Lyman #21 style sights for Winchester 1895

Discussion in 'Large-Bore/Small-Bore Rifle/Shotgun' started by LDBennett, Apr 2, 2010.

  1. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
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    6,519
    Location:
    Hesperia, CA
    Years ago I bought the Browning clone of the Winchester 1895 lever gun in 30-40 Krag. I really like the looks of that gun but I wanted better sights. The "correct" sights for that gun are the Lyman #21 receiver sights but they are collectable and very expensive to buy if you can find them. So I put a Williams sight on it a twenty years ago. The Williams sights are very precision with click adjustments for both elevation and windage with locks for both. But...... They looked wrong. They were designed for a 1950's style bolt action rifle and looked the part. I never replaced them because they did work well.

    Recently I found an outfit that sells a reproduction of the Lyman #21 receiver sight for the 95, the 86, the 94, the 92 and modern Marlins (Buffalo Arms). So I ordered one for the 95.

    http://www.buffaloarms.com/browse.cfm/4,7197.html

    It came and I proceeded to mount it onto the Browning 1895. It uses the hole in side of the receiver that gives access to the bolt to lever pin and a stud mounted near the top and rear of the receiver. The first hole exists and only has to be re-tapped and the rear one requires drilling and tapping the receiver. The sight comes with the drill and tap (an extinct size as used by original Winchesters). The receiver was easy to drill and tap when my receiver was put onto my mill (used as a precision drill press) and bolted down. If you have any problem accurately drilling and tapping you should have a professional drill and tap the receiver. Hand tools should not be used, in my opinion, but if you are good with them you may be able to drill and tap the receiver, getting everything straight,without breaking a tap.

    The gun now looks right burt this sight is not nearly as precision as the Williams because its adjustments are slip and slide, and matching the engraved lines on the sight body with witness marks on the top of the sight for windage and with a brass pointer tied to the stud in the receiver wall.

    If it is the right look you are after and you want better sights than the barrel sights originally provided on these lever guns, the Lyman #21 replica from Buffalo Arms is the one to get. It is not cheap but nothing is today. It is less expensive than the real thing (Lyman #21 collector sight).

    Next is a trip to the range to sight the gun in for the new sights.

    LDBennett
  2. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Messages:
    6,519
    Location:
    Hesperia, CA
    Well, today was range day for the new sight on the Browning 1895 and it was a bit disappointing.

    I disassembled the gun to drill and tap the required holes, put it together and installed the sight. Regardless that the instruction reminded me to shorten the screw and stud, which I did, apparently I did not shorten the stud sufficiently and the stud stopped the bolt from traveling its full cycle. I was able to load one round at a time and eject the empty case but I had to remove the stud and shorten it once I got home.

    The shooting didn't go well either as my targets of choice were smaller than the front bead and accurate sighting was not possible. I finally decided to try a six o'clock hold and then a hold with the top of the bead in the middle of the bullseye (top of bead is the point of impact). Then I ran out of the few rounds of 30-40 Krag ammo that I brought. The effort was basically wasted. There is no real problem, just my slow to realize sight picture requirement. I'll just have to reload my 30-40 Krag brass and do it again.

    This will work as I followed this shooting fiasco with about 50 rounds of 32-20 through my Browning Model 53 (Winchester clone lever gun) that has the same front bead. I shoot it with a center of the bull hold and it shot great groups. My final five shots were at a 6 inch metal swinger at 200 yds with the model 53 and the fifth shot hit it with virtually no hold over (I didn't think 32-20 would shoot that flat but the ammo is loaded pretty hot for 32-20).

    So I guess the range trip was not a total failure. I fixed the 1895 when I got home and the Model 53 shot great, as always.

    LDBennett
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