Gear Review: XS Lever Scout Mount

As a boy, I daydreamed about how cool the world would be if an asteroid hadn’t taken out the dinosaurs. I really wanted my very own Triceratops to ride around on. Now that I have graduated up to big boy toys, that same urge to bring together things that never co-existed in nature can be expressed. Like a Marlin lever gun with a red dot sight. Or a huge hunting optic. Or a hunting optic co-witnessed with iron ghost ring sights. Enter the XS Scout Scope Mount for Marlin 1894 Rifles . . .

I e-drooled over this anodized aluminum addendum for quite a while. When time and space (and money) finally aligned, I picked up this lovely piece at my local Cabela’s for $49.99.

Installation was simple. Use the supplied plastic punch and your own heavy thing (or if you wanna get fancy, a hammer), you drift the factory rear sight from its dovetail. Install the XS dovetailed stud/setscrew assembly in its place.

As indicated in the directions, it may be necessary to lightly sand the base of the stud until it can be pressed into the groove with your fingers. This took a few minutes but was no big deal. Center-up the XS Lever Scout mount in the channel, then Loctite and tighten the set screw.

Next, lower the Scout Rail on to the stud and check the fit and alignment of the mount. Next check to see that it lines up with the two factory -drilled holes at the front of the receiver where one would attach a normal scope base. In my case, the rifle and the mount disagreed by about a 16th of an inch. The instructions did mention that minor fitting may be required on some rifles. Eff Me.

So where does the home gunsmith turn when he needs to perform some precision machining? The trusty Dremel of course. (Oh the horror!!) After about half an hour of very conservative grinding, I was able to cleanly drop the rail on to the rifle and everything was copacetic.

Remove the factory plugs in the receiver with a screw driver (unless you can find a butter knife, then use that). Place the mount and lightly run down the two screws supplied by XS so the rail will stay aligned while you snug up the larger slotted nut that firmly fixes the front end. When you are satisfied that the bits are all sitting where they should be, tighten everything up. Torque Value: Tight but not too tight. (P.S. Blue Loctite those screws and nut.)

Et voil! Does it work? Yes it works. Has it transformed my Marlin into something altogether more altogether? Yes it has. If you have a lever action Marlin and your eyes aren’t what they used to be, or you just want a better chance to hit what you’re aiming at, or tacticool is calling your name, buy it, use it, love it. That is all.

comments

  1. avatar Chris Dumm says:

    The XS Lever Rail, with the optional ghost ring sights, *completely* transforms the handling and sighting of any Marlin lever gun. +1 to your experience with “some fitting rrquired”; mine only took about half an hour of sanding on the dovetail nut.

  2. avatar Ryan Finn says:

    Absolutely love my XS scout mount on my Marlin 336. I replaced the red dot sight I had on it in my original Cowboy Assault Rifle review with a scout scope and have never looked back. It makes a world of difference in how quickly I can acquire a sight picture. Can’t wait to put some Hornady Leverevlolution rounds in it this fall and see how it the setup does against some Montana Mulies.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      Contact Hornady

  3. avatar Buuurr says:

    Every time I see those rails I get to thinking I need to buy my 6.5 Grendel. I plan to do some hunting in Oregon when I get there and this seems to be the best gun overal for my needs. Any tips/advice?

  4. avatar Joe Grine says:

    I shot Chris Dumm’s railed-out, ghost-ring sight equiped, post-Wild West Guns worked-over Marlin this weekend and the fun factor / speed / accuracy were all very high. A cowboy assault rifle, if you will. However, the cost of getting that poor gun to function at such a high level is sobering to think about.

    1. avatar Bob H says:

      Can you imagine how much easier it would have been to start with one of these? http://www.bighornarmory.com/products/rifle.php
      BTW didn’t RF say he might be getting one of the Big Horn Armory’s rifles for testing?

      (What? I haven’t posted a link to this drool inducing rifle for over a month! I do think they need Volk to redo their gun pics though.)

      1. avatar Joe Grine says:

        Sweet! Here is some lever action gun porn for ya: Check out page 11 of 15 in this catalog: http://kilimanjarorifles.com/assets/pdf/kilimanjaro-rifles-brochure.pdf

  5. avatar Chris Dumm says:

    Joe Grine is right: a handy lever-action with high-visibility sights, a scout scope or a red dot scores very high on the Shit Eating Grin Index of gun fun.

    I’ll be posting some videos very soon, showing the amazing speed that an avid but average shooter can achieve with a lever gun when it’s set up properly. In its rate of aimed shots on target (excluding spray and pray ‘suppressive fire’) a lever gun is only slightly slower than a semi-auto. You’ll believe it when you see it.

    1. avatar Bob H says:

      Didn’t “The Rifleman” do amazing things with a lever action? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rifleman

      (What do you mean that wasn’t real?)

  6. avatar JIM MEERPOHL says:

    A few years ago I found a NRA commemorative model 94 in a pawn Shop for $300. It is a model 64 in design, and it had been a safe queen that had some minor nicks and bruises. I found the XS scout mount at Cabela’s on sale for $40 and i took the project on. I used some JB weld in the dovetail since it was a loose fit, and transformed this little iron inot my favorite woods rifle. 24 inch barrel, but swings up and points like a 20″. I put a Leupold 2.5 scout scope on the rifle (with Leupold’s QRW rings for easy on and off with little or no upsaet to the zero). Everyone marvels over the feeling of balance and how light the rifle is to carry. I installed Williams FP in the rear and took out the aperture to make it a ghost ring to mate up with the Williams fire sight on the ramp. Voila, low light, sans scope and even lighter yet. This is the rifle set up I use in my Youth Hunter safety classes for recoil shy teenagers who have little or no arm strength to steady aim a 8.5 lb rifle and scope combo. The other outfit I have that compares to this for youth hunters is my all weather bolt action Ruger in 357 with a Leupold compact 4x scope, but it cost a lot more to put together.

  7. avatar JIM MEERPOHL says:

    A few years ago I found a NRA commemorative model 94 in a pawn Shop for $300. It is a model 64 in design, and it had been a safe queen that had some minor nicks and bruises. I found the XS scout mount at Cabela’s on sale for $40 and i took the project on. I used some JB weld in the dovetail since it was a loose fit, and transformed this little iron inot my favorite woods rifle. 24 inch barrel, but swings up and points like a 20″. I put a Leupold 2.5 scout scope on the rifle (with Leupold’s QRW rings for easy on and off with little or no upset to the zero). Everyone marvels over the feeling of balance and how light the rifle is to carry. I installed Williams FP in the rear and took out the aperture to make it a ghost ring to mate up with the Williams fire sight on the ramp. Voila, low light, sans scope and even lighter yet. This is the rifle set up I use in my Youth Hunter safety classes for recoil shy teenagers who have little or no arm strength to steady aim a 8.5 lb rifle and scope combo. The other outfit I have that compares to this for youth hunters is my all weather bolt action Ruger in 357 with a Leupold compact 4x scope, but it cost a lot more to put together.

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