I am looking at getting a .22 pistol i have narrowed it down to two of them the Bromning Buckmark Camper (http://www.browning.com/products/catalog/firearms/detail.asp?fid=006B&cid=051&tid=379&bg=x) and the Ruger MRK 3 Standard (http://www.ruger.com/products/markIIIStandard/specSheets/10105.html). I assume there will be a lot of debate over this but just to be clear I'm am looking into these particular models of the guns not the whole families. So how these particular guns act. Pros and cons are greatly appreciated.
Also what brand of ammo do you use in these guns?
Can you dry fire these guns without hurting them?
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May 3, 2012, 02:05 AM
Both are a great value for what they are. I voted Ruger just for my experience with their amazing (in my experience) customer service. I do not have any buckmarks so I cannot say about them. I have shot the browning buckmark, and it is an exceptional pistol, just like the Ruger IMO.
Edit: Realized I did not answer your other questions.
I do not remember what was in the buckmark, but I have never had a problem with a Mark 3 Ruger running any ammo. I use Federal automatch in it the most.
From the Ruger site on FAQ
Can I dry fire my Mark III pistol?
Yes. The Mark III has a firing pin stop that prevents the firing pin from contacting the rear of the barrel and damaging the edge of the chamber. If you are going to dry fire the pistol extensively, the stop pin and firing pin will eventually wear and contact could occur, and we recommend replacing both the firing pin and the firing pin stop from time to time. You should also monitor the contact of the firing pin with the rear of the barrel.
Unless the steel frame is important to you, the basic 22/45 comes with adjustable rear sight, and is a little cheaper and lighter.
May 3, 2012, 07:33 AM
I have four Ruger MK II's (not III's) so I am a little biased. What I like about the Rugers is the ability to modify them to your liking for very little money. While their triggers are OK out of the box, you can make them superb with a part or two from Volquartsen or Clark. Buckmarks are nice too, but I'd get a more expensive model than the Camper to avoid the plastic site base.
Also, if you must get a MK III over a used MK II (recommended) replace the Loaded Chamber Indicator and Mag Disconnect right off the bat. It is easily done and their are instructions available on the net.
May 3, 2012, 09:22 AM
Love the Rugers, but I would like to try a Buckmark someday.
May 3, 2012, 09:25 AM
Buckmarks are nice too, but I'd get a more expensive model than the Camper to avoid the plastic site base.
Just an FYI on this....
Browning has recently discontinued the plastic rear sight base and are replacing cracked ones with the all metal with new rear sight to fit (total value ~ $70) for free. I assume only the ones that are still under warranty though.
Base model Campers should start showing up on the shelves with all metal rear site bases soon.
I know this 1st hand direct from Brownings customer service.
Personally I think they both have pros and cons and are both over all really good.
Should just come down to the OP personal preference/choice.
May 3, 2012, 09:50 AM
I have both. I like both. If I were to buy again I wouldn't get the browning. There are a couple reasons for that. First, I've had more stoppages with the browning. Dirty, cheap .22lr ammo isn't going to be the most reliable ammo in the world, but fed the same ammo (anything bulk box but remington) it seems the browning fails sooner and needs cleaned sooner than the Ruger. I also completely HATE how the rail/sight mounts on the Browning. You must remove the sight/rail to disassemble the firearm. I'm not a fan of that in the slightest. I've also had issues with the rear sight/rail screw staying tight. I was drawn to the Browning because I was looking at swapping a barrel out. That is one advantage over the Ruger but it's also one I never used.
The Browning isn't a bad pistol but I feel the design puts it simply a step behind the Ruger. If I found another Camper at a good price used I'd probably pick it up just to have another.
May 3, 2012, 10:11 AM
Get whichever is cheaper. I like both. I figured out the features I wanted (5.5" or longer bull barrel, target crown, adjustable sights, fiber optic front) and just bought whichever model was cheaper after comparing apples to apples. There is no wrong choice here.
I've had a busy few days after shooting all day Saturday. I ended up unexpectedly bringing a friend home and teaching her to shoot a little on some of my steel targets. My little buckmark has racked up over 1500 rounds without cleaning or additional lube. I'm a little shocked it's still running. I mean really...it's filthy and the accuracy and reliability are still there.
I typically run either CCI or these:
They are much cheaper than CCI, more expensive than the cheapest ammo but nearly as accurate as CCI and run in any autoloading 22 I have.
Skip the mods, buy some reactive targets if you have somewhere to shoot them, run 10000 rounds through it and then you'll know what mods you need.
May 3, 2012, 10:23 AM
First, I've had more stoppages with the browning.
Same here, then I figured out I was using more lube than needed. Let her run a little dry and give it a shot.
I also completely HATE how the rail/sight mounts on the Browning. You must remove the sight/rail to disassemble the firearm. I'm not a fan of that in the slightest.
I hate that, too. But honestly I have probably put 100K rounds or more through mine (I really like shooting steel...) I've only taken it apart once. Runs like a top. You really don't need to disassemble it after 500 or 1000 rounds and clean it. It's a 22, they seem to be a little more reliable dirty. If you are worried about accuracy, brush the breech face and snake the barrel. I honestly don't plan to take mine apart for a few years or until it develops reliability issues. Like I said...1500 rounds and 1 failure (likely ammo as there was a very good primer strike). If you want, I'll take some pics before I clean it tonight so you can see how filthy it is and still reliable. :)
I've also had issues with the rear sight/rail screw staying tight.
