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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
okay, so glad i found this forum!

have a mystery that i really hope y'all can help me solve. I took my grandfathers .30-30 to the range the other day for the first time after having finally inherited it. trying to find a logical explanation for why this gun is the way it is...

it is a top-eject model 94 in .30-30, manufactured in 1953 according to the serial numbers on winchesters website. it has a lyman (#2?) fold-down post-style peep-sight mounted on the tang--if the gun didn't come with it (which it might have) he put it on so soon after getting it that it makes no difference.

later on (sixties probably) he tapped it for weaver mounts and used an early aimpoint sight, scout mounted, but the original iron is still there. also the aimpoint was high enough that it looked right over the top of the front blade--it is certainly the original blade at the original height.

here is the mystery--the gun shoots very tight groups, but is anywhere between 6 and 8 inches high (depending on the ammo) at 35 yards with the apeture sight screwed down as far as it will go.

its driving me nuts that i cant figure out a logical explanation for why this is so.

yes, yes, i know how i could just fix it and forget about it--put a taller blade on the front. and i may well do that.

but that isn't the point: the point is that my grandfather killed more deer with this gun than i've had hot breakfasts--this thing was a tool to him--one he used all fall every year from the day he bought it until the year he died.

AND he was the kind of guy who was 100% unafraid--eager, actually--to modify, alter or customize his tools. there is just no way in **** that his deer rifle shot that high and he just 'worked around it'. he would have taken his pocket knife out and whittled the stock down the very same day until it shot exactly the way he wanted it to. ****, he would have welded something to the receiver it that's what it took to make the thing behave to his specifications (an exaggeration, but not by much)

the gun has not been altered since he died--my father never shot it, just kept it, and passed it on to me.

i took the post out of the peep sight, (leaving the sight itself in place) and made sure that it was seated all the way at the bottom. it is.

he was not a hand-loader, so the idea that he shot some minuscule powder charge doesn't wash.

so what could possibly explain why this gun shoots so high at minimum elevation?

any guesses would be greatly appreciated.
 

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6 to 8 inches high at 35 yards for a 30-30 sounds like a 'mid-range' rise for a setting for longer ranges, and the 30-30 may be set to shoot at 200 or 300 yards, or even longer.

An Example of this is the .30 Caliber M1 Carbine which had sights with settings for 100, 150, 200 and 300 yards but was test fired and sights initially adjusted to shoot high at 25 yards with the rear aperture sight set for 100 yards.

Try the rifle at longer ranges to see if it is on target at some further distance with the sights as they are.
 

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~ I know you said the front sight is original height, but is there a chance the bead is broken off and the sight filed down.
~ It might be an unfinished project. The front sight may be correct for the barrel mounted rear sight, but the tang sight might not have a correct front sight installed to complete the job.
~ He might have had the sights set for point-blank-range shooting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ooooh... Very well played sirs...

Although. Original bead still on the blade, so that's out. And I don't think the gun even has a rear barrel sight--will double check this weekend. But he didnt really leave projects unfinished--especially on the gun he hunted for 20 years (Which , now that I think about it, makes it even less likely that it is off for no reason; if the tang sight was original equipment it should have at least been on the paper at 35 yards) As for being sighted for long distance, if it was an 30-06 I could see it, but a 30 30?

The point blank idea is an interesting one. And that would be more like him--get the whole sight where he wanted it to be when turned all the way down and never adjust it again. (And it took a long time and a lot of wd40 and elbow grease to get the rear sight to be able to elevate at all--even thought it stood to attention slick as you please--could mean it hadn't been elevated since 1953) Just point and shoot regardless of distance. Only thing is... 6-8 inches high at 35 means he was point blank sighting it for a 12-16 inch shot circle? Seems a bit generous to me for whitetails in nh. Maybe...

In any case its the guess that matches up closest so far...

Thanks guys. Keep em coming.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So two questions--what was the most commonly available/cheapest ammo available at the general store in the sixties? Remmington green box? (He was a farmer, and would not have shot anything fancy). What grain? Because if I go and shoot something similar to what he was shooting and find that its only four or five high, that could be it, yes?
 

