A .22 rimfire may be the best way to teach shooting fundamentals to new shooters or improve the skills of veteran officers.
With the mild .22 Long Rifle, there is no loud noise or heavy recoil like the centerfire duty cartridges. The .22 ammo is inexpensive – you can buy five times as much rimfire ammo as centerfire ammo. ISSC
recently introduced their M22, a .22 caliber training pistol. The M22 looks like a mid-size Glock Model 19/23, except it has an exposed hammer and an ambidextrous safety / hammer drop lever. While there are plenty of .22 pistols on the market for target shooting, plinking and training, ISSC saw the opportunity to create a rimfire training gun similar to the most popular centerfire police sidearm. The M22 feels a lot like a Glock, and points just like one.
The M22 is a direct blow back, single-action semi-automatic pistol, with a fixed Lothar-Walther 4-inch match barrel. A 5 ½-inch barrel is also available with an attached barrel weight forward of the slide. The slide requires very little effort to retract due to its lightweight recoil spring. The forward and rear cocking serrations provide a good grasp. The rear sight is adjustable for windage. Elevation adjustments can be made by swapping out the front sights. The M22 comes with three different heights of front sight.
The black frame is made of tough polymer and is smooth, textured and checkered in all the same places as the Glock. While the trigger looks like that of a Glock, it does not cock and release a striker. Instead, the M22 trigger just releases the hammer. The hammer has to be cocked by the slide’s rearward motion or manually by the shooter. The M22 has a trigger pull of 5 pounds, 8 ounces with no over travel.
A magazine disconnect prevents the M22 from firing unless its 10-round magazine is inserted in the grip. The standard-style magazine release and slide release were simple and easy to manipulate and empty magazines fall free from the grip when ejected. The slide locks back after the last round in the magazine is fired. This allows the M22 to function more like a duty gun than .22 pistols that do not keep their slides back after their last shot.
The cocked hammer can be safely lowered by using the decocking lever. It rotates downward to cover the red “fire” dot, which blocks the firing pin from being contacted as the hammer falls. If left in this down position, the decocking lever also acts as a safety that prevents the hammer from being cocked.
A decision has to be made concerning safety and realistic training. Before holstering, the safest thing to do is depress the decocking lever and safely lower the hammer. The decocking lever must be rotated back up to fire the gun. When drawn from the holster, the hammer has to be manually cocked.
The option is to holster the gun with the hammer cocked. The M22 is designed with a trigger safety tab (like the Glock) so it cannot go off by accident. The M22 fit in my Uncle Mike’s Tactical Pro-3 security holster with its hammer cocked. The thumb break was actually between the hammer and the firing pin, adding another level of safety.
Accuracy was certainly good enough to simulate combat shooting with rewarding hits and all brands of ammo grouped well. The ISSC M22 has an MSRP of $400. A quality .22 conversion kit may cost a little less, but with the M22, you get an entire pistol. Steve Tracy is a 22-year police veteran with 20 years of experience as a firearms instructor. He is also an instructor for tactical rifles, use of force, less-than-lethal force and scenario-based training. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.