This year, 2012, promises to be the year of the .22. Why? Because $20 for 550 rounds of .22 Long Rifle is much better than $20 for 20 rounds of something else if you are just shooting for fun. When I referred to “affordable” in my recent post about the Ruger LCR in .22 Long Rifle, I was referring more to the ammunition cost than the gun itself. But the next Ruger handgun I just received (literally, I have only checked the serial number to log it in) retails for less than the LCR .22 and is still chambered in .22 Long Rifle. It is the Ruger SR22, and it is on the way to your dealer now.
I had an advanced look at the new SR22 pistol on my recent trip to Ruger in Newport, N.H. In retrospect, it seems like the wrong, and much colder, way to go to see a gun that is made in Prescott, Ariz. The way Ruger pricing works, by the way, look for the $399-suggested-retail-priced SR22 pistol to go for almost $100 less depending on your dealer.
The SR22 is a blowback-operated semi-automatic pistol with a fixed barrel and an external hammer that is capable of double- or single-action operation. It mimics the lines of the SR9 and SR40, but is cool-enough looking gun to stand on its own. It has a glass-filled polymer frame—with a rail in its dustcover for accessories—an aluminum slide, and its lower grip has two interchangeable sleeves that can slide on or off easily to accommodate shooters with different-sized hands. This is a full-size gun, being 6 ½ inches long and 5 inches tall, and weighing it at about 17½ ounces unloaded. The barrel is 3 ½ inches long, and an optional threaded barrel is available for those who live in states that appreciate such things. The sights are adjustable and there is a frame-mounted thumb safety/decocking lever, a passive firing pin safety and magazine disconnect safety.
I am taking it home with me over the New Year’s holiday to see how many bricks of .22 my 9- and 14-year-old sons can manage to put through it. I imagine, knowing those two, the answer is all of the rounds I have.