Project Victory: Upgrading the SW22 from Smith and Wesson, Part 4

Continuing my Performance Center SW22 Victory project, we’re going to take a look at magazine upgrades. In part 2, I replaced the safety after ranting about how terrible it was. That required a partial disassembly, and lots of important bits and pieces being taken out and reinstalled correctly. It certainly wasn’t for everyone. On the other hand, upgrading magazines is really easy. And totally worth it, if better reliability and an extra round are important to you. If you don’t need your pistol to run reliably, or don’t want to add 10% more capacity, you can skip this article. And if you’re wondering what happened to part 3, well, that was actually the unexpected Spitfire barrel install.

S&W SW22 Victory magazine about to get the full TandemKross upgrade
S&W SW22 Victory magazine about to get the full TandemKross upgrade

How to make your S&W Performance Center SW22 Victory even more reliable

The three components of the magazine that I upgraded are the follower, spring, and bumper (baseplate). If you’re going to do one, might as well do all three. And note that while you have the magazines apart, that’s a good time to make sure they are clean and free of any odd burrs. Smooth running magazines are just one part of reliable operation. TandemKross actually has an excellent YouTube video on magazine tuning. Even though it’s for another brand of magazine, most of the details can be applied to similar rimfire magazines. You’ll find it here, and it’s well worth watching if flawless operation is your goal. Which it should be. I’ll start at the top, and work my way down through the magazine upgrades.

TandemKross Maximus Plus1 follower

These followers are red Zytel, and come in packs of two for $19.99. Zytel offers low friction, and the red makes it easy to identify an empty magazine. But let’s not overlook their other appeal. They allow for 11 rounds in a ten round magazine. That can make a difference in competition, whether it’s a sanctioned event, or just a “loser buys lunch” contest. Find the Maximus Plus1 followers here.

S&W SW22 Victory magazine upgrade parts from TandemKross
S&W SW22 Victory magazine upgrade parts from TandemKross

TandemKross Green Springs magazine springs

The Green Springs are available in packs of three, for $9.99. Overlooking an old joke about hot dogs and buns not being sold in matching quantities, this is a deal, even if they are an odd number. Each spring is shot-peened for long life. And because each upgrade should have a reason for being, the Green Springs offer a little extra force. Whether replacing worn springs, or just reducing the likelihood of a failure to feed, they’re a smart and easy upgrade. Find the Green Springs here.

TandemKross VictoryPRO extended magazine bumpers

At $21.99 per pair, these Zytel bumpers are the most expensive of the options I’m covering today. But like everything else, they have a very solid purpose. Standard magazines are flush mount. That might be great for most recreational use, but not so much in competition. Having a base that extends past the magazine well makes it easy to ensure magazines are fully seated. And on the off chance that a magazine fails to drop free when empty, that extra bit of real estate makes it easy to remove them.¬†Find the VictoryPRO extended magazine bumpers here.

S&W SW22 Victory magazine with the VictoryPRO extended bumper from TandemKross
S&W SW22 Victory magazine with the VictoryPRO extended bumper from TandemKross

Installation

First step is to remove the factory base plate from the magazine. To do this, stick a punch or similar object through the circular hole in the magazine, and compress the spring towards the follower. This will take tension of the base, so it can be removed by pressing against the front (rounded) edge. Then carefully remove the punch to let the spring fly out across the room. From there, remove the follower button through the circular hole. At that point, the factory follower can drop out from the bottom.

Installation is mostly reversed. Install the Maximus Plus1 follower first, making sure it’s oriented correctly. Then slide the top half of the magazine bumper over the magazine body. Next, install the follower button through the same hole you removed it with. This is where it gets a little tricky. The Green Spring needs to be compressed to install it. Use the same procedure as removing it. Finally, the VictoryPRO bumper base can be screwed together using the included screws. Test for proper follower travel without binding.

OEM S&W SW22 Victory magazine on the left. Tandemized one on the right.
OEM S&W SW22 Victory magazine on the left. Tandemized one on the right.

The sum of the parts

It’s a little over $50 to upgrade a pair of magazines. With that upgrade, you get an extra round of capacity. This is without question a good thing. Plus, you get more spring force, for more reliable feeding. Also good. And then there is the peace of mind that comes from knowing your magazine is fully and properly seated. More good? Goodlier? Whatever. An unreliable firearm is never fun. And an unreliable pistol isn’t likely to win you any competitions.

Conclusion

I bought one of those rimfire dueling trees to compete with my friends. If they don’t have their own pistol (with ten round magazines), they usually choose one of my Mark IVs (with ten round magazines). I don’t see any need to mention that when I shoot the Performance Center SW22 Victory, I’ve got an extra round in each magazine. When competing for tacos, any edge you can get is worth it. Don’t judge me. Tacos are at stake.

As always, I’d like to thank TandemKross for providing their parts for this project. It’s been fun to see how much I can improve on what was a pretty good pistol to start with. Or as they say, I’m “making this good gun great”. Check out TandemKross.com for more parts and get on their mailing list. That’s the best way to stay aware of new releases, and sales.

Previous articles:

halo Charging Ring and hiveBrid G10 grips (Part 1)

Cornerstone Safety Thumb Ledge (Part 2)

Spitfire Barrel Install (Part 3)

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