Major Problems with Smith and Wesson 22a and The Solutions

Smith & Wesson 22A rimfire pistols are ideal for target shooting competitions and recreational shooting. The 22A, a single-action pistol with an aluminum alloy frame, is no longer in production, but it has been in continuous use for decades.

The most prevalent Smith & Wesson 22A flaws are the failure to fire, the failure to eject, the magazine problem, the safety recall issue, and the feeding problem.

This article provides the answers to these problems. The current user experiences along with the best alternatives of 22A have also been provided in this article. Completely read the article to learn about the Smith & Wesson 22A problems and their solutions.

Features & Specifications of Smith and Wesson 22a:

  • Grip                                : Soft Touch Target
  • Magazine Capacity        : 10+1
  • Magazine Release          : Ambidextrous
  • Barrel Length                 : 4, 5.5 and 7inches               
  • Frame Material              : Aluminum Alloy Frame
  • Barrel Material               : Stainless Steel
  • Slide Material                 : Stainless Steel
Common Smith and Wesson 22a Problems and Solutions
Smith and Wesson 22a

Common Smith and Wesson 22a Problems and Solutions

Failure to FireChange the ammo. Check the leaf spring strain screw. Replace the leaf spring.
Failure to EjectChange the ammo. Clean it.
Magazine ProblemCheck the grip and magazine release button.
Safety RecallCall Smith & Wesson.
Feeding ProblemClean it. Change the ammo. Replace the spring of the magazine.

1. Failure to Fire:

Many users of Smith & Wesson 22A have an issue with light primer strikes or failure to fire.

The use of ammunition that is incompatible with the revolver is among the possible causes. The other possibility is that the firing pin of the revolver is malfunctioning. Additionally, it may be caused by the accumulation of dirt.

The Fix:

To resolve the problem, you must change your ammunition.

If the problem remains after replacing the ammunition, check the leaf spring strain screw on the revolver. If the strain screw is loosened, the firing pin might also be hit lightly.

The leaf spring may need to be replaced. By replacing the leaf spring, the spring’s power and force will increase, allowing the hammer to strike with a greater amount of force.

2. Failure to Eject:

Many users of the 22A pistol have complained that the ejecting case does not always leave the chamber before the chamber closes.

This might happen as a result of using the wrong ammo. Inadequate lubrication and maintenance could potentially be a factor in this problem.

The Fix:

Stop using ammo that is incompatible with your gun to fix the problems.

It is also preferable to constantly change your ammunition. Many users have reported that Remington viper bullets and Federal bullets have caused this problem; therefore, you should avoid using them.

Another thing to remember is to oil your gun before firing. The pistol comes with oil to protect it during transport and storage, and it should be wiped clean before fire.

3. Magazine Problem:

Many users have complained that while shooting with the 22A gun, the magazine automatically pops out.

The possible reason may be the massive recoil of the gun pressing the magazine release button. Also, it may be caused by the magazine, which may be a factory magazine.

Additionally, depending on how you hold the gun, you can accidentally press the trigger with your grips.

The Fix:

To solve the problem, check your grip first. After that, ensure that all the screws are correctly tightened.

If the grip is okay, then you can check the magazine release button. And still, if it is not okay, send it to Smith & Wesson.

4. Safety Recall:

The 22A handguns with serial numbers ranging from UBW0000 to UBW9999 and UBY0000 to UBY4104 have safety problems.

Smith & Wesson identified a problem with the 22A handguns. An investigation has found that the slides of certain pistols manufactured between August 1, 2008, and February 19, 2009, do not meet standard requirements. Insufficient headspace can lead to an accidental discharge.

The Fix:

To fix the problem, immediately contact Smith & Wesson and send your gun. They will troubleshoot the problem.

A punch dot will appear on the bottom of the slide at the back of the handgun when it is returned. When the slide is locked in the rear position and examined from below, the punch dot can be seen, as seen in the image below. You can keep the gun if it already has the punch dot placed.

5. Feeding Problem:

The users of the 22A have also complained that when you fully load your magazine, the last three to four rounds tip down or get stuck in the chamber.

The feeding problem is caused by a dirty firearm or incompatible ammunition. Occasionally, the magazine of your firearm may also be blamed for the feeding problem.

The Fix:

The problem can be easily resolved by cleaning the firearm and using compatible ammunition for your firearm.

If it is not fixed, you must replace the spring of the magazine, which causes the bullets to slide downward instead of load into the chamber.

User Feedback on Smith and Wesson 22a

Extremely nicely balanced and comfy, as one user on The Firing Line forum put it. He let loose with a hefty 150 .22 rounds of ammunition passed through it without a single issue.

Similarly, another review notes that the red dot scope is a welcome upgrade for the Smith & Wesson 22A. It’s helpful for people with poor eyes. The pistol’s red dot adds a fun element, as does the pistol’s overall feel and balance.

Not everyone is happy with this pistol, and some have had trouble with it. A user stated that he could often discharge one round through it before encountering complications. Issues like failure to fire, eject, and magazine issues are all reported on various platforms by others.

I think this pistol is rather accurate and well-balanced, although it does have some problems that are worth worrying about. Furthermore, the majority of people hold divergent views on this firearm.

Top 3 Alternative Guns of Smith and Wesson 22a

Ruger MK IV Target

If you plan on shooting common, low-cost ammo, then the Ruger is an excellent pick. It has a non-slip hold thanks to removable grip panels and an ergonomically angled grip for a firm grasp. When compared to the S&W 22A, the Ruger is a much more affordable and viable option.

Smith & Wesson Model 41

When compared to the 22A, the S&W 41 offers a significantly more comfortable grip and clearer sight view. The 22A has a workable grip, albeit it’s not quite as nice as the 41. The 22A’s bigger sights necessitate for accuracy, but that’s only effective at close range.

Browning Buck Mark

The trigger is quicker and more precise on my Buck mark, and the grip is more comfortable overall. 22 The Buck mark of large grips, a removable front sight but poorly crafted. In most respects, both of these are correct. So, this could be a viable alternative.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does Smith & Wesson continue to produce the 22A?

Smith & Wesson no longer produces 22A at present.

How many rounds does a Smith & Wesson 22A hold in a magazine?

A Smith & Wesson 22A holds 10 rounds in a magazine.

What type of ammunition does the S&W 22A use?

The S&W 22A uses rimfire ammunition.

How many barrel types are available for the S&W 22A?

There are three types of barrels available for the S&W 22A.


After reading this article you will be able to find out the causes of the Smith & Wesson 22A problems. Also, you will be able to fix the problem for 22A.

This pistol is reasonably reliable and well-balanced, while having a few flaws that cause concern. If you are looking for a 22 LR pistol that is suitable for target shooting, you should keep it on your list.

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