Gun Review: Browning Buckmark Camper

Browning Buckmark with Red Dot

When I decided to buy a new .22lr pistol, I knew exactly what I was looking for. I wanted something well-built with a decent sight radius that would eat range ammo all day long.  A .22 pistol that’s like a Leatherman multi tool, good for just about every job. Self-defense (yes), practicing shooting fundamentals, target work, plinking or helping a new shooter get started. The obvious choice: a Ruger 22/45.

The Ruger 22/45 is almost universally praised as a nicely designed, heirloom-quality gun. Sure, the magazine disconnect thing is a PITA. And the Ruger will never win any awards for ease of take-down. But those were compromises I was willing to make to save some ammo coinage while sending a lot of lead downrange.

But a funny thing happened after leaving the forum. When I picked a 22/45 up it felt wrong in my hand. Not at all comfortable. Admittedly, I have small hands. But I’ve shot Beretta 92s that felt good and they have grips with the approximate circumference of an oil drum. I just couldn’t bring myself to pull the trigger, so to speak, on the Ruger.

Seeing my disappointment, and sensing a lost sale, my friendly retailer handed me another gun. When I picked up the Browning Buckmark Camper, I’m pretty sure I heard angels sing and sunlight showering down from the heavens on the gun counter. Which was a hell of a feat as this shop had no windows.

The Browning Buckmark Camper was made for my hand. It has pretty much everything else I was looking for, too. A 5 ½” bull barrel. A reputation for shooting pretty much anything [ED: he means cartridges.] And I’ve had great experience with Brownings (OK, it’s an over/under trap gun, but it’s still a Browning.) So I plunked my dinero on the counter and off I went.

Fit and Finish
I own a Kel-Tec P3AT. It’s reliable as all get-out, but the gun looks like it was crafted by the third period shop class. The Browning Buckmark Camper, on the other hand, is nicely assembled and immaculately finished. I’m not saying it’s got tighter tolerances than a Catholic school, but Sister Mary Elephant would have nothing to scream about.

The Camper’s Parkerized bull barrel is substantial, in a good way. The molded synthetic grip has a rubberized feel to it, but it isn’t tacky. It’s every bit as comfortable from either the right or left hand, though the slide lock, safety and magazine release are all set up for righties only.

And the Buckmark is no lightweight. At 2 lbs. 2 oz., the babe will know that yes, that is a pistol in your pocket. Not that the Camper is – in any way – a concealed carry gun. But it’s certainly tenable as a nightstand gun for someone who can’t handle higher caliber ballistics.

Features
You won’t be surprised that this is an American-made standard blow-back gun with a single action trigger. As with almost every .22 lr pistol out there, the Buckmark has a 10+1 capacity and comes with one magazine.

And this is where Browning nicks you. Buckmark magazines are a good $7 to $10 more than Ruger Mark III mags, depending on the retailer. That’s a fair bit of change that could be much better spent on ammo.

The Buckmark’s sights are standard black and adjustable for windage.  Many Campers seem to come equipped with Hi-Viz fiber optic sights.  Both rear and front sights are easily swapped out for aftermarket alternatives.

While not quite in the Ruger’s league in terms of accessories, the Buckmark still has a wide variety of rails, replacement triggers, grips and more that can be used to customize the gun in any number of ways.  In fact, one of the first things I did after a few weeks with the gun was to pick up a scope base and Tasco 1×30 red dot.  This was $60 well spent and greatly adds to the fun of shooting the gun.

Oh, and about that red dot. It gives you a very easy to see 5 MOA dot with 11 different brightness settings.  Coated optics, easy to zero and  amazingly well made for a mere $32.  Highly recommended.

Firing
The Browning Buckmark Camper’s best feature is the trigger. It has a light, crisp break that’s unusual for a gun at this price point. Combining a quick re-set with a .22’s soft recoil, the Camper’s incredibly easy to keep on target shot after shot.

The Camper doesn’t seem to like every brand of ammo quite as much as others. But misfeeds have been very few and far between. In about a thousand rounds, I’ve never had a single failure to extract.

The cracker-crisp trigger and the gun’s heft means minimal, Airsoft-caliber recoil. With the Camper’s long sight radius, a reasonably experienced shooter can achieve 1” groups out to 15+ yards.

Field Stripping
Here’s an area where the Buckmark gets, um, marked down. Not only is field stripping a minor adventure, it requires tools. Allen wrenches, to be specific. Two different sizes of Allen wrenches. Is it difficult? No, it’s not. But it’s not something you’ll want to do in the field.

To clean and lube the slide, you have to take the slide bridge off. This you do by removing two screws with one of the Allen wrenches. (Make sure to keep ‘em straight because they’re different lengths.) Not satisfied running a BoreSnake through the barrel? If you’re going to run a cleaning rod through it from the rear, you have to use a different wrench to remove the barrel.

