Battle of the .22 Pistols
Youtuber 22 Plinkster took on this shootout of the .22 target pistols. See how the Ruger Mark 4 does against the S&W Victory Pistol.
The all-new Ruger Mark 4 Pistol has lovers and haters. On the other hand, the S&W competition, the Victory Pistol, equally has fans and non-fans.
Well, which one is actually better? Firing both of these great .22 caliber target pistols, 22 Plinkster examines the pros and cons of both pistol models.
So which one do you like and have plinked around with?
Hey guys, 22Plinkster here! Ever since the Mark 4 was introduced about a month ago, I’ve been averaging probably close to fifteen messages and emails a day asking which pistol I recommend: The Smith and Wesson Victory, or the Ruger Mark 4 Target. Now that’s kind of a loaded question, because my opinion is just that: It’s my opinion. But I will go over as best as I possibly can, tell you the pros and cons of both handguns.
Before I get too far in the video, I must say, I like both handguns. I like ’em a lot. I’ve been shooting the Victory now close to two years, and I’ve been shooting the Mk 4 for a couple of months. I have put thousands of rounds through each handgun, and so I will tell you what I have found that I like about a certain handgun, and what I don’t like about a certain handgun. Now I’m not gonna be doing an accuracy test by no means on these things; if you want to see how accurate they are, just watch my reviews on ’em. They both shoot very well, but I’m not gonna sit down here and shoot downrange, shoot one and shoot the other, and say ‘hey, this one’s more accurate than the other’. That’s not a fair test, and that’s not a fair test at all. But I can say that both handguns shoot very very well.
First, let’s look at the Mark 4, since it is the newest. Now this is the Target model that I have in my hands, and what has attracted so many people to this pistol since it’s been released is this right here, mkay. –Make sure the firearm is unloaded and the safety is on– This right here. It is very very easy to take apart and clean, unlike its predecessor the Mark 2 and Mark 3, and of course also the Mark 1. Now, the Smith and Wesson Victory is very easy to take apart and clean also, however, it does require an allen wrench to do so. Now, that’s not a dealbreaker for me by no means, but just the simplicity of taking it apart and putting it back together, I would have to give the Ruger Mk4 just a little bit of edge on that.
Now, one thing that is nice about the Smith and Wesson Victory compared to the Mk 4, is that the S&W Victory comes with the rail on top. Now, rails do not come with the Mk 4s, you have to buy them separately, they usually run you about $25 to $30, but the rails are aluminum. The rail that comes with the S&W Victory is polymer. Now, I’ve heard some complaints about the polymer rail from my viewers, and I went ahead and I went with a Volquartsen rail for the top of my Voctory. Now that seemed to fix a few problems I had with sighting issues, I didn’t have that many with the polymer rail, but I did experience a little bit of shift, especially if I hadn’t shot the pistol in a while, but it does at least come with a rail, and the Mk 4 does not.
Let’s talk about the sights for a little while! The Mk 4 has blacked-out target sights. I prefer target sights when I’m trying to do pinpoint-accurate shots, ok, if I’m trying to shoot an aspirin off a nail, or split a playing card, I prefer a target sight. The S&W Victory has a three-dot targeting sight, and they are fiber-optic. I’m not a big fan of fiber-optic sights, especially on a target pistol, however, I do like the S&W Victory fiber-optic sights. They are just the right size that they don’t blind your target too bad, but they’re not too small so that you can’t see them. So I do really like the fiber-optic sights on the S&W Victory, but if I’m trying to do precision shots, I much rather have target sights.
Now let’s talk about the grip! The Mk 4 target model has an iluminum grip, ok, the hunter has a Stainless Steel grip, but the Mk 4 Target has an aluminum grip. The S&W Victory has a polymer grip. And if you recall back in my video talking about the S&W Victory, the only downfall to that pistol that I thought of was the grip. I wasn’t a big fan of the grip. It was very slick in my hands, and it was hard for me to get a good purchase. The shape, I wasn’t really happy about the shape, but I could live with it, but it was just the grip and the grip handle, I just wasn’t a big fan. I guess a lot of it has to do with, I’m just used to shooting Ruger pistols. I’ve been shooting Ruger pistols ever since I was knee-high to a grasshopper, so they just naturally fit in my hand well. These are, you know, have very aggressive checkering on the sides of both of these grip panels, and it makes it very easy to get a purchase, now however, if you have smaller hands, the S&W Victory will probably fit your hands better.
Both triggers on the Mk4 and also the S&W Victory are set at between four and four-and-a-half pounds. Now, to me, on target pistols, that’s a little heavy, but that’s how they come from the factory. One trigger is not necessarily better than the other. I have to lean more towards the Victory trigger being a little bit lighter than the Mk 4, even though the Mk4 trigger isn’t bad by no means, and it’s a vast improvement over the Mk3s, but I do think the Victory’s trigger was just a tad bit better. One thing that the Mk4 has one-up on the S&W Victory, is ambidextrous safeties. You can ontrol the safety on both sides of the pistol whether you are right-handed or left-handed. I’m guessing there’s probably a 90–95% chance that you are a right-handed shooter, but if you are a leftie, congratulations! They now make a target shooter pistol just for you.
Accuracy-wise, both of these pistols will shoot. Hitting a six-inch plate at 60 yards, I could hit it a lot more times than I miss it. Now that’s just using regular bulk ammo. Both of these pistols would be great pistols for the first-time shooter, or even a rmfire collector. Now, how reliable are they compared to each-other? I will tell you this: They both work about 98% of the time. And you’re probably saying ‘Plinkster, why don’t they work 100% of the time?’ well, if you ask that question, guess what: You’re probably new to rimfire shooting– well, semiautomatic rimfire shooting. 22s are notorious for light primer strikes, also stovepipes, and failure to feeds. That’s just the nature of the beast. Now, they are reliable. Keep ’em clean, they’re going to work 98%, 99% of the time, like any rimfire pistol that you would own. I’ve got rimfire pistols that cost two to three-hundred dollars that shoot very well, that’s 98% reliable, and I’ve got three-thousand dollar 22 pistols that shoot about 98% of the time. You’ve got to keep ’em clean, that is the key to rimfire.
The last thing that we need to talk about is the price. What are the prices, MSRP, on these handguns? Now, the S&W Victory, you can find them on Gunbroker for about three-hundred fifty to three-hundred seventy dollars, which is a good price for a good target pistol, and you can’t go wrong with it. The Mk4, when you can find it, they’re gonna be selling between four-fifty and four-seventy-five. So this pistol [The Mk4] actually costs about a hundred dollars more than this pistol [The S&W Victory]. However, you can find flash sales where you can find this one for probably about the same price as this one, but if you choose either one of ’em, it’s a great buy. Now I have owned several–well maybe not several– owned a couple of Victories, and I own a couple of Mk4s. I like ’em. I grew up shooting this pistol. I’m more comfortable shooting this pistol. However, I’m fixin’ to do a video– yes that’s right I say ‘Fixin’, that’s how we say it in Tennessee– I’m fixin’ to do a video on the ultimate S&W Victory. You aught to see what this pistol is going to look like when I get done. And I’ve got to tell you, it’s probably my favorite .22 pistol of all time, especially one of my favorite builds, and I have built a lot of ’em.
But, if you have any questions, put ’em in the comments below, I hope I have made your choice a little bit easier, but I may have just confused you more.
Guys, thank you very much for watching, until next time, Y’all be safe, and keep plinkin’.
Source: 22Plinkster Youtube, Eric Nestor
December 7th, 2016 by jhines
Originally published at americanshootingjournal.com on December 7, 2016.