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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve been thinking about buying a .22 pistol for plinking. I know that some folks like Rugers, others say the Browning Buckmark is best ‘cause it’s closest to a "normal" mag release.

I’d like to get thoughts from the group. Maintenance, spare parts, reliability, ease-of-use, or just looks cool… all opinions are solicited and welcome.

I intend this to be used by many friends for many years, young & old, novice to very experienced. I’d also like to use it to train my grandson in a couple years, with any luck maybe it will last long enough for him to train his grandkids.

So what do you recommend?


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: wewebb on 2001-09-24 01:21 ]</font>
 

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I'm on a bit of a retro kick so I am going to recommend a ruger single six with the 22lr and 22mag cylinders. Also I like the MKII's with the 5 1/2" bull barrel. I think ruger made one called the MKII 4B that had a 4" bull barrel on it that looked like a neat little hiking gun. I saw one a few days back that took my fancy, it is a ruger single six in .32. It is built on the same frame as the single six 22 but it chambered for the .32 round. Very handy little gun I would think. I don't need one, but I want one. It would be more expenisve to shoot than the .22 but I would think it would be a lot of fun. In any case, if you are looking for an overbuilt gun made to last - I vote for ruger (company politics notwithstanding).

Sig/Hamerelli also makes a neat little .22 semi called the trailside if what I read is correct.

For a rifle I would recommend a bolt-action or single-shot .22 without a scope. The one I have seen that I like is the CZ-452. They go for about 200 bucks and seem like very nicely made rifles to my ignorant eye. I like to teach youngsters to shoot with a long gun long before moving to a pistol. A pistol is just to easy to inadvertantly point at yourself or someone else when you are young and still learning. A rifle makes the learning a bit easier. Also, in a rifle I do one round at a time with youngsters. This is for two reasons - one, for safety. Two - I want to instill a sense of "this is the only bullet I have to work with" in their minds. For very little shooters I recommend the "chipmunk", a kid sized 22 bolt action single shot with ghost ring sights. I got my son one for his fourth birthday and we spent a year talking about it and cleaning it and dry firing with snap caps before we went to shoot. We started with .22 shotshells and water balloons, then moved to 22 shorts and then on to LR's. Now he can hit pine cones at about 15 meters. I treat it as a very somber and serious outing and I believe he highly values the trust I am giving him by letting him shoot. We talk a lot more than we shoot and I always stand right behind him. It is a good way to teach about patience and control, and of course it is just cool to be able to go shooting with him for me.

So, if it was just for me to shoot, I would get a freedom arms .454 for plinking. But if young'uns are going to shoot too this is my take on it. Good luck and please let us know what you decide on.

Don't forget little eyes and ears for the shooters, you can find them at the larger sporting goods stores.

Jake
 

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If it were just me buying a plinking .22, I would get a Ruger Mark II handgun with a 10" bull barrel. I like the gun because it gives a HUGE sight radius, the most velocity for your .22, and it is one hell of an eye catcher. You know you will never use the gun in a concealed carry situation. You are going to bang out rounds at the range, why not have the most accurate, powerfull, and softest shooting gun you can. With that long barrel shooting pests in the yard is a fairly easy task. Also the barrel length gives you just a little extra free velocity.

With kids, and inexperienced shooters I would suggest something more like a single/double action revolver in .22. You can teach a person trigger pull by cocking the hammer then pulling the trigger on a revolver. Or you can run 7 or 8 rounds off just pulling the trigger.
 

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"Plinking" generally means .22, especially if we are talking about teaching kids. A strong case can be made for the .357 revolver as a versatility champion, but it helps to learn the basics on the cheap to shoot rimfire first.

That said, a DOUBLE action revolver would be a bit more safe than a .22 autoloading pistol, just as a bolt, lever, or pump- action rifle is a safer trainer than an autoloader. I love my Single-Six, and it was perfect match to my Ithaca Saddlegun (GREAT trainer) and Winchester 9422M; however, a double-action revolver offers the added feature of allowing training for modern revolvers.

If you DO opt for a "bottom-feeder," you may wish to consider the Ruger 2245. This uses a polymer frame to provide the grip angle and mag release of the 1911, eliminating that moronic bottom latch and providing a cheap way to practice for all you "Gummint .45" shooters. Great trainer, too.
 

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The Ruger Security Six is a great DA revolver. I had a stainless HB (Heavy Barrel) 4"; wish I'd kept it. The 686 which replaced it did nothing better and is a pain to tear down by comparison.

A .357 is a very versatile gun, and a good "next step up" from a .22 handgun.
 

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My 2 Bits worth is a Tarus PT22.
I bought one of these little compact, semi-autos for my wife to learn to shoot on because she was a little uncomfortable cycling the slide on semiautos to get them started, but she liked to shoot semis more than revolvers. So the neet thing about this little guy is that you can load the magazine, insert it into the frame, and cycle the slide just like any other semi. OR there is this neet little release on the side that lets the barrel pop up out of the slide, so you can manualy put the first round right into the barrel without having to cycle the stiff slide. Then, once you fire it, the recoil auto feeds the next round just like you cycled it. Pretty slick, and it is small enough to put in your pocket as a backup carry gun.
Good Luck
LionHeart!
 

