Outdoor Skills - Hunting Q&A

Could you please recommend a .22 Long Rifle semiauto pistol for precision plinking? I don't intend to compete but do want a pistol that's accurate and well made. Price is not an issue. I'm willing to pay for quality, something I can bequeath to future generations. I've researched the S&W; Model 41, Browning Buck Mark, and High Standard line, but would appreciate some insight based on your experience. I'm willing to consider other makes in light of your recommendations. --C.G.

"I've shot all three of the pistols you list, and they're all fine firearms, though the High Standard is no longer manufactured, and I believe the S&W; 41 has been discontinued. In my experience it's hard to buy a bad .22 semiauto if you're willing to spend over $200. You may want to buy a new gun (or at least a presently manufactured used gun), because repair will be cheaper if something breaks down. But .22 autoloaders are simple enough that problems are rare--as long as they're made right and kept clean. My own ""precision plinker"" is a Ruger Mark II, a ""slabside"" barrel target model I got in a trade with a friend. He had a detachable 2X-7X scope on it. With the scope, I've been able to keep a 10-round clip of Winchester Power Point bullets inside 2 inches at 100 yards, which matches most .22 rifles. With iron sights it's accounted for many varmints and small-game animals out to 50 yards. The big factor in any good .22 semiauto is a fine trigger. Many can be worked over by a gunsmith, but you can save some money if the trigger breaks cleanly at 3 to 4 pounds at purchase. My Ruger's is a crisp 3 1/4 pounds, which makes hitting small targets much easier. "