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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there,
I've been considering buying a .22LR pistol for a while now.
Went to the local gunshop on saturday, and they have two likely candidates, both in used but perfect condition. A S&W model 41 and a FN-Browning medalist. The S&W is a little more expensive (probably due to the fact FN's abound over here), but that would not be an issue.
Which of these two would you reccomend? Thanx 4 yer feedback.
Best Regards, A
 

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Andrey, its a question of taste, thirty years ago FN Herstal presented me with a 22 Challenger, which is a lighter pistol than the Medalist, and I had a lot of fun with it,grips are similar to those of the Medalist and are excellent, reliability is ok, though it prefers stronger loads to clear the spent ctdge,precision is perfect-
The S&W 41 that I also own is one of the best proucts of the S&W line, grips are simpler than those of the Medalist but good enough, precision and finish are excellent-There are in
my experience two points that I should mention, the trigger is extremely sensible, and when you try to minimize the overtravel(which is adjustable) the trigger does not lock properly and you can not shoot, it seems that it does not return to the proper position-I never tried to have this porblem solved because I have the pistol since 1978 and shot maybe ten boxes-The second observation is that when I bought the gun it had the 7 1/4" barrel, I loved the long barrel, but once in the field the nose was not as heavy as I wanted, I wanted a steadier nose-Left the pistol aside and some three years ago I found a 4"barrel and installed it, the balance changed dramatically<IMO the gun is steadier with the shorter barrel-
The decision is yours, either way you'll end up having a good pistol-Enjoy
 

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Two popular .22 pistols here in the US are the Ruger MKII (current version is the MKIII which is nearly identical, though I have no experience with the latter version) and the Browning Buckmark (many versions, different grip angles, etc.). These two are more modern and priced lower than the two, more collectible, pieces you mention. If I were to have just one, it would be the Ruger MKII, for simplicity and availability of parts and accessories.

HTH
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thx for the feedback guys, i appreciate it.
I'm looking for an all-steel pistol. Hence the choices. Browning Buckmark shoots great and is virtually indestructible (one of the rental guns in our club must have shot like 50.000 rounds or more and is still working fine), but it hasn't the same look or feel as the "classics" i mentioned. Ruger is out of the question. I had one for a couple years and liked the looks and craftmanship, but i could not shoot it. The trigger was way beyond horrible. Can't even compare it to a wet sponge. And reassembly after cleaning was pure hell. I lost buckets of sweat in frustration over that one. I sold it to a friend, and he still enjoys it a lot and shoots very good scores with it. So i guess it's just me.
I've asked my gundealer if it would be possible to try both pistols, i suppose i'll decide after that. And of course my wife has to ike it too, as she will be shooting it most.
Well, i'll keep you posted on the outcome, in the meantime feel free to give comments and advice.
Best regards,
A
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yep. That's my main worry about the Smith. Every gunshop in the country has a least a couple Brownings of the Medalist or Challenger family for sale now. Mainly due to the recent change in gunlaws, which ment a lot of "old" shooters who are no longer active had to give up their guns. And i suppose (but not sure) spare parts can still be had.
On the other hand, what can break that is irreplacable in such a well made gun?
Suggestions from Smith 41 owners are welcome ...
Best Regards,
A
 

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Don't be too quick to write off the Ruger. The original Mk I model had a less than great trigger, which I remedied by simply installing a Clark trigger.

Apparently Ruger noticed the trigger deficiency, and the succeeding Mk II has a trigger equal to the Clark - in fact it may actually be a Clark trigger.

My 30 year old Mk I performs like new, and has always been the most accurate .22 pistol I've owned - at any price.

Reassembly is simple, once you understand the proper placement of the hammer strut relative to the mainspring housing.
 

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Andrey, I interpreted that your choice was between the S&W and the Browning.For the money I'd go for the Ruger Mk II, I usually practice with it and shoot steel plates at 100 yards with the standard trigger-IMO its the best pistol for the money
 

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I like the Walther P22. Comfortable feel. Accurate enough for me.
 

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Yeah, I wouldn't write off the Ruger either.

In order to make a stock MkII or III competitive for target shooting, you have to install a few aftermarket parts.

https://www.volquartsen.com/vc//pages/public/ListItems.jsp?id=19

Mainly, an accurizing kit like what you see there. You could probably find that stuff for sale online from somewhere in Europe or ship it from America. The dollar is a joke right now compared to the Euro, so it should be plenty cheap for you.

