Every once in a while, I stumble on to an air rifle or air pistol that simply surprises me, and recently the good folks at UmarexUSA sent me an air pistol that does indeed astonish me: the Browning Buck Mark URX.
The Buck Mark URX is a break-barrel, spring-piston, .177 caliber air pistol that looks like the powder burning Buck Mark URX offered by Browning. The Buck Mark air pistol stretches just one foot from end to end and weighs 1 lb. 12 oz.
The Buck Mark URX is made of plastic and metal and nicely finished in matte black. At the aft you’ll find a false “slide” is made of metal, while the pistol grip below it is a very comfortable ambidextrous black polymer with molded-in finger indentations. At the juncture of the pistol grip and the trigger guard there is an inoperable button safety, molded in to look like the firearm. A black trigger guard surrounds a black non-adjustable trigger.
Forward of the trigger guard is the barrel which is black polymer molded around an inner metal barrel. The cocking linkage is just barely visible below the barrel. At the end of the barrel is a black blade type front sight. Moving back along the barrel, the top of the receiver has a Picatinny rail suitable for mounting a red dot. At the aft end of the Picatinny rail is a notch type rear sight that is adjustable for windage and elevation. The only other feature of consequence is a lever-type safety on the left side of the receiver just above the pistol grip.
To ready the Buck Mark URX for shooting, grasp the end of the barrel and pull it down and back until it latches. This requires just under 20 lbs. of effort, breaks open the breech for loading, and activates the automatic safety. Insert a .177 pellet into the breech and return the barrel to its original position. Take aim, flick off the safety, and squeeze the trigger.
There appears to be just one stage to the trigger and at about 6 lbs of pressure, the shot goes off. Frankly, I was surprised at the reading on my Lyman digital trigger gauge, because the trigger pull doesn’t feel that hard to me. It feels more like 4 lbs., and I had no problem shooting with it.
Now, here’s the surprising part: the Buck Mark URX is, hands-down, the wimpiest spring pistol air pistol I have ever shot. It launched 7 grain RWS Hobby pellets through my Oehler chronograph at an average of 333 fps. That works out to 1.72 foot-pounds of energy. Put another way, it’s not powerful enough to punch a hole in a soup can at 7 yards. This is not an air pistol that you would want to hunt anything with, except possible hornets or other insects.
Having said that, shooting the Buck Mark URX is a blast. At ten yards, I put five pellets into a group that measured 1.25 inches from edge to edge. This is the perfect air pistol for plinking, for knocking soda cans off a fence rail, for blasting a dollar store bag of plastic dinosaurs in front of cardboard box, or for assassinating animal crackers. It’s easy to cock, the recoil is manageable, and report is surprisingly quiet.
If you’re looking for a fun, easy-to-shoot pistol for pure plinking fun, I can highly recommend the Buck Mark URX.
Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.
– Jock Elliott