What open sight rifle to buy?


January 12, 2011, 12:49 AM
New member here, looking to add an open sight rifle to my collection for deer hunting. I have an old pre 64 model 94 in 30-30. Was looking at other short light rifles including the encore. Single shot is ok with me, just has to be open sights. Any suggestions on brands and calibers would be helpful. Thanks in advance.

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January 12, 2011, 01:25 AM
IMO you already have the perfect open sight deer hunting rifle. Other than that, I would go Winchester 1892 or Puma or Rossi 1892 clone, or Marlin 1892. With open sights you won't benefit at all from a hot shot cartridge. Anything over .308 and under dangerous game level is pretty much hamstrung by open sights. If you want the T/C single shots for the barrel interchange system, go with that. If you want something completely different, I would go with the CZ 527 in 7.62x39. It will cost you about $100 more than a T/C Encore, Marlin 1894 or Rossi 1892, $150 less than a Puma 1892 and about $300 less than a Winchester 1892.

January 12, 2011, 01:46 AM
You can get Russian M 91/30 cheap.

January 12, 2011, 01:48 AM
I would say just about any mil-surp out there. AK, SKS, Mosin, M1 garand, M1A are just a few of many. Plus as a bonus there is a history behind each and every one of them. Most any of your lever actions should have irons on them also. This is just what I can come up off the top of my head. Best of luck to you in your quest.

January 12, 2011, 08:39 AM
A Ruger Number 1.


January 12, 2011, 09:55 AM
Hard to beat a surplus Swedish mauser in 6.5x55.

January 12, 2011, 10:05 AM
If you want to stay short and light, I'd just put a good tang-mounted aperture sight on your Model 94. Or if you don't want to drill and tap your pre-64, buy another lever gun and put one on it. Look at the sights made by Lyman and by Williams. An aperture sight is much quicker to acquire sight picture with than a notch sight, and it tracks better, too. It will also give you a much better sight radius, which helps make your aim more precise, and you will have nice, repeatable, MOA-incremented clicks for both windage and elevation so you can zero it precisely, and which makes it easy to correct for bullet drop and wind if you know the dope for your load.

January 12, 2011, 10:07 AM
It might be helpful to know what you want to do with it and what kind of ranges you are expecting. Are you just looking for something to shoot at the range? Popping rabbits? Deer? 75 yards? 200 yards? How accurate do you need it to be? Do you want to stick to major chamberings like 30-30, 223, 22 mag, and 308? Or can you go with some of the less common like 22-250?

Outline a little more what you are looking for and I think we can give you much better advice.

January 12, 2011, 10:23 AM
Any milsurp
Any full stocked bolt rifle (Ruger International, CZ 500 or 527 FS, SAKO)

January 12, 2011, 10:31 AM
I have a pre 64 M70 Featherweight that is drilled and tapped for a Lyman 48. I took the scope off and installed one of these.

You know a Featherweight without a scope is a real light, handy, and powerful rifle.



Recently at a gun show I saw a Remington M721 which the receiver had been factory drilled and tapped for irons.

Scopes had not completely replaced irons in post WW2 American. Many ex GIís were familiar with and happy to use rear aperture sights on their hunting rifles as the scopes of the day were expensive and delicate.

I think if you look around for 1950's vintage bolt rifles you will find some very reasonably priced and tapped for Redfield or Lyman rear sights.

January 12, 2011, 10:33 AM
Hard to beat a surplus Swedish mauser in 6.5x55.

Especially if you get one of the "Mod 38" rifles, ie the short rifle. One either made from scratch in that form by Husqvarna, or an arsenal cut down of a long rifle by them.

I have one, a 1900 made by Mauser in Germany. At about 6-8 inches shorter it makes a ot of difference in handling characteristics.

I also have a 1929 vintage Husqvarna mod 46 sporter in 9.3x52, but it has a 25"barrel, which while a bit long I like a lot especally with the weight and balance of this rifle. It is also built on what is a Swedish 96 action, without the government crown roll on the receiver.

