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  #1  
Old 03-18-2018, 12:17 PM
sep
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Buckmark vs Ruger MK IV Reliability Test



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Thought I would post this in the Buckmark forum as thus far the Buckmark is winning.

What I have done is strip down, clean and lubricate both my Buckmark Hunter and my Ruger MK IV Hunter to see how long they will function before they need to be cleaned. I wouldn't ordinarily treat my firearms this way but it's winter time and I'm bored.

So, I have thus far, fired 1150 rounds through each pistol side by side at the range using the same ammunition in both pistols without any cleaning or maintenance whatsoever.

I have ran Federal Champion, Automatch, Browning branded and CCI Mini Mags. The bulk of the ammo I have left to burn up is Federal Champion with some Mini Mags. Once that's gone, we'll see where it goes from there.

The Buckmark is bone stock while the Ruger has the Volquartzen trigger, hammer and sear installed.

Here are the malfunctions experienced to date:

Ruger MK IV Hunter-19 stovepipes and one round had to be fired a second time to fire. That may have been the cartridge and not the firearm but it is a malfunction.

Browning Buckmark Hunter-5 failures to go all the way into battery. I simply pushed the slide forward to fully seat the cartridges in the chamber and they fired just fine.

Put another way, we could say, thus far, the Ruger has a 98.3% reliability rate while the Buckmark has a 99.6% reliability rate. (assuming my math is correct)

Either pistol is clearly reliable enough to defend against an attacking rabbit or squirrel.

The comparison continues as I am off to the indoor range this afternoon.
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  #2  
Old 03-18-2018, 02:24 PM
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That's surprising to me. My old mkii would stop going into full battery at around 300 rounds.
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Old 03-18-2018, 02:34 PM
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I have a lot more Ruger MK series pistols than BuckMarks. I do have several Belgium Browning pistols which are the predecessor to the BuckMark.
The Buck Mark is inherently more reliable because of the open slide design. This is most important when using a suppressor. The open design allows more debris to exit when the slide is in the rearward position.
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Old 03-18-2018, 02:38 PM
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I have one more standard now,. And I fixed it by windowing the receiver and converting the grip frame to a mkii

My first Belgian should be at the FFL when I get home I picked up an international medalist from simpsons
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Old 03-18-2018, 03:50 PM
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Hmmm.

I fail to see how this "testing" is proving anything.

First, reliability = the absence of failures. With 20 failures in 1150 trys, this says the MKIV is NOT reliable and needs to be worked on. With 5 failures in 1150 trys, this says the Buckmark is NOT reliable and needs to be worked on.

With not cleaning the guns, how are you going to tell if the next failure is caused by new grime - or by one of the gun's already existing problems?

Second, you didn't indicate that both guns were of the same level of breaking in.

One would normally expect a more broken in gun to have fewer failures than a newer gun with tighter parts and stiffer springs.

For me - the test ends when a failure occurs. A gun is 0% reliable at the point it fails. It needs to be worked on. After the cause of the failure has been identified and fixed, testing begins anew with the next round fired. The higher the number of consecutive non-failures shot = the higher the probability that the next round won't be a failure. So...

No failures in 100 rounds = at least 99% reliable.
No failures in 1000 rounds = at least 99.9% reliable.
No failures in 10,000 rounds = at least 99.99% reliable.
No failures in 100,000 rounds = at least 99.999% reliable.
and so on.

I want all of my guns to be at least 99.99% reliable. My MKII's best has only been 3500 rounds before a failure, so it has NOT proven to be reliable enough yet. My MKIII has past 18,000 rounds and does meet my demand. And actually, I have every reason to believe that someday it will surpass the 100,000 threshold. But that depends on keeping it cleaned and maintained. Dirtiness testing made it fail after only 3000 rounds. Dirt made the FP rebound spring break.
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Old 03-18-2018, 04:41 PM
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No firearm would be reliable if not cleaned for an extended period of time. JMHO.
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Old 03-18-2018, 09:26 PM
sep
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Originally Posted by Test_Engineer View Post
Hmmm.

I fail to see how this "testing" is proving anything.

First, reliability = the absence of failures. With 20 failures in 1150 trys, this says the MKIV is NOT reliable and needs to be worked on. With 5 failures in 1150 trys, this says the Buckmark is NOT reliable and needs to be worked on.

With not cleaning the guns, how are you going to tell if the next failure is caused by new grime - or by one of the gun's already existing problems?

Second, you didn't indicate that both guns were of the same level of breaking in.

One would normally expect a more broken in gun to have fewer failures than a newer gun with tighter parts and stiffer springs.

