The Smith and Wesson SW22 Victory pistol is one of the best .22 pistols on the market. While new to the rimfire competition world, it’s quickly growing in popularity among Rimfire Challenge competitive shooters and weekend plinkers alike. In just a few months, Facebook groups and discussion forums dedicated to the Smith and Wesson .22 have sprung up and gained hundreds of members eager to discuss SW22 Victory upgrades, share SW22 reviews and compare the best SW22 Victory accessories.
One of these Facebook groups is founded and managed by firearms enthusiast and SW22 Victory owner Robert Richardson. TANDEMKROSS talked with Robert this month to find out what drew him to the SW22 Victory, why he started his Facebook group and what he’s looking for in after-market parts for the SW22 Victory.
TK: How were your first introduced to the SW22 Victory?
RR: My first look at the SW22 Victory was on their (Smith & Wesson) website. I was looking for a daily carry gun back in January and have always liked the S&W M&P. I went to their website to look at the M&P and there on home page was the official release and sale add for the SW22 Victory. Well, it really caught my eye. I thought finally S&W has built an affordable .22 pistol. Something that the everyday working Joe- or in my case the retired Joe- could afford.
TK: The Victory is quickly becoming one of the best pistols on the rimfire market, what made you decide to purchase one?
RR: I went to my local gun shop to pick up the M&P 9c that I had decided to buy. In the display case alongside all the other Smith & Wesson firearms were all 3 versions of the new Victory. Like a lot of people, I had the salesman get them out to look them over. Well, that's when I knew I had to have one... I went home and did some more research and everyone's opinion seemed to be very favorable of it.
Everyone loved how easy it was to disassemble for cleaning. That alone to me was a huge plus. Everyone who had reviewed it had very good things to say about it. Some of the test guns had thousands of rounds through them and seemed very dependable. That alone is another huge plus because .22 rimfire semi-automatic pistols can be finicky when it comes to ammo. At that point, I had made my decision. My next gun was going to be a Victory. Since I do not compete I decided the non threaded model would be best for me.
TK: When did you start your SW22 Victory Facebook group?
RR: Within a day or so of owning the new Victory I decided to create a Facebook group. I had never created a group before and wanted to give it a try. Right away I was accepting new members at a high rate. I knew then that this was going to be a real plus for me and everyone who joined. We were all comparing notes and even had some people that were competing with the Victory. The guys competing loved the Victory as did everyone else.
Within the first few weeks of starting the group and adding new members I was asked by the good folks at TANDEMKROSS if they could post some advertising in the group. I told them they had my blessing and to post whatever would help them. Why would I do this? Because I had a gut feeling that they were a good company and that this was going to be good for the group. I'm all for anything that helps a business grow in the firearms industry. We all benefit in the long run.
TK: Members of your Facebook group often come to the group to discuss SW22 Victory issues. Have you experienced any issues with the Victory?
RR: One downside of this gun to me was the lack of aftermarket parts for it initially. But I knew they (the aftermarket) would be coming out with a lot of good upgrades for this gun because it is just so simple to work on. So the lack of aftermarket parts was not such a big deal breaker for me.
The next problem I ran into was the slide was quite hard for my wife to operate. Even after I had manually worked the slide hundreds of times to loosen it up, she still had a hard time overcoming the factory spring. My wife suffers with severe psoriatic arthritis and I had hoped she would be able to pull the slide back on this gun but it just wasn't going to happen.
Not long after TANDEMKROSS started advertising in the Facebook group, I decided to buy some of their SR22 Wingman +5 bumpers and Sentinel Spring Rod for my Ruger SR22. Then came the Halo (for the SW22 Victory)! The answer to my wife's problem! Sure enough when it arrived it was- and still is- the answer. Actually, that would be a great name. Instead of calling it the Halo, call it "THE ANSWER". The force and grip needed to pull the slide back was the biggest challenge. This part is definitely the answer to a big issue with the SW22 Victory. I know this has made a huge difference to my arthritic wife and is surely THE ANSWER for young shooters, seniors and competitors as well.
TK: Do you have any other tips for SW22 Victory owners to fix common challenges with the gun?
RR: The next and equally large issue with the Victory is the take-down screw coming loose after a couple of hundred rounds fired. This is easily fixed with a rubber o-ring. I took the take-down screw with me to a local auto parts store and found some that would slide right over the screw and once the screw is tightened down it doesn't come loose. At least not so far. I have taken my barrel off 7-8 times using the same o-ring. They were only pennies a piece- an easy fix for what could take you out of the match. I don't like the lock washers (some use) because of the damage they could cause to your frame. Besides, a lock washer doesn't belong on a gun!
TK: What other SW22 Victory after-market parts are you hoping to see?
RR: As far as additional parts I would like to see, I would like to see a “Victory” Trigger for the SW22 Victory, such as the ones TANDEMKROSS offers for Ruger 22/45, Ruger 22/45 LITE and Browning Buck Mark. Another huge feature for everyone, whether they are a competitor or just a target shooter, is the grips. Not very many people are happy with the SW22 Victory grips. A thumb rest would be a nice addition, too.
To learn more about the Smith and Wesson Victory and TANDEMKROSS accessories for the rimfire pistol, click here to visit the SW22 Victory category on our web store.
Visit Richardson's Facebook group by clicking here.