with Andrew L. Butts
SHOT Show 2012: The Ruger SR22 22LR semi-auto
Taking a bold step from the company’s established design, Ruger has just introduced the new SR22 22LR semi-auto pistol. This pistol features an external hammer, double action/single action lockwork, ambidextrous controls, and a very modern blocky appearance. The pistol uses interchangeable grip sleeves that should accommodate large and small hands and has a magazine capacity of ten rounds.
It’s not often we see a new rimfire semi-auto pistol from Ruger. In fact, the company is still making the rimfire pistol that launched the brand name nearly 60 years ago and has continued to sell their original 22LR with only a few modifications along the way. The Mark I pistol has evolved into the Mark III pistol but is still the same basic design it was in 1949.
The new little pistol is polymer framed and uses an aluminum slide with a steel breech insert. The steel insert is pinned into the slide and houses the gun’s firing pin assembly and extractor. The use of aluminum keeps the slide’s weight down so the gun will run on both standard velocity and high velocity ammunition. The lightweight slide also helps keep the pistol’s overall weight at just over a pound with the empty magazine in place. The barrel is mounted solidly into the frame but is removable by the user. Ruger has plans on introducing replacement barrels in the near future and should have a barrel with a threaded muzzle out within a few months.
Ruger had the SR22 on-hand for the 2012 SHOT Show “Media Day” event held at the Boulder City Rifle and Pistol Club in Nevada. Writers from across the country were able to examine and fire several of the new pistols and it looks like the design is going to be a winner for the company. Ruger’s samples were handled and shot by a large number of passers-by and I witnessed zero malfunctions in the hour or so I spent at the Ruger booth.
This new offering should appeal to anyone looking for a lightweight little auto to take along on a hike in the woods. The SR22 should also appeal to those who are looking for a low cost trainer or a pistol for basic marksmanship instructional work. And, with the addition of a threaded barrel, the pistol should make a nifty little suppressor host.
Look for a more in depth review from PoliceOne in the very near future!