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Old June 18, 2021, 01:41 PM   #1
mrt949
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Red dot sights on lever rifles

I have lever rifles that I have installed RED DOT SIGHTS
One is a marlin1894CSBL 357 MAG .
Other is a Henry 22 LR
Has anyone done this to their levers .
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Old June 18, 2021, 03:03 PM   #2
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My Henry .357 carbine has a reflex sight on board... it works well for me.

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Old June 18, 2021, 04:05 PM   #3
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Its no doubt practical and effective.

After that,it boils down to aesthetics and preferences.

I believe our guns are one place we get to exercise our preferences, JUST BECAUSE!! No justification required.

You do it,your way.

I was given a beat up Rem model 81,in 300 Savage. Forend was broke,held on by a 1/4 20 round head screw. Front sight,bead broke off. Barrel shroud looked like it rode in the back of a 1950 Ford Pickup under some tire chains and a jack.
Rear sight,gone. A misaligned drill and tap for a receiver sight was done to the left side of the receiver. The safetylever was bent away from the receiver.

I gave it some love. Found a used barrel shroud,forend,safety,etc.Its not too bad,right now.

Original sights are all collectors items. Tang peeps $250-300. Original opens $50 plus.

Aesthetics? Some might say it would be a crime,just out of place....

But I have imagined using the factory drilled rear sight screws to attach a Red Dot. It would be a practical,effective choice,cheaper than collectable original sights. No gun modification. No harm done.

It would make a fine woods or hog setup.

But is it right for a Rem 81 as a classic? I'm conflicted there. My brain says its a good idea

But my "feelings" side says set it up with period appropriate sights. Even if it costs as much as the gun is worth.

I'll probably go with what makes a Rem 81 a Rem 81. But a red dot probably would make it a better hunting rifle.
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Old June 18, 2021, 04:12 PM   #4
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For a short period of time I put a Turnbull side mount that he makes on an 1886 lever gun he did for me. I topped it with a Burris FF3 and played with it developing loads for the gun. At my personal range of 114 yards that gun would shoot five shot groups of 1.5” pretty regularly. I finally took it off and just went with more traditional sights on the gun. No reason not to do it if it helps you shoot better or your eyes require it due to age or any other reason. Someone’s doing it or Turnbull wouldn’t be selling the mounts. Note: its a no drill mount on a Win 1886 lever gun.
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Old June 18, 2021, 04:40 PM   #5
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I’ve thought about it for my Henry’s, but decided on fiber optic sights instead. They work quite well, but mine are range toys and I don’t shoot past 100 yds. These are a .357 and .41 mag caliber.
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Old June 18, 2021, 05:24 PM   #6
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Whatever works for you, it's your gun. To me optics on a lever action is an abomination.
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Old June 18, 2021, 07:56 PM   #7
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I put a Holosun on my Rossi Ranch hand that I converted to an SBR.

It’s chambered in 45 Colt and with its 12 barrel it’s sufficiently accurate for hunting medium sized game as long as I keep ranges inside 125 yards.


It works fine for range work but I just don’t cotton to them for hunting passed 50 yards.

At my age I need a bit of light gathering and magnification for hunting so I’ll bounce back and forth between the red dot and an old weaver 2X pistol scope.

Pictured suppressed with the weaver sitting next to a late model Marlin 1894 CST chambered in 38/357 magnum.
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Old June 18, 2021, 08:34 PM   #8
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Yeah, my rifle has a low powered variable scope. It serves me better at longer ranges.

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Old June 22, 2021, 05:28 AM   #9
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If it works for you--why care what anyone else thinks? if they had a radar guidance system for Hawkins muzzleloaders--I might give it a go.
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Old June 22, 2021, 07:52 AM   #10
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I was going to say, no different than putting on a 'scope. Who cares what it looks like.

My red-dot is a little tall and bulky for a compact lightweight rifle, so I picked up a reflex for that purpose, similar to reply #1.
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Old June 22, 2021, 10:10 AM   #11
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A Red Dot on a lever gun will make you shoot better but messes up the image. Red Dot would be better on a 10/22 and no sweat on the image. Mainly it's your gun do as you wish!
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Old June 22, 2021, 03:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pete2 View Post
A Red Dot on a lever gun will make you shoot better but messes up the image. Red Dot would be better on a 10/22 and no sweat on the image. Mainly it's your gun do as you wish!
It's for a home defense gun.
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Old June 22, 2021, 05:51 PM   #13
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I've found a compact, lightweight scope with a low fixed power or 1-4X variable at the same price point does everything better than a dot sight. Close, far, low light, EVERYTHING. With all the dot sights I've tried I found that in low light you can see the dot, but not the target. A low powered scope is just as fast to get on target too.

When you get into the $400+ dot sights maybe, but I've been disappointed in everything I've tried.

I prefer irons on a lever, but you've gotta do what you've gotta do and the smaller optics don't look too bad. I don't like to see a lever gun with a large powerful scope on them.

From a practical perspective any optic beats irons every time. If someone actually plans to use a lever action in a situation where it has to work then add an optic. If you're using it for nostalgic reasons leave the optics off.
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Old June 23, 2021, 11:52 AM   #14
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Does anyone have a recommmendation for a lightweight compact 1-4X illuminated variable?
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Old June 23, 2021, 11:54 AM   #15
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Leupold i have a ar mod1 1.5x4
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Old June 23, 2021, 01:25 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geologist View Post
Does anyone have a recommmendation for a lightweight compact 1-4X illuminated variable?
Yup:
https://muelleroptics.com/products/m...d-shot-1-4x24/
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Old June 23, 2021, 02:13 PM   #17
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That Leupold at less than 10 oz looks good.
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Old June 23, 2021, 06:05 PM   #18
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That Leupold was discontinued some time back. Its replacement is 13oz (and $700).. but, certainly a candidate.
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Old June 24, 2021, 09:10 PM   #19
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I believe that a red dot on a lever gun is a great idea. They are lightweight and easy to use. Although, a LPVO or fixes 3 or 4 power scope would be better for hunting I think.
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Old June 25, 2021, 12:11 PM   #20
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Home defense, 15 to 30 feet, open sights, point and shoot.
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Old June 25, 2021, 06:47 PM   #21
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"Your Rifle, your money."

Quote:
Whatever works for you, it's your gun. To me optics on a lever action is an abomination.
Somewhat have to agree and it depends on the rifle. Can't keep up on the new generation and it matters not. But take a Vintage Marlin, I limit these to the older steel tube Weavers. But as Hawg said; "Your Rifle, your money."

How about a TC Hawken model M/L with a laser? Yep, seen one. .......

Be Safe !!!
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