What are your thoughts when compared to a normal scope? I've been thinking about putting together a compact, easy to carry rifle, lever action based, in either .30-30 or .44 Magnum. It will have the peep sight as a back up but due to my age, a scope would be most helpful. I use traditional fixed power scopes on my rifles now, but if I use a top eject lever, the forward mounted scope becomes required. The scout idea never seemed to really take off with the general public nor the military, so does it have some serious flaws? Just curious what your thoughts are before I invest my money. Thanks.
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November 12, 2012, 08:07 PM
I've played with it a little bit with a Marlin 336. It is interesting, and works ok. You don't really get all the advantage of a telescopic sight because the field of view with a forward-mounted scope is a lot smaller. That can become quite an issue if you use higher magnifications, but isn't too bad if you're keeping down around 1-3 power or so.
I don't see how you'd still use any peep sight through the scope, at least if it has any magnification at all, that would be impossible. Of course, I don't like low rings, preferring to use a more comfortable "heads-up" stance, so my scope wouldn't co-witness anyway, even a zero magnification.
Of course if you use quick-detach rings you could easily remove a scope to use the irons if you find you need to.
FWIW, I've used off-set scope mounts in the past on top-eject lever guns and, yes, I'd prefer a forward-mounted long-eye-relief scope over the old B-Square offset mounts any day.
November 12, 2012, 08:19 PM
I've tried the forward mounts and am faster at any range with a low powered scope mounted conventionally. With a good quality scope at 1X or 2X you can easily shoot with both eyes open for a better view and quickly find your target. I prefer a 1-4X or 2-7X variable and almost never take it off the lowest power. That is what I'd recommend along with some QD mounts and the factroy irons. You will never use the irons anyway. Good scopes today are no more likely to fail than irons.
The military has tried every possible sight system, as have the guys who shoot the 3 gun matches and they have all concluded the same. A low powered optic mounted conventionally works best.
BTW, the biggest reason for Cooper wanting a forward mounted optic was to be able to have optics and still be able to reload miltary bolt rifles quickly with stripper clips. Not necesssarily for a better sighting system.
November 12, 2012, 08:27 PM
BTW, the biggest reason for Cooper wanting a forward mounted optic was to be able to have optics and still be able to reload miltary bolt rifles quickly with stripper clips. Not necesssarily for a better sighting system.Surely, however, the fact that a top-eject lever gun shucks the empties right out through where the scope would normally sit is certainly an equivalent problem to the one he was working around.
There are two ways to solve the issue. One is to use an offset mount that holds the scope to the left of the bore. That lets you use a conventional short-eye-relief scope but makes you hold your head slightly out-of-line with the bore. The other is to use a long-eye-relief scope mounted forward of the action.
One seems better to me than the other, but YMMV.
November 12, 2012, 09:04 PM
I have a forward mounted Leupold 2.5x scout scope on my 30-30 with backup XS iron sights. I'm very happy with this scope. I feel confident out to 200 yards with it. I have rung steel at 400 yards (I'd never hunt that far out). The only down side is that you have a diminished field of view with a forward mounted scope vs a rearward mounted scope (I don't remember the numbers). For me personally, I don't find this to be an issue out to 200 yards. You asked if there was any downside and that is the only one I can think of. Chuck Hawks on his website wrote about this.
November 13, 2012, 09:35 AM
Thanks for the thoughts and input. I had considered a top eject, which would necessitate the use of a forward mounted scope, but I'll probably reconsider and go with a AE or side eject lever and conventionally mount the optics.
November 13, 2012, 09:43 AM
I went with a Leupold FX 2.5x IER scope in low Burris Zee QD rings on an XS scout base mount on my tricked out Marlin (circa 2001) 1895GS 45-70. Backup sights are Wild West ghost rings with a red Firesite up front without a hood.
It works great and is now my rainy hunting rifle for muleys in the mountains of Southern BC.