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Buckmark vs MK IV

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by milemaker13, Jun 27, 2018.

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  1. milemaker13

    milemaker13 Member

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    I'm curious about the differences between the browning buckmark (which I have) and the ruger mkIV (which I don't have).

    I like my buckmark camper a lot. But it cost half what the ruger does. I paid about $212 each out the door for a pair last year on black Friday. I got an email flier today advertising the MKIV at $458 on sale, before shipping and transfer fees...

    So what's the deal? Is the ruger a higher quality? Better materials? I know some prefer one over the other, but that's not what I'm asking; why such a price difference for similar pistols?

    Just curious.
     
  2. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    For years, Ruger sold lots of the Mk.3's at prices comparable to Buckmarks, but with nightmarish reassembly. Ruger finally fixed their design to make it about as good as a Buckmark. It's obviously better than their old inferior design, so they raised the price.

    [runs away giggling]
     
  3. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    I think your prices are a little high for the MK IV and a litlte low on the Buckmark (ie, you got a good price on sale but that's not a normal price).

    The Ruger Mk IV standard (steel frame with swept grip) is $344 at Grab-a-gun. The 22/45 version (polymer frame with traditional grip) is $322. I just recently bought a Buckmark and the cheapest I could find it at the time was $297 shipped. With that the price different really isn't that significant. Their cheapest Buckmark on that site is $320 with various other models costing more (the camper that you mention is $331). That seems to put them in the same ballpark.

    While I don't own a MK IV I do own an Ruger Mk 1 and the Buckmark Camper and though both of them required some tinkering to get running right, now that both are I can honestly say the Ruger feels better in my hands and is typically what I prefer to shoot.

    Honestly though, if I were going to roll the dice on a new .22LR at the moment the S&W Victory 22-A looks mighty nice and is priced in the same ballpark as the others.
     
  4. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    Actually, I have to say - I prefer the disassembly of the old Rugers to the Buckmark. Admittedly it has a pretty steep learning curve, but after understanding the process I can pop my Ruger apart and back together pretty easily. The Buckmark on the other hand requires a hex wrench to dissassemble and I've got to worry about applying loctite every time I put it back together (plus worrying about stripping out the screw holes).
     
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  5. milemaker13

    milemaker13 Member

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    You are probably right about the high/low pricing. The buckmark was a Black Friday special and I got a new credit card discount as well.
    The mk4 I saw advertised was the target model.
     
  6. milemaker13

    milemaker13 Member

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    What does a Mk3 currently go for? Are they still making them?
     
  7. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    I don't think they're still being made, though I'm sure there's still some new old-stock available in some gun stores and Gunbroker. I don't think they run any cheaper than the Mk 4 though. I'd personally avoid the Mk 3 though. Ruger was doing a lot with that gun to satisfy lawyers. After they decided to drop the California market they get a little more sane again with the Mk 4, so I'd either get that or a used Mk 2 before looking at the Mk 3.
     
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  8. milemaker13

    milemaker13 Member

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    Oh, didn't know that. What kind of crud did they do to the 3? I'm not really looking for one, right now, but you all know how these things go sometimes! Lol.
     
  9. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    Loaded chamber indicator and magazine disconnect, though they kept the disconnect in the Mk IV (it can be removed) and removed the LCI.

    They also moved from a heel-style mag release (Mk 1 & 2) to the button style mag release (Mk 3 & 4) which is neither here nor there (more familiar to some people and probably faster, but both systems work and mag change speed isn't generally relevant on a .22).
     
  10. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    Don't know me nuttin' about Buckmarks but if they are equal to my MK IV they are a very nice gun.

    I have a MK III. I have had no problem caused by the loaded chamber indicator. If I do I'll just make a steel blank to replace it. A Volquartson sear and trigger along with a ebay bushing made it just as nice as MY MK IV which got the Volquartson kit. That is except for the takedown and re-assembly and that's no problem if you can read and understand the owner's manual. It's not like that needs to be done all that frequently.
     
  11. maxxhavoc

    maxxhavoc Member

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    That;s the winner. Buckmarks and Mark Series pistols have been the go-to for .22 pistols for years. Both are great, and I don't think one was ever better than the other. Handled a Victory, and it may just be better than both. S&W snuck into the competition and may win the prize.
     
  12. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    My shooting buddy owns a MkII target model. I have a basic Buck Mark. IMHO, neither one shoots particularly better than the other. They are both excellent.
     
  13. Charliefrank

    Charliefrank Member

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    To my knowledge they stopped making them and introduced the mk 4. I just picked up a used mk 3 target model for $325. Not a super deal, but I'm very pleased with the quality and the way it shoots.
     
  14. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    Simple. The buckmark is more betterer.
     
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  15. bassjam

    bassjam Member

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    I don't have a Mk IV, but I do have a MK I. I find I grab it as often as I grab my Buckmark. I can't tell a difference in accuracy between the two, and as long as I keep them clean they both run reliably.

    I've never disassembled either, when they need cleaned I removed the grips and douse them with brake parts cleaner.

    My 10 year old daughter does have a slight preference for the Mark I, I think it's because the grips are a little smaller. She does struggle to deactivate the safety on the Ruger, and I think the Mark I through Mark III all use the smaller button safety while the Buckmark has a flat lever.
     
  16. Pilot

    Pilot Member

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    I have four Ruger MK II's, and no Buckmarks, but a friend has two. IMHO, they are equal to the Rugers, just not as over built. Either will serve you very well. The Ruger take down never bothered me. I prefer the MK II over all the other MK variants including the MK IV.
     
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  17. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    I like the way a Ruger has a bolt in a receiver that is similar to a rifle.

    I have several MK I and II variants. The take down issue is greatly over exaggerated. Not knowing how the hammer strut needs to be positioned when putting in the mainspring causes 99% of the problems.

    As far as the MK IV goes, I don't want one, bit do like the machined grip frame compared to the stamped grip frame from the earlier pistols.
     
  18. Crunchy Frog

    Crunchy Frog Member

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    The Buckmark and the Ruger are excellent pistols. I shot my first Steel Challenge Match with a borrowed Buckmark. When I was deciding on a pistol for Steel Challenge I chose the Ruger for a couple of reasons. First, I needed five magazines for match shooting and the Ruger came with two, and the extra magazines for the Ruger were a little less expensive than Browning mags.

    Second, at the end of each Steel Challenge stage the shooter drops the magazine, shows an empty chamber and dry fires the pistol under the supervision of the Range Officer. The Ruger is designed to be dry fired without damaging the chamber or the firing pin; this is not true of many Rimfire pistols.
     
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