For a single shot, find a little Ruger 1a light sporter in 7x57 Mauser, as close to perfect balance of size, weight, power, recoil level.

January 12, 2011, 11:16 AM
Just slap a Lyman 66 or Williams FP on your Winchester, go forth and make meat. See those two little screws just ahead of the hammer on the left side of the receiver? Your rifle is already drilled & tapped for it, will take minutes to install.

January 12, 2011, 11:20 AM
Yup :)

January 12, 2011, 11:25 AM
REM 600 series is small, light, compact but hard to find.

January 12, 2011, 04:01 PM
I am deer hunting in a tight spot, 20 to 40 yard shots maximum. I need something compact, and the cartridge doesn't have to be overpowering.

January 12, 2011, 04:09 PM
I have an old pre 64 model 94 in 30-30.Going to be awfully hard to improve on what you already have then.

For short light deer rifles, they don't come any better then a 94 30-30 carbine!


January 12, 2011, 04:20 PM
Look at the CZ 550FS in .308. It comes with iron sights and is ready for mounting a scope should the desire ever arise. It's surprisingly light weight for having a full stock. Mine has been a real pleasure to shoot.

January 12, 2011, 05:38 PM
Deer hunting with a 40 yard max range? Wow. I agree that your 30-30 is already a great choice. Anything you replace it with will just be for fun.

Given that I'd say you have almost unlimited possibilities. Is there a price range you are looking at? At the lower end almost any old mil-surp rifle would work. A mosin would be a natural choice. It's as powerful as a .308 and you can buy soft point ammo for it without having to reload.

The Swiss K31 is a wonderful rifle that is also in the .308 category but I'm not sure about the availability of hunting ammo for it.

For more modern rifles you could look at some of the single shot interchangeable barrel options. A .243/20 gauge combo or .308/12 gauge combo would be nice and also opens your season up a little.

January 12, 2011, 07:59 PM
I am deer hunting in a tight spot, 20 to 40 yard shots maximum. I need something compact, and the cartridge doesn't have to be overpowering.

Add a 35 Remington to your collection!


January 12, 2011, 09:01 PM
Agree with Henschman and rcmodel.
Update the irons if you want, but otherwise perfect.


January 12, 2011, 09:04 PM
A Ruger Number 1.


There are some beautiful Number 1s on Gunbroker right now in 30-30.

The Swedish Mauser is another great gun for open sight shooting.

January 12, 2011, 09:15 PM
You've already got the best short range, open sight deer rifle you'll ever own. Can't beat a Model 94. My dad had one for decades but sold it a few years ago without letting me know. I'm still steamed about it. I really wanted that rifle and never dreamed he'd sell it.

But if you're looking for some variety, the CZ 527 Carbine 7.62x39 is a terrific little rifle. I've go one with a 2-7x scope and get very good accuracy at 50 and 100 yards using cheap Wolf ammo. It will easily handle any deer you might encounter inside 100 yards.

Arkansas Paul
January 12, 2011, 10:17 PM
40 yd maximum shot and you already have a m94 Winchester. I would spend money stocking up on ammo or getting a reloading setup. You've got the rifle part covered.

stan rose
January 12, 2011, 10:38 PM
I have two Winchester 94s with iron sights and thought I was set. Then a friend gave me a beat up Mauser, which I fixed up a bit. Shortened and recrowned the barrel, added a NECG banded front sight, installed a Lyman reciever sight, and threw it all in a Boyds JRS laminated stock. It has become my favorite rifle. It is not the prettiest one I own, nor is it the most accurate one I own, but it is fun to shoot, the 8mm mauser is an excellent cartridge, and the gun is responsible for introducing me to a new hobbie, hobbie-smithing. For an iron sighted Mauser in the original chambering you do not need any specialized tools, and working on it is alot of fun.

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