8 of the Best .22 Pistols for Training and Plinking Fun

These .22 pistols will provide hours of plinking fun.

Rimfire rounds are some of our favorite guns to shoot. Ammo is cheap and recoil is light. We especially like .22 long rifle, which is ideal for teaching young shooters the basics of gun safety. It also gives them a chance to learn basic shooting mechanics in a non-intimidating fashion. This is especially important with handguns, which are more difficult to become proficient with than a rifle.

Today we are going to be looking at a variety of rimfire pistols chambered specifically for .22 long rifle.

These handguns are ideal for new shooters or someone just looking for something they can take to the range for a fun day of practice.

Ruger Mark IV 22

We will start things out with arguably the most popular and common semi-automatic .22 pistol on the market today. This handgun is the fourth iteration of the original Ruger Standard Model that was first introduced in 1949. Ruger has kept updating and improving upon the design over the years and it just seems to get better each time. The frames are CNC-machined from a single piece of metal these days and the company offers many different finishes and grip configurations depending on preferences. This pistol is available with either a 5.5-inch or 6.88-inch barrel and has a capacity of 10+1 rounds. Ruger includes two magazines standard. The gun is fully ambidextrous and features adjustable rear sights. They are also easy to clean since Ruger built in a single-button takedown to quickly disassemble the gun.

Smith & Wesson M&P 22 Compact

When it comes to self-defense, it is important to consistently train in defensive shooting techniques and drawing from a concealed holster. One problem with that is that constantly shooting 9mm, .45 ACP or .40 can get expensive after a while. This is where a gun like the M&P 22 Compact can be extremely useful. Smith & Wesson modeled this gun just like their larger caliber M&P semi-automatic pistols, just in a slightly smaller package. This slimmed down pistol weighs just 15 ounces and has a 3.5-inch barrel. As a bonus, the barrel is already threaded for a suppressor. If you already own an M&P, it has all the features you are already familiar with including the thumb safety, white dot front and rear sights and black polymer grips. This gun has an additional safety feature in that it will not fire without one of the 10-round magazines inserted. The Smith & Wesson Model M&P 22 Compact would be the ideal gun to train for defensive scenarios without breaking your bank on expensive centerfire rounds.

Heritage Rough Rider Single Action Revolver

.22 Pistols


These rimfire revolvers look just like the classic Colt single action army that helped tame the west, only in a smaller and much more affordable package. These guns are still made here in the good old U.S.A. and they are perfect for old west enthusiasts. These revolvers get great reviews from users and come at an incredible price point of only $149. Heritage even sells a few models for only $30 more that include a cylinder for .22 WMR too. That means you are basically getting two guns for the price of one. Barrel length varies between 4.75 and 6.5 inches and Heritage offers a few different finishes and wooden or laminate grip variations, so it should be easy to find something to best suit your style. These guns are sure to be a hit with your buddies on your next trip to the gun range. Cowboy up!

Walther P22 Series

.22 Pistols


Another solid polymer frame option, Walther offers a few different variations of this semi auto pistol that are all sure to be a hit at the range. These guns feature single action/double action triggers, ambidextrous magazine release controls and interchangeable backstraps to adjust the fit. These guns have a capacity of 10+1 rounds and a 3.4-inch barrel. Walther also offers this gun with a pre-threaded barrel so you can add a suppressor. A picatinny rail allows you to add an aftermarket sight or other accessory quickly and easily. Out of the box, it comes with three-dot sights and the rear sight is adjustable. This would be an excellent training firearm and at only about $300, it comes at a great price too.

Browning 1911 Rimfire

.22 Pistols


Long considered the greatest handgun design ever by the legendary John Browning, the 1911 platform has been consistently improved upon and adapted for new rounds over the years. Browning downsized the design into a .22 lr pistol for the 1911's 100th anniversary. This compact rimfire weighs just 15 ounces but has the same ergonomics and controls you are familiar with on the full-size versions. It has a dual safety system with a grip and manual thumb safety. The slide is machined aluminum and the barrel blocks are stainless steel. Browning offers a few different grip and finish combinations. They also offer a variation with a pre-threaded barrel. These guns have a 10+1 capacity. This is a great way to own and shoot a piece of firearms history for a lower price than a full-sized 1911.

Beretta M9 Rimfire

.22 Pistols


Another legendary handgun design that has been downsized to shoot .22 long rifle. The M9 has proven itself for years in combat as a service pistol. While it was eventually replaced by the Army, the legend of this gun's reliability lives on. Now it can tear up the target range and serve as a cheaper training option for the full-size gun. This single action/double action handgun features the external hammer, ambidextrous safety and interchangeable grips that are on the full-size version. While most .22 lr handguns can be picky about ammunition, that does not seem to be the case with the M9. Users rave how this gun eats everything they used. The barrel length is 4.9 inches and the magazines hold 10 rounds.

Glock G44

The release of a Glock chambered in .22 long rifle took everyone by surprise because of how it came out of nowhere in early 2020. The main idea behind this gun is to serve as a trainer, especially for owners of the Glock 19. The G44 has the exact same frame and slide measurements as that subcompact platform, but the .22 lr is going to be cheaper to train and build muscle memory. It has a 4.02-inch barrel and uses 10-round magazines. It only weighs about 14 ounces unloaded. It will be interesting to see if Glock expands their line of rimfire options to mimic their other popular concealed carry platforms in the future.

Ruger SR 22

.22 Pistols


While the Mark IV has been a popular rimfire handgun for Ruger, the SR22 has proven to be just as reliable and popular. This gun has a 3.5-inch barrel and only weighs 17.5 ounces thanks to the black polymer frame and aluminum slide. A picatinny rail allows the attachment of accessories and the ambidextrous controls allow anyone to pick up and use this pistol reliably. It has a fixed white dot front sight and an adjustable rear one to help zero in on targets quickly and easily. Ruger includes two 10-round magazines standard with this gun, so there is no need to buy more right away. This gun would be perfect just for plinking or teaching someone the fundamentals of shooting and gun safety.

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