2016 Show Us Your Buckmark Winners

The entries and the stories keep on getting better and better. Take some time to enjoy how each entry came to be -- and maybe you will get some ideas for your own Show Us Your Buckmark (SUYB) entry. You could win great prizes from Browning including rifles, shotguns and outdoor gear. The winners below were selected from entries during the 2016 calendar year. The 2016 winners and their stories are found below.

Howard Fullmer buckmark 9mm cartridges mosaic.

Keith Ellis large fiberglass Buckmark.

Fred Roepsch A5 pumpkin cannon.

Paul Hall Buckmark Copper Pendant.

Madison Aguirre blanket.

Victor Poulin Buckmark boomerang.

Zach Phelps Buckmark America.

Eric Binger Buckmark loading bench.

Albert Dominic Buckmark woodwork mirror.

John Holt bow rack Buckmark.

Roberto Salinas Buckmark grill.

How winners are chosen. Winners are selected by a special Show Us Your Buckmark committee which gives particular attention to creativity, uniqueness, the number of votes and the overall rating for each entry. Some are spectacular engineering feats, some show practical usefulness and while others are winners for sentimental value. Every year we are amazed at what you, the fans of Browning, can create. All of us at Browning love the Browning legacy and the Buckmark logo that symbolizes it. Thank you for being part of the Browning family.  SCROLL DOWN AND READ THE INCERDIBLE STORIES BEHIND EACH ENTRY. 

2016 GRAND PRIZE WINNERS

Fred Roepsch – A5 Shotgun Pumpkin Cannon

John Moses Browning with the original Automatic 5.

Fred Roepsch – A5 Shotgun Pumpkin Cannon. While we’ve seen some impressive Auto-5s and A5s with their classic humpback receiver profile, this one takes the cake – or maybe the pumpkin pie.

“After visiting many pumpkin patches, we decided to start our own,” laughed Fred Roepsch, 36 of Hazel Green, Wisconsin. “Well, what is a pumpkin patch without a pumpkin cannon? So, we built a cannon that could shoot smaller pumpkins. It was primitive, with a tank and barrel and it worked well, but it was missing something.” 

“My daughter said, ‘We need the best pumpkin cannon!’” Roepsch continued.  “Then it hit me: Make it The Best There Is, and the A5 Pumpkin Shotgun was born.”

“I do fabrication for a living,” Roepsch noted. “It took about 50 hours total over four months. The chamber is steel and 10 inches in diameter. The barrel is 3 inches in diameter, and the stock started out as a 12 inch by 12 inch pine beam. It weighs about 350 pounds with its bipod and uses 65 to 70 PSI of compressed air to shoot a 3 inch pumpkin about 170 yards into our adjoining corn field.” (Note that the stock even has the famous A5 Lightning-style pistol grip designed by John M. Browning himself.)

“That’s my son Matthew in front of the thing,” Roepsch concluded. “He’s the gun’s biggest fan. It sits in the pumpkin patch during the harvest and is stored in the garage during the rest of the year.”

Roepsch hasn’t thought about his next SUYB entry, as he was just too busy deciding which Browning gun he wanted as his prize. He picked one of the Browning Maxus Sporting Clays models. (Want to bet there might be a Maxus version in the pumpkin patch next season? Let’s wait and see…)

John Holt - Browning Gun and Bow Rack

John Holt – Harvest Moon Browning Gun and Bow Cabinet.  For John Holt, 19, of Neosho, Missouri, his winning SUYB project, a Browning-motif gun and bow display case, started out as his senior project in high school woodshop. 

“Actually, my woodshop teacher, Coach Davis, told me about that SUYB contest,” Holt began. “I like to hunt and fish so it seemed like a good fit and like something we’d like to do. It’s made out of oak, with a mixed Early American/Red Oak stain. It features a laser engraving of  Browning on the crown molding. It also has two Browning Buckmark logos laser engraved in smoky glass in the upper cabinet doors. On the bow side,  it also includes a floating box for storage with Browning laser engraved on the lid.”

“Mr. Preston, the school’s graphics teacher helped me laser engrave all the Browning logos,” Holt continued. “I started the project in September or October and finished it in May of the following year, so it took the whole school year to complete. Every year all our high school woodshop projects get displayed at the mall over in Joplin.”

Holt was brimming with gratitude for the help he had received from his teachers. “I’m just super excited,” Holt smiled. “I couldn’t have done it without Coach Davis and Mr. Preston.”

