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#170006 - 06/14/03 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 Re: 1895 Browning any good?
BMT Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 11/10/02
Posts: 18605
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 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 Re: 1895 Browning any good?
Salish Offline
Member

Registered: 09/21/02
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)

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#170010 - 06/14/03 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 - 06/15/03 Re: 1895 Browning any good?
Redcoat Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/03
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 Re: 1895 Browning any good?
Salish Offline
Member

Registered: 09/21/02
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 Re: 1895 Browning any good?
Redcoat Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/03
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 - 06/16/03 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 Re: 1895 Browning any good?
Salish Offline
Member

Registered: 09/21/02
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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#170016 - 06/16/03 Re: 1895 Browning any good?
Redcoat Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/03
Posts: 23
Loc: Virginia
Dear Salish,

Please feel free to use any information that I have supplied in seeking to track down the full story on the Lyman Model 21 and the Lyman Model 38.

Thank you for the link to the Model 1895 .30-06 takedown rifle. Yes, I believe that is a Lyman 21; it appears to be the same as the one on my 1904 vintage .35 Winchester.

You might want to purchase an excellent book on the older metallic sights. It is Nicholas Stroebel's "Old Gunsights: A Collector's Guide, 1850-1965." I do not own a copy myself, but I found that Ray Rilings Arms Books has them for $10.49 - lst edition, new, softcover - on a list price of $29.95, so I am going to call and order one! (See what you did to me!) Their address is as follows: sales@rayrilingarmsbooks.com and their 'phone is 215-438-2456. That might be easier than writing to Lyman.

Trifocals actually helped me with iron sights (I am 53). That doesn't make sense (to me), but it has happened. As yet, I have not had to go to the magnifying lens that fits onto one's eyeglasses. Elmer Keith was one of the first to use such a gizmo aeons ago. A scope is easier, of course, and helps in low light situations, but I simply cannot overcome my adversion to shooting classic top-loading levers with sighting equipment that was not customary with them. I suppose I am an unrepentant traditionalist.

Focus exercises have also helped me, as has - very simply - concentrating on seeing things better in the outdoors. Eyes take a set in the office - and at the keyboard!

Best wishes!

Redcoat


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#170017 - 06/17/03 Re: 1895 Browning any good?
wuzzagrunt Offline
Campfire Guide

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

Trifocals actually helped me with iron sights (I am 53). That doesn't make sense (to me), but it has happened. As yet, I have not had to go to the magnifying lens that fits onto one's eyeglasses. Elmer Keith was one of the first to use such a gizmo aeons ago. A scope is easier, of course, and helps in low light situations, but I simply cannot overcome my adversion to shooting classic top-loading levers with sighting equipment that was not customary with them. I suppose I am an unrepentant traditionalist.

Focus exercises have also helped me, as has - very simply - concentrating on seeing things better in the outdoors. Eyes take a set in the office - and at the keyboard!





I agree, completely, that modern sighting equipment just looks wrong on a classic, 19th century design. My problem is a worsening astigmatism that has me sighting through the absolute worst part of my eyeglass lense, when shooting. I've been considering contact lenses but I've spent all this time honing the reflex to shut mey eyes when sombody tries to stick their finger in it (even myself). I don't know if that would work out.

But, now you have me thinking and that's always bad news. There are repro tang sights available from Lyman and Marble Arms that are period correct and can be modified to accept the B. Jones Sight lens inserts. I use them on my Match M1A and they do help, some. I'm sure any peep sight could be modifies to take the inserts.
_________________________
"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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#170018 - 06/17/03 Re: 1895 Browning any good?
Elkslayer Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 02/03/03
Posts: 1144
Loc: Frostbite Falls, Wyoming
I used my Browning reproduction '95 in 30-06 to shoot my cow elk last season. Used the sights that were on it from the factory. Distance was right at 200 yards, shot her high through the shoulders, she dropped like a rock.

I had been practicing every once in a while during the summer at the local rifle range shooting at the 300 yard gong. After I proved I could hit it from the bench I shot the rest of the time from hunting positions. Don't see many concrete shooting benches in elk country!

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#170019 - 06/17/03 Re: 1895 Browning any good?
wuzzagrunt Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 06/11/03
Posts: 2595
Elkslayer, what kind of accuracy do you get from the factory rifle. The only numbers I have seen have been for the .405 Winchesters and that were reported to shoot like 2 inches at 50 yards. In the review I read, anyway.
_________________________
"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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#170020 - 06/17/03 Re: 1895 Browning any good?
Elkslayer Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 02/03/03
Posts: 1144
Loc: Frostbite Falls, Wyoming
First off, let me state just exactly what my level of satisfaction/expectation is for acceptable accuracy.

If we are talking about a hunting rifle, I expect it AND me to be able to place ALL of my shots into the kill zone of that particular animal at ETHICAL hunting distances that I am willing to shoot at. (What distance I can accurately and ethically shoot and hit is not the same for someone else who may be a better or worse shot than I am).

For competition rifles, an accurate rifle is one than can consistently place a ka-zillion shots into a single hole the same size as the caliber being shot! (or thereabouts).

I have found my '95 Browning repro likes 180 bullets. I have been able to shoot 1.5 - 2", 5-shot, 100 yard groups OFF OF THE BENCH with it.

My shot at the cow elk was from a standing position without any support. This is my worst shooting position I was actually aiming for a "behind the shoulder shot" and hit her at the top of the shoulder.

