Tandemkross 10/22 Ultimate trigger kit

 The rimfire experts over at Tandemkross have a new trigger for your Ruger 10/22. They released the “Ultimate” trigger kit on 10/22 of 2018 in collaboration with Brimstone Gunsmithing. I immediately contacted them to ask for a review trigger kit, well here we are with the trigger review! I was sent a red trigger, but black is also available.

 As mentioned, this trigger system comes in a “kit.” Of course there is the trigger. The trigger is made out of aluminum and anodized either red or black. It uses a wide flat faced design, with very sharp knurling on the face of the trigger. I loved the knurling. My finger immediately knew that I was on the trigger. Now I would maybe put a small chamfer, or angle, on each side of the trigger face. It felt a little sharp on the edges. There is also a over travel adjustment in the trigger shoe. The adjustment is just your standard set screw that butts up against the back of the trigger guard housing. A hex wrench is supplied for adjustment.

 Tandemkross’ Ultimate trigger also comes with a new hammer and sear. This is really what makes the trigger pull lighter. Tandemkross redesigned the sear and hammer. This leads to a reduction in pull weight and a boost in reliability. The reliability is increased, due to the fact that the hammer-sear still have strong engagement. It doesn’t say if the surfaces are polished, but it does mention they are EDM cut for precision. Either way, the trigger pull is fantastic.

 Last up in the Ultimate trigger kit, is the return spring. Why should you care, you ask? Well Tandemkross has ditched the spring and plunger system used on the stock Ruger 10/22. They have gone with a wire spring. This spring mounts to the side of the trigger shoe and rests on a shelf in the trigger housing. I found it gives a positive reset without adding anything to the trigger pull.

 I’m not going into installation. Tandemkross has some very good instructions. If you don’t think you can install the trigger, take it to your local gunsmith. I did have a small problem with the hammer, the hole was too small for one of my rifles hammer pin. Another of my 10/22’s hammer pin fit fine. I chalked this up to the one not fitting, having been built in the early 80’s.

 I am really impressed with the Ultimate trigger kit. It reduced my trigger pull from the factory 5 lb pull to an amazing 2 lb pull. Just by installing the kit and using factory springs. There is a tiny bit of pre-travel, but not even close to the factory trigger. I’d say the pull was smooth, but the travel is so short that it just breaks without being able to feel any creep. As mentioned, getting rid of that spring and plunger system is great also. It now looks like a trigger should. Having over-travel adjustment is nice also. The set screw supplied also has a rubberized tip to keep from marring the trigger housing. I also love the feel of the sharp textured WIDE trigger.

 Tandemkross did an excellent job, in my opinion, with this trigger kit. If you know anything about them, that probably doesn’t surprise you. At $145 for the Ultimate 10/22 trigger kit in red, it might be pricey for some. After using it, I feel it is worth the price. If you’re in the market for rimfire parts and accessories, do yourself a favor and go check out Tandemkross.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:

Better trigger for your 10/22

Target Market:

Anyone wanting a better 10/22 trigger, but mainly competition shooters

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Wide flat trigger

  • Sharp texture on trigger shoe

  • Wire return spring

  • Redesigned Hammer and Sear

  • Reduced pull weight

  • EDM cut parts

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?


What others are saying?:

Essential Trigger! 5/5 stars on Tandemkross

Installs in minutes with YouTube help. And makes a scary big difference. 10/22 factory triggers are like Glock triggers. We usually just compare them with something worse. But this TK Ultimate Trigger is a whole different world of goodness. Silky smooth take-up right up until the glass-rod break. Even upgrades Ruger's own BX trigger upgrade. Mine breaks clean and reliably at about 3.2 pounds. And since the heavily textured flat shoe provides oversized purchase onto the pad of your trigger finger, the effect is even more dramatic. Dry firing with the Ultimate Trigger is impressive, but when out in the field whether poking targets or hunting small game, the TandemKross Ultimate Trigger immediately makes itself essential. I've upgraded a lot of 10/22s and I cannot name a better single upgrade than this trigger for better performance, increased accuracy, and most importantly just the sheer pleasure of shooting.

Link to other reviews:


Price point:

MSRP = $134.99-$144.99

I need it now! Availability:


Our Rating:


  • Textured trigger surface

  • Reduced pull weight

  • Crisp break

  • Over-travel adjustment

  • Trigger return spring


  • Slight creep

  • Price (for some)

Score: 8.5 Great


Favorite Link:   Axelson Tactical

Volquartsen Custom Scorpion .22 LR Pistol Review


Review Picture 4


The .22 rimfire pistol market is one of variety. From inexpensive plinkers to tricked out, high performance raceguns, I don’t know of a market that offers the discerning consumer more choices in terms of fit, finish & quality. In contrast to a few years ago, .22 rimfire ammunition has started to make a comeback in areas where it was scarce for quite some time, and that has made taking these rimfire pistols back out to the range much more of a possibility. Gone are the days of 99 cent Winchester White boxes of 50 rounds like I remember, but .22 LR still offers good performance and practice options at a far reduced price compared to full size centerfire ammunition. As mentioned before, there are many different tiers of .22 LR pistols. The Volquartsen Custom Scorpion is definitely securely placed in the top-tier of .22 LR handguns; it is a lightweight .22 LR Pistol designed for high performance and is equally at home in the competition arena, or out in the field.

