COMMENTS ON 22 CALIBER ONE HAND GUNS
By F. C. NESS
The advantage of the pistol over the revolver is that it is more accurate, it is an ammunition saver, and there is only one barrel to clean. Its chief disadvantage is the inconvenience in reloading.
The revolver is prone to make us careless in aiming as we have five or six shots with which to follow up should we miss with the first or second. When the day's shooting is finished we have seven barrels to clean besides the outside of the cylinder and the inside of the frame which become considerably mussed up. '1 he use of smokeless powder eliminates to a great extent this latter disadvantage of the revolver, but I am referring to twenty-two caliber arms here and we know that smokeless powder is not at all suitable for the revolver in this caliber.
The 22 automatic pistol is a real panacea for the ills of this family in that it places ten rapidly repeated and accurate shots at the shooter's command. It lacks the fine ultra accuracy of the single-shot and the smooth, light trigger pull of both the pistol and the single-action revolver. While it possesses even a greater penchant for cartridge wasting than the revolver, there is only one barrel to be cleaned.
While I oftentimes miss the snappy quickfire of the automatic and the revolver when I am out with my ten inch pistol, I gain a lot of satisfaction from its economy and a great deal of pleasure from its splendid accuracy.
There are many ways of rest shooting with the pistol to get more hits and most of them require both hands. Perhaps the most popular is the sitting position, facing the target with legs drawn up and feet flat upon the ground with elbows on the knees and the pistol held in both hands directly in front. The fault of most of these' methods is that it brings the weapon too near the eyes thereby throwing the sights out of proportion. Holding the weapon too near the eye shortens the perspective of the rear sight making it appear grotesquely large. A far better way would be to sit with left le-j extended, right leg drawn up with knee raised, body braced by resting left hand on the ground behind you and holding the revolver fully extended in right hand with elbow resting upon the drawn-up knee. This would put the pistol the usual distance from the eye and the sights would be normally clear and your whole arm would be free to swing in an arc before you.
I have tried many kinds of positions for revolver rest shooting and have finally adopted the prone position as the best for myself. In this position I use a sandbag or select a gopher mound of the proper height or cover a convenient log with a mat of grass. I lie face down and so arrange my body that with my arms fully extended the pistol barrel lies comfortably across the rest. With my left hand I either lightly hold the barrel or "brace the left side of the frame, or grasp the right wrist which ever way seems to be the most comfortable and steady.
In many years of shooting I have used all kinds of twenty-two caliber ammunition of many makes, and I have not found a very great difference in the performance of any of it. I have been satisfied with them all, although I have favored slightly the Winchester and Peters makes in Lesmok and semi-smokeless powders respectively. They have all been equally accurate and reliable in the long run. The main objection to this ammunition is the outside lubrication. It is necessary to carry .it in a manner which would be convenient and handy and at the same time keep it clean and that has been my constant problem. The inside-lubrication is the great advantage of the 22 Winchester Rim Fire, but figuring from the .22 caliber standpoint it is more expensive. The greased bullets of the ordinary ammunition of- this caliber when carried loose in the jeans or hunting-coat pocket collect all the fuzz and, dirt in these receptacles like so many magnets.
Before I discontinued using them I had my share of trouble with black powder cartridges. I choked up and leaded two rifles with them. I found it necessary to carry a swab and wipe out the barrel after every few shots.
I have never ascribed any great harm to the arm from the continued use of smokeless twenty-two ammunition, in fact, not as much as from the old black stuff. If here is no question as to the all-round superiority of semi-smokeless or lesmok powders in this caliber over any smokeless now loaded in them.
Also I have consistently used the long-rifle size, except in arms expressly intended for the 22 short. A barrel is necessarily chambered for the greatest length of shell it is meant to accommodate and to use shorter-length shells allows the gas to cut the chamber ahead of the shorter shell, which in time will cause trouble in extraction and in fine accuracy. The long rifle is such a finely balanced shell, so superior in accuracy, range, power and trajectory it is well worth the slightly additional cost.
Hunter-Trader-Trapper. October: 1921,
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