Browning's Rimfire Red Dot
July 12, 2011
A while back Browning introduced a reflex red dot sight for their excellent Buckmark line of .22 autos. It has a suggested retail of only $49.99 and fits any weaver type base. Considering most full-size .22 autoloading handguns now come drilled and tapped for scope mounts, adding a red dot sight to their line of accessories was a smart move on Browning's part.
I recently received a sample of the sight for evaluation. The sturdy aluminum housing is finished in an attractive matte black with a gold Browning logo stamped on the cover. There are seven brightness options on a large turret on top of the sight and a lever at the rear allows you to quickly select from four different reticles.
I prefer the plain dot for precise target work and the busier options catch the eye well for fast shooting. All the reticles have the 3 MOA dot at the center. This is an excellent dot size for shooting at .22 rimfire ranges. It is fine enough for precise shots on small game and targets yet is easy to pick up in rapid fire.
Power is supplied by a #2032 lithium battery you can find most anywhere and the sight comes with one installed. Included accessories are a lens cover, lens cleaning cloth, and an Allen wrench that fits both the mounting clamp and sight adjustment screws.
I did not have a Buckmark pistol handy so I mounted the sight on my Marvel conversion unit on my 1911. Mounting the sight was quick and simple, just make sure you have it pointing the right way. The sight adjustment screws are large and well-marked and the point of impact moved consistently with the turn of the screws. Most important, the zero stayed where I set it.
I have only had the sight a week or so but it seems well worth the price and an excellent accessory for expanding the capabilities of a .22 handgun. But let's not kid ourselves; top quality red dots suited for hard use on centerfire military and civilian weapons are expensive. The Browning Buckmark reflex is an entry level red dot marketed for use on .22 rimfires. So do not mount this or any low-priced red dot sight on a centerfire handgun or your AR-15 and then complain if it fails.
If you have never used a red dot sight on a .22 autoloader you are missing out on a lot of fun. Though less precise than a scope, most people will find their accuracy much improved over open sights. Red dots are hands down the fastest sight to acquire and you will likely find yourself running through a lot of ammo as you cut loose on reactive targets.