A Nurse with a Gun

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Cleaning the Browning 22

I set about cleaning the Browning 22 Auto this afternoon. The action still functioned, but it was caked with hardened residue from long use. Apparently it had never been disassembled for cleaning.

As I went through the mechanism getting rid of the cordite coatings in chunks and black smudges soaking through oily cotton rags, I was amazed at the unique genius of John Moses Browning. He had again designed a firearm that could be field stripped with no tools at all. To make such a utilitarian rifle, and to have it so easy to disassemble and clean, yet crafted in such a beautiful manner was art.



Anonymous Travlin said...

I had never heard of this rifle until your post. Google revealed it's unique and interesting design. I wondered how the magazine fit into the butt stock and why it had the hole in the side.

I visited a gun store today and it all became clear. Picking it up I immediately noticed the balance is toward the rear. The barrel seems very light and is easily removed. The downward ejection is certainly different. I hope you will describe these and other features in detail in the future, with photos.

The shop had five examples ranging in price from $450 to $1,200. You dog! Good for you.

10:54 PM  
Blogger El Capitan said...

If praying to a pantheon of household gods like the Romans did was still the fashion, I imagine most shooters would have a prominent shrine honoring Saint Browning (Peace Be Upon Him) next to the gun safe!

11:25 PM  
Anonymous Keith said...

They work amazingly well even if regular cleaning is neglected; just be sure to keep the front end of the striker bore in the bolt clean, as crap in there shortens the striker travel.

Sometimes fancy target style poses or shooting of an improvised rest can put hot debris down your wrist... but that aside, the ergonomics of the rifle are brilliant.

It makes you wonder why Ruger made his .22 so big and UGLY!

JMB, truly a great man.


6:59 AM  
Blogger Rabbit said...

My Dad bought me a Browning .22 autoloader for my 12th birthday. It's still my favorite 'little gun'.

Yes, the design is a stroke of Browning Genius, but there's nothing unusual about that. The main thing to watch for is keeping the barrel lock nut tight, but not so tight it impedes rotating the barrel and slide lock. The wrist on the stock also tends to be a little fragile, so don't force things. My ex broke mine at the wrist and I had to hold my temper to keep from beating her with the broken stock.

Congratulations on such a smokin' hot steal of a buy on a fantastic little rifle.


12:03 PM  
Blogger Carl H said...

I credit Bismark's "special Providence that looks out for children, drunkards and the United States of America" that Browning was born here, and not there.

1:48 PM  
Blogger Firehand said...

Amazing how many .22's(some others, but not as many) wind up being traded or sold because "It doesn't work right" when the sole problem is caked-in fouling. Or manage to keep working for years despite it.

9:01 PM  
Blogger hubster5 said...

Nice posts! I recently inherited one of these babies, and I agree, it is a very well thought out design... (once I got to it!) Apparently it has never been cleaned either!
I have stripped it down to the level in your picture, and got it 90% good to go. My question is regarding the moving parts (magazine feed) still in the receiver. Is it customary to remove these workings? or just dig it out, blow it out, and keep on shootin?

1:06 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...

I just blew them out, and used some brake claener on it to washthe stuff away. Be careful of the stock's finish.

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the above notice first of all! I bought A Browning 22 Autolaoder (90.00) at the the Gunshop in West C0vina in the later 1960's. I belive Al Gettler was the Proprieter. Just looking at the official Browning site now I cant help wonder if it was a grade 4 model yet it was so long ago.
That was the 1st rifle I could hit anything with and it was such a joy having a 3-5 variable scope!
Sadly I hocked it later to buy a car to attend school with (for 40.00).
I could have purchased a Belgium brand new on in the box8-9 years ago at a gunstore in Pasadena(?) for 350 $. Of course no cash with me then and did not think of aaausing my CC;oh well.
Seeing the grade 4 earlier on the Browning site makes me think of saving for it now! This is a great site.

4:49 PM  

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