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Old 02-27-2010, 03:55 AM   #1
KelTex78
 
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Default Phoenix Arms HP22 mini-review

I've had this one for a while so I think it's about time I did a little write-up!

A few weeks ago, I bought a Phoenix Arms HP22. I had been disappointed with the fact that most "small" .22 pistols are larger than the Kel-Tec .380s and 9mms. I started doing research and found that there were a lot of positive reviews on the web on this pistol and started looking, finally finding one at a local gun show. I wanted the short-barreled version since I already have my Beretta Neos to handle 'squirrel rifle' duty.


I brought my new pistol home, loaded it with Federal 550 ct. Bulk Pack from Wal-Mart without any cleaning, F&B, or lube. The first round fired, but the round in the mag behind it did not feed properly. I manually worked the slide to chamber the next round, then proceeded to empty the magazine without any failures. I then proceeded to shoot about 50 more rounds, again with no failures, even firing as fast as I could squeeze the trigger.

After the initial shooting session, I took the pistol apart and gave it a thourough Fluff-n-Buff, polished all moving surfaces where they made contact, and lubed where appropriate. I also 'repaired' the California-friendly 'safetys' that defile this gun from the factory. Getting the gun back together was a pain; I eventually got the hang of holding that annoying spring in place, but I will NOT be tearing this pistol down again unless it needs it.

So far, I have only put about 200 rounds through the pistol (Northeast Texas weather has not been good for shooting lately), all Federal Bulk, but it has functioned perfectly since the second round fired. It's not a super-accurate target pistol, but it's cheap, fun to shoot, and good for making tin cans dance. Just out of curiousity, I loaded some CCI shotshells to see how they would work for keeping as the first round or two in the mag for snakes. At extremely close range, it might get the job done, but they didn't have the power to cycle the slide (no surprise there). *I think I'll stick with my .22 magnum derringer for snake work.

The pistol is compact, fitting nicely between my PF9 and LCP, although, @ 28 oz. empty, it's considerably heavier than the PF9, but not so much that it's impossible to carry in a pocket holster. Using an unscientific method involving a stick, wire, and a fishing scale, I estimate the trigger pull to be somewhere around 7 pounds. Not light for a SA-only trigger, but not unbearable. It is VERY difficult to get the full 10 rounds into the mag; I usually only load 8 or 9 rounds to spare my thumb. It is very clear that this pistol will need several additional magazines as the one I have is empty far too quickly.

Overall, I'm happy with my purchase; Now with the pictures!


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Old 02-27-2010, 07:09 AM   #2
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Default Re: Phoenix Arms HP22 mini-review

Thanks for the review. As soon as my LGS gets one, it's mine. [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

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Old 02-27-2010, 05:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: Phoenix Arms HP22 mini-review

Glad to hear you're liking it KelTex! [smiley=thumbsup.gif]
My family and I have been enjoying ours for quite some time now with only a few no fires from time to time. But I attribute those to bulk ammo and not the gun itself.
I'm not sure of how many rounds I have through it by now? But if I had to guess I'd say we're in the 5,000 or better range. 8-)

As for tear down and reassembly..... It's really not difficult once you get the hang of it. But I'll agree the learning curve can be a bit heavy handed. lol

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Old 02-02-2012, 08:11 PM   #4
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awesome review, thanks for the insight.. i am looking at picking one of these up soon either at my local gun show (of 700+ tables!!!) or on g*nbroker.com... i need a nice little .22 plinker pistol, as im tired if blowing through 9mm and .40 ammo every weekend...

it is getting expensive!!

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Old 02-03-2012, 01:31 AM   #5
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I liked mine, Easy on prices, gun and ammo. I have mine sent in right now, it did have a failure. Cheap pot metal frames that are prone to cracking right in the top of the mag well. But I had 5k+ rounds through it over about 4 years before it did crack. There customer service seems to be good so if your the first owner, if you do have an issue they will replace it for you. Mine was reliable but heavy and surprisingly accurate for a little gun. It did have FTF's every once in a while , usually from a dead primer. Congrats on your buy

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Old 02-03-2012, 03:51 AM   #6
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I got my S.O.G. flyer today. On page 12 they have the Phoenix Arms HP 22 or HP25 in blue or nickle. Your choice for $ 99.00. At that price, they are cheap enough to replace, not repair.

