Browning Buckmark or Ruger 22/45 ?


October 2, 2005, 11:56 PM
I am looking for a .22 pistol that will give me an easy transition to the 1911. I DON'T HAVE, AND CAN'T AFFORD, A 1911, SO A CONVERSION KIT IS NOT AN OPTION.

I had intended to buy a Ruger 22/45, but after handling one at a store, I found that the small safety button was too stiff to operate as one might the safety of a 1911. Might there be an add-on or replacement part that corrects this apparent problem? Does the safety loosen up with use?

The Browning Buckmark that I looked at had similar controls, but the safety was much closer to a 1911. Of course, it also had a very comfortable, target-style grip.

On both guns, the magazines did not drop freely when the release was pressed. Isn't that a bit silly, when the 22/45 is designed to mimic a combat pistol?

Are holsters available for either gun? This would be for range wear, not CCW.



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October 3, 2005, 01:09 AM
If you like lots of pre-loaded mags at the range I'd suggest the Ruger since you can buy all the magazine parts direct from Ruger and assemble them yourself and it ends up being about $9.75 per magazine. You're doing good to find Buckmark mags for $23 each. If you are happy with only what come with the gun, its a toss up -- I ended up with both eventually, but got the Ruger first.

IMHO neither has a safety that is a good analog to a 1911 although both are in approximately the right location and rotate in the correct direction. Both are rather a pain to take down for cleaning compared to the Beretta Neos, for example.

Since my wife and I only shoot the cheap ammo I won't claim which is more accurate as I suspect the ammo limits both. She tends to do best with the Buckmark, I see little difference, and thus usually end up shooting the 22/45.


October 3, 2005, 08:56 AM
i don't think either gun particularly mimics a 1911, and i find the ruger feels offensive to even hold.

so, i guess i'd pick the one that was more comfortable to me as a shooter. which means i'd dump the ruger, and compare the beretta, browning, and sig.

October 3, 2005, 09:07 AM
Many bullseye competitors find the Buck Mark to mimic the 1911, but that doesn't mean it will feel the same to your hands (like they say, YMMV).
Generally speaking, the Buck Mark is a better pistol out of the box. Trigger and ergonomics are better, and its just easier to be accurate with.
That being said, the Ruger is an excellent pistol, and there is an entire industry devoted to after-market parts for them.
You can find a variety of holsters for either gun.
What it boils down to is, if you want to buy a pistol, go with the Buck Mark.
If you want to buy a "platform" to tinker with and upgrade, go with the Ruger.
Good luck. You can't go wrong with either gun.

P.S. I think both guns represent the best value in .22 autos today, although the SIG trailside deserves mention.

October 3, 2005, 10:13 AM
The 22/45 feels nothing like a 1911.

You could actually pick up a nice second hand 1911 for the price of a buckmark. Just depends how picky you are...

October 3, 2005, 10:16 AM
There are a couple of places offering larger safeties and bolt releases for the 22/45.

Broken Gun Ranch (


White Barn Workshop (

I haven't dealt with either of them yet. A better safety and bolt release are on my list of upgrades for my 22/45.

October 3, 2005, 11:20 AM
I've had this wonderful shooter since 1966 and it still performs flawlessly.

October 3, 2005, 04:19 PM
I've got the Buckmark Plus and absolutely love it. Had some of the Rugers before and didn't like the look or feel of them. They are gone now and the Buckmark is shouldering their duty.

Ala Dan
October 3, 2005, 05:10 PM
Ditto for the Buckmark Plus~! :D After owning a Ruger MK-II KMK-512
(great gun by the way), I decided too try this Browning Buckmark Plus.
I found that I enjoyed the look and feel of the Browning much better
than that of the Ruger. One enjoyable feature I like better is the fact
that I can see the Browning's Tru-Glo "HI-VIZ" (green) fiber optic front
sight~! :D

October 3, 2005, 05:10 PM
Hey Arch, what have you got down there, very cheap 1911s or very expensive Buckmarks???