The Browning Buckmark Camper’s grips are attached to the gun with two flat-head screws. The grips also hold the mag release spring and part of the trigger assembly. Tip the gun the wrong way and out they come. In short, replacing the Camper’s grips is not exactly like putting a new set of Cocobolos on your 1911.

Again, it’s more of a hassle than an invitation to an armorer’s course. Lots of folks, me included, like to futz with their firearms. But the Buckmark’s design seems needlessly complex.

Summary
Face it: everyone needs a .22 pistol. The Browning Buckmark Camper is no race gun, but it’s a lot of fun in a well-built package at a nice price ($300 +/-). How great is that? Great.

Specifications
Action                        Single
Caliber                       .22 LR
Barrel Length              5.5”
Capacity                      10+1
Safety                        Thumb and Magazine
Grips                         Synthetic
Sights                        Adjustable
Weight                       34 oz.
Finish                        Black Parkerized
Price:                         $379.99

Ratings (out of five)

Style * * * *
It won’t win any beauty contests, but it has a certain utilitarian je ne sais quoi.

Ergonomics * * * * *
It’s the reason I bought the gun. Extremely comfortable to have to hold and to shoot.

Reliability * * * *
Find its favorite brands of ammo (and there seem to be a lot of them) and it’ll run all day long.

Customization * * * *
Plenty of plug-and-play options out there to make it in your own image.

Carry *
Um, no.

Overall * * * * *
Unless you need a super-accurate target gun, a .22 pistol should, above all, be fun and reliable. Mission accomplished.

66 Responses to Gun Review: Browning Buckmark Camper

  1. avatarHunter S. says:

    Thank you Dan! Just yesterday I expounded on the shooting enthusiast’s need to have a .22LR pistol in his arsenal.

    I would like to point out that I have only taken the grip off of my Buckmark Camper URX twice. The first time and the last time. PITA is the best expression for it. Plus who cares whats going on under that stupid grip.
    Keeping the breech face clean is important if you don’t want to feel the sting of unburned powder on your hand every time you fire the gun.

    Good review!

    • avatartom says:

      browing says NOT to remove the grips,found out way after doing so ,it turned out to be quite interesting to put back together

  2. avatarTTACer says:

    I think they look better than the Rugers. I almost bought one a year ago but I bought some other stuff so the government, my wallet, and my wife decided I needed to wait a while. I am glad I saw this in regards to disassembly. That sounds like a pita. I hate guns that you need the DVD (and spare springs for the little ones that go flying off no matter how careful you are) just to change the stocks.

  3. avatarChris Dumm says:

    I’ve had a Buckmark for 17 years, and my *only* complaint is that it’s overly complicated to disassemble. The Allen screws that hold the slide in place can vibrate loose unless I put Lok-Tite on them, and that makes the tiny little buggers that much harder to remove. After about ten years of shooting, despite being extremely careful with them, I stripped the screws and had to replace them.

    Not a huge complaint, in the grand scheme of things, about a gun that is solidly built, reliable and graceful in action, and phenomenally accurate with the right ammo.

  4. avatarMike says:

    Here’s another vote for the Buckmark being a great gun, and I too prefer the feel in my hand over the 22/45. The thing is dead-nuts accurate and embarrassingly fun to shoot.

    My Buckmark has done more to make me a better shooter than any handgun I own — as I think 22′s do. Whenever my .45 or 9mm holes stop going where I expect them to, I load a few 22 magazines and my Buckmark sets me straight. Everyone should own a 22 handgun.

    Maintenance really isn’t that bad. Rusty22′s BMT, or Buckmark Maintenance Tool makes it … more efficient. BMT video. It’s a handy hex, flathead, slide-remover, and magazine-loader tool. That and a bore snake, and you’re set.

    … and a poor man’s trigger job known as the “Heggis flip” makes an already good trigger – really good at only a couple pounds.

  5. avatarHandprop says:

    I shoot one of these (with the Browning holographic sight) for Bullseye. Had a trigger stop installed and it easily shoots as well as the (much) more expensive Smiths used by several others in my group. Mine has the longer barrel and the wood grips, but still balances perfectly and holds well in my hand. It is a pain to disassemble and clean but I’ve never had a failure to feed or eject. Nice gun, much more ergonomic than the Mark III’s.

  6. avatarScottyV says:

    Key component of a review is COST, I see the cost of magazines and the nifty cheap red dot scope, but umm, how much is the gun?

    The summary says nice price, but where the heck is the price in the review?

    (In other words, how much dinero did you plunk down for this little backyard squirrel killer?)

    Scotty V

  7. avatarsdog says:

    Mr.Zimmerman, do you know about the different 22/45 models available? they make one WITH 1911 style grip panels, and one without (the all black one), was the latter the model that you handled at the shop?

