Small-game hunters and everyone else who appreciates an accurate, easy-to-carry, semi-auto pistol chambered for .22 LR will want to check out the Victory just introduced by Smith & Wesson. We shot the blowback-operated Victory at SHOT Show Industry Day and immediately recognized the handgun’s 5.5-inch bull barrel gives it wonderful balance. The fiber-optic sights seemed to hang on the target—perfect for head shots on squirrels and rabbits. But, should you want a longer barrel or one with a different contour, the factory barrel is removable and the frame accepts aftermarket versions developed by Volquartsen.
The Victory is built on a stainless steel frame fitted with a ergonomic, textured polymer grip. (A version with a Kryptek Highlander camo finish is available.) Takedown for cleaning requires removing just one screw at the front of the frame. Although the adjustable fiber-optic sights will be plenty good for most hunters, the pistol also comes with a Picatinny rail for mounting small red-dot optics. The trigger pull on the gun we shot was excellent, due in part to an adjustable trigger stop that minimizes overtravel. Finally, the Victory ships with two, 10-round magazines—but judging by the accuracy this pistol produced during our range time with it, you won’t need nearly that much ammo to bring home a limit of squirrels for the pot.