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Old 02-03-2012, 06:26 AM   #7
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I had one. Hated it. Ditched it. Never regretted getting rid of it. The field strip on the thing was a royal pain, the redundant and awkward safeties are absurd (even by Ruger LC9 and SR9C standards), the barrel fit so loosely that it had at least 1/16" of play in it which resulted in horrid accuracy, and the fact that the manual specifically and explicitly stated "STANDARD VELOCITY AMMUNITION ONLY" because the zinc-alloy frame is prone to cracking meant that "high velocity" bulk ammo from Wally World was essentially a no-no ... even though I fired a few hundred rounds of it through there, anyway.

It did reliably feed just about all 200 or so rounds I put through it with only a couple jams, and the trigger wasn't bad, but I hated field-stripping it (that silly takedown slide thingy was sharp as heck and always chewed up my fingers), I was constantly fumbling with the safeties (a slide-mounted AND a frame-mounted safety AND a magazine disconnect? WHY?!?!?), and I couldn't hit diddly-squat with it. By comparison, my crusty old $115 H&R 622 is practically a tack-driver by comparison, it's far easier to clean, fires ANY kind of ammo you put in it, doesn't have any silly Kaliforniastan mandated safeties-upon-safeties-upon-safeties, and is actually made with STEEL.

If you like 'em and don't mind all the safety features, that's cool, but just be aware of the limitations of the HP22's frame materials when selecting ammo. Just because you CAN physically chamber and fire CCI Mini-Mags, Velocitors, or Stingers through it doesn't mean it will hold up to it for very long.

Come to think of it, didn't someone post some pics on here recently of an HP22 that went KaBoom? I know case reputures can happen, but I can't help but think a .22 built with mostly steel parts (a Ruger Mark II/III or Single Six, for example) would've held up infinitely better than the way that HP22 did, especially considering it was only a .22 LR cartridge rupture - I've seen PMR-30's with .22 WMR case ruptures that didn't come apart that badly.

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Old 02-04-2012, 02:28 PM   #8
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The safety's can be over come; even with some getting used to they're not bad. Same goes for stripping; I can have mine apart in about 20 seconds, and reassembly is just as quick. Just like any new gun, you have to find the way that works for you. I bought mine off an auction site for $110 brand new; after shipping, fees, etc it came to just under $150 I believe. I'll admit, I have a few FTE's just about every time I take mine out, but I still only have 400rds through the thing. It's actually fairly accurate too, and I don't have a pinky extension on mine. The frame cracking is a problem, but most people don't have issues for a couple thousand rounds; you can then send it back to Phoenix and get a new gun, and be set for a couple more thousand rounds... $150 for 4k+ rds? Sounds pretty good to me. It's not Mk2, but for the price, it's damn hard to beat it.

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Old 02-05-2012, 04:10 PM   #9
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yeah, i have read alot about both sides of the phoenixx .22 argument(s)... jusgt like every gun ever made, everyone has different experiences: its a love it or hate it type of thing.

for $110 on gunbroker, it doesnt seem like a bad deal at all IMO- it almost always goes bang, hardly has any issues with FTE's and FTF's, and from what i read/hear, their Cust. Serv. is actually pretty decent.

its really bretween the Phoenix .22 and the Bersa Firestorm .22... i know that they are at different ends of the spectrm as far as costs and quality go... and there are certainly a lot better .22's out on the market (i.e. Rugers and Brownings) but im not really into those long barrel target looking things, and im more of a standard pistol enthusiast...

soooo, the Firestorm is twice as much (around 300 shipped, including fees. with 2 mags and case) and the reliability/quality is superior, as i have rarely ever read a poor review about the Bersa 380, or alike models... and i know people love em'. plus, ive always wanted one of their 380's, so its kinda a plus too...

but i also look at it this way- i can always get 2 phoenix .22's for that price if i needed to (or a TON of .22 ammo )... so im really torn...

plus there is a huge gun show in Oaks, PA next weekend and im looking to make a purchase by then... i guess its just up to me to figure out what i want, what i want out of the gun, and what feels right to me... anymore advice would truly be helpful...!

thanks for all the input so far guys!!

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Old 02-05-2012, 05:33 PM   #10
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I kind'a like mine, before i noticed the crack it spent a lot of time under the arm rest in my old truck. I shot a lot of turtles with it, did'nt mind shooting it with wet nasty fishing hands.

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