    I went to the exact same experiences when i was shopping fro a 22 pistol and came to the exact opposite conclusion. I handled the buckmark and the 22/45 (model without removable grips). I actually liked the way the buckmark felt in my hand and it points really well. The down side is the ridiculous take down involved. The fact that you have to unscrew things to get this weapon apart was MAJOR turn off to me. as chriss dumm said, even with loc tite, he STILL stripped the screws eventually. this is not the case with the 22/45 as you have to maneuver the mainspring housing out of the back of the gun. This take a little getting used to but after 1 or 2 take downs you can get it apart quite easily.

    the next point for me was price, both guns are comparatively accurate (moreso than i probably) but the buckmark was over $100 more than the 22/45 without removable grip panels. Mr. Zimmerman mentioned that he did not like the grip on the 22/45, all you need to remedy this is a cheap hogue hand all grip to slip on. so i was able to fix that issue for 15 bucks, and still come out spending less than a buckmark.

    Finally my 22/45 will eat any type of 22lr ammo out there,( it is not picky at all, much like my 40 cal p-series).This is one other thing to consider when comparing these two guns as the buckmark will not digest crap ammo like Remington yellow jackets were my 22/45 will digest it all day long.

    • avatarDaniel Zimmerman says:

      Horses for courses, I guess. I tried the base 22/45. I ended up paying about $30 more for the Buckmark – $275.

      The 22/45 is clearly a great gun. Just not for me.

  8. avatarsdog says:

    wow what a great price, gun prices in my state are ridiculous, plus the %16 sales tax plus the state police fee. I got my 22/45 on a black Friday deal and paid 300 total at the end of the day, which was a quite a hook up compared to other purchases that i have made in the past.

  9. avatarRalph says:

    Sweet review, Daniel, of a sweet pistol. I don’t like most .22 pistols, including the Ruger 22/45 and Mark III, but I do like the Browning Buckmark. It is an American classic. FYI, I’m a crazy fanboy of .22 revolvers. Go figure.

  10. avatarJF says:

    Between us the Wife and I have owned a Browning Buckmark, Ruger Mark II long barreled target, Ruger 22/45, and Beretta Neo. Our then elementary school aged daughter has shot all four as well. Between all of them, they liked the Ruger target the best (for absolute accuracy-the most accurate pistol I ever owned) but the Browning not far behind. Along with other shooters it seems:

    1. The angle of the grip is just different enough that often people will prefer one or another as feeling more “natural” in their hand. Many ranges have one or both for rental and I would advise shooting a version of both.

    2. Of the pistols the NEO was the easiest to strip and clean (turn a knob and the upper removes completely). The Browning disassembly is not bad with the Allen wrench after you’ve done it once. Helpful tip, if you shot a lot at one time, be sure to see if the retaining screws new a slight tightening after about 300 rounds, or the pistol will have increasing difficulty feeding/jamming.

    3. In comparison stripping the Rugers can be described alternately as “horrific” or “Kafkaesque.” After much practice I was able to strip the target Ruger but it never became easier. In fact I think it’s the graduating test in some anger management classes. Because of this, although I preferred the Ruger’s accuracy and trigger just a hair more, I’ll never ever buy another one. Its just too difficult.

  11. avatarKMBRTAC45 says:

    I have a Buckmark Hunter with the 7 1/4″ Bull Barrel with the green fiber optic front sight, and LOVE it. I have used it several times to teach people(adults and children) to shoot. I have shot both versions of the Ruger 22/45 and did not like the grip angle or the take down. I have taken down my Buckmark many times and have never had a problem. The springs that are under the grips are only flat springs not coil springs that tend to fly all over the place. Just watch what you are doing and it is NOT difficult. The locations for the springs are pretty much shaped the same as the springs are.

  12. avatarVash_241987 says:

    Wow you basically summed up what my likes and dislikes are lol. I’ve had FTFeed with the slide open and closed. Cleaning IS a PITA, in fact I finally field stripped it (if you want to call it that) last week cause I havn’t cleaned it in almost 400rds + the fact that all that gunk was preventing the striker from hitting the rim of the rds. I need moar mags!!!! Annoying stuff aside its still a hoot to shoot clay targets set on a berm from 25 yds!!!!!

  13. avatarJeff says:

    I spent $200 on my Camper six years ago. I honestly have no idea how much ammo I’ve run through it, but it’s a great little pistol. I’m very pleased with it.

  14. avatarBob Haslett says:

    Just purchased a Buckmark last week and love shooting with it. Lots of talk about the Maintenance Tool, but no references as to where I can purchase one.

  15. avatarScott Brandt says:

    The first firearm I ever purchased was my Browning Buckmark.

    I was looking at 2 different 22 pistols. The Buckmark and the Ruger Mark II. I did not like how the Ruger felt in my hand and I complete disliked the ‘slide’. The Buckmark felt perfect, like it was meant to be. This was the spring of 1987, and I walked out the door with it for $159 + tax (about $165 total).

