Are peep sights a thing of the past on a lever gun?

Discussion in 'Long Gun Accessories and Optics' started by Matthew Clark, Apr 13, 2019.

  1. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

    Mar 21, 2018
    all my levers have peeps. i am looking for a nie 700 and FN for the nice peeps i got.
    Shanghai McCoy, Matthew Clark and EO1 like this.
  2. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

    Jun 23, 2004
    Union County, GA, CSA
    Y'all realize a pre-Accutrigger 10/110 will readily accept both Lyman #57 and Williams Foolproof? Some later examples will have to be D&T'd as they weren't done at the factory. "Everyone knows" they'll get scoped right away anyhow.

    THIS FOR LYMAN #57: If you use a 110 D stock, you don't have to inlet, but you may have to drill a little under the elevation screw to be able to bottom it out. The advantage of bottoming out is that you get the front sight height needed to zero, then you have full range of elevation.

    For a post-Accutrigger 110 with the round bridge, you get a Williams Guide... set it and forget it.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
    Matthew Clark likes this.
  3. eastbank

    eastbank Member

    Jul 30, 2009
    old school custom 03 with a 20" barrel in 3006, cats meow for a walk in the brush and if a shot comes up at 1-2 hundred your still in the game on large game. if you need a little speed, the old school rem 141 in .35 rem will provide it.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
  4. mdauben

    mdauben Member

    Jan 11, 2011
    Huntville, AL
    I think the only lever action rifle I would put a scope on would be something like the Henry Long Ranger or the Winchester BLR, which are chambered for longer range cartridges like the .308 Win. Most lever actions, chambered in .30-30, .35, .45-70, .357 or .44 mag should have peep sights.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019 at 10:17 AM
  5. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

    May 21, 2004
    "Land of (dis)Enchantment"
    Both my 336 and my 39A wear XS Ghost Ring sights. I believe that a scope on a lever gun is an abomination, even with the side eject Marlins.

    My 10/22s wear Tech Sights, and I still have an A1 AR15 with carry handle aperture sights.

    The champion for the best aperture sights ever is the M1 Garand. The perfect combination of sight radius, aperture opening, and front sight configuration.
    JohnB-40, Matthew Clark and EO1 like this.
  6. sabbfan

    sabbfan Member

    Jul 21, 2012
    Gilman, IA
    I just ordered a Skinner sight today for the Henry 44 mag I bought yesterday, had the same setup on my 357. I heavily debated between going with a 1-3 or 4 scope vs getting the peep again, ended up choosing the peep since I liked the last one so much. Works well for the deer hunting I do since most shots are close and quick. It wasn’t an easy decision though since a scope was about the same price as the peep, the Skinner isn’t cheap. Deciding factor was the fact I don’t have to worry about how clear the glass is or the zero getting off by being knocked around with the peep.
    JohnB-40 and Matthew Clark like this.
  7. Ks5shooter

    Ks5shooter Member

    Dec 16, 2013
    Communist state of nj
    Skinner on my Henry .22 and Xs on my Marlin 45-70 both are great.
  8. Jeb Stuart

    Jeb Stuart Member

    May 4, 2017
    Confederate Country
    I hear ya Brother, Love the Skinner Peep sight on my Henry 22.cal. I do not know what it is, but a peep sight actually seems to improve my eyesight. Love them.
  9. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

    Dec 25, 2009
    Northern KY
    I've purchased quite a few Williams receiver sights over the years. My Turkish Mauser 8mm is probably my favorite one although the Marlin Camp Carbine is pretty slick with a peep as well. The Mauser haas something like a 29" barrel so the long sight radius gives really good accuracy.

    And of course there's the stuff that came with peeps like the Garand, AR and 03A3...

