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Browning Buck Mark Hunter vs. Ruger 22/45?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Kynoch, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

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    I'm looking for a rimfire pistol for use in Steel Challenge shooting. I want to use iron sights and I have narrowed down my choices to the following with the the associated pros and cons:

    [​IMG]

    Browning Buck Mark Hunter
    Pros:

    * 7.25" barrel (longer sight radius.)

    * Fiber optic front sight.

    * Aluminum vs. polymer frame.

    * Better trigger than the Ruger out of the box.

    * Though perhaps not as reliable as the Ruger, it appears the Buck Mark is still plenty reliable. Reliable enough for action shooting events.

    * From what I have read, those with larger hands (which I have) typically prefer the Buck Mark to the 22/45.

    Cons:

    * More expensive (about $75.00)

    * Mags are a bit more expensive than the Ruger.

    * Concerns about the finish quality of the Hunter. Is it coated?

    [​IMG]

    Ruger 22/45 with replaceable wood grip panels
    Pros:

    * Paramount reliability.

    * Less expensive


    Cons:

    Shorter sight radius.

    Less ergonomic grip for those with big hands.

    Trigger needs work to bring it to the Buck Mark's level.

    Sadly while I have shot the 22/45 I have never even seen a Buck Mark Hunter so I am faced with taking a gamble and ordering one. Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. hentown

    hentown Senior Member

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    I recently acquired a Ruger Mark III 22/45 with threaded barrel, no sights. I installed the VQ accurizing kit @ around $100 (o.k. by me) and now have a really good, adjustable trigger.

    Liked the first one so much that I more recently acquired the Target Model with 5.5" barrel. I personally wouldn't want a 7.5" barrel, but that's just a matter of personal preference. I only installed the VQ target trigger @ about $35, instead of the complete VQ kit. Honed and polished the engagement surfaces and the result is a trigger almost as good as the one with the complete VQ kit.

    Given the plethora of aftermarket add-ons, etc., and the ruggedness of the Ruger, they're hard to beat. You can increase the girth of the grip by using fatter grip panels.
     
  3. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Senior Member

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    Both are great.

    Personally, I prefer the all-steel Ruger Mark III (preferably with the LCI and mag disconnect removed, and a Volquartsen trigger and sear installed).
     
  4. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

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    Thanks for the feedback. The 7.25" barrel is one of the prime benefits (to me) of the Buck Mark as it's a competitive edge in action shooting when not using a dot or other optic.

    I had considered the S&W M41 with a 6 7/8 barrel -- a superb feeling firearm, but they are simply not as reliable as the Rugers in competition from what I have seen. I have seen few Brownings being used in competition but apparently they are nearly as reliable as the Rugers...
     
  5. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

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    I have a Ruger MKII and a MKIII. Good guns but I don't care for the grip angle and my hands feel too large for the grips so I have already discounted them from my search.
     
  6. tuj

    tuj Senior Member

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    you won't go wrong with either one. How much aftermarket stuff do you want to do? Any? If so, get the Ruger.
     
  7. jmr40

    jmr40 Senior Member

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    Had em both. I just prefer the Ruger slightly better, but the Browning ain't bad at all.
     
  8. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

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    I can't think of two many things I would change. Possibly some skateboard tape on the grips and possibly a new rear sight? If I got the Browning perhaps the Heggis spring flip trick (not new parts needed) and not much else.
     
  9. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

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    Did you own these exact two models? What made you choose the Ruger over the Browning?
     
  10. PGT

    PGT Member

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    I have a 22/45 BlackLITE and a Buckmark Target Black Label. Hands down, the Browning feels better in hand and has a better trigger. It's more expensive however.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Senior Member

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    Buckmark. Amazing target pistol.
     
  12. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

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    I am happy to hear the Buck Mark "feels better in hand." The Ruger MKI-III feel very small in my hands. This is less true of the 22/45 but I still feel constricted.

    Can anyone here compare a Buck Mark to an S&W M41 in terms of how they feel in hand?

    I have read a lot lately and it sounds as if the Buck Mark has nearly the same reliability as the 22/45?
     
  13. Shipwreck

    Shipwreck Senior Member

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    I like the Buckmark better too - a few years ago, I looked at all the various 22 models. Even rented a few. I liked the buckmark best, and that is what I got.

    Much easier to take apart than the Ruger as well.
     
  14. Taurus 617 CCW

    Taurus 617 CCW Senior Member

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    I sought out a used Ruger 22/45 Mark 2. I compared it against a customer's Mark 3 with the Volquartsen trigger kit installed. I actually liked my trigger better. I have never regretted purchasing my 22/45. Take down and reassembly is a cinch once you know the trick.
     
  15. jmr40

    jmr40 Senior Member

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    The Ruger is available in SS. That was the deciding factor for me
     
  16. hentown

    hentown Senior Member

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    Pardon my ignorance, but I've never competed: What's the most distant target used in the Steel competition?
     
  17. anothernewb

    anothernewb Senior Member

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    buckmark is available in stainless too. just not in the long barrel version that I know of.

    The hunter I have looks like it's parkerized. it's coated similar to my AR, and has proven to be very durable.
     
  18. 5-SHOTS

    5-SHOTS Member

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    I had the same dilemma monts ago and red a bunch of treads obout the Ruger vs the Browning and for me was a tie match. Ended up getting the Norinco TT-Olympia because it is an all steel gun and very simple to take down.
     
