Browning 22 Rifle Review: Specs And Unique Features
When we think of guns, we often think of legacy – the rifles used by people in the past are arguably good enough for those in the present.
The brands and calibers that have helped hunters feed their families and soldiers defend their homelands have earned their place in history. They’re revered for a reason, and many people still swear by them.
But there’s also an idea that as time goes on, we should evolve our preferences when it comes to firearms. Guns are, after all, a type of technology – and technology involves steadily as the years and decades go on. Can we really say that a classic gun, even one that has been tweaked along the way, still holds up as a top choice?
Browning is a big-name weapons manufacturer that has become synonymous with quality firearms. They’re known for durability, reliability, and arguably most importantly, accuracy – we need all those qualities in a good weapon.
As far as gun types, in terms of caliber, 22 is one of the most iconic of all time. It’s a type of chamber that is readily available and is as great for wounding an intruder as it is for wounding an animal during a hunt – and making sure both can be subdued.
Today we’ll take a look at the Browning 22 rifle. What does it offer? How does it hold up to the competition? And should you consider buying it if you’re looking for a great rifle?
Who Is Browning? What Do Browning Guns Offer?
John Browning may not have ever thought his gun company would’ve become as iconic as it did. While he likely had some degree of confidence in his vision, the name Browning is now so common in the gun world it is hard to believe it was ever an unknown.
Browning (the man) was looking for a way to implement genuine sporting designs for his weapons. A successful inventor in his own right, he had no reason to stray into territory that he wasn’t fond of. Hunting was a good market, but it wasn’t nearly as lucrative as the other areas he’d succeeded in earlier.
He had achieved dozens of military contracts, with patents and big paydays coming along with them. As a man with everything he could ever want in terms of accomplishments for his gun brand, he chose to take things farther – but not just for the money or acclaim. He wanted to focus on sporting weapons for the sake of providing hunters with something for their passion.
It is worth noting that in previous decades, hunting was less of a passion for some and more of a way to put food on the table for their families. Such is still the case today, for many, as even the food we enjoy directly from store shelves first had to be hunted down. Farms and camps aside, many stores still rely on hunters to make sure they have meat to sell.
Browning’s take on the semi-automatic 22 rifle would become known simply as the Browning SA-22, or the Browning 22 rifle for an even shorter title. It was a move that would lead to a legacy that has lasted over a century and led to over 500,000 sales.
Easy to handle, an ideal starter gun, but also a mainstay among many hunters of all skill levels for the sheer sake of its reliability, the Browning 22 rifle has endured the test of time.
What Makes The Browning 22 Rifle Unique? What Are The Specs?
When we’re talking about a classic like the Browning 22, we’re talking about a rifle that veterans of the gun industry likely know very well. But for those who don’t, let’s give a quick rundown of the specs you can expect with this gun.
It is important to note that there could be some variation among models depending on where you buy them. Some guns represent hybrids, with a mish-mash of parts put together, some of the Browning specification and others not. In other cases, a gun may be almost entirely made of stock parts, but with a few slight changes made for the preference of the previous owner.
Standard specs include:
37” (overall) and 19-3/8” barrel.
5 lbs., 3 oz.
Blade front/folding leaf rear
The Browning 22 rifle is a well-rounded gun, and one that doesn’t deal too much in frills – that is to say, it doesn’t add a lot of cumbersome or complex features for the sake of them.
Some people seek these features because they believe it gives them a better experience. This can be true – most shooting opinions come down to preference. There’s a lot of people who will choose a decked-out tactical weapon over a simple rifle, but there’s also a dedicated following for the gun makers who keep things simple.
Browning does just that with the 22 rifle, as it was built not just for simplicity but durability. What’s better than a simple gun that is built to do what a gun should? One that can keep doing that over the course of decades or even a century.
We can see that the longevity and simplicity of this weapon are what makes it unique – but does the pricing hold up, especially when there are so many other similarly priced options today?
Is The Price Worth It For This Gun? How Does It Compare?
As we mentioned, give or take a hundred depending on where you shop.
In the spirit of bargain shopping, how does this weapon hold up in terms of the competition? There are a lot of 22 rifles on the market – but not all of them are from a company like Browning. Let’s take a look at some of the other options out there.
