Browning introduced the rifle version of their highly
successful Buckmark pistol about two years ago, my goal has been
to get my hands on one. It turned out to be harder than I had
anticipated. I have been allowed to handle a couple of them at SHOT
Shows, and even ran across one that was for sale, but it
was not the exact version that I wanted to shoot.
introduced the Buckmark rifle in two versions; one with a heavy
bull barrel, and one with a tapered Sporter weight barrel. The
latter was the object of my desire. I had handled both rifles,
and the Sporter weighs about one pound less than the target
version, and balances like a dream. I was on a quest to find a
months of searching, while still devoting most of my time to
other projects, I had almost forgotten about finding one of the
little carbines. I finally decided to call Browning. After
reaching the proper person at Browning, I was informed that none
were available at that time, but that they would send one to me
when it became available. I had all but given up hope when I got
a call from my dealer stating that he had a package for me from
Browning. In less than five minutes, I was at his door doing my
best impression of Fred Flintstone trying to get inside.
the box was, finally, the twenty-two rimfire rifle that had
eluded me for two years: the Browning Buckmark Sporter. The
Sporter, like the other Buckmark rifles, is based upon
Browning’s rimfire pistol design that has been around in its
various forms for decades, the latest evolution of which is the
Buckmark. It is a blowback action pistol with a retractable
slide much like the old Colt Woodsman.
Buckmark carbine is basically the Buckmark pistol with a
buttstock and a longer barrel. What makes this little rifle so
intriguing to me is its handling qualities. The large, open
design of the thumbhole stock, the high Monte Carlo comb, the
tapered semi-beavertail fore arm, and the carbine’s perfect
balance combine to make this rifle one of the best handling
twenty-twos that I have ever held, which helps to explain my
desire to obtain one.
Sporter weighs in at four pounds and six ounces, and the balance
point is at the front of the trigger guard. The eighteen inch
barrel tapers from .900 inch at the breech to .556 at the
muzzle, which is finished in a recessed crown. Atop the barrel
is a set of fiber optic open sights, and the rifle has an
integral scope rail over the receiver and rear portion of the
barrel. The slide is retracted by pulling the two tabs
protruding at its rear. Releasing the slide chambers a round
from the ten round magazine, which is housed in the grip. The
slide locks open after the last round is fired, indicating an
empty magazine. The trigger pull on the sample rifle measured a
crisp two and three-quarter pounds. The Buckmark Sporter has a
satin finish to the wood parts, and a non-glare finish to the
steel and aluminum parts, resulting in a good looking overall
appearance for a hunting rifle. Thankfully, Browning did not
apply their famous lustrous high-polish finish to the Buckmark
rifle. The gold plated trigger has a set screw to control
overtravel. All other controls are on the left side, and are
easily operated. I shoot left-handed, and the slide stop
and magazine release are easily operated with my trigger finger.
The magazine ejects quickly with the assistance of a spring
loaded plunger. The barrel is easily removed for cleaning.
Overall fit and finish are very good.
accuracy testing, I mounted a Simmons 3 to 9 variable
compact scope. The gun was function fired with a large variety
of long rifle ammunition, from lightweight hypervelocity hollow
points to sixty grain subsonic roundnose, and everything in
between, including cheap bulk-packed discount store stuff and
expensive target grade imported ammunition. Every round fed,
fired, and ejected perfectly, except for one cartridge that
apparently had no priming mixture in the case. I tried the dud
round in another rifle, and again it would not fire. Anyway, the
Browning functioned perfectly.
testing was done at a range of fifty yards, which I think is
about right for a twenty-two rifle. I sight all of my twenty-two
rimfire rifles in at fifty yards, which is perfect for squirrel
and small game hunting. The gun did not group as tightly as I
had hoped, but it did do pretty well, and would consistently
group five rounds into one and one-half inches with Federal
Hollowpoints and Winchester Dynapoint ammunition, and did
a little better with CCI Green Tag target ammo. CCI
Stinger and Remington Yellow Jacket hypervelocity ammo
also grouped into one and one-half inches at fifty yards. For
plinking, informal target shooting, and small varmint hunting,
the accuracy is plenty good, and this little Browning has
"Squirrel gun" written all over it!
Buckmark Sporter is a quality rimfire carbine that is built
well, and built in the USA. It is probably the most comfortable
and ergonomic twenty-two rifle available. It has superb balance
and handling qualities, and exhibits good field accuracy.
out the Buckmark and the entire line of Browning products online
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