    Mine does not have the allen head screws for holding the cover on top of the slide on, just 2 normal flat tip screws. I have cleaned it regularly it’s whole life, but just did a complete dissassembly for the 1st time 2 months ago.

    The carbon build-up wasn’t horrendous but obvious, yet extremely easy to take care of. I had no problems reassembling it what-so-ever.

    For being 24 years old, I still love it, have put over 10,000 rounds through it and it still looks fantastic and functions perfectly.

  16. avatarJohn Smothers says:

    I don’t agree that everyone needs a .22 pistol. Experienced shooters do not, but novices and those in training do. Survivalists who favor fighting rifles that lack a .22 lr conversion unit certainly better also carry a .22 pistol.

  17. avatarRandy says:

    Just bought a Browning Buckmark. Have noticed that with only 2 rounds in the magazine, it will not feed properly. Has anyone else had this issue?

    • avatarwayne says:

      how did you fixit.i have same plom,new gun 30 rds firered,last 2/3 rds won,t feed.

      • avatarmerle hardie says:

        have not had that problem . probably a magazine problem and not the gun itself. don’t take it apart to clean it. a small air compressor and a can of brake clean will do the trick

    • avatarwayne says:

      clarification on missfeed last two rds.i tried my extra 10rd mag and had same promlem,i reapeated 4 times and always had missfeed on the 8th or ninth rd.i,m using American egale 40grain hi vel.i tried to feed 10 rds by hand using the cocking slide and it missfed every time at the 8th or ninth rd.returned to dart and tackle chiliwak b.c and am awaiting their reponse.

  18. avatarSlim says:

    I have owned both the Browning Buckmark in SS and the Ruger MK III 22/45 target and like them both. The Buckmark is a better starter gun as you really do not need to field strip it often and the RUGER does take a lot of effort to field strip the first few times. They both are a lot of fun to shoot. So many guns. So little time.

  19. avatarBill says:

    Google Buckmark maintenance tool and itmwill lead you to his website. He has a contact us icon.

  20. avatarKim says:

    I have a Browning Buckmark and had a similar shopping experience, it fit my hand better than the Ruger, and I found it much easier to rack the Buckmark slide. I was shooting in a Bullseye League thus fall, and had the mist frustrating problems with misfeeds and ejection issues. I have a fused wrist, so must keep my elbow bent to see down the sights/holographic red dot. Theories were that because my elbow was absorbing the kick, the gun was not kicking back against something firm so unable to function properly. I switched to a 40 grain ammo and it resolved the majority of the issues.

    I am now shooting in a Winter Indoor League, where we must use 26 grain ammo and the gun is again having issues with ejecting, and the slide gets stuck shut to where I need assistance to open it. Anyone have any suggestions for me? I love the gun, but I am frustrated! Thanks! Kim

    • avatartom says:

      I was having the same problem with jamming ,was told to field strip the gun ,found the spring at the rear of the gun was carboned up also using high vorticity rounds seamed to help

  21. avatarnathan schmoekel says:

    Kim, I wonder if your alignment is just a titch off. With extent of disassembly the gun requires, it is rather easy to get some binding if the screws are over tightened. Just as an experiment strip the gun down completely, and then when you put it back together leave the screws a little looser than you normally would. Use the “wiggle check”, wiggle the part while you turn the screw tight, when the wiggle stops add 1/4 – 1/2 a turn and call it good. Also make sure to cycle the slide a few times as you are snugging the top screws down. In this condition the screws may become loose every couple hundred rounds, but the action should be able to get itself into a comfortable position… And if all else fails call on a gunsmith…it might have a machining mark that isn’t smooth enough or some other simple to fix issue.

  22. avatarrocket-boy says:

    lovin the buck-mark regularly! As my wife has a mk3, I find the accessories for the buck-mark a slim line-up and a bit utilitarian. I didn’t buy it for the beauty or prestige of a fine showpiece but it’s super reliable and easy to re & re for cleaning and maintenance. (Sorry I disagree with you on this point) As for screws loosening off, I found the grips never stay tight. I detest two things where screws and threads are invloved, stripping threads and things that won’t stay tight. In several situations I’ve had to use someone else’s litter as thread locker, a small piece if plastic bag or baggie pulled snugly over the end of a screw will allow enough grip for the threads to stay in place while only “snuggly” tightened. I would however like to see a nice plain set of cocobollo’s for this gun one day. -Rocket Boy

  23. avatarsharpshooter says:

    the best gun cleaning tool is a good air compressor
    you would be suprised how much gunk you can blow out with
    solvent and air.