The Volquartsen Custom Scorpion can mount many optics such as this Burris Fastfire

Back in March I did an interview with Scott Volquartsen of Volquartsen Custom about their business. I came away impressed with their commitment to quality as well as to their employees & customers. Scott stated that Volquartsen had worked to make the finest rimfire handguns and rifles for competition and other uses that money could buy. We spoke about potentially having me test a handgun, and after NRA Show 2015, we spoke about what my desires would be if I was contacting Volquartsen to purchase a custom .22 LR handgun. I told Scott that if I were to call and order one, I would want a handgun that could fill a couple roles: competition & handgun hunting. I am a fan of hunting with handguns, and many .22 pistols simply aren’t precise enough for small game hunting. I have also thought about getting involved in rimfire competition, and would want a handgun that could fill dual roles. Scott suggested their Scorpion line, with a 4.5” barrel, the 1911 style VC Target frame, and Fiber optic front sight with the Volquartsen Target rear sight. The handgun would be fitted with all Volquartsen internals and would have an accessory rail on the top if I desired to mount any optics.

The Competition Bolt is coated in a variety of finishes for superior performance.

The Scorpion is a combination of the Lightweight VC Target Frame and the LLV Upper. It comes standard with the Volquartsen Competition Bolt. The Volquartsen Competition Bolt is CNC Machined and ground for superior tolerances, fit and finish. It features the SureStrike Firing Pin and the Exact Edge Extractor to ensure reliable feeding & function. The bolt is also offered with four different coatings, Diamond Like Carbon, Chromium Nitride, Titanium Nitride and Titanium Carbo-Nitride. The example I have here has the Diamond Like Carbon Coating. I can attest to the reliable functioning of the bolt and pistol, as I put a little over 3,000 rounds of various brands of .22 rimfire cartridges through the pistol in about a months time with not a single malfunction. This was with extremely minimal lubrication and almost no cleaning aside from wiping the bolt with a soft cloth.

The VC Target Frame and LLV Upper combine to make the Volquartsen Scorpion

The VC Target Frame is manufactured by Volquartsen, and is offered with a MKIII style grip angle or a 1911 style grip angle. The example I have is the 1911 style frame. It is CNC-machined from aluminum alloy and with a 6oz base weight, is very light and handy. You can get the frame in a variety of finishes & colors, with the Black, red, blue and OD green frames being Type III hard anodized and the Silver frames being NiB coated. The VC frame is fitted with all Volquartsen internals, including the Accurizing Kit with Extended bolt release, CNC Machined Target Trigger, Wire EDM Cut Target Hammer and target sear. It also sports a CNC machined disconnector, extended safety and in the MKIII models, a spring-loaded magazine ejector for positive ejection of spent magazines. Volquartsen has eliminated the magazine disconnect from this frame as well. Their trigger is outstanding, with minimal take-up and an adjustable overtravel stop. The manual lists the trigger pull weight at 2.25 lbs and I found this to be true, with the average over 10 trigger pulls reading between 2.25 and 2.3 on my Lyman trigger pull gauge. I cannot say enough good things about the trigger on this pistol.

The Volquartsen Target Rear with Fiber Optic Front presents a fantastic sight picture

The LLV Barreled receiver/upper is hard anodized & CNC machined. The receiver and barrel shroud are precision machined as one piece from aluminum alloy. An integral picatinny rail is machined into the top of the receiver for easy mounting of any of the optical sights available on the market today. It is fitted with a precision stainless steel barrel that is machine-honed and lapped and is available in either 4.5” or 6” lengths. The standard configuration LLV comes with 1/2 x 28 muzzle threads with either a thread protector, or with their LLV compensator.

The LLV Compensator mates perfectly with the LLV upper and tames the mild .22 LR recoil to almost nothing.

  My example has the LLV Compensator which functions very well and tames the already mild recoil of the .22 Rimfire down to almost nothing. The pistol runs well with a suppressor too, as you can see in the video. You can also choose any number of sight options, such as Hi-Viz front and Tritium rear, Hi Viz Front and Target rear, or Volquartsen Target sights. You can also opt to not have sights installed and simply use electronic optics.

Grip options for the VC Target Frame include Volthane Target Grips or Laminated Wood Target grips for the MKIII style grip angle, and Aluminum Grips or the Hogue Monogrip for the 1911 Style Grip angle. My example sports the Hogue Monogrips. They were very comfortable and made the gun easy to handle, especially after many hundreds of rounds downrange in a single session. This whole package comes in at under 2 lbs.

Multiple brands & types of ammo were used in the evalutation

At the range, I found the Scorpion to be incredibly accurate and fast. From close-up shooting on multiple steel targets as fast as possible, to 45, 55 and even 60 yard shots on an 8” steel plate, the Volquartsen Scorpion delivered. I fired many different brands & loads through the Scorpion over the test period, and the pistol functioned flawlessly with every single one. I used CCI Mini-Mag .22 LR hollowpoint 36 grain, Winchester Super X .22 LR round nose 40 grain & Aguila .22 Pistol Match 40 grain LRN. Also mixed in there were some Winchester 40 grain Dynapoints during the suppressed fire. At about 25 yards, the CCI Mini Mags were the most accurate for me, with groups of 0.58” being common.

It seems my particular sample really likes the lighter weight 36 grain bullet of the Mini-Mag. The rest of the ammunition didn’t shoot as tight groups for me, but all were well under an inch from a rest at between 25-30 yards. I had the most fun doing rapid fire steel drills on multiple 8” steel plates from 15 yards. It is REALLY fun to run this pistol fast.

