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.