Lakeside Vindicator BF1: A Belt-Fed .22 Plinker

Lot 3837 in the September 2019 RIA auction.

In 1983, Dennis Tippmann started a company making beautiful half-scale Browning machine guns, fully functional and chambered for the .22LR cartridge. This was a pretty cool idea, and the guns remain popular today because of their mechanics and easy transportation and cheap shooting cost – but the passage of the Hughes Amendment in 1986 cut off registration of new transferrable machine guns. Tippmann sold the company shortly thereafter (moving into paintball markers), and it was owned by Vollmer until 2001 when it was bought by Eric Graetz of Lakeside Machine.

The BF1 Vindicator was designed by Graetz as a way to make a fun recreational plinking machine gun using the tooling he already had for the Tippmann Brownings. The BF1 handles like a Mini-14, but is fed via a miniature Browning belt-fed system. A total of 61 were made, 50 in .22LR and 11 in .17 HM2 caliber – some as post-sample machine guns and some (including this one) as semi autos. They are long out of production now, but are a fun gun for the belt-fed enthusiast who wants something with less infrastructure and overhead than an M1919A4 or the like.


  1. I considered buying one when they were announced but the price was $2500 or so. Considering that it can’t really do much more than a $200 Ruger 10/22 the cool factor just didn’t seem high enough to justify the extra cost. Also having a belt hanging off the side and flopping around seemed to be a negative as well. I full auto it would have made more sense.

  2. I always wanted a 22 beltfed and Im kicking myself for not buying the Lakeside models when they were cheap about ten or fifteen years ago. A company called LithocoreX bought their tooling and is currently producing new AR15 uppers using these same feed mechanism, but the guys selling it just seems so sketchy.

  3. hi

    Does anyone who owns the rights to the. 22cal upper conversions are they still for sale as I would like to buy the rights if affordable

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