View Full Version : My new S&W 22A: First impressions

12-17-2011, 02:07 AM
Just picked it up today. First of all I'd like to say how awesome Bud's Gunshop.com is. It only took 1 1/2 days to get to my FFL dealer...wow! And I got a great price with free shipping. They kept me informed by e-mail every step of the way. This is the first time I've ordered a gun on-line and used an FFL dealer. Normally I try to buy my guns local to support area mom n' pop gunshops, but none of them had the 22A in stock.

Now the gun, it's a Smith & Wesson 22A .22LR target pistol with a 7" barrel.

I'm impressed by the weight and how solid this pistol is. It is super easy to field strip. After field stripping, cleaning, and lubing it I decided to fire a couple mags out of it. I wasn't really going for accuracy, just a fire test. The first mag I loaded up with CCI Mini-Mags, all 10, no problem. I decided to try some cheapo bulk ammo, Rem. Golden Bullets. I've read where the 22A doesn't like this ammo and it frequently fails to load, fire, or eject. But I fired off all 10 with no problems. I did notice that the Rem. bulk ammo was louder than the CCI's and a lot dirtier, I could actually smell the powder from the bulk ammo. Anyways, I'm very pleased so far with the 22A, if it wasn't starting to get dark I would have shot it more. Weather permitting I'm going to hit the range and post a review and range report article on here.

12-19-2011, 09:50 PM
So, I started having problems with it today. Failure To Fire. I was thinking it just wasn't broken in yet. Every other round would FTF, sometimes 2 or 3 in a row. I was using both the Remington bulk and CCI Mini-Mags. With the shells I had to eject by hand, I was noticing they had light primer strikes and sometimes no firing pin marks at all on them. I could also tell that the bullets were having a flat spot gouged out of them and a lot of lead filings around the breach. So I stripped the pistol and found that at the top of the feed ramp there was a sharp lip coming off the breach opening. I hand fed a shell into it and sure enough it caught on this lip. That lip was also stopping the shell from entering the breach all the way. This explains why there was light and no primer strikes, because the firing pin would actually be pushing the shell the rest of the way into the chamber when triggered, it wasn't seating the shell correctly. Here's a pic, I circled the problem area.

I really didn't want to deal with sending this gun to S&W already so I decided to fix it myself, I've done feed ramp jobs on my other guns before, no problem. So I filed down the lip, and used ultra-fine steel wool to smooth it out, then polished it and the feed ramp with a soft polishing stone. It seems to be fixed now, I test fired 20 rounds, only one FTF'ed, and I think it was a dud, because it had a deep primer strike. I also polished the slide and slide rails with steel wool to smooth them out a bit, then put a thin coat of GunSlick on them. I'm going to pick up a couple boxes of Federal and some other brands of ammo, then I'll see how it performs tomorrow.

12-20-2011, 07:11 PM
OK, I replaced the recoil buffer, S&W was good enough to include 2 extra with my gun. I bought a bulk pack of the CCI Blazers today, before it got dark I was able to fire a full mag through it, no FTF's, and it shoots real smooth now after I took down it's rough edges. It just needed a little TLC. Now I gotta find a decent, inexpensive scope.

12-21-2011, 08:06 PM
I got to shoot about 7 mags (70 rds) of the Blazers through it today, had four FTF's, and two of the FTF's failed to eject when I tried to clear them. It's getting better, but I'm still not real happy. I field stripped it and found that the powder coat on the bolt face and breech face was flaking off, some of it was pulverized and collected around the breech and under the ejector. I took some steel wool and took all the powder coat off the bolt face and breech to the bare metal. I can't understand why they powder coated these parts, the pieces are stainless, so they don't really need to be protected. I'm sure what I did will help, that and shooting it more to break it in. I also disassembled and cleaned the mags. I can tell you, the CCI's are a lot cleaner than the Remingtons.

12-22-2011, 11:16 PM
CCI's are a lot cleaner than the Remingtons. '

Man you got that right. Remington not as clean as you would think. I had a few 500rd box's of Remingtons I got on sale. By the time I was done shooting the hole inside of my rifle was black. Sorry to hear all the bad news about your S&W 22 . I hope it you get it all worked out.

12-23-2011, 01:22 AM
I'm going to put it through it's paces again tomorrow. I'll see how it does, hopefully it's fixed.

12-23-2011, 05:43 AM
hey btw how are you on cards?

12-23-2011, 03:06 PM
hey btw how are you on cards?

I've got about 25 left.

12-23-2011, 06:46 PM
OK, despite the cold, rainy, miserable weather, I was able to put 110 rounds of the CCI Blazers through it today. NO FTF's! Excellent! I bought it a Christmas present too, a Tasco red dot scope.


12-30-2011, 09:59 PM
Nice pistol Sasquatch. I had one of those and liked it, but ended up selling it for the revolver. It was a little picky on ammo and I had to do some fine tuning on it as it seems you have done. The recoil spacers are a key in those. I called S&W and they ended up sending me like 30 of those things. Very accurate and fun to shoot. Enjoy!!

12-31-2011, 05:06 PM
It is a very good gun for the price, despite the problems I had with it. I just got to have a little more fun fixing it. I really like working on guns. And you're right, the 22A is what I call a "Diva", it just refuses to eat some ammo. I've found it's brand though, I got a box of the bulk Federal, 36gr, plated,HP and it eats them like candy. I have some recoil spacers coming from S&W.