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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need your help guys. I finished developing a load for my most recent buy, an 1894 Cowboy action 45LC JM, and I'm really pleased with how well this rifle shoots. However, I just took the scope off her and went to the range this morning with a Skinner rear peep and the Ranger Precision front fiber sight. First time trying the RP front sight, and as a side note, I prefer the Truglo on my .44 1894. The metal around the RP's fiber is too thick.

Now the problem, I'm really starting to have problems with a blurry front sight unless I wear my glasses, but I don't want to wear my glasses while hunting. I also don't want to put a scope on the rifle to hunt. It seems like the peep may be contributing to my vision problem too. So, I uncrewed the peep insert and went ghost ring, and it wasn't enough of an improvement. Biggest help was shooting with both eyes open, and that idea came from recently watching a special about Jerry Miculek and his daughter during which I noticed they both shot everything with both eyes open. I wouldn't say that keeping both of my eyes open fixed my problem, but it improved my vision of both the front sight and target.

I'm wondering if a different style of rear sight might help after I put a Truglo on the front. I guess I could throw the stock buckhorn rear sight back on her just to test the concept, but there are so many experienced shooters on this site that a bunch of you have probably already walked this path. I turn 59 next month, and my vision is good enough that I don't have to wear glasses to drive, yet. I wear progressive lens in my glasses to aid mostly near vision. Going to deer camp in a month, and I need to figure something out. Otherwise, I'll have to impose a range restriction. This morning 50 yards was even hard.
 

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Aperture rear sights should make the front sight appear more in focus. An aperture acts somewhat like a lens to only admit parallel or nearly parallel light rays. This makes the front sight appear more in focus.

If the rear aperture is too large, this advantage is lost. This, and the eye's natural tendency to center an image in the center of the aperture, is why target rifles nearly always use apertures. However, if the aperture is too small, it makes the sight picture look too dark. You need to find the happy medium. Have a look at Skinner and Williams sights for the usual hunting size. Don't try to center the front sight, just look through the rear and put the front sight where you want the bullet to impact. You eye will instinctively center the front sight.

Or just mount a scope. You'll need it in a few years anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Aperture rear sights should make the front sight appear more in focus. An aperture acts somewhat like a lens to only admit parallel or nearly parallel light rays. This makes the front sight appear more in focus.

If the rear aperture is too large, this advantage is lost. This, and the eye's natural tendency to center an image in the center of the aperture, is why target rifles nearly always use apertures. However, if the aperture is too small, it makes the sight picture look too dark. You need to find the happy medium. Have a look at Skinner and Williams sights for the usual hunting size. Don't try to center the front sight, just look through the rear and put the front sight where you want the bullet to impact. You eye will instinctively center the front sight.

Or just mount a scope. You'll need it in a few years anyway.
Good idea, and I was thinking opposite! I have a medium peep insert that I just put in place of the large, and it did make a difference. Not fixed, but much better. I also have to recognize that eyes and lighting conditions can be at odds with each other from one day to the next. I just ordered a couple fine apertures from Skinner, and while I realize these will in all likelihood be too small for hunting, I can play with one and maybe increase its size to split the difference if that ends up working. Something to try anyways, and apertures are only $11/ea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good advise above. Only thing I can add is too try a red dot sight.

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Precisely what I told my brother when I called him about this. Told him a red dot would be the next step before a scope, if I can't get the current setup to work. I'd just have to make sure I get a red dot with a small enough dot. The larger dots are not good for me while hunting.....cover too much animal.
 

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I need your help guys. I finished developing a load for my most recent buy, an 1894 Cowboy action 45LC JM, and I'm really pleased with how well this rifle shoots. However, I just took the scope off her and went to the range this morning with a Skinner rear peep and the Ranger Precision front fiber sight. First time trying the RP front sight, and as a side note, I prefer the Truglo on my .44 1894. The metal around the RP's fiber is too thick.

