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Levergun Scopes

3147 Views 18 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Ralph McLaney
In a previous post I stated a personal bias that I found scopes mounted on traditional leverguns to be unwieldy and ugly. Even if it means limiting your effective range to what your eyes can handle with iron sights. (Rifles like the Browning BLR excepted.) Moreover, most tube fed ammo are not considered long range propositions given the necessary flat noses.

My question is, how many of you have mounted scopes on your tube fed leverguns and kept them on? Does the  benefit outweigh the penalty of slower handling and added carry weight?

Second, has anyone used the AO Sights Guide Gun scope mount yet? Does it radically alter the balance of this fine rifle?

(Edited by Stranger at 10:20 am on Sep. 10, 2001)
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I have mounted a 1.5-4.5 BSA Catseye Illuminated Reticle scope on my .450 Marlin.  This will be the second season that I have used the scope and find it no hinderence.  
     To me putting a scope on a levergun is like putting a tow hitch on a Ferrari- it was just not meant to be. I like to carry my leverguns with my hand around the receiver and a scope precludes that. I might feel differently if I had vision problems.
    I once had a Mod 70 featherweight .308 that had a receiver sight and weighed little more than a Marlin levergun, but it never carried as easily in the hand as an unscoped levergun does. That's just my opinion.  Thankfully there's room for each of us to do it our own way!    IDShooter
Just my two cents, there is no doubt that a scope interfears with the clean lines of a tube fed lever gun. They don't look as good they don't carry as easy and shooting with receiver sights just seems like its more fun.
Come hunting season mine will most likely have a scope on it
I know this sounds contridictory but I've killed several deer and hogs literally within seconds of it being too dark to see to shoot. When trying to see horns or select proper shot placement in these nearly dark conditions a scope is far superior to any iron setup I've used.
If I can get my 1895ss rigged up right I might have it where I can use the receiver sights during the middle of the day and put the scope on during early morning and a 1/2 hour or so before dark.
If I can't have that arrangement I will have a scope like Leupolds 1x4 vari x II on during hunting season and take it off later in the year for general playing.
I am not wrapped up, as a lot of people are, on the traditional look of lever guns. I also agree the a scoped firearm is not as easy to one-hand carry. However....I am much more concerned with my ability to see and hit what I am shooting at. Most people can't even see horns at 100 yards in brush and semi dark shooting conditions, much less see the iron sights. I do believe that most people mount scopes on hunting rifles that have too much magnificaton. Have you ever tried to get on a running deer in brush with a 4X scope? Now.....For those of us that age has taken the edge off our eyes and others..Leupold makes a very nice 1 X 4 variable. When you are walking the 1X makes an excellent choice. The crosshair just seems to float on the target. When sitting down, etc..the 4X is great and is about all the power a shooter can steady without a real solid rest. I for one am going to carry what I can hit should do the same, whatever it might be!
Best Regards, Jmaes
Mr. Gates,

I've been considering a Leupold 2 - 7x Compact scope for a 30-30 specifically for its small size.....any comments about this iteration?

El Lobo in NM
       Make no mistake, I am not arguing at all against the UTILITY of a scope on any firearm! I am talking about the aesthetics of the levergun. Certainly you will have to pass up some opportunities that could have been taken with a scoped rifle. Yet people venture afield each year with traditional archery equipment! Obviously some choose different weapons than what most would consider "optimum".
       Each of us must decide for ourselves what equipment to use, what hunting methods to employ, and whether we are using a given weapon because of it's usefulness (the advantage it gives us), because we just like it, or perhaps because it even places some additional restrictions on us. But as I have said before there is plenty of room for all of us to choose what is right for us. My choices sometimes mean I don't come home with a deer, but when I do get a deer it is because everything was "right". I rarely make a poor shot, and I feel good when I come home! And I don't always use a levergun. Sometimes I use my stainless Mod 70 stoked as hot as I can safely load it, with a 2X7 Leupold scope on it!
     OK, enough of philosophy 101, shoot what you like and have fun!!   :biggrin:      IDShooter
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I bought a 2x7 specifically for a big-bore lever action, although haven't gotten around to getting the gun yet!  How's that for planning?

It is a nice light scope and seems like it'll work well for the intended purpose.  Will find out one of these days, I suppose.

