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#170006 - 06/14/03 12:25 AM 1895 Browning any good?
wuzzagrunt Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 06/11/03
Posts: 2595
Strange question since I just bought one! I was perusing the gun auction websites and couldn't resist. I gotta quit doing that! The price was good, at least.

The only experience I have with the rifle is reassembling one for a friend who inherited one from his dad and took it apart for a detail cleaning. I seem to remember the thing being needlessly complex. It was the coolest looking thing I ever saw though.

So, who loves the 1895 and why?
_________________________
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive." - C.S. Lewis

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#170007 - 06/14/03 08:32 AM Re: 1895 Browning any good?
BMT Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 11/09/02
Posts: 18331
Loc: Alvadore, Oregon
From the leverguns site:


Winchester Model 1895

Designed by John M. Browning, the Model 95 was the first successful box-magazine levergun to be produced. Due to the magazine the rifle has a distinctive profile unlike any previous Winchester levergun. The sound when working the action has been described by some as not unlike the "uncoupling of a boxcar".

Chamberings were for new high-powered smokeless ammunition. The rifle became popular with many for hunting most any big game animals in the world. President Teddy Roosevelt was fond of the rifle in .405 WCF.

Produced in calibers: .30-03, .30-06, .30-40 Krag, .303 British, .35 WCF, .38-72, .40-72, .405 WCF and 7.62 Russian.

I am assuming you got the 405 WCF(?) a new production model.

It should be a great gun for you. I hear the 405 is hell on lions and tigers.

BMT
_________________________
"The Church can and should help modern society by tirelessly insisting that the work of women in the home be recognized and respected by all in its irreplaceable value." Apostolic Exhortation On The Family, Pope John Paul II

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#170008 - 06/14/03 01:59 PM Re: 1895 Browning any good?
wuzzagrunt Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 06/11/03
Posts: 2595
Actually, it's the .30-06. I thought only Winchester made the '95 in .405 (at least in the recent production rifles). I know Browning came out with them in .30 Krag and a few others. Like I say--it was an impulse purchase and I've learned most of what I know about them in the last 10 days.

I bought the rifle with the intention of converting it to .338-06 or .35 Whelen And have since heard differing opinions as to whether it would be safe. I found this cool site and viewed abunch of old posts and found a link to Z-Hat Custom Rifles. Apparently the smiths at Z-Hat think it's OK and do quite a few of these.

Now it looks like I'll be into the gun for a few $$$ and still not sure if I even want it--LOL! There must be some kind of meds to fix what I got.
_________________________
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive." - C.S. Lewis

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#170009 - 06/14/03 02:20 PM Re: 1895 Browning any good?
Salish Offline
Member

Registered: 09/20/02
Posts: 161
Loc: Seattle, WA
I've never really looked closely at the Brownings, but I have two original Winchester Model 95's, both in 30-40. My oldest one is a 26" barrelled, crescent buttplate gun made in 1898. I bought it in 1974 and still love it. The other 95 is a cut down carbine style (custom) that left the factory in 1921. I love both of them. I became interested in the Model 95 and the 30-40 Krag cartridge as a young person, reading Harold McCracken's "The Beast That Walks Like Man", about early grizzly bear hunters. When I saw my first 95' in person (the one I still own) I opened the lever and saw this mass of metal brackets and trigger assembly come out of the receiver and extend downward I knew I was in the presence of a mechanical masterpiece and fell in love with it that very moment I'd like to actually handle one of these modern Brownings sometime and see how they feel. I couldn't live with myself converting an original Model 95 to a newer modern cartridge, but with the Browning 95 I might be interested is some type of "wildcat".
Cliff
Seattle


Edited by Salish (06/14/03 02:23 PM)

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#170010 - 06/14/03 03:01 PM Re: 1895 Browning any good?
wuzzagrunt Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 06/11/03
Posts: 2595
In reply to:

When I saw my first 95' in person (the one I still own) I opened the lever and saw this mass of metal brackets and trigger assembly come out of the receiver and extend downward I knew I was in the presence of a mechanical masterpiece and fell in love with it that very moment




Yeah, how far wrong can you really go with a John M. Browning design? The thing I have heard is that the Japanese manufactured Winchester and Browning 1895s (the same company made both) are very well made and finished. When mine comes in I'll post some pics.

_________________________
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive." - C.S. Lewis

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#170011 - 06/14/03 07:24 PM Re: 1895 Browning any good?
Redcoat Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/03
Posts: 23
Loc: Virginia
Dear Wuzzagrunt,

Your Browning 1895 in .30-06 is an excellent rifle. As .30-06 ballistics were improved over the years (and pressures accordingly rose), many of the original Winchester Model 1895's in .30-06 could not hold the increased pressure (the bolt steel was compacted), and excessive headspace developed. The Browning Model 95 .30-06's from the mid-1980's and the more recent Winchester/USRAC's from the 1990's are all perfectly fine with factory .30-06 ammo or the handloaded equivalents.

