Wednesday, May 25, 2005

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.

21 Comments:

At Saturday, November 05, 2005 6:56:00 AM, Anonymous ashforkhillbilly@yahoo.com said...

Thanks for the info on removing the slide from my S&W 422,I't is quite the little target pistol.

 
At Saturday, March 18, 2006 6:47:00 PM, Anonymous mark said...

Do you know how to dissasemble the s&w 422?

 
At Monday, December 11, 2006 8:34:00 PM, Anonymous Mateo said...

Yes, I was also curious if I could remove the barrel for a more thorough cleaning.. I was just cleaning my Glock, and thought I should clean my model 422..

Any thoughts??

 
At Friday, December 22, 2006 10:04:00 AM, Anonymous Frank said...

Sorry but i can lift the little metal retainer dingus from the top of the slide of my 422, then the slide runs and go out the rail, but I can't remove completely the slide. I don't know how can do it.
Can you help me?

 
At Saturday, August 11, 2007 4:47:00 AM, Anonymous Aussie said...

This is what I do to remove the slide on my 422: Clear the fire arm, remove the magazine etc. Then take the metal retainer dingus (is that really it's name?) and pull back the slide. Back enough to remove the spring and rod. Remove the rod and spring. Once you've remove those and the slide is still back you can lift the front of the slide up, maybe jiggle it a bit but it comes free. That's how I do it. Good luck!

 
At Saturday, August 11, 2007 4:54:00 AM, Anonymous Aussie said...

Was there ever a user manual for the 422, and if so does anybody know where I could get a copy?

 
At Friday, October 05, 2007 10:43:00 PM, Blogger james said...

What scope mount did you use?? I have a 6" 422 that i want to turn into a affordable "bunny gun".

 
At Wednesday, April 23, 2008 10:10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I picked up a used S&W 422 the other day with two magazines , one magazine wirks perfectly , while the other when it is placed inside the gun , the trigger will not shoot , both are nearly similar and are for the S&W .22 , is it possible that one of the magazines is really for the model 41 ? I don't understand why both magazines do not work the same .

 
At Wednesday, April 23, 2008 12:24:00 PM, Blogger Mr. Completely said...

The 41 and the 422 use the same magazine. Why one of your magazines is not working, I couldn't say without looking at them and the gun you are using.

...... Mr. C.

 
At Wednesday, April 30, 2008 8:07:00 PM, Anonymous Tony said...

Fun little article, and fun little guns! I figured I'd let you know that tweaking the pressure on the front barrel nut can really effect the accuracy, a little tweak on mine (it likes about 14ft/lbs) and it drives tacks at 50yds.

 
At Saturday, September 20, 2008 6:48:00 PM, Anonymous Adam said...

The 422 has a mag lock and wont let it fire without a mag in it ..... I forget what side its on I think its the right side of the mag there is a little bump out near the top ..... make sure that the bump is engaging the mag safety.

 
At Sunday, September 28, 2008 7:59:00 AM, Blogger ryebigeye said...

What is my S & W 422 worth I bought it 18 years ago.

 
At Wednesday, November 19, 2008 10:29:00 PM, Anonymous Mike Conner said...

Thank you for the info on removing the slide it was driving me crazy. I have a 10/22 Ruger and found out if you use 2000 or 3000 wet dry sand paper place over a sanding wheel on a dremel you get a almost mirror polished action but be carefull its not something to do unless your good at gunsmithing.
I have a question tho i saw a adapter that replaces the nut on the end of the barrel with a extended nut that is threaded but i dont know where to buy it so that i may use a suppressor to keep the noise down do you know anything on that matter, also do you know where i can find any modifying parts for the the 422 im really into shooting this fun little thing and its as comfy as a 1911 Colt. Sincerly Mike C

 
At Thursday, November 27, 2008 7:23:00 AM, Anonymous Steve S said...

I am hooked on the 422's, what a great pistol. I've completely disassembled them, isn't too difficult if you take your time. Reassembly is a little difficult with the hammer/spring. I have one with the suppressor adapter on it. This is a great host for a can due to the high profile of the sights. The adapters are available on Gunbroker.

 
At Thursday, January 01, 2009 11:08:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Conner
You can find the adapters on Gunbroker.com I have a couple from the seller and they are the best design I have ever seen.

 
At Tuesday, February 24, 2009 10:32:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what are you guys using to torque the barrel nut with, I have a wheeler fat wrench but no bit to fit the end, I use a dime seems to work fine, I have a 422 with the 4.5 inch barrel and a 622 vent rib with the 6 inch barrel. thanks

 
At Sunday, March 07, 2010 7:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought my 422 new in 1997 from the Sportsman's warehouse in Midvale Utah. I have the original box and manual, and also a small plastic tool that came with it for disassembly.

The tool fits between the frame and the recoil guide rod, wich allows for very easy removal of the recoil guide plug. Be careful when removing the recoil guide rod, as the recoil spring can launch the rod.

If anyone needs a copy of the field stripping instructions from the original manual, send me a note at donmiguel45@bresnan.net and I'll send you a pdf of pages 10-13 of the manual that illustrate the entire process.

Mike F.

 
At Saturday, May 29, 2010 3:59:00 AM, Blogger Zack said...

yea get ride of the glock.Buy a real gun next time.You can look at them hard and they break or the slide just slides off.get a sig or a colt just because they feel like a big lumpy peice of plastic doesnt make them a good toy. :) thanx for the info i thought thats how it was going to break down.

 
At Saturday, May 29, 2010 7:24:00 AM, Blogger Zack said...

Well if you dont mind i could use a copy of your manual if you would be so kind i like to keep one on hand for all my guns just in case. please send me an e-mail asap if you would have a great day and here's my email madseasons@gmail.com

 
At Sunday, April 17, 2011 4:06:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Completely, would you be so kind to share with us what screw and thread size did you use to install your scope mounts, thanks.

 
At Wednesday, June 27, 2012 5:18:00 PM, Anonymous greg said...

My clip will not lock in completely. Is my clip faulty?

 

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