Groups like this one (minus those two flyers from a previous group; the sticky fell off) were commonplace with the Volquartsen Scorpion at 25 yards

The Volquartsen Custom Scorpion is really an outstanding .22 pistol. The combination of high quality features really make for a handgun that is a cut above the rest in the rimfire pistol world. When I spoke with the folks at Volquartsen, I said that I would want a pistol that would be equally at home out in the field hunting small game as it would be in the competition arena. This pistol really delivers. It is eminently customizable to fit your needs, and  you can tell the people at Volquartsen really care about the desires of the customer. Every question/request I had was answered in a timely manner and with a high degree of detail and explanation. With a price range between $1,175 and $1,236 depending upon chosen options, it is definitely in the higher range of .22 pistols, but you are getting a high quality, high performance handgun that will definitely last you a lifetime.

Firearms Insider Reviews – 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Super High Quality .22 LR Pistol intended for competition or target shooting use.

Target Market: Shooters who need a .22 LR pistol for competition or small game hunting.

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • High quality internals
  • Light weight
  • Superb Trigger & Sights
  • Optics Mounting Options
  • Fantastic Customer Service
  • Support a family-run firearms business

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

  • Black, Red, Blue & OD Green Type III Hard Anodized
  • Silver is Nickel Boron (NiB)
  • Target Grips
  • Aluminum Grips
  • Various Options for Compensators
  • 1911 style or MK III Style Grip Frame

Price point:

MSRP = Between $1,175 and $1,236 depending upon chosen options. This is a custom pistol.

I need it now! Availability: You can purchase the Volquartsen Custom Scorpion directly from Volquartsen Custom. 


  • Custom built to the user specifications
  • Uses high quality components for the internals
  • Trigger is AMAZING.
  • Coated Competition Bolt almost eliminates the need for lubrication.
  • Reliability over 3,000 rounds with almost no cleaning whatsoever is amazing in a .22 rimfire pistol.
  • Accuracy is top-notch even at long distance.
  • Worked fantastic with a .22 LR suppressor. Very very quiet and accurate. Also, the sights can be used with the suppressor attached.


  • It is definitely in the upper end price range for .22 LR pistols. However, this isn’t really a “con” as it IS a high quality custom .22 LR pistol intended for the highest levels of rimfire competition.

Our Rating: 9.5 AMAZING!95



Visit Volquartsen Custom for more information and to place an order!

Visit Ryan Michad over at Handgun Radio and the Handgun Radio Facebook Page

EXD Engineering Vertical Reticle Instrument

The EXD Vertical Reticle Instrument is the easiest and most accurate way to square an optic to a gun.

I'm about to share with you one of the most useful tools in my gun drawer. I'm almost certain that unless you already have some sort of trick or technique for mounting an optic squarely level to a firearm, you'll want to pick up one of these for yourself after reading this review.
The EXD Engineering Vertical Reticle Instrument is an adjustable, self-aligning tool that uses V-blocks to square up the scope's objective bell with the barrel, assuming your scope rings are quality and in spec. Once you tighten down the thumb screw to secure the V-blocks (you can use a rubber band to keep it in place if needed) you can use the bubble level to assure the rifle/shotgun/muzzleloader/pistol is resting level with the planet. Then, with the rings loosely tightened so you can rotate the scope in place, you want to look through the glass and make sure the crosshairs themselves are parallel with something thats level - a door frame, a fence post, or a plumb line that uses gravity to create a straight vertical reference. If the reticle is vertically squared and the bubble level in the EXD instrument is between the marks, your scope is aligned with the universe and you can tighten down your rings.
Now I have managed to mount optics on quite a few firearms without the use of such a tool, but the possibility of being skewed and non-level with the bore has always haunted me. Once I'd get the rings slightly tightened and the eye relief in the sweet spot, I'd either take a step back and fiddle with the magnification so I can catch a glimpse of the reticle in the narrow eye-box and just sorta get a feel if it looks square to the action, then double check by scoping something outdoors that I'm relatively sure has straight vertical edge. If the scope had a nice capped elevation turret I would balance an actual level tool on it, but that only would tell me the scope was level with the ground, not level with bore itself. I could spend and hour tinkering with it until it looks right, and it could still be way off.

EXD Vertical Reticle Instrument

For shooting 100-200 yards it may not be worth a second thought, but for ultimate precision especially at longer ranges, a canted crosshair reticle can and will have adverse effects on your scope's windage and elevation adjustments. Many gun stores, smiths, or scope dealers will mount a scope fore you, but really only "eyeball" it or use a reference that may not be all that precise. Hell, I've had someone tell me to just close my eyes, shoulder the rifle, and then whatever canted position the rifle is in my hands is good enough, then half-ass level the windage line and tighten the rings from there. This may be "good enough" for Bubba to bag a backyard buck, but not if you hope to be consistent with your firearm's optic at various ranges.
Yes, there might be some OCD tied into it, but a scope that you've leveled yourself, without paying someone else, really gives you reassurance as well as confidence in your rig (or in some cases, gives you less excuses at the firing line). The beauty is that this tool is so simple, it should work with virtually every firearm you want to mount a scope on, with only a few exceptions. I would strongly recommend buying the EXD Engineering Vertical Reticle Instrument, especially if you own multiple scopes and like to swap them around, or if you're business includes mounting optics for customers.

