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Thread: Best option for Browning 1885 High Wall?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy Captain*Kirk's Avatar
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    Best option for Browning 1885 High Wall?

    Hi, guys...I have a Browning 1885 High Wall chambered in .45/70 that I just love. I purchased this thing new in 1995 and it's still pristine. It has some of the most glorious wood I've ever seen on a factory gun. It has the factory buckhorn sights, which do well up to 100 yards with my handloads (405gr jacketed FP bullets) but I'd like to do a bit more long range gong ringing with it. I don't want to scope it and would love a nice peep or vernier sight, but the Browning version of this rifle has no tang on the rear stock and NO WAY am I drilling and inletting that gorgeous wood! Any suggestions? I would like to keep the slim profile of the rifle as well, so would prefer to stay away from big, blocky receiver mounted peep sights as well.
    "Are you gonna pull those pistols, or whistle Dixie?"

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master

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    The no tang makes it much harder. A mount could be made to bolt in and straddle the hammer overhanging the stock wrist for a traditional vernier sight. but would be alot of work and expensive to have made. Depending on if and where its scope blocks holes are a rail might be made to use a receiver sight for an AR match rifle ( not anywhere near traditional and probably not enough elevation). I know in Canada they make a bridge type mount for number 1s to mount a tang sight.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy Captain*Kirk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by country gent View Post
    The no tang makes it much harder. A mount could be made to bolt in and straddle the hammer overhanging the stock wrist for a traditional vernier sight. but would be alot of work and expensive to have made. Depending on if and where its scope blocks holes are a rail might be made to use a receiver sight for an AR match rifle ( not anywhere near traditional and probably not enough elevation). I know in Canada they make a bridge type mount for number 1s to mount a tang sight.
    Yes, pretty much resigned to the fact that without a tang, my options are limited. I was hoping there might be some obsure aftermarket sight designed just for this rifle, but haven't found one yet. There are peep-type blocks that mount to the top/side of the receiver in the scope mount holes, but they are sort of ugly to my eyes with lots of sharp angles to snag on a gun case. One of the attractions of this gun is the slim, minimalist profile and I hate to mess it up.
    "Are you gonna pull those pistols, or whistle Dixie?"

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    I don't know, since it has a dovetail mounted
    buckhorn, could you replace it with a ladder
    style sight?

    I've been thinking about putting a Skinner
    ladder sight on my 1895 CB for the
    same reason you state.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Just knuckle under and put the Williams Foolproof on your rifle- it is the cheapest and fastest way to get a longer sight radius and still leave you with a portable rifle.
    To make it more compact use the hunter version with the flush adjustment screws. I own both versions but I do not mind the bulk so I use the target knob version. The Williams sight is quick and easy to mount and is easily removed if you don't like it and find something better. You will need a taller front sight with the Williams sight. It will get you shooting while you work on the magic required to mount a tang sight with no tang.

    The only real solutions are:
    1. Get another butt stock to mount your tang sight on.
    2. Buy another Browning - the 1885 Traditional Hunter. It is the lighter rifle with a tang
    3. Want a heavy version? - Buy the Browning BPCR it has a tang and came from the factory with a nice tang sight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain*Kirk View Post
    Yes, pretty much resigned to the fact that without a tang, my options are limited. I was hoping there might be some obsure aftermarket sight designed just for this rifle, but haven't found one yet. There are peep-type blocks that mount to the top/side of the receiver in the scope mount holes, but they are sort of ugly to my eyes with lots of sharp angles to snag on a gun case. One of the attractions of this gun is the slim, minimalist profile and I hate to mess it up.
    EDG

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Just knuckle under and put the Williams Foolproof on your rifle- it is the cheapest and fastest way to get a longer sight radius and still leave you with a portable rifle.
    How would putting a Williams Fool Proof sight on his gun make it a long range shooter? He's looking for something with enough adjustment to shoot out to several hundred yards.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain*Kirk View Post

    Hi, guys...I have a Browning 1885 High Wall chambered in .45/70 that I just love.

    the Browning version of this rifle has no tang on the rear stock

    Any suggestions ?

    Marble's makes their tang sight in a version specifically for tangless Browning 1885's - #009813

    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1005871161


    .
    Experience is a wonderful thing - It lets you recognize a mistake, when you make it again.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Hey pietro, I used the link. I don't have this rifle but was just interested what Marble's came up with to mount a tang sight on this rifle.
    I looked at the picture and read the text. It does not say or show how to attach the tang base to the tangless rifle. Does it require the wrist wood to be drilled and taped?

    Any idea?
    Chill Wills

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    I had a William's foolproof on an 1885 in 45/70 I had years ago never had a problem with the sight snagging on anything. Did have to replace the front sight with one that was higher to work the rear sight

  10. #10
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chill Wills View Post

    Hey pietro, I used the link. I don't was just interested what Marble's came up with to mount a tang sight on this rifle.

    I looked at the picture and read the text.

    It does not say or show how to attach the tang base to the tangless rifle.

    Does it require the wrist wood to be drilled and taped?

    Any idea?

    IDK, so any interested party ought to first contact Marble's Customer Service with their question(s) B 4 buying the sight.

    http://www.marblearms.com/contact.html




    .
    Experience is a wonderful thing - It lets you recognize a mistake, when you make it again.

  11. #11
    I drilled the stock and put a brass insert in. It's under the sight base.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Reread his constraints - they contain mutually exclusive probabilities
    He did not want to modify his rifle therefore he has NO other choice but to accept the compromise of the Williams or some similar sight.
    In addition the .45-70 is not much of a long range shooter unless you use heavier meaning 500 grain bullets. His rifle is a bit on the light side to launch those and still call it fun. Even the 500 grainers can drift about 1" in a 4 mph breeze (approx. the speed of a brisk walk) at 100 yards.

