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Old 02-12-2013, 07:14 PM
balto68

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Is the BL-22 trigger that bad?



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I love the look and fit of the BL-22, but I haven't had an opportunity to try out the trigger. I know that they are heavy, but is that something that improves over time? Or will I have to get a gunsmith involved?

I guess what I'm asking is this: Why should I buy a BL-22? Or do I need to move on and keep searching if I'm looking for a better trigger on a lever action?
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:26 PM
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BL-22 Triggers

Hello balto68,

What happened to the BL-22 triggers also happened to a lot of other guns during the mid to late 1980's. It involves LAWYERS. Most American gun manufacturers have legal teams that endeavor to reduce the amount of liability that comes from the products they manufacture. Nice light triggers with a crisp break began to be viewed as a liability because the legal teams determined that gun buyers could sue the gun manufacturers if the triggers were too light and could feasibly cause and unwanted or unexpected discharge of the gun. The company legal teams and lawyers decided that the best way to mitigate this liability was to make the triggers on their guns considerably heavier than they had been in the past. This resulted in some really bad triggers...especially so on the BL-22. The BL-22 has a unique linkage between the trigger and the sear because the trigger moves with the lever and is literally separated from the sear mechanism during cycling of the lever. This unique feature relies on precision fitting to work correctly. When Browning decided to make the trigger pull heavier on the BL-22, this trigger design did not adapt well to the change. The result is a heavy, gritty, uncomfortable trigger. This change happened around 1989 or so. My advice is that if you are looking for a BL-22, try to find one that was made in 1986 or earlier. The triggers on these rifles are really good and nothing like the "Lawyer" triggers on later rifles.

Kix
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:28 PM
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Some of the early guns had very nice triggers....later gun not so much. My suggestion would be to get your hands on one and try it. What is heavy to one person is just right to another.
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:22 PM
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I have a late model BL-22. My trigger is not gritty but it breaks crisply and it did initially feel a bit heavy. After several hundred rounds I have become accustomed to the trigger. The fast short-throw lever trumps the "heavy" trigger IMO.
I once let a fellow club member shoot my BL-22(his first experience with one). He thought the safety was on
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:38 PM
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Bummer

Thanks everyone for your answers. I will definitely keep an eye out for an older model!

I'm bummed, though. I prefer to buy new. I'm not a firearms expert by any means and I'm not sure I wouldn't get a lemon somehow. I've been hoping to find a high quality lever action .22 that's still being manufactured. But the new Marlins are apparently junk, and Winchester doesn't make .22 levers anymore. This news about the Browning is a nail in the coffin.

Maybe I'll just be brave and go used!
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:41 PM
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Go ahead....be brave and go used. The older marlins, the 9422, and the older BL-22s are very good guns if you can find one that has not been abused.
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:50 PM
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Older Rifles

I agree. You almost always get more for your money with a vintage firearm. Just educate yourself as to what to look for in terms of wear and other problems. Invariably newer rifles are something less that earlier versions. Gun companies use cheaper and cheaper methods of manufacture on newer guns because they have to in order to compete. With BL-22's, in addition to the trigger problems, hand checkering and hand engraving have gone by the wayside. Some say accuracy has suffered as well. Wood quality is nothing like it was in the 1970's. Older guns are often a real bargain because of these factors.

Kix

Last edited by kixonrt66; 02-13-2013 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:26 PM
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Do the (newer) Grade II rifles overcome any of the above mentioned shortcomings?
gkn
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:46 PM
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1993 grade ii

The trigger is a little different than my Winchesters, Marlins and Henry. I have never felt it was a bad trigger. I really like ther short throw which the intergrated trigger makes possible.

If you don't already have one, go ahead and get one, if you buy it right you can always sell it and shoot for free.

John
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:56 AM
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My late model Grade II Field Octagon BL-22 has turned out to be not so accurate - disappointingly so. I haven't taken time to do anything other than check the bore, the crown, and shoot some of my favorite ammo through it. One sample doesn't prove a trend, but accuracy is no where near my earlier model grade one. Trigger is also much heavier in pull.

I haven't given up on it, but it's not looking too promising. Now I need to do some research on what can be done....I know what to do with a bolt action at this point...time for a bedding job. But the lever gun is different of course.

I will say this. If I wanted a good quality and fully reliable lever .22, I would not even slow down until I had found an older good condition Marlin 39A, Browning BL-22, or a Winchester 9422. I do own a little Henry.....but I suspect the build quality/durability is not quiet up to the other three.

All just my opinion of course.
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:08 AM
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My Grade II BL-22 went down the road due to a lack of accuracy, trigger wasn't too bad but couldn't find an ammo that it would shoot under an inch with at 50 yards using a Leupold 2-7x scope. Likely the only bad one made.
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:25 AM
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Mine has a hard time getting under an inch at 30 yards....with Leupold scope.
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:30 AM
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It comes down to what your intended purpose is....I wanted a fast shooting lever that's accurate enough for reactive shooting using the stock iron sights.
As I mentioned, the trigger felt a little heavy but I'm used to it now. The lever is very fast allowing me to get plenty of lead down range quickly with acceptable accuracy using irons.
When I want to shoot with more accuracy I bring out my scoped bolt action and slow things down. YMMV
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:48 PM
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Bl-22

I just listed a Grade I Browning BL-22 on GB. This is a very early (1968) dated rifle with a fabulous trigger. The rifle is near mint and shoots like crazy!

Take a look.

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=329435244

Kix
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:22 PM
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kixon, that is a fine looking rifle. It would be hard to find another 1968 version in that condition.
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