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
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
Check out the M22 online at www.austriansportingarms.com.
For the location of an ISSC dealer near you,
click on the DEALER FINDER at www.lipseys.com.
|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
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