Sunday, November 15, 2009

ISSC M22 Pistol Chambered in .22LR--UPDATED 12/24/2009

This is a first for Average Joe but ISSC has contacted me to thank me for taking the time to evaluate their product and to clarify some things that I stated in my review. I strive to be 100% accurate in my reviews and I am flattered and honored that a manufacturer thinks enough of my little blog to comment. Here are the comments that Mike Weisser of ISSC-Austrian Sporting Arms passed along:
  • Although certain parts of the gun, particularly the grip, resembles Glock, the external hammer differentiates it from all Glock products, both externally and internally. Actually, the designer of the M22, Wolfram Kriegleder, designed the P22 for Walther, and the internal working of the M22 resemble the P22 more than any Glock.
  • ISSC has no connection to the H&K MP5 in 22 which is manufactured by another Austrian company known as GSG. We will be bringing in a 22 carbine next year that resembles the FN SCAR.
  • Like all blowback guns, the M22 likes certain ammunition more than others. In particular, it shoots extremely well with Remington Yellow Jacket and CCI Hi-Vel, solid point. We do get reports about light hits and we continue to tweak the gun every time we run another batch through the factory. The light hits seem to be an issue with either the length of the firing pin or the tension of the firing pin spring. We are testing both possibilities right now. We expected to have some issues with early production and reports from shooters help us to determine what changes need to be made going forward. 22LR ammo is so diverse and loads are so different that it is impossible to test any gun with every brand bit we are confident that with most standard ammunition the gun performs very well.

OK, let’s deal with the obvious. It sure looks like a Glock. That’s what I thought it was when I first laid eyes on it. Upon a second glance I noticed the decocker/safety and the external hammer. But otherwise the profile, trigger, slide release, magazine release and take-down levers are about as Glock as you can get. Internally the M22 looks very much like a Glock other than the barrel which is fixed.

Now, I am not normally a .22 shooter, but in these days of exorbitantly priced ammo I am seeing a lot more .22’s at the range than I used to. You can expend 200 rounds of .22 LR ammo for about $20 (full retail) or about the price of a single box (50 rounds) of 9mm. 200 rounds of 9mm will hit your wallet for around $60 to $80 bucks depending on what you buy. Yes, shooting a .22 makes a lot of fiscal sense these days. Unfortunately, to get a nicely accurate .22 semi-automatic pistol you are going to wind up with a fairly large Ruger or Browning Buckmark pistol. These are great pistols and capable of fantastic accuracy but…they don’t look like fighting pistols. Now I’ve owned and shot smaller contenders like the Walther P22 and the SIG Mosquito, but they didn’t cut the mustard in terms of accuracy (and reliability). Certainly you can graduate to one of the Kimber Rimfire pistols if you can afford to spend a lot of money; you'll get an accurate .22 that looks and operates like a fighting pistol. The ISSC M22 is the size of the Glock model 19 except the ISSC M22 is thinner.

I do not know that much about ISSC except that they are an Austrian based company that seems to have a proclivity for producing .22 caliber firearms that look like other famous European guns.

So from that standpoint the ISSC M22 seemed like it would fit the criteria I was looking for, if it was accurate enough.

So, let’s start by looking at the “At-A-Glance” table and the specifications for the M22:

ISSC M22 At-A-Glance

Handling

Terrible

Poor

Acceptable

Good

Excellent

Fit & Finish

Terrible

Rough

Acceptable

Good

Excellent

Sights

None

Too Small

Useable

Good

Excellent

Trigger

Terrible

Poor

Acceptable

Good

Excellent

Power Scale

.22LR

.380 ACP

9mm

.40 S&W

.45 ACCP

Carry/Concealment

Too Large

Compact

Ultra Compact

Micro Compact

Pocket Pistol

Reliability

Unreliable

Somewhat Reliable

Fair

OK

Completely Reliable

Accuracy

Poor

Fair

Acceptable

Combat

Bullseye

Specifications

Caliber

.22 LR

Capacity

10 + 1

Action

Single Action Only

Trigger Pull

4 pounds

Length

7 inches

Height

4.8 inches

Width

1 inch

Barrel Length

4 inches

Weight

21.4 ounces

As noted above the M22 is single action only. Once a round is chambered and the hammer is de-cocked it will not fire until you have manually re-cocked the hammer.

While the de-cocker safely drops the hammer, the trigger is single action only so you will have to re-cock the hammer when ready to fire. You cannot carry this pistol cocked and locked because there is no external safety to make the pistol safe with the hammer back. This should not be a drawback; I mean, who is going to carry a .22LR as their concealed weapon?