Actually, don't buy an entire kit. Just buy these parts individually (and cheaper).

The trigger. A factory MkIII or MkII "slabsides" competition model comes with a trigger with an overtravel stop built in. It is a PAIN to adjust it, but it can be adjusted to make a pretty decent trigger pull.

Now, one of those Volquartsen triggers has both an overtravel stop and a pre-travel adjustment. That takes out a LOT of creep and slop and produces a very good trigger pull when you get it adjusted. And the VQ triggers are easy to adjust, not like the factory Ruger.

At a minimum, get the trigger. The new style one, not the stainless one. The older stainless one doesn't have a pre-travel screw. And get the polished target sear. That one took me about 45 minutes to install the first time, with tools. Now I can install them with just my fingers. I've done several of my friends' Rugers up for them.

I wouldn't waste money on the target hammer. I've never noticed a big benefit from it.

After those, consider the exact edge extractor. Sometimes a MkII jams with something I call "the Ruger stovepipe". The EEE might prevent that.

After that, consider a set of aftermarket grips. The Volthane grips are good. I like the wood grips from Herrets with the adjustable palm shelf. They cost the same as the Volthanes (provided you buy them from somebody other than Herrets!).

If you get the grips, you might also want to get an extended mag release IF you buy a MkII. If you get a MkIII, you won't need it. My advice, try for a MKII.

And disassembly? Yeah, everyone has a rough first time with it.

My advice? Only disassemble the gun ONE time.

Sounds crazy, right? That one time you disassemble it will be to install the parts I just recommended.

Put it back together, then NEVER take it apart again.

Go to an automotive supply store and buy a cheap spray can of either brake or carbuerator cleaner. Costs about $1.50 here. Should be pretty cheap there too. Open the action, lock the slide to the rear. Remove the grips. Spray that stuff in the ejection port, down into the frame, all over. Aside from the grips, the entire gun is STEEL and those chemicals will NOT harm the gun.

I swear to you, the gun will come out just as clean as the first time you took it out of the wrapper. That black crud will just run out the bottom of the mag well.

Use a coated cable pull-through or similiar thing to run patches through the barrel and you are done.

NEVER disassemble the gun again. You won't need to.

And you'll still be spending less money than those other guns you are considering.



There is a picture of my Ruger, next to my competition Pardini. The Ruger has the VQ trigger, sear, hammer, and Clark oversized hammer bushing (also a good idea for taking out trigger sloppiness!). Those are the Herrets wood grips and of course, a red dot sight for bullseye shooting.

The Ruger doesn't look exactly like that now, as I have polished the matte stainless finish with a Dremel moto-tool to a mirror-like brightness.
 

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While living in Bavaria, I had need to rebuild the carb on my Opel Manta. It just needed a gasket kit to be rid of some benzin seepage. I was told that I wasn't a certified automotive mechanic, so I wasn't allowed to purchase the kit I wanted. They would not be swayed, even by the argument that I was a Senior Process Engineer for a large local IC fab. Not even by admitting that I was an American, and we're born a- fixin' on cars. I was able to get a sheet of rubberized asbestos material and some gasket shellac, and proceeded to go home and cut my own.

The reason for the story is that carb cleaner in a spray can was unknown, or restricted to only those born into the repair profession. I WAS able to get a can of MEK from the paint dept of the Großmarkt across the street.

As for the 'never disassemble' recommendation, see my comments here:
http://forums.gunboards.com/showthread.php?t=5978

It's really easy to gain the expertise or feel for reassembly by simply becoming informed of the mechanics involved - practice. Disassemble and reassemble a few times, being aware of where the hammer strut rests on the spring housing.

It's not magic, and it doesn't require any great dexterity, just some simple observation.
 

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I absolutely coincide with Citizen Carrier about never dissasembling the guns for the fun of it, cleaning can be done as mentioned and gun will work forever-I have a Colt Woddsman Match Target with more than 150,000 rounds and NEVER dissasembled, only once, when the firing pin broke, I took the slide out of the frame, installed the pin and that was that-Cleaning with good carburettor spay is fine, as the liquid is too dry I apply a light oil afterwards and the gun is still running as when it was new-
 

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AZ, the main reason I don't unnecessarily disassemble my Ruger is that repeatedly doing it eventually leads to a loosening of frame to receiver fit. That necessitates sending it back to Ruger for tightening or using a piece cut from a soda can to shim up the looseness.