October 3, 2005, 06:22 PM
I like Ruger .22's. They are my 'default' .22 auto. I've got a few, and never had one fail to perform. Recommended! :)


October 3, 2005, 06:45 PM
I've owned both and currently have a basic buckmark that isn't for sale; the mk2 is long gone. IMO the buckmark feels close to a 1911 grip and is a fairly slim pistol. Extra mag prices are the worst problem I can think of. Browning list price is about $25 and I've never seen new ones under $20 each, but they are well-made mags that should hold up to long term use. I did buy an old mag (for a Browning challenger, I think) and it works just fine although it doesn't stick out from the bottom at all. I've never had a problem with the mags not dropping freely especially when empty (the bolt hold open puts some pressure on the mag spring and gives it an ejection boost).

My mk2 was very reliable and plenty accurate, but the grip frame to receiver fit loosened up after repeated disassembly for cleaning.

October 3, 2005, 11:06 PM
This is kind of like "Ford or Chevy" debates. I've engaged in it myself...
Whatever fits your hand the best and points well is the one for you.

October 3, 2005, 11:19 PM
I have both a 1911 and a 22/45.

The grip on the Ruger is similar to that of the 1911, with controls in the same places that work in pretty much the same way. You won't have to worry about pushing the safety in the wrong direction, that sort of thing.

However, I have said before that the 22/45 is more 1911ish than it is a .22LR that mimics the 1911. Kind of "almost, but not quite, entirely unlike the 1911." (Apologies to Douglas Adams.) The only .22LR pistol that is truly like a 1911 is a 1911 in .22LR (Kimber makes a full-up .22LR 1911, otherwise you need a conversion kit to achieve this). However, for you and me that is cost-prohibitive (but nice to dream about).

I handled the Buckmark, but I didn't want to worry about the sights going off zero after disassembly. That is less an issue with the Ruger.

In its own right, the Ruger is fun to shoot and inexpensive to purchase and shoot. From what I understand, so is the Browning. I don't think you will find either one to be similar enough to the 1911 for the differences between them to be that significant.

October 4, 2005, 01:39 AM
compare the beretta, browning, and sig. Help me out a little. Are the Beretta and Sig in the same price range as the Browning?

Thanks, guys. I was already leaning toward the Browning, and some posts have pushed me further in that direction. Of course, I won't be buying anything until I sell this old S&W Mod. 19, and get a silly permit to purchase.

Comments about this being a Ford v Chevy debate are pretty useless, not to mention wide of the mark. I now know more than I did before.

Thanks again.

October 4, 2005, 09:03 AM
Buckmark all the way.

Red Tornado
October 4, 2005, 01:02 PM
Where are you finding magazine parts to assemble? I looked at Ruger's website and only found 22/45 magazines for $22.95. Many thanks if you can point me to these.

ghost squire
October 4, 2005, 01:13 PM
I will repeat what I said on another thread about .22s, I hope it isn't considered rude by the moderators.

What grip do you use on a combat handgun? I use high hold, and thumbs almost touching the slide. Unfortunately, on the Buckmark that I bought, this grip is literally impossible. A variety of annoyingly protruding controls are in the way, and in addition I accidentally engage the safety every other shot with this grip, making the trigger pull either very hard or impossible. This will likely have dangerous implications in the future, I'm worried about the safety just wearing away.

The trigger is very good on the gun though, and is accurate.

However my vote must go to the Ruger 22/45 and SIG Trailside, as both have controls very similar to most modern handguns out there, all the better to train with.

If you are going to use a 1911 or handgun with controls where they are on a 1911, get the Ruger, if you are going to get a Beretta, SIG or handgun with controls where they are on the Trailside, get that.

