Aperture sights on a .30-30


May 30, 2009, 11:00 PM
I am interested in doing some hunting in fairly dense country this fall, and would like to extend my ability to hit a target well from about 100 yards to 150 with my Marlin .30-30. Would aperture sights (peep sights) help me with this? I have great eyes. Would this be more or less useful for hunting than a simple scope?

Thanks for any answers!


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May 30, 2009, 11:27 PM
They will eliminate trying to keep the front sight post centred in the rear sight notch and trying to focus on more than one object at once. You look through a peep sight at the front sight. Your eye will automatically centre in the peep. As daft as that sounds. That's how peep sights work. Not so good for eary morning or late evening. Look at a William's model FP-94/36. $72.95. http://www.williamsgunsight.com/gunsights/FPpage.htm
A scope will allow you the see the target/deer/game better earlier in the day. Especially in thick bush. Thick bush stays dark longer and gets dark sooner. Mind you, if the bush is really thick, you won't be able to see 150 yards. Think no more than 4X magnification.
Sight in either sight 3" high(Remington factory 170 grain ammo. 2.5" high at 100 for their 150's. Other brands will be close.) at 100 to be on target at 150. You'll be close enough, but high, at close range too.

May 30, 2009, 11:28 PM
I generally find aperture sights an improvement over open sights and, at the ranges you cite, peeps would probably be as effective as a low power scope for most hunting usually associated with the .30-30.

Edit: Just read Sunray's post; he makes an excellent point about low light situations.

May 30, 2009, 11:32 PM
I have 'peep' sights on my Model 64 32 Win Special. I used it for years in the brush of western Washington for Blacktail Deer. I shot a friend's 30 Remington the other day with the same type sights. My eyes need to have the screw in aperture removed to use them effectively now that I am getting old.

May 30, 2009, 11:43 PM
For the money, the Skinner sight is probably the best overall valuel. Williams FP are okay. I have the XS SIGHT SYSTEMS sights on a number of Marlin leveractions.
Skinner Sight

XS Sights


May 31, 2009, 12:16 AM
That big rear peep on the Skinner wouldn't be bad. That front sight show up better in low light? Good price too. Don't think his brass sight is a great idea. Sure is a 'clean' sight though.
William's also makes a 'ghost ring' Firesight that's less expensive than their FP's. $49.99. That'd be an option too, but a scope will give you that half hour after sun up and before sun down in thick bush.
"...about low light situations..." M1 Rifle and Carbine(along with the C1A1's Her Majesty's Canadian Forces paid me to shoot. Gave me the ammo too.) for eons while developing nearsightedness. Might actually have shot ISU(bullseye) better if I had sucked it up and had my eyesight checked way sooner. snicker.

Cpt. America
May 31, 2009, 12:19 AM
Different strokes for different folks. I use iron sights with my 30-30.

May 31, 2009, 12:20 AM
I don't like the Williams Foolproof. The example I purchased seemed rough, the adjustments seemed not to work properly, and I don't like the way it hangs off the side.

I'd go with the Skinners or the XS sights instead. If you've got a little bit of cash, the XS scout rail and a reddot sight (I have an Aimpoint 5000 on my 336 that I brought for $100) is also a great addition...

May 31, 2009, 12:36 AM
"...I use iron sights..." Peep sights are iron sights.
"...a reddot sight..." Most of the dots cover about 4" at 100. An Aimpoint covers 2 or 4 inches. Not horrible, but not great in thick bush either. 'Thick bush' being the operative words.

May 31, 2009, 07:19 AM
I put the XS sight set on my Marlin 1895G and love it.

May 31, 2009, 07:27 AM
I used a Williams reciever sight on my Marlin 336T .30/30 for years hunting pigs & goats in Australia. I have peep sights on most all my rifles, were practical. I find aperture sights to be very fast & accurate to use, your eye is drawn to the area of most light, which is the center of the hole, so the front sight will always be centered. As mentioned in earlier post, at dawn or dusk you'll most likely have to remove the eyepiece & just use the threaded hole.

