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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few days ago I posted this thread about the new to me 336 I recently bought. I took it out yesterday to get baseline with the factory semi-buckhorn sights. I used 150gr Winchester SuperX and 170 Remington Core-Lokt. Shooting with a Caldwell bag in the front, I shot about as I expected I would - which is to say that I shot poorly enough to be unable to distinguish an accuracy difference between the two loads. All 5 shot groups went about 4.5" center to center. I drew up some images of the sight picture I was using (1) and what I'll try using next time (2). I had a very difficult time focusing on the front post through the little notch at the bottom of the rear sight.

Cartoon Font Illustration Clip art Logo
Illustration Font Logo Clip art Fictional character


What do you guys use when shooting the factory sights? Like I said, using sight picture #1, I had a very hard time focusing on the front sight, the blurriness of the rear notch obscured the front blade enough to make it tough. Just looking around in the backyard, it's much easier to focus on the front blade when I center it between the two horns as in #2 above. I'll go back this week and try the same ammo using a different sight picture to see if that tightens the groups. My plan all along has been to put some Skinner sights on it so it will be interesting to see how the groups improve going from the factory sights to the Skinner peeps. Of course I'll post an update when that happens so yall can compare. I might even put an extra scope on it for a day to figure out the gun's absolute accuracy and favorite load and that way we can compare groups shot with factory sights vs peep sights vs scope.

Now onto the targets from yesterday. The first two are 170gr Core-Lokt, I'll upload the other two in the 2nd post.

Shooting sport Target archery Sport venue Recreation Shooting
Shooting sport Target archery Shooting Recreation Sport venue
 

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How many yards were you from the target? Might want to start at 25.

The first thing I'd do would be to take the front sight hood off. You'll get a much better sight picture.
In the first image, you need to bring the front sight bead down into the rear notch. The second image... never use that one again.

Position the rifles forearm close to the receiver on your bag rest, and support the near end of the buttstock on a smaller bag.


Good luck on your next range trip.
 

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I typically use something like your first sight drawing -- I assume that the little orange circle is the bullseye and you're using a "6 o'clock hold"! If that's the case, put a little touch of white nail polish on your sight blade to make it easier to see! At least that helps with my 70+ year old eyes! Hope that helps -- that second sight picture would probably have you shooting WAY high I think. Keep us posted. John
 
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With #1 I was shooting very low at 25 yds. with #2 I was way too high, put a scope on and solved the guessing problem.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
How many yards were you from the target? Might want to start at 25.
I knew I forgot something. These groups were shot at 100 yards.

Yes, the orange dot represents the bullseye, so 6 o'clock hold is what I was using. When I shoot handguns I usually use the center of mass hold (point of aim at the top edge of the front sight), but when I tried that with the 336 I couldn't see target (which could be helped by using a different target)
 

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Different lighting conditions can cause frustrations with open sights, but changing your target is the key. I use the Mountain Plains Victory targets out to 50 yards and I made a bigger version for 100 yards. A 6:00 hold at the bottom of the blue V seems natural for the human eye. I also on occasion use John Taffin's split color square type targets. Again, using a 6:00 hold on the bottom of the correct color for the lighting conditions of the day. I think florescent orange targets are the worst color imaginable for open sights at longer ranges.

These can be found at Sinclair.
 

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My bad, I thought the orange bullseye was a fiber optic type of bead... but your image depicts a front sight post, which is in the correct position of the rear sight notch.

Focus only on the sight. Let the rear sight be blury, and the target.
A bead is to be held directly on target, where as a post, the target is at the top.
Does your bead cover the whole target at 100 yds? A six o'clock hold is less precise with a bead. For most, a post sight is more presice at longer range.


Another thing is, those orange and white targets, especially on a sunny day are hard to see at 100 yds. Get some black targets... They will contrast better with the brass bead.
 

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Honestly, 4.5"at 100 yards with factory irons is not all that bad. Especially if your eyes are not the best any more. Even with perfect eyes, not many can shoot a 5 shot group under 3 inches and danged few can do under 2 inches. Maybe for three shots with some luck but 5 shots is a lot harder.

I think your drawings may leave a bit to be desired. The 2nd makes it look like the front post is taller in relation to the front hood but that is not possible. The pic on the left is a typical sight picture but there are many variations. I understand what you are implying though in pic 2. You want to use the rear sight more like a buckhorn sight and center things more up above the notch rather than down in it where your eyes don't work as well. No harm in giving it a try but you will have to raise your rear sight to compensate for the elevated front sight hold or you will be hitting high, possibly even off paper.

What I would try first would be a standard round, black target. I find that I see them better than the red ones. You could also try a flat topped, black front sight instead of the factory bead type. Of course, if you are thinking of a rear aperture sight like the Skinner, you may want to wait and talk to the people at Skinner. I believe many people need to swap out their front sight when changing to the Skinner rear due to a height difference on the rear. Then would be a good time to pick the shape, width and height of front sight that you think would work best.

