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Hook & Barrel
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ruger .22 target pistols

When Shopping For A .22 Target Pistol, Give These Factors A Look

When it comes right down to it, there’s not much that’s more entertaining than shooting a top-quality .22 rimfire target pistol. The recoil is nearly nonexistent, muzzle blast is low, .22 rounds are much cheaper than centerfire ammo and, when used correctly, a good target pistol can produce exceptional accuracy. What’s not entertaining about that?  

Without further ado, let’s take a look at some factors to consider when shopping for a rimfire target pistol. 

Important Considerations 

Of course, accuracy is of utmost importance in selecting a target pistol. And that accuracy is typically due to a number of factors. First, a pistol must have a top-quality barrel in order to be accurate. With a lesser-quality barrel, a pistol will never be as accurate as it could be. The trigger is also critical to accuracy. The best target pistols have a smooth trigger with very little pretravel, a light, crisp break, and very little overtravel. A crisp, audible reset also aids accuracy. Another critical aspect in producing accuracy is the sights. A good target pistol will wear a set of sights that are easy to use, bright enough to see well, and precise enough to wring the maximum accuracy out of the gun. 

Dependability is also critical. You need a pistol that’s going to cycle ammunition every time you pull the trigger, fling empty casings out of your way, and lock up tight each time with the new cartridge firmly in place. After all, what’s the fun in spending half of your range time working out malfunctions? 

Grips and ergonomics are two other critical factors. If you can’t get a good grip on your pistol, you’ll never shoot it as accurately as you should. The same goes for how the pistol fits in your hands. Pistols with great ergonomics and well-textured grips make shooting easier, more accurate, and more fun. 

Ruger Has You Covered 

If there is one American pistol model that exhibits all of those features and more, it is the Ruger Mark IV. First introduced in 2016, the Mark IV lineup now includes eight different models—Standard, Target, Hunter, Competition, Tactical, 22/45, 22/45 Lite and 22/45 Tactical. 

All have a fantastic match-grade trigger, great sights, a cold hammer-forged barrel for accuracy, and excellent ergonomics. And they are all very dependable with a wide range of different .22 loads. 

The Standard model comes with a 4.75- or 6-inch blued barrel, a smoothly contoured grip for comfort, and fixed sights.

Ruger Mark IV Standard
Ruger Mark IV Standard

The Target model comes in 10 variations with a number of different barrel lengths. It also comes in either blued or stainless steel finish, one variation features target laminated grips and a threaded barrel is an option.

Ruger Mark IV Target
Ruger Mark IV Target

The Hunter model is available in three variations including stainless with a fluted, 6.88-inch bull barrel, stainless with a fluted, 6.88-inch bull barrel, and target laminate grips or blued with a fluted, 5.5-inch bull barrel.

Ruger Mark IV Hunter
Ruger Mark IV Hunter

The Competition model features a 6.88-inch slab-sided satin stainless bull barrel and checkered laminate grips with a thumb rest. 

Ruger Mark IV Competition
Ruger Mark IV Competition

The Tactical model features a 4.4-inch threaded bull barrel, along with rails on both top and bottom.

Ruger Mark IV Tactical
Ruger Mark IV Tactical

The 22/45 model is much like the original standard model but with a 5.5-inch blued bull barrel.

Ruger Mark IV 22/45
Ruger Mark IV 22/45

The 22/45 Lite cuts weight but not accuracy with an aluminum receiver and is available in four models, all with threaded 4.4-inch barrels.

Ruger Mark IV 22/45 Lite
Ruger Mark IV 22/45 Lite

Finally, the 22/45 Tactical model includes a 4.4-inch barrel variation with top and bottom rails, along with three 3-inch barrel models in blued, flat dark earth, or OD green. 

Ruger Mark IV 22/45 Tactical
Ruger Mark IV 22/45 Tactical

One additional thing to think about if you are considering a .22 target pistol is proper ammunition for shooting through that pistol. While most good target pistols will shoot the cheapest ammo fairly well, purpose-made target rounds are always going to be more accurate. Choose four or five different types of ammo you are interested in and do accuracy testing with each. Once you’ve found the load or two that your gun prefers, stock up on those for your future shooting endeavors. 

To be sure, Ruger rimfire pistols aren’t the least expensive target pistols on the market, but they are among the best. For more information, visit ruger.com

Disclaimer: We may earn a modest commission from sales generated by our affiliate links. Thanks for supporting us!

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