My new Phoenix Arms HP22A

Moderators: FergusonTO35, jeffchance, Flowmaster, 356, pockets, farmkid, adam01364, martin08, Mr Saturday Night Special

My new Phoenix Arms HP22A

Postby Flowmaster » Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:41 pm

Over the weekend, I traded my time helping out at the gun show for a Phoenix HP22A. The gun is used and didn't come with a box or manual, but whatever. The FFL license holder and I went out to the range and shot it to make sure it worked before I took possession of it. The gun worked just fine for the 50ish rounds we put through it. We were shooting high velocity ammo, but that's just what we had. I know Phoenix recommends standard velocity 22LR, but 22 of any kind is hard to get right now. This gun was traded in by a customer who was trading up to a more expensive handgun.

Just playing with it at the gun show, I knew somebody had disabled the slide lock safety and the magazine safety. This is a very common modification on these guns. For those of you not familiar, the gun comes from the factory with a mag safety. With no mag in the gun, it won't shoot. When a mag is slid into the gun, the magazine makes the slide lock safety go on. Its a little confusing for new shooters to slide a magazine into the gun, then remember to turn off the slide lock safety, then start shooting. With the slide lock safety modified and the mag safety bar modified as well, the gun now shoots with the mag out of it and the slide lock safety doesn't turn itself on when you put in a mag. The magazine is now a drop free mag because of the magazine safety being disabled. While cleaning it, I painted the slide lock safety with my girlfriend's red nail polish and white nail polish. Now its easy to see.
Image
Image
I will not be carrying this gun. 22LR isn't my favorite self defense caliber and I can just imagine what the lawyers would say if I happened to shoot somebody with this Phoenix. They'd say that the gun had 2 out of 3 safety mechanisms disabled and that I'm a terrible person and should be burned at the stake or some other such nonsense. Whatever though, its really fun to shoot at the range.
Image
It really blows my mind how complex this gun is compared to other Saturday Night Special offerings like the J22/JA22, Raven, and Cobra/Lorcin/Davis auto pistols. This gun has a hammer and tons of safeties. Lots more parts on this one too, including hollow roll pins and tiny threaded screws that accommodate what look like 1mm allen head screwdrivers. Its amazing that Phoenix can produce such a complex gun for so little money. I'm impressed with how much they packed into this little gun while not breaking the bank. The mag isn't very long, but is kind of a double stack 22 magazine. It holds 10 rounds while others like the J22/JA22 only hold 6. Its easy to upgrade this with a longer barrel if wanted. The takedown is interesting, but works well. This gun must cost more to produce than a JA22, but its a much more sophisticated gun. The Achilles heel of this model is the frame, which has been known to crack along the top. The frame issues are why I swore off buying one for years. This gun sort of fell in my lap so I got it. Believe me, I checked for frame damage before shooting it or filling out the forms.
Image
This is the only real issue I've had with the gun. The underside of the slide has a scratched spot where it looks like some metal is missing. Its circled in red in the photo. That spot is where the hammer gets held up sometimes if you're pulling the slide back and don't let it just fly forward. If you "ride the slide" home, the hammer will hang up in this spot. Does this seem like something to be concerned with? Its probably just wear. It still shot just fine.
Image
User avatar
Flowmaster
FORUM BENEFACTOR and MOD
 
Posts: 2405
Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 5:13 pm
Location: Northern Virginia

Re: My new Phoenix Arms HP22A

Postby lost californian » Mon Nov 25, 2013 5:27 pm

I smoothed out my slide, about in that area. Polished it up with the dremel, using a stone wheel and then felt wheels with polish compound.Don't know that it really helped anything, it worked before I did and it works after I did it. Just looks better to me.

Glad you like yours. I sure like mine.
User avatar
lost californian
FORUM BENEFACTOR 2016
 
Posts: 397
Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 8:04 pm

Re: My new Phoenix Arms HP22A

Postby Kiln » Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:08 pm

My second one had the same rough spot. The gun worked fine but I still polished it up and it worked even better after. Replacing the recoil spring is a good idea too and will help the slide return forward more reliably.

Good luck with it. My first one worked great until the frame cracked. My second one still works great but has fewer rounds through it.
Firearm addict and proud Saturday Night Specialist.
User avatar
Kiln
700+ Rounds Club. Official Forum Gun Nut
 
Posts: 2800
Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 12:37 am

Re: My new Phoenix Arms HP22A

Postby adam01364 » Tue Nov 26, 2013 8:36 am

I really like mine too. You're right- it's a very complex little pistol. Nice write up, BTW!
Image Image
User avatar
adam01364
FORUM BENEFACTOR and MOD
 
Posts: 5327
Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 6:36 pm

Re: My new Phoenix Arms HP22A

Postby Flowmaster » Tue Nov 26, 2013 9:23 am

I'm completely blown away by the whole deal of the safety blocking the hammer from moving. They must have amazing economies of scale to be able to produce this with so many parts for so little money. The assembly of a JA22 is really straightforward and must not take any time at all. This gun on the other hand has a lot more pins, springs, and just general parts. A real human has to put these guns together and I don't know how they can do it so inexpensively. Either Phoenix isn't making much money per unit or Jimenez is making money hand over fist for selling a more simple gun at a comparable price.

