Whereas sister firm Winchester steals the lever-action limelight, Browning is definitely no slouch. Along with the longstanding centerfire BLR platform, Browning constructed distinctive reproductions of well-known designs just like the Fashions 1886, 1895, and 71. Thus, it ought to come as no shock that its personal rimfire cowboy motion is a stud.
Browning debuted the BL-22 in 1969. Manufacture has remained at Miroku, Japan, like the corporate’s associated levers. Starting within the mid-Seventies, the BL-22 line grew with the rise of an improved Grade II, in distinction to the unique, often known as Grade I.
Although just a few particulars might have modified through the years, most options of the BL-22 stay static. The weapons are constructed with a machined metal receiver, forgoing cost-saving alloys. The extremely brief, 33-degree throw lever is quick biking and straightforward to function. Walnut furnishings wears a shiny end partnered with the blued metal. The tubular journal makes use of a fast lock system. Whereas the weapons are lookers, they’re actually constructed for sensible use.
Although the BL-22 has been in manufacturing for 5 a long time, it stays moderately unusual to seek out these rifles on the used market. That speaks to the tendency of homeowners to treasure these levers. These searching for a brand new concern will discover a lot from which to pick.
On the time of this writing, Browning’s catalog lists 5 variants: a typical BL-22 Grade I, the downsized Micro Midas, the Grade II, a pair of nickel-finish Full Line Distributor (FLD) alternatives, and an impressive Grade II Octagon variant with engraving and checkering.
Our take a look at BL-22 comes from the Guns.com Vault. Once we noticed it seem within the used part, we merely needed to get our paws on it. Although carrying just a few nicks and scuffs indicating mild use through the years, the BL-22 got here out firing. There’s a 20-inch spherical barrel with high quality iron sights. Walnut shares are freed from checkering and culminate in a polymer butt plate carrying the Browning identify.
The usual mannequin, which now we have right here, is named the Grade I. The Grade II provides checkering, engraving, and a gold set off, amongst different upgrades. Shares are straight grip, English-style black walnut with a gloss end. The rear sight is a flip-up type, which matches with a dovetail entrance.
The rifle weighs in at 5 kilos and is nicely balanced. The receiver is dovetailed for optics mounting, although we didn’t really feel the necessity for a scope. There’s even a cocking indicator on the rear of the receiver. Set off pull is crisp, however a bit stiff at 5.75 to six kilos.
A singular characteristic of the BL-22 is the set off mechanism shifting with the lever moderately than remaining static with the receiver. What merely should be felt to understand is the super-short lever motion. Working the motion actually solely takes extending the forefingers out and again to eject the spent spherical and chamber the following.
Like most high quality lever weapons, the BL-22 will simply deal with .22 Brief, Lengthy, and Lengthy Rifle rounds. Whereas our take a look at gun got here topped with a red-dot optic, we merely take pleasure in going again to fundamentals on old-school platforms. Although we might probably do higher with an optic, the BL-22 proves again and again not solely its aesthetics however its accuracy.
Thus, we shot our accuracy teams from the bench with the manufacturing unit irons and had been throughout impressed with the texture, match and end, reliability, and sophistication of the BL-22.