Now the problem, I'm really starting to have problems with a blurry front sight unless I wear my glasses, but I don't want to wear my glasses while hunting. I also don't want to put a scope on the rifle to hunt. It seems like the peep may be contributing to my vision problem too. So, I uncrewed the peep insert and went ghost ring, and it wasn't enough of an improvement. Biggest help was shooting with both eyes open, and that idea came from recently watching a special about Jerry Miculek and his daughter during which I noticed they both shot everything with both eyes open. I wouldn't say that keeping both of my eyes open fixed my problem, but it improved my vision of both the front sight and target.

I'm wondering if a different style of rear sight might help after I put a Truglo on the front. I guess I could throw the stock buckhorn rear sight back on her just to test the concept, but there are so many experienced shooters on this site that a bunch of you have probably already walked this path. I turn 59 next month, and my vision is good enough that I don't have to wear glasses to drive, yet. I wear progressive lens in my glasses to aid mostly near vision. Going to deer camp in a month, and I need to figure something out. Otherwise, I'll have to impose a range restriction. This morning 50 yards was even hard.

I feel your pain.

Two suggestions.

#1. If you can get a rear peep with a smaller opening, the smaller the opening the better the focus.

#2. Get a few different magnification safety glasses. Check our AMAZON and ELVEX .75 and 1.0 diopter glasses. Should be around $9 each.
 

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Retired welder here, 72 years old. My eyes are blurry to the point that I can't shoot open sights. But thankfully I can hit as far as a human can see with a .125" rear aperture and a .10" front sight blade. A very dependable sight picture for these old eyes. XS rear sight with a Skinner narrow blade front. Williams long shank .125" aperture in the XS loop. I can hit tin cans easily at 100 yards. Plenty good for deer.

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Retired welder here, 72 years old. My eyes are blurry to the point that I can't shoot open sights. But thankfully I can hit as far as a human can see with a .125" rear aperture and a .10" front sight blade. A very dependable sight picture for these old eyes. XS rear sight with a Skinner narrow blade front. Williams long shank .125" aperture in the XS loop. I can hit tin cans easily at 100 yards. Plenty good for deer.

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Your reply definitely caught me off guard because your experience is in contrast to what I'm experiencing and the advice I've gotten so far. Your peep size is .125", which is larger than the standard Skinner peep, 0.096", that I shot with this morning. And of course your peep is much larger than the medium, 0.070", that reduced the front sight blur. On top of that, your front blade at 0.10" is bigger than the Truglo fiber at 0.060" and over twice the thickness of the Ranger Precision fiber, 0.040". I'm not saying your combo wouldn't work, but it's definitely in a different direction. Plus, I already tried a large ghost ring for a peep, and that didn't help.
 

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Your reply definitely caught me off guard because your experience is in contrast to what I'm experiencing and the advice I've gotten so far. Your peep size is .125", which is larger than the standard Skinner peep, 0.096", that I shot with this morning. And of course your peep is much larger than the medium, 0.070", that reduced the front sight blur. On top of that, your front blade at 0.10" is bigger than the Truglo fiber at 0.060" and over twice the thickness of the Ranger Precision fiber, 0.040". I'm not saying your combo wouldn't work, but it's definitely in a different direction. Plus, I already tried a large ghost ring for a peep, and that didn't help.
Have you been to an optometrist? Maybe you need an exam, tell the doc you can't see your front sight. Our eyes must be way different. I need pop bottle lenses to read. Being a welder didn't do my vision any favors. I do shoot with dollar-store magnified sunglasses labeled 2.0. Last month I was shooting pop cans and a gallon jug at 175 yards with a milsurp Enfield, making the neighbor kid scream because he couldn't believe it. So I gave him my rifle and he hit a pop can at 175. He's 42 years old. Leaned across the hood of the truck. Rear Enfield aperture(.10" diameter) drilled out to .125" and issue front blade. My mil spec handloads are straight out of the Sierra manual. Hitting pop cans and a gallon jug most every time.
If you have a Springfield 03-A3 or an Enfield at home with stock military peeps, give them a try. See how your eyes like the sight picture.