Same here. A dab of loctite fixes it, but not too much because you want to adjust it sooner or later. I usually just set it up for XX yards and use good ol' Kentucky windage after that. I tend to set my 22 targets up at varying distances to keep life interesting. It's not the first set of adjustable sight I've seen with this issue. :)
May 3, 2012, 10:25 AM
The ONE BuckMark I shot, was brand new and the slide was a bit tougher to pull than my Mark 3 bolt. I expect it to loosen up.. Both are nice guns.. buy one of each??? :D
Wow it's light. You can get the same thing by modding a normal 22/45...but I don't have a 22/45 at all so this works for me. I think I'll go pick it up today (gotta love buying in NC, my CHP is a federally acknowledged NICS bypass, just sign and go...15 minutes). My son isn't very big yet and the buckmark is a little heave unsupported. I don't like the golden finish, but my kids have been talking about Ruger's new "golden gun."
May 3, 2012, 10:58 AM
I prefer the grip angle and the overall balance of the Ruger over that of the Browning Buckmark. Best accuracy with my Model 512 comes from using CCI MiniMags and Wolf Match Target ammo.
May 3, 2012, 11:01 PM
I have shot a couple of Brownings over the years, and i like thme OK.
My preference is the Ruger...I have a MK II. I have herd that the magazine disconnect/loaded chamber indicator makes a difference in the trigger pull/feel, but i haven's shot a MK III.
My MKK II eats anything I feed it, except for the plain lead Rem "Thunderbolts". Haven't done an accuracy test with all the different types of ammo.
May 3, 2012, 11:29 PM
I own a Ruger MK 3 and it is a great gun. Points go to the Buckmark for having a much more comfortable grip than the MK3 though. Voted for Ruger but would love to have a Buckmark for myself too, they're both quality pieces.
May 3, 2012, 11:45 PM
I used to own both, but only kept the Buckmark.
I'd go a bit higher though than the Camper. Go for the URX or the UDX with slab sided barrel in 5.5" length. The UDX with rosewood grips is particularly nice.
May 4, 2012, 12:05 AM
The udx grips on the browning feel better than anything I've ever come across with a ruger. My experiences track with benzy2. browning's been more prone to acting up if it gets dirty or too dry or too wet. I like the browning's feel better, but I shoot the ruger better. avoid the remington bulk and winchester super x and the ruger runs fine, all the time.
May 4, 2012, 11:26 AM
Benzy made 2 comments in comparing the Ruger to the Buck.
1. Ease of disassembly. Yes, taking apart the top rail is an inconvenience, but it's not needed to give the gun a through cleaning. I don't think I've take it off in about 4-5 years. On the other hand, the Ruger's unconventional spring loaded lever that is recessed in the grip, used to give me fits.
2. Ammo. During the time I owned the MKII, I found it didn't like Federal ammo almost at all, and I also had the occasional stovepipe from random ammo it otherwise worked OK with.
The Buckmark on the other hand, at least for me, has been a delight to own, simply because I don't ever have to worry about the ammo I buy. I have fed it just about everything, from unnamed Philippines made std. velocity ammo, to CCI mini-mags & Blazer, Winchester bulk, Remington bulk, Federal bulk, Fiocchi, Aguila, you name it. It never complains. Every once in a blue moon it might fail to feed or it might stove pipe, but it's so rare, that when it happens it's an event. I'd say that it may have happened twice in the last year.
As you can see from the various posts, different folks have had different experiences with their guns, so, really, you mileage WILL vary.
Which ever way you go, both guns are great for target oriented .22's, and you won't go wrong with either.
May 4, 2012, 01:39 PM
I'm voting Ruger because I've had one or another for decades with no problems whatsoever. Supposedly, it's ok to dry-fire the Ruger but I never dry-fire any .22 rf.
No experience with the Buckmark but most people seem to like them.
Whichever pistol you decide on I'd definitely insist that it come with adjustable sights.
May 4, 2012, 02:45 PM
I've owned both, and I prefer my Buckmark BECAUSE I replaced the barrel with a TacSol 4" barrel and rail/rear sight and a FastFire. Much more fun to shoot than my heavier, longer barrel MK II. I will say that installing the Volquartsen internals on the MK II gave a much nicer trigger and a little better accuracy.
It just came down to what I like to shoot, both are great pistols.
May 4, 2012, 07:01 PM
Buckmark is much easier for me to take apart and maintain. I only strip it down every 1000 rounds or so. For every other cleaning chore, a boresnake, toothbrush and some CLP is plenty. I also do not remove the top rail. I simply take out the rear screw and then remove the barrel with the rail attached. The red dot stays zeroed and it's ready for the next range trip.
I also like the idea that when I eventually get a threaded barrel for it, it does not need to go through an FFL.
There's a lot you can do to customize a Bucky; you just have to look around a bite harder than you would for a Ruger.