For me - the test ends when a failure occurs. A gun is 0% reliable at the point it fails. It needs to be worked on. After the cause of the failure has been identified and fixed, testing begins anew with the next round fired. The higher the number of consecutive non-failures shot = the higher the probability that the next round won't be a failure. So...

No failures in 100 rounds = at least 99% reliable.
No failures in 1000 rounds = at least 99.9% reliable.
No failures in 10,000 rounds = at least 99.99% reliable.
No failures in 100,000 rounds = at least 99.999% reliable.
and so on.

I want all of my guns to be at least 99.99% reliable. My MKII's best has only been 3500 rounds before a failure, so it has NOT proven to be reliable enough yet. My MKIII has past 18,000 rounds and does meet my demand. And actually, I have every reason to believe that someday it will surpass the 100,000 threshold. But that depends on keeping it cleaned and maintained. Dirtiness testing made it fail after only 3000 rounds. Dirt made the FP rebound spring break.
Test Engineer,

I really appreciate your response but I think you are going way beyond the intent of my post and taking this a bit too seriously. This is simply an unscientific, entertaining exercise I am going through. I thought some other people might be interested in seeing how the pistols respond.

A sample of one pistol from each manufacturer under the testing protocols I am using is not statistically significant nor representative of the two manufacturers.

The intent of this exercise is simply to see when I start having more frequent malfunctions with my pistols. Once that happens, I'll stop shooting the pistols and clean them and go back to my usual routine of cleaning them after every range session or hunting trip. I'm honestly just curious as to what point I will start to experience more frequent malfunctions. That's really all there is to it.

Based on your post, your pistol broke a part at 3,000 rounds. Hopefully, that won't happen to mine.

So, after my range session today, I am up to 1275 rounds through each pistol. No more malfunctions with the Ruger but the Buckmark failed to feed one round which required me to drop the magazine, pull back the slide and allow the round to drop out through the magazine well.
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Old 03-18-2018, 09:48 PM
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I'm really surprised you're not having issues with wax buildup in the mags yet.
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Old 03-18-2018, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by DTDK View Post
I'm really surprised you're not having issues with wax buildup in the mags yet.
Maybe it's the brands of ammo I am using? Earlier this year, before this impromptu test, I fired 500 rounds of Armscor ammo. That stuff was just covered in wax and I don't think either pistol would have done well with a steady diet of it.

I haven't cleaned or wiped down anything so we'll see how things continue. I would say both pistols are pretty reliable for having so few problems thus far.
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  #10  
Old 03-20-2018, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Test_Engineer View Post
Hmmm.

I fail to see how this "testing" is proving anything.

First, reliability = the absence of failures. With 20 failures in 1150 trys, this says the MKIV is NOT reliable and needs to be worked on. With 5 failures in 1150 trys, this says the Buckmark is NOT reliable and needs to be worked on.

With not cleaning the guns, how are you going to tell if the next failure is caused by new grime - or by one of the gun's already existing problems?

Second, you didn't indicate that both guns were of the same level of breaking in.

One would normally expect a more broken in gun to have fewer failures than a newer gun with tighter parts and stiffer springs.

For me - the test ends when a failure occurs. A gun is 0% reliable at the point it fails. It needs to be worked on. After the cause of the failure has been identified and fixed, testing begins anew with the next round fired. The higher the number of consecutive non-failures shot = the higher the probability that the next round won't be a failure. So...

No failures in 100 rounds = at least 99% reliable.
No failures in 1000 rounds = at least 99.9% reliable.
No failures in 10,000 rounds = at least 99.99% reliable.
No failures in 100,000 rounds = at least 99.999% reliable.
and so on.

I want all of my guns to be at least 99.99% reliable. My MKII's best has only been 3500 rounds before a failure, so it has NOT proven to be reliable enough yet. My MKIII has past 18,000 rounds and does meet my demand. And actually, I have every reason to believe that someday it will surpass the 100,000 threshold. But that depends on keeping it cleaned and maintained. Dirtiness testing made it fail after only 3000 rounds. Dirt made the FP rebound spring break.
How do you distinguish between failure of gun vs ammo. How do you define "failure"
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Old 03-21-2018, 01:10 AM
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How do you distinguish between failure of gun vs ammo. How do you define "failure"
Any failure to move a round from the mag to the chamber is a failure.
Any hammer drop on a chambered round that doesn't go "bang" is a failure.
Any fired brass that doesn't get removed from the chamber and get thrown clear of the ejection port is a failure.

I used to believe that there was such a thing as "bad ammo". But now I know that every failure is a gun failure. That's not to say that all ammo is made to the same quality as CCI, but it's all made good enough to succeed in an optimized pistol.