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Not sure about the brands, but there were several then that are gone now. The two common and popular weights are the 150gr and 170gr.
 

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You know, you can examine the physical evidence of the rifle and scratch your head all day long, but the one thing you cannot see is what your grandpa saw when he looked through those sights. My best friend and shooting buddy of 40 years and I can exchange rifles that shoot fine for us, and suddenly our shooting goes to pot. Any sight dead-on for him is way off for me, and vice versa. My only explanation for this is, there has to be some combination of physical traits and/or perception that makes it so.
 

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I vaguely remember a story from a long ago outdoor magazine, concerning a hunter who borrowed a rifle from his guide, who was a well known dead eye shot. The rifle shot waaaay off for him. Upon examination, he found that the front sight blade was badly bent and probably had been for some time.
 

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I have a 1932 94 Carbine. This was the first year of the "ramp" front sight. I ordered and put a new lyman tang sight on it and experienced the same issue. Lyman screwed all the way down... 6 to 8 inches high at 50 yards. The front bead is original and putting on a bead tall enough to compensate would almost touch the sight hood...or at least result in a really weird looking sight picture.

I sent the lyman back after much discussion with them.

Bought and installed a marbles and it's all good plus windage adjustment.

I have no idea what the problem was but.. the gun is original, [Tang tapping, front sights] and the Lyman was just too tall even at its lowest setting.

Mike J
 

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God bless your Grandpa.
You acquired a nice rifle.
But you need to remember that the old timers weren't interested in pin point accuracy.
If they could hit a pie plate at 100 yards, it was good enough for them in the N.H. woods.
He obviously sighted the rifle different from you.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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6 o'clock hold for short range deer hunting in the brush?

Just a thought......
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Whatcu mean six o'clock? Don't know the term. (But I certainly do appreciate all the guesses; in some ways more interesting than having a rifle that shoots dead on.
 

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Six o' clock hold is when your sight picture looks like a lollipop. The stick being your sight and the lolli being your target. With proper picture and hold your bullet will hit the center of the target. Lots of bullseye shooters used this hold, Black sights and black bull=not very precise. If you kissed the bottom of the bull with the front blade bingo good sight picture.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Or.... just hold the front sight under the deer.... ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You know, that's not a bad guess either... If you set that bead right in Senior Buck's front armpit i imagine you would plug him through the boiler room--might actually be faster to acquire the target that way with such a big bead on the front blade. I think I need to shoot the gun a bit more--and it is a joy to shoot too.
 

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6 O'Clock Hold

The hold would give him an extended range where a precise aim can be accomplished. Remember, a 100 yard zero with a post sight means that half of the deer is hidden by the post at 100 yards and it gets worse further out.

I used that hold for my competitive pistol shooting and discovered that it worked well for rabbits with target loads out to past 125 yards.

For the 30-30, it might give him a 200-250 yard reach.

Try running a ballistics calculator with the 6-8" high at 25 yards and see where the bullet drops below that height again and what its highest point is. Chances are you'll find that he had tuned the rifle so he could use the same sight picture from about 50 yards out to 200 yards. Closer in would be a different story but he probably know where to hold to drop the animal immediately.
 

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The common load back then was the 170 grain, instead of the 150 grain that everyone uses now. Buy a box of 170's and try them at 100 yards and then at 200. I think you will discover that your rifle shoots a lot closer to point of aim.
 

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If you Google sight picture and six o'clock hold there is a nice pictorial showing the various holds. Six o'clock is a very common one. Oth, grandpa might have zeroed it in at a known distance and just used "Kentucky windage" for all other distances.
 

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That could very well be the case. My Grandfather's Savage model 99 has the original buckhorn sights. if you use a full bead you are going to be about 6" high at 100 yds. If you take 1/2 a bead at 6 oclock you are good

Full bead POI is about 400 yds try that
 
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