Do I need a special front sight?

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LoyalValley
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Do I need a special front sight?

#1 Post by LoyalValley » Thu Jun 22, 2017 1:16 am

I obtained a Winchester 94 built in 1962, the gun is with a gunsmith right now. He is putting on a Lyman 66 peep sight and it was my idea to have a fiber optical sight (green) installed.

But now I wonder, do I need a fiber sight at all, can't I be happy with the original front sight? I don't want to alter the historical appearance of the gun, don't want to have the front sight guard removed. Important points: I'm 67, hunting roe deer (Black Forest, Germany), distance not over 75 meter. Any thoughts?

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Re: Do I need a special front sight?

#2 Post by J Miller » Thu Jun 22, 2017 4:33 am

Most of my 94s have had Williams FP sights installed with sourdough type front sights. I don't shoot well with bead sights even with a peep sight. I've never used a fiber optic sight, so I don't know weather or not I'd like them.

As for the front sight hood and original front sight, that is up to your choice. What works best for you. As desirable as the the pre-64s 0f that era are, they are not super collectible. Besides, you can always put the originals back on if you don't like the F.O. sight.

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Re: Do I need a special front sight?

#3 Post by Pisgah » Thu Jun 22, 2017 6:27 am

Well, odds are good you'll need a higher front sight but whether or not it's fiber optic is strictly up to you. On my peep-sighted leverguns I use a nickel silver front sight obtained from Dixie Gun Works. It offers almost as much visibility in low light conditions as the fiber optic and provides , for me, a much more precise sight picture than the bright, fuzzy blob of a fiber optic sight.

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Re: Do I need a special front sight?

#4 Post by AJMD429 » Thu Jun 22, 2017 6:31 am

Lymans should go as 'low' as Williams FP's, and for those I usually don't need to replace the front, but I do LIKE the fiberoptics, so I usually put one one. OTOH for some Marlins I just keep the original 1/16" fine gold bead.

My FAVORITE front sight is actually a tubular one where you can fine-sight through both apertures, and I have that on a handgun (Ruger Mk-II clone from AMT).
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Re: Do I need a special front sight?

#5 Post by FWiedner » Thu Jun 22, 2017 6:54 am

IMO the only consideration is "How are your eyes?"

Consider the environment that you'll be hunting in.

If you can't see your front sight to use it, neither it, nor your gun, are of much use.

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Re: Do I need a special front sight?

#6 Post by gcs » Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:53 am

I have a Williams FP rear peep with the aperture removed, and the red front fire site.
This has worked extremely well for me for many years. The fire site bead is smaller then most and does not obscure the target as much at longer ranges, but the glow stands out for a good sight picture, and, because of the size there isn't a glowing blob like some of the other beads.
This combo is about the best you can do for low light situations, only a low power scope is better.
I've never used a front sight hood, and unless you use a hood with a cut out, you negate the use of the fiber optic. On my 336, I had to use a higher front sight with the FP.

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Re: Do I need a special front sight?

#7 Post by Pete44ru » Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:03 am

.

Since fiber-optic sights require ambient light to illuminate, they don't work well with a factory-issue front sight hood.

I hunt sans hood, but Williams Gun Sight Co makes/sells a sight hood for FO front sights that has a large hole in it's ceiling to admit light to the sight.



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Re: Do I need a special front sight?

#8 Post by earlmck » Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:55 am

The fiber-optic sights were invented for us olde pharts with the ageing eyes. On nearly all the rifles I shoot using a peep sight I have replaced the front with green fiber-optic. I just keep the original front (and rear if it was in place before installing a peep) in a little bag with label showing which rifle it belongs with.

And I have never had a young fellow (All my stuff gets shot by grandkids and grandkids-in-law on occasion) complain about the increased visibility. They usually say something like "wow! I really like this sight set-up".
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Re: Do I need a special front sight?

#9 Post by Pisgah » Thu Jun 22, 2017 1:02 pm

AJMD429 wrote:
Thu Jun 22, 2017 6:31 am
Lymans should go as 'low' as Williams FP's, and for those I usually don't need to replace the front, but I do LIKE the fiberoptics, so I usually put one one. OTOH for some Marlins I just keep the original 1/16" fine gold bead.

