While I don't have the Field model, I do have the 5.5 Pro Target which is basically the same thing with a different front sight.I'm looking for a accurate handgun for hunting squirrel and wondered what some of you thought about this modle. some questions are (1) ease of takedown to clean (2) reliability (3) accuracy (4) overall impression. I want to make sure I make a good choice since I will be paying more for this gun than I just paid for my GP100 for deer season. Thanks for any info anyone can provide on this firearm.
Stock Photo from Browning .com - Browning Buckmark 5.5 Field
My Browning Buckmark 5.5 Pro Target
(1) Ease of take-down to clean: How clean are we talking and how do you like to clean? In order to clean from the chamber toward the muzzle, you need to take off the scope rail, when I do a deep clean I end up removing the barrel. It's not hard to do, but as the screws get loose your slide will lift and fit very loosely as it's held down by the rail and will cause jams. The fix to prevent this is Loctite, but who wants to redo that step every time you shoot/clean the gun? If you're happy cleaning from the muzzle to the chamber with a bore brush, it's not bad, some people don't like to do that as they are concerned with damaging the crown of the bore. If you scope the gun, you risk having to re-zero after removing the rail. In terms of disassembly / reassembly, I'll stick with the Buckmark instead of the Ruger MKIII. I generally just use a bore snake and Gun Scrubber for basic cleaning as mine is my bullseye gun and I don't want to damage the crown, nor re=zero the gun/scope after cleaning.
(2) Reliability: I've not had a problem with the Buckmark that I didn't cause. It's not too ammo sensitive and likes CCI standard velocity and high velocity as well as Remington Cyclone and Viper ammunition. Be careful with that brass deflector, if you cant the gun to the left (I'm left eye dominant) it can bounce brass right back into the chamber area and cause jams.
(3) Accuracy: At 50' from a rest I'll stack them in the X ring on a NRA B3 target, one handed I shoot pretty well with the thing using a Bushnell Trophy Red Dot.
(4) Overall impression: Overall I'm very happy, I'm holding my own against a lot of guys shooting "enhanced" target guns with box-stock Browning that I bought used at a Gander Mountain with an optic I got of eBay. The newer models are a little nicer than mine, the slide has been redesigned to make for easier grasping and the recoil spring assembly has been improved. I plan on changing my slide and spring assembly after the bullseye league ends this spring. I plan on buying another Buckmark for next years league, if I like it better my current gun will be my back up. I've shot Rugers, Walthers, and Berettas and I'll stick with my Buckmark.