Discover Smith and Wesson Model 422 22 LR Gun Review

Smith and Wesson Model 422 Gun review

June 9, 2023 / Comments (0)

Handguns Reviews

The Smith and Wesson Model 422 was manufactured from 1987 'til 1996. It may be a 25-year-old firearm, but it sure is still relevant to this day.

Keep reading to learn more about this .22 LR semi-auto pistol.

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Smith and Wesson Model 422: A Great Little Pistol

Unrecognisable Man Practising Shooting Pistol at the Shooting Range | Smith & Wesson Model 422

Gun Specs

The Smith & Wesson Model 422 comes in two barrel lengths–4.5 inches and 6 inches.

Here are its other specifications:

  • Type: Pistol
  • Overall length: 7.5 in (for 4.5-in barrel)
  • Weight: 21.5 oz (for 4.5 in) and 23.5 oz (for 6 in)
  • Width: 1.125 in
  • Height: 5.5 in
  • Caliber: .22 Long Rifle
  • Trigger: Single-action (SA)
  • Action: Blowback-operated semi-auto

Its weight also varies depending on the grips of the pistol. You can have a variant with wood grips and another one with nylon or black plastic. If you opt for nylon grips, its weight would probably drop a couple of ounces down.

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Aesthetics and Ergonomics

The Smith & Wesson Model 422 looks a bit different compared with other pistols.

Its frame is made of aluminum alloy, with “22 long rifle” and “Smith & Wesson” markings on it. These labels are pretty clean, which add to the firearm's elegance.

Meanwhile, its slide is blue carbon steel. It has fine serrations on it, and it's light in weight, making the slide so easy to pull back.

Additionally, it feels almost weightless, which makes this gun very easy to conceal and carry. You might even forget you're carrying a gun!

But the most unique feature of this firearm is the position of its barrel.

The barrel actually resides in the lower part of the frame, above the trigger guard. Usually, it's where you can find the barrel bushing, guide rod, and recoil spring. But in Smith & Wesson Model 422, these parts are above the barrel.

The barrel is non-moving, which makes it ideal to attach a suppressor without losing the sights. This special design also gives you a low bore axis, which leads to less muzzle rise.

It has easy-to-reach frame-mounted thumb safety and slide stop, which serve as the pistol's safety mechanisms.

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The grip of the Smith & Wesson Model 422 adds to the pistol's distinctiveness. You have the wooden type, as well as the black, nylon option.

The earlier models come with those beautiful, wood grips. But if you want a thinner and more modern-looking gun, you may opt for the variant with nylon grips.

Practical Shooting Sportsman | Smith & Wesson Model 422

Another rare feature that this pistol has is its magazine release–it's right in front of the grip. Just hit that button, and the magazine will pop out really fast.

This element may be unconventional, but it can actually help you manipulate the gun without shifting the grip.


The magazine of Smith & Wesson Model 422 is a 10-round. It's blue steel, and it has assist buttons that can help you reload easily.

It was originally designed to be a 12-round, but when the assault weapons were banned, high-capacity magazines holding more than 10 rounds were prohibited. Smith & Wesson then modified the magazine into a 10-rounder.

22 Caliber Magazine on White Background | Smith & Wesson Model 422

The good thing about this pistol's magazine is that it's exactly the same as the magazine used by the famous S&W Model 41. This also means that this magazine is still in production, and you can easily find a spare in the market.


The caliber of this pistol is 22 LR or 22 Long Rifle. It's a variety of 22 caliber, and it may actually be one of the most popular ammunition types in the world today.

22 Target Pistol and Ammunition | Smith & Wesson Model 422

This can also be used in the following firearms:

  • revolvers
  • rifles
  • shotguns
  • submachine guns

The 22 LR is ideal for shooting sports, hunting, and training.

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The trigger pull action of the Smith & Wesson Model 422 may not be that super crisp, but it has a nice break. Its trigger pull weight is 3 lbs 5.5 oz. It's not bad at all!

Woman Target Shooting | Smith & Wesson Model 422

But what we love about its trigger is the reset–it's super fast! This way, you can shoot better and more accurately.

Functionality and Reliability

You'll have so much fun shooting the Smith & Wesson Model 422. It has less recoil and muzzle blast, so it's an ideal “training” gun for first-time shooters, even for kids who are just starting out in the range!

Serious Confident Man Pointing at the Bullseye | Smith & Wesson Model 422

You may use this pistol for target practice to refine your shooting skills, as well as for hunting elks and the like.

Expect that you won't encounter any jams and malfunctions with this gun. It'll always perform flawlessly.

For shooters who had this pistol as their first-ever handgun, this might STILL be the most accurate .22 pistol they've ever fired. Despite its light weight, it's amazingly precise, with an effective firing range of 50 yards. And since it isn't heavy, this gun won't easily tire out new shooters and kids alike.

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When the Smith & Wesson Model 422 started off, its manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) was around $250. Currently, you may find one with a price tag that ranges from $200-$275.

Exhibition of Guns a Buyer Tests the Product | Smith & Wesson Model 422

With how much they cost, you may already consider this gun as a high-quality pistol. It's definitely a good buy.

Overall Verdict

The Smith & Wesson Model 422 is a uniquely designed, lightweight, handy pistol. It was Smith & Wesson's entry into the world of affordable yet bankable rimfire target pistol market.

Woman Learns to Shoot a Pistol | Smith & Wesson Model 422

All things considered, we can only see one drawback of this pistol, which is the availability of its parts. Since it was produced in the late 80s 'til the early 90s, it might be a little difficult to look for parts in case you break one.

But overall, this handgun is a great little firearm. It's lightweight yet shoots accurately.

Whether you're a first-timer or a seasoned shooter, this weapon is certainly fun to take out to the range!

The Smith & Wesson Model 422 has been on the pistol market for more than two decades already. But shooters who own one seem to still favor this unit over other handguns.

With this pistol's appearance, performance, and value, it may just be the most underrated .22 LR handgun ever.

Would you get a Smith & Wesson Model 422?

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Discover Smith and Wesson Model 422 22 LR Gun Review

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