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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 5:40 am 
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Location: Redmond, Washington, USA
I'm pretty new to free pistol, having just started shooting at my club's weekly informal matches about a month ago. Being very informal, they let me shoot my Pardini SP with a red dot to get started, but pretty quickly I decided a wanted a genuine free pistol. Monday, I finally got a Pardini K22 and, that evening, got my first chance to try it out. I'm already delighted with my choice and, in this post, I'll try to tell you more about the gun, hopingfully making up somewhat for the lack of information -- and especially, the lack of any clear pictures -- to be found elsewhere on the web. But first, let me explain how I chose the Pardini.

My decision process

It's pretty easy to discover that the two guns most people focus on are the Toz 35 and the Morini 84E, so understandably, these were guns I knew I should consider right from the start. Not many people seemed to like the Pardini. One person told me I'd be "wasting my money" and that it'd have terrible resale value. Here on TT, someone else labeled it "odd-functioning" and "odd-looking." But it didn't appear that anyone making these remarks had actually fired or even handled a K22 and I tend to be pretty independent-minded anyway. Though I don't actually expect resale would be a problem, I decided it wasn't that important to me (I buy guns and I shoot them but I don't sell them :) And oddity, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder: To me, the K22 certainly didn't look as strange as, say, the Hammerli with "rabbit ears." But mostly, I decided to consider the Pardini K22 because of previous experience with Pardini: I've had two other Pardinis (an SP and an HP) for about 5 years that I've loved and never for a moment regretted buying.

At the club, I was able to try out a couple Toz 35s that belonged to other members. They seemed to point well but I found the triggers too crisp for my taste, especially at the tiny trigger pull weights typical of a free pistol. I like a gun with some tiny amount of takeup so I can safely find the trigger with my finger without accidentally firing the gun. For me, the Toz was hard to control precisely because I wasn't able to do that. Also, I honestly just didn't like the cosmetics of the Toz. What can I say? It's Russian, with all the fit and finish of a lawn mower. For example, though they appeared to work fine, the sights on the one of Tozs were visibly crooked. The other one had come that way, too, apparently, but that the owner told me he had ground it down to get it straight because it had annoyed him, also. Realistically, I'm only an "okay" shooter, hence my adage that if you can't hit the target, at least have a pretty gun. The Toz just wasn't what I wanted.

I really hoped I'd see the Morini 84E and the Pardini K22 "in the flesh" before making a final choice but I was never able to find anyone local who owned either one. But my experience with the Toz trigger did cause me to do some more thinking about what it was I wanted in a trigger. In addition to wanting some takeup, I realized I also really like a traditional design that stops just before it goes off and then clicks under your finger when it does. But the drawings I found online of the Morini trigger made clear that you're just pushing against a spring. There's no sear to make that click. Even though lots of people seem to swear by Morini's electronic trigger, I realized it also just wasn't what I wanted. I wanted a traditional mechanical trigger.

Though I was never able to find anyone locally who owned a K22, I did find a couple K22 owners elsewhere in the country who also owned Pardini SPs. Both volunteered spontaneously that what they liked most about the SP was the trigger and, by gosh, that's what they liked most about the K22. For me, this was compelling.

My initial impressions

The trigger turned out to be exactly as described by the K22 owners. Obviously, there are differences between the SP and the K22: The SP has a 2-stage trigger typically set at 1Kg; the K22 is single-stage and arrives set for a featherweight 50g. But for all the differences, there's also a lot of similarity: Both triggers have some takeup, both are rolling triggers and both go click under your finger when the gun fires. (Takeup, roll and click are just much smaller on the K22.) If you like the trigger in the Pardini SP, my guess you also will really like the trigger in the K22.

The K22 is prettier than most of the pictures online seem to suggest. And apparently, it wasn't just me with that reaction. Several of the fellows I was shooting with Monday also volunteered the same observation. It looked better than they expected. I think that might partly be because the shroud over the muzzle is nicer than expected. In some pictures I'd seen, it looked like it might be just bent sheet metal; it's actually a solid chunk of machined alloy. Everything about the gun seems to ooze quality.

The K22 points unbelievably well. It's like holding your hand out and pointing with your finger. Even though the gun is almost 18" long, there's so little weight in the barrel you don't feel any torque in your hand, twisting it down.

Finally, there's almost no muzzle flip. The recoil (what tiny bit there is) pushes almost straight back into your hand. It feels more like an air pistol than any other cartridge gun I've ever fired.

