Gun Digest

New Smith & Wesson M&P22 Compact Launched

Smith & Wesson M&P 22 Compact has all the features of the popular line, squeezed into a petite package.
Smith & Wesson M&P22 Compact has all the features of the popular line, squeezed into a petite package.

The new Smith & Wesson M&P22 Compact looks to have all the features of the popular line, but in .22LR – an ideal training pistol or small game getter.

Yeah, .22-caliber ammunition has been in short supply. But a guy can dream can’t he?

If he did have such flights of fancy, his mind just might wander off and trip over Smith & Wesson’s newest rimfire pistol. The Massachusetts manufacturer recently expanded its flagship line of semiautomatics to include what looks to be a sweet little .22.

The M&P22 Compact boasts the features that have made the tactical/sporting line one of the most popular in the world of polymer pistols. Only, it comes in a package Smith & Wesson pegs at 15-percent smaller than its M&P 9 and 40.

Much of this size reduction is seen in the .22 long-rifle pistol’s weight. Tipping the scales at just under one pound (15.3 ounces), it is nearly 10-ounces lighter than its larger-caliber cousins.

A good deal of the extra weight looks to have been trimmed by the incorporation of an aluminum slide. While the metal wouldn’t be the top choice for a larger caliber, it should function soundly with the lighter recoil of a .22.

The dimensions of the new pistol are very similar to the M&P 9 and 40 Compacts, just a hair smaller in overall length. Some of the idea behind keeping the .22 and its big sibling in the same ballpark in measurements is to give shooters a cheaper firearm to practice with – when there’s ammo to be had – and a larger one to carry for self defense.

Smith & Wesson has also aimed at giving shooters a leg up on the slim picking when it comes to rimfire ammunition. The company is offering 222 rounds of Winchester .22LR ammunition until December 2014 with each purchase of the M&P22 Compact.

The .22 pistol comes with two 10-round magazines and has a 10+1 capacity. It has the potential to win the hearts of lefties and righties, being fully ambidextrous. In this regard, it has a reversible magazine catch and ambidextrous thumb safety.

The pistol is a straight blow-back action with an internal hammer, and has a fixed barrel – which should help it shoot tight groups. And Smith & Wesson has followed the silencer trend by cutting the 3.56-inch, carbon-steel barrel with a 3/8-inchx24 thread, making the pistol suppressor ready.

The handgun is outfitted with a white-dot front sight and two-dot rear. The rear sight is fully adjustable for windage and elevation.

The pistol has a front Picatinny rail under the barrel for swift accessory attachment. It has the same aggressive rear cocking serrations as the rest of the M&P line, as well as similar grip ergonomics and texture.

The pistol appears to be a fairly affordable option with its MSRP $389.

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