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dbuffington
August 5, 2006, 03:46 PM
Hi Folks!

I've see a few of the pre-Buckmark Browning 22 pistols (Challenger, Medalist) lately, and they seem remarkably similar to the Colt "Woodsman" series 22 pistols.

Were both families based on Browning designs and/or patents?

Thanks!
Dave

James K
August 13, 2006, 09:52 PM
The basic pistol that became the Colt Woodsman was designed by Browning, but refined by George Tansley and Francis Chadwick. Those patents have long expired, so there is no problem with anyone making a Woodsman-like pistol (except the very high cost).

Obviously, Browning (d. 1926) had nothing to do with the modern Browning Buck Mark line. Although there is a general resemblance to the Colt Woodsman, they are very different pistols, even the takedown being quite different. I presume they are the product of an FN design team, though if anyone knows the name(s) of the designer(s), I am sure Dave would appreciate the info.

Jim

dbuffington
August 14, 2006, 05:03 AM
Many thanks for the info! Now, I'm trying to figure where the Challenger, Medalist, et al fit into the family tree. Thanks again!

James K
August 14, 2006, 04:56 PM
The chronology is a bit confusing to me, but let me see if I can help, subject, as always, to better info. Around 1962, Browning came out with the Nomad and the Challenger, then added the Medalist in 1964. All were basically the same, the latter being a refined target pistol type with a wood forend. Takedown was by removal of the barrel; a screw in the front was turned out and the barrel lifted off, like the High Standards of the same period, except the H-S guns used a push button. All had a sharply raked grip.

Those guns became too expensive to sell at a reasonable price and were discontinued around 1975. The Challenger II was introduced a couple of years later with what is now the basic Buck Mark design. With the advent of Browning's "buck" trademark, the name Buck Mark was chosen for the entire line, so there have been a number of variations - Challenger III , Camper, Hunter, Bullseye Target, Lite, Contour, Varmint, etc., etc.. Takedown is by removal of the sight bar screws and pulling the slide upward.

Somewhere along the line, Browning apparently was made aware that "Challenger" was a Colt-owned trademark*, so Browning dropped the "R" and the later guns use the name "Challenge."

HTH

*For the fixed sight version of the Type 2 Woodsman.

Jim

dbuffington
August 14, 2006, 07:05 PM
Many thanks again!

Now, let me explain my incredibly selfish reason for this line of questioning...

My deal with myself -- to keep my collection under control -- is that I only buy guns designed by John Browning or based on John Browning designs.

Granted, that covers a lot of territory, but does it cover the Nomad, Challenger, Medalist, et al? I hope so, since I really want to buy a Medalist :D

Swan Hunter
August 15, 2006, 10:09 AM
Get one now...You will never regret it!!!

I have a few Medalists and am a Big JB fan. But, the beauty of these things is too much to let get past you! They get more expensive every day and more scarce!

A guy was shooting one next to me the other day and I couldn't take my eyes off it!

You will be better for it!

I share your passion!

Get the Book on Browning if you haven't ...It is a great read! Would make a great movie!

guntotin_fool
August 15, 2006, 01:41 PM
The guns of Browning today bear no resemblence to the quality that was the medalist or challenger. That said, the only .22 reasonably priced that comes close are the S&W 41's. I f you look around you can find Match target woodsmans that are pretty darn good guns. almost perfect, I have a few, my personal walking gun in the woods is a 4" MTW 2nd edition.

I have to say it pains me to admit it, but it is getting valuable enough that i may have to start carrying the Ruger mk2, especally on the wet and dreary days where the stainless feature of the K model Rugers is really appreciated.

James K
August 16, 2006, 02:19 PM
Hi, dbuffington,

If you want to stick strictly to those guns actually designed by John Browning himself, you have to remember that he died in 1926. Not even the BHP was really designed by him. Though he did the preliminary work, Saive took over the design even before Browning's death, and the final design was by him, not Browning. Of the guns now made by FN with the Browning name (not counting repros), I think the only one actually designed by JMB is the little .22 autoloading rifle.

To answer your question about the Nomad and Challenger, no, they are not really Browning designs, although they have Browning designed features as do just about all the guns on the market. So it depends on how "pure" you want your collection to be.

BTW, don't forget the shotguns and rifles Browing designed. You may not be able to get the automatic weapons, but even a collection of Browning designed sporting guns would be impressive.

Jim

dbuffington
August 16, 2006, 02:26 PM
If you want to stick strictly to those guns actually designed by John Browning himself, you have to remember that he died in 1926. Not even the BHP was really designed by him... To answer your question about the Nomad and Challenger, no, they are not really Browning designs, although they have Browning designed features as do just about all the guns on the market. So it depends on how "pure" you want your collection to be.

Yes, I'm aware of the High-Power's mixed heritage, and it probably marks the outer fringes of my "purity" limit.

BTW, don't forget the shotguns and rifles Browing designed. You may not be able to get the automatic weapons, but even a collection of Browning designed sporting guns would be impressive.

Actually, my little treasure hunt started awhile back with a Browning A-5 shotgun. A remarkable piece of work :)

Thanks!
Dave