ISSC M22 Rimfire Auto Pistol from Austrian Sporting Arms


by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

February 9th, 2010




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The M22 from Austrian Sporting Arms is a pistol for which I have been waiting for a long time.  One of the most popular pistols in the world is the Glock. The ISSC M22 replicates the feel of the Glock, but shoots the cheap and plentiful .22 Long Rifle cartridge. I have often spoke to the folks at Glock, suggesting that they make a .22 Long Rifle version of their excellent pistol design, to no avail. I know that many other shooters and writers have suggested the same, but so far, no Glock .22 rimfire.

While operating with a different style of action than the Glock, the M22 is still an excellent trainer for anyone who owns a Glock pistol, as the shooter’s manual of arms is pretty much the same. While the Glock operates on the short recoil locked breech method and uses a striker to fire the weapon, the M22 is blowback operated and has an external hammer. The M22 also has a heavy match-grade barrel that is rigidly attached to the frame with the recoil spring surrounding the barrel. Still, with both pistols, the shooter inserts a loaded magazine, retracts and releases the slide, and commences firing. The trigger feels like a Glock trigger, with the safety lever in the center of the trigger blade. In addition to the trigger safety, the M22 has a hammer-drop ambidextrous thumb safety at the rear of the slide. It also has a firing pin safety that locks the firing pin until the trigger is pulled. The M22 also has a magazine safety which prevents the weapon from firing without a magazine in place, and lastly, has a key lock that prevents the trigger from being pulled. Those are a lot of safeties, but none hinder the easy operation of the pistol. The hammer drop safely lowers the hammer with a live round in the chamber, and the hammer can be manually cocked to fire the first shot, if desired. After firing the M22, the slide locks open on an empty magazine.

The ISSC M22 has a polymer frame and metal slide that appears to be steel, but is not. It looks like steel and feels like steel, but a magnet will not stick to it, so it is obviously a non-ferrous metal. The weapon weighs in at 22.5 ounces with an empty magazine in place. The magazine is a sturdy metal unit with a removable floorplate, ten-shot capacity, and seems to be of the highest quality. The barrel measures 4.12 inches in length and .53 inch diameter.  The slide width is .98 inch, and the maximum width, measured across the two safety levers measures 1.395 inches. The overall length is seven inches, and the overall height, including magazine base plate and sights, measures five inches exactly.  Grip width is 1.15 inches. The trigger pull averages five pounds, five ounces, and is very consistent.

The black polymer frame has finger grooves in the grip area, and is heavily textured for a positive hold. Each side has a slightly indented thumb rest. There is a section of Picatinny rail just forward of the trigger guard to mount a laser sight or flashlight, if desired.  Disassembly is quick and easy, and is accomplished by pulling slightly rearward on the slide while pulling downward on the two disassembly buttons, retracting the slide fully to the rear while lifting upward, then sliding it forward off the front of the frame.

The M22 has a very sturdy and reliable magazine. It is made of metal that appears to be a machined  aluminum extrusion. The magazine follower has a button protruding from both sides to facilitate easy loading, and is powered by a steel spring. The baseplate is plastic, and is easily removed to clean the magazine.  The sights are made of polymer and are easy to see, with a white square on the removable front post, and a U-shaped white outline on the windage-adjustable rear. The finish on the slide is a matte black, and the machining appears to be very well executed, with no rough marks inside nor out.

Shooting the M22 was a pleasure. Well, mostly anyway. The first gun that I received from ISSC would not work. A quick call to Austrian Sporting Arms revealed that the M22 that I received was not supposed to work.; it was an early non-functioning prototype that had been sent to me by mistake. The production gun shown here works very well, with the right ammo. This pistol is made to run on high velocity .22 Long Rifle ammunition. Standard velocity target loads will not reliably cycle the slide. ISSC recommends CCI Mini-Mag or Blazer, but I had very good results using the inexpensive Federal hollowpoint sold in bulk boxes by Wal Mart. This is usually excellent ammo, but I had a few failures to fire with the particular lot that I was using. The M22 firing pin made a solid impact upon the cartridge rim, but the ammo failed to fire. That is certainly no fault of the gun, but was just some bad ammo. Switching to a different lot of ammo resulted in no failures. Also, the Winchester DynaPoint ammo worked very well, as did CCI Stinger. When fed good, high velocity ammunition, the M22 runs very well.

Accuracy was also very good, as expected. The M22 would keep a magazine full of the Federal hollowpoints inside an inch at 25 yards from the Ransom Rest, and would also do as well from a hand-held rested position, when I would do my part. Other ammo did almost as well. I did not try any match ammo for accuracy, as it was not reliable in the M22. As stated above, the sights are very easy to see, and helped greatly to make good hits out to fifty yards on steel plates.  As expected, recoil was very light.

The ISSC M22 from Austrian Sporting Arms is a fun pistol to shoot, and would make an excellent trainer for anyone who owns a Glock pistol, or just a fun pistol for plinking, hunting, and target work.  While they are fairly new on the market, distributors already have them in stock ready to ship.

Check out the M22 online at

For the location of an ISSC dealer near you, click on the DEALER FINDER at

Jeff Quinn

For a list of dealers where you can buy this gun, go to:




Sometimes the gun gets blamed for bad ammunition, such as these cartridges which received a solid impact from the firing pin, but failed to fire.









Accuracy testing in the Ransom Rest.







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Click pictures for a larger version.


ISSC M22 rimfire pistol from Austrian Sporting Arms.







Key lock.





Sights are high-visibility and windage adjustable.





Ambidextrous hammer-drop safety.



Slide release.



Disassembly latch.



Magazine release.