Smith & Wesson introduced their model 422 in 1987 and it was produced until 1996. The 422 was a really lightweight, handy, very pointable firearm. These also came in the 622 and the difference was a blue carbon slide with an aluminum frame, and the 622 had a stainless steel slide with an aluminum frame that matched the slide. The 622 came in 4.5 and 6 inch—it was just a great little shooting gun. There’s a lot of features with the 422 and 622 that are pretty unique. But there’s a lot of guys out there that have owned these over time that really love these little pistols. I’ve been looking for one for a while, jumped on a resale site, and found one.
The Smith & Wesson Model 422 is a different looking firearm for sure. One thing about it is that it is super thin. Now, the grips are going to definitely add to that, but it does come with some nylon-type grips that are just black and then some kind of polycarbonate. which are really nice as well, a little bit thinner—it really makes the gun look a little bit more modern with these grips. This is probably one of the early models, but I really like that wood detail, it’s just beautiful. And again, it does remind me of the standard Smith & Wesson models that were out at the time.
When it comes to shooting, I love to take the 22 down to the range whether pistol or rifle. But there’s just something about that low report, the less muzzle blast, and it’s just very enjoyable plus the ammunition is fairly inexpensive, so it’s great to take especially first time shooters down to the range or even starting out kids on a firearm. It’s very useful to have and of course you can hunt with it, you can do a lot of target practice, you can really refine your skills, and having an accurate 22 makes a big difference. This little 422 is very reliable. We didn’t have any malfunctions, it’s just got a really light slide that pops back and there’s just hardly any recoil. With that barrel in that low position, it even makes it even less recoil. The grip is a little bit large, which gives you a full size grip, and a lot of the Smith & Wesson semi-autos had these kinds of grip styles. If I had had a model 5906, or even a 59, or 39, this would have been a great companion to go with it. This is just a lot of fun to shoot.
What I really love is the magazine release. It’s funny, I’ve heard people complain about it, but you can just touch it and the mag just drops out with hardly any change in your grip-you just drop it and it pops. These do take the Smith & Wesson Model 41 Mags, so they’re still plentiful, and they’re out there. It’s one of the things that’s really good, because this gun is over 25 years old and a lot of times with older guns, is that magazines can get really expensive. But overall, the 422 is very handy and just very easy to shoot. Of course, there’s a number of different models of these that are out there and if you ever get a chance to pick one of these up, I think you’re gonna find that it’s very enjoyable—it’s just Smith and Wesson quality.
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