Firearms Insider Reviews – 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:  Makes zeroing your scope faster and far more accurate

Target Market:  Scoped Rifle Owners

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Self Align V-blocks
  • Thumb Screw for tightening
  • View Slot
  • Bubble level to ensure scope and bore are square during mounting

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Unfinished Aluminium only

What others are saying?:

"I have mounted numerous rifle scopes and this is the best device for leveling the cross hairs I have found. Actually, it's used to level the rifle and scope, and then plumb the vertical reticle of the scope." Brownells.com User Review

"This tool changes weather a scope is level or not from an opinion to a fact. It's the best tool out there for leveling a scope. On some high power scopes the narrow window can be an issue but it still works." Brownells.com User Review

"This tool is indispensable for quick accurate perfectly level crosshairs. No more excess time fidling with back and forth alignment. If your in the profession you absolutely need this tool, its a money maker." Brownells.com User Review

Price point:

I need it now! Availability:  Available at Brownells.com

Our Rating:


  • Removes the guesswork from mounting a scope and zeroing the reticle
  • Works with almost every firearm platform as long as the scope overlaps a round barrel
  • Compatible with Oval ocular scopes
  • Should work with optics on handguns, muzzleloaders, shotguns, as well as rifles.


  • Barrels with rear iron sights may not work with this tool
  • Leveling the reticle perpendicular requires an outside reference ie: a door frame or plumb line
  • Expensive for what it is...would have been a great additional value if some sort of black string, thumbtack and weight were included

Score: 8.0 Great



Featured FFL:

For FFL services I choose Promised Land Firearms in Toulon, IL.

Ryan's Links:

Gun & Gear Review Podcast

Hunter of Design

Sig Sauer 1911-22 Pistol Review


By Bradley Johnson

I know what you're thinking; "Why would I want a 1911 that shoots .22?" Well, the answer is simple, because it's a blast!

This Sig Sauer (formerly GSG) 1911-22 is a full size 1911. The operation, and ergonomics are identical to a Colt M1911A1 pistol. In fact, many parts are interchangeable with a standard 1911-45. However, unlike the M1911A1, ammo doesn't cost an arm and a leg. It's this very reason that many people opt to supplement their training with a .22LR.

12724119843_8cd4ffb844_bIt comes in a decent hard shell, foam lined case. Included in the case are Allen keys (needed for takedown), 2 magazines, a pistol lock, a replacement guide rod buffer disc, a chamber brush, and 2 front sight posts(2 sizes).

One of the really cool additional features of this (well, not this one, because I reside in California) pistol is that the barrel is threaded by the factory. Unfortunately, the cap on my pistol is fixed due to my state of residence.

Take down is very similar to a standard 1911. However, there are additional pins that require the use of an Allen key. I was originally bothered by this, but it's not a deal breaker.

The pistol is made of some type of alloy, and as such cannot be finished with a traditional hot blue. I suppose this was done to keep the cost down. The finish is not great. It seems like some type of paint, and it scratched/wears easily if you're not careful. It is my biggest complaint about the pistol. Another area of concern are the sights. They're bright, and it's easy to get a good sight picture, but they're made of plastic! Perhaps this is why they supply a replacement front sight in the kit.


At the range, this pistol performed beautifully. I used the12725304505_5272d87637_b recommended CCI Mini Mag for the break-in period, and did not have a single misfeed, or failure to eject. Since the break-in period, I have fed several other brands of ammo thru it without any problems. Considering the price point, I feel that the accuracy of this pistol is excellent. The wood grips feel pretty good in my hands, and if they're not your cup of tea then just replace them with your favorite 1911 grips. Overall, I am very pleased with this purchase.

 Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Full size 1911. Same ergonomics and manual of arms as a Colt M1911A1 with a low Price point.

Target Market: I think this pistol will appeal to anyone looking to have some fun at the range. Additionally, it is a great trainer companion to people who already own a 1911-45.

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • 2 Magazines included
  •  Replacement sight, and taller sight post to adjust for elevation
  •  Nearly identical to a M1911A1, but at a lower cost than the competitors (1911-22 competitors)
  •  Skeletonized hammer and trigger

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: The Sig Sauer 1911-22 Pistol is available in black, OD green, flat dark earth, and camo.

What others are saying?: "The last ten shots were fired as fast as I could pull the trigger just looking to see how the pistol cycled without worrying much about accuracy. To my surprise it was flawless and I can tell it will burn up ammo if you let it!" - Tallgrass, MarlinOwners.com

Price Point:

I need it now! Availability: This pistol is available from many retailers, including Cabelas and Bud's Gun Shop

Our Rating:

+ Accurate + Reliable + 2 Magazines

- Finish - Plastic Sights

Score: 7.5 75

Ruger SR-22 Purple Frame



Every new shooter needs to experience the joy of a 22LR pistol.  The 22LR's reputation for lightest recoil and lightest pricetag (when available) offers hours of enjoyment and valuable understanding on how firearms function and proper handling.  For the significant loved one in your life - husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, nephew/niece, child, grandchild - a 22LR is a fantastic tool to let them use at the range.

I stumbled across this "purple pea shooter" at a local gunshop and new it was only a matter of time before I picked it up for my significant other.  Her favorite color is purple, and I had already gotten her a Ruger 10/22 rifle with a purple painted stock.  This little Ruger seemed a perfect addition to her collection.  The timing of it being just before Valentine's Day made this gift even better.

