Browning Buck Mark for a starter bullseye .22?


March 10, 2014, 12:25 AM
Somehow got it in my head that I'd like to start shooting in a more formal context than the backyard redneckery that I've been participating in. Since I mostly shoot one-handed, off-hand anyway (and since IDPA/IPSC hold no real interest for me), Conventional Pistol competition seems the way to go.

Consensus among the cognoscenti seems to be that rimfire is the way to start getting into the sport, so I poked around the shops and found a wide array of options. I found that the Buck Mark had the best ergonomics and balance for me. The thing is, I only have 2 vastly different configurations available locally. The Micro Bull with a 4" bull barrel and a stainless Plus with 5.5" slab-side barrel.

Obviously, the longer sight radius is generally better for precision shooting, but it's a whole $200 more and, as I understand it, replacement barrels for the Buck Mark are easy to find and easy to swap.

So, should I get one, the other, or am I pursuing the wrong line of thinking?

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March 10, 2014, 09:12 AM
Nothing wrong with the Buckmark as a starting point. I would stick with at least a five inch, bull, or slabside barrel. It gives a longer sight radius, and more weight up front which helps steady the gun, and reduce the already very low recoil/muzzle rise.

You may want to also consider the 5.5 inch barrel Target Model Ruger MK II/III. There are many more after market parts for the Rugers that enable tuning, and accurizing to help the pistol grow with your skills.

March 10, 2014, 10:32 AM
Buckmark hunter is a long barrel version too. 7" I believe. also comes with fiber optic front.

I have one and love it, and wouldn't hesitate to use it in a competition

March 10, 2014, 11:03 AM
While I'm far from being part of the elite cognoscenti class, either one of these options will serve you well.

I have the Buckmark Camper URX and it's a wonderful shooter. Incredibly accurate and ergonomic.

March 10, 2014, 02:45 PM
Buck Mark is a great starter bullseye pistol. It's what I used until I got my S&W 41, and I still have the Buck Mark in my range box as a back-up.

Check out for info on how to tweak the trigger. Consider adding an overtravel-adjustable trigger too.

I like the slabside barrel, but honestly I don't think there's much of an accuracy advantage. But I'm a red-dot user; with iron sights, the longer barrel could make a difference.

March 10, 2014, 03:37 PM
Skip any Ruger and get the BM slabside. You won't be sorry. You can work on the trigger and do the Heggis spring flip yourself and come out with a wonderful trigger from the parts already in the gun. Find the ammo it likes and shoot the fool out of it. Just oil it once in a while and you are good to go. I actually tear mine down every thousand rounds or so and do a deep cleaning. Other than that they are great pistols and will last a lifetime. Folks have a hard time believing me but mine is just as accurate and the trigger is better than my FILs model 41, even after he sent it to Clark for a work over.

Check out There is a wealth of info there.

March 10, 2014, 04:35 PM
Thanks for the input.
I'll pick up the slab side next paycheck.

April 5, 2014, 12:57 PM
Ended up getting the Ruger MkIII Target instead. Don't know why, but for some reason it felt better in my hand than last time. Add in that it was cheaper AND the aftermarket support and it really was kind of a no-brainer.

I may still get a Buck Mark down the road though.

April 5, 2014, 01:13 PM
Oooh! Nice choice! Looks almost identical to my MkII. If you can ever outshoot it ... well, good luck with that! :)

April 5, 2014, 01:42 PM
You can't do better for the price. Mine is dead-nuts accurate.

April 5, 2014, 03:32 PM
congrats! ready for bullseye competition right out of the box.


Big Shrek
April 5, 2014, 06:07 PM
Just wait until you do a detail strip, then you'll wish you had a Buckmark ;)

April 5, 2014, 07:59 PM
one tip: bullseye shooting is a lot easier if you use a red dot.

April 5, 2014, 08:18 PM
Good choice. My stock MarkIII Hunter is amazingly accurate, even better than a few I shoot against with three times it's cost much invested in them.

April 5, 2014, 08:47 PM
I'll be content with irons for now. Can't really afford to go hog wild with mods and additions and I never really liked optics anyway. I'll just add things slowly over the course of time as I need them. Probably the first thing I change will be the trigger.

April 6, 2014, 09:19 AM
If you change out your factory sear for a Volquartsen sear, I believe that you'll find that your trigger pull dramatically improves. I'd also suggest that you consider installing a BAM bushing and replacing the LCI with a metal insert.
The Ruger III is difficult to strip----however-----you will eventually get the hang of it. Watch the Ruger videos on disassembly and reassembly and bookmark them. The Ruger is a well made and very solid pistol, much "meatier" than the inexpensive cast parts and screws used to hold-together the Buckmark, IMHO.

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