When asked what is next project for SUYB might be, Holt reflected for a moment. “I’m not too sure. I might want to build a fishing cabinet, something for fishing poles and tackle boxes.”

We hope Holt will find time to finish his next project since as his prize he has a brand new Browning X-Bolt White Gold Medallion RMEF Edition rifle in 300 Win. Mag. to distract him during deer hunting season.

Keith Ellis - 3D Fiberglass Wall Buckmark

Keith Ellis - 3D Fiberglass Buckmark. For some fans the Browning Buckmark is larger than life. Just ask Keith Ellis, 52, of Fernandia Beach, Florida. His four foot by eight foot Buckmark stands out in just about any setting.

“Well, I wanted to make create something unique,” Ellis said in a recent interview. “I like making things larger than life, and making something that will stand out. I used five layers of that pink foam board from Home Depot. I had the Buckmark enlarged and cut out with a jigsaw. Then I glued and bolted a layer of plywood on each side. The whole thing is wrapped in a layer of fiberglass cloth and resin. Then I Bondo-ed the edges and sanded then smooth, and finally primed and painted it with two coats of paint. It should last for decades.”

When asked how long it took to create, Ellis let out a long, low whistle. “Whooooo…on and off in my spare time it took me two years,” he said. “I took my time and did it the best I could do it. People see it and say it’s an awesome job and looks great. They even ask me where it’s going. Actually, it’s still in my garage. I might put it on my hunting cabin in Kentucky or trade it to a sporting goods store for a new scope.”

Swapping it for a scope might just work out perfectly for Ellis. For his winning entry he’s got a brand new Browning X-Bolt White Gold Medallion in 300 Win. Mag. that will need some powerful glass. Ellis says he got the potent Browning bolt gun in a magnum caliber to give him some added reach shooting across those big Kentucky soybean fields.

Zach Phelps - Buckmark America

Zach Phelps – Buckmark America. Browning loyalty runs right down to the bone with Zach Phelps, 18, of Harrisburg, Oregon. His winning entry combines two of the greatest things in the world – the USA and Browning.

“We’ll, I’m obsessed with Browning,” Phelps revealed in a recent interview. “I was sitting in high school metal shop one day and was kinda bored. I looked at the American flag and thought I should put that inside a map of the USA. Then I thought I should put a Buckmark in the center of all that. It took me 80 hours just doing the CAD drawing, all from scratch.”

The actual metal cutting took a good deal less time. “The cut out only took maybe 20 or 30 minutes,” Phelps recalled. “It’s cut from a sheet of 1/16” stainless steel and measures 36 inches by 48 inches. I have it hanging on the wall in my bedroom. It’s the first thing I stare at every morning.”

From the sound of it, everyone likes Phelps’ patriotic project. “Oh man, people keep trying to buy it off me,” Phelps recounted. “They try to have me make them one. I just say ‘nope.’ This is the only one.”

As to Phelps’ next project for SUYB, he wasn’t sure as yet. “Oh boy…well, I just built a receiver hitch cap with the Buckmark in brass flanked by two stars. But I’ll cook something up!”

Phelps picked a left-hand Browning X-Bolt in 308 Winchester as his prize, which will be perfect for any big game in Oregon. And, as a real Browning fan, it’s not Phelps’ first Browning. Not by a long shot.

Albert Dominic -- Woodwork Buckmark Mirror

Albert Dominic -- Woodwork Buckmark mirror. Albert lives in the far reaches of Canada and has been unreachable, so we don't have all his information yet. In the meantime . . . this is what we know about his submission. It is an elegantly designed and hand-crafted mirror with an integral coat rack. Just a perfect design for the entryway of any outdoor-themed home. The giant Browning logotype and Buckmark logo (both made of natural wood) dominate the front of the mirror as a reminder of the brand Dominic loves. It's always there when he picks up his jacket and takes a quick glance at the mirror before heading out. The artistically executed burned wood finish on the frame is exceptional in the way it highlights and accents the wood grain. 

The coat hooks are a finishing touch. Not only creative in their design but also elegantly finished. Each is made from a real cartridge case, each with a high polish real brass finish  (can you tell which caliber?)  The classic burned wood finish on the frame is exceptional in the way it highlights and accents the wood grain, and adds to the outdoorsy style. This is much more than functional furniture -- it is also a fine piece of rustic art. 

We expect more details soon. So stand by for the backstory on how he actually crafted his entry.