She was of course was furious at seeing yet another white cardboard box with Ruger's emblem on the top, but was quickly overjoyed at learning it was her's. Our first range trip with the SR22 was very successful, it fed Remington Thunderbolt 22LR flawlessly and the groups were adequate with plenty of room for improvement.  I did experience some double feeding on the next trip to the firing line using Federal Match ammo, I assume the feed ramp prefers round tip bullets over certain hollowpoint bullets, I will be sure to experiment with more as they show up on the shelves.


This 22LR has followed us to the range every time since purchasing it as its always enjoyable to shoot. Her comments are that the grip really felt good in her hand with the palm swell installed, and made the negligible recoil even lighter and follow-up shots easy to do. She was also a big fan of the hammer as it made it easy to know when it was ready to fire, and the safety disabling the hammer was very useful for when stopping between shots.

While it's not the best in any category, it is a solid and well constructed pistol that is certainly worth the mid-range pricetag of $320 that I got it for.  With is safety features that are easy to manipulate but also help ensure correct handling is used, this pistol is ideal for new shooters.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Packed with versatile features, the SR22 is lightweight and perfect for just about anything. It is easy to field strip, fun to shoot, and will run reliably with a wide variety of ammunition (not just high-velocity ammunition).

Target Market:  Plinking, target shooting and even small game hunting

FNBs:  (Features and Benefits of this product)

  • Length: 6.4 inches, Barrel 3.50 inches
  • Width: 1.29 Inches.
  • Weight: 17.5 ounces.
  • 3 Dot Sight: Fixed, White Dot Front Sight, Adjustable Rear Sight with Reversible Blade.
  • Picatinny Rail with Multiple Cross Slots for Variable Mounting of Accessories.
  • Hammer-fired
  • Ambidextrous manual thumb Safety / Decocking lever and Magazine Release
  • Two Options for Grip/Palm Swell
  • Magazine/Disconnect Safety

 What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?:  All Black frame and slide available, as well as a black frame with stainless slide.  Also with other options with threaded barrels and Crimson Trace Lasers.  The purple pea shooter's model number is 3606.

What others are saying?: "Like many people, I recently started looking for something fun and less expensive to shoot than my higher caliber handguns, and a couple of months ago I bought my SR22 for that purpose. I love being able now to go to the range a time or two each week and not spend a fortune in the process, while having a blast each time. Along those lines, one of the SR22's particularly great features, as many reviewers have stated before me, is that this gun doesn't care much what you feed it, and that's a great trait when ammo is still so hard to find. But in truth, all of its features are great: incredible accuracy, superb ergonomics, light-weight construction but extremely sold feel, hassle-free takedown and cleaning! .... The three-dot sight system is hard to beat. Even in poor light, without any of the enhancements of fiber optics or other techier add-ons, this little gun provides a clear and fast sight picture that lets you hit and stay on target round after round. Maybe this isn't literally the perfect fun gun, but if it isn't, I don't know what is!"  -DaveG49 Cabelas Review

Price Point:

I need it now! Availability: Online Dealers or Local Gun Shops.

Our Rating:

+ External safety functions as decocker, making this pistol a great learning platform for a new shooter. + Simple to disassemble and clean. + Includes soft zippered pouch, two magazines and two pinky extensions. + Magazines have plastic thumb assist for compressing spring that doesn't hurt after multiple reloads. + Price is very decent compared to other .22lr pistols.

- Seems picky with ammo, ate up Remington Lightning but choked on Federal Match. - Magazine release is mushy to me, could be easier to actuate. - Picatinny rail has smaller slots and shallower than most polymer frames in my safe.  Certain accessories may not mount. -Trigger reset length is terrible, not a good tool for teaching accurate handgun shooting.

Score: 7.070





Sig Sauer 522 SWAT

Sig 522 pic 1

When it comes to Sig Sauer firearms the extra money spent equates to a superior level of build quality and top-level reliability. You can get into a tactical .22 for a little less, but the extra money for a Sig Sauer 522 SWAT is well spent. Where allowed by state laws, you can get the same furniture as this gun’s full size brother. The gun tested was a NJ compliant model since NJ still has an effective ban on rifles that contain certain cosmetic features.  With that being said, the stock is pinned in place, the barrel lacks a muzzle device and the magazine capacity is limited to 15 rounds.  However all that mixed in doesn’t affect the awesomeness of this gun. The ergonomics are top notch with the exception of the safety lever, which although ambidextrous, I found difficult to operate due to stiffness and that it is located too close to the grip. The action was smooth, the trigger responsive and that led to an overall fantastic shooting experience. The factory installed sights are a great start, but thanks to the integral rail, the rear peep sight can be swapped out for a rear BUIS of your choosing which you really should do if you decide to run an optic on this rifle. Bottom line is, if you’re in the market for a tactical .22 and can afford it, buy this gun before someone else does.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Sig Quality, reliability, look and feel of full size Sig 556.

Target Market:  Rimfire competition, plinking, training, military and police.

FNB's:Sig 522 pic 2

Key Features

  • Look and feel of the full size Sig 556
  • Utilizes several parts from the original 556
  • Upper receiver has built in Picatinny rail

Key Benefits

  • Potential as a transitional training aid
  • Reliability

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?:  The Sig 522 comes in three major full size configurations; Sig polymer handguard, quad rail handguard, and Hogue free-float handguard. There are also two mock sbr models which have threaded 16 inch barrels with “inert training supressors”. The model I tested is also a model that is produced to be restricted state compliant.  Sig Sauer

What others are saying?:  This firearm seems to be well received and approved of by all reviews I have seen.

