The Smith & Wesson Model 422 is Smith & Wesson's 4-inch barreled version of their model 622 semi-automatic pistol in .22 caliber. The model 422 was 10+1 capacity, meaning it held 10 shots in a removable magazine and 1 in the chamber for a total of 11 shots when loaded in that manner.
A very unique design feature of the 422, along with the model 622, was the fact that the barrel, which was non-moving and was fixed to the frame, resided in a low position in the frame just above the trigger guard. The bolt assembly, which comprised the top rearward portion of the pistol, moved behind as well as above the axis of the barrel and resembled an L shape. The recoil spring was contained in the portion above the bolt portion which contained the firing pin. Above the barrel was a large frame member which gave the gun a pleasing look of constant width and depth from the trigger guard forward to the muzzle while also serving as a solid block for the bolt to hit against when the recoil spring returned the bolt to battery. The low axis barrel served to greatly reduce muzzle jump and the fixed nature of the barrel contributed to improved accuracy.