They are both very very good guns for the money. I personally don't wish to support a company started by a sellout traitor like Ruger was so my pick is the trailside. But mostly because I like SIGs :)

October 4, 2005, 10:40 PM
I have both a 22/45 and a KMK512 Mark II.
Looking to get a Buckmark.
If the Buckmark is equal to either of the two Rugers I will be very happy.
I have many handguns in many calibers. The 22's are my favorites.
Fun Guns

:) :) :) :)

October 4, 2005, 11:14 PM
I have both and the 22/45 is far more accurate. Both are reliable and neither are 1911 really trainers if that is what you are after but both will give you good practice.

Its a toss up really, try them both out and see what you think. I think the Ruger is a better gun for the money but some will say the Buchmark is better.

October 5, 2005, 12:17 AM
You have to order the individual parts from Ruger. They are not listed on the web site. Call or write the service department. Use the advanced search, there was a thread here that had a link to the part numbers and prices someone put together on another forum. This is where I learned about it.

If you have or download the manual you can get the part numbers for each ofthe magazine parts (body, follower, baseplate, spring, follower button, & base plate plunger) and call Ruger in Prescott AZ The body and base plate need to match your gun (i.e. 22/45, MKII, or MKIII) remainder of the parts are the same across models. They were very helpful when I called in my first order. I mailed in my second and got almost as fast service. Its really nice stepping up to the range and having 100 rounds ready to go.


October 5, 2005, 12:43 AM
I'm surpirsed that no-one thinks that it makes absoultely no difference what .22 you train with, none of them will effectively simulate a 1911, so that you can make an easy switch between the two.

If you eventually get a 1911, it is going to feel like a totally different gun, with it's own inticacies that you will have to master, and traiing really really hard with your Ruger will have made abolutely no difference in your ability to shoot it, or manipulate the controls.

I assume because you are asking about holsters, and safety positions, and all that, you ware interested in drawing the gun, and training for defensive senarios. If you are looking at competing, just look at any .22 to learn how to shoot properly first. Then worry about being a backyard hero.

If you really want to work on your quick draws, and all that, do what the professionals do, by a replica, or airsoft gun, that has the exact same dimensions, and controls. You may not look cool doing it, but you have a better chance of developing some transferrable skills.

Your only major concern is just shooting a gun with a military style point (like all your buckmarks, rugers, high standards, sigs...). If you get a real target oriented gun, like a pardini, or FWB, then you may have problems transferring to a more american grip angle, as with the mucsel memory you develop, you may naturually want to shoot your 1911 toward the ground.

ghost squire
October 5, 2005, 01:36 AM
Ok... whatever. I train with a .22 because its a cheap way to maintain proficiency with stance, grip, trigger control, breathing etc.

It never hurts to bone up on the basics, ideally if you could get a conversion kit you would, but if you can't whats the problem. I see no problem in using a Ruger or Trailside to practice the basics of combat handgunnery, and indeed pistolry itself.

90 percent of the people I see at the range could halve the size of their groups within a week by using a .22 pistol. They have gone off and bought the most expensive and or tacticool goddamned gun they could find only to find they have a flinch, poor trigger control and don't even have a basic stance down.

Some of them are barely hitting paper, others are getting combat accuracy but it never hurts to be more accurate. I don't "target shoot" with my .22, I use a grip, stance and muscle control that would control a .45, simply because it is cheap training. I'm slightly less accurate then I would be if I used a target stance (whatever that is) and light grip, but thats not the point.

October 5, 2005, 01:56 PM
Now, Arch, when I start talking about tactical reloads with my .22, or ask where I can get night sights, maybe then you can insult me with this backyard hero stuff. The fact is, I am getting a .22 because I recognize my low skill level, and the .22 is the obvious platform to work on this. You know, cheap, low recoil, all of that. And since the 1911 is the gun I would prefer to carry when I get to that point, I figure I'll get a gun that has some similarity. I'd like to get accustomed to a safety that is at least in the same place and that works in the right direction. If I want a holster, maybe it's because I want a secure place to keep the weapon while I'm at the range.

