Smith & Wesson SW22 Victory Pistol Review
Part 3 - External & Operational Features
July 7, 2016

In this part of my Smith & Wesson SW22 Victory Pistol Review, I'm going to cover the external and operational features of this new .22LR rimfire pistol.  First of all, as you can see below, the Victory is a nearly all satin stainless steel pistol with the exception of the black grip and sights.  The frame, receiver, bolt and barrel are all made 400 series stainless steel.  The barrel and receiver have a similar satin finish while the frame and bolt have a slightly more textured look giving the appearance of some type of casting or forging.


The pistol measures 1.30" at its widest point which is across the grip.  I'm not 100% sure what the 1.1" refers to in the specifications, but I think it is across the frame and manual safety.  The overall length measured 9.15" which was in-line with the specs.

Figure 1

The overall height seemed to be about 5.6" as stated in the specifications.  Clearly you can see that I chose to get the threaded barrel version seen in these photos.  Other than the threaded barrel, the only other geometrical difference between this pistol and the other two models is that the front sight is shifted rearward decreasing the sight radius by about 0.40".

Figure 2

I included these next four photos from Part 2 in this part of the review also so that there is a full set of photos on this webpage for my reference.

Figure 3

Figure 4                                                            Figure 5                                                            Figure 6

The pistol weighed in at  2 pounds 5.1 ounces (37.1 ounces) with the magazine included.  The S&W weight of 36 ounces at their website probably doesn't include the magazine like I have seen on some of their other handguns.

Figure 7

The pistol comes with a 5.50" bull barrel in all of the three models currently available.  The outside barrel diameter is about 0.86" which is more along the lines of a medium bull profile (my opinion) and adds to the Victory's hefty, yet solid feel.

Figure 8

One of the great features about this target pistol is that during the development of the pistol, S&W teamed up with Volquartsen Firearms to immediately provide some high quality after-market barrels to allow you to personalize your SW22 Victory pistol if desired.  The two barrels currently available from Volquartsen are the I-fluted match barrel and lightweight carbon fiber barrel shown below.  At some point I hope to get my hands on these and provide some first-hand knowledge of their quality and performance.  If so, I will probably add another part to this review.  Until then, the photos below gives you an idea on the barrel configurations.

Figure 9 - Volquartsen I-Fluted Stainless Steel Match Barrel with Forward Blow Comp

Figure 10 - Volquartsen Lightweight THM Carbon Fiber Tension Barrel with Thread Protector

You can also get after-market accessories from TANDEMKROSS who is currently offering a new trigger, magazine base plates, compensators, grips, holsters and a halo charging ring.  This next photo shows a SW22 Victory with the TANDEMKROSS trigger, halo charging ring and compensator installed.

Figure 11
Tandemkross Accessories

As I mentioned earlier, the muzzle of the barrel comes threaded with a stainless steel knurled thread protector.  The thread protector matches the same outside diameter as the barrel and is 0.40" in length.  The end of the barrel also has a radiused recessed crown to protect against potential damage so you can maintain your highest potential accuracy.

Figure 12

When the thread protector is removed, you can see the standard 1/2"-28 thread exposed with an O-ring at the base to provide a very basic anti-rattle or locking feature which I think works really well.

Figure 13

The threaded barrel allow you the opportunity to use a suppressor or other style muzzle device.  The photo below shows the pistol with a 1.00" external diameter suppressor.

Figure 14

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 makes it harder to see the crisp hard edges of the post and notch.  The front sight seems to be made of aluminum and is held in place with a single screw.  I checked the tightness of the screw and it was OK, but I was able to snug it down a little more.

Figure 15

There are actually two configurations of the rear sight.  The overall base of the rear sight is the large polymer piece on top of the receiver.  The standard configuration is shown below and includes the fiber optic tube and is adjustable in both windage and elevation. 

Figure 16

This photo gives you a close-up of the rear sight and adjustment features.

Figure 17

These next photos give you a good idea on how bright (in a good way) the fiber optic sights appear and would be great for many shooting applications.  Yet, as I mentioned, they are not my preferred configuration for precise target shooting.  Actually, with my eyesight, my preferred configuration is one that includes some type of optics which S&W provides a mounting option with their other rear sight configuration.

Figure 18                                                                Figure 19                                                            

To remove the rear sight, you remove the front screw and then slide the sight rearward until it disengages from the lip on the upper receiver.

Figure 20

These next photos show the adjustable sight removed.

Figure 21

Figure 22

The second rear sight is a fixed sight on the end of a section of polymer Picatinny rail.  This rail section allows you the opportunity to mount a variety of different style optics according to your liking.