Let’s examine the individual characteristics of the ISSC M22:

Handling

Terrible

Poor

Acceptable

Good

Excellent

I found the handling of the M22 to be good, in fact actually a little better than the original Glock due to the fact that it is one inch thick compared to the 1.18 inch thickness of the Glock Model 19. The M22 is a natural pointer. Another plus for the handling characteristics is the magazine release which is extended and very easy to access when you want to drop the magazine and reload. The magazine, by the way, drops very freely from the frame. I was always concerned that the extended magazine release was just an unimportant do-dad that people added without really needing. After shooting the M22 I will have to rethink the necessity of having an extended magazine release on my Glock pistols.

Fit & Finish

Terrible

Rough

Acceptable

Good

Excellent

Fit and finish is also good; the pistol is well designed and executed. I do, however, miss the Tennifer finish on the Glock slide and barrel.

Sights

None

Too Small

Useable

Good

Excellent

The sights are good, bordering on excellent. The M22 sports sights that look very much like Glock sights however the front sight has a white rectangle on it instead of the more common dot. Quite frankly, I prefer the rectangle to Glock’s dot. The rear sight is outlined in white, just like the Glock, but the rear sight is also fully adjustable for windage. The M22 also comes with 4 different sizes of front sights to help zero the pistol in the event that it is shooting high or low with whatever load you choose. The front sight is also very easy to remove with a small screwdriver, no special tools or training needed.

Trigger

Terrible

Poor

Acceptable

Good

Excellent

The M22’s trigger is set for a pull of four pounds. This is a good all-around trigger pull. Like the Glock the M22 employees a safety lever in the middle of the trigger. If there is anything that could be re-thought on the pistol it is the trigger. It is a little narrow with vertical ridges that are probably good for shooting under stress, but a little bit uncomfortable during an extended range session.

Power Scale

.22LR

.380 ACP

9mm

.40 S&W

.45 ACCP

OK…it’s a .22; paper targets and aluminum cans are not safe when this pistol is around but, despite that it comes with 2 magazines, it is not much of a defensive firearm.

Carry/Concealment

Too Large

Compact

Ultra Compact

Micro Compact

Pocket Pistol

The M22 is a compact pistol, smaller than a Colt Commander and slightly smaller than a Glock model 19 however, as mentioned about, it would not be the best choice for a concealed carry weapon.

Reliability

Unreliable

Somewhat Reliable

Fair

OK

Completely Reliable

I have to admit I was concerned here. There is not much information available on the M22 but I did find one internet firearm forum where someone was discussing the reliability of the M22 in a very unflattering manner. This was concerning since this writer had actually shot the M22 as opposed to most of the other gun forum curmudgeons who find joy in bashing a new handgun without having fired it, held it, or seen it in person. The writer on this forum had lot of Stovepipe jams with it. I am happy to say that in 350 rounds fired thus far, I have only encountered one stovepipe jam. No other types of jams occurred. About the only thing negative to say about the M22 was that I had about 12 light primer strikes during one box of firing with Remington High Velocity Golden Bullet ammunition. This did not occur with the CCI or Aguila ammunition that I also fired through the M22.

Accuracy

Poor

Fair

Acceptable

Combat

Bullseye

The M22 gives excellent combat accuracy, bordering on Bullseye accuracy as well. In fact, if the competition was within 7 to 10 yards, with practice you could do very well in a bullseye competition.


The ISSC M22 just about fits my criteria completely; it has better than combat accuracy in a compact package that looks like a real fighting pistol.


16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have put 300 rounds of ammunition through the M22 now, 200 rounds Remington small game and 100 rounds of CCI.

With the first 150 rounds of Remington i had either one or two jams or miss-feed with every 10 round slide. I was worried that the gun unreliable per the other gun review i read.

However, after taking it home and giving the gun a little cleaning I put another 100 rounds of CCI through with only 1 light strike round.

I put another 50 rounds of Remington through after this with 4 miss-feeds.

Overall i think that the gun is great, accuracy was superb and with the right ammo reliability was fine. With a little wearing in and a few more cleanings/fine tuning i think this will be a great gun or target shooting as an accompaniment for my G19.

tawcat said...

Joe,
I've been drooling over this weapon since the first time I saw it advertised last year. Thank you for reviewing it. Guess it's time to stop drooling and get one!

Average Joe said...

Tawcat,

This is a value-priced pistol, so it is definately time to stop drooling. I am beginning to see them almost every gun store.

