The most accurate 22 LR factory pistol for the money

Many people have a hard time putting the words “22 lr pistol” and “accuracy” in the same sentence. Heck, most people think any pistol, not just 22 LRs, are made to be belly guns. In other words, they believe these handguns to be accurate only to a couple of yards.

While it is true that a pistol’s design is inherently not as accurate as a rifle in that there are fewer body contact points (only two hands for a pistol when the shoulder comes into play when shooting a rifle) and a shorter barrel, very good accuracy can be obtained by the right pistol.

In fact, some of these pistols can shoot with rifles out to the 100 yard mark. Don’t believe it? Watch the video below created by Brokosok.

As you know by now the pistol featured in the video is the Volquartsen Scorpion which is basically a “souped up” Ruger Mark 3. A Volquartsen is kind of like the high performance shop for the Ruger Mark, 22/45, and 10 /22 line of Ruger’s firearms.

You can buy a complete pistol ready for competition from Volquartsen for around $1100 – $1200 but all are built starting with the Ruger patented design action.

Volquartsen parts drop right into Ruger pistols allowing partial or complete upgrades. The parts may have a slightly different design in some area, more highly polished and / or made of more durable materials, but the pistol is still the Ruger design.

Shooting a Volquartsen is like driving a very high priced finely tuned sports car where the Ruger is like driving a Corvette. The $80k Corvette is very fast and takes corners really well but not as fast as a $300k Lamborghini. There is only a somewhat minor difference in performance overall but that last little increment of performance is very expensive.

As I stated earlier, the Volquartsen is priced in the $1100 range and is a super pistol. If you are looking for the best factory made pistol, no matter what your definition of “best” is, the Volquartsen will probably meet and surpass your needs.

.The Ruger models can be had from the mid $300 to mid $700 range. This fact along with my experience shooting, and sometimes owning, many of the top factory made pistols like the Browning Buckmark, and the Smith and Wesson Victory is why I picked the Ruger Mark 4 / 22/45 pistols as the most accurate factory made pistol for the money.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the Buckmark or the Victory. They can be purchased starting in the mid $300 range and they are both fine pistols that are very accurate within pistol ranges and beyond. But when accuracy is of the utmost importance, I always reach for a Ruger Mark 4.

I have a Mark 3 equipped with a Bushnell red dot, that I have used before the Mark 4’s were available, in a few challenge matches shooting clay pigeons at 35 yards. The game was to first hit the clay target, then shoot all pieces created by that target until there was no piece left larger than a dime. Both shooters shot simultaneously and the first one to accomplish this won. These little Bushnell red dots are small, compact, light, low profile, and very accurate. Perfect for these pistols.

Of course these matches always included a friendly bet or two and I can say the Mark 3 won me my share of the money.
I wish I had thought to have some of these matches documented on video but at that time but these happened well before I started this site.

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I know it’s hard to believe that a pistol, or shooter, is capable of this but try it. These little Rugers will put the bullet where the red dot is…..every time. If you can hold your aim, you will hit your target.

When you are shooting a very accurate gun, it makes you look better than you really are. Not that the Victory or the Buckmark are inaccurate, but the Mark 4 does this for me. Over time I have become convinced that the Mark 4 is the more accurate pistol.

The only real difference between the Mark 3’s and 4’s is the method of taking the gun down for cleaning.

If you have ever owned a Mark 3 or earlier model, you know that it takes a certain alignment between the sun and the moon to get it broken down and then back together again. Just kidding but it’s a very hard process and many customers have complained about it.

In the Mark 4’s this has been corrected with a different design which allows the barrel to be removed with the push of one button.

Which version should you choose?

The quick answer is any of them. The Ruger design has been proven time after time over the years and all versions incorporate it with only minor differences to meet each shooter’s preference and purpose of use. I have owned a Mark 2 for more years than I want to count. I have Mark 3’s and Mark 4’s and the only problem I have ever had with any of them is when I tried to use cheap after market mags. The Ruger and Volquartsen mags have always performed flawlessly.

Ruger offers many version from the standard light barrel, to a tactical version, to a hunter’s version. The pistol can be had with several grip designs, barrel designs, and sight configurations in both regular and stainless steel. The safety and mag releases are ambidextrous. All are drilled and tapped for Weaver and Picatinny rails to accomodate different optics. Check them all out here at Cabela’s.

There is internal cylindrical bolt construction that ensures the sights are in perfect alignment with the barrel at all times, delivering the potential for incredible accuracy. A contoured ejection port and easy-to-grip bolt ears make ejection very reliable.

A magazine disconnect prevents the gun from firing when the magazine has been removed. Ergonomic bolt stops. Adjustable rear sights. Includes two 10-round magazines.

The first noticeable difference when shooting a Mark 4 compared to just about any other pistol is that the grip angle is steeper causing the shooter to have to have to hold it a little differently with the primary hand. For those who have done a lot of pistol shooting with standard grip angles this could take some getting used to. The accuracy more than makes up for any needed hand grip changes.

For those who prefer a standard grip angle, Ruger offers the 22/45 line of pistols. These are basically just Mark 4’s with the grip at the same angle as a 1911 pistol. I own both and because I compete a lot in pistol competitions prefer this grip over that of the standard Mark 4. Because of the difference in grip, magazines cannot be interchanged with the Mark 4 grips but barrels can be interchanged easily. Check the 22/45 versions out here at Cabela’s.

Then there is the “Lite” version which utilizes a sleeved and tensioned steel barrel and aluminum receiver to maintain accuracy but allows the pistol to come in at only 25 ounces.

A partridge-style target front sight, a fully adjustable target rear sight and a light, crisp trigger-pull allow shooters to obtain outstanding accuracy with the Mark IV LITE. The top of the receiver has a Picatinny rail mount if the shooter desires to use optical sights.

A manual ambidextrous thumb safety locks the sear while allowing the pistol to be loaded and unloaded when engaged and a magazine disconnect prevents the pistol from firing once the magazine is removed. The Mark IV model does not have a loaded chamber indicator on the side of the receiver or an internal key lock.

The Ruger 22/45 LITE is a great semi-auto rimfire pistol to carry when weight is at a premium, or for target shooting and handgun training. Comes with two 10-round magazines

It is typically priced in the mid $500 range. You can check them out here.


The Ruger Mark 4, in all of its versions, has proven itself over time. It is without a doubt the most accurate pistol I have ever shot……except the Volquartsen, which is just a souped up version of the Ruger Mark.

If you don’t already have one of these in your collection do yourself a favor and get one. It will provide years of shooting fun and by being so accurate make it much easier to diagnose and correct any poor technique you might have. It is, and has been for some time my pick for the most accurate 22 lr pistol for the money available anywhere today.
Happy shooting!