Smith & Wesson discontinued the Model 22A line from its catalog, and has no public plans to reintroduce it at a later date.
Last year rumors began to circulate that Smith & Wesson was dropping the rimfire pistol from the company’s line up, but the gun remained on its site and in its catalog. I have since been able to confirm with a company spokesperson that the gun is now officially history.
Smith & Wesson has not released an official statement on why the guns were discontinued, and the spokesperson stated he had no information on whether the company will ever bring back the guns.
The elimination of the 22A pistols is another in a long line of discontinued legacy products from S&W. Third generation autoloaders, typified by classics like the 5906 and 3903, have long since passed. So have many classic revolvers.
For semi-automatic pistols, the company is focused on polymer frame handguns like the M&P and SD series, while the wheelgun category has been significantly trimmed back as compared to where it was decades ago. Almost perversely, the company that is modernizing its product line does offer 1911 pistols.
Having sat in on many Smith & Wesson earnings calls, it has been clear that management is pushing the M&P line that includes guns like the wildly popular Shield. Frankly, I suspect that S&W would like to drop the revolver line if the revenue could be recaptured by expanding polymer pistol sales. Certainly, I understand the profit motive.
Smith & Wesson still offers several varieties of the Model 41. However, the 41 is not designed for the same market. The MSRP on the Model 41 starts at $1,369 and goes up. The Model 22A was a sub-$350 pistol (street price) that, in my experience, shot exceptionally well.
The only choice left for inexpensive rimfire shooting from Smith & Wesson are the M&P22 pistols. A lot of people like these guns, but they are not even remotely similar to the 22A. Between the two pistols, I’d take the 22A every day.
The Model 22A had been available in a variety of configurations prior to being discontinued. The basic all black model could be had with a number of different barrel lengths including 4″, 5.5″ and 7″. Camo patterns and polished slides were also available.
A Weaver-style rail was standard on the pistols for the easy addition of a scope for hunting and competition. The grips were made of a soft rubber and were very comfortable to hold.
I never measured the trigger pull on a 22A, but I always found them light and crisp.
These pistols can still be found on GunBroker, some even new. So, if this is one of the guns you’ve always wanted, I’d suggest buying sooner rather than later.