Browning semi-auto .22 vs. Rem 552 Speedmaster


Dollar An Hour
November 18, 2005, 12:11 AM
Was looking at Brownings tonight. The BL-22 lever action and the semi-auto.

Nice finish, very compact feel. I guess Browning's rifles have been made in Japan since '74, does it matter?

The guy at the counter told me the semi-auto in particular has a real easy takedown system. It has the strange feed-ammo-thru-the-stock thing, and holds 11 rounds with bottom ejection. Is this a neat setup, or just a gimmick?

I'm just wondering what the consensus is on Browning's Grade I rimfires. I never hear much about them. Are they worth it, or should I get something else?

Oh, and the BL-22 lever action was a thing of beauty! 15-rounds in the tube is nice too...

For a bit less money the Rem 552 Speedmaster had a similar 'real' gun quality to it. 15-round cap tube mag, nice finish, and American made. Takes .22 shorts too...

Both felt like a cut above a 10/22 or Marlins I've been looking at, but they cost more too.

But if I'm looking for and accurate, quality rifle with some personality, these two seem pretty nice.

Anybody have one of these or at least shot one enough to form an opinion?

If you enjoyed reading about "Browning semi-auto .22 vs. Rem 552 Speedmaster" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
Jim Watson
November 18, 2005, 08:52 AM
I used to have a Browning auto and it shot as well as any open sighted .22.
It is not a gimmick, it is a Browning rifle designed by Mr Browning himself back when takedown rifles were common and popular. Its only flaw is that it ejects straight down and can pop you on the wrist with empties.

I have shot the Remington and it is a good standard Remington rifle, nothing spectacular, nothing bad. I don't know the advantage of its handling shorts and longs these days. I don't know for sure but doubt it would function on the various low powered gimmick rounds in short brass.

The BL22 lever action IS a little jewel.

Don't overlook the Thompson Center. They seem to have the bugs out of those and a friend's is very accurate.

November 18, 2005, 09:25 AM
I have a Belgian Browning, and it is a jewel.

Presently, I own the following .22 rifles:

Taurus 63
Winchester 1906
Browning auto
Marlin 39

All of them are fine rifles, and all but the 10/22 are break down models. All of them get shot alot. The Ruger is the wife's gun, and I think that it is her favorite simply because it was my wedding present to her almost 29 years ago, and due to the fact that it is what she knows.

My favorite is the 1906, since it was the first firearm that I ever used, 42 years ago. However, the rifle that I grab first is the Marlin 39. The lever action is smooth, and it (like the Winchester) feeds everything from Colibris to long rifles without a hitch.

As a result, don't rule out the Marlin in your search.

November 18, 2005, 12:09 PM
I have two Japanese-made Browning 22s: an Automatic, and an A-Bolt. They're both good rifles, with nice wood, sharp checkering, and good bluing. I like the take-down feature on the Automatic as it makes it easy to pack around. The loading mechanism is a little funny at first, but it's just a tube magazine that's in the stock instead of under the barrel. The bottom ejection is nice for lefties. Just don't let it eject empties into the cuff of a long-sleeve shirt!

Doug B.
November 18, 2005, 02:40 PM
I own a Belgian semi-auto .22. This firearm is a gem. Excellent finish, accurate, Easy to clean, (you can have the action out of the receiver in less than 10 sec.) beautiful gun. There is one thing that I don't like about it, and it is something that can be overcome with practice. The gun is quite light and at times I have found it "hard to hold" on your target. Hence: Practice equals fun! By the way....I am left handed and it is perfect for me in that regard.

Dollar An Hour
November 18, 2005, 05:26 PM
The BL22 lever action IS a little jewel.

Don't overlook the Thompson Center. They seem to have the bugs out of those and a friend's is very accurate.

I really like the BL-22, but wonder if it's too small. It's a pretty short rifle, how do you tell if it's too cramped?

The Thompson is either love or hate over at rimfire central. Quite a few guys have had them sent back to Thompson twice or more and given up on the T/C. But alot of guys have had zero problems and everybody says it's super accurate with the match grade barrel, just a longer break-in period and needs frequent cleaning.

November 18, 2005, 05:37 PM
Browning semiauto is weird-looking, but once you shoulder one... NICE! GREAT gun!

No problem with Japanese Brownings AFAIK. The Citori is a workhorse shotgun, for example. I don't like them, but that's not because they're poorly made.


Marlin 39 is a top-notch gun, compares favorably to BL-22 but is a takedown, American-made, and all-steel, not to mention that it feels like a real levergun.

Taurus now makes a semiauto copy of an old Browning (I think) for a lot cheaper, and in stainless. Worth a look, especially for the price (low 200s if you look around).