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I had a standard Browning Buckmark that was really accurate and reliable. I used to burn up a brick of ammo almost every time I took it to the range. Got to where hitting empty shotgun shells at 30+ yards offhand was a piece of cake. The best part was I only paid about $200 brand new. Sorry I ever sold that gun. Ken
 

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I went with the 22/45 4" Ruger. Controls are similar to 1911. Light, easy to carry , and plenty accurate. All I've done was have the trigger smoothed. Taken squirrels,informal plinking,and even my 4 year old neice (supervised) can "help me shoot it". In my experience the kids thought the bearcat 'boring' and didn't like the 'long drop of the hammer'. The all metal (standard and target) models were 'heavy' for them.
Darn- I was trying to rationlize another purchase-the Bearcat or Single six. My .02

They (and myself) like the adj. sights.

I do take a small dab of beeswax and enlarge the front sight for the real young ones, works for the single shot 22 rifle also. The 4 year old just puts the "blob' over the balloon and 'pop'.
 

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IF you have a 1911 already, you might also consider a Ciener or Marvel conversion. Keep all the controls you know and love, while shooting a .22.

Just a thought......
 

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I bought a Browning Buckmark a few months back. Very accurate and a better sight picture than stock Rugers. Very reliable also. Cost was about $230 with tax. I have three or four thousand rounds through it I guess so far. The grip angle and feel is something like a 1911, and the trigger is extremely good for a stock gun.

Bad side? Only comes with one magazine, and there is a sort of top-plate above the slide which holds the rear sight... it is attached with two allen-head screws that want to back out if you don't really crank them down against their lock washers, and the grip screw on the right hand stock does that same thing.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: telackey on 2001-12-18 16:38 ]</font>
 

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Both the Ruger and Browning's are very good pistols; I'd probably have to give the slight edge in ease of maintenance to the Browning - unless you're one of those people blessed with three hands. My advice is go to a store or two that has a good sample of both these guns - there are a lot of variations - and try them out to see which one you like the feel of better. It'll be the one you shoot the most and practice is very important with a handgun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Since I started this thread I guess I'd better send an update.

The pistol I purchased was a Browning Buckmark. What sold me on the Browning was that while cruising their website my wife saw the red framed Camper model and really seemed to like it. One of my primary goals is to share the fun of shooting with family and friends, so a red Buckmark was located and purchased almost immediately. It's so great not to have to buy jewlery to approve a new gun purchase.

She likes it so much she wanted to carry it when we go out in the woods so she also got her carry permit. (Now I can start looking for a real gun for her purse, Christmas is coming!)

I really liked the feel and controls of the Buckmark although it does have a couple of problems. The safety is very hard to switch on-off. You have to use your off-hand to move the safety, like there is an overly hard detent that locks it into place. I've disassembled the mechanism and tried to smooth and lube it, much better but still not good. The other problem is the Red anodized coating that comes off on the rags and my fingers when I clean the gun.

I've called the Buckmark service folks and they said to send it to them. They will fix the safety and generally check it out but they would really like to see it since the have never seen this red one yet. Evidently the red is new and though they have not seen one they are sure the color shouldn't wipe off. (I've never had a rag turn "parker-ized" or blue when I clean a gun.)

Well that's the update so far. I'll post the service results on the general firearms forum when I get the gun back.

Best thing is that this is now my wife's gun, guess I'll have to find a different gun for my plinking. Ain't life grand?

Thanks for all the posts and info... now where's the truck keys, I'm off to Sam's Gun Shop!!!!

Bill Webb


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: wewebb on 2001-12-19 12:51 ]</font>
 

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I'm partial to the Smith & Wesson Model 41 myself. What has drawn my interest over the past couple of years and I yet to act upon is one of the custom MKII from Volquartsen.

Tim
 

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wewebb,
Congrats!, Hope the service goes well. I mentioned elsewhere the benefits of buying the ladies firearms vs jewelry--see one doesn't HAVE to admit its the little ladies, and we get to shoot them also,:)

Darn shame you still have to get yourself a plinker, :smile:, Hope you made it to the gun store before closing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Just a note on the karma of buying the wife guns and/or jewelry.

I mentioned she got her CCW, but apparently the purpose was not just so she could carry her little 22. I got a brand new Benelli Nova 12ga. pump for Christmas. She said she really wanted to get the permit so she didn't have any hassles buying me the toys I really want. (Also got a belt and GWH from Dane, but to mention that might be bragging.
)

(Note also she got some new ear rings for Christmas so I can't wait for fathers Day!
)

Webb

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: wewebb on 2001-12-28 17:35 ]</font>
 

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wewebb-

"You done good!" - now to continue on the nuances of using the old jlry trade-- you see women come in and give wish lists so the men are already 'set up to buy what she wants' (dog houses are cold). So-- now she has a no hassle CCW its time to give your wish list to your dealer before fathers day.:grin:

So many toys- so little time
 

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My pick here has to go to the Ruger 22/45. What else could you want 22 cal with a 45 type feel in the grip. Stainless with a 6" Bull Barrel please !! :smile:

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: bowhunter on 2001-12-28 23:59 ]</font>
 
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