Price Point: The firearm tested was a friend’s. He found this compliant state model for $558 before tax and background check fee. The store was having an “overstock” sale so everything in store was 10% off which is puzzling because this was towards the tail end of the panic buying season.

I need it now! Availability: Like most other desirable guns these do not stay on shelves for very long. That being said they are not rare as they are widely produced and distributed, but have a very short shelf life.

Our Rating:

+ Full size look and feel + Reliability + Fit and finish + Great trigger for a tactical .22 + Great magazines + Compliant versions available

Score: 990 Amazing

My links


Beretta U22 Neos


U22 Neos

I was in my local gun shop when I saw this Beretta U22 Neos hanging on the wall. I found it interesting as a possible purchase for my son who was really wanting a pistol. I figured he would think it was cool looking. I U22 Neos Reardecided to buy it for his birthday. The model I chose was the 4.5 inch, it also comes in 6 inch. It has a rail permanently attached to the barrel that has an adjustable rear sight, windage and elevation, and a fixed blade in front. The rail on it is for Weaver style mounts. The controls work well and are mostly convenient. It has an ambidextrous safety which is under my thumb and is kind of awkward to take on/off. There is also a carbine kit for it, you unscrew the barrel and remove the hand grip. Replacing both with a 16” barrel and a stocked grip assembly. The main issue with this kit is poor availability and it is priced the same as the original pistol.

 Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:  Ergonomic design, ease to operate controls

Target Market:  New shooters, Anyone

FNBs:  (Features and Benefits of this product)

  • Easy to use
  • Low cost
  • Comfortable grip
  • Cool, Pleasing aestheticsU22 Neos Top
  • Integrated weaver rail for mounting optics
  • Easy takedown
  • Carbine kit available

 What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?  Only one finish available, and two barrel lengths.  It also has a carbine conversion kit.

What others are saying? Most reviews I found at the time I was purchasing were favorable:

  • “Looks like a space gun”
  • “Accurate and easy to take apart to clean”
  • Gun Blast

Price point:

I need it now! Availability: Academy has them.

Score 7.575


Smith & Wesson 22 A-1


By Samuel Azner

For a more indepth review of this firearm, check out the Gun & Gear Review Podcast that I participated in.  Gun & Gear Review Podcast

S&W 22-A

Claim to Fame:  Accuracy, Plinking and Training.

Target Market:  Tough to say as this is a great teaching firearm that can also be enjoyed and pushed to its limits by experienced shooters. In my opinion it could appeal to most any demographic except perhaps the "tacticool" junkies.

FNB's: (Features & Benefits of this product)

  • Crisp target Sights (front fiber optic)
  • Integrated top rail for mounting optics
  •  Magazine Disconnect (To some)
  • Thumb Safety
  • Thumb Slide release
  • Slide serrations
  • Heavy Barrel
  •  2 Easy loading stainless steel magazines with flush fitting bumpers
  •  Very low recoil due to combination of caliber and a heavy barrel.
  •  Out of the box shootability due to target sights and ease of mounting optics
  • Potential safety benefits of the magazine disconnect

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?:  Ranging from camouflage, to all black, to wood and back again.  There are several models to choose from to suit your fancy.     Smith & Wesson

What others are saying?:

Price point:  Depending on location and your local dealers willingness to bargain, you should expect to pay just below MSRP.  Which on an affordable pistol like this, isn’t bad.

MSRP = $329.00 Retail = $275.00

I need it now! Availability:  Not a rare find, but hunting down a specific style may take patience.

Our Rating:

+ Price + Weight and feel + Magazines + NJ and similar state compliant out of the box

-  The “thumb” safety may require opposite hand to manipulate -  Gun came in a cardboard box

Score: 9.090

My Links:

NJ Gun Blog


Remington 597

Remington 597

By Ken Cultraro

With 22LR ammunition beginning to return to store shelves, also returning is the opportunity to plink and practice at a reasonable cost.  With that in mind, my wife asked what I wanted for our anniversary.  I asked for a 22LR rifle and the one I selected was the Remington 597.

The day after receiving my gift, I headed straight to the range to give it a try.  I set it up on a Caldwell front bag and put in the neighborhood of 150 rounds through it that first day.  Right out of the box I was able to shoot fairly tight groups, 5 rounds each at 50 yards using CCI Standard Velocity rounds.  The 3-9 scope was very good and I sighted it in without too much effort.  There was only one misfeed and that was due to a bad round and not the rifle.  I departed the range quite happy with my new gift.

I returned the following week to confirm the zero on the scope and also try shooting the rifle offhand.  25 rounds off the Caldwell confirmed the zero and so I moved onto offhand.  The first thing I noticed was that the rifle was heavier than I expected.  That being said though, it felt solid in my hands and allowed me to take a confident stance.  The first few groups were not as tight as off the bag, but I attribute that more to my shakes than to the rifle.

Claim to fame:  Reliable, easy to shoot and reasonably priced.

Target market: People who love to plink (target shoot) and those who want to teach the next generation the fundamentals of shooting.

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  •  It comes standard with a 3-9 scope.
  • Shoots semi-auto with virtually zero recoil.
  • Comes with a 10-round detachable box magazine.