2016 RUNNER'S-UP PRIZE WINNERS

Eric Binger – Buckmark Workbench

Eric Binger – Buckmark Workbench. “I retired as a CW3 from the Army after 37 years, and I am a combat disabled veteran. Today I’m a competitive trapshooter, and all my trap guns are Brownings. I shoot an XT Combo, a Citori Trap and a BT-99,” shared Eric Binger, 54, of Sierra Vista, Arizona. “Most of my friends shoot Brownings, too. It might sound cheesy, but I’ve noticed that the guys who shoot the $10,000-plus big name trap shotguns have lots more reliability issues than us guys who shoot Brownings.”

“As you can see, most of the items on my workbench have the Browning Buckmark,” Binger remarked. “Some I have made myself and some like the clock and ammo box are from the manufacturer.” Binger’s SUYB entry included a number of Buckmark accessories for his reloading and work bench. The bright red Buckmark hopper on the bench holds 1000 wads for shotshell reloading. The doors on the side of the workbench are also decorated with Buckmarks.

“Pretty much everything I have is decorated with Buckmarks. My trap vest, hat and gloves, and the travel trailer I take to trapshoots,” Binger laughed.

“The Buckmark curtains and the rug in my man cave, even my dog Chloe’s vest has the Buckmark on it.”

Binger just finished using a wood burner to add the Buckmark to a wooden cover box for facial tissues for his man cave and is starting on a Buckmark table lamp. 

We’ll look forward to seeing future SUYB projects from Eric, who takes home a new Browning SA-22 rimfire rifle for his winning entry. (And being a real Browning guy, we’re sure Eric will be pleased to know his SA-22 was originally designed by the master himself, John M. Browning.)

Paul Hall – Buckmark Copper Pendant

Paul Hall – Buckmark Copper Pendant. The Browning Buckmark and traditional rustic metal finishes go together like ham and eggs, or in this case, a jewelry entry crafted in rustic copper and fine leather.

“Actually, I’m a jewelry maker,” responded Paul Hall, 36, of Seymour, Tennessee. “I like Browning’s history and I thought it would be a great opportunity to enter this pendant in the SUYB contest.”

“I started by making a cast mold and then poured molten copper into it,” continued Hall. “I left it rough, as I wanted it to be something different, with a more rustic look. It took about an hour and a half to make the mold, and another hour to melt and pour the metal.”

When it was finished Hall added a leather neck cord. “Everyone who sees it loves it,” said Hall. “They say ‘That’s soooo cool!’ I keep it in a special wooden box with my cherished possessions.”

As for his next SUYB project, Hall isn’t saying just yet. “I just got a new CNC machine so it may be something working in wood.” Whatever it is Hall have to take time away from shooting his new Browning T-Bolt rimfire rifle that he picked as his prize.

Paul's Buckmark bracelet.

Madison Aguirre – Buckmark Blanket

Madison Aguirre – Buckmark Blanket. It gets pretty chilly all the way up there in Hanover, Minnesota, and this handmade crochet blanket helps keep Madison Aguirre, 24, warm and toasty in the winter months.

“I couldn't be happier with the way this turned out,” Aguirre said. “I had been looking in Pinterest for something really cool to make. I first looked at a Granny Square Buckmark quilt and then I found the Buckmark crochet pattern. I had never tried to do lettering before and it took me three or four tries. I used black and white acrylic yarn and a size ‘L’ crochet hook.”

“I was feeling sick one weekend and I spent the whole time working on the blanket,” Aguirre continued. “It’s pretty big, so it fits a queen sized bed. It’s on my brother’s bed right now.” (Wow, she must really like her brother.)

Aguirre gets plenty of compliments on her blanket. “A lot of people think it’s cool and say it’s amazing. My cousin wanted to use it as a prize in a silent auction,” she reported. “I fell in love with the final product.”

As for her next SUYB project, Aguirre hasn’t made up her mind yet. “Maybe another blanket, but something different that the last one.” Aguirre will have plenty of time to decide. She takes home a Browning BL-22 rimfire rifle as her prize, and it’s the very first firearm she’s ever owned.

Howard Fullmer - 9mm Brass Buckmark

Howard Fullmer – 9MM Buckmark

For Utah Valley University art professor Howard Fullmer, 48, of Springville, Utah, the use of ammunition in his art was entirely unexpected. “It’s a dumb thing actually. I had a son who was too young to get a real summer job, so I suggested we go to the local range and pick up the fired brass which we could then clean up and resell or recycle.”

