The Understudy

What the .22 lacks, of course, is recoil, and it can spoil us and let us get sloppy as to hold and grasp. In GLOCK matches on the same field of fire as the larger caliber service pistols — two shots on each paper target. The only difference is to compensate for the .22’s feeble power level, a hit on a steel target scores the same as knocking it over. I looked at the scoresheets from a couple of these matches and didn’t see much difference between the G44 in Rimfire and the G17 and G19 pistols in the Master Stock division. With at least 81 shots fired (you get pickup shots if you miss the steel), Brad Balsky scored 31.55 seconds time with the .22 and 35.73 with the 9mm; Tony Boone shot 43.93 seconds with the .11 and 44.72 with the 9mm; and Gorka Ibanez with 42.50 in .22 was actually faster in Master Stock with the 9mm at 39.14 seconds.

For trigger time, the .22 shines at draw-to-the-shot practice, where recoil doesn’t much affect things. And, for breaking in those millions of new gun owners we’ve been embracing since 2020, the light recoil and mild report of the .22 make an obviously good choice as a “starter gun.”

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