a 22 caliber pistol that will allow him to work on reloads?  He has fairly big hands for a kid his age and is continuing to grow.  I've thought about the M&P 22 but don't really know anything about it.  What other options are out there?  Berretta 92 in 22?

 

 

Here's the thing... Ask a question like that and you will get a plethora of answers all built around someone else's preferences. I will try to answer in the way you wanted it. 

First let me say that the Ruger you have is a fine pistol. However as you stated, it is NOT really a good trainer for action shooting. It doesn't feel or handle anything like any of the current crop of centerfire pistols used in competition, AND it is NOT built for learning speed reloads. Yes, it has the grip angle of a 1911 (more or less..) but that is where the resemblance ends.

 

So, if I were doing this, I would recommend purchasing a M&P 22 Compact.  Only the Compact though, not the full size for this reason. The Compact is made here in the U.S. by Smith and Wesson. All of the previous versions and the full size model are made overseas (Germany..) by Walther. The advantage here is that Smith and Wesson is HERE and will back up the Compact while the full size is supported ONLY by Walther (and notably there have been some problems..). Note here that the M&P 22 Compact is a scaled version of the regular M&P. As a matter of course, the holsters for the regular M&P will also fit the .22 Compact. In addition, the fit and feel of the .22 Compact is as close to a REAL M&P as it is possible to make. Magazines are readily available. The gun's grip is made so that the magazines enter and drop free just like the centerfire M&P. Reload training is definitely doable. So it is an ideal training pistol for a new shooter...ESPECIALLY if the new shooter graduates and moves up staying with the Smith and Wesson M&P platform. This is your best alternative for doing what YOU ASKED ABOUT. 

 

Now if you think you might go another route when he switches to centerfire, it might be best to reevaluate. If you are going to move him into 1911s or 2011s, then a .22 top end is certainly a possibility. However, I have to say, that all of them I have tried (owned..) had problems of some sort. Usually function related. Some of them "shoot in" after awhile, others don't... My M&P 22 Compact has been absolutely perfect after the initial first day of shooting. I had three stoppages the first day in the first hundred rounds. All were FTE. After breaking in with high velocity for a hundred rounds and a thorough cleaning and lube, the gun has been perfect since... (more than 2000 rounds without a failure using all types of ammo including 'target' and 'std. velocity'..). 

 

The other possibility mentioned here was moving up to centerfire right now.  You will have to be the judge of that. It is certainly doable, and there are some 9mm guns out there that would make a decent first gun. But remember that a light weight gun has as many drawbacks as it has features. So consider carefully what YOU shoot and what you think you will want HIM to shoot when he graduates to a centerfire. This will be YOUR decision only. No one here can tell you what you like (OR what you SHOULD like.!!). 

 

Hope this is helpful...

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Ruger 22-45, if you want to train for the 1911 grip angle / controls. I don't shoot 1911s/2011s anymore but the 22-45 is still one of my favorite range pistols, especially if I'm teaching newer shooters than myself. 

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I’m in the same boat as the OP. My 10 y/o wanted a pistol to begin action shooting as well. Therefore, I bought her a full size M&p .22, a holster, and 5 extra mags to go along with it. She will train with that gun until she’s able to handle a 9mm, and then she will get my M&p 9 and She’ll be able to use the same holster. Her main problem is that she is a tiny little girl and she can’t rack the 9mm without making crazy unsafe moves. So, .22’s it is until she’s able to safely operate something with a stiffer spring. 

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I am a fan of the Smith and Wessson m&p COMPACT. The compact is made in the USA by S&W.... the regular m&p 22 is not. 

 

Mine eats all diffrent 22 Ammo with no issues. It is a great pistol. 

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