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Exclusive: USFA ZiP .22 Review

by Mike Schoby   |  January 11th, 2013 17

I first saw the USFA ZiP .22 on USFA’s website and it immediately caught my attention. Why? Well, for starters it is unique—very unique. It captures the imagination, finding something truly new in firearms development is a bit of a rarity. John Browning and Paul Mauser can still say that most firearms are mere modifications of designs they pioneered 100 years ago. So on that merit alone, I wanted to check out this pistol.

Secondly, being mainly polymer and uber-lightweight, this gun fills a niche for the survival crowd. It would fit easily in a backpack, truck or tackle box, and could be carried as an emergency survival gun without any undue weight.

Finally, it is versatile. It takes Ruger 10/22 magazines (I mean, who already doesn’t own a 10/22 and a plethora of mags?), and with the Ruger 25-round mags, it makes this pistol one of the few handguns on the market with a 25-round capability. In light of the recent fervor coming from the gun-grabbers in Washington, owning multiple guns that take the same high-cap mags might not be such a bad idea. This gun can also be converted into a rifle, and can be used in conjunction with other firearms with a standard 1913 Rail—all NFA rules do apply, of course.

So I literally begged Douglas Donnelly, USFA CEO and inventor of ZiP, for a test sample before the masses could get their hands on it at SHOT Show. He came through, so here is my brief review.

  • James

    Yes, it's only a .22. Yes, it looks awkward. Yes, it seems gimmicky. Yes, I still want one! Just hope i can find more Mini-Mag ammo soon…

  • Karl

    So what does this "WONDER" Cost???

    • Sam

      The MSRP on them is $199. I paid $299 for mine but nobody can get them anywhere for the most part right now…I was fortunate and my LGS went to the SHOT show and brought one back.

  • Bryan

    How would you describe the trigger on this? I have a few guns with similar looking triggers (COP derringer, HK VP70Z, Cobray Pocket Pal) and the pulls are uniformly bad: heavy, long travel and squishy breaks.

    Also, what are your thoughts on the unique ergonomics? My understanding is that the magazines functions as a grip.

    (I have tried posting this multiple times but it never sticks…)

    • Jeffrey W. Hall

      The trigger is long and heavy, but seems to have a consistent break. It is mostly take up on the pull due to the safeties, and gets heavy just before the break. I have only been able to shoot mine once so far. A total of about 200 rounds of Federal bulk pack. Several FTE’s early on (stovepipe ejecting case over feeding round), but they thinned out as it was shot. I attribute this to the quality of the bulk pack ammo as much as break in. The fixed sights it comes equipped with don’t have much in the way of adjustability. Just a little wiggle room in the mounting slots for windage. But elevation was correct at the 25 or so feet I was shooting, although it still shoots slightly right of POA. Butler Creek and other aftermarket magazines will not fit. They MUST be Ruger BX-1 or BX-25′s. I tried a Butler Creek 25 round mag, and even after trimming the front rib to fit behind the lower finger guard the magazine will still not seat the front protrusion into the recess in the mag well to hold it. I am definitely considering the pic rail and a small red dot, and possibly the SBR route. All in all I am happy with it so far.

      • Ken Gaines

        I will agree on all but one part of this. I have a couple of Butler Creek mags and they seem to fit fine. Occasionally I’ll get a misfeed, but I can clear it out and keep shooting. I had a chance to really play with this thing about a month ago in Oklahoma. The rate of stovepipe ejection and/or misfeeds seems to be directly related to how firmly you hold the weapon. Since it operates on direct blowback, the action will probably cycle more consistently if you hold the thing very firmly. It produces more recoil than you might think being a 22 LR round. Another thing about this thing…it is LOUD as compared to other rimfires. Don’t even think about shooting 22LR “quiet” or subsonics in this thing. I can promise that the action won’t cycle.

  • Guest

    Already had my LGS order me one. Hope Davidson's starts shipping them soon!

  • Aerindel

    I want one so badly, if only I could actually find one in a store or find a place to order one from.

  • Pete

    Ah, am I missing something?! How do you hold it?!

  • MN-dude

    Ordering now.

  • ctmyers

    i'm waiting for the grey one

  • Whiterock

    I just got one but haven't had a chance to fire it yet.

  • Wee Monseiur

    Any word on CA compliance? I'd love to get one of these.

  • Shelly Jones

    We just got one, & purchased a 25 rd Ruger mag, & a 10 rd ruger mag, going to fire it for first time today :)

  • blades411

    "He came through, so here is my brief review."
    WHERE?!? Seven pics hardly counts as a review! Dude sends you a gun you literally BEGGED for, and THIS is the best you could do?? Those who commented on it did a better job of "reviewing" it than you did.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Jeffreyzzzz Jeffrey H Zalkind

    I was fortunate to get a threaded barrel for it and not only does it look awesome, it is really quiet it is also easy to hold. Doug wrote the instructions that came with it a child could understand. Not only is it easy to disassemble, the load and strike rods are very easy to remove and reverse if you are left handed.
    With a Picatinny rail (available at Amazon.com) and a heads up display red dot, as far as I am I am concerned, this gun rocks!
    Mr. ,Douglas Donnely is a genius with a VERY creative mind. . A+ Weapon for survival. I cannot wait to SBR it and attach it to my AR15!!!!!!!!

  • Mike Mccombs

    This gun is just a large paper weight I own one and have fired many other zip guns and not only is this the worst gun ever but who makes a gun that has no feed ramp for the round to go where it is supposed to ?

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