January 2007

Heavy-Barrel .22 LR Pistols: Buy Browning’s Buck Mark UDX

Ruger’s 22/45 MKIII and Browning’s Buck Mark FLD Plus UDX cut different profiles but printed almost identical groups for about the same money. Peripherals make the difference.

In this test we will look at two .22 LR pistols that are well within reach of the youthful beginner. The guns in question were the Ruger 22/45 Mark III No. KP512MKIII, $398; and Browning’s Buck Mark FLD Plus Rosewood UDX No. 051429490, $417. We wanted to know if these guns were accurate and reliable enough to provide the beginner with valuable training and keep an experienced shooter interested.

We tested each pistol for accuracy at American Shooting Centers, a public outdoor range in Houston (amshootcenters.com), and performed additional tests for endurance and reliability at Top Gun (topgunrange.com). Our choice of test ammunitions were Remington 36-grain brass-plated hollowpoints, CCI Green Tag 40-grain Competition Ammunition, and Federal American Eagle 40-grain solids. Both guns ran reliably with the Remington and CCI ammunition, but each gun had difficulty cycling the slower Federal rounds. Despite each gun suffering the same malfunction with the Federal American Eagle ammunition, we were able to record an adequate number of groups and complete our tests. Let’s see what we learned.

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