Browning firearms has hit the jackpot with the Buckmark line of .22 cal. Pistols. The Buckmark Lite is one of the versions of this line and has revived the little boy that hides somewhere deep inside me. Having been a proponent of “nothing smaller than my thumb” caliber kind of guy, it was a huge leap for me to shell out my hard earned cash on a “Plinking” pistol. The thoughts that drove me to purchase this firearm was the dent that was left in my wallet every time I took one of my “thumb sized” firearms to the range. My average day of shooting was costing me between $100 and $150.00 in ammunition. Knowing how critical shooting is on a regular basis to retain the muscle memory and skills that are required to carry on a daily basis, I was driven to find a more economical firearm to practice my skills with. Actually it was my wife who drove me to that conclusion and being solely self serving, knew it would be an opportunity to add another firearm to my collection. Also being a proponent of passing the love of firearms to other people I had seen first hand what happens when you put a large caliber firearm into a new persons hand. I realized that large caliber handguns are not made for introductory work with most people!
Browning Buckmark Research
So after some research I decided on Browning’s Buckmark Lite. The Buckmark Lite is a mostly alloy firearm making it an incredibly light gun weighing in at a mere 1lb. 12 oz. I don’t care who you are, that’s a feather weight firearm. It comes with a standard 5.5” barrel with an overall length of 9.5” making it a comfortable fit for a man, woman or child. The Tru Glow front sight coupled with the rear Pro target rear sight makes the sight picture incredibly easy to, and keep aligned. My first thoughts while looking down the sight rail was, “this is going to be incredibly easy to teach my grandkids about proper sight picture!” It came stock with a fluted barrel cover and gold plate trigger that gave it the appearance of a higher end firearm that would cost much more. The trigger is probably the best “out of the box” configuration I have ever experienced. It comes extremely close to custom trigger work that I have experienced through fire arms costing many thousands of dollars. The trigger has almost no discernible creep and produces a crisp break with every shot. An audible “click” when the sear resets spoiled me rapidly, bringing with it the trigger control training that taught me to listen for the sound and know that the firearm was ready to fire without trigger creep a second time. Trigger action on this grade is a rarity in off the shelf pistols. The grip is canted at what seems to be almost a 45 degree angle, but any awkwardness that it may visually impart disappears the moment that you wrap your hand around the grip. It truly feels like an extension of your arm and hand perfectly aligning the site rail and sights up with your eyes when raised. I believe it is one of the most ergonomic designs ever made.
I ran several hundred rounds of Federal bulk ammo through the firearm my first outing and had no difficulty maintaining a 1” group at 25 yards. Subsequent trips to the rang have proven that with a better ammo, CCI Standard, that my groups were a bit tighter, but the gun was substantially cleaner at the end of my range time. You might think that this is no big deal until you understand that the only drawback to this firearm is truly cleaning it. Truly cleaning it, meaning dismantle and clean, not “Waive it and spray it” requires some VERY careful planning and adherence to steps and procedures. There are several You Tube videos that detail the teardown and reassembly steps for this firearm…trust me, it is not for the feint of heart. One of my closest shooting buddies exclaimed halfway through the process the first time that “this would have all wound up in a box and been on it’s way to a gunsmith”, I on the other hand have a bit more tenacity that he and have successfully mastered the process. This is the only drawback I have discovered with this gun and find it to be only a minor drawback.
Buckmark Pricing and Accessories
With a MSRP of $579.99 it is far from cheap, but with ammo costs of around 1/10th of shooting large caliber firearms it sure pays for itself in savings in a hurry!
If you feel the need to “Accessorize” your Buckmark, a few simple internet searches will show you things that can make your firearm completely unrecognizable from the day you removed it from the box! There are more accessories available than you could fit on a dozen guns made for this firearm.
Despite the cleaning issues this firearm is made for everyone. Beginners, gun nuts, young shooters, beginning accuracy shooters and even old far sighted guys like me, this firearm bring back the fun of shooting at a reasonable price. And…. For the fairer of the sexes, yes they make pink grips!