  24. avatarMotomyfoto says:

    I know this review was written almost exactly a year ago but I’m still hoping I will get a response. Anyway I really like your set up and would like to do the same. I bought a tasco red dot but I am having problems getting it mounted. I think I bought the wrong model. I found out after I bought it there are two model of the tasco 1×30 red dot site. So I am wondering if you could tell me what model of red dot it was you bought. Is your Tasco Red Dot the BKRD30 or the BKRD30-22? also I was hoping you could tell me what kind of scope base you used. Thank you for your help.
    Austin

  25. avatarandy fiehler says:

    I bought one of the Browning Buckmark Campers a couple years ago, mostly to plink with. I wanted something that didn’t feel tiny in my hands but that my wife could shoot too and it fit the bill. The gun is very fun to shoot and easy on the recoil. I picked up a couple extra clips for about $12 each. The grip is more than big enough to hold more than 10 in the mag and it would have been nice to have a greater capacity but I’m sure there is some law that says they can’t.
    Saw them use it on TopShot a few weeks back. Maybe I’m just a crack shot, but those guys couldn’t hit bowling pins at 15 feet.
    I’ve had a few hangups but they were with cheap ammo that was about 10 years old. The newer stuff seams to cycle better and burns a bit cleaner too. Cleaning the action is a bit tedious, but some pipe cleaners and Q-tips work pretty well in the hard to reach areas.
    Keep up the good work with the reviews.

  26. avatarAlte Oberst says:

    Just bought my Buckmark Camper today and want to thank all of you for your comments and advice. Great for my morale! Mine did not come with high-viz sights; I’d appreciate the proper ID of those for the Camper.

  27. avatarBoris says:

    Why bother taking them apart, a blast of CLP is all mine ever needs.

  28. avatarJanet L. says:

    “I’m pretty sure I heard angels sing and sunlight showering down from the heavens on the gun counter.”

    That was my experience too, except mine was GORGEOUS: According to the label on the case mine was a Buckmark pro target model:Black frame, chrome barrel & slide, with flats machined on what would have otherwise been a bull barrel.

    I went into the store looking for a Ruger MkIII, and simply HAD to take the Buckmark home. Shoots WAY better than my Dad’s Ruger Standard.

  29. avatarRob W. says:

    Your jab at the Catholic Church was idiotic. I wonder if Ill be seeing any good natured jabs at other faiths?…I wont hold my breath. Our Church has been around 2,000 years and an “gun writer” with limited creativity and class will do it no harm. Btw Ive owned a Buckmark and loved it.

    • avatarR D says:

      Since when is the Catholic Church the only religion or denomination of a religion to have angels? And I didn’t think it was a jab anyway. Who says God can’t guide you to make the right gun choice? Given how few chances we have to test, we could use a little help!

  30. avatarJim Martin says:

    I owned a Buckmark before and when the Stingers came out they would jam, so traded it. Then I found out they jam in lots of automatic .22. I’ve had 2 Mk IIIs but never liked the trigger, grip angle or takedown procedure. Traded them too.

    I finally got a Buckmark Camper Stainless and put a red dot scope on it and it is great. My 70 year old eyes had trouble with the iron sights and a red dot works. A toothbrush and bore snake with Hoppes Elite is all I need to keep it very clean.

    • avatarmerle hardie says:

      one of the best asset in cleaning any gun i have found is a small air compresser. try it you can blow out a loy of gunk.

  31. avatarjohn grosser says:

    I live in northern/central New Jersey and based on all the positive feedback have made my mind up to buy the Browning Camper in stainless with soft grips as I have small hands. Who offers
    the best price for this handgun used if possible or new if used don’t exist.
    Thanks for a great review and user comments.
    John

  32. avatarGordon says:

    I picked up a used Buckmark camper at a recent gun show. I wanted a basic carry/camp gun for the outdoors with no worries about dirt and wear. I already own a Smith 41, High Standard Supermatic and the Ruger Stainless Target with scope. All very nice guns but too expensive and heavy for use as a camp gun. I shopped around and even tried the 22/45 which does not feel like a 45 (yes I have several 1911′s) and is just downright ULGY. The Buckmark felt good in my hands, excellent fit/finish for a basic pistol and came with a couple of spare mags so I was good to go. I have since run a a couple thousand rounds through the gun. I found it does not like the Remington yellow jackets (I suspect the light bullet) and is not happy with the newer Federal bulk either. Everything else I’ve shot it worked fine and it seems to get better as it wears in. Keep the bolt face clean and it will shoot all day. I had a lot of older .22 ammo lot of which was old (several years) federal bulk which worked fine, the newer purchase stuff not so good. .22 is pretty dirty shooting ammo anyway but the newer stuff seems even worse that the old ammo. Anyone else seeing this with their bulk ammo?

  33. avatarmerle hardie says:

    i have 2 ,45s that are great. but the buckmark that i have is just a fun little gun to shoot all day long

  34. avatarDon-Bob says:

    I lusted forever and debated on which .22 handgun I wanted to put in my collection. I don’t care about the “fancy” or “exotics” – I like utilitarian. Built like a tank, dead-eyed accurate, and reliable as hell.