    For quick shooting at close ranges I prefer a peep to both a scope or a red dot.
  10. westernrover

    westernrover Member

    May 4, 2018
    I like a peep sight on a lever gun or a smooth bore slug gun. But I have this Winchester Pre-64 Model 70 without a scope. The rear leaf is not so good with my older eyes. It could work real good with a Lyman peep sight, but I'm not sure I'd be getting the most from the gun chambered in .264 Winchester Magnum. A scope would be anachronistic for many lever guns, but a mid-century Model 70 could go either way. I think I favor a scope because of the open spaces to hunt in the Great Basin. In the thick brush and dense forest of the Pacific coast, a peep would work better.
  11. Archie

    Archie Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    Hastings, Nebraska - the Heartland!
    This entry rapidly turned into an essay or chapter for a book on rifle selection or use. So this is going to be condensed and the full essay - with pictures, of course - will be published on my blog.

    Iron sights are suffering from the delusion one must be able to kill deer at Seven hundred yards, typically. Or some alternate form of the delusion such as being a sniper (not on a computer game) or shooting one thousand yard targets. Perhaps when more people get interested in genuine uses for rifles, this will change.
    Also, scope sights are getting more reliable and rugged, which is why they were shunned for many applications in time past.

    I like iron sights on rifles in certain conditions. I have some light, handy rifles on which a scope would probably just add weight and projections upon which to snag.

    I looked up 'peep sights- definition' and all the entries (Oxford, Merriam-Webster, and Free Dictionaries) described what I know as 'aperture sights'. A small hole rear and a post front which are aligned with the target ...
    Which do not show up on lever guns much (of course, I haven't looked at lever guns much lately). I have little use for 'peep' sights when the term is synonymous with 'aperture' sights. They are the most accurate of all the iron sights, but not as accurate as a decent scope. And, they are the slowest of iron sights to use.

    I do like the express sight sort for quick shots at game or such. The sort of iron sight one finds on large dangerous game rifles. Consider that most game animals are taken at two hundred yards or less and the 'target' area of vitals are more like six to ten inches across (rather than the magic 'one minute of angle' most everyone seems to desire in a rifle).

    Two other observations: One: I cannot use iron sights to develop an accurate load. I simply cannot hold a point of aim close enough to properly evaluate the group resulting from 'this' condition. So I will commonly - if I can - mount a scope to check for best group. Two: Due the limits of my eyes, I find a large front bead (preferably white) most useful with the express type sights. I prefer something on the order of a golf ball, but usually will settle for a bead around 3/32nds of a an inch.
  12. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

    Jul 17, 2016
    This tends to be common perspective, which is fine, but I’d offer the counter point, which is largely why we saw ladder sights added to the “long range” leverguns of yore...

    *this is rather fresh to mind after discussing optics options on a customer rifle, he’s building a 458 Socom pistol, with relatively similar ballistics to a short barreled 45-70, and was considering optics vs. irons vs. red dot.

    So my wife and I have a few Marlin 1895 Guide Guns, and with the short barrel, the inexpensive factory Hornady 325grn Leverevolution ammo runs 1795fps average, which produces the following approximate (and conveniently recalled) trajectory for hunting at our elevation: 150yrds = 5”, 175yrds = 10”, 200yrds = 15”, 225yrds = 22”, 250yrds = 30”. This is a rare instance where we use inches for trajectory, instead of MOA or mils.

    With a scope, even a plex reticle, we can estimate those inches well enough to put bullets on whitetail hearts. Even better, with a milling or moa’ing reticle, we can accurately and appropriately hold over, or with a dialable turret/knob, we can dial. With irons or peeps, without a tang ladder, how accurately do you expect to be able to judge 30” at 250yrds on a deer? Even with the Lyman microadjust, it’s more complicated and slower than reading a reticle or dialing the turret.

    With a 30-06, a 250yrd shot is well within the MBPR of the round, such iron-sights work well. But peeps irrefutably occlude more of the target than other sight options, and despite tricks of mind and light, they don’t offer any reference for hold-over when making a SHORT range shot - a mere 250yrds requires significant hold over with the punkin’ chunkers. A little technology goes a long ways to make these rainbow trajectories easier to manage for ethical shot placement on game.
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