The redesign of my MKIII was made purely with the goal of removing all mechanisms that allow/contribute to failures. It was a 2.5 year labor of love for obtaining the impossible. The "frictionless hammer group" that runs on ball bearings was the biggest change. "Underpowered" ammo that my (mostly stock) MKII chokes on flies right through the MKIII. The really cool thing is nothing outside of the bolt will ever wear out. And the bolt is very easy to pull, inspect, and keep maintained.

It's not that every gun should be made so they can't fail. It's that any gun that fails too often can be made better. And it doesn't have to include avoiding any particular ammo, although that is the easiest path.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sep
This is simply an unscientific, entertaining exercise I am going through. I thought some other people might be interested in seeing how the pistols respond.
Okay, entertainment it is! Carry on!
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Old 03-21-2018, 03:34 AM
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I used to believe that there was such a thing as "bad ammo". But now I know that every failure is a gun failure.
Interesting that you concede "gun failures" but not ammo failures.

Any failures that occur in the testing a two component system can be caused by the failure of either of two components, or their interaction.

If any ammo is good enough to work in an optimized gun than any gun should work with optimized ammunition.
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Old 03-21-2018, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Glenn-SC View Post
Interesting that you concede "gun failures" but not ammo failures.

Any failures that occur in the testing a two component system can be caused by the failure of either of two components, or their interaction.
True enough. So how have you determined that the ammo has ever been the true cause of one of your failures?

Most people WAG that the priming mix was not present around the entire rim, or that it "fell out" prior to the FP strike. Others have said "I tried the failed round in 3 other "good" guns and it failed in them all. It was just a "bad" round.

All guesses - no real analysis.

I've pulled the bullets and dumped the powder on quite a few "dud" rounds. In some, you can see where the priming mix was knocked loose from the strike. In others you can't see any priming mix at all. BUT - when I'd try to cut the brass tube down to view the strike directly, the rim would "POP" every single time. This would spray burnt priming mix across the entire rim, obscuring the view of the strike.

It's much easier to clean out unburned priming than burnt residue. So I started doing that. After cutting the excess brass away, you could see that the strike crushed very little of the priming mix zone. Mostly on the extreme outer edge. But the mix knocked into the powder tells me that there WAS mix further in before it got knocked loose.

So 2 things I concluded:
1) The "bad" ammo probably had a tiny air bubble trapped at the extreme edge where the FP crushed the brass.
2) The FP tip is very poorly shaped for crushing a rim that has a tapered back side.

I can't fix the air bubble problem, except to not buy ammo that sometimes has them. But I can reshape the FP tip to crush a lot more of the primer mix area. So I took some of Bill Calfee's concept, and adjusted it to direct the FP blow from maximum mix to least. Regular FP design does just the opposite.

After I found no more failures were occurring with the worst ammo around, I dumped the powder from an unfired shell and cleaned out the priming. I then hit the rim with both types of firing pin and cut it down to view the strikes directly. Easily 6-9 times as much priming area is being crushed with the modified pin.

Quote:
If any ammo is good enough to work in an optimized gun than any gun should work with optimized ammunition.
This is like saying: "If I can get sunburned on a freezing cold day, then I should get frost bite on a nice warm day." It just don't work that way.
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  #14  
Old 03-21-2018, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Test_Engineer View Post
So 2 things I concluded:
1) The "bad" ammo probably had a tiny air bubble trapped at the extreme edge where the FP crushed the brass.
2) The FP tip is very poorly shaped for crushing a rim that has a tapered back side.

I can't fix the air bubble problem, except to not buy ammo that sometimes has them. But I can reshape the FP tip to crush a lot more of the primer mix area. So I took some of Bill Calfee's concept, and adjusted it to direct the FP blow from maximum mix to least. Regular FP design does just the opposite.

After I found no more failures were occurring with the worst ammo around, I dumped the powder from an unfired shell and cleaned out the priming. I then hit the rim with both types of firing pin and cut it down to view the strikes directly. Easily 6-9 times as much priming area is being crushed with the modified pin.
Ok. I'll bite. What is the shape/design of a better firing pin tip?

Dave
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Old 03-21-2018, 09:10 PM
wayne38
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Originally Posted by DTDK View Post
I have one more standard now,. And I fixed it by windowing the receiver and converting the grip frame to a mkii

My first Belgian should be at the FFL when I get home I picked up an international medalist from simpsons
DTDK
I have purchased many .22 pistols for my collection from SimpsonsLTD & have always gotten good ones exactly as decribed by the salesman. He always warns me that most of these are club guns from European Clubs and are filthy. You tear them down and give them a good cleaning and you have a good gun.

Wayne38
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