S&W 422 - Rim Fire Race Gun
(First a little disclaimer: The following is only a description of my personal 422, and modifications I have done to it. I am making no recommendations about any of this. What you choose to do to your own gun is between you and your gunsmith. When in doubt, consult a gunsmith. PLEASE!)
When I first saw the Smith & Wesson Model 422, I was really impressed by it's looks. It has nice proportions, and the matt finish and varnished grip panels make it pleasing to the eye. When I picked it up, my reaction was that it was WAY too light. Extensive use of aluminum, and the narrowness of the gun allowed it to be a very light package.
My next surprise was when I pulled the slide back to verify that the chamber was empty. Looking right in front of where the face of the slide had been, I discovered that there was no chamber there at all, Just a flat surface. HUH? Then I noticed a port just above the right grip panel. With the slide back, the port was exposed, and sure enough, there was the chamber. With the slide forward, the port is fairly well covered up. The barrel is mounted quite low, allowing a longer barrel without the gun itself being longer overall.
"OK", says I, lets pull the slide off and have a look inside. When I bought the gun the original paperwork was not with it, so I had no field stripping instructions. I eventually stumbled across the disassembly sequence more or less by accident. You pull the slide back a ways, put an empty (DUH) 22 casing in front of it, and then push the slide forward. This allows you to lift the little metal retainer dingus from the top of the slide. From there on, field-stripping is pretty obvious.
Another benefit of the low mounted barrel is that there�s a lot of material on top and rearward of the front sight into which you can drill and tap for mounting a scope mount. Just remember it�s aluminum, so locktite and tighten accordingly. I also polished up any and all sliding surfaces with 600 grit wet-or-dry paper. On the right side of the gun, behind the grip panel, there�s a spring that looks a lot like a ballpoint pen spring, only shorter and stiffer. I replaced it with one from a dead ballpoint pen, shortened a bit from its original length. As I said, I'm not recommending you do this, just reporting that that's what I did.
I mounted a Simmons Model 800880 42mm. Red dot sight, and to me, that made a nice improvement in the balance, but I�m used to shooting nose-heavy 22's anyway, so that's just a personal preference. The Simmons 42mm. red dot sight is mounted way forward to keep the muzzle down as much as possible in rapid-fire mode. I found that using the taco grip from a semi-crouched position works well, at least for me.
I don't know exactly why it is, but there is just something about this setup that instills confidence in your shooting, and confidence is half the battle. The 422's are not only light and fun to shoot, they are also usually quite a bargain, as in my opinion they are under priced for as good as they are.
It's really a pleasure to shoot, and if you are looking for a very reasonably priced used plinker, a gun for pin top shooting, or any other club competition that combines relatively close in range with hitting things fairly quickly, this is certainly one to consider.