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Keefe Report: Show Us Your Buck Mark … On A Headstamp

Do you know what the Browning Buck Mark looks like? Odds are you do, because it—perhaps more than any other contemporary iconography—represents someone interested in, even passionate about, the outdoors, the shooting and hunting lifestyle.

For years it was a tasteful gold ornament on a trigger guard or an image in a catalog. Then it grew into a symbol all its own, adorning bows, caps, coats, pick-up trucks and even the human epidermis.* It is a subtle, yet bold and defiant, wearing of the colors for people who like to shoot and hunt. This is particularly true for an entire generation of upcoming outdoorsmen—as well as outdoors women. Ever seen a pink Buck Mark?

Browning is on the verge of entering an entirely new category. Although many proudly showing the world their Buck Marks are bowhunters, I would bet the farm (I live on a third of an untillable acre, so maybe I need a new metaphor) that the vast majority are gun owners, gun hunters and shooters. And Browning realized this too. The Buck Mark is coming to a cartridge near you. 

Browning has become iconic for its affordable quality. One of its many slogans is "The Best There Is." And while there may be a product better in a given category, LED flashlights for example, it has been my experience you will not be disappointed with the quality of anything from the hundreds of pages in the Browning catalog you purchase for the price.

With those things in mind, Browning has decided to enter the world of ammunition. And this is not merely having the Browning Buck Mark put on the headstamp as an afterthought. There is a comprehensive, extremely well-thought-out plan for a full line of uniquely Browning products for rifles, shotguns and handguns (center-fire and rimfire).

I've seen the plan, and I've seen the description of the products. In short, I am impressed. This is not just someone else’s ammo repackaged. There is outstanding technology behind the construction of the hunting and personal-protection bullets and even the shotshells have a proprietary, high-tech wad. I have not been able to shoot any of the loads Browning is introducing, but I have seen the descriptions of each product, and they will not disappoint. And they won’t break the bank, either. All the loads I have been briefed upon fall into the “affordable premium” category. Not rock bottom, but not luxury goods either.

Make no mistake, Browning is a powerful brand. Often companies have delved into new categories thinking the power of their brand will carry them. Things like Smith & Wesson over-unders imported from Turkey come to mind. As does Genuine Colt Coffee. For the record, Sumatran Dark Roast did not “Make Men Equal.” Browning Ammunition is not Colt Coffee. The guys at Browning and their partners have good products and a good plan. And a good price. I can’t wait for the first shipment to arrive. In the meantime, you can check it out at browningammo.com or watch the video above.

*Note: If you are going to get a Buck Mark tattoo, make sure the buck’s nose is pointed to the left. Few things are more awkward than a backward Buck Mark irrevocably rendered in ink on one’s bicep.


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