After a bit of experience with forward-mounted, "scout" scopes I tend to prefer a conventional low-power outfit. Properly mounted it will give the shooter just as much useful peripheral vision, but with a larger number of choices in scopes and mounts. You can also use a lower-priced optic than the somewhat pricey Leupold and Burris Scout scopes if you wish.
I always thought adding a scope kind of defeated the whole idea of the guide gun, being lightweight, handy and easy to carry through heavy brush. The sights they come with are not the best so I added a Williams "peep" and firesight and am now capable of hitting bowling pins with regularity at 75-100 yds. More than enough for the .45-70 cartridge. Just my two cents. dgang
I too have equipped my own Marlin 444P with a Williams receiver sight. My Savage 99F was equipped with a Marble's tang sight. I'm pretty well practiced with iron sights out to 300 yards, so setups like this will do fine for me.
But for many folks a scope is the hands-down winner. Advanced age and/or poor eyesight from birth can cause fits for a hunter who uses anything else. It's for people like this for whom I suggest a low-powered, conventional scope on their hunting rifles.
I put a 5 moa Propoint on my 1895GS. I know a guy who put a Bushnell Hollo sight II on his 1895S. You want some eye relief for a short light 45/70 . I think any low power range variable scope with generous eye relief would work great providing the ring spacing allowed the scope to be pushed forward enough to get a full f.o.v.
i had a weaver 2.5 conventional on my 444p, and i liked it pretty well. I shot open sights some, but with the 2.5, i shot much straighter, and the groups shrank considerably. As such, it helped out my load development.
A little less light and handy, but still, not too bad.
Do to some eye problems my Big Bores carry low power scopes most of the time.
I prfer the older Weaver 2.5x, 3x, and the V4. I have two with T.K. Lee dots. The V4 has the standard cross hair reticle. I prefer the dots. One is a 3 min, the other is a 5 imn dot. I wish I would have had an 8 min dot put on this one (k-3).
I prefer Weaver bases and the Millett Angle Lock rings. The Millett rings will not budge under heavy recoil and they have windage adjustments.
I have had the Redfield mount shoot right off of a Winchester Timber Carbine is less than 50 rounds. The Weaver bases that I replaced the Redfield with have not moved.
Has anyone tried the Leupold quick detach rings for Weaver bases? There are times when an open rear sight is pretty handy. Thick ceader bushes and rain call for open sights. I use the Williams reciever sight but I prefer the Lyman for ease of adjustment. Lyman does not make a reciever sight for the Angle Eject Winchesters.
I have some experiance with the Simmons 1.5 - 5X scope and I have no complaint with it.
I am using the Leoupold scout scope with QD bases on the Ashley scout scope mount on my Guide Gun. I like it alot. I have the Ashley peeps backing it up. The QD rings are nice. Cost can be a factor though. It's nice to have a friend who will sell to me at cost plus shipping, but even then things can be "pricey". I can rest assured it is a bullet proof system though.
I put a new 4x Burris Compact on my Ruger #1 with Warne QD rings -- setup for the same purpose and handling as a Marlin... It's my first Burris (normally, a Leupold guy) -- they may have converted me. The QD rings are to allow quick change to a peep.
This scope, like the #1, gives you a lot of quality for the money ($160). No complaints at all.
I currently use the Wild West Guns ghost ring/fiber-optic setup, but if I ever go to a scope, I would use the Leupold scout scope on Warne mounts. I think that two individual Warne bases on the barrel would look nicer than the long Weaver type rails you see on a lot of the Guide Guns. I imagine you could find a gunsmith who could mill two small flats in the top of the barrel to provide shoulders for an interference fit, then tap and screw the bases into those flats. That setup should be fairly recoil proof.
I just got a Win 94 Black Shadow in 444. The sights are junk and the Ashley Ghost ring set up is $90. SWFA has the Simmons 1.5-5 for $100. I am used to using a scope so I have decided to go ahead and mount a scope.
Maybe you could tell me more about your experience with the Winchester. Was the Redfield mount you had trouble with the turn in mount? Are you using the aluminum Weaver bases? And what height rings are you using or would you recommend?
Trailblazer, we need to stay in touch. I've tried for six weeks to find someone who owns the Winchester Black Shadow. I bought one last month because they are inexpensive and I have always liked Model 94s. I shoot a Guide Gun and love it except it seems so short and stubby. Are you going to have that hollow stock filled? And yes, the open sights are bad, but I put a Tasco EXP on mine and it looked like the right knob was going to be in the way of the shells coming out of the angle-eject. So, now what? I have a Leupold that I took off a rifle I traded but it is a 6X. Also, do you find the action a little stiff? I've worked and worked trying to loosen mine up, but the bolt coming back seems to hit the hammer too low or else the hammer is simply sprung too tightly. It's too cold up here to be playing with this gun much right now but I will get back to it when the weather warms up.
I bought the gun because I have had a yen for a big bore for some time. When I heard they were discontinued I figured it was better now before it becomes a "collectible" and the prices go up. It will probably take me a while to dial it in because I just don't have much free time right now.
I am not sure about the stock. Little skinny thing looks like an instument of torture attached to a 444! I may build it up with bondo and put a real recoil pad on it. My first step is to get a scope on it and get some cases, dies and a couple bullet molds and see if it goes bang. If you had problems with cases hitting the scope I should probably jury rig a scope mount to see if cases clear.
The largest bore rifle I owned before this was a 30-06. It is something else to look down the hole in the end of this barrel. I can see the bolt face and the whole nine yards!
Trailblazer, yes you can scoop ice cream with these big bores. I love 'em. I took an older Redfield 4X Tracker off another rifle and I think it is going to work on this Shadow. The newer scopes seem to have the larger adjustment knobs. There is considerable recoil with the hollow stock. I, too, am going to put a good recoil pad on and fill the stock with foam.
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