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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The wife and I just took the NRA First Steps Pistol course over the weekend and had a great time.

During that class we were able to fire multiple pistols and we have narrowed down the choices to:

Browning Buckmark
Ruger Mark III

Now rather than have folks say "buy this one because", my question is from a contrarian point of view:

If you own either (or both), why would someone NOT buy the one you have? That is to say what are: the weaknesses, the niggling issues and things that you just don't right don't like that would have colored your decision to buy that specific firearm?

TIA
 

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When the question is "What .22 pistol should I buy?", the answer is always either the Ruger or the Browning Buckmark. To answer your "contrarian" question, I'd pass on the Ruger Mark III because of the "lawyer" features... the Loaded Chamber Indicator and the Magazine Disconnect. The LCI frequently causes extraction problems, and the Mag Disconnect makes disassembly/reassembly more complex than it needs to be.

The Ruger Mark II, though, would be preferred over the Buckmark.... even though it was replaced by the Mark III, a used Mark II in excellent condition will fetch a higher price than a new Mark III. If you're really into .22 pistols, you could consider a Colt Woodsman, a High Standard Supermatic, and a Smith & Wesson M41. The only .22 pistol I have heard more bad than good about is the Walther P-22.
 

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Between the two, I would also pick the Buckmark for much of the same reasons. I would also pick the Browning over a MKII only because I like the looks of the Browning better. I personally prefer the grip of the 22/45 version of the Ruger but that is just me. I also own or have owned models of the others suggested (except the Walther) and any of them would be a good choice too.
It is a tough call as you are comparing what I feel to be the two best, commonly available, moderately priced 22 rimfires on the market. At this quality level, appearances and undefinable personal nuances become much more of a factor in which gun to buy than any practicality.
 

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If you want one that is really fun to shoot and very easy to take down to clean you should look at the Smith and Wesson 22a. It comes with a scope mount rail that has the sights on it so you can shoot with or without a scope or dot. Also has a one button takedown. The Browning has screws to take out before you can clean it. If you put a scope on the Browning you have to change the sight plate. You can buy the more expensive Browning with the rail. The Ruger is really a good pistol but harder to take down and the trigger is a little stiff. I have owned all three and currently have the Browning. It has the best trigger and may be the most accurate off the bench. I am thinking about getting the Smith 22a in the more expensive model because of the neat features it has. You can buy the upper end 22a for about half the price of the upper end Ruger or Browning.
 

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I had a Ruger Mk.II that was so frustrating I traded it for a .22 revolver. It was great to shoot, but it would only shoot CCI Blazer ammo. It jammed with anything else. I always had to make sure I had a cleaning rod when we went shooting, cuz the brass would stick in the chamber so tight that we had to pound it out. Plus it was a royal pain to get back together. However, they are not the best selling .22 auto in the world for nothing. I'm sure mine was a fluke. (But it sure did look good.)

I sure like the looks of the Buck Mark Micro (4" barrel), but have never fired a Browning and cannot say anything good or bad. (Except they are probably the #2 selling .22 semi-auto out there.)
 

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Naturally, I'll wade in with a suggestion you look to revolvers for a first gun. Cleaning is much easier and safety is simpler... and 9 round cyl. offer enough in any .22.

Of the two - I choose Ruger and I own two... both earlier versions than the III.
 
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