Over a week ago Alex and I made a special trip to the Dallas Safari Club Show in the hopes of being the first media outlet to get our hands on the new S&W SW22 Victory. It was not to be. They did not bring it along and we were told to try again at SHOT Show. Today, at Industry Day At The Range, we succeeded, and as far as I know we are the first media outlet to handle and shoot this pistol. Expect a full review in the near future, but for now let me touch on its main features, how it feels and how it looks.
First of all, let me say this is not a Ruger Mk. III clone as so many people on the internet have been screaming. Other than the same vague shape, which dates back to the Nambu pistol which inspired Ruger’s original Ruger Standard .22 pistol design, it does not feel or look like a Ruger. The receiver is chunky, rather than cylindrical, but with elegant curves and bevels. It looks like a 21st century .22 LR.
We experienced no malfunctions when we shot it. Shooting it feels much the same as shooting any other target .22 LR.
The barrels can be easily changed in less than a minute. S&W had three different barrel options on display, including a lightweight carbon fiber sleeved barrel that has not been mentioned in any S&W press releases to date and I forgot to ask how much it is going to cost (sorry!).
It has been over 10 years since I shot .22 pistols competitively and so I wish S&W had included a high capacity 15 or 20 round magazine option for us plinkers who just want to punch holes in tin cans as fast as possible, without much concern for accuracy or practically of a long extended magazine. The only magazine available now has a 10 round capacity. The MSRP of $409 for the base model seems reasonable.