View Full Version : What are the best iron sights for hunting white tail deer?

October 8, 1999, 09:13 AM
Folks, I want to hunt white tail deer with open sights -- no scope.

Why? For the challenge. For the simplicity. For "ol' times" sake. And yes, I will be careful not to take shots on whitetails that are a cinch with a scope but questionable with iron sights.

The open sights on my Marlin 30-30... well... they leave much to be desired. The front sight is a brass bead that practically covers the whole target beyond 50 yards (at least it seems that way to me)... and the reat sight is just a scooped out notch of some sort. The sights don't lend themselves to precise placement of the front bead on some reference point on the rear sight. So... they stink.

Who makes the best iron sights and on what factory produced gun? Or will I have to go to a gunsmith for a superb after market sight? What do you recommend? Please keep factory rifles chambered at or below 30-06.


Paul B.
October 8, 1999, 11:38 AM
Dogger. Does the backsight on your Marlin fold down? Get a good receiver (peep) sight and as your rifle should have two screws on the left side, you can install it yourself.
If you want a tang sight like they used in the old days, Lyman makes one, but you'll have to get a smith to drill and tap it for you.
Paul B.

Long Path
October 10, 1999, 12:29 PM
You can spend some big (up to $120) money on after-market sights, but truly, the cheapest peeps on the market will work just as well. I don't know the model number or the name, but Williams makes a very serviceable peep that goes on the two mounting screws that Paul mentioned. Only problem with it is that it's kind of a pain to set, because the windage is set screws and witness marks; you can't simply twist an adjustment screw a certain amount to repeatibly move the sight a bit more. BUT, that's the ONLY problem. Once you get it where you want it, torque those set-screws down, and you've got a solid sight for about $35. If you want the better, all steel version, Go for the Lyman, for about $60. It's tougher, and easier to set, but you won't shoot any better with it.

Everybody's peep is tapped to accept different-sized aperatures.

This is my favorite improvement on a .30-30.

Oh, yes-- blade front sights are inexpensive, and you could put it on, or have your gunsmith do it. ( I tend to let my 'smith-- saves my frustration with those tight press-fits..) They usually run between $8-$16. But try it with the peep, first...
Good luck!


[This message has been edited by Long Path (edited October 10, 1999).]

October 11, 1999, 10:16 AM
www.marblearms.com (http://www.marblearms.com)

They have several styles that are a little finer than the original sights.
I put a semi-buckhorn rear with a narrow gold bead front on a Marlin, and I love it.

Good Luck...



October 12, 1999, 09:13 AM
Thanks for the recommendations! I am going to check out these peep sights; the expensive ones and the cheaper ones... will let you know what I choose.

Paul B.
October 12, 1999, 04:13 PM
Dogger. The inexpensive Williams receiver sight is called the 5-D. He is right. They are a bear to set for windage. There is a screw you can turn for elevation. I have them on two 30-30's and a 45-70. As soon as I have the money, I will be replacing them with better sights, preferably the Lyman. My son-in-law has one on his 30-30, and every year, whether he uses it or not, he has to readjust the damn thing. :( Took him two whole boxes. :( :( On my 45-70, I was perfectly sighted in. I decided to shoot it a while back, and it was so far off that I was almost off the backer for my target. :( Spend the extra money, and be happy right off the bat. Hell! I have to go buy 4 new rear sights. I wonder if I can Loctite them? :O Never thought of that.
Paul B.

Long Path
October 12, 1999, 09:29 PM

I know you know your business (I make a point of reading any or your posts on lever-guns and reloading), but are you certain that all of the little stablizer supporting screws are torqued down, and that all of the set screws are torqued down? Seems to me I missed one last time... Just a thought! Agreed that red LokTite is a MUST. Frankly, I like clear fingernail polish over the heads, too. (Or maybe I just like clear fingernail polish... but enough of my little quirks... :D)

Williams makes a couple of stouter models for about $45 and $60, respectively. But at $60, you're in the range of the excellent steel Lyman sight...

Will you, too, be one who stands in the gap?


Paul B.
October 15, 1999, 11:12 AM
Long Path. When I worked for a gunsmith, many years back now, one of the things I learned from him is torqueing down screws in aluminum. Tighten them down, a little at a time, going back and forth. Wait a couple of hours, and you could get a few more fractions of a turn out of them. I'm pretty sure the screws were properly tightened. I have another 30-30 with a 5D sight on it that I have not shot in several years. If I think about it, I'll dig it out and see where it shoots.
Paul B.

Will Beararms
October 16, 1999, 03:49 PM
I am one of those Dinosaurs that loves the Marlin 30-30 in heavy cover. I have found that the 4X scope allow me to take a shot at 35 yards or 100 yards with no proble. If you are dead set on the iron sights, please consider the marvelous peep sights offered by Ashley Outdoors, Inc.,2401 Ludelle Street,Ft. Worth, Texas 76105 (888)-744-4880.With respect to red anerobic adhesive (Loctite) make sure that in a blind hole where there is only one way in and one way out, that you allow the sealant to run down the side to the bottom of the hole. Do not apply it directly to the threaded fastener or air will be trapped and you will not get the full cure. Anaerobics are nothing more than liquid polymer that cures in the absence of air and presence of metal. I would consider the blue, medium strength anaerobic. Red is high strength. With high strength formulations, the prevailing torque increases after the breakaway torque has been met meaning you may break the bolt if you ever decide to remove the iron sights. The reason many have resorted to the high strength red is because they do not properly apply it in the first place. Also, if you have access to anaerobic primer, use it. Primer does not decrease the final strength by any significant amount while shortening full cure time and cleaning the surfaces. Keep in mind that anaerobics need 24 hours to cure without primer and about three hours to cure with it. An added advantage to anaerobics is that corrosion will be prevented where it is present. In case you're wondering, I am a Sales Engineer for Loctite's number one competitor. Good Luck

"When guns are outlawed;I will be an outlaw."

Will Beararms
October 16, 1999, 03:56 PM
Also Dogger: If either the sights are aluminum, you must use an anerobic primer since aluminum is not an active metal and will take forever to fully cure. Anaerobic primers are nothing more than copper ions suspended in a liquid which explains why they are usually green in color.

"When guns are outlawed;I will be an outlaw."

October 17, 1999, 01:46 PM
Open Sights!It must be nice to still be able to see well enough to use open sights, God bless you. :)

[This message has been edited by preacher (edited October 17, 1999).]

[This message has been edited by preacher (edited October 17, 1999).]