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.
<h2>Few Metal Parts</h2>Only a few years ago, I would be lamenting the use of plastics in firearm construction, but today with the extremely advanced polymers available, it is a no-brainer not to use polymers, and the ZiP takes polymer construction to the extreme. There are only a few metal parts: the barrel of course, some screws, firing pin, trigger, operation rods and springs. Even the bolt itself is polymer, and it is designed to be replaced. In fact, ZiP sells a 100% Life Kit, which includes a new bolt and springs, which they suggest replacing after 5,000 rounds.