    I picked one of these gems, and scored some well priced extra mags on eBay.

    I paid $329.00 out the door for the UFX 5.5″ .

    In this price range, there is not a better made .22 LR – PERIOD.

    If you are on the fence, look intelligently at this plinker. It’s a fantastic tool!

  35. avatarggrime2 says:

    Great choice, I’m still shooting my Buckmark camper a lot: it’s still a bit bulky for a camp gun but nothing else comes close for ease of carry and accuracy. The new Ruger .22 revolvers and SR22 might come close but I’ll wait and see how they perform. A camp gun needs to work everytime and be functional. The Buckmark fills the bill in spades. I bought my camper used from a friend, came with 2 extra mags and I’m not ever going to part with the thing. I’ll put it third on my list of fav .22′s: My old High Standard Supermatic is No. 1 then my Smith Model 41 followed by my Buckmark. The difference: High Standard and Smith were hand built over 35 years ago by craftsman and I paid dearly for both. I could probably purchase a dozen used Buckmarks for what I paid for those two pistols. The Buckmark goes everywhere with me (truck, car, boat, motorcycle) the others are now only used for special purpose shoots making the Buckmark a far better value than either.
    One last item I’ve given up on the Remington Yellow Jackets they continue in fail to cycle anyone else seen this situation with their Buckmarks? Again great choice now just try and wear it out.

  36. avatarCody says:

    I HAD a Buckmark with the slab sided bull barrel. It was very accurate and felt wonderful in my hand. Unfortunately my wife thought so also. She does let me see it every once in a while. So I am back to my Ruger single six. I may try the 22/45 lite next time- she doesn’t like those.

  37. avatarggrimes2 says:

    Why not just get a second Buckmark? New and improved maybe a second model with a better sight radius or Stainless? Upside is the costly magazine’s are the same for both guns and most of the accessories you buy will match. I’ve tried the 22/45 on several occasions and just can’t seem to warm up too either the feel (poor balance?) and the looks. The polymer frame and steel upper don’t blend well and it looks like a lash up. I know, I know it works well but compared to the more elegant lines of a Buckmark it just jars my vision. I’m a bit old school on the sights though, do not like the fiber optic thing they call a front sight on the newest guns. Anyone else care to chip in on the optic sight idea?

  38. avatarMK says:

    I agree 100% with Dan I went to buy a Ruger .22 and it just did not feel right. I asked to see the Browning and it fit like a glove. Just bought it. Great little >22 Cheap to shoot and a lot of fun.

  39. I have both a Buckmark and a Smith K-22. The Buckmark cannot carry water to the Smith Revolver for accuracy.

  40. avatarBill S says:

    I just bought the Camper. The User Manual no longer provides any instructions for field stripping. Cleaning is done without breaking it down. I understand Ruger also recommends this method.

  41. avatarggrimes2 says:

    What did the beer guy say? I don’t always clean my .22 but when I do? I’ve got mixed feelings about this because .22 ammo is so dirty. I shoot the Buckmark a lot and it doubles as a training pistol for a lot of additional work. Doing a lot of outdoor shooting plus riding and camping this thing can get pretty dirty. I usually do the normal (clean the barrel, scrub the bolt face and barrel face and very small amount of lubricant) insuring smooth working. I do however take the grips off and do a through cleaning a couple times a year and you would be surprised at the amount of debris I find. The same with the target Stainless Ruger and yep both are a PIA in cleaning. Neither is that easy to clean but they are not that bad, I actually have a foam box (white inside) with a pad and a lip I made up just for doing the dirty on these types of pistols. Plan ahead and take your time and you’ll find neither is that hard. I have tried the “gun scrubber” spray and find it works OK and helps prevent needing to take the pistols apart but like your car or motorcycle sometimes you just need to get a bit dirty to properly maintain these pistols. The cleaning also give me a chance to fully inspect the frames/slides/trigger and extractor for wear or damage. Now if I can just find that spring for my Walther G22 bullpup POS! That is whole thread in itself… I’ve also been trying the “dry Teflon” spray lube you find at Lowe’s on the Buckmark it sprays on and is basically powdered Teflon (works for motorcycle chains which is how I came to try it) it quickly dries and does not leave a sticky residue which collects powder and dust. I am a little reluctant to try this on my more expensive pistols yet as I am worried about possible wear if the stuff does not stay in critical wear areas (slide rails) but so far it works well on the Buckmark. DO NOT get the stuff on the rubber grips or your expensive shooting gloves though as once imbedded it has proven hard to remove. A friend liked it and sprayed it on his leather riding gloves and found he could not hold the throttle without a death grip…

  42. avatarMatt in TX says:

    I have a Ruger mk III, 22/45 lite in gold. I have big hands and like the way a .45 feels. Take down and mag extraction were buggers til I found this site. Now one hex screw and the bolt comes out. I also bought a mkII hammer so that the mags would drop when I hit the button. One evening +45 minutes. Watch the video.

    http://www.eabco.com/Ruger_Mk_III_Speed_Strip.html

  43. avatarGreg in Maine says:

    If you want a 22LR pistol that field strips very easily, try the Browning 1911-22. A tad more expensive than the Buckmark, but well worth it. Both guns are made in the same factory in Salt Lake City. The 1911-22 field strips exactly the same as it’s granddaddy the Colt model 1911. It doesn’t get any easier.