If you want accuracy, a CZ 452 boltgun can't be beat, for anywhere near the price. Nice wood, nice metal, tiny groups, and a great action. And recently, they started making a single-set trigger version, the 453.

10/22 Target rifles are pretty nice, too. Basic synthetic 10/22 is a good gun if you want something you can get dirty without feeling bad about it. That's what mine's for.

November 18, 2005, 06:53 PM
Dollar An Hour

If the Browning take down 22 is a gimmick it is a good one. I believe that John Browning patented the design in 1913 which makes it probably the first really successful 22 auto.

The magazine in the butt stock means that it can be packed with the magazine loaded. It takes down to about 19 inches in about 2 seconds.
Take one apart as my father will tell you, there is not a single plastic or aluminum part in the thing.
I have had two over the years and old Belgian and my current Moroku (bought used don’t know what the former owner or gun shop did except they lost a couple of parts ($8). Neither has ever missed a beat. You will quickly learn not to get your shirt cuff right under the ejection port but that is a small price to pay for one of the best 22’s ever made.
They are a joy to clean and every one I let shoot it wants to keep it.

I don’t like the iron sights but I guess I don’t like any open sights so I put a Tasco Optima 2000 on it. Will post a picture tonight when I get home.

November 18, 2005, 07:04 PM
I have had all the rifles you described. The BAR is by far my favorite. I currently have two one in long rifle and one in shorts. The little Browning is the best instinctive shooting rifle I have ever used. With some practice you can quickly shoot airial targets with these guns. Accuracy is good a fun gun to own. I sold my Belgium model years ago but the Jap models are physically the same. The BLR is a very short action lever. You can open and close your hand to work the lever, I've owned two and have sold both to friends. Marlin 39 A's are class acts but heavier. The Remington shoots like most Remington's do. Far better than they look or cost. You can't go wrong with any of the above.

Dollar An Hour
November 19, 2005, 12:50 AM
I have had all the rifles you described. The BAR is by far my favorite. I currently have two one in long rifle and one in shorts. The little Browning is the best instinctive shooting rifle I have ever used.

They make one chambered for .22 short?

So the bottom ejection never bothered you much? Must depend on how people hold the rifle or length of their arms...

Both the Browning semiauto and levergun are very pointable and they feel light and compact, definitely have a unique style to them in a good way.

Bottom Gun
November 19, 2005, 08:50 AM
I've owned all three of the rifles you mentioned. I prefer the BL-22. It and the 552 were both more accurate than the Browning semi-auto.

The take-down semi-auto didn't fit me as well as the others and it was hard to get a proper cheek weld with it. This made snap shooting difficult. I also found myself not using the take down feature very often so I sold it.

The 552 was a much better rifle for me although slightly less accurate than the BL-22, which is my favorite. The compact BL-22 is easier to pack and carry and I like the short throw lever. It has the smoothest action of any lever gun I've used.

The 552 has the advantage of being able to use shorts, longs or long rifles if you are so inclined. I also used mine to shoot CB caps in the back yard although I would sometimes have to cycle the action by hand.

My vote is for the BL-22 but all three are excellent rifles so whichever one you decide upon will serve you well.

November 19, 2005, 12:53 PM
Dollar an Hour- Yeah they do make both. What is unusual is the 22 short version is about 4 inches longer than the long rifle. I would have to agree both BAR's are not as accurate as other rifles I've used but generally good enough for squirrel hunting and plinking. I did not find the BLR any more accurate than my BAR long rifle model but I did not run as many brands of ammo thru it nor had it as long as the BAR. My friend who now owns it shoots a 1 inch spinning target at 75 yards with few misses. I too seldom use the take down feature on the BAR's. Not sure if you guys know this but prior to the Browning semi auto Remington made the same version. You can sometimes find these at a gun show and they are virtually the same gun. Regards

Oleg Volk
November 19, 2005, 05:51 PM
522 works well with Super Colibris.

Jim Watson
November 19, 2005, 06:02 PM
Apples and oranges? The "BAR" .22 was an entirely different model from the J.M. Browning takedown design. It was a Miroku product made up to look somewhat like the centerfire BAR sporting semiautomatics; both capitalizing on the famous military weapon's designation.

November 19, 2005, 06:14 PM
I have 4 .22 rim fire rifles. The Remmy Speed master is my favorite, with never a problem. Shoots very well too.

November 19, 2005, 06:29 PM
Both are nice
The Browning is not a gimmick it is a very well made gun. Browning would be my choice.

If you enjoyed reading about "Browning semi-auto .22 vs. Rem 552 Speedmaster" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!