Wednesday, April 20, 2011

XS Sights Lever Rail - A Simple Update for a Classic

I have a Marlin 1895 Guide Gun that is fitted with a set of Wild West Custom ghost ring sights. I find the ghost ring sight adequate for ranges from 0-50 yards. Beyond 50 yards the large ghost ring leaves a lot to be desired in the accuracy department. I know the rifle is capable of being accurate out to 100 yards and beyond; especially when pared with Hornady Lever Evolution ammunition. In order to achieve these results I need to put a more precise aiming device on the rifle. I have not decided whether to mount a scope or a red dot, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

I first need a platform to mount an optic too. I could not utilize the drilled and taped receiver mounts because the Wild West Custom ghost ring sight was using the rear two holes. I then started looking for a scout scope mount.

A couple years ago Marlin released their model 1895SBL that came from the factory with a rail system on it. On closer examination I found that the rail system was made by XS Sights. When I went to the XS Sights website I discovered they offered two different mounting options for my 1895. First was the Lever Scout Mount which has a Weaver interface. Second was the Lever Rail which has a Picatinny interface, and is used on the 1895SBL.

I chose to purchase the XS Lever Rail for a couple reasons. First was that it was lower profile and didn't seem to take up as much space as the Scout Scope rail. Second, was that the Picatinny interface is compatible with Weaver and Picatinny mounting; whereas, a Weaver interface is only compatible with Weaver mounting. This gave me flexibility to use either; whenever I decided what I wanted to use.

The Lever Rail had only one downside for my situation. The rail extended all the way to the rear for mounting a XS ghost ring sight. I already have a good sight in place and did not want to replace it. To fit my needs I decided I would have to 'modify' the rail.

I used a Dremel tool to cut the rail to my desired length. I used the length of the rail to practice my cutting so that by the time I reached the place I had marked; I had enough experience to make a practiced cut. I used some flat black spray paint on the bare metal to match the rest of the rail.

Once I had the rail cut; installation was easy. The directions that XS Sights included were well written and simple to follow. If you can work a hammer, punch, and a screw driver you are well qualified to install this rail system.
Black, Matte Finish
MSRP: $60.00

                                        Before                                          After
Length:                                11"                                              8"
Weight:                               3 oz.                                           2.2 oz.

If you are looking to spice up any of your lever action rifle check out XS Sights. They offer rail systems for many different models and if I can install them with success, so can you.


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  1. I have the XS rail on my Marlin .44 and love it. I'm planning to add one to my .30-30 as well.

  2. Hi, I like the fact that you customized this rail for your needs. How does the rail itself get attached to the barrel? Is it epoxy glue? Just picked up a Browning 1895 and looking into ways to put a scout rail for my Leatherwood LER scope to have it set up as a scout rifle like my 1894. However, it seems that there's nothing off the shelf for this for the Browning/Winchester 1895. Mine is barreled in 30-06, if that makes any difference. Thanks.

    1. You add a threaded sight blank into the dovetail on the barrel. The mount will be anchored by the normal tapped receiver and this threaded sight blank which comes with the XS kit.

  3. Ok, thanks. Since the Browning 1895 is a top eject I'll have to figure out a way to secure that end a little differently, I guess. Thanks for responding.

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