Cowboy underlever on test: the Browning BL-22

Uploaded by fieldsportschannel on 31.12.2012

This is a Browning BL-22 underlever, very traditional American style underlever rifle,
.22 calibre, it has got a 15-shot magazine and, if you’re using .22 long rifle, it
will take longer cartridges, but it reduces the capacity of the magazine. Traditionally
it would have been used with the open sights, but we have fitted a little Bushnell 4-16x40
Bushnell Banner scope which is power-adjustable, it’s got an illuminated scope. It’s quite
a high-tech bit of kit for a rifle like this, but just to try and improve the accuracy.
It’s not a target rifle and is not going to be as accurate as something like an Anschuetz,
bolt action, but fast action, lots of fun, great for plinking and hopefully, once we’ve
got it set up accurate enough for a bit of rabbit bashing. Well, if not, the rabbits
will survive the night, because if it won’t hold a group we won’t be going out after
them. It’s a really pretty little thing. Ambidextrous so ideal for cack handed shooters
like myself. Quite short in the stock so probably quite good for a youngster. I’ve really
enjoyed shooting it so far, it’s really good fun.
We’ve got this set up and we’ve just zeroed it at 50 yards and I suppose it’s holding
inch-and-a-half / two inch group, which is not bad, not bad at all. So that’s shooting
off sticks rather than shooting off a bipod or bags. It’s not a patch on a European
bolt action, but good enough to go and have a crack at some bunnies I reckon. So let’s
go and see if there any about.
So before we head off and try and pop a few rabbits with a .22, the landowner has asked
whether we can kill a fox which has been causing a few problems with his chickens and it has
been using this field at the same time of night for the last couple or three nights,
so I chucked the .243 in because it has a bit more range. I don’t really like shooting
foxes with a .22 unless they are very, very close range. I don’t really think the round
is up to it. Obviously with the centrefire we have got a much better chance. Hopefully
he will come down the field a bit, I’ll wait till he gets closer. He’s turned up
right on cue, but one he is not in a shootable position just now and two the camera man wants
me to get right in close, because he can’t get anything in focus at further than 80 yards,
but that is lucky because I can’t shoot anything that is further than 80 yards either,
so hopefully he’ll come a little bit closer.
So that was the end to a not entirely successful hunting foray with the Browning BL-22. For
factor out of 10 for this rifle, we had great fun plinking with it. It’s more than accurate
for potting tin cans and stuff and probably with a bit more work into the set up and trying
different loads. You could probably get it pretty good for hunting, but if you after
an out and out pest control tool you are probably better off looking for something else. But
if you are after something really good fun to own and give you a lot of pleasure then
this is definitely worth a look. But I can see why cowboys own a lot of these.