Click pictures for a larger version.
Comfortable grip is same size and profile as centerfire M&P pistols.
Ambidextrous thumb safety.
Witness hole serves as a loaded-chamber indicator.
Ambidextrous slide release.
Reversible magazine release.
25 yard groups from Ransom Rest.
These days, we are blessed with a wide
variety of very good semi-automatic twenty-two rimfire pistols.
From which to choose. One of the better ones on the market today
is this Smith & Wesson M&P-22 shown here. This pistol is
built to replicate the look, size, feel, and operating controls
of the excellent centerfire M&P pistols, such as the M&P
9, M&P 40, and M&P
45 service pistols, which I have reviewed here before, in
addition to the M&P 357. The centerfire M&P pistols have
made inroads as popular choices among law enforcement agencies
and with those who carry for self defense. The M&P line of
pistols has excellent ergonomics, and can be purchased with or
without a manual thumb safety. Unlike the centerfire M&P
pistols, the M&P-22 does not have interchangeable backstrap
inserts, but other than that, the grip looks and feels the same
as that on the centerfire pistols. The slide profile is the same
with both the rimfire and centerfire M&P pistols, but the
slide on the twenty-two is made of a lightweight alloy, instead
of steel as on its centerfire brethren. Also differing from the
centerfire line is the method of operation. The centerfire
pistols operate on the short-recoil locked-breech principle, and
are striker-fired; the M&P-22 uses a straight blowback
operation, and has an internal hammer.
The magazine on the M&P-22 is stainless
steel, with a nylon follower. The pistol is available with
either a ten-shot or a twelve-shot magazine. Included is a
wrench to remove the thread protector at the muzzle, to attach
an adaptor for a sound suppressor.
Critical specifications for the M&P-22
pistol are listed in the chart below, along with the specs on
the M&P9 for comparison. My 9mm M&P has no manual
safety, so a comparison could not be made in that regard. The
weights are listed in ounces, and linear measurements in inches.
Weight includes an empty magazine. The grip and frame widths
were measured at their widest parts. The maximum width is
measured across the ambidextrous thumb safeties. The height
includes the sights and standard magazine base. The trigger pull
on the M&P-22 pistol was smooth and light. The trigger pulls
are listed as pounds of resistance, as measured on my Lyman
digital trigger scale.
|Maximum Grip Width
||1.24" (varies with
||1.24" (no safeties)
|Trigger Reach to Reset
||10 or 12
||10 or 17
I tested the M&P-22
pistol with several brands of 22 Long Rifle ammunition for
velocity and function. The results with each brand and type of
ammunition are listed in the chart below. HP is a lead
hollowpoint bullet. Solid is a lead roundnose bullet. Velocity
readings were taken at an elevation of 541 feet above sea level,
with an air temperature of 26 degrees Fahrenheit, with humidity
in the fifty-three percent range. Velocities are listed in
feet-per-second (FPS), and were recorded ten feet from the
muzzle of the S&W pistol. Bullet weights are listed in
|Federal Bulk HP
|Winchester DynaPoint HP
|PMC Match Solid
|Wolf Match Solid
|CCI Stinger HP
|CCI Mini-Mag HP
|CCI Mini-Mag Solid
|CCI Velocitor HP
|Remington Yellow Jacket
|American Eagle HP
|PMC Zapper HP
|Winchester XPert HP
|Remington Bulk Solid
Shooting the M&P-22 was a delight. The
magazine loads easily, and the slide is easy to operate. There
was only one malfunction noted, which was ammo-related. I had
one of the bulk Winchester XPert rounds fail to feed. Other than
that, with a wide variety of ammunition, the pistol functioned
perfectly. Recoil is almost nonexistent, and a lot of ammo can
put placed into the target quickly and accurately. While this
pistol would make an ideal understudy for cheap practice for
anyone who owns a centerfire M&P pistol, relegating this
pistol to only that purpose is selling it short. While not the
first choice of most professionals for defensive use, the
M&P-22 can serve in that role as well, under the right
circumstances. As I have stated before, recoil and the
manual-of-arms to operate a pistol is critical to some users,
such as those with weakened hand strength. For those, this
pistol would be an excellent choice for defense. The slide is
very easy to cycle manually to load the first cartridge, the
trigger pull is smooth and light, and there is almost no recoil.
Fully loaded, this pistol can be stored with up to thirteen
rounds at the ready, and those bullets can be placed accurately
into the target in under four seconds, by someone with minimal
training. The manual safety pushes down to fire, and can be used
or not, depending upon the owner’s preference. This pistol
will not fire until the trigger is pulled, so if your centerfire
M&P has no manual safety, it is not necessary to use the one
on this rimfire pistol, unless desired. Should you choose this
or any other 22 for defense, the ammo is very inexpensive,
allowing plenty of practice.
Accuracy was very good. I secured the
M&P-22 into my Ransom Master
Series Rest, and fired for accuracy at twenty-five yards.
While not marketed as a hunting pistol, this M&P has plenty
of accuracy for small game hunting, and the adjustable sights
are well-suited for such purposes.
This M&P-22 is a dandy pistol, made for
Smith & Wesson by Carl Walther in Germany, and sold through
any Smith & Wesson dealer. Suggested retail price is only
$419 US at the time of this writing.
Check out the extensive line of firearms and accessories online at
For the location of a Smith & Wesson dealer near you, click on the DEALER LOCATOR at
To order the M&P-22 online, go to www.galleryofguns.com.
To order quality rimfire ammunition, go to
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Click pictures for a larger version.
M&P 22 comes with hard case, instructions, one magazine, thread protector wrench, and sight adjustment wrenches.
Wrench removes thread protector.
M&P 9mm (left), M&P 22 (right).
Disassembly is quick, easy, and requires no tools.
Unlike the striker-fired centerfire M&P pistols, the M&P-22 has an internal hammer.
Hammer-block safety prevents the weapon from firing unless the trigger is pulled.