big bore lever with peep sight


January 31, 2012, 07:29 AM
My next project will be looking for a good lever rifle in .44 mag. I won't be scoping it and I wonder if a peep sight is a viable sight option. Are there some makes and models that come standard with holes drilled and tapped for peep sights or are they not a good idea for a lever gun?
I'd be looking at USA made rifles only and I'm not too fond of Henry's so I think that limits me to Winchester and Marlin only, correct?

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January 31, 2012, 07:45 AM
I have an XS ghost ring on my .45 Winchester Trapper. Had one on my .44 too, and both work well.

I tried a scope, both traditionally mounted and a scout mount on my .44 and quickly realized it took all the handiness out of the gun, and I hated the "look". The ghost ring takes nothing away from the gun in either of the above terms.

Kind of hard to see here, but you can see, the gun really isnt "changed".

Heres a link to XS...

January 31, 2012, 08:00 AM
i too have the xs ghost ring sight set up on an 1895 it

January 31, 2012, 11:21 AM
I have receiver sights on all of my several LA rifles and carbines. On all but two of them, I've also changed out the front bead with a Marbles or Williams FO unit. Great combo, IMO. The only reason the other two don't have them (yet) is that on one, the front sight is integral with the barrel band and the other has a dovetail cut which isn't even close to the US Standard 3/8" nominal and 65 degree included angle which makes direct replacement impossible and the 'smithing labor time for the job rather too expensive right now.

My Marlins are all older models which came D&T'ed for a receiver sight from the factory. My Rossi M92s had to have that done, but I've never regretted the cost as I can shoot much better with a receiver sight than I can with open irons.

IIRC, newer Marlins aren't factory D&T'ed on the left side of the receiver anymore but there are several makers who offer drop-on sets for them. Most use the two rear mounting holes for the scope mount and come with a slightly taller front sight to compensate for the higher LOS.

Personally, for value-per-buck-spent I like the Williams 'Fool Proof' set-up with 'Firesight' front. It's not very costly, installs easily DIY, and you can get a replacement for the front sight hood which is open on top to allow good light for the FO to work and protect it from possible incidental damage as well. Only about $7 from Marlin and well worth the small cost.

I have Marbles FO fronts on two of my rifles, just because the bead is a tad larger which tends to make it easier for me to pick up quickly.

January 31, 2012, 05:26 PM
gets my vote +1

the Williams 'Fool Proof' set-up with 'Firesight' front

January 31, 2012, 06:02 PM
While, I have had great luck with my williams receiver sight..., I really like the looks, price customer service, and toughness of the Skinner sight. I put a Skinner front sight on my rifle beacause i needed more height with the williams receiver sight.

January 31, 2012, 06:28 PM
Skinner. I have 'em on both my lever guns, front and rear.

January 31, 2012, 07:21 PM
+1 for Skinner

February 1, 2012, 02:42 AM
I have a Williams 5d on my Winchester 94AE 44 Trapper. I also installed a Marble's brass bead front sight. It made a world of difference over the factory configuration.

February 1, 2012, 10:34 AM
Are there some makes and models that come standard with holes drilled and tapped for peep sights or are they not a good idea for a lever gun?

Personally, I think "peeps" are the only way to go on a lever action. Some may disagree, but I feel that scoping such a gun ruins both the lines of the gun and degrades the handling.

I'm not too sure about some of the other makes, but Williams makes peep sights desinged to use existing holes in many lever action guns, or to fit the dovetail of the existing rear sight. ALso check the offerings from Skinner, Brockmans, and Lymann for similar sights.

February 1, 2012, 11:12 AM
Yeah, Winchester and Marlin are about it, for quality American-made ones. Since at least the 1950s, they have all been pre-drilled and tapped for peep sights. They both switched from side tap holes to top ones at some point, but you can get peeps that work with either kind... you just have to know which set to order. I would also recommend the Williams Fool proof... the price is right, and I like how they actually adjust in clicks, unlike most of the others. Also you can switch out the apertures for bigger or smaller ones depending on what you're doing. The Lyman units are probably just as good, but for my 94 Winchester (the new model angle eject) Lyman doesn't make a sight, so Williams was about it.

There are also tang-mount sights for all the leverguns (Marbles and Lyman make them), but I don't really like them because they mount right where I like to grab the gun, and I don't like my hand right up against the sharp metal base of a sight. But that is personal preference... you can hold one and see what you think for yourself. They definitely look cool, put the aperture closer to your eye (which is a good thing), and are still click adjustable for windage and elevation.

February 1, 2012, 12:40 PM
thanks all, for the info. i daydream about a nice lever gun in .44 since I already load for that. and I have enough scoped rifles so this would be an open sight rifle project. i hunt a lot of thick/ swampy areas that were clearcut 10 -20 years ago. a lever gun would be a nice gun for this.

February 1, 2012, 04:43 PM
Another vote for a Williams peep on the rear and a firesight on the front.

Call Williams, tell them what you have and what you want to do with it, and they'll walk you through your choices and make sure the front sight is the correct height for your rifle.

Confusing web site but very good people to work with.

dagger dog
February 1, 2012, 06:11 PM
The "traditional" peep sight for lever guns is the tang sight, Marbles or Lymans web sight, have the different models.

Most newer levers are drilled and tapped for tang "peep's", and a lot of vintage guns are too. Most tang sights are adjustable verticle and some are for windage, they are capable of being folded and that allows usage of the regular buckhorn sight.

Prices run in the 80 dollar range for the verticle adjustable only Lyman #2, up to 160 $ for the Marbles fully adjustable, both come with mounting screws and 2 different appertures.

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