Turning the Browning Buck Mark into the Ultimate Range Gun

Turning the Browning Buck Mark into the Ultimate Range Gun

Recently I pulled out one of my very first handguns and decided to breathe some new life into with a few upgrades. The Browning Buck Mark was the third handgun I ever purchased. I scoured the local gun classified for someone selling one because I was convinced I needed a .22LR handgun for practice. I found a great deal on one, drove an hour to a gun shop, met a guy, filled out some paperwork, did a background check, and went home with my new handgun. I don’t think this gun had ever really been shot and so I thought I had scored a huge win. The reality was, while I liked this gun, I didn’t really shoot it often. Then Sandy Hook happened and the cost of .22 skyrocketed to 9mm prices, so it sat and collected dust.

Fast-forward almost 10 years and I started thinking about how much fun it is to just plink. I considered buying a new .22 handgun, but then I remembered when I was working at a gun shop we had some cool upgrades for the Buck Mark pistols made by Tactical Solutions. I had wanted to do something back then, but there were so many other cool guns to buy I just put it off. I decided now was the time to revive the Buck Mark and give it a makeover.

I decided to go with the Trail-Lite OD Green fluted 5.5-inch barrel and the standard Trail-Lite scope base rail. Since I was already opting for an upgrade on this gun I decided to go all in and ordered in a SilencerCo Switchback RAW and a US Optics DRS (Dynamic Reflex Sight) to turn this into the ultimate fun gun for the range.

The installation process for the barrel and rail was very simple and straight forward. With two Allen wrenches and 10 minutes, I transformed my boring old Buck Mark into a cool looking blaster. Other than the cool factor, the biggest advantage of the Trail-Lite barrel from Tactical Solutions it the weight savings. At six ounces, the barrel is half the weight of the original barrel. The barrel is also threaded at 1/2×28 allowing for a compensator or in my case the direct attachment of a suppressor. The rail comes with an adjustable rear sight so I was able to use it immediately while waiting for my optic.

The US Optics DRS was the perfect option for this upgrade since it has a small 2 MOA dot and weighs just under two ounces with the Picatinny mount. The DRS comes with the same mounting footprint as the Vortex Viper if you want to mount to a milled slide, but the Picatinny mount was perfect for my use and lets me easily take it on and off for storage. The $249 MSRP makes the DRS a great low cost option for handguns or even carbines. The controls are simple and the battery life, according to US Optics, is around two or three years on a single CR2032 battery.

The final piece of the upgrade was the SilencerCo Switchback. The Switchback has the claim of being the quietest .22 can on the market. What I liked about it, though, was that it is configurable in multiple lengths, is easy to clean, and can be used up to a 5.7×28. I opted for the “raw” finish figuring the two-tone black and titanium look would go nicely with the OD Tactical Solutions barrel. This was the most expensive part of the upgrade and of course comes with all the headaches that come from purchasing a NFA item including the extra $200 you fork over to the ATF for a stamp giving you permission to own it.

Let me just put this out there, this was absolutely not an inexpensive project. With everything including the tax stamp, the retail total is right around $1,100. Yes your read that correctly. Add in the price of the Buck Mark and you are at around $1,300 – $1,500 depending on if you find a used one or go with a new one. That might seem like a lot for a .22 “fun gun,” but this is the kind of project that most people would spread out over time. Then, items like the optic and suppressor are optional and both could be used on more than just this build. The barrel and rail from Tactical Solutions were around $300. This, to me, is a solid investment and definitely breaths some new life into a great gun. It was a ton of fun doing this, and the best part was watching my 12-year-old light up the range and ask me when we could go shoot that gun again.

For the Browning Buck Mark and other great pistols, check out the Guns.com Vault and collection of Certified Used Guns.

26 Comments

  1. NetshadeX on August 23, 2022 at 8:03 pm

    I’ve owned the 5.5” SS Contour URX version of the Buckmark for years and put it aside rather quickly in favor of a Glock 17 I got shortly after. Tonight I whipped it out again at the range and to my absolute amazement found that, using a rest, I could consistently hit a 10” steel plate at 100 yards without a sight adjustment (red dot sighted in at 25 yards). It literally had me scratching my head in disbelief. It also triggered a renewed love for the thing. I might go ahead and throw some $ it’s way for some upgrades. Amazing gun 😵



  2. Pauls Country on August 23, 2022 at 8:03 pm

    The camper in its factory configuration is such a superb gun capable of sub 1 inch groups rested at 25 yds, i think the superb barrels on these is the best part, i would like to see what that gun you have would do rested at 25.



  3. Charles Wood on August 23, 2022 at 8:05 pm

    My boss gave me one it has a bull barrel, can someone link or tell me. Do I have to change that just add a suppressor, this is just a plinker for me. And would rather it be quieter.