My FAVORITE front sight is actually a tubular one where you can fine-sight through both apertures, and I have that on a handgun (Ruger Mk-II clone from AMT).

It's interesting to me that some folks say they haven't needed a higher front sight. Not saying that's untrue, but over the years I have added Williams, Lyman or Redfield receiver sights to over a dozen leverguns and have needed a higher front in every case. If I were buying a new front sight anyway, I'd make sure to go a bit higher -- just in case. :wink:

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Re: Do I need a special front sight?

#10 Post by vancelw » Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:37 pm

Pisgah wrote:
Thu Jun 22, 2017 1:02 pm
AJMD429 wrote:
Thu Jun 22, 2017 6:31 am
Lymans should go as 'low' as Williams FP's, and for those I usually don't need to replace the front, but I do LIKE the fiberoptics, so I usually put one one. OTOH for some Marlins I just keep the original 1/16" fine gold bead.

My FAVORITE front sight is actually a tubular one where you can fine-sight through both apertures, and I have that on a handgun (Ruger Mk-II clone from AMT).

It's interesting to me that some folks say they haven't needed a higher front sight. Not saying that's untrue, but over the years I have added Williams, Lyman or Redfield receiver sights to over a dozen leverguns and have needed a higher front in every case. If I were buying a new front sight anyway, I'd make sure to go a bit higher -- just in case. :wink:
I've got receiver sights by Lyman and Williams on several rifles. Never had to replace the front sight. But I put an old Redfield on my ~1949 Marlin 336 and had to put a taller sight on the front of it. And....I put a Providence Tool Pattern 21 sight on my 1895 Browning and had to make a taller front sight blade.
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Re: Do I need a special front sight?

#11 Post by 3leggedturtle » Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:50 pm

I been lucky too, my M94 30/30 and 1895 45/70 got the fiber optic sights and worked fine with the Williams peeps. My Puma in 357 could actually have a lower front sight put when I had a peep sight installed. So all you can do is put one on and see what happens. Todd/3leg
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Re: Do I need a special front sight?

#12 Post by Pete44ru » Thu Jun 22, 2017 4:35 pm

.

IMO, the disparity stems from manufacturer's making rifles with different line-of-sight heights (above the bore C/L).

For instance, when Winchester Model 94 carbines are looked at, some have ramp-mounted front sight blades, and others have the front sight dovetailed directly into the barrel.

Added to that are the differences in height above the bore C/L between side-mounted receiver peep sights and top-mounted receiver peep sights.

Since receiver peep sights can generally be elevated more than they can be lowered (because they limit on the receiver or bolt top when lowered), IME I've found it best to err on the side of caution , and install a new front sight blade that's taller (about .10") than the issue front sight blade (only - no ramp height included).



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IF IN THESE TYMES OF JEOPARDY,
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Re: Do I need a special front sight?

#13 Post by AJMD429 » Thu Jun 22, 2017 5:17 pm

Pete44ru wrote:
Thu Jun 22, 2017 4:35 pm
IMO, the disparity stems from manufacturer's making rifles with different line-of-sight heights (above the bore C/L).
Yeah, and think about the geometry - the original sights are both on the barrel, so the barrel could be at a 45 degree angle versus the 'bore axis' of the receiver, and the factory sights would be still fine (doubt the gun would feed well though :wink: ), but obviously there would be a HUGE variation in the required height of the receiver-mounted sight.

So since the receiver-to-barrel alignment really isn't all that critical for basic function (I'm betting even 3 to 5 degrees would not affect function, nor consistency/accuracy significantly for most levergun applications, as long as the barrel is seated firmly and flat to the face of the receiver), it is no surprise that putting the rear sight back on the receiver would make it difficult to predict how high the rear sight would need to be (or how high the front would need to be with a given receiver sight).

What is funny is how some of us will have mounted a dozen receiver sights, and had nearly all of them need a new front, or nearly all of them NOT need a new front - you'd think the variation would be a more random 50/50 sort of proposition.
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Re: Do I need a special front sight?

#14 Post by LoyalValley » Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:35 pm

Are pre-64 Winchester 94 fromt sight ramps made from steel or aluminium? My rifle was built in 1962.

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Re: Do I need a special front sight?

