Browning Buck Mark Stainless Camper Pistol

Browning Buck Mark Stainless Camper Pistol

In this article I’ll be reviewing the Browning Buck Mark Stainless Camper.  Believe it or not, this is actually the first gun I ever bought.

Contents

The pistol comes with a very nice, form-fit plastic case with cavities for the pistol, magazine, and manual.  Unfortunately for Canadian gun owners, the case doesn’t include spacing for a trigger lock, nor is the case itself equipped with a lock ring.  Fortunately this isn’t as issue for those of you living in countries with less restrictive storage and transportation laws.

Construction

If you’ve owned anything made by Browning before, you likely already know they’ve got an excellent reputation for quality, and the Buck Mark Stainless Camper is no exception.  At a little over nine inches in length, everything about this pistol is well made, with a flawless finish and clear markings.  The aluminum alloy frame helps reduce overall weight, which is particularly important as this gun features a stainless bull target barrel.  Being a largely aluminum and stainless gun, it’s remarkably simple to maintain. These are some of the features I bought it for back when I was new to pistols, and still appreciate years later as a more experienced marksman.

Features

Although the controls aren’t ambidextrous like some of the newer 22’s on the market today, they’re still a breeze to operate. In addition to the standard slide lock, you’ve got a nice slide safety that snaps authoritatively into place, leaving no doubt that it’s engaged.  The mag release is an easy-to-use button next to the trigger guard, and as you’ll see in the video above, when activated, ejects the magazine very nicely.

The sights are another great feature that I’ve grown to love in a target pistol.  The front is a large, bright fiber optic tube which stands out well even on overcast days.  The rear sight is a fully windage and elevation adjustable target site.  Thanks to the simplicity of adjustments, I can (and do) use this gun at everything from 15-100 yards with excellent results.

The grip style is a nice tactile rubber with finger moldings that makes it comfortable to use for prolonged periods of time.  Of all the pistols I own, this one is by far the most popular among my friends as it seems to fit just about everyone’s hand well.

The 10-shot magazine is without a doubt the nicest 22LR pistol mag I’ve ever owned.  It reminds me very much of the Ruger Mark series in that it’s a thick, heavy duty full metal design that’s clearly intended to last.  In addition to the excellent construction quality, it includes a thumb-saver that’s vastly superior to competitor offerings.  It’s large, smooth and contoured, which in conjunction with the lighter follower spring makes it incredibly easy to operate.

Operation

Construction and design aside, the real test for a pistol is of course operation, and the Buck Mark Stainless Camper’s performance here is just as strong as you’d expect from a Browning.  The fit of this pistol, even after approximately 15 years, is still as smooth and tight as the first time I fired it.  The slide is firm but smooth, the trigger breaks evenly and consistently, and the gun is as happy to chow down on cheap bulk ammo as it is premium target rounds.

Pro’s

As the risk of repeating myself, this pistol represents an impressive list of pros.  It’s well-built, lightweight, and includes a full bull target barrel, all-steel magazine and rock-solid controls.  Both the fit and finish are excellent, with a comfortable tactile grip that fits like a glove.  Top it all off with fully adjustable fiber-optic sights and a form fit travel case, and this gun is clearly a winner.

Con’s

The only complaint I’ve ever had about this pistol relates to the one piece of plastic you’ll find on it, which is located on top of the slide.  Despite the fact that I’ve babied this thing since the day I bought it, if you look carefully at the video above, you’ll see there’s a crack in the back of that plastic plate.  I assume this is just from the age of the material and the force of firing taking their toll, but it’s still a shame as it’s the only imperfection on an otherwise perfect pistol.  Although it’s probably a bit unfair to call it a design flaw, I have noticed other owners online who experienced the same problem.  It’s too bad Browning didn’t make this part from metal like the rest of the gun.

Summary

Other than that one issue, this is one of the most reliable firearms I’ve ever owned. I’ve taught dozens of new shooters with it and more than a few have inquired about buying it, but I have a feeling this is one gun I’ll be keeping for life.  Browning’s had a very successful run of these for many years now, with many different models and iterations as they continue to grow in popularity.  No matter which version you decide to purchase, I’m confident you won’t be disappointed.

Specs

ManufacturerBrowning
ModelBuck Mark Stainless Camper
Caliber.22LR
Capacity10+1
ActionSemi-Automatic
Rifling1:16
Barrel Length5 1/2″
Overall Length9 1/2″
Weight34OZ
FinishStainless
ClassificationRestricted

 

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