by American Hunter Staff - Saturday, April 29, 2017
Being recognized as “best in class” is much easier said than done, but the companies’ products featured in these stories have outdone themselves, and have truly earned the title.
Handgun of the Year: Smith & Wesson SW22 Victory
“Heavy,” “handgun” and “.22 LR” aren’t words that are usually strung together. But it is that weight, along with other features of the Smith & Wesson SW22 Victory, that makes this semi-automatic pistol so great.
The Victory owes its 2.25-pound weight—hefty for .22 LR handgun standards—to its stainless steel frame, bolt and bull barrel, but it owes its accuracy to those attributes, too. According to AH contributor Bryce M. Towsley, “The accuracy results produced by the Smith & Wesson Victory are some of the best I have seen from a production semi-auto .22 LR handgun.” (“Hardware,” June ’16)
The Victory is designed to be modular so that the match-grade barrel and the sights are easy to replace. The bull barrel is quickly removed and can be swapped out for an aftermarket lightweight carbon-wrapped barrel or one threaded for a suppressor, making a gun that is easy to “kit out” to fit any personal wants or needs. Towsley has some gripes about the gun’s configuration (he’s a lefty), but he confidently claims, “This thing can really shoot.”
Editor's Note: Winning products must be tested by the editors, meet or exceed expectations on innovation, and provide hunters and shooters with value for their money. NRA Publications presented the annual Golden Bullseye Awards at an invitation-only breakfast during the 2017 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Atlanta, Ga., April 28-30.
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