My son & I have several 1895's. Two are original Winchesters from the first production run (1895-1936, with final cleanup in 1940) - one a .35 Winchester rifle and the other a .303 British carbine. We have one of the new .405's, and it is excellent. From the 1990's, we also have a .30-06 and a .35 Whelen. The .35 Whelen was custom work, rechambered & rebored from one of the USRAC .270 Winchesters. The .270 is, of course, based on the .30-06 case, as is the .35 Whelen, with necking going in opposite directions. Therefore, the lifter worked, and the conversion to .35 Whelen was straightforward. We have had no trouble with it at all; indeed, quite the reverse - the conversion has proven excellent.

Because scope-mounting on a top ejector like the Model 1895 involves various side-mounting approaches and because I personally prefer to stay with the traditional iron sights, I have found that, for me, the limitations on the Model 1895 are those of effective accurate range. (Others do mount scopes and like them.) I do recommend getting a good aperture sight. Buffalo Arms in Sandpoint, Idaho is offering a fine reproduction of the classic Lyman 38 ("the climbin' Lyman"), which should be out this summer. The price is c. $150. Other Lyman and Williams iron sights are also possibilities.

At 200 yard & under iron sight ranges (and, frankly, 200 yards seems to cover a very high percentage of the usual shots taken on game), I was more interested in a powerful cartridge that would strike a blow (i.e. .35 Whelen) than a long-range, flat-shooting number (i.e. .270 Winchester). That is all personal preference, but I do wish to report that we have found our .35 Whelen conversion perfectly safe.

The 1980's and 1990's vintage Model 1895's are all made by Miroku in Japan, and quality, fit, & finish are excellent. I had - and foolishly traded - a Browning in .30-40, which was a superb rifle. The Brownings have the traditional half-cock safety, while the more recent Winchester/USRAC's have the rebounding hammer and the tang safety. Either version is fine with me. These are all wonderful rifles, representing a truly brilliant Browning/Mason design as other posters have pointed out, and I hope that yours brings you a great deal of shooting & hunting pleasure.

Good luck!

Redcoat

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#170012 - 06/15/03 11:01 AM Re: 1895 Browning any good?
Salish Offline
Member

Registered: 09/20/02
Posts: 161
Loc: Seattle, WA
Redcoat,

I'm really glad you responded to this post, because I learned an awful lot from your post. I would like to take a closer look at one of these Lyman 38 receiver sights for the Model 95. I logged on to Buffalo Arms and see that they are offering it, but there is no photo of it. I also ran a search on the net and didn't see any references to it. Are these the same receiver sights you sometimes see on old Model 95's; the sights that have a mount on the left side of the receiver and you can see the elevation grads running from top to bottom? And the sight stays on the reciver while the action cycles? I've also seen some receiver sights on Model 95's where the peep sight was installed on the top rail and moved back towards your eye when you cycled the action. It seems like a person would quickly lose their sight picture this way. Anyway, I'm interested in these and would like to find out more about them. And what size aperture do you use? Or no aperture at all?
Thanks,
Cliff
Seattle

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#170013 - 06/15/03 02:35 PM Re: 1895 Browning any good?
Redcoat Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/03
Posts: 23
Loc: Virginia
Dear Salish,

When you see old photos of the Winchester 1895, you often see the Lyman 21 receiver sight. This is the one with the long bar on the left side of the receiver, the gradations, etc. - just as you describe. When the action is cycled, the Lyman remains in place. Winchester would supply these Lyman 21's on order as a factory-installed item. For example, my Winchester Model 1895 rifle in .35 Winchester was, according to the factory letter from Cody, shipped with a "Lyman receiver sight." They didn't specify Lyman 21, because, in 1904, there seems to have been just one type of these long left-side bar Lymans. This is, technically, the "climbin' Lyman." You raise it to change the elevation.

