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Old 11-10-2019, 07:26 AM
flangster is online now

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I like the advice of getting your hands on one and seeing what feels right. I went the Ruger route, but a buddy of mine has the Buckmark and it is as accurate.

In terms of tinkering and upgrades, the Rugers have been around for almost 70 years in one form or another. There are aftermarket barrels/receivers made from Pac-Mor, Volquiartsen and others, triggers from a wide variety of sources and so on. The knock on the Mk III came from a combination of a complicated takedown procedure (until you learned it) and a poor loaded-chamber indicator design. Neither one bothered me in the slightest, but to each his own. There is a choice of grip angles. The 22/45's attempt to recreate a 1911 grip angle with a polymer grip. The metal grip frames have a more raked angle. Both shoot well for me. The most common upgrades on these judging from RFC postings are probably trigger and sear upgrades, as the factory trigger can be wobbly, creepy, and gritty. With a Mk II or III you can upgrade either the trigger or the sear or both and a bushing replacement both simplifies the take-down procedure somewhat and takes the lateral movement out of the trigger. WIth a Mk IV, you have to do the whole shebang at once. The receiver on all these designs is a solid tube. Only the bolt moves when firing.

The Buckmark is the latter day descendent of the Browning Medalist and Challenger blow-back designs. They have fewer aftermarket parts available, but more folks seem to like shooting them "out of the box" than the Rugers. The most common trigger mod on these seems to be the so-called "Heggis Flip," which involves inverting an internal part to get a better trigger pull.

The S&W Victory was supposed to be S&W's Ruger "killer." A simplified take-down procedure appealed to many. S&W designed these in consultation with Volquartsen and there was an aftermarket barrel available for upgrade on (or near) Day 1 when the pistol was released. As mentioned above, Tandem Kross makes an aftermarket trigger. There was recently posted on RFC a link to a YouTube video of a guy shooting his Victory off a Ransom rest at 50 yards with the VQ barrel upgrade. He got a 1.5 inch group at that distance with mid-grade ammo, which is not bad at all.

These above are entry level semi-autos. The Model 41 mentioned above is a premium semi-auto pistol. A search here on RFC will turn up lots of threads about whether it can run with fancy European pistols like the Pardinis, Hammerlis. Also whether modern examples have the craftsmanship and function of examples made in prior decades. If you have the coin, these can be good choices, but used ones will cost twice or three times what new entry level pistols cost (although maybe with upgrades, you'd almost have cost parity between the two). I have a Model 41 and a couple of Rugers and honestly I am not a good enough shooter to tell the difference in the targets, either off-hand or off a rest at the distances I shoot.

The S&W 617's are also fine hand guns. There is academic debate about whether a revolver with 10 chambers can be as accurate as a semi-auto with a single chamber, but once again for me there is no difference in accuracy on target. Revolvers can chamber a wider variety of ammunition than the semi-autos, although this may be moot if you never shoot .22 shorts. More important, perhaps, to the firing line experience is that the 617 shoots both double action and single action and, of course, the safety is located between your ears. These cost twice what the entry level pistols cost, although I'd sell my Rugers before I'd sell my 617, if that's worth anything.

Good luck on your choice and post pictures of what you get.
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Last edited by flangster; 11-10-2019 at 07:30 AM.
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