On the whole, my first experience with the K22 was absolutely delightful and I ended up shooting a 489, a PB, beating out the 488 I had shot once with my SP and the red dot. Considering this was a brand-new gun -- my first chance even to sight it in was in the 15-minute sighter period! -- I went home happy. :)

Photos

One thing that made it hard for me to know what I was getting before I got it was the lack of any decent photos anywhere on the web. It was hard to find out even how the bolt worked. I'm going to try to make up for that here, but capturing detail in a photo when all the parts are the same glossy black is difficult. To see the original high-resolution versions of any of these shots, just click on them. (But be forewarned: The high-res versions are huge!)

Here are the left and right side views of the gun. The grip on this gun is a large. That's an 18" steel ruler next to the gun.

Image

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The K22 uses a trigger shoe mounted so it can be rotated on the end of a little rod, which in turn can be slid forward or backward or rotated left or right. (Sorry, I know it's hard to make out the detail in all these small black parts.) The result is that the trigger can be positioned forward or backward and side-to-side and rotated around a vertical axis to it doesn't have to be straight.

Image

The action uses a sliding bolt, similar to the way the Steyr LP10P works. Lifting the cocking lever slides the bolt back, allowing a round to be chambered, and cocks the hammer. Here are the left and right views of the bolt as it's opened. The lever just above the trigger in the left view is the set lever, which cocks the trigger. The ribbed part just forward of the cocking lever is the bolt slide stop: When it's pushed back, it holds the bolt and the slide in the receiver; pushing it forward allows the bolt and the slide to be removed for cleaning.

Image

Image

Here you can see a round being chambered, pushed forward by the bolt as it slides forward.

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To dry fire the gun, lift the cocking lever to verify the chamber is empty, then close it part way. (The cocking lever will stick up between the sights.) Press the set lever to cock the trigger then pull the trigger. There's a tiny click but no hit to the firing pin. The cocking lever can now be closed completely. At this point, the gun can be dry-fired as many times as desired by repeatedly pressing the set lever, then pulling the trigger.

To remove the bolt for cleaning, a pin is removed from the cocking lever, the bolt slide stop is pushed forward, then the bolt is slid forward and up and out of the gun. This image shows the pin partly removed. All it takes is fingers.

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With the pin removed, the slide is freed from the receiver and can then be lifted out.

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Here are couple views of the gun with the slide and bolt removed.

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To clean the barrel, a cleaning rod is inserted through a hole in the back of the grip. Given the length of the gun, you need a rifle cleaning rod; an ordinary pistol cleaning rod is too short.

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Finally, here's everything you get. The K22 comes in a different style case than the SP or HP. Instead of plastic sliding latches, it has metal latches and a combination lock, kind of like the case the Steyr LP10P comes in, but with waffle foam padding. The case is just barely big enough for the gun. The grip is so big that you do have to push down to get case latched. The long plastic packet contains a cleaning kit; the smaller triangular packet contains various hex and spline wrenches and a narrower front sight.

Image


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 Post subject: Thanks for the details!
PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 7:30 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2004 9:57 am
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Location: Bethlehem PA
Nicole,

Thanks for taking the time to put this together. You certainly are right that not much information or pictures are out there to evaluate. As with you, my experience with Pardini beckons me to consider the K22 very seriously. Those being K58, K60, K2s. Well constructed, well finished, great triggers, well supported, priced reasonably. Now, I have only to squirrel away the funds to make the plunge. (And besides, what's a nice girl like you doing in a place like this) ;-)

Great post! Pics and information! CraigE[/b]


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:06 am 
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Location: Herts, England, UK
I think I said before I have the K22, albeit the UK 'long arm' version. My photo's are of somewhat poorer quality than Nicoles though :-(. Unfortunately I don't get to shoot it very often and it desperately needs a new and custom grip before I can shoot it effectively. It is however a nice gun but mine did develop a well known fault in that it ocassionally fired on closing the breech - that was quickly rectified and <touches wood> the problem has not recurred.

Rob.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:09 am 
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Location: Delaware
Nicole,
Thanks for the great review. Larry Carter ought to use it on his web site!

BTW, I was able to set up my Toz trigger so that it behaves just like your Pardini - 50 gm, definite slack in the 1st stage takeup, and a nice roll before the click.

