By Mark Hampton
The new Excel Industries MP-22 Accelerator Pistol chambered in .22 WMR is also available in 5.7x28mm — the famous FNH round. My test pistol tipped the scales at 54 ounces before I mounted a scope, so it’s on the hefty side. It’s basically a stainless steel gun with a polymer grip. The ribbed barrel is 8.5″ long and riding on top is an aluminum rib featuring fully adjustable target sights as well as an integral Weaver-type base mount for optics.
It features an internal hammer, firing pin block and the slide locks back on the last round. The Accelerator comes with two 9-round magazines too. A handy mag loader is also included, which makes loading much easier.
Some shooters think the .22 Mag is under-powered for “real” game, and over-powerful for small game. Actually, I like the rimfire cartridge for several applications, including small game, target shooting and vermin such as fox, bobcat or even coyote if you do it right. And I thought right off, the Accelerator was a perfect match with the round.
Excel Industries new .22 Mag Accelerator Pistol with CCI ammunition ended up being a great match,
on targets and in the field. At only $477, the pistol is a great bargain!
Well Tested Before Shipping
I put a good quality Bushnell Trophy 2-6x32mm handgun scope on the pistol and thought the silver scope looked just fine with the alternating stainless, polymer scheme. This is a great optic for hunting or target shooting. This would be my first run with the Trophy series, but the clarity of this optic is superb. The user-friendly eye relief remains consistent throughout the range of magnification too and this means a lot to a handgunner.
CCI Maxi-Mag 40-gr. JHP ammo was chosen for factory test firing, so I thought it would be a dandy idea to use the same. Shooting a variety of .22 Mags in the past, I’ve found this particular CCI ammo to be very accurate. It’s a bit like their famous CCI Mini-Mag ammo, just about sure to shoot well in most guns.
From a sandbag rest, all testing was conducted at 25 yards, and sure enough, the Accelerator immediately started producing impressive groups — well under 1″ for five shots. For me, the weight of the pistol enhanced steady crosshair and shot placement — it really settled into the bags. There weren’t any malfunctions and the pistol ran smoothly too.
The trigger is a bit heavy for me but may slick-up with use. However, the tiny, bug-hole groups were proof this gun shoots! The pistol’s bolt-knob makes for easy slide manipulation too. Overall, the fit, finish and function were pleasing.
Fitted with a Bushnell Trophy 2-6x scope, the Accelerator proved to be up to
the task for crafty gray squirrels — the best sort for pot or skillet!
In The Field
I would be using this semi auto for hunting small game and vermin, not just punching holes in paper, so we went into the field after those pesky tree squirrels. The 40-gr. JHP bullets would not be an issue as I would only try for head shots, not spoiling any table-fare. If you haven’t eaten properly prepared gray squirrel you’re missing out!
The squirrels were moving early on opening day. I set the Bushnell scope on 4x and began sneaking my way through the oak timber. It wasn’t long before the Accelerator got properly broken-in with some action. The pistol performed as suspected — simply wonderfully. Thanks to Excel Industries, CCI ammo and Bushnell optics, Karen and I would be enjoying a platter of fried squirrel that evening.
Small game hunting can be rewarding by itself, but it also provides great practice for fall big game pursuits. You often find yourself shooting from all types of awkward positions so take advantage of the opportunity to get afield.
The .22 Mag is simply a great rimfire for handgunners. And, the new Accelerator Pistol is a fun gun to shoot. They are a near-perfect match, if you ask me. I’m sure I’ll be taking this nifty handgun/scope combo in the field many more times.
I tried a bit of Winchester and another CCI load and all shot “minute-of-squirrel.” The gun doesn’t seem ammo sensitive at all. If pelt damage is a concern, FMJ bullets will work nicely. Western hunters and shooters living in jack rabbit or prairie dog environments will find the .22 Mag a significant step up in performance from the .22 LR. If a semi auto is your preference, the Accelerator makes for a reliable companion. Even better, the pistol is 100 percent American made and backed by a lifetime warranty, all for $477 at full MSRP! Now this makes for a win-win package for handgunners.
For more info: www.americanhandgunner.com/index; Ph: (909) 947-4867