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#170021 - 06/19/03 Re: 1895 Browning any good? .405 recoil
vigillinus Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 03/19/02
Posts: 2631
Loc: Manhattan
Am very fond of my original 1895 .405 with Lyman 38 and shotgun butt, however, it kicks harder than my pre 64 M70 .375. I would not shoot one of the real old ones with a crescent buttplate on a bet, I nominate that version for the title of hardest kicking American factory hunting rifle.

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#170022 - 06/30/03 Re: 1895 Browning any good?
Jim_Stewart Offline
Member

Registered: 05/07/03
Posts: 47
Redcoat,

I just got a M-1895 carbine in .30-06 made in 1916.

Do you have a good load for this rifle using 220 gr bullets and 3031 or 4895 powder? I don't want to do any damage to it, so what I really want is to duplicate the .3040 Krag balistics in .30-06 brass.

Cordially,

Jim Stewart

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#170023 - 07/05/03 Re: 1895 Browning any good?
Redcoat Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/03
Posts: 23
Loc: Virginia
Dear Jim Stewart,

Please pardon me for a tardy reply; I have been away for a time.

My Model 1895 in .30-06 is one of the new (1990's) Winchesters. In it, I use factory 220-grain ammunition that I found at a local gunshop. To them, 220-grain was a pebble in the sales shoe, so they were ridding themselves of it at a very attractive price. My grandchildren (who are not born yet) are now set for life with 220-grainers. I get two inch groups at 100 yards with iron sights; that is very acceptable to me. I like the Winchester Silvertips; the Remington is also fine.

I do not have any wisdom to offer from personal experience on 220-grain loads with 3031 or 4895. I see that the Lyman 47th lists IMR-3031 starting load 38.0 grains for 2087 fps at 35,000 CUP with a 220-grain jacketed round nose. Their IMR-4895 starting load has a higher pressure.

Your 1916 original Model 1895 in .30-06 is a valuable rifle. I would check - or have checked - the head space very carefully before firing it with any hand load or any factory ammo. Some of them had set back problems because their owners continued to fire factory ammo in them, even after factory ballistics (and pressures) were stepped up. To be very conservative, I would like to be in the 40,000-42,000 PSI (not CUP) range for anything that I put through an original .30-06 1895.

Perhaps there are some experienced .30-06 handloaders out there who will share a good low-pressure load for the 220-grainers???

Check that headspace first, Jim, and good shooting to you!

Redcoat

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#170024 - 07/06/03 Re: 1895 Browning any good?
wuzzagrunt Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 06/11/03
Posts: 2595
Well, here she is. Just in time for the Debutant's Ball. Like new/flawless, by all appearances never fired and, with the box and original papers.

_________________________
"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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#170025 - 07/06/03 Re: 1895 Browning any good?
wuzzagrunt Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 06/11/03
Posts: 2595
Quote:

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.

Thanks,
Cliff
Seattle




I found the picture of the Lyman #38 copy on Buffalo arms. It's called "The Ukranian Receiver Sight".
_________________________
"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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#170026 - 07/07/03 Re: 1895 Browning any good?
Salish Offline
Member

Registered: 09/21/02
Posts: 161
Loc: Seattle, WA
Whoa, $220.00? I thought $150.00 was kind of high. I am going to have to re-think this idea about spending that much on a receiver sight. By the way, I just returned from a trip to western Montana where part of the time I scouted the area I may be hunting elk in the fall. Not too many forested areas and lot's of open country - potentially long range shooting. The whole idea of taking my ancient Model 95 and bagging an elk really intrigues me, but I think I'll also bring a more modern rifle with a scope, just in case.
Cliff
Seattle

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#170027 - 07/07/03 Re: 1895 Browning any good?
wuzzagrunt Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 06/11/03
Posts: 2595
I know what you mean. $220.00 is an awful lotta cha-ching for an aftermarket receiver sight. Still, I think it would be an excellent idea for you to buy one and report back on whether it's worth the money. That way, I don't have to spend all that bread if it's junk.

That sounds fair--doesn't it?
_________________________
"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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#170028 - 07/08/03 Re: 1895 Browning any good?
Elkslayer Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 02/03/03
Posts: 1144
Loc: Frostbite Falls, Wyoming
Lets see, $220 for an after market receiver sight -vs- $???.?? for base, rings and a scope for a bolt action.

Hummmm, yep, sure sounds out of line to me!

(This response was not intended in a harsh manner, rather just a look at the other side of the coin, OK?)

And have you ever wondered just how many shooters actually use the iron sights that are supplied/provided on some factory rifles given the number of scopes that are mounted. I'd rather have the holes there with filler screws and have to purchase iron sights as an extra cost rather than have to remove them, oh well just my opinion.

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#170029 - 07/08/03 Re: 1895 Browning any good?
Salish Offline
Member

Registered: 09/21/02
Posts: 161
Loc: Seattle, WA
Elkslayer,

No offense taken, as I thought about the same thing. However, a small stamped metal bar & sight for $220.00 (not counting the cost of the Smith to mount it) does seem to pale a touch in comparison to the lenses, intricate parts, and technology that goes into a modern scope. Don't get me wrong - all of my rifles are older lever actions for the most part, and my newest scope is a 1950s Weaver K3 on my Model 99, so I prefer the old stuff. I think it may boil down to comparing apples and oranges.

Thanks,
Cliff

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