The Smith & Wesson 422 is an accurate, reliable, fun to shoot pistol, with many of the features that make the more expensive Model 41 so good. You can almost think of the 422 (and its stainless companion, the 622) as an entry level Model 41- in fact, they share the same magazine. They both have a very low bore axis, just above the grip. The ejection port is at the top of the grip, and the entire slide is actually above the bore and the port. That low bore axis means that recoil is almost straight back- there's very little rotation of the gun when fired.
The 422 came in two versions, one with fixed sights (which I have) and a nicer one with adjustable sights and wooden grips. You can't just swap sights, either, as you can with many pistols. While the rear sight on the fixed model is simply dovetailed into the slide, on the adjustable model, the slide is actually milled longitudinally for the sight. I thought about fitting a a sight from another gun onto my 422, but that l=eaves the problem of the front sight, which I think is an integral part of the alloy frame, and can't be replaced. you'd have to solder or epoxy some sort of extension on.
That led me to think about putting a dot sight on it. There's no provision in the pistol for mounting a scope, though some have milled slots into the upper part of the frame, just behind the front sight, or mounted a short rail there. The simpler solution is to get an APM-11 mount from Aimtech, who make scope mounts for all sorts of difficult to scope pistols. This will cost you around $65-68 with postage, depending on where you order it. I paid $68 from Optics Planet, as while there were cheaper listings out there, they were all from shops I'd never heard of, and I'd done business with Optics Planet and trusted them.
As you can see from the photo at the top of this article, the APM-11 mounts by replacing the right hand side grip. It's a very secure mount, similar to Aimtech's mount for the Colt 1911. The mount itself is made of thick, anodized, aluminum that doesn't flex at all. It's a very high mount, that leaves plenty of room between the gun and scope- enough to use the stock sights, if you like:
although it does help make the gun more top heavy. The scope and mount add enough weight that the combined assembly is a lot harder to shoot bullseye style than the gun alone. I spent a few hours this afternoon shooting 3 foot-pound Aguila Colibri rounds into my basement pellet trap to get a feel for how it handles, and had a real preference for two-handed shooting with this setup. I may try it with a smaller, lighter dot sight.
One thing that did strike me was the finish on this piece- it's rough. Take a look:
This isn't just an unpolished finish. It's as if part of their anodization preparation involves tumbling parts with nuts, bolts and old metal roller skates. In fact, it got me to wondering if perhaps Optics Planet hadn't sent me a used unit, so I sent them a note asking about this. They replied with an apology, and an offer to send it back or accept an $18 price adjustment. I took the price adjustment.
Overall, I'm impressed with the accuracy of the machining (and less so for the finishing) and how well it fits the gun. On the minus side, it's a bullseye sight mount that's not really a bullseye grip, though a clever gunsmith or shooter could screw or epoxy half a wood grip to it, I suppose. I can't imagine using it for anything other than bullseye or other target shooting at known distances, given how high the mount is above the bore axis.