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?:  My 597 is a dark green synthetic stock with a black barrel.  The rifle comes in many different finishes from traditional, tactical, camo and "Gen Y" for the tween shooter.   Here is the link to see them all.  Remington

What others are saying:  Judging by these links, people seem to agree that the 597 is a good rifle.

MSRP vs Retail:  My wife paid $199 for the rifle at our local Dick's Sporting Goods.

I need it now! Availability: From my online research, it appears that the 597 is available at most places that you would expect to find it (Dick's, Bass Pro, Gander Mountain, Walmart, etc.).

Our rating:

+ Easy to shoot + Low recoil + Good scope for the purpose / price + Reasonable price

Score: 880

North American Arms .22 LR Mini-Revolver

NAA .22LR Mini Revolver

By Ryan Michad

You can get many accessories for this gun, including a belt buckle holster and a folding grip/pocket clip to carry the revolver. If you live in an area where snakes are prevalent, you can load the revolver with shotshells to take care of those if the need arises.. The sights really aren’t that usable. This is truly a point and shoot weapon. It’s effective distance is typically no greater than ten feet. It is slow to reload, requiring you to pull the cylinder pin out and remove the cylinder. Then you have to punch out the empties manually with the cylinder pin. If you don’t have a proper hold on it, the gun tends to roll back in your hands on recoil.

 Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:  An EXTREMELY small single-action .22 LR revolver meant for deep-concealment.  Can also be used as a backup gun or a fun range gun.

Target Market:   Concealed Carry Permit Holders, Hikers, Police Officers desiring a small last ditch gun.

F&B's: (Features and Benefits)

Key Features

  • All stainless steel construction
  • Single-Action
  • Chambers .22 Long Rifle
  • Holds 5 rounds
  • Exposed Spur-type Trigger
  • 1 ⅛” Barrel
  • Weight: 4.5 ounces

Does it come in black?   The NAA Mini-Revolver comes only in stainless steel.  There are other distributor-specific models that may have varying finish types.

What others are saying:  “I literally had a blast testing the little mini-revolver. I fired a couple hundred rounds through it. This was not all in one session, as loading and reloading are slow. I fired four different types of .22 LR ammo and had zero failures to fire. ” -Survival Blog

Price point:

I need it now! Availability:  These can be found at most gun shops and on Gun Broker.

Our Rating:

+  It is an EXTREMELY small pistol.  It can be carried in a shirt pocket without any trouble, and allows you to be armed when it would          not be possible otherwise. +  Even though it is a small handgun, it is not cheaply made. This is a quality handgun and it shows. +  It is very corrosion resistant thanks to its all stainless steel finish. +  It has safety notches in the rear face of the cylinder that allow you to carry the gun fully loaded with the hammer down, safely..

Score:  7.575 


Ryan Michad’s Links

Handgun Radio


Ruger SR-22

Ruger SR22

By Ryan Michad

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: A lightweight polymer .22 LR Semi-Automatic pistol suitable for a variety of applications.

Target Market: Trainers, plinkers, small game hunters and hikers.

F&B’s: (Features and Benefits) Key Features

  • Comes with two 10-round magazines.
  • Hammer Fired.
  • Chambers .22 Long Rifle.
  • Combination Manual Thumb Safety & Decocker.
  • Adjustable Three Dot Sights (White).
  • Length: 6.4 inches.
  • Width: 1.29 Inches.
  • Weight: 17.5 ounces.
  • Ambidextrous Slide Stop & Reversible Magazine Release.
  • Threaded Barrel for Suppressors.

Does it come in black? The Ruger SR-22 sports an aluminum slide and a polymer lower. It only comes in that finish.

What others are saying? “Shooting the SR22 Pistol is a real pleasure. As noted above, functioning was perfect. The magazines are very easy to load, the pistol feels good in the hand, and recoil is very light, as it is with most any 22 Long Rifle pistol. ” -Jeff Quinn, Gunblast.com Review

Price point:

I need it now! Availability: These can be found at most gun shops and on Gunbroker.com

Our Rating: +  The pistol runs consistently. I have shot several hundred rounds of suppressed and unsuppressed and have had total reliability. +  I love that the gun is hammer fired and not striker fired like most polymer handguns. +  Like most modern polymer handguns, it is very corrosion resistant. +  It comes with two 10 round magazines. +  The barrel is threaded which makes attaching a suppressor easy. +  The sights are high enough to clear most .22 Suppressors.

-  I don’t care for the ambidextrous safety/decocker. -  In order to use the threaded barrel, you need an attachment. The attachment is sold separately.

Score: 8.5 Great!!!85

Ryan Michad’s Links Handgun Radio

Smith & Wesson M&P .22 Pistol

S&W M&P.22


By Ryan Michad

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:  A .22 plinker modeled after the extremely popular M&P series of pistols.

Target Market: Trainers, Plinkers, Small Game Hunters

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product)

Key Features:

  • 12+1 Round Capacity.
  • Chambers .22 Long Rifle.
  • Pivoting Trigger Safety & Manual Thumb Safety.
  • Three Dot Sights (White).
  • Length: 7.6 inches.
  • Weight: 24 ounces.
  • Ambidextrous Slide Stop & Reversible Magazine Release.
  • Threaded Barrel for Suppressors.

Does it come in black?  The S&W M&P .22 comes with a corrosion resistant finish on the slide and other metal parts, and has a polymer lower frame.