  4. littleteethkeith on August 23, 2022 at 8:05 pm

    Cool gun



  5. Матвей Малинин on August 23, 2022 at 8:06 pm

    Напрочь не понимаю таких толстенных стволов.



  6. Jonathan Robertson on August 23, 2022 at 8:06 pm

    Nice job. As someone who has also pimped out his Buck Mark Camper, I can easily say you did well to go with the TacSol barrel and the SilencerCo suppressor. If you don’t mind spending a little more money and want to go the extra mile, I’d recommend upgrading the sear, trigger, and extractor with the ones offered by Tandemcross. The drop in sear will safely take a pound or so off the trigger pull weight, you’ll shoot more accurately and consistently with the flat Victory trigger, and the Eagle Talon extractor will enhance your Buck Mark’s reliability. You can buy all three together for well under $100. Just thought I would throw that out there. They also offer a superior firing pin that is is lighter and stronger which also helps reliability by doing it’s job quicker. That too, is also, very affordable.



  7. Joseph Chapman on August 23, 2022 at 8:06 pm

    Can you use high velocity bulk ammo without the supersonic crack with the 5 1/2" barrel and switchback?
    Can’t decide on the 4" or 5 1/2" barrel for bulk ammo with can.



  8. Sukhi Mcfly on August 23, 2022 at 8:06 pm

    do you know of any halo style charging handles that work on this model? i have the exact same one! the tk one does not fit on it.



  9. Philip 6 on August 23, 2022 at 8:08 pm

    Is that can sectional?



  10. Brian Edwards on August 23, 2022 at 8:10 pm

    I’m starting to find out that when most of these guys say “project” what they’re really saying is “I bought a bunch of stuff that attaches to the gun”.



  11. Karl Volk on August 23, 2022 at 8:14 pm

    Mine is similar to yours! My 1st gun was the Buckmark Camper. I also did the Tactical Solutions 5.5” fluted OD barrel and Picatinny rail with adjustable sight. I added a fiber optic sight on the front. Then I got the Tactical Solutions OD aluminum grip plates, which feel real good. And a Vortex Venom red dot. Then I improved the trigger with the spring flip hack to reduce the pull weight by about half. More recently, I got a TandemKross flat trigger to increase the reach a little for my big hands. My Buckmark is so amazing and fun to shoot. It’s still my favorite pistol, and I get tons of compliments at the range. It’s also hella accurate. It’s nice to see someone else give their Buckmark a facelift and some love!



  12. Lester Egbert on August 23, 2022 at 8:21 pm

    Why didn’t you change out the trigger…



  13. Ewe People on August 23, 2022 at 8:23 pm

    Super lame. Waste of my time and your time and money. Hopefully your YT channel pays for it. 🤮



  14. Luke Daniels on August 23, 2022 at 8:26 pm

    Wow! Awesome custom job. I love the Browning Buckmark 👍



  15. Lyle Day on August 23, 2022 at 8:30 pm

    where to get soft rubber finger grooved grips?



  16. Francis Affolter on August 23, 2022 at 8:34 pm

    I have one like yours with the tactical barrel but at my age i have a very hard time charging the slide what can i do for this



  17. Lino Abad on August 23, 2022 at 8:34 pm

    Browning Buck Mark Target pistol must have weight as bull barrel you like range gun take TX 22, 17 round magazine.



  18. VG on August 23, 2022 at 8:36 pm

    Would be nice to hear it shoot without all the noise



  19. Brian Kerr on August 23, 2022 at 8:42 pm

    I wish I could own a suppressor … But I’m in Canada the retarded shit hole.



  20. turbomaid on August 23, 2022 at 8:45 pm

    I love mine. Its been the gateway drug for countless new shooters and is great for warming up to my comp gun or just good ol’ fashioned plinking.

    That said, the tac sol barrel is almost as much as I paid for the gun, but I dont think that’ll stop me when the time comes to upgrade.



  21. S Kasz on August 23, 2022 at 8:46 pm

    I’ve got close to 35k through my Buckmark in the last 15 years, it still splits playing cards at 25 feet. The only thing I’ve done is a trigger job, everything else is stock.



  22. Cy Pritchard on August 23, 2022 at 8:48 pm

    RDS placement on the rail – what are the pros and cons of placing the RDS closer toward the muzzle vs closer to the back of the slide on the rail? Have you played with different positions? Thanks!



  23. Stacey Irwin on August 23, 2022 at 8:48 pm

    How to shoot single shots?



  24. Slo Glok on August 23, 2022 at 8:49 pm

    Very good Gun super



  25. kbk011 on August 23, 2022 at 8:55 pm

    Beauty



  26. Obi Wan Kenobi on August 23, 2022 at 8:59 pm

    I love the buckmark