#15 Post by BlaineG » Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:44 pm

LoyalValley wrote:
Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:35 pm
Are pre-64 Winchester 94 fromt sight ramps made from steel or aluminium? My rifle was built in 1962.
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Re: Do I need a special front sight?

#16 Post by LoyalValley » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:18 pm

BlaineG wrote:
Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:44 pm
LoyalValley wrote:
Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:35 pm
Are pre-64 Winchester 94 fromt sight ramps made from steel or aluminium? My rifle was built in 1962.
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Re: Do I need a special front sight?

#17 Post by Pete44ru » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:04 pm

.

Steel.

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Re: Do I need a special front sight?

#18 Post by MrMurphy » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:46 pm

For low-visibility work (heavy forest), the only thing that beats a fiberoptic front sight is a fully illuminated optic (Aimpoint, etc).

I've spent a lot of time in low light hunting things that shoot back. Solid black irons are basically useless. I spent a couple weeks running around Bavaria with an Aimpoint equipped M4 carbine and in the early morning, dusk and night, Aimpoints win every time, including over a variable power scope. If you wish to remain with irons only, the Williams Fire Sight front and a peep rear will do very well. The XS Sights white-stripe front sights also work well even not being illuminated as the white is easy to see. I had a Marlin 1894 with that setup and in the dark, for coyotes with a white light, it worked great. Without the light, even in dusk it's still easy enough to see.

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Re: Do I need a special front sight?

#19 Post by Canuck Bob » Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:57 pm

My 94 with a Lyman 66 steel sight uses the standard front sight. So did my Rem 700 lefty or Ruger #1 Tropical. Every other receiver sight installation required a higher front sight, maybe 10 installations. If the standard sight doesn't work I always added a large brass bead sight, white beads and snow don't mix, because they were always available from Marbles, Lyman, Williams locally. Because I would not change the rifle a fire sight is certainly an option and much liked. Sadly I've seen more than one rifle with the fibre optic gizmo long gone. I would use the current front, sight-in with my hunting ammo, and evaluate what height front sight would be best. I always set the height so the peep was not dialed down real low to allow some available adjustment.

I used a 444 Marlin with a Williams FP and large brass bead for many decades in a sportsman's paradise here in Alberta. I never felt my sights were a problem during legal light. I sighted so my groups sat on the top of the bead. My one complaint with my peep sighted 94 32 Special is that the stock bead is too small. A post also interests me from experiences in military training and shooting my Lee Enfield. Just not enough in the final analysis to convert my sporting rifles with imported blade front sights. It is always a bit frustrating to not have the options easily available to my American friends.

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Re: Do I need a special front sight?

#20 Post by saw whet owl » Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:15 pm

I am not a fan of front sight hoods, and invariably remove them from my rifles so equipped.

Recently however, I observed that front sight hoods do protect the inside lining of my gun cases by preventing the front sight from snagging on the lining when removing the rifle from the case.

A piece of masking tape looped around the front sight and barrel would surely accomplish the same thing.

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Re: Do I need a special front sight?

#21 Post by LoyalValley » Sat Jul 22, 2017 8:14 am

With an aperture I won't see the front sight at all, so I removed it. Now it's fine.

BTW, with a Winchester 94, when looking through a Lyman 66 peep sight, do you have to cock the hammer in order to see the front sight clearly? A person at a German hunting forum stated that. In my opinion that's nonsense.

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Re: Do I need a special front sight?

#22 Post by MrMurphy » Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:59 pm

Not that i can remember though i don't have a 94 handy to check.

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Re: Do I need a special front sight?

#23 Post by Sixgun » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:43 pm

My best scores have always been with a flat blade.......same diameter all the way up........flattop. Depending on your eyesight determines the width. I like .060..........For snapshooting in the woods at animals, a brass bead 1/16" can't be beat.----6
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Re: Do I need a special front sight?

#24 Post by Pete44ru » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:32 am

LoyalValley wrote:
Sat Jul 22, 2017 8:14 am


BTW, with a Winchester 94, when looking through a Lyman 66 peep sight, do you have to cock the hammer in order to see the front sight clearly ?


If one thinks about that for a bit, one can see that it makes no sense to look through non-optic sights at a target (paper or game) with an un-cocked rifle.


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IF IN THESE TYMES OF JEOPARDY,
MORTAL PERIL INVADES THY THOUGHT,
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