Ammo & Gear Reviews

Gear Review: Browning Buck Mark Holosight

Mike Piccione Editor, Guns & Gear
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Light and easy to use, this sight is perfectly at home on a .22.

By John Taffin, GUNS Magazine

It was in the early 1950s when I first saw what I considered a most magical instrument, namely a ballpoint pen. At a time when pencils were two for a nickel and a dollar really was a dollar, I spent a dollar for that first ballpoint. It was so expensive I decided to basically save it and cherish it for future use and so tucked it away in my dresser drawer. When I went back to retrieve it I found it had leaked and left its indelible mark all over my clothes. (I think there is a lesson there!) Today, it is possible to buy a whole fistful of ballpoint pens for a dollar, or less, and they not only work perfectly they do not leak. It’s the American way of free enterprise always going forward in most cases with better and better products for less and less money.

I am the first to admit I prefer the older classic sixguns, however I must also admit today’s guns are stronger, held to tighter tolerances, usually more accurate, and relatively speaking less expensive. We have seen this same progress in electronic sighting equipment. What used to be fairly large and bulky, prone to failure, and also quite expensive has now morphed into much smaller units which rarely give a problem while at the same time being much more affordable. The latest holographic sight offered by Browning is a perfect example of this being about 1/3 the size of the first holosight I ever experienced.

A holographic sight is different than a laser sight; the latter places a red dot on the target while the former uses a red reticle pattern. It is also quite unlike a red dot sight which normally looks like a compact scope. The holo instead is a somewhat flat unit which bolts to the top of the firearm and has an aperture lens perpendicular to the front end of the basic unit.

So what we have is a tubeless design with a 33mmx24mm lens aperture with four center reticles of choice. With the Browning Holographic Sight our reticle choices are a 3-MOA red dot, a red dot within a red circle, a red dot in the center of a cross, and the latter two combined. There is also a choice of seven brightness levels. The lens aperture provides a wide enough field of view, approximately 16 yards at 100 yards, to aid in shooting moving targets.

My first introduction to a holosight was on moving targets. I was at a Winchester Ammunition Seminar varmint hunt in northern Nevada. I was doing fine with my handguns against others rifles, however at lunchtime they pulled out the shotguns and the clay pigeon thrower. I backed off and went to sit down and eat my lunch. I tried to explain to the others I simply was not much of a shotgun shooter but they insisted I try. What I didn’t know was the fact that I was also being introduced to a new sight. That funny looking thing on the top of the shotgun was described to me as a holo-sight. OK, I’ll try but don’t expect much! What happened was just the opposite of what I personally expected. Tracking the targets in that holo-sight made it much easier to get those little birds and I got eight out of 10; needless to say I was sold on the merits of a holographic sight.

On the left side of the Buck Mark Holosight are the on/off switch, which also controls intensity and the windage adjustment. The elevation adjustment is on top of the sight.

Since this sight is a Browning Buck Mark Holographic Sight I chose to mount it on my old Browning Buck Mark .22 pistol with a 5-1/2″ heavy target barrel as well as a mounting rail on top. This sight mates up with any Weaver-style rail and gives unlimited eye relief. I mounted it as far rearward as I could without interfering with the rear sight. The aperture lens is at the front of the sight placing it at about 3″ forward of the rear sight. Installing the holo-sight was exceptionally easy only requiring the loosening of two screws on the mounting bracket of the sight with the provided Allen wrench. This same generously-sized wrench is also used for sight adjustments. Sighting in was also easy requiring a very small windage adjustment and about 3″ of elevation adjustment. Adjustments are 1 MOA at 100 yards.

The Buck Mark Holographic Sight is powered by a 3V lithium battery easily installed in a circular case which is surrounded by the on/off switch and intensity control knob. The unit itself is housed in a shockproof aluminum housing which measures just over 3″ in length and weighs less than 4 ounces. A removable rubber cover/dust cap slips over the lens when the unit is not in use. Browning’s Holographic Sight is covered by a 1-year warranty.

Remember the ballpoint pen in the beginning paragraph and how expensive and worthless it was and also how good it became? The Buck Mark Holographic Sight is the ballpoint pen of holographic sights. No, you don’t get a fistful of them for a dollar, however this sight retails for only $64.99. Browning won’t get this one back as I intend to keep it on my Buck Mark .22.

John Taffin

Buck Mark Holo Graphic Sight


One Browning Way

Morgan, UT 84050

(801) 876-271

Magnification: 1X

Lens Diameter: 33mmx24mm

Eye Relief: Unlimited

Adjustments: 1 MOA at 100 Yards

Reticles: 4 choices

Price: $64.99

Thanks to the good folks of GUNS Magazine for this article. Need more, then visit them at

Mike Piccione