  19. Crunchy Frog

    Crunchy Frog Member

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    I looked at this issue myself when a local club started offering Steel Challenge matches.

    I shot my first match using a borrowed Buckmark. By the next month I had purchased a Ruger 22/45. I like the Buckmark but there were two factors that favored the Ruger.

    First keep in mind that you will need five magazines. The Ruger came with two, the Bucky with one. The Ruger mags were less expensive than the Brownings to boot.

    Also you will be dry firing your pistol during the match. When you finish shooting each stage, the range officer will have you drop the magazine, show a clear chamber, drop the slide/bolt, then point the gun downrange and pull the trigger.

    The Ruger is perfectly fine to dry fire. The Browning? It's questionable. There was a fellow at one match with a Bucky that he was really concerned about dry firing. He stuffed a little plastic strip into the edge of his chamber at the end of each stage, to cushion the blow of the firing pin. To me that would get old fast.
     
  20. Pilot

    Pilot Senior Member

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    I have three Ruger MK II's, and a MK II era 22/45. The Rugers are reliable, over built, accurate, and very easily modified to have really nice triggers.
     
  21. PGT

    PGT Member

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    actually, that's the norm with most any rimfire. I've got a ton of those plastic inserts because I have half a dozen 22LR's and they come with them.
     
  22. ZeSpectre

    ZeSpectre Senior Member

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    I have owned both Ruger and Browning .22 pistols and consider them both to be fine firearms but they definitely have some differences.

    Accuracy –
    It’s a wash. I’ve shot several (stock) models of both types and all were pretty much equal in accuracy. The design of the Browning lets you swap out to a different grade barrel whereas the Ruger barrel/chamber is swapped out as one piece but either is a simple process so I consider that a wash as well.

    Reliability – Ruger does it’s typical overengineering (built like a tank) while Browning has what appear to be some lighter duty parts. In practical use I haven’t seen any difference as all of the models I’ve ever used, of either brand, functioned well so this is a draw.

    Cleaning – Ruger and Browning are at opposite ends of the spectrum here. The Ruger is definitely designed to be “field stripped” for regular cleaning (though I consider the process a royal pain) whereas the Browning has no “field strip” but has an “open” chamber that is easily scrubbed down with a toothbrush and then a quick swab down the bore. In my opinion this makes the regular post range-trip cleaning easier on the Browning, however it does make things quite a bit more complicated if the Browning does need a serious cleaning because then you have to actually disassemble (not just “field strip”) the Browning.

    In practical terms I still vote for the Browning because my experience has been that, due to the overall design, I almost never have to actually go so far as to disassemble the gun though I will say that if you do have to disassemble there are a lot of loose parts and it’s a real hassle.

    Trigger and general design - Here’s where we get into the serious design commentary. Out of the box most Ruger 22 pistols have an “okay” trigger. If you put a Volquartsen trigger kit into it you will have an AWESOME trigger, but then you are also adding another $110.00 to the cost of the gun. Nearly every Browning I have owned has a trigger –at least- as good as the Volquartsen right out of the box.

    Another problem I have with the Ruger design is that it actually seems to funnel crap from the chamber right down into the trigger assembly whereas the Buckmark design separates the trigger mechanisms from the chamber crud so it stays clean and crisp far longer between cleanings.

    Additionally, I hate the Ruger's slide lock with a purple passion but that's because I'm a lefty and that slide release lever is in the worst place for me (not to mention that you can’t just “slingshot” a Ruger.

    Accessories – Another wash. There are so many accessories and mods for either gun you can pretty much build anything you can imagine.

    Don’t misunderstand me, the Ruger is a fine pistol and buying one would not be a mistake, but overall I’ll take the Browning.
     
  23. greyling22

    greyling22 Senior Member

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    I grew up with a ruger so I am naturally biased that way. Now, with that out of the way:

    I've run them both. Not in competition, but just out and about plinking. (note: all my ruger comments are based on pre-mk3, all steel guns)

    The buckmark feels better in hand. particularly with the udx grips. (or whatever the 3 letters are. the finger groove grips) The buckmark tends to become problematic as it gets dirty. I don't like taking it apart. {Did they ever change the top sight rail back to metal? They were platsic for a bit and were breaking as I recall.}

    The ruger didn't mind being dirty as much. most of what you need for a trigger job can be had just by buying a $30 sear. or go nuts and add a $30 trigger too. no need for the whole kit. As a lefty I really like the mag release on the bottom of the gun. It slingshots just fine . I generally just rack one of the ears with a knuckle, it doesn't require much.

    Between those 2 guns, without any childhood preference coloring my decision, I would buy the buchmark all the way. Worst case scenario: you don't like the one you buy, sell it. Used guns are commanding so much these days you won't take much of a hit.
     
  24. Eb1

    Eb1 Senior Member

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    I'd go with the Buckmark. My dad has had one since, well forever, and it is super accurate and very reliable.
    I don't think I have ever seen if fail to fire, and it is plenty good for hunting. He just has a standard model.

    As a matter of fact, I am wrestling with the idea of a Buckmark or a .44 Magnum with a 4 5/8" barrel. I have a 5.5" SBH now. I will probably go with the Browning. Everyone needs a Browning, a Colt, and a lever action in their collection IMO.
     
  25. 788Ham

    788Ham Senior Member

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    Get the stainless Browning, the one with the fluted barrel, "Very accurate" piece! I had the opportunity to shoot one some time ago, was amazed at how accurate they really are. Don't remember the model #, not hard to find.
     

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