Fred


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:58 am 
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Location: The Frigid North - Ottawa, Canada
I've seen the K-22 in use, which leads me to a question... When I've seen them it appeared as though the shooters were turning the pistol over and dumping the fired case out of the gun. This appears to be in contrast to the TOZ and Morini which forcibly eject the spent cartridge from the pistol. Is this impression correct, or is ejection a function of the speed with which the breech bolt is opened?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 10:45 am 
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Yep spent cases do need to be manually removed.

Rob.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 12:27 pm 
It looks odd, functions oddly. One clubmember has had one for a few years. There have been two "down" periods caused by a broken part that rendered the gun useless
I will gather info about which part this was.
Few, if any, internl. competitor uses this gun at present.
One Italian competitor used it for some time with respectable results, though.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 12:56 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 10:19 pm
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Location: Ontario , Canada
Nice post , as free pistols go the k22 is very stylish . I have been toying with the idea of a free pistol , and have been leaning towards the Morini , mostly as a result of my exposure to the Morini AP trigger . Now , I think I will take a better look at the Pardini FP .

Your photos are very informative ,thanks for the review .

Chris


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 2:45 pm 
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Location: Monteagle, TN
Very nice review Nicole, I welcome things like this.

That said, a couple of comments contrary. The Toz 35 trigger is the most adjustable trigger in the world, you can make it feel like anythhing you want, ANYTHING. You can pull it backwards, yuo can push it forward, you can make it 10 grams or you can make it 500 grams. Single stage or two stage, it all there. You can make break like glass, or roll like a marble on an ice skating rink, with nearly an inch of travel for your entire 10 grams. Of course it takes a gunsmith to make this happen, but this was one of the design intents of the Toz.

The Morini trigger, its the best feeling in the world, becuase you are pulling only against a spring, AP or FP, its the same Even people who don't shoot Morini admit the Morini trigger is the best feeling. And yes, it goes click at the end just like a mechanical, but you don't feel it in your finger which is of course why everyone likes it.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 5:44 pm 
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Location: Redmond, Washington, USA
This is why I felt it was as important to outline how I'd made my choice as it was to give my first impressions. Hopefully, it gives readers a better chance to decide whether I know beans about anything, whether my criteria are at all valid and, if valid, whether they match any of theirs. From that, maybe they'll have a better idea whether my impressions are the same ones they'd arrive at. Presented with a claim that something's the best simply because all the top shooters agree, what should we make of that? I'm not a Olympian; how do I know their needs are the same as mine?

Btw, as our host, it would be understandable if you were concerned about the amount of server bandwidth being used for all the photos. I trust you noticed that all the photos are actually being served up from my own Hamilton Labs website; only the text is coming from TargetTalk.

Finally, a followup to Rob Stubbs's comment about the grip. After reading his remarks, I realized this was something I'd failed to discuss. I liked the grip on K22, but would have preferred a greater range of adjustment. Though I definitely prefer the large grip over the medium on my SP, it's possible that medium might be a better fit for me on the K22. One of the fellows I shoot with complained that even with the trigger all the way back as shown in the photos, it was hard for him to get his finger all the way around onto it. Personally, I felt like the areas carved out for the thumb and trigger finger were overly large. Comparing it to the similar "wrap around" style Morini grip on my Steyr LP10P, I'd say the Morini is better and likely to be a slight bit more comfortable for most people.


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 Post subject: K22
PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:38 pm 
Quote:
it appeared as though the shooters were turning the pistol over and dumping the fired case out of the gun.


Nicole and Mark:
The K22's extractor scratchs off a little brass flake from the cartridge rim (sometimes). These little brass flakes and some firing resedue get trapped inside the loading area and will fall between the action and slide then cause unsightful wearing marks (mostly on the left of the action). I turn my K22 upsidedown when dumping an empty case and visually check for any residues there. A q-tip will pick them up easily.
After around 20,000 rounds, my K22 shows a bright wearing line on the left buttom of its action.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 2:15 pm 
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Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
That's a great review. Thank you very much Nicole! It looks like we have mutual points of interest aside competitive shooting (10M, 3-position rifle, and Free Pistol). I am also a software developer, have two kids, and about to take flying lessons. Thanks for a great review!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 1:13 am 
Nicole,
Thanks for a great review. I had given the K22 some serious thought but could find little info. I did find several references to it being "nose heavy".
I too have a SP and find its handling qualities superb. It may be nose heavy compared to a 208, but it's certainly not ungainly or cumbersome. What is your opinion on the balance of the K22 compared to the SP or to the TOZ, for that matter.
Also, does the grip bear any resemblance to the Nygord Master grip for the SP? I thought they looked very similar.
Thanks!!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 1:53 am 
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To me, the Pardini SP seems far more "nose-heavy" than the K22, which is to say, the SP isn't particularly nose-heavy and the K22 isn't at all. The K22 is really light. Tomorrow night at our FP match, I really should handle a Toz again side-by-side with my K22 to give you a better answer, but I think the K22 and the Toz feel similar in weight distribution.