  44. avatarggrimes2 says:

    Great review, the more I shoot mine the more I like it. Not sure about the Red Dot as it makes a lousy camp/carry pistol accessory. I take the grips off mine about once a year just to keep the crud and dirt out of the small bits. It’s a bit of a pain but nothing I cannot deal with and is sure beats the flying bits from my Walther G22 POS. It is not something you do on a regular basis so quit carping on that detail, I also have a Ruger Mk II Stainless Target which usually taken fully apart once a year (same reason) Never easy and not fun but again, if you only do this very rarely it is nothing to complain about. Two items of note: I have replaced most of those abused Allen head screws with the hardest ones I could get from my specialty supply house AND I replaced the crap Allen wrench supplied with a high quality item from Bondhaus which is much better and should last forever. I use a very small amount of Loctite 241 or cheap clear fingernail polish. The both seem to work equally well. Upside for polish is you can remove the debris with Acetone. I use an old toothbrush and some Q-tips in removing all the old fingernail polish from the screws and threaded holes. Do not use a ball-end and make sure the Allen is properly seated in said screw before you start removal. Cheap tools, ball-ends and dirt inside the Allen will all cause “cam-out” damaging the Allen and the tool. T-handle Allen w/o the ball-end are the best and I suspect we all over-torque the little buggers on install.

  45. avatarggrimes2 says:

    Final item: how about those of you with more than one .22 do some comparisons with the Buckmark based on the .22′s you own and the little gem made by Browning. I consider my Buckmark a working pistol and a go-to weapon for everyday use. I do have several others though and I will rate my choices from first to last.
    1. High Standard Supermatic Citation1960′s production, solid, best shooter but heavy, expensive and has not been made in what? 30 years.
    2. S & W model 41 manufactured in I think 1960, basically hand assembled and finished: one of the best target pistols of all time. Currently cost about $1,200 for a new one which is not nearly as well manufactured as mine.
    3. Browning Buckmark Camper: My new favorite bought mine from a friend paid I thing $225 with 3 mags, solid, well made, easy to maintain and I can get fresh mags or parts as necessary. Not sure what the matt finish is but it is holding up well
    4. Ruger MkII target slapside stainless now has a 4x Swift scope installed. Accurate, excellent shooter and reliable if kept somewhat clean (range ammo I need a quick clean about every 300 rounds) I was a dealer and have lost count of how many Ruger .22 I have owned (at least 10). I miss my original model which I sold cause I was stupid and my 5″ blued target which was just plain fun.
    5. Mitchell Arms Stainless copy of a High Standard Citation, I would rate this a higher but it took a toolmaker/machinist and myself a couple months in determining what was wrong and the assistance of a Stainless welder and EDM machine to get this thing working. Not worth the cost and if I had had to pay for their help the would cost as much as all my .22 combined. Now that it works I really like the pistol but: I will never buy another one.
    6. High Standard Sport King the .22 I should have kept and the reason for the Buckmark Camper, it was simple, cheap, accurate and reliable. I still miss the thing.
    7. Beretta Neo, nice shooter and felt well just could not warm up to the gun I don’t have a clue why it was not to my liking but I never had a problem parting with it.
    8. Whitney Wolverine the original spacegun fun shooter and accurate within the limits of the small sights. Again, sorry I got rid of the thing.
    9. Walther TPH Stainless, overrated, overpriced and not very reliable. Neat little pocket pistol but could never get the thing to work reliability I wanted so much to like this thing but neither Walther or my gunsmith could get this thing functioning.
    10. Smith 22A Cheap, Cheap Cheap did I mention Cheap? Build quality, fit, finish and a downright ULGY pistol. I think I only shot a couple boxes of shells, cleaned, oiled, cleaned, different oil, polish, re-fit, different oil, lots of different brands of ammo and the nothing could make this pistol work. I thought I should wear a paper bag over my head at the range because I had to interrupt shooting all the time
    11. Lorcin/Jennings .22 I rank them only after the Smith 22A because the fit/finish was as bad and the trigger was even worse. Fixed sights, pot metal casting and very questionable safety. I was a kid and anything was better than a rock but you quickly learn just how unsafe these thing were, upside was they would actually shoot bullets and you could have a lot of fun.
    I have a whole second list of wheelgun in .22 which I love most (and hate a few) my stepdad had a stoeger .22 luger which was cheap but shot well with high performance ammo was actually a pretty nice pistol. He also had a Hammerli I think it was a 215 which was the equal of the Smith 41 maybe better? Either way I had the opportunity in shooting both and would have loved to get my hands on them when he passed

  46. avatarTerry says:

    How does it do on sup-sonic ammo? I’m looking to get something with a threaded barrel.