When I was a little more foolish, I actually owned a 1911; a Para 13.45. It was my first pistol, and just not the right gun for starting out. And in fact I did practice draws, a little bit. Right now, I have a .357 revolver, but I'm selling it because it doesn't work very well for my wife, and I think we would benefit more from the .22.

The funny thing is, I was Army infantry for three years, I've owned two handguns, and also taken the NRA Basic Pistol course. I've shown proficiency in pistol-shooting from time to time. I have every reason to pretend that I am qualified to legally carry a concealed .45 (except I'd have a hard time finding a gun and carry gear in my price range, not to mention licensing fees). Instead, I'm taking things slowly, and trying to make sure I'm a half-way competent pistolero before I do that. So, I'm a little annoyed by your reaction.

October 5, 2005, 02:55 PM
The controls on the Buckmark are closer to that of a 1911 than those on the Ruger. I prefer the Buckmark.

ghost squire
October 5, 2005, 03:45 PM
fistful, can't say I blame you, and I can understand where you're coming from, on several different things.

October 5, 2005, 06:49 PM

Thanks for the advice and the sympathy. As far as my grip, I try to get as high as possible, as this controls the gun better. Don't we all? I prefer to use my strong-hand thumb for the safety, and that worked a lot better with the Buckmark that I looked at, though I suppose the weak-side thumb would work, too. The only controls that would get in the way would be the safety and slide release, but one might have this problem with a lot of guns.

I expect I will buy a Buckmark.

October 5, 2005, 07:11 PM
Im trying to decide between the same two guns right now (ruger MKIII or buck mark)

Its a tough choice, they both have their selling points, but I think Im leaning towards the buckmark for ease of taking apart/cleaning, and i like the grips available for it better (and I dont want to mod this gun)

October 5, 2005, 07:36 PM
Why not just get a Rock Island Armory 1911? Runs about 30 bucks more than the Buckmark on Gunbroker and at the local gun shows.

They're actually supposed to be relatively reliable, after a little fluff and buff, though the finish isn't as spiffy as the higher end 1911's.

October 5, 2005, 07:38 PM
Exactly where is the safety on my 1911 style pistols- I can't seem to find them anywhere :neener: , have a 22/45 5.5 bull stainless and love it. Hogue slip on is a good idea, until it comes cleaning time :banghead: . For the price of a used 22/45 or the browning (which I have never even held in my hand) you'll get real close on a used 45acp something or another. BUT, if funds are kinda low, like they are for everyone nowdays, 22 ammo sure gives a fella more trigger time. BTW, bought my 22/45 new in '95 for $200.00, only to teach my 2 boys the little things about handguns- they were bored to tears after a complete disassembly ( and I mean COMPLETE ) when we got home with the pistol from the gunshop. Guess what?, they both can work that 22/45 into the X ring, and had a real smooth transition to the Para P-14- they got real big hands :scrutiny: from the mailman :what:

October 5, 2005, 07:39 PM
Would recommend the buckmark
Kimber makes a real nice 22 in the 1911 frame might be more than you want to spend

October 5, 2005, 07:59 PM
wrong post :banghead:


AZ Jeff
October 5, 2005, 09:47 PM
For those persons recommending the Buckmark, I have one question:

Is it injurious to a Buckmark to dry fire the pistol without a snap cap?

I know for a fact that dry firing a Ruger Mark I, II, or III (or the .22/45 cousin) is NOT harmful in the slightest.

For those persons who want to practice sight alignment/trigger control when off the range, dry firing is essential.

So......can one do this with a Buckmark?

October 5, 2005, 10:43 PM

I didn't mean for my post to come across as rude, insulting, dismisive, or abrasive. My apologies if that's how it read, and I assure you it was not my itention to annoy you.

I'm just saying that find a .22 with a more upright grip angle, and safety that switches upwards for safe, and that's all you need to transition to the 1911. If they have that, then they are all pretty much on a level playing field (no matter what they claim).

Well, see what you reccon.

