Smith & Wesson SW22 Victory Pistol Review
Part 1 - Introduction, Specifications and Summary
July 7, 2016

Earlier this year, Smith & Wesson rolled out their new SW22 Victory Pistol chambered in the .22LR rimfire cartridge.  One of the things that intrigued me about this pistol was that S&W was offering what I would consider an entry level target style pistol at a great price (MSRP of $409 to $459 depending on model).  When you couple that price point with the all stainless steel construction, removable interchangeable match barrel, included Picatinny rail, trigger overtravel stop and a great trigger pull, it looks like S&W has a winner.  To sum it up, the styling of this stainless steel pistol exudes a look of target precision and after doing my initial research, I was convinced that a detailed review was in order.

This pistol currently (mid 2016) comes in the three models shown below which are the Standard, Threaded Barrel and Kryptek® Highlander™ Finish.

Standard Model

Threaded Barrel Model (also comes with a stainless steel thread protector)

Kryptek® Highlander™ Finish Model

For this review, I selected the Threaded Barrel model because I enjoy suppressors, especially on rimfire firearms.  I will be honest that the Kryptek® Highlander™ Finish model was very tempting, and if they would have had that one in the treaded barrel version I would have probably gotten that one instead.

 

For those of you who don't like too many words I will sum it up with... this pistol is a shooter and make sure it is on your list of rimfire pistols to consider.  For those of you who like the detail, read on brother (or sister) and enjoy the photos.

During my reviews I like to compare my results to the manufacturer's claims where possible so the following text in colored italics was taken directly from the Smith & Wesson website and Spec Sheet on 6/20/16 and gives the Features and Specifications for the new S&W 22Victory Pistol.  The , and are my way to keep up with details that I have covered in this review with either photos, commentary or both.

Features

  • Removable Interchangeable Match Barrel by Volquartsen
  • Steel Reinforced Polymer Thumb Safety
  • Picatinny-Style Rail Included
  • Fiber Optic Front Sight
  • Adjustable Fiber Optic Rear Sight
  • (2) Ten-Round Magazines Included
  • Adjustable Trigger Stop
  • Stainless Steel Frame
  • Textured Grip Panels with Finger Cuts for Easy Magazine Removal

Specifications

  • MODEL: SW22 Victory
  • SKU: 108490
  • Caliber: .22 LR
  • Capacity: 10+1 Rounds
  • Action: Single Action
  • Barrel Length: 5.5” (14.0 cm)
  • Front Sight: Green Fiber Optic
  • Rear Sight: Adjustable Fiber Optic
  • Grip: Polymer
  • Weight: 36.0 oz. (1,020.6 g) with magazine the review pistol weighed in at 27.1 ounces
  • Overall Length: 9.2” (23.4 cm) review pistol measured 9.15"
  • Overall Width: 1.1” (2.8 cm) review pistol measured 1.30" across the grip
  • Overall Height: 5.6” (14.2 cm)
  • Frame Material: Stainless Steel
  • Bolt Material: Stainless Steel
  • Barrel Material: Stainless Steel
  • Finish: Satin Stainless

This review is broken down into multiple parts with this page providing links to each part along with an overall summary of the specifications, pros and cons, and my final "bottom line" comments.  Make sure you take time to checkout the other parts of the review because they contain many photos and lots of commentary.  Also, there is an extreme amount of detail in those parts which is not covered on this page.

As you read these Pros and Cons below, keep in mind that it is hard to keep my particular preferences from creeping in the equation.  Therefore, it is important that you take the time to look at the other parts of this review so you can decide yourself on items which may be more of a personal preference.

Pros:

  • Aftermarket parts (barrels, grip panels, sight base and holsters) are already available.
  • The SW22 Victory trigger comes with an adjustable overtravel stop.  The stop was adjusted perfectly from the factory on this particular pistol.  The factory trigger was superb coming in at a fairly crisp 3.6 pounds based on an average of 10 pulls using a digital trigger pull scale.  Reset on the trigger was also very short and overall I would think that most people would be very happy with the trigger on the SW22, even more so when you consider the price for this pistol.
  • I don't see any issue with even a first-time gun owner feeling comfortable with disassembly and reassembly of the S&W SW22 Victory Pistol.
  • The overall design of the pistol looks clever and cost effective with their use of polymer components where possible and their welded receiver assembly.
  • The SW22 Victory shot GREAT!  My group average for all sixteen 5-shot groups was 0.85" at 25 yards shooting from a bench.
  • Proved to be reliable with a variety of ammunition.

Pro/Con/Comment (you decide)?:

  • The pistol comes with  high visibility fiber optic front and rear sights.  These sights really stand out and are great for general shooting, but I personally find them more difficult for precise target shooting because with my eyes the brightness of the green fiber optic end makes it harder to see the crisp edges of the post and notch.
  • All the controls are on the left side of the pistol; bolt stop, manual safety and magazine release button.  None of these controls are ambidextrous which makes this pistol favor a right handed shooter.
  • This pistol does have a magazine disconnect feature and will not fire when the magazine is removed.

Cons:

  • The magazine well doesn't have any flair or chamfer making it important for your magazines to be lined up during insertion.
  • I found that when the adjustable sight is adjusted fully down, the sight adjustment screw threads extended too low preventing the sight from being able to be removed from the pistol.  Removal of the adjustable sight required tweaking the elevation adjustment first.

 

Bottom Line:

The Smith & Wesson SW22 Victory Pistol has quickly made it's way to one of my favorite .22LR pistols.  It has proven to be a reliable and accurate pistol and reliability and accuracy are probably the most important for any firearm.  With regard to accuracy, it is probably more accurate than most shooters and it is still hard for me to believe that S&W can deliver this type of performance in a pistol that has a street price for less than $400.  If you want a custom version, aftermarket parts are already available which include premium barrels from Volquartsen which may help you squeeze a little more accuracy out of this platform.  There are many excellent target rimfire pistols on the market, but you will have a hard time finding another one that can deliver the same performance of the Smith & Wesson SW22 Victory at the same price.


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