Later on (and I don't know exactly when; perhaps a knowledgeable poster can help), Lyman improved the sight by making it adjustable for windage. This improved version is the Lyman 38, and it is the Lyman 38 that Buffalo Arms is having reproduced. The 1916 Winchester catalogue has a picture of a Lyman receiver sight - no model number stated. The text says, "Wind Gauge Receiver Sight ... $5.00." That is probably the 38. It also states "Receiver Sight for Model 1895 ... $3.50." That is probably the Model 21. The 1928 Winchester catalogue lists the "Lyman No. 21 Receiver Sight." The 1940 Stoeger "Shooter's Bible" lists, in its section on Lyman Receiver Gun Sights, "No. 38 - Lyman Wingauge Receiver Sight - Price $6.50, with disc if desired, price $7.00. No. 21 - Similar to No. 38, without windgauge - Price $5.00. For Marlin 1893; Winchester 1886, 1894, and 1895. Used by shooters who prefer having the rear right on the receiver rather than on the tang. Tap and drill for mounting, price ... 50 cents."

The Lyman 21 on my Model 1895 works very well - far superior to the standard quasi-buckhorn type rear sights that were standard. The Lyman 38, with adjustment for windage, should, of course, be still better.

The sight that you mention as being mounted on the bolt itself may be the Winchester Model 98 A bolt peep sight. I have never seen one of these on a Model 1895. I do, however, have one on my 1940-vintage Model 71. I find the 98 A to be an excellent sight. Yes, the sight picture is disturbed when the action is cycled, but, given the hefty recoil of the .348 Winchester, the sight picture was going to be somewhat disturbed anyway. (At least for me!) I do re-acquire the sight picture very easily after the rifle settles down after recoil (and all that happens relatively simultaneously with working the lever). On another Model 71, I use the Williams FP 71 receiver sight, which remains stationary on the receiver when the action is cycled. For me, since I am used to the 98 A, it is about half dozen of one, and six of the other. My son, however, prefers the stationary Williams FP 71. I suspect that would be true of anyone who came new to it.

For hunting purposes, I screw out the aperture disc and simply use the remaining "ghost ring." It is superior for low-light conditions and seems more than sufficiently accurate for the shots I have taken. I use the supplied disc to sight in, but then check without the disc to see if the result is still pretty much the same. It almost invariably is.

Buffalo Arms has had these Lyman 38 repros listed for quite some time. They have taken a number of orders, and I have several on order myself. A month or so ago, I was told that one was due to arrive shortly for photographing, to be put in their catalogue. My transactions with this firm have all been good, and I am waiting patiently for the Lyman 38's to make their appearance.

I hope that this helps, Salish. Good shooting (and sighting!) to you!

Redcoat

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#170014 - 06/15/03 08:29 PM Re: 1895 Browning any good?
wuzzagrunt Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 06/11/03
Posts: 2595
Thamks for the good intel Redcoat. I'm probably going to have a barrel mounted "scout" type mount installed. My eyesight is turning open sights into a 100 yard (max) affair. I can go to 200 at the range in good light and with high contrast targets but game animals are underhanded. They hide behind stuff and camoflage themselves!

The side mounts are not really useable for me, though, I expect I could get used to the offset if I used one enough. They would make packing the rifle a bother, though. The scout mounts have their limitations, as well, but are useful where you can't mount a scope on the receiver or where it's undesirable to do so. I have a couple of milsurp rifles that I wouldn't want to D&T the receivers for a scope. The scope mounts which replace the rear sight block, with an EER scope work well enough. In some situations they can be outstanding.
_________________________
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive." - C.S. Lewis

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#170015 - 06/16/03 11:11 AM Re: 1895 Browning any good?
Salish Offline
Member

Registered: 09/20/02
Posts: 161
Loc: Seattle, WA
Redcoat,

Thanks so much for your super detailed information. Your information is so helpful some of us may become a pain the the hind end asking for more advice. If that starts to happen you should charge us a fee. If you don't mind I may plagiarize some of your words and send a request for info to Lyman Corp., and ask them to search their archives (or old employees) and clarify these different models of receiver sights. I did manage to find a photo of a Model 95 with one of these sights (Lyman 21?) on an auction on Gunbroker.com. The photos clearly show the sight. Here's the link: http://www.gunbroker.com/auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=9505965
In regards to the bolt mounted Winchester 98A peep sight, I think there is a local shop here in Seattle (Stan Baker) who has a Model 95 with this sight. I'll confirm that with the shop.

I'm very interested in these sights and will take a very close look. At 49, my eyesight has grown a bit weak, and I have taken to using a scope on my main hunting rifle (a Model 99 Savage in 250-3000, topped it with a vintage 4x El Paso Weaver). Still, these old Savage rifles (and of course, Winchester levers) were designed to be used with iron sights, not scopes. I do have a 30-40 Krag sporter that has a Lyman peep sight, but I seldom shoot the gun (I shoot southpaw). Maybe by using a Lyman "ghost ring" on my Winchesters (Model 95's, Model 94) I can improve to the point of not having to use a scope.

Thanks again,
Cliff
Seattle

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