“I picked up many of these shells from the Hobble Creek range. As an artist, I started to notice the patina on each case was different. On a whim, I started doing art with the fired brass cases, mostly .22 shells,” Fullmer recounted. “On my SUYB entry, I’m not sure how long it actually took in hours, but if I measured it in episodes of “The Walking Dead,” it was at least three or four shows.” The finished work uses 1148 fired 9mm cases and measures 18-1/4 inches by 10-1/4 inches.

“I have the Buckmark framed and hanging on the wall in my studio workshop,” Fulmer continued with a smile. “Working with brass is so much more fun than doing my regular drawings. Everyone who sees it thinks it’s so cool. One of my friends has the Buckmark in the back window of his truck. It’s awesome.”

In fact, Fullmer just got a commission to do a piece of his unique art for a family in Arizona, using the large local cactus as the subject matter. He’ll need to make some extra time to finish that project, as he’s very excited to start shooting his new Browning T-Bolt rimfire rifle – the first real Browning he’s ever owned. Maybe some of the T-Bolt’s fired brass will even find its way into his next masterpiece.

You can see more of Fullmer’s unique cartridge art at www.fullmerart.com

Roberto Salinas - Buckmark Grill

Roberto Salinas – Buckmark Grill. Once your game is harvested and ready for the grill, well, you need a grill. For carpenter and cabinetmaker Roberto Salinas of Greenville, Texas, his custom Buckmark grill is the perfect solution when someone asks, “What’s for dinner?”

“This grill is was custom made and painted by me to show our support for best firearms made. The Browning fire pit was designed for my girlfriend Leah, for an anniversary gift,” Salinas writes. “I thought that would be a better gift for her than flowers, and I was right. She loves it.” 

Hunting and Browning are a family tradition for Salinas. “My 8-year old son Carlos and I spend a lot of our free time hunting together. At a young age I started teaching Carlos gun safety and respect for nature. After seeing one of my Browning projects, Carlos asked if I would make him something with the Browning Buckmark for his hunting-themed room.” His girlfriend Leah also is part of the Browning tradition. She shoots a Citori White Lightning as her shotgun of choice.

“I'm working on that next Buckmark project as we speak,” continued Salinas. “The only firearms our family hunts with are Browning, and we plan to hand down that tradition for many years to come.” 

As of this posting Salinas is still thumbing through the Browning catalog picking out his prize. So many great products to choose from…so stay tuned.

Victor Poulin -- Buckmark Boomerang

Victor Poulin – Buckmark Boomerang. When it comes to this SUYB entry, what throws around comes around…or something like that. So how about a Buckmark boomerang? That’s the challenge that was issued to Victor Poulin, 46 of Colebrook, NH.

“Well, to tell the truth, my online fans always want me to try to build stuff from video games and movies, and they challenged me to try the SUYB entry,” Poulin laughed.

“I used specialty aircraft birch plywood that’s only made in Finland,” Poulin continued. “The boomerang is completely handcrafted and it’s a brand new design, so it took me five to six hours to do the first one. After you know it flies and returns it maybe takes an hour to build one.”

“A lot of people didn’t think it would fly and return,” Poulin mused. “Once I made the YouTube video it took off from there. Right now it hangs on the wall of my house. It’s something for the experienced thrower.” You can see Victor giving his Buckmark Boomerang a workout at https://youtu.be/apyYsLV5hdA

When asked what his next SUYB project would be, Poulin thought for a moment. “Geeze…maybe something smaller and decorated differently, something perfect for tricks shots.”

Poulin will have a chance to try plenty of trick shots with his new BL-22 rifle, which he’ll use for informal target shooting with his family and perhaps dealing with the occasional New Hampshire varmint. You can see more of Vic’s work at boomerangsbyVic.com

Copyright Browning 2017. All photos of SUYB winners are used with specific permission and are copyright 2016, 2017.  Other photos and graphics copyright Browning. This year's Show Us Your Buckmark announcement article was written by Browning staff writer Scott Engen. No part of this article may be used solely as duplicated content for SEO purposes. Use of the content in legitimate outdoor industry articles and notices is permitted with attribution. Re-posting and sharing on social media is permitted with attribution. Thank you to all who participated in the 2016 contest. GO HERE FOR DETAILS ON BROWNING'S COPYRIGHT AND TRADEMARK POLICIES.