I recently decided that the Armalite AR-15A2 sitting unused in the corner of the gun safe for the past six months was a purchase mistake. While there is nothing wrong with the gun itself, I’m simply not likely to use it. It made a lot more sense to trade it in for a gun or two that I would use, and that is exactly what I did.
I traded the AR for a Marlin Model 60 and a Browning Buckmark. Why these two firearms?
Marlin Model 60
I’ve spent a considerable bit of time without a reliable .22 rifle in the house. I didn’t have anything suitable for basic and economical marksmanship, plinking, or small game hunting. I chose the Model 60 for two reasons. One is simple familiarity. My dad has had a Model 60 in the house for as long as I can remember, and I always found it to be light, reliable, and accurate. The second is that I have a distinct preference for tube-fed .22 rifles. I like the lines better, and don’t have to worry about dangling magazines that can get lost or damaged in the field, ruining a hunt. Instead of the scope in the photo, I have a simple BSA 4×32 that should get the job done on the < 50 yard shots common small game hunting in central North Carolina’s hardwood and pine forests.
Browning Buckmark Stainless Camper
I’ve wanted to get a field-capable .22LR pistol for basic and economical pistol marksmanship (see a theme developing here?) since I got rid of my dud Walther P22 of last year. The sights and sight radius of the Buckmark are far superior to that of the Walther, and the controls are more familiar to me as a 1911 shooter. I also think that the Buckmark will make it easier to introduce my wife and kids to pistol shooting, making shooting a family activity when the girls are old enough. The Buckmark may also find itself spending time in my “get home” bag, but that’s another topic for another time.