October 5, 2005, 10:46 PM
Is it injurious to a Buckmark to dry fire the pistol without a snap cap?

Alot of people will tell you that they can be dry fired, but I know mine does have a divot on the breach face, from when the gun has failed to feed, but cocked, and I have then pulled the trigger, expecting a round to be chambered.

Apparently I could file back the firing pin slightly to alheviate this.

October 6, 2005, 01:07 AM
Alright, Arch, no harm done. Thanks for the advice.

October 6, 2005, 04:57 AM
Cool, thanks mate.

Oh, and if it's a Browning vs Ruger thing, I'll cast my vote for the Buckmark.

I have shot about 2000 rounds though a 22/45 MkII, and brought a buckmark standard. The buckmark was a nicer fit for me (although I did become quite comfortable with the 22/45), and I thought that it was a little more refined than the Ruger (nicer finish, nicer looks). But all that is pretty subjective.

The only thing I reget is getting the Buckmark standard, and not the target, as I would have prefered more weight up front.

If you get a Buckmark, just dont to what I did, and buy 1000 rounds of PMC ammo, to find that it doesn't cycle though the gun. :o

October 6, 2005, 08:47 AM
I'm a buckmark guy. I looked at the 22/45 in my local shop, but it didn't feel right. The grip is too boxy and the controls were wrong. I had already shot the rental buckmarks at my range, so that sold me on the buckmark.

I paid $200 for my Buckmark (used). You can't buy a 1911 worth owning for that price. My RIA was $320 new and the used ones around here aren't much less. That is the cheapest I would go.

It was a bit unreliable. Then I detail stripped it. Turned out the previous owner had never cleaned the thing. I detail stripped the Buckmark without instructions and with only simple tools. I've heard stripping a Ruger the first time is pretty nightmarish. The Buckmark wasn't as easy as my 1911 or hipower, but it really wasn't bad as long as you had some basic tools around. The biggest worry was losing little parts and pins.

As for the buckmark losing zero, I haven't found that to be the case. I shoot at practical defense ranges, mostly 7 to 15 yards. If I was shooting bullseye at 25+ yards with a scope, maybe I'd notice a difference.

October 6, 2005, 09:11 AM
Alot of people will tell you that they can be dry fired, but I know mine does have a divot on the breach face, from when the gun has failed to feed, but cocked, and I have then pulled the trigger, expecting a round to be chambered. If this divot gets deep enough, it can cause extraction problems (from the rim peening into the divot). So this is probably best expressed as, 'you can dry-fire a Buckmark but be prepared to occasionally dress down the divot that you're creating'.

If I want to dry-fire my Buckmark, I usually just save a spent casing and drop it back into the chamber. VOILA! Free snap-cap. :D

October 6, 2005, 11:52 AM
I have a High Standard HD Military in .22lr which does not operate like a 1911 ( the barrel is stationary) but handles just like it. I think it was developed as a training gun.
Good luck.

Dollar An Hour
October 6, 2005, 11:59 AM
The Buck Mark line is dizzying with choices. If I want a nice plinker/range fun-gun, should I be looking at the Standard or Camper? Does the Plus model just add the Hi-Viz front sight and wood grips?

Northslope Nimrod
October 7, 2005, 09:58 AM
I chose the Buckmark...primarily for the trigger & feel. However, I do like the sturdy construction of the Rugers.
I was surprised that most of the shooters at the local range carried Rugers on .22 night.
Someday I'll own one too.

Red Tornado
October 7, 2005, 10:47 AM
I've got the 22/45 and like it a lot. However, I've shot a Buckmark and they're wonderful as well, and they do have a nicer trigger out of the box. I went through the same choices, and you really can't go wrong with either.

ghost squire
October 7, 2005, 12:02 PM
Allright I see what I missed. I'm a SIG guy, so I normally have no safety to rest my thumb on. I can see how this would not be a problem for 1911 and USP users!

Buckmark it is then, thats what I recommend for any 1911 man.

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