View Full Version : Dislike my Marlin sights

January 26, 2006, 10:19 AM
I have an 1894 Cowboy in .45 Colt. I love the gun, but not the sights. I plan on using it mostly for fun (target shooting, plinking), but may hunt deer and boar with it. I don't want to stick a scope on it. Any recommendations?

January 26, 2006, 12:23 PM
I installed the XS ghost ring sights on my 1895GS and love them. I also hated the factory sights and did not want to install a scope. The ghost rings are really nice and give you a much better sight picture that the buckhorns. I bought mine from www.natchezss.com .


January 26, 2006, 12:26 PM
I'm about to try a Williams receiver sight on my Win. Trapper.

Wild Bill Bucks
January 26, 2006, 12:31 PM
Agree with MattB, Ghost rings only way to go.
You can also shoot with out your glasses if your eyesight isn't TO bad.

January 26, 2006, 09:29 PM
Agree; go to www.brownells.com and search for "1894 sight" and look for Williams or XS.

January 27, 2006, 06:06 AM
I've had a Williams on a lever gun and like to use a large aperture for most shooting at the range, then just remove it and use the frame hole for hunting. I think it's better than any aperture and the point of impact is the same as with the aperture.

Receiver sights are more accurate that open sights and much quicker, since the eye automatically centers in the hole, so you only have to line up the front sight.

Often, people do the same thing with an open rear, the difference is that they shoot right over the game because they don't line up the front and rear, just the front. When we were teenagers, a buddy of mine shot 5 times at a deer standing 30 yards away and did that. I yelled to him, asking whether he shot the deer. He yelled back that he missed. I knew he only had 5 rounds with him, so yelled back, "Where did it go?" He yelled back, "It's still here looking at me!" Talk about the agony of defeat!!!

Another friend had missed 10 or more deer in about 5 years, never getting any. I mounted a receiver sight and higher front sight on his 94 and we sighted it in at the range. That week, he saw a running deer about 50 yards away and he shot. The deer kept going so he shot again. The result? First shot through the heart and the second through the lungs. His first deer and some really great shooting!!!


January 27, 2006, 06:23 AM
+1 XS ghost :)

January 27, 2006, 11:23 AM
I've had a Williams on a lever gun and like to use a large aperture for most shooting at the range, then just remove it and use the frame hole for hunting.

Exactamundo. +1. Take the insert out for hunting - much quicker.

January 27, 2006, 02:03 PM
I prefer to have the receiver sight mounted closer to the eye than the rear scope base location. Williams has some receiver sights that use the rear scope base holes, but are extended rearward, so the aperture is closer to the eye. I think they're available for Semi-autos and Pumps.

The farther the aperture is from the eye, the smaller the hole appears to be and the more the frame interferes with sighting. For instance, peep sights on a handgun, or at the open sight location for a rifle don't work well.

With Marlins and probably Winchesters drilled and tapped for side-mounted receiver sights, that's what I'd recommend.


January 27, 2006, 05:39 PM
I prefer to look for the old steel apeture sights over the new aluminum ones. I once bought one of the alum. receiver mount apetures for a 94 Win. It was leaning against the door one day and the gun fell over onto the carpeting, not a hard surface at all. The alum. apeture base bent all out of shape from that contact with the floor. Since then I look and see if I can find a steel one. They are not really that old and can be found, even if used. Suspect they are a little more rugged than the soft alum. MIght not stand an accidental bump into a tree, etc.

Cooler King
January 27, 2006, 05:54 PM
I decided to go with the XS sights for both of my Win. 94 Trappers (.357 and .45). Good reports about them and they look good, too, IMHO. A nice clean profile. I thought about putting a Marble's tang sight on at least one of the Trappers to try it out but decided I didn't want to drill a hole to mount it. I'm awaiting my order from www.midwayusa.com. Should be here any day.

Brian Williams
January 27, 2006, 08:47 PM
I have a Lyman 66LA that would fit nicely, It requires the two holes drilled on the side of the receiver.

January 31, 2006, 02:54 PM
Thanks guys, I think I'll go with the XS.:)

January 31, 2006, 03:08 PM
Either the XS or a Williams or Lyman rear. Father just put a Williams on his .357 carbine, with a Firesight on the front. All I have to say is WOW!! Talk about quick and easy to shoot with! My biggest gripe is that the red fiber optic front sight halo's under bright light and distracts me. I'm thinking of going with a Williams or XS on my .44 carbine, as soon as I have the money to spare for such an upgrade.

I really like the ghost ring sights for the same reason some people dislike them: The ring disappears. I find I still center the front sight fine, even when I have a barely discernable outline of the rear sight. Forces one to concentrate on the front sight, just like I've always been taught to! ;)

Though the open buckhorns on the Marlin are OK, I have difficulty always getting the bead and notch in the same relation to each other.