Anonymous said...

Regarding failures to feed, I believe that ISSC recommends that you run 500 rounds through it, then clean it to ensure reliability. I may be wrong about the 500, since I'm relying on memory rather than the literature, but I know they advise that there is a break in period.

Anonymous said...

This is directly off their webebsite: "Like every rimfire pistol, the new owner should break the gun in by first firing at least 200 rounds of hi-vel ammo. The M22 will give its best performance with CCI Mini-Mag (round nose) or Blazer Hi-Vel ammo loads. After shooting 200 rounds, the gun should be cleaned, lightly oiled and the feed ramp polished. This will make the gun function to its maximum capacity and capability. Also make sure to use both magazines during the break-in period."
http://issc-austria.com

Anonymous said...

Nice write up. I see one of these pistols for myself in the near future. I am not surprised by the failure of the Remington Golden rounds. Were they light strikes or duds? Did they fire after shooting them again? I quit using that ammo after several duds. I shot them out of my 10/22 and they had strong indentations from the firing pin but no ignition. I took those same rounds and ran them through the S&W 617 with the same result. Worst .22 ammo ever.

zach said...

Hi I have a question. I wasn't sure where an appropriate place to ask it is so I just chose Joe's because you guys leave great reviews. I was looking on Gunbroker at these issc 22s and someone has it listed for 235$. He claims it is brand new and exactly alike all other issc 22s. How could the price be 100$ lower than anywhere else? Can I trust him?

Average Joe said...

Zach,

There could be a number or reasons such as they haven't sold so he is reducing the price to get rid of that inventory investment or perhaps he got a price break by ordering a quantity of them. The dealer has an A+ rating so apparently he has a lot of happy customers. But the price is below the market on the two ISSC pistols he has whereas his prices on other firearms he is selling are about market average. I would suggest you call him. If his number is not listed on the GB page then email him and ask for his phone number. Talking to him should either ease your mind or confirm your suspicion. If everything seems OK then you are getting a bargain and, if there is a problem with the pistol it will be under warrantee from ISSC.

Tim said...

Is the threaded barrel able to attach a silencer? If so, what type? Does anyone have a link/prices to suppliers for a silencer?
Thanks!

Tim said...

Sorry if I posted this more than once, I keep ending up back at the "leave your comment page" and I dont see my post on the page.
My question is can this pistol be silenced, is this what the threaded barrel is for? If so, does anyone have a link/prices to suppliers for silencers that will fit this pistol.
Thanks

Anonymous said...

the cheep gun is probably what they call a blem small defect in the finish not bad if you want a shooter and i dont think this gun will ever be a collector

Anonymous said...

Zach's comment stated that the Gunbroker price of $235 seemed low, and is $100 lower than others' price?
I see these things at J&G Sales for the same price- $235 or so.

Eric said...

Bud's Discount Guns $199.99/free shipping> 03/16/2011

MAJOR said...

IHAVE HAD THE M22 FOR ABOT A YEAR, HAD MORE PROBLEMS THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE.SENT THE GUN BACK THEY PUT A NEW BARRELL ON THE GUN. THEY RECOMMENDED THE FOLLOWING AMMO. CCI MINI-MAG 40GR RN#810. CCI BLAZER 40GR RN,FEDERAL GAME SHOCK 40 GR RN 810. A PURE PLEASURE. SHELLS ABOUT $7.00 HD AT WALLMART, FIRED AT LEAST 2500 RDS THROUGH THE GREAT HANDLING PISTOL.

Chris T said...

Anyone know where to get a firing pin for one of these M22's? Looked everywhere..can't seem to find one. Input appreciated. Thanks - CT

Anonymous said...

I purchased an ISSC 22M and have had nothing but problems, I sent it back for warranty rpair and they put a new b arrel on it and recommended using CCI 22 mini MAG, it does work the best but it is very hard to come by these days and I still have problems with that ammo also. I am considering sending it back but this will cost me another shipping fee and I don't think they can make it operate correctly as it should. Had I done my research before purchasing I would have gone with another name brand gun. I have had a ruger SR22 for over three years and it eats anything I put in it and I have had not one issue with it. I have advised all my friends to stay away from the ISSC 22M because of all the problems, you name it I have it happen everytime I go to the range, fail to feed, stove pipe, fail to fire, fail to eject. I did not get any spare front sights with different hights to sight in elevation. I guess they stopped providing them to cut cost. The store Turners in California where I bought it, do not stock it anymore, I need to find out why they dropped the ISSC. Regards, David