What others are saying?  “I think the new M&P22 makes a lot of sense for anyone who shoots a centerfire M&P pistol for duty or for personal protection. ” -Joel Hutchcroft, Shooting Times

Shooting Times Review

Price point (MSRP versus actual retail)

I need it now! Availability:  These can be elusive sometimes, but there are some available at most gun shops and on Gunbroker.com

Our Rating

+ The pistol runs reliably. I have shot several hundred rounds suppressed and unsuppressed and have had total reliability. + The ergonomics of the M&P series pistols are amazing and allow for great control of the firearm. + It is very corrosion resistant, like most modern polymer handguns. + The barrel is threaded which makes attaching a suppressor easy if you desire to do so. + The sights are high enough to clear most .22 suppressors.

- I don’t really like the ambidextrous thumb safety. - It comes with only 1 magazine.

Score: 9.0 Amazing!!!90


Ryan Michad’s Links

Handgun Radio

Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22


By Steve Remy

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: A great way to shoot and spend time behind an AR platform rifle on a budget with .22LR ammo.

Target Market: Anyone who wants to learn the AR platform in a less intimidating form, shoot for less money, shoot a lighter weight rifle, or have some good clean fun.Untitled

FNBs: Key Features:

  • Polymer upper and lower for reduced weight.
  • Identical operating features of an AR15.
  • Polymer magazine.
  • Polymer quadrail handguard.

Key Benefits:

  • Identical look, feel, and operation of an AR, without the weight.

Does it come in black? Yes, and a few other colors as well.

What others are saying? Gunblast.com review Monderno.com review

Price point:

  • MSRP = $499 - $769 depending on configuration
  • Retail = $448 at Budsgunshop.com

I need it now! Availability: Available at most any online retailer or local store.

Our Rating: +  Made in the U.S.A. +  Identical operating features of the AR +  Quadrail available from the factory +  Multiple color options to suit different personal tastes

-  Nearly 100% polymer, including the charging handle -  OD Green color is a little too green and not enough OD

Score: 8.5 (Great)85


Steve’s links: GunGuyRadio.com FireArmsRadio.tv


This is a great .22LR rifle that fulfills its intended purpose.  It’s a great way to learn or practice on the AR platform without the expense of .223/5.56 ammo.  My only problem with the rifle is that it is all polymer and the feel of it just doesn’t sit right with me compared to an actual AR.  I realize it is a .22LR variation intended for a much different purpose than a non-polymer AR, but having become accustomed to actual ARs over the last 15 or so years, the feel and weight distribution will take me a little time to get used to.  I feel almost as if I am going to break the rifle if I get too rough with it…I won’t be hammering any nails, digging out stuck vehicles, or dragging this down any hallways during training because I just don’t know what I’ll end up doing to it.  I even feel as if I have to go easy on the charging handle because that too is polymer.  Oh well though, if anything breaks I’ll just send it back to S&W and hope their customer service takes care of the rest.

With all that being said, this will stay in the safe with the rest of my firearms for many, many years.  Its fun and inexpensive to shoot, nearly anyone from children to experts can shoot it accurately, and it has worked flawlessly so far for me.  Rest assured when they are old enough, this will be the first AR platform rifle my kiddos get to shoot with.  I’ve shot it with CCI mini-mags and other assorted .22LR ammo I could scrounge up and the rifle never had a single hiccup.  There is something very positive to be said about a .22LR rifle that can eat almost anything since most .22LRs are very picky about what they will and won’t shoot.

Overall I would buy this rifle again, which I may have to do once the kiddos start arguing over who gets to use what at the range.  I would also recommend it to any friends that were in the market for one.

Thompson Center Hot Shot .22LR



By Mike Emert

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame - The Hot Shot is well known for being one of the easiest youth rifles for a learning platform. Target Market - Youth FNBs (Features and Benefits) Key Features621 Single Shot. Break Action (Disengaged with trigger guard). Peep sight. Polymer forend and butt stock. Hammer with “safety always on” feature.

Key Benefits Very simple to use! Easy platform to learn on. Very light. (3 lbs) Safety is well designed.  Hammer must be all the way back to make contact with the firing pin when the trigger is pulled. A slip while cocking the hammer will not contact the firing pin.

Does it come in black? Yes. It has been available in pink and camo as well.

What others are saying? Shootingtimes.com Novascotiahunting.com

Price point (MSRP versus actual retail) MSRP = none Retail = $185 - $200 (since it was recently discontinued retailers can barely keep them in stock)

I need it now! Availability The Hot Shot was discontinued by TC in early 2013.  It will take some research and work to find one.

Our Rating I think Thompson Center did well in designing the Hot Shot to look identical to their Pro Hunter model.  It is a perfect size for a small youth to learn on but would be too small for even a young teenage male.  This model offers simple, and easy operation making for a fun and educational learning experience. + Single Shot. + Acquire target easily with peep sight. + Break action is very smooth + “Safety always on” feature is very nice. - Availability (Discontinued) - Too small for a young teenager to use practically but could still be a fun option to plink with.

Score 8 Great!80 Would be higher if it weren’t discontinued.


Mike Emert Firearms Radio Network This Week In Guns

I really wish this model was still available! It’s an excellent learning tool. The Crickett would be the Hot Shots biggest competition but for being geared towards first time, youth shooters, the break action of this rifle via the trigger guard and the difference in how the safety works makes this rifle a better option.  This obviously is subjective to what the child prefers, however.