Smith & Wesson SW22 Victory Pistol Review
Part 5 - Range Tests
July 7, 2016

For range testing the new Smith & Wesson SW22 Victory Pistol, I wanted to get an idea on the reliability and accuracy with some readily available ammunition.  My first session at the range was actually down in my basement where I put a couple hundred rounds through the pistol using some value ammunition (Federal AutoMatch) while adjusting the rear sights.  During this session, it was clear that this SW22 pistol was a shooter and I really enjoyed the trigger pull.


My next range session was another session where again I was getting the feel for the pistol and shot my steel dueling tree and again was pleased with my efforts.

On my third range session I decided to go ahead and collect my chronograph data and do my bench testing.  For this I selected some ammunition that seems to be relatively available.  Note that the ammo in my container is Federal AutoMatch.

Figure 1

My bench setup is shown below, the target was at 25 yards down range and the chronograph was about 10 feet in front of the muzzle.  After collecting some chronograph data, I spent some extra time at the bench finalizing my rear sight adjustments.  To achieve a flat sight picture at 25 yards (top of the front post and the top of the sides of the notch being in the same plane that cut through the center of the target), I had to adjust the elevation of the rear sight fully down.

Figure 2

For the accuracy portion of my test, I wanted to install an optical sight because this eliminates my bifocal issues.  Needing to install the Picatinny railed rear sight required me to remove the adjustable sight.  I found that with the adjustable sight adjusted fully down, the screw threads extended too low (see below) preventing me from being able to remove the adjustable rear sight.  I readjusted the sight slightly up and was able to remove the rear sight.  This is something that can be easily fixed by grinding off one thread on this screw for this pistol.  You may or may not experience this on other pistols because the tolerances for each pistol will stack up differently.

Figure 3

I installed the Bushnell TRS-25 red dot sight.  I'm a big fan of this sight and I am really pleased with the performance and value you get from the TRS-25.  You can see a review I did a few years ago at this link.  Note, if you do install an optic like this, install it so that you can remove the sight attachment screw without removing the optic.

Figure 4

The results of my chronograph and bench testing are shown in the table below.  If you don't get the picture from looking at the table, I will spell it out... the SW22 Victory shot GREAT!  My group average for all sixteen 5-shot groups was 0.85" at 25 yards and although it is not clear, only three of the groups were greater than 1".  Considering that I was using a 1x power (no power) red dot sight, I think these are pretty good results and the SW22 Victory has true competition potential.

Ammunition Velocity3 (ft/sec) 5-Shot Group Size1 (in)
Average4 Std Dev Maximum Minimum Average2
CCI Standard Velocity 40gr LRN 933 18 0.96 0.52 0.73
Federal AutoMatch 40gr Solid 1114 16 0.85 0.46 0.70
Federal Premium HV Match 40gr Solid 1113 12 1.41 0.78 0.98
Remington Golden Bullet 36gr PHP 1081 24 1.17 0.81 1.02
Average all sixteen 5-shot groups = 0.85
1 - 5-shot groups shot from a bench at 25 yards
2 - Average based on four 5-shot groups
3 - Velocity measured about 10 feet from the muzzle
4 - Velocity average based on 10 shots
LRN - Lead Round Nose, PHP - Plated Hollow Point

I like to compare my results to other published reviews whenever I can get a chance.  The following was taken from three magazine articles with the sources noted and the total group average for each of these different articles is shown.  Maybe I just got lucky, but my 0.85" was the best of all these reviews.  Considering all this data, I feel you should be able to shoot 1" or better (in some cases much better) with certain types of ammunition and sighting systems.

  • Fitzpatrick, Brad. "Plinkers." Guns & Ammo August 2016: 55-61. Print.
    Group Average = 1.10 (optic unknown)
  • Tarr, James. "Victory At Last." Guns & Ammo Handguns August / September 2016; 56-63. Print.
    Group Average = 0.95" (optic possibly red dot)
  • Hutchcroft, Joel J. "The New SW22 Victory." Shooting Times June 2015: 26-32. Print.
    Group Average = 1.20" (2x Scope)

The photos below show the best group for each of the different types of ammunition I used during the accuracy portion of my review.

Figure 5                                                                  Figure 6
CCI Standard Velocity 40gr LRN                                   Federal AutoMatch 40gr Solid
0.52" Group                                                             0.46" Group

Figure 7                                                                  Figure 8
Federal Premium HV Match 40gr Solid                      Remington Golden Bullet 36gr PHP
0.78" Group                                                             0.81" Group

Personally, I feel like I could have squeezed a little more accuracy out of the SW22 if I had installed some type of pistol scope providing increased optical magnification.  Since a pistol scope was not going to be my final configuration and most likely a red dot was, I chose the red dot for the accuracy portion of the review and was still very pleased with the results.

I had several more sessions at the range and out of all rounds fired (my guess 1000+, but not completely sure how many), I only had a single failure to fire which I feel was no fault of the SW22 because the rim was clearly struck hard which leads me to believe it must have been an issue with that round's primer.



The Smith & Wesson SW22 Victory Pistol has quickly made it's way up to one of my favorite .22LR pistols.  It has proven to be a reliable and accurate pistol which are probably the two most important characteristics for any firearm.  With regard to accuracy, it is also probably more accurate than most shooters.

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. 

Please subscribe to be notified of future reviews


If you would like to be notified about future Gunsumer Reports reviews via Facebook, make sure "You Like This" by clicking the Facebook "Like" button at the bottom or top of this page.  If it already says "You Like This" beside the button, clicking it again will uncheck the "Like" status and you will not be notified.

Share on Facebook

comments powered by Disqus

© 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 & 2024 Gunsumer Reports™, All rights reserved.
FTC Disclosure