I don't know how long it would take for such looseness to occur, but I have seen more than one owner on other forums asking about how to fix this problem. That's how I know about the soda can fix.

Personally, I can disassemble and reassemble my Ruger almost blindfolded. That came from adding the parts I talked about to 3 of my own Rugers. Two slabside MkIIs and one MkIII Target. I also kitchen table gunsmithed guns for two friends of mine.

My specialty was modifying MkIIIs to get rid of the hated and unnecessary magazine safety cut-off. I remove the "guts" of the safety and then add a small washer from the motor pool bolt bin to the hammer bushing to mimic MkII specs.

I agree that it really isn't as tough as so many people make it out to be, but I don't make it a habit of insulting their manhood by mocking their impatience.

The man said he'd own a Ruger but for two problems. Trigger pull quality and difficulty of reassembly. I've told him how to either overcome or mitigate those two problems. In fact, he could have his friend take the thing apart and put it back together after the parts have been added.

And as I said, disassembly isn't even necessary to clean the barrel, as this can be done with any sort of pull through cable rather than ruining the barrel crown with a rod.

I did find your problem with buying parts in Germany interesting. I'd read of their ridiculous, ossified, stagnant and rule-bound mentality before, but am always suprised to see just how their "guild mentality" really keeps people from being self reliant. I've even heard that home owners cannot get permission to re-roof their own homes because they are not "professional" roofers.

It makes me smile to think how Americans would respond to somebody here trying to pull that crap on them!
 

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German mentality, let me tell you a short story-Back in 1968 I imported a Mercedes Benz car to Argentina; as the car was rare I thought that I should have an extra set of keys in case they could get lost-As I was travelling to Germany I took the key of my car and went to a shop to order a couple of copies-The man in charge gave me a kilometric speech and denied the request, the reason was that at that time you needed the order of a judge to make copies of your keys!!
 

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It's no wonder they lost...
 

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30 years of hard use and frequent disassembly & reassembly, and my Mk I hasn't loosened up yet.

As for: "It makes me smile to think how Americans would respond to somebody here trying to pull that crap on them!": The old east coast seems to accept it.

A friend moved from New York to Arizona, bought a brand new home, then wanted to know how to go about finding someone to do the plumbing for lawn irrigation, then onto building a tool shed/workshop. In New York, you need to hire a plumber to do the pipes, electrician to install service, and on and on. I designed and built the manifold for the sprinklers, showed him how to do the PVC plumbing, set up the solenoids & timer. We then went on to forming for a slab for the shop, framing, roofing ...

He became a family celebrity/hero/genius when the relatives came to visit him over their first Christmas. When he showed them all the 'did it himself' projects, they couldn't believe he had such talent. After all, "back home" you had to rely on the tradesmen to do everything. Nobody even dares to think about toilet flappers, faucet washers, or more involved home projects. It reminded me of the Bavarian incident.

He went on to arrange contractors to build his pool, put in an ornate and impressive waterfall & landscaping - all because he could do it himself.
 

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I may have been a bit quick to judgement, but we all "know" that our east coast blue staters are essentially Europeans in everything but name. They even have nearly identical fertility and birth rates...which means that if we can get a handle on illegal immigration, we may just outlast them and start winning just about every election sometime after 2020 by default.

No sooner did I read that I was reminded of a recent skyscraper built in Philadelphia. The design was going to incorporate "waterless urinals" in all of the restrooms in the multi-story building. No pipes needed.

Except that when the Plumber's Union, probably staffed by people with names like Rocko and Nunzio, heard about that they immediately complained to the city government.

Guess which political party they belong to?

So, the government "convinced" the builder to go ahead with the waterless urinals, but to pay plumbers to put in completely unnecessary pipes AS IF standard water plumbing was going to be used.

As I said, our blue state east coasters are very much like Europeans in some regards. Some, like Philadelphia, are very much like Eastern Europeans before 1989.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Got some more information on the two guns i can't decide between.
The FN-Browning is indeed a Challenger, not a Medalist.
Should that influence my descision?
Thx & Brgds, A
 

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The S&W 41 is a lot more refined gun than the Challenger or any Ruger. I own examples of them all, but the 41's I own are in a different class than the others.
 

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Wellll, if you insist on going that route, I would endorse the Model 41 as well.

The 41 is still well represented on the bullseye league firing lines here in Columbus, used by some of the top shooters.

Haven't seen any Challengers or Medalists.
 
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