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Your front sight is too small. I am 72 now and generally shoot a scope. But I can get by with a Williams twilight aperture with a good sized hole in it and a 3/32" Fiberoptic bead. I prefer the green ones. The fiber optic does give some glare in sunlight with a black bullseye but works fine on game. I have just been playing with a Mossberg 30-30 and its iron sights and have come ot the conclusion that a scope is better for me. There are other scopes than the clunky 3X9's. The smaller more compact 1.5X4.5's are great and I prefer them over a Red Dot as they do not require a battery and do not have to be switched on.
Still many have their heart set on open sights so I go back to the Twilight aperture and larger bead front sight that you can see. Dealt with many people with those problems when I was shooting ML competition and the larger front sight coupled with a good rear sight could help where we had to shoot open sights only. Generally opened up the rear sight for more light. Over time you appreciate a good scope.

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Have you been to an optometrist? Maybe you need an exam, tell the doc you can't see your front sight. Our eyes must be way different. I need pop bottle lenses to read. Being a welder didn't do my vision any favors. I do shoot with dollar-store magnified sunglasses labeled 2.0. Last month I was shooting pop cans and a gallon jug at 175 yards with a milsurp Enfield, making the neighbor kid scream because he couldn't believe it. So I gave him my rifle and he hit a pop can at 175. He's 42 years old. Leaned across the hood of the truck. Rear Enfield aperture(.10" diameter) drilled out to .125" and issue front blade. My mil spec handloads are straight out of the Sierra manual. Hitting pop cans and a gallon jug most every time.
If you have a Springfield 03-A3 or an Enfield at home with stock military peeps, give them a try. See how your eyes like the sight picture.

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Rob, you may have missed the part where I said I'm trying to continue hunting without wearing glasses. I'm current with my optometrist. New script this year, and glasses with progressive lens work well. It's just an age and eye muscle strength thing that's not allowing my eyes to focus well on different planes simultaneously. But, because my vision is still good enough to drive without glasses, I believe there is a solution to keep me hunting without glasses. Shooting at the range would be an easier fix because often I wear glasses, lighting isn't an issue, and rain/snow mucking up glass lenses isn't a problem. Once I establish safe loads for my rifles, I'll shift to iron sights and shoot some without glasses (practice like I hunt). However, I hear you and maybe a combination of your ideas with others will help. I may need to increase my front sight like you and @northmn have suggested. A visible front sight in the woods is critical though. So no black or brass posts.
 

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Rob, you may have missed the part where I said I'm trying to continue hunting without wearing glasses. I'm current with my optometrist. New script this year, and glasses with progressive lens work well. It's just an age and eye muscle strength thing that's not allowing my eyes to focus well on different planes simultaneously. But, because my vision is still good enough to drive without glasses, I believe there is a solution to keep me hunting without glasses. Shooting at the range would be an easier fix because often I wear glasses, lighting isn't an issue, and rain/snow mucking up glass lenses isn't a problem. Once I establish safe loads for my rifles, I'll shift to iron sights and shoot some without glasses (practice like I hunt). However, I hear you and maybe a combination of your ideas with others will help. I may need to increase my front sight like you and @northmn have suggested. A visible front sight in the woods is critical though. So no black or brass posts.
No, I read your post carefully, I read all posts carefully. I know you want to hunt w/o glasses. But it just may not be possible. I told my optometrist to adjust my scrip so I can see my front sight. And he understood. One more point and I'm out. You said you can't focus on multiple planes. You're not supposed to. All the shooting instructors I ever had, civilian and military, and everything I've ever read says to get your front sight clear. The human eye cannot focus on two or more planes at once, it's a physical impossibility. The rear aperture is basically ignored, look through it and it will do it's work naturally. Get your front sight in focus.

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
No, I read your post carefully, I read all posts carefully. I know you want to hunt w/o glasses. But it just may not be possible. I told my optometrist to adjust my scrip so I can see my front sight. And he understood. One more point and I'm out. You said you can't focus on multiple planes. You're not supposed to. All the shooting instructors I ever had, civilian and military, and everything I've ever read says to get your front sight clear. The human eye cannot focus on two or more planes at once, it's a physical impossibility. The rear aperture is basically ignored, look through it and it will do it's work naturally. Get your front sight in focus.

