A few weeks ago, I noticed an advertisement for a new, odd-looking .22 pistol. When I followed the link, I found that the ZiP .22 took Ruger 10/22 magazines, and that the company also had a rail interface that would allow the ZiP to be mounted underneath a longarm! A stock was also shown that the ZiP could be mounted to, making the ZiP into a SBR. The ZiP didn’t appear to have much of a real pistol grip, but I thought it was an interesting enough concept that it was at least worth checking out.
The rep at Media Day confirmed that the ZiP has a projected life of 5,000 rounds, as I’d heard, but quickly pointed out that a $15 kit would restore the pistol to 100% condition. When the initial SRP is $200, that sounds fair.
The ZiP was one of the first firearms I fired Monday morning at SHOT. I found some of my initial impressions to be correct: there was no good, secure way to hold the ZiP. Perhaps an extended magazine could be held as a grip, but with a standard 10 round magazine, I was stuck with wedging my first two fingers into the triangular space underneath the trigger. Then things got worse.
The trigger of the ZiP feels like a toy. It is long, nothing like any good trigger I’ve felt, and reminds me of some toy guns I owned as a child, that used a long trigger pull to generate enough energy to throw discs or ping-pong balls. If the ZiP’s trigger wasn’t the worst trigger pull I’ve ever felt, it certainly was in the running.
The rep explained that my malfunctions were being caused by the very cold weather Vegas was having Monday. The temperature was somewhere around freezing, but how capable can a survival firearm be if only somewhat cold weather stops it from shooting more than a round at a time? I think my record was 2 rounds fired before a malfunction. I didn’t even make it all the way through the first 10 round magazine before I gave up in disgust. The SBR stock was not available to test.
The ZiP concept is a novel one, and I appreciate that it’s different than other firearms. The “Survival SBR” (supposedly available 3/31/2013) strikes me as resoundingly bad idea. I see no positive utility in a huge stock attached to a poorly functioning .22 pistol with a trigger pull that makes stock Kel-Tec P-11 triggers seem like things of wonder and beauty. The ZiP in pistol form has inadequate gripping surface, which is made even worse by the incredibly bad trigger. The ZiP also has an operating system completely unlike any other firearm I’ve seen, and clearing malfunctions requires reaching the projections above the barrel, which just seems like an accident waiting to happen. The idea of mounting a .22 handgun underneath a carbine is one I had years ago- but it only makes sense if it’s tailored towards law enforcement or military troops, and the .22 is fitted with a sound suppressor. The only market I can see for the ZiP as it currently exists is for young adults who have never owned firearms and who lack shooting mentors who know better, and for young adults who want something that looks like a space gun but that they can afford. I would have been even less satisfied with the ZiP if it had exploded in my hands, but shooting it was as bad a shooting experience as possible without suffering actual injury.
I do believe .22 handguns can be fine survival, small game, or just “fun” guns, but to anyone who wants such a thing, I’ll suggest “get a Ruger“.