June 1, 2009, 07:10 PM
I have used just about every type of aperture sight made on my Marlins. The Skinner sight is a good solid sight, the XS sights are great for snap shooting, but I really like the Williams FP or old Redfield of Lyman sights. They are easier to adjust than the Skinner or XS to me and more versatile. You can screw the aperture out and you have the same thing as a ghost ring. You can put in an apeture with a small hole and you have a good target rifle. I would advised you to get a good 1/16" ivory bead front sight or a Redfield sourdough post with the white line if you can find one. The firesights are great for low light shooting, but way too bright if you happen to be in the bright sunlight. They are fragile too.

June 3, 2009, 04:03 PM
Good advice, TnBigBore. I agree with everything you said.

June 3, 2009, 04:12 PM
I've Lyman receiver sights on a couple 94's and 71's. I remove the "ring" when hunting for a much larger aperture. Similar to a "Ghost Ring". Accurate enough for "Big" game at the ranges you cite. Advantage is the speed at which you can acquire target.

June 3, 2009, 04:49 PM
Something else to keep in mind is Sight Radius.

I have a Williams peep on my Camp 9. It adds something like 8 or 10 inches to the sight radius. That alone, without further optical advantage, improves accuracy. Juice bottle caps at 50 yards.

Permit me to grab some imaginary numbers out of thin air.

It's simple geometry, really. If your front-to-rear sight "slop" is, oh, let's say a half-millimeter (for argument's sake), and your rear sight is on the barrel forward of the receiver, the slop at 50 yards is going to be (again, let's say) 2 MOA.

You have a pair of "similar triangles" that share a vertex, the smaller of which has a half-millimeter base and two 16-inch sides, and the larger of which has ~50 yard sides and a proportionately wider base.

Anything you can do to narrow the angle of that vertex improves your accuracy. There are two things available: 1) narrow the width of the "slop" base (diopter peep), or 2) lengthen the longer sides of the smaller triangle.

Moving the rear sight back another eight or ten inches reduces the angle of the shared vertex, moving the "slop zone" at the target in from (let us say) 2 MOA to 1.5 MOA or whatever.

Someone with a calculator handy and a ruler to measure the actual apertures of the sights can come up with hard numbers, but just a crude drawing on paper will demonstrate the principle.

Even if you use a larger "ghost ring" for the rear sight, the longer sight radius is going to help a lot.

A receiver-mounted peep will give you several inches more on the "legs" of your shooter-side triangle, while a tang-mounted vernier peep adds even more length.

June 3, 2009, 05:07 PM
I use the Williams FP-336 rear peep amd FireSight front combo on my Marlin 336W and am happy with the results. Rather than buying direct from Williams, MidwayUSA and Brownells generally have lower prices.

Vern Humphrey
June 3, 2009, 05:14 PM
I have a Williams 5D peep on my Winchester Model 94 (to get an idea of how long it's been there, that 5D sight actually cost me $5.)

I married that with a Lyman target front sight -- the kind where you can switch inserts. I keep a big black post insert in it. In dim light, or a fast moving situaton, you simply look through the rear and front sights.

June 3, 2009, 07:44 PM
100-150 yds isn't what I would call dense. At that range I'd use a 4x scope. Something like ghost rings or maybe a red dot are good for truly dense woods and by that I mean almost all shots at 50 yds and under.

June 4, 2009, 07:51 PM
I have a Williams 5D peep on my Winchester Model 94 (to get an idea of how long it's been there, that 5D sight actually cost me $5.)

Wow-I thought I was the only one old enough to pay five dollars for a Williams 5D!

Vern Humphrey
June 4, 2009, 08:10 PM
I'm not only old, I've got a lot of mileage on me.:p

I bought this rifle through the PX at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in 1964 and mail-ordered the sight the same day.

June 5, 2009, 01:58 PM
XS on my 336SS and I love them. Very robust, very fast, very accurate.

June 5, 2009, 03:00 PM
go with the skinner i love mine

June 6, 2009, 05:20 AM
XS on my 336SS and I love them. Very robust, very fast, very accurate.

+1 on that.

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