RPP on Point
Ranger Point Precision is the gift that keeps on giving for us levergun shooters. I doubt a day goes by that they are not examining Marlins, Winchesters, and Henry rifles; asking themselves “What else can we improve?”. I’ve already modified my Marlin 1894 quite a bit with their parts, and have been extremely satisfied with the build quality and resultantly improved function. Recently, they have released two new products: The first is a cloverleaf peep sight for both Henrys and Marlins. The other new product is a “Flyweight” loading gate spring for Marlins. They were gracious enough to send both out to me to review, so let’s take a look at them.
Looking through the clover
Ranger Point Precision’s new cloverleaf peep sight fits the following models:
- Marlin: All 1894’s, 30-30, 35 Remington, 308, 338, 444, 45-70, and 1895M
- Henry: All Big Boy Steel models, 30-30, .45-70
The sight I received for testing fits the Henry .45-70. Options abound on these sights; one can have the bases in brass bar stock or black or clear 7075 aluminum. The cloverleaf spring can come with or without fiber optic dots on the sides, or one can even have a round aperture if the cloverleaf doesn’t suit you. Mine was a brass bar stock model with orange fiber optic dots on the sight. Upon first glance, the sight was well made, with no burrs, dings, or poor machining marks. The aperture itself is protected on the sides by some substantial sight base wings. It is a fully adjustable sight for windage and elevation. Set screws on the top and right-hand side facilitate these adjustments to the sight spring within the base.
Installation was very easy. I selected how far forward on my receiver I wanted to mount the sight (The Henry H010 has two positions to mount this type of sight), removed the screws on the top of the receiver, placed the sight on, and attached it with RPP’s provided screws. After drifting out the factory buckhorn rear sight, I was done. The total time? Less than 5 minutes. Author’s note: Rear sight dovetail fillers are available from RPP if one doesn’t want an open dovetail in one’s barrel.
Sighting in and range performance
Equipped with the rifle, a good supply of Black Hills .45-70 cowboy ammunition, and a hex key, I was ready to get sighted back in. Corrections were very smooth to make, and I was soon on target. The Cloverleaf Peep allows for a precise aiming point with four reference points for sight alignment, six if one has the fiber optic dots as well. The brass front sight was easy to see, and I liked how the four cloverleaf points created a very precise sight picture that was quick to align. My groups tightened up compared to when I was shooting with the open buckhorn sight. I also successfully acquired and hit targets out to 300 yards using this sight.
The cowboy loads were very light, so the sight and set screws did not move after being zeroed. If I was shooting heavier loads or planning on competing or hunting with this rifle, I would apply some Loctite or clear nail polish to the threads of the set screws. The windage adjustment can be tracked via hash marks on the rear of the sight base. My only minor quibble about the sight was that adjustments for elevation were hard to keep track of. Perhaps in the future, RPP can provision for some sort of marking system between the elevation adjustment screw and the sight base.
Overall, I was rather pleased with the performance and enhanced utility of my rifle with the RPP Cloverleaf sight. It is one of the better aftermarket iron sights out there for Henrys or Marlins. I like to bring a levergun with irons as a backup option on my hunts, just in case I have a catastrophic breakage with my primary hunting arm. The Henry H010 with RPP Cloverleaf sight will likely fill that role this year.
At The Gates
Moving on, Ranger Point Precision has been hard at work making sure you don’t have to work as hard…To load your rifle, that is! Some Marlins (depending on year of manufacture) have extremely stiff loading gates. Some are also very roughly finished and can cause loading one’s tube magazine to be a real pain in the…thumb. RPP’s Flyweight Loading Gate Springs change that. Per RPP:
At Ranger Point, we have done many, many action jobs on Marlin leverguns. One of the first things customers ask us to address is the overly stiff, and often sharp edged, factory loading gate spring. Everyone knows the factory loading gate can make loading ammo into the rifle a difficult and unpleasant task.
The RPP Flyweight Loading Gate greatly reduces the effort required to stoke your Marlin. It’s a masterfully tuned, competition grade part right out of the gate.
Starting with a massive reduction in spring weight, the RPP gate requires only about 1.5 lbs. of force to open fully, while the factory loading gate can require in excess of 5 lbs.
Next, we redesigned the loading gate to offer substantially more clearance for cartridges, further reducing load effort. This is a significant benefit when loading fat, straight wall ammo like the Marlin 444. In fact, during testing we discovered that we could load a .444 dummy through the gate of a typical Marlin 336 .30-30, without benefit of the Model 444’s magazine tube clearance bulge. That’s first class leg room!
Finally, we paid very careful attention to the inside “feed lip” area of the gate, optimizing geometry to ease gate opening against an on-deck round, and offer smooth feeding, with perfect case head control. With every gate precisely CNC machined from solid bar stock and hand polished, consistent results are assured.
Material is 7057-T6 aluminum, the strongest grade available. Engineered for highly stressed air frames, 7057 has extraordinary fatigue strength for thousands of flex cycles without failure. When anodized, it has a surface hardness exceeding hardened steel, for excellent wear properties.
RPP Flyweight Loading Gate Features:
* Spring weight reduced by up to 70%
* No tuning required, saving you time and hassle
* Greatly increased cartridge clearance
* No knife sharp edges
* Easy loading and smooth, reliable feeding
* Precisely machined from 7075 billet and hard anodized for extreme durability
* Available in black, brass or brushed natural finish to match stainless rifles
* 10-15 minute installation time
That last bit is the only tricky part about the loading gate spring: To remove the old spring and install the new one only takes one screw. Unfortunately, the insertion of the part can only be accomplished after full disassembly of the receiver. The exception is a complicated technique using a magnet, or if one has a takedown model and accesses the area from the front of the receiver. If the process seems too daunting, don’t hesitate to take your rifle to a competent gunsmith to get this part installed. After receiving these springs for both the Marlin 1894 and 1895, I installed them and was ready to head to the range.
Faster to load, faster to shoot
Range performance with both rifles was greatly enhanced when using these springs. I loaded .44 specials and magnums in the 1894, and .45-70 and .457 magnum rounds in the 1895. I used a great mixture of case materials and bullet profiles. All rounds fed far easier and faster than before. There were no malfunctions or obvious issues with either lighter spring. The new springs made for smoother, faster and easier loading.
Usually, extended range sessions with my leveractions can be hell on my thumb. Not so with the new flyweight springs. RPP has a real winner on their hands with this product.
off into the sunset
Ranger Point Precision’s new Cloverleaf sights and Flyweight loading gates are excellent and affordable enhancements to one’s rifle. Like all RPP parts, I found them to be well made and well thought out. Not only do they provide a visual enhancement to one’s rifles, but they also offer enhanced functionality in terms of making leverguns easier to aim and load. If one chooses either, one won’t be disappointed in quality parts from RPP.