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Unless you have been mining diamonds one and a half miles underground in South Africa the price of ammunition has started to impact your shooting budget.  So, what's one to do?  Well, there are a few options: shoot less, reload, or switch to less expensive to shoot calibers.  In my case I am starting to reload, and I have decided to augment my collection by getting a quality rimfire pistol that will still allow me to enjoy my trips to the range while keeping costs down.

The pistol I chose for this little review is the Browning Buckmark Camper.


Produced since 1985, the Browning Buckmark replaced both the Challenger and International pistol models and has done so very well.  As of this writing, 23 different models in different finishes, barrel lengths, grips, and other various features. The same blowback action is used for their rifles as well.  For example I have the blue model, shown in the title image but a stainless model exists as well:



The Browning Buckmark Camper has a blowback action, a ten round magazine, and is made from an aircraft-grade 7075 aluminum alloy that is CNC-machined.

This pistol includes a manual safety that is frame-mounted and easy to reach; it also doubles as the slide-release.  There is a magazine safety as well which prevents the trigger from being pulled and launching a round out if there is no magazine in place. Since this pistol is more likely to be used for target shooting or small game hunting and not for self-defense I don't see this as a deal-killer.  The magazine release is located near the bottom of the trigger guard, on the frame rather than on the heel like the Ruger MK I series.  (Both the Mk.I and the Mk.II series are out of production.  The Ruger 22-45 and the Mk.III have button-release mags behind the trigger guard--editor.)

The bull-barrel is 5.5 inches long and includes a recessed crown for increased protection from damage.  The Buckmark weighs 2.2 pounds unloaded and is 9.5 inches long.

The Browning Buckmark comes with 1 magazine, a hard case, and an Allen Wrench for disassembly.   MSRP is 329.00 for the Buckmark Camper. I got mine on sale for $289.00.   Interestingly the Browning Buckmark rifle also uses the same magazines and includes an optic rail.


Rounds tested include Blazer standard velocity LRN .22 LR and Federal Bulk-Pack 36 grain JHP copper washed bullets from Wal-Mart.

I found the gun to be very accurate.  The rear sights feature a 16-click per revolution adjustable Pro-Target™ rear sight which is standard on all models.  The front sight is a basic black blade that presents a solid target picture.  The sights can be swapped out with a number of different factory sights that include fiber optics. Accuracy is subject shooter ability but the groups I can produce at 25 yards surprised me as I tend to shoot large groups at 25 yards.

I have put 850 rounds through it in the last 2 weeks. I have had 2 misfires and no Failures to Feed.


The trigger is hard to describe without a trigger scale so I won't give a guesstimate of it's poundage. However, it is a crisp Single Action pull that has a quick reset, and is pleasant to fire with no "slapping", or "biting" found. I compared this to a S&W model 41 Pistol and found the triggers to be comparable. Of course, this trigger is not adjustable like the S&W Model 41's is, but I found it very pleasant.


I have not disassembled it yet, I am afraid to. I have found that Gun Scrubber works well for getting rid of fouling in the action, and in the gun itself. This, like the Ruger MK I, II, and III series pistols has a long and involved disassembly process that includes having a Mechanical Engineer on speed-dial to help out.  To be honest, if I can avoid its disassembly, I will.

This is a photo of my Buckmark Camper:

I also have a Ruger MK I .22 pistol. Both are excellent pistols but I like the Browning Buckmark for its crisp trigger and magazine release which is on the frame where it should be! None of that silly heel style magazine release for me! 


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Uploaded: 2/10/2009