Has anyone tried the AO Guide Gun mount yet?
El Lobo....The Leupold 2x-7x, in both regular and compact, is an excellent choice for any open country shooting. I have use Leupold scopes in some of the most adverse hunting conditions one could ask for and never had one fail...even in the high Alps. In lever guns shooting '06 class cartridges, I think the 2x-7x a good choice. the .357 Mag, up through the .44 Magnum, to the .444 Marlin/.45-70 I still feel the 1X-4X power to be the correct choice. Most of the hunting situations these calibers are used for calls for your getting on target quick due to brush, etc., and many times close. For this type of shot, the 1x is excellent. On the other hand, a 200 yards shot with the 4X setting is the same sight picture, though much clearer, as one would see at 50 yards through open sights.
I can understand the thoughts of hunting with traditional setups...I hunt with both a .50 cal TC Gray Hawk and a 10 ga muzzleloader. These are fun guns! But, when things get serious. I need the glass for my old eyes. But, as the man which you enjoy most!
Best Regards, James
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     Off the topic of leverguns a bit, but wanted to comment on that 1X4 scope. I used one once on my cousin's Remington autoloading 30-06, and I agree with James- it is a dandy! It was a little strange at first on 1X, but if you shoot with both eyes open it works really well in brushy country (He lives in Tennessee among the laurel thickets). Plus I've done a bit of open country hunting for pronghorns and mulies, and a 4X isn't that much of a handicap even at long range. We use a Leupold 4X on my wife's .243 and it has performed fine. It offers plenty of magnification for aiming, though it can be difficult to see horns well. You need to be sure which buck you are aiming at!                      IDShooter
ID your are correct! It is a little strange at first getting used to that crosshair floating out there, while both eyes are open! I still love the Ashley type setup though, but as my eyes have lost much of their snap, I have gone to the
1X-4x's on all my brush guns. For my Ruger No1 "Tree Hugger" guns I use the Leupold 3X-9X, but.......If the truth be known, most of the time it sets on 4X and I would be juat as well off with a standard 4X. I still have one brush gun with no glass...A Remington Mod 81A in .300 Savage. However, anyone who knows the rifle will admit it points more like a Browning A5 than a rifle!
Best Regards, James
I've got a levergun in 30-30 that i put a scope on to facilitate accurizing loads i'm working up. Aesthetically, of course, it sucks bad but i always figured i could remove it whenever i was ready or wanting to. I used 'see-thru' scope mounts so i could also help 'calibrate' my iron sights at the same time and found an interesting thing when i worked up the ballistic tables for it: with the high-mounted scope, it in effect 'flattens' the trajectory when sighting thru the scope as it tends to looks down along the LOS of the arcing bullet trajectory.  
I have a weaver 2.5X on my Marlin 444P. It doesn`t look all that bad either. Wish maybe I could see like I could 20-25 yrs. ago, but I can`t. I sure hate getting old, BUT it sure beats the alternative. A lever gun looks better without a scope on it. However I need to see what I`m shooting at. Just my opinion of course
First James Gates as per your post Sep 15, I am glad to see that they have finally opened season for tree huggers. What state are you in and do they take nonresident applications.

As to the topic, I find nothing ugly about a scope on a savage 99. It has gotten to where they look a little strange to me without one. I have a model 94 in 7-30 Waters. An early one with the 24" bbl. This combination can make good use of a scope with the flatter trajectory and angle eject. But a scope with a 50mm objective would be butt ugly and would have to sit too high. I put a K3 weaver that my dad bought in the 50's for a J. C. Higgins 30-06. It has the straight tube objective lense and looks quite hansom on the old girl. Something about it not looking 21'st century that lets you like it.

The sight picture is so much better than having a buckhorn rear sight blocking half the view,  not to mention that I am way on the far side of 40 and the eyes are not what they used to be. Would I take the lyman 56 off of my model 71 and hang a scope off the side? Not in your life!

This is my first post here. I usually hang out at the cast bullet board at Shooters. May start visiting more.

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The Savage 99 fits into the same category as the Browning BLR. Aesthetically, they are just fine wearing a scope. It also makes sense given the high velocity spitzer ammo.

But a tube fed levergun with a scope...  uggh.

I used to have one of the 24" 94 XTRs in 7-30 Waters. It was one of the prettiest guns I ever owned but I never could coax more than 3.5-4" groups out of mine.

I must have got a wednesday rifle. It will shoot 2 moa with both the 120 noslers and the 139 hornadys. Neither quite made the max velocitys quoted by Waters in his pet loads, but came within 50 or 60 fps. Nothing to complain about. With the Hornadys it is quite the deer rifle. It even shoots cast bullets well. I have a 130 gr LBT LFN that I ordered before Veral became a guest of our government. I posted the load in load swap. It has a mule deer doe to its credit.

Maybe if you had put a scope on yours the groups may have shrunk. LOL  Actually that K3 does look very nice on mine. A lyman alaskan would be another good fit.

Ammohead....Go to General Discussion and look at the post "Hunting in Florida"......Best Regards, James
Lever guns and scopes: A few thoughts.
    In 1978 I purchased my first "High powered rifle."  The Marlin 336 soon had a 2 1/2X steel tube Weaver with Weaver mounts.  It still does.  With sling and ammo it hits nearly 8 pounds!  Heavy .30-30!  Groups 3 170 WW Power Points into 1 1/2" at 100 yards.  Sighted 3" high at 100, on at 150 and down 5-6" at 200.  Velocity is right at 2000fps.  Would I take the scope off - no way with most deer taken in the last 10 minutes of light here in Mississippi.  I shoot for the shoulder to put them down in their tracks.
    Things I would like to try: A Winchester 94 Trapper (pre-angle eject) with a Scout Scope mounted on the barrel.  This would be light >7 lbs. and you could still wrap your hand around the receiver.
     Things that also should work:  For a right handed hunter with an injured right eye, try a top eject Win. 94 with a side mounted scope.  Shoot from the right side with your left eye!                                                                                          Final thought: With five minutes of legal shooting time left you cannot get any index of elevation to shoot with a "Ghost Ring" sight.  Last year with Wilson/Scattergun Tech. sights on an 1187 slug gun I had to pass on a buck I could see but not shoot at approximately 40 yards.  I would have been better off with a bead on a vent rib!    This probably didn't help but it felt good to write it!
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