Figure 23

The fixed sight doesn't include any type of fiber optic tube and the overall sight picture is shown below.

Figure 24

These next photos give you a good look at this polymer fixed sight when not installed on the pistol.

Figure 25

Figure 26

Figure 27

The grip frame assembly of the pistol is a combination of a sturdy stainless steel main frame, polymer grip body with textured front and rear straps, and polymer grip side panels.  These components will become more clear in Part 4 where I show disassembly and internal features.  S&W providing the option for after-market grip panels is another way you will be able to customize your pistol in the future once they become in demand.  The right side of the stainless steel portion of the frame is marked with "SW22 VICTORY", a 2D bar code and the serial number of this pistol.  The receiver and right grip panel are both marked with the S&W logo.  The bolt is nested into the receiver and includes simple slots for gripping when pulling the bolt to the rear.

Figure 28

Figure 29

The ejection port seems standard for this style pistol and when looking through it you can see that a ramp is built into the frame to assist in feeding the .22LR rounds into the chamber.

Figure 30

The stainless steel bolt translates about 1.28" to the rear where its locked open position is on the last round.

Figure 31

The rear of the bolt also gets wider giving the slots a stepped feel when pulling the bolt rearward.

Figure 32

The right side of the frame is marked with "SMITH & WESSON", "SPRINGFIELD, MA USA" and the caliber "22LR".  The receiver is marked with "SW22 VICTORY" and the S&W logo also appears on the receiver and left grip panel.  The markings on the frame appear to be laser etched and the markings on the receiver appear to be painted/printed.  Also on the left side of the pistol are all of the controls; bolt stop, manual safety and magazine release button.  None of these controls are ambidextrous which makes this pistol favor a right handed shooter.

Figure 33

These next two photos show the slide stop and manual safety in the down positions.  "Down" for the manual safety means the "fire" position like you would expect similar to many other pistols.

Figure 34

This next photo shows the bolt stop and manual safety in the up positions.  "Up" for the manual safety means it is in the "safe" position.  Both of these levers have a polymer portion for manipulating, but they appear to have a stainless steel lever mechanism.  It is possible to open the bolt with the manual safety engaged and the bolt will also lock open on the last round.  I feel the bolt stop is a good size for its purpose and the manual safety seem small but functional.

Figure 35

The SW22 Victory aluminum black anodized trigger comes with an adjustable overtravel stop.  The stop was adjusted perfectly from the factory on this particular pistol.  The trigger is curved like most and includes a serrated face to prevent finger slippage.  The factory single action 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.  Two other very reputable magazines had articles where the trigger pulls on their pistols came in at 3.75 lbs and 3.94 lbs which helps to indicate that most likely the trigger pull will be between 3.5 and 4.0 lbs on most pistols.  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.

The magazine release button has a textured surface and is protected from accidentally pressing it, yet it does press easily with the tip of your thumb.  When pressed, the magazines fell freely from the magazine well.

Figure 36

In front of the trigger guard is the takedown screw that allows you to remove the upper barrel/receiver assembly from the lower grip frame assembly.

Figure 37

The grip area is all polymer on all the gripping surfaces.  The front and back straps have checkered textured surfaces and the grip panels have stippling.  The combination of all these give you the anti slip surface needed, but you still get some of that slick feel that you get with any polymer grip.

Figure 38                                                          Figure 39

Although the grip is in no way round, it has a round-ish feel seeming slightly more thick than deep than other pistols, yet it did have an overall good feel.  Based on my hand size, I might have preferred a slightly deeper grip, but again it did have a good feel.  The magazine well doesn't have any flair or chamfer making it important for your magazines to be lined up during insertion.  You can also see in this photo the small steel bar which actuates the magazine disconnect.  This pistol does have a magazine disconnect feature and will not fire when the magazine is removed.

Figure 40

The SW22 Victory comes with two 10-round magazines.  The magazines have a stainless steel body with polymer follower and base plate.

Figure 41

The follower is designed to be anti-tilt and has a button on the left side to aid in loading.  This button is only configurable for left side based on the follower design.  It is also required on the left side to push the slide stop up after the last shot.

Figure 42

Figure 43

Figure 44

Figure 45



Based on what I have seen, the S&W SW22 Victory is an excellent rimfire pistol.  The overall quality of the pistol is great and it feels good and balances well in my hands.  The after-market barrels being already available for such a new pistol are a nice touch.  Trigger pull was great out of the box and the ability to install an optic being part of the package is also a nice feature.  I'm very impressed that they are offering this pistol at such a competitive price.

For more detailed photos and commentary, make sure you check out the other parts of this review and feel free to leave comments below.  The following links are provided to help you see other parts of this review. 

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