|I traded into a Winchester “Legendary Frontiersman” commemorative. It’s a Model 94, 1979 manufacture, 24” barrel, cal. 38-55. I got a good price because it had been fired, there was no box, no papers, and a few dings and scuff marks. But so what? I bought it to SHOOT!
With 38-55, you can load cast-bullet gallery ammo, high-velocity jacketed hunting ammo, and everything in between. Long range accuracy is first rate. But like most cartridges that originated in the black powder era, it requires a lot of elevation adjustment to use the full potential. None of the sight combinations I tried were very satisfactory.
Most recent turn of the wheel was this sight, used with a Winchester plain post front sight. Here’s what I found:
1. The sight is easy to install, just needed a little stoning. The set screw holds the sight securely after drift windage adjustment. You'll need to put Loc-Tite on the threads, because otherwise the screw tends to shoot loose.
2. The sight ladder has plenty of length to accommodate various loads and ranges. Windage does not shift when using the long-range sight vs. the close-range.
3. The close-range sight vee is broad enough for quick target acquisition, but fine enough for accurate shooting. The long-range sight vee is finer and more precise, but my 61-year-old eyes didn’t have any trouble seeing and using it.
4. The index marks on the sight ladder don’t mean anything – I didn’t expect them to. They’re a useful reference for the ballistics tables I plan to work up. It would help if they were a little deeper and better defined.
5. One criticism is common to all flip-up sights that are hinged at the back. Under recoil, the sight tends to rotate forward which shifts the sight slide slightly down. It’s not major, just enough to be noticeable. It would be better to make the sight with the hinge at the front, with the close range sight mounted at the rear, i.e. on top of the ladder rather than the base (like a Martini-Henry sight.) That way, recoil will just force the raised sight against its stop.
Bottom line: a few minor issues, but highly recommended for anyone who shoots black powder era calibers.