Smith and Wesson M22A-1: Plinking Perfection

Smith and Wesson

The Smith & Wesson M22A-1 is a pistol chambered in .22 lr and may come as close to plinking perfection as we will see in this lifetime.

The gun is basic, but is equipped with a trigger that is in a league above the triggers of other guns made for similar purposes.

Again, it is a .22 lr with a trigger that you would expect on a higher end firearm like a Kimber K6s or top of the line Sig Sauer 1911. It is not hyperbole to say the trigger will make you shoot better than you normally do. The trigger is short, with a consistent pull from start to finish.

The M22A-1 is accurate as well, in part because of the trigger but also because of the total package. The gun is balanced and lends itself to  shooters who are patient when plinking.

Our M22A-1 has Smith & Wesson’s upgraded wooden grip on it, making it fill the hand completely. This grip is substantial, to say the least, adding a dimension of control that might otherwise be missing.

And the M22A-1 has a safety feature we discovered quite by accident. After being awestruck by the trigger, we removed the magazine to dry fire the gun and feel the mechanism work. However, the gun will not fire with the magazine out. (This was once a safety feature on larger Smith & Wesson semiautomatics carried by police, but we were not expecting it on a plinking pistol.)

The M22A-1 is no longer in production. This means the pistol that cost $350 when new can now be found used for about $250.

What a great gun.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkinsa weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at Sign up to get Down Range at


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