The CZ 455 Scout .22 bolt-action rifle – though that may not be a fair comparison, because it isn’t a semi-automatic. There’s also the Henry Youth lever-action model, which goes for about the same. Does this mean any rifle that is a semi-auto 22 could cost about the same as Browning’s offering?
Some models like the Savage Arms 64 TRR-SR can go for much less than the Browning 22 – though you will find models like the Magnum Research Magnumilite can go for about the same. The difference here is not every brand is like Browning.
Quality is one thing – at least in terms of the parts used in a weapon. But Browning has decades of craftsmanship and proven performance in the field tied up in their name. It isn’t just a title, it is an assurance of quality for many buyers. They’ve used Browning guns faithfully, or they know someone who has. It is more than enough of a reason for them to invest in Browning weapons exclusively, or at least choose a Browning 22 rifle over a competitor’s model.
It all ties back into public perception – and for Browning, there’s no issue there.
Public Perception Of The Browning 22 Rifle
Even if a person prefers a bit more punch than a 22 can offer, they may have a good opinion of this gun simply because it is from a major brand like Browning.
While a brand name doesn’t guarantee quality by itself, there’s good reason to go with a proven company. Though it isn’t always the case, a more established brand can usually be expected to offer better customer service – they have spent a long time building their name, and they don’t want to risk losing it.
Sure, some may argue that a company that brings in a ton of sales doesn’t have much incentive to worry about what happens if a single customer, or even a few hundred customers a year, aren’t completely satisfied with their purchase. But you can also argue that bad news travels faster than good news – and the same is true for reviews.
If a brand starts letting their quality slip and they don’t adhere to customer concerns, there is a good reason to believe they could face consequences for it as word-of-mouth takes effect and people begin being more skeptical of that brand in the future.
Browning knows this, and thus they put a lot of work and craftsmanship into their products. Public perception of them is then usually on the positive side, as they’ve proven for generations that their weapons are made with the user in mind. They don’t just want to push out a product for the sake of doing so. Instead, they want to put out guns that can help them gain more followers and build up a solid reputation.
Or, perhaps more accurately, maintain a solid reputation. They already have a big following – but they aren’t the only one. How do Browning’s 22 rifles stack up to those released by competitors?
How Does Browning’s 22 Offering Stack Up?
There are plenty of juggernauts in the gun industry that have jumped on the 22 bandwagon throughout the generations.
Hunters, home defenders, and even soldiers have used the 22 rifle over the years. How can we compare the success of each? While sales numbers are one way, we can also compare how a handful of top gun makers are constantly lumped together and usually dominate the biggest part of the market.
Names like Marlin, Ruger, and Smith & Wesson are also popular for the 22 rifles. While Marlin and Ruger have more of a classic feel to their weapons, Smith & Wesson could be called a gun maker that leans more toward modern designs in many of their recent products.
In terms of efficiency, most of them are around the same level – that is to say, there’s no reason to think any one would be less reliable than the other, as they’ve never had any noteworthy manufacturing defects or unaddressed customer complaints on a massive scale.
While the decision a person makes as it pertains to modern vs. classic gun designs comes down to preference, we can safely say that Browning is a top choice even in the face of stiff competition.
Final Verdict And Opportunities For Special Discounts
When we’re talking about classic rifle designs chambered for 22 caliber, Browning is always at the top of the list.
Even with a weapon type that has always gotten a lot of positive reviews, Browning is one of the leaders in this area. They come to the top of the heap repeatedly, and even when compared to firearms that have a more modern design, the Browning 22 rifle holds up in the areas of reliability and durability.
It’s even better if you can get it for a discount – which is sometimes possible, as most major gun stores that carry rifles carry the Browning brand. When discounts and coupons are given out around popular gun-buying seasons like the fourth-quarter when hunting season and holidays are coming up, it is possible to find some great deals.
The Browning firearms company is a great success story and proof that time doesn’t have to be a detriment to industrial giants. They’ve succeeded because they understand how to cater to their market.
The 22 rifle isn’t the only great gun out there, but it has maintained its popularity over the years for good reason. And with a big name like Browning offering their own version, buyers have a secure source to go to when they want a weapon they can trust.