Re: the grip, it's been so long since I've seen one of Nygord's Master grips (they were never very popular, even back in the leagues around Boston, where the SP itself was popular) that I can't really give you a good comparison between one of those and the K22.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 3:26 am 
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Nicole,
Just curious but do you leave the two weights and the bar on the foresight attached ? I have taken the weights off but after taking off the bar as well, I put that back on. When I get a new grip for mine I'll have a bit more of a try to get it properly set up.

Rob.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 8:24 am 
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Hi, Rob,

Right now, I'm shooting it just exactly the way it was delivered, so it does have the weights, and they're positioned just the way they came. I don't consider myself all that great a shooter and I know for a fact I'm not very competent as a gunsmith. So when I get a new gun, I make a point of trying to learn to shoot it the way they (presumably) intended at the factory before going about "improving" it according to my own (questionable :) opinions. The exception is when something actually doesn't work. For example, when I recently got the SP New, I discovered it wouldn't consistently reset the trigger on follow-on shots. That was something I really couldn't live with, so I did have to give the disconnector screw another 3/8 turn to fix it, but that was an exception (both for me and, I expect, for Pardini. :)

So you've turn your Longarm "long gun" into a non-conforming "hand gun"? Aren't you afraid of a knock on the door? We don't have a law like yours, but we have others, like prohibitions on modifying a gun like the civilian AR-15 to be select fire like the military M-16. If you own an AR-15, it's illegal even to own any of the parts needed to make the change. (But curiously, if you don't own a AR-15, it is legal to own the conversion parts.) Anyway, you definitely don't fool with the Feds over stuff like that. They have just no sense of humor.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 5:05 pm 
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The weight bars designed onto free pistols to make them legal over here (along with longer barrels) come from the reciever back over the wrist to make the total length at least 60cm. Removing them would result in a great deal of porridge, I beleve Rob only removed the short weight bar behind the front sight.

The law here is quite strict, you cannot convert a pistol that is prohibited under section 5 of the firearms act into a longarm, a longarm must be created that way or converted from another section 1 (licenced) fire arm e.g. a rifle or muzzle loading pistol.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 5:28 pm 
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I think you're right, Andy, it looks like I misread Rob's remark. Thank you for the correction.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 6:12 pm 
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Nicole, I think you made a wise choice in the K22---in deference you may experience some minor glitches as a new gun but it quickly becomes vintage and I expect you to be quite happy. I have seen a few around and our Upstate New York FP shooters who seem to prefer it, as there are a few around. I started with a TOZ several years back and succumbed to the call of the Hammerli 160 Special, and I sadly let some guy talk me out of the TOZ. Well, to tell the truth I found the trigger of the Hammerli quite a chore to get used to after the TOZ. The Hammerli is not a forgiving gun and I started looking longingly at the Morini 84E, then I started hearing that it was even more unforgiving than the Hammerli. I figured their AP with electronics was a nice gun and I shot it reasonably well so mebbe the 84E would be the choice---well a little trial with it and an FP-10 (yuch)---I ordered another TOZ and I am currently waiting for the Rink grips and forestock to arrive, I hope I don't have to do all the adjustments to the gun I did with the first one----you know cockeyed front sight, and grinding rear sight adjustments. I just cannot stay away from the FP it's an addiction. Good Shooting


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 6:55 pm 
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Thank you, Bob. Yes, I think it's not about how good the gun is, because every one of them is way better than any of us (with a few exceptions, both of people and guns, perhaps.) This is why all the "What is the best xxx?" threads are so tedious and why it's so meaningless to hear that 9 out of 10 Olympic gold were won with a certain gun, even if the 10th does agree he should have bought that one, too. It's all about trying to figure out what the hell it is that is going to work for you. It's a deceptively hard problem, especially as there's so little comparitive information available. What other people like is so totally irrelevant!

I'm glad you've discovered the one you like, too. Good shooting with the Toz!

P.S. When I was in there earlier today, I think they had some good prices on grinders at Home Depot.


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