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Rob, no offense intended. I just wanted to make sure we were on the same page since your references were with you wearing glasses. When I talk about focusing on multiple planes I'm not including the rear aperture. That's just a porthole to look through. I'm talking about front sight and target. That's not impossible, but it sure is getting difficult now.
 

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I lost my battle with poor vision 20 years ago. Now its glasses and scopes for me---even on a Cowboy Marlin. The deer still fall dead after I squeeze the trigger. As one MO member put it a few years back---"I would rather hit the target, than look stylish and miss".
 

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I also can no longer shoot open sights well on rifles, but pistols are ok and peep sights work fine still on rifles. I've put a lot of scopes on rifles in recent years and most of my lever guns have receiver sights. When they no longer work I'll switch to a red dot like the sign Romeo 5 that I have on several carbines or a rmr type red dot that I have on a pistol. Both have motion on and a crazy long battery life like 40k hours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Will go to the range Mon or Tues (Mon forecast has rain) to test the changes I've made. I decreased aperture size one step on my peep, and I went back to the Truglo front sight with a larger 0.060 fiber that I've used for the past two seasons. Will see how these two changes plus a different day and different lighting will result. I'll also shoot at a black 3" circle vice a smaller inverted white triangle over a black background that's worked well for some time.

@Ret_Eng , this isn't a style thing. I'm hunting in thick cedar woods and carrying the Marlin in my hand ready. Been hunting up there since moving back in 2017, and bucks have been shot from 14yards to 40 yards. The light lever gun without stuff hanging on it is very functional and quick to get on target, and odds are unlikely that I'll shoot past 60 yards. Like I've said earlier, my eyes aren't all that bad.....except for focusing on a front sight and target.
 

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I lost my battle with poor vision 20 years ago. Now its glasses and scopes for me---even on a Cowboy Marlin. The deer still fall dead after I squeeze the trigger. As one MO member put it a few years back---"I would rather hit the target, than look stylish and miss".

Im the same way as Jay...
No more irons...they're useless in my case. I can see them with my glasses, but not the target. I gave up and went with scopes all the way. My carbine levers sit in the safe. im still fighting thru it with my shotguns...the front bead is a blur but i still manage to bag squirrels and i wonder how but i do. luck i guess.
getting old is hell sometimes. it is what it is.

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Will go to the range Mon or Tues (Mon forecast has rain) to test the changes I've made. I decreased aperture size one step on my peep, and I went back to the Truglo front sight with a larger 0.060 fiber that I've used for the past two seasons. Will see how these two changes plus a different day and different lighting will result. I'll also shoot at a black 3" circle vice a smaller inverted white triangle over a black background that's worked well for some time.

@Ret_Eng , this isn't a style thing. I'm hunting in thick cedar woods and carrying the Marlin in my hand ready. Been hunting up there since moving back in 2017, and bucks have been shot from 14yards to 40 yards. The light lever gun without stuff hanging on it is very functional and quick to get on target, and odds are unlikely that I'll shoot past 60 yards. Like I've said earlier, my eyes aren't all that bad.....except for focusing on a front sight and target.
A low profile/low magnification/low weight scope on a lever gun is quick to get on target--nothing about style--all about function. I am hunting in thicker woods than you do (central VA has oaks/cedars/maples/hickory/ground brush/fall downs/large stumps/rock outcrops---etc) and have been doing that since the late 1980s. None of my deer have been taken much over 40-60 yards when in the woods. Fast target acquisition is what its all about--especially since one can't see very far due to the central VA ground cover. Some of my 1-4X scopes I can shoot with both eyes open--they are almost like a scout scope. My former Army career moved me away from my boyhood eastern WA state into some of the thickest stuff to hunt in---Alaska/Missouri/Texas/Virginia. As my eye sight went south---the peeps got sold off and the low profile scopes were added to my rifles. They blend well on a carbine and don't radically alter the handling characteristics of my Marlins.
 
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