    • avatarggrimes2 says:

      Won’t work with sub-sonic ammo, no standard issue .22 auto will actually cycle unless you change the recoil springs. Wolff or somebody like that might supply you with softer springs. A threaded barrel usually means a silencer which would have to be registered. I’m sure you can have a threaded barrel made and installed on a buckmark but the cost will probably exceed the pistol price.
      I had a Ciener suppressed ruger .22 years ago the thing was refitted and set-up for sub-sonic ammo. The fit and function was great BUT you could only shoot sub-sonic ammo, standard ammo would have overwhelmed the recoil spring and probably destroyed the pistol.
      Remember that if a .22 is configured for sub-sonic ammo it will usually be damaged/destroyed by cycling of normal .22 ammo. I really do not want a slide embedded in my forehead.

      • avatarTerry says:

        Thanks for the input. I do have a suppressor, so to speak, in the tax stamp waiting mode. I guess at least 6 more months. I will do some research on the recoil spring, I understand I would have to stay with the ammo the gun is set up for. I’m also looking at the Ruger 22/45. Still shopping and asking questions, thanks for your reply.
        Terry

        • avatarggrimes2 says:

          Thanks yourself threaded barrels are not actually illegal but they seem to raise lots of questions. I actually have an old High Standard I picked up from a friend which was manufactured with a threaded barrel and a knurled nut which protects the threads. I cannot find the history but it appears to be a factory manufactured item. High Standard made “hush puppy” pistols for the Navy Seals and the like for use during the Vietnam war I suspect somebody ordered the pistol with that barrel with thoughts of converting later. Not sure of your situation but have you looked at the old High Standard’s most have a pushbutton under the barrel so you could remove and change barrels (plus takedown) in a couple seconds. You could quickly change barrels and springs converting from regular into a silenced pistol quickly. Mitchell Arms in Texas has re-started making the High Standard pistols, they purchased the rights, spare parts and some of the old tooling I understand. The quick change barrel made these ideal for suppressor use. Numrich Arms used to have extra barrels for the High Standards.
          The suppressed Ciener/Ruger was a very nice pistol BUT again it was a dedicated firearm and could not be converted back so you were restricted on ammo. It shot most of the sub-sonic ammo I could find but living in Phoenix, AZ I had access for Ely which was a very quiet and high quality .22 ammo. It was expensive though.

  47. avatarDarl says:

    I have several 22 pistols, and revolvers the Buckmark camper with optic sight is my most accurate, and I love to shoot it. I will go 600 to a thousand rounds between cleanings with no problem.

    • avatarggrimes2 says:

      What kind of optics, I usually keep away from any kind of optical when I have a camp gun. Though because of age I’m starting to rethink my situation. I might try a holo sight or something of the like if I can find a suitable holster.
      I have a Ruger MkII Slabside stainless with a 4x Swift scope. Cheap scope but it has held up well for shooting out to 75 yards easily. The problem is this combination is large and heavy for a .22 camp pistol. It’s also very expensive if I drop the thing or fall down a hill with it strapped on my hip. If you do much hunting or fishing sooner or later you’re going to take a tumble. FYI the smaller pistol hurts less when you land on it!

  48. avatarmarvin lanza says:

    i bought my buckmark from a pawn shop it had never been fired still had factory grease. i paid 150 after taxes not bragging but i had groups of five shots smaller than a dime at twenty five yards with factory sights. i just bought reflex sight (red dot) very easy to install i understand the difficulty in disassembly of grips and breach but those were never really ment to be disassembled and cleaned every time you shot it mabey once a year its to keep the tolerances tight so as to improve accuracy and maximum reliability. you wouldnt complain about a ford gt being hard to work on cause it goes fast as hell then why complain about a gun with top grade accuracy and dependable reliability being to hard to dissasemble.

  49. avatarggrimes2 says:

    At that price I would have bought 2 or 3 more! Go back and buy another one if you can. I see the cost for magazines if keep going up they are not about 35 bucks at the local gun shop. That is my only gripe with mine is that charge for extra mags.
    Upside is the factory items are as always from Browning well made and should last as long as the pistol.
    I made a long post earlier about the cleaning, only take mine apart yearly so I don’t complain. I actually have a big box lines with foam which helps capturing the tiny bits which sometimes fling themselves out when I am taking the thing apart.

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