The double stack 22LR magazine is probably the coolest part. Its really short to be able to hold 10 rounds.

The finish on the backstrap and front strap is getting sort of gray and chalky or something. The finish was deteriorated when I got this Phoenix, but it is similar to what I experienced on my first SNS, a Costa Mesa Jimenez JA22. Over my course of ownership with the Jimenez, the finish went from a deep shiny black to an almost parkerized feel and look. I assume such deterioration can probably be attributed to the oils that some people have in their hands. I always had a hard time with musical instruments when I was in school because the nickel plating on the keys would get hazy and eventually look pretty terrible. The same thing goes for the metal parts on some nice pens. Is this type of finish wear on a Phoenix pistol a common issue?
Image
User avatar
Flowmaster
FORUM BENEFACTOR and MOD
 
Posts: 2405
Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 5:13 pm
Location: Northern Virginia

Re: My new Phoenix Arms HP22A

Postby FergusonTO35 » Tue Nov 26, 2013 6:27 pm

I'll be interested to see how your HP-22 holds up. Personally I think the standard velocity only mandate is baloney. First of all, there is maybe 50-75 fps difference between standard and high velocity ammo in rifle barrels. Pressure, not velocity, is what makes some ammo more hard on guns. In .22 pistols I would say there is little to no difference in pressure between standard and high velocity ammo due to the short barrel length. There is probably considerably more difference among different brands of ammo more than anything else. I can see hyper velocity rounds like Stingers causing problems, you can actually feel the stronger recoil impulse when you fire them.

Somebody here (Lost Californian maybe?) cut away the weak spots on his HP-22 frame and radiused those areas. As I remember they said the gun had gone for many rounds with no problems.
"If magic is to be defined as the use of ineffective means to allay anxiety when effective ones are not available, then we must conclude that no society will ever be completely free from it." -Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic, 1971.
User avatar
FergusonTO35
FORUM BENEFACTOR and MOD
 
Posts: 4152
Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 8:34 am
Location: Salvisa, KY

Re: My new Phoenix Arms HP22A

Postby Kiln » Tue Nov 26, 2013 7:43 pm

I'm with Ferg here. I fired exclusively standard velocity through my HP22a and it still cracked. Then again I was really new to firearms and never changed the recoil spring throughout the entire 3,500 rounds.
Firearm addict and proud Saturday Night Specialist.
User avatar
Kiln
700+ Rounds Club. Official Forum Gun Nut
 
Posts: 2800
Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 12:37 am

Re: My new Phoenix Arms HP22A

Postby Rimlock » Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:01 am

I'm happy with my silver HP22A. I bought it new in 2012 for $145.00. It's a neat design. This is before Sandy Hook, so I tried it with all of the standard velocity and high velocity fodder that I could get my hands on. I couldn't get it to function reliably with anything except Federal Bulk HP and Federal Automatch. I ordered extra mags and recoil springs from Phoenix with the intent of swapping out the recoil spring every Federal Bulk Pack of 525-550 rounds or so. I made one modification to mine. I took a pair of tin snips to that L-Shaped part that blocks the magazine release button. I filed it down smooth, and that fixed a lot of the "administrative handling" issues I was having with all of the redundant safeties. You can order the part from Phoenix if you have to send the gun in for warranty work, one can just put an unaltered part back in. I hated not being able to remove the magazine without the up/ down manual safety being applied. I personally never use the slide-mounted manual safety. It looks a little flimsy for regular use. I didn't do the other mod which provides drop free mags. I still have to push the mag release button when I am inserting a magazine, and I have to insert a magazine to get the slide to go forward from slide lock. It's a nice plinker that hits an attractive price point.
Rimlock
Hardcore
 
Posts: 98
Joined: Fri May 25, 2012 4:25 pm

Re: My new Phoenix Arms HP22A

Postby lost californian » Wed Nov 27, 2013 7:02 am

I hacked mine up when the frame cracked in the magwell area that is soda-can thin. It was the other guy who did the oh-so-nice radius job on his that looks good. I cain't recall his name, sorry.

this is what I did to mine, originally...
Image
The red boxed area shows where I hacked it up.
Now it looks like this, cuz the crack kept going...
Image
I have had no issues with my gun since I did this. YMMV. No, I don't ever plan on sending the frame back for warranty work. It is what it is.

I use standard velocity ammo in all my guns, because I shoot suppressed in half of them. i generally shoot CCI SV, with a published velocity of 1070fps, or I use Aguila Super Extra standard velocity, which is said to go 1085fps. According to CCI, Mini-Mags are 1235. I personally don't think standard or high velocity makes a difference in the HP22, for longevity or accuracy. Shoot what you have, I say.
User avatar
lost californian
FORUM BENEFACTOR 2016
 
Posts: 397
Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 8:04 pm

Re: My new Phoenix Arms HP22A

Postby RTB » Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:59 am

I sure like mine!
Need any custom machining work? Contact me.
RTB
Plinker
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2013 1:29 pm
Location: By the shore, South CArolina

Next

Return to Phoenix Arms Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest