Hello and welcome back to another edition of The Rimfire Report! This series is all about the rimfire firearm world and its various firearms, ammunition, and trends. This week we’ll be polling you – the reader to see what you guys think the most popular 22LR rimfire target pistol is in a 22LR Target Pistol face-off! The big three 22LR rimfire target pistols that I see most often mentioned are the Ruger MK IV, the Smith & Wesson Victory, and the Browning Buck Mark series of pistols.
The Rimfire Report: 22LR Target Pistol Face-off! MK IV vs Victory vs Buck Mark
For today’s face-off, we’ll be looking at the base (or “standard”) models of each pistol and look over their specifications and pricing. We won’t be taking into account possible aftermarket modifications or custom builds that are made since going down that route could easily bleed into a debate over who has the most money to modify their favorite target plinking toy.
I will provide the basic information and a few of my own personal thoughts and experiences with each of these pistols below and then at the end, we’ll provide a poll for you to vote in. I personally won’t be casting judgment on any of these pistols and I’m going to leave the voting for the face-off up to you guys in the poll down below. So let’s get into the details of each of these 22LR rimfire pistols – let the face-off begin!
The Ruger MK IV
Ruger® redesigned the platform of their famous .22 pistol to make the Mark IV™ Target Semi-Auto Rimfire Pistol with a simple rear-mounted takedown button and a frame-mounted pivot pin that eliminate the complexities of field stripping previous models. The Mark IV pistol disassembles and reassembles easily, allowing proper chamber to muzzle cleaning. The bull barrel Mark IV Target utilizes a single-piece, precision CNC-machined aluminum grip frame, with a 5-1/2″ blued, carbon steel bull barrel balances the pistol superbly in the shooters hand to reach its full accuracy potential. A partridge-style, target front sight, a fully adjustable target rear sight provide an outstanding sight picture, and the receiver is drilled and tapped for attaching a Picatinny-style rail. The target trigger breaks crisp and clean. A manual, ambidextrous thumb safety locks the sear, while allowing the pistol to be loaded and unloaded when engaged, and a magazine disconnect prevents the pistol from firing once the magazine is removed. The Mark IV model does not have a loaded chamber indicator on the side of the receiver or an internal key lock. The Ruger Mark IV Target is a great semi-auto rimfire pistol for target practice, formal shooting competitions, or hunting. Comes with two 10-round magazines.
- Capacity: 10+1
- Material: Alloy Steel
- Front Sight: Fixed
- Barrel Length: 4.75″
- Grip Frame: Aluminum
- Grips: Checkered Synthetic
- Finish: Blued
- Width: 1.20″
- Rear Sight: Fixed
- Barrel Style: Tapered
- Weight: 28.2 oz.
- Overall Length: 9″
- Height: 5.40″
- Grooves: 6
- Twist: 1:16″ RH
- Available in CA: No
- Available in MA: No
- Suggested Retail: $449.00
The Ruger MK series of pistols has built up a great reputation for reliability over the years. This is probably one of the first pistols that come to mind when you speak of a target rimfire pistol. Although disassembly and reassembly of earlier models was a time-consuming chore, the MK IV iteration of the pistol has integrated the very popular single-button takedown system making routine cleaning of the pistol quite easy.
I purchased a Ruger MK IV a couple of years back for competition purposes and have been very happy with it so far and have made many modifications to it to fit one specific niche of the firearms competition world – Steel Challenge rimfire.
Ruger has a generous selection of different models of the Ruger MK IV to choose from including an entire line dedicated to an entirely different grip style the 22/45. Davidson’s Gallery of Guns frequently has special editions of the MK IV made in limited editions which are a great way to get a new pistol that breaks away from the standard look of the MK IV.
The Smith & Wesson SW22 Victory
The SW22 VICTORY® is constructed on a single-action, enclosed hammer-fired, blowback semi-automatic design. Chambered in .22 LR, the SW22 Victory comes highly featured with innovative design qualities that include a match-grade, interchangeable barrel for superb accuracy on the range or in the field along with a simple one-screw takedown design.
The pistol’s high-end features, modern styling and enriched functionality place the SW22 Victory in a category of its own with an affordable price to match.
• Removable Interchangeable Match Barrel
• Steel Reinforced Polymer Thumb Safety
• Picatinny-Style Rail Included
• Fiber Optic Front Sight
• Adjustable Fiber Optic Rear Sight
• (2) Ten-Round Magazines Included
• Adjustable Trigger Stop
• Stainless Steel Frame
• Textured Grip Panels with Finger Cuts for Easy Magazine Removal
Green Fiber Optic
Adjustable Fiber Optic
5.5″ (14 cm)
The Browning Buck mark
Browning Buck Mark rimfire pistols lead the industry in quality, reliability, accuracy and variety. Every Buck Mark starts out as a solid piece of aircraft-grade 7075 aluminum alloy, and then is CNC machined to exacting tolerances. The crisp single-action trigger, hand reamed chamber, target crowned barrel and finely adjustable target sights mean the Buck Mark comes ready for fun straight from the box. The Ultragrip RX™ and Ultragrip DX™ represent the latest in grip technology. The finger grooves, laser stippling and stylish wave patterns combine to form an Ergonomic Interactive Surface (EIS) that puts your hand in the same place on the grip for every shot, resulting in more instinctual shooting and improved accuracy. The textured surfaces are comfortable and secure in any condition, while the narrow profile makes them perfect for all hand sizes.
Caliber: 22 LR
Barrel Length: 5 1/2″
Overall Length: 9 1/2″
Weight: 34 oz
Magazine Capacity: 10
Sight Radius: 8″
Barrel Finish: Polished Flats
Receiver Finish: Matte Black
Front Sight: Pro-Target
Rear Sight: Pro-Target
Barrel Material: Steel
Checkering: Textured Grip Panels
Receiver Material: Aluminum Alloy
Trigger Finish: Gold Plated
Trigger Guard Finish: Matte Black
Magazine Type: Single Stack
Trigger Material: Alloy
Trigger Guard Material: Alloy
The Browning Buck Mark Standard pistol is no longer in production so I have selected the Standard URX model to represent it in its place as it most closely matches the base model. Buck Mark pistols have been in production since 1985 making them the second oldest rimfire target pistol out of the three.
I also believe that the Buck Mark has more models available for the customer than any other rimfire pistol currently on the market with a whole host of offerings from different coloring schemes, sight availability, grip styles, barrel lengths, and styles. If you’re looking for variety, the Browning Buck Mark won’t disappoint in that department.
22LR Target Pistol Face-Off! Vote Below!
These are three of the most popular rimfire pistols currently on the market and I know each one of these pistols has its own dedicated fanbase. Every single one of these pistols is known to be reliable, accurate, and fun to shoot. Now it’s time to find out which of these three pistols will come out on top of this face-off as TFB reader’s most favorite 22LR target pistol.
I’ve placed a simple poll above for you to select which one of these three pistols is your personal favorite/ which one you think is the best out of the bunch. It’d be great to hear your thoughts down in the comments too as to why you made the selection you did and also arguments for/against each of these pistols based on your experiences. I’m looking forward to looking through all of your feedback and look forward to seeing you all in the next edition of The Rimfire Report!
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