What exactly are your plans for the rifle? Will you be using it mostly for hunting, plinking, target shooting or what? You could look into both front and rear aperture sights. A front aperture like the Lyman allows you to switch the front sight shape in seconds. You can go from a post to a bead easily. You can also change post width and height or size of the bead according to target type and what is easiest on your eyes. There are front apertures that work fantastic on round bullseye targets and they come in different sizes. It's worth a look. Look up the Lyman front sight then look up the Lee Shaver (I think) front sight inserts. They even have crosshair inserts that you stack along with apertures but you'll have to look them up. I'll never be able to describe it well enough for you to picture it.

In the end, if you don't get the accuracy you want you still have the option to put a scope on it. I suspect that a rear peep could shrink your bench groups to under three inches and a scope could get you under two provided the gun can do it. Most Marlins can but not always with any given ammo. If say the gun is capable of 1 inch groups at 100 yards good peeps will let you get closer to that than you might expect but again, your eyes will pay a part. The good thing is that a rear peep of the correct size will actually allow you to see both the front sight and the target more clearly. A good target shooter with good eyes shooting good peeps can very nearly equal a shooter using a scoped rifle.

Good luck to ya.
 

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I have a first year 336 ADL, that shot about eight inches high at 100 with the original bead snuggled down in the notch as in your left illustration. Ditto on a sharps. A very good shooter over in east Texas and I were discussing vintage ballistics. He said a lot of the old guys liked six o'clock holds on the Sharps. Example, on a deer up close, aim about belly line behind the front leg, at 200 or so, aim just a bit above, and on out there at 300 aim dead center behind the shoulder. I asked, what about my '48 .30-30?" Ballistics have not changed that much over the last 70 years. His thought was that the low sight was a carry over from the black powder days.

My more modern marlins! mostly from the late fifties through the mid seventies all seem to shoot to point of aim at moderate distances.
I really do not care for the six o'clock hold, with a handgun or rifle. Yet, that is the way I shoot shotguns! ???
 

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I hope your not discouraged, that as good or better than a lot of folks shoot with factory buckhorn sights (they wont admit it). The other posters have all given you some real good advice. I would only add 2 more pieces of encouragement to you 1) hurry up with that Skinner purchase and buy a taller front sight at the same time, so that you can replace the factory front and file down your new one to exactly match you and your new skinner peep sight. 2) I hope you are keeping all of your expended brass for future reloading endeavors, if not please start.
It sounds like you are either on the verge of catching the same illness the rest of us have or you are dangerously close. Either way, reloading your own is one way to get the best out your rifle and your ability, plus helping keep it affordable to shoot. :biggrin:
Good luck and keep practicing.
 
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you will have to raise your rear sight to compensate for the elevated front sight hold or you will be hitting high, possibly even off paper.
(QUOTE]

What?:hmmmm:
 

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all those who said 4"-5" with factory irons are spot on...it ain't bad....I have a new 2014 336Y and that is about what I shot with it just last thursday and I am not copmplaining. that little front bead will cover up nearly 10"-12" of a target at 100yds, so having eyes that can center the bead for a 4 or 5 MOA should be considered a gift. A peep with a good post, as mentioned by Mountain Hunter, will help you out to probably closer to 3MOA.
 

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you will have to raise your rear sight to compensate for the elevated front sight hold or you will be hitting high, possibly even off paper.
(QUOTE]

What?:hmmmm:
Oops! Screwed that one up. Was thinking the back of the gun would have to come higher to compensate for the tall front sight picture and got it backwards. The rear sight would have to go down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I hope your not discouraged, that as good or better than a lot of folks shoot with factory buckhorn sights (they wont admit it). The other posters have all given you some real good advice. I would only add 2 more pieces of encouragement to you 1) hurry up with that Skinner purchase and buy a taller front sight at the same time, so that you can replace the factory front and file down your new one to exactly match you and your new skinner peep sight. 2) I hope you are keeping all of your expended brass for future reloading endeavors, if not please start.
It sounds like you are either on the verge of catching the same illness the rest of us have or you are dangerously close. Either way, reloading your own is one way to get the best out your rifle and your ability, plus helping keep it affordable to shoot. :biggrin:
Good luck and keep practicing.
Oh don't worry I'm not upset with gun, I just wanted to document my experience and give an honest evaluation of my first shooting experience. I polished the front bead yesterday (the brass was pretty dull after all these years) and I'm going to try some better targets next time as well as the sight pic IMR suggested (front bead covering target rather than 6 o'clock hold). Overall the gun and I shot how I expected to with the factory sights; sure there is room for improvement but I'm not going to spend too much time with the buckhorns. But I wouldn't know how much of an improvement the Skinners are without giving the buckhorns a fair shake :biggrin:

Hell, I could have cherry picked the best three shots from those groups and yall would think I'm an expert marksman, but that ain't the truth. I'm already a reloader so I'm saving my brass - I like to start with factory ammo anytime I get a new gun for a few reasons. I'll get those Skinners pretty soon but I'm not in a huge hurry, in fact I'm thinking about scoping it first for load testing, then switching to the peeps.
 
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