New Release: Smith & Wesson M&P 22 Magnum
As the temperatures soar in the month of July, firearms manufacturers generally slow down releases. Summers have traditionally been the slow season in the firearms world, with many people spending time outside on vacations. But this year is different. We are seeing a trend where manufacturers are spreading out new releases—in attempt to build excitement over the entire year. For this week, Smith & Wesson is bringing another pistol to the market, but this time it’s a rimfire: the M&P 22 Magnum.
At first look, the new 22 magnum checks off a lot of boxes. Its overall size resembles that of the M&P 5.7, a bit deep in the grip, but somewhat thin and of course, maintains M&P’s stippling all over. Next, the 22 Magnum has a magazine capacity of 30 rounds, which puts it in direct competition with the Kel-Tec PMR 30. However, Smith decided to modernize the popular rimfire with the addition of fiberoptic sights, pic rail, and an optics cut. To help with reliability, Smith has added a new barrel system called TEMPO. Here, a front gas port keeps everything locked up until the bullet exits the barrel. This gives the shooter a more consistent, reliable, and accurate platform. Creating a reliable rimfire is no easy task, so the hope is that Smith’s latest innovation offers sustained reliability over a wide range of ammunition types. Only time will tell on that front. Other features include an ambidextrous slide stop and manual thumb safety, reversible magazine release, flat face trigger, and a Picatinny-style rail for light and laser accessories. Smith claims that the optic mounting system is universal to the most popular options, however it’s speculatory if that’s achieved via mounting plates or direct mounting the optic.
So, who is this for? I think Smith is bringing something to market that isn’t necessarily unique, with the PMR-30 being the direct comparison. But I think this pistol does “it” better than other options on the market. I also believe it goes beyond just a casual plinker. It offers potential as a trainer or competition gun in rimfire action competitions. Moreover, it could be used as a defensive arm. 22 Magnum has some serious options in the defensive ammunition category, namely the Hornady Critical Defense and Speer Gold Dot. Outfitted with a light and optic of choice, the M&P 22 Magnum with 30 rounds of ammunition on standby is a real threat. This would work well in the hands of recoil sensitive shooters or those that suffer from dexterity issues. Without hands on the gun, it’s hard to say how stiff the recoil spring is, but I imagine it won’t take too much force to overcome.
In conclusion, Smith is bringing a hot item to market. Unlike some recent items I’ve seen, I think it will be a struggle for Smith to keep up with demand. Especially now as ammo is becoming increasingly more available and more affordable. MSRP will hover around $649.99, but mainline dealers should have it set at $599.99. This should hit shelves in the coming weeks.