    Quote Originally Posted by NSB View Post
    How would putting a Williams Fool Proof sight on his gun make it a long range shooter? He's looking for something with enough adjustment to shoot out to several hundred yards.
    EDG

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy

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    Captain*Kirk I have the same problem with a B78 I bought. I bought it with the ideal of shooting a little longer range with it but was not knowledgeable enough about the missing tang to install a tang sight on without mounting into the wood. Like you I don't want to mess the stock up to install a tang sight. I still have not found a solution for my rifle yet but keep looking. Browning made a nice looking rifle but failed miserably by not designing the action without a tang. Here's a link to my post http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...1-How-did-I-do If you look at post #12 Reverend Al offeren a sight solution but I have not found the sight he shows for any price. Good luck on your search. I've subscribed to your post so if you find a solution please post your findings. Thanks

    wcp

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy Captain*Kirk's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies, all!
    The Marble sight looks like it might be what I'm looking for, but in the instructions PDF there is a mention of centerpunch, drilling and tapping. I don't wish to do any permanent mods to this rifle. I posed the question to MidwayUSA of how it mounts; I will update this thread if and when I get an answer...the PDF covered a lot of different rifles besides the 1885.
    The problem with the Williams (unless I'm wrong) is that the gun would not be a quick-adjust affair from zero at 100 to zero at, say, 200 or more. It would also mean carrying a screwdriver around with me, which sounds like a major PITA, along with a sight setting card rather than committing to memory something like "3 clicks per 100 yards". If I'm mistaken about the Williams in this capacity, feel free to correct me. I've never owned or used one. With my aging eyes, a receiver mounted peep does have it's appeal over the standard buckhorn...
    Since I already have a Pedersoli Sharps with a vernier tang in .45/70, leaving this High Wall as a solid 100 yard rifle would not be the end of the world. I just like it so much that the option of versatility would be enticing.
    Again, thanks for all the input so far.
    "Are you gonna pull those pistols, or whistle Dixie?"

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain*Kirk View Post
    Thanks for the replies, all!
    The Marble sight looks like it might be what I'm looking for, but in the instructions PDF there is a mention of centerpunch, drilling and tapping. I don't wish to do any permanent mods to this rifle. I posed the question to MidwayUSA of how it mounts; I will update this thread if and when I get an answer...the PDF covered a lot of different rifles besides the 1885.
    I think the Marble sight is a mount on the wood part of the stock because their sight says you need screw #995026 and if you search that on Midway it shows wood type screws. Here is the link to the info at Marble showing item numbers. http://www.marblearms.com/universal-rear-sights.html I think we a without help for a long range sight option on our tangless Brownings.

    wcp

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Perhaps the Williams sight with the adjustment knobs rather than the simple screws would enable you to develop sight settings that would be repeatable with only a little more care in moving with the rifle in hand. I have the screw adjustable one on my 1885 .45-70 since where I hunt here in GA 100 yards is a long shot in most cases, and if longer than that I will just hold a bit higher in the kill zone based on my experience with the round, usually the Lyman 330 grain HP Gould boolit. GF

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy

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    You got me thinking, that can be dangerous for me. Anyway I have a H&R Buffalo Classic with a williams sight on it, so I removed it to see if it would fit the B78. The back screw of the sight fit the back screw hole on the receiver. I could drill another hole for the front mount screw no problem, just experimenting at this point. I took pictures to show what I found out. The first picture is the sight mounted with one screw, its almost flush on the left side of the receiver and in the lowest position. The rear of the sight hangs over the breech by .875". The second picture shows the left side profile. The third picture shows the breech open and no interference from the sight for loading. The fourth picture shows fired case in the ejected position. The last 2 pictures show the adjustable part from a different sight that has target knobs. The front sight will have to be changed and I will put a Lyman 17 on the gun once I have the williams peep for the Browning. At least I will be able to get more range than with the current sights. Hope this helps.

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  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy Captain*Kirk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Fox View Post
    Perhaps the Williams sight with the adjustment knobs rather than the simple screws would enable you to develop sight settings that would be repeatable with only a little more care in moving with the rifle in hand. I have the screw adjustable one on my 1885 .45-70 since where I hunt here in GA 100 yards is a long shot in most cases, and if longer than that I will just hold a bit higher in the kill zone based on my experience with the round, usually the Lyman 330 grain HP Gould boolit. GF
    GF, I did not see a target sight listed for the BHW rifle. The only Williams sight I saw was the FP1885...BACO was out of stock. There are a few ladder dovetail sights that *might* work...marginally...but the ladder sight on my Winchester '66 is a miserable excuse for a sight and pretty much useless unless retracted and I don't want to go down that road again.
    "Are you gonna pull those pistols, or whistle Dixie?"

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy Captain*Kirk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wcp4570 View Post
    Hope this helps.
    It does. I think the FP1885 will mount to the top of our receivers with no additional drilling and tapping using the scope base mount screw holes...but I will find out. Thanks for the many pix...they do show it can be done!
    EDIT: Also, the product info for the FP1885 describes the adjustments as "clicks". This would make trajectory adjustments a repeatable affair (E.G. zero@100, 200 = 3 'clicks'). I could live with that if I had to.
    Last edited by Captain*Kirk; 01-09-2020 at 04:48 PM. Reason: added info
    "Are you gonna pull those pistols, or whistle Dixie?"

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy

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    Both my sight pieces have clicks and markings for elevation and windage. I searched Midway USA for the FP1885 and it shows discontinued. I have never seen that before I guess because it is discontinued. May need to contact Williams. thanks

    wcp

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