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11/24/2017 9:46 PM
 

Greetings from New England,

I have been reading this forum for several years.  In reading it I have generally been impressed by the rifle builds and the pursuit of one rifle for many tasks.  Like many others, I find myself torn between owning as many firearms as possible and the pursuit of a proven, trusted few with which to live and work.  Without wasting much more bandwith, here are my questions.  They are primarily for the Hill brothers.

Some time ago pictures and a short write up was posted concerning your Remington 700 based HPG rifle build.  The rifle, from what I could tell, was a home run.  If a reputable gunsmith was located, it would seem possible that a limited number of rifles would still sell even at the low $2000 range previously estimated.  It was a very attractive rifle with desirablle qualities.  It has not been easy to forget.  Have either of you reconsidered bringing it to production?

My next question pertains to the Marlin 336 pictured on your website with the lever light mount.  I have just purchased one and will be installing it on my own 336.  I am just wondering what all went into that build.  I would like to hear your thoughts on the suppressed lever gun.  Also, I would like to hear your thoughts on the iron sight setup on that particular rifle.  It appears to be a XS rear sight with a dovetailed XS front sight in a factory base.  Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks for the well made gear and the informative forum.

Steve M.

 

 
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11/26/2017 1:06 PM
 
We have indeed thought about bringing the HPG Practical Rifle to the market, and that was actually the original idea. The one Evan has was a proof of concept, and also a test bed for a couple of things. There are two issues with bringing it to the market. The first is finding a gunsmith to work with. Small shops usually have all the work they can handle, and meeting deadlines can be a challenge. There are a few larger shops we could talk to, but the second issue rears its ugly head. The rail on the rifle is a proprietary design. After getting the rifle built and using it for awhile, we had the rail rendered in CAD by our metal guy, and made some design changes. Based on that the price of manufacturing would be cost prohibitive. I have some ideas about ways to simplify the design that may cut costs, but we have decided to back burner the project and spend our limited time on other things. Without that feature the rifle is just a nice collection of parts that anyone can by and put together or have a smith put together for them. The rail setup is the secret sauce so to speak. Until we get that ironed out, we don't really see a point in moving forward, especially with some of the options on the market right now.

The 336 follows what for us is a tried and true setup for our lever guns. To start with we prefer 16" rifles for handling and balance reasons. From there the decision needs to be made regarding to put optics on or not. If you aren't going to go optics we like either a skinner rear peep with an XS front (for Winchesters that aren't drilled and tapped), or the XS sight system. We like the XS front with the white strip. We have round it to be very fast and also capable of good accuracy. I was a long time bead hold out, but the white stripe just works better in different lights. We have found the XS sight to be very rugged as well. For optics rails we prefer the XS Scout rail. It is a lot lighter than the full rail they now offer, and lighter. It also has the benefit that you can pull the rail off or run it without a rail and add the rail later without messing with your irons. Since we are running forward mounted scopes or RDSs so we can grasp around the action for hand carry and also temperature reasons there is no issue with only running the Scout style.

I wish I could tell you all about how it preform suppressed. Unfortunately, and it is a very long story, we have been waiting almost 4 years for our cans. That means my 336 has been threaded for a long time, but I have never had the opportunity to shoot it suppressed. Mine was one of the remlins so it needed a bit of massaging and I had it threaded at the same time since a lever gun is one of my favorite field rifles, and at some point I will have a 30 cal can I figured why not?

I hope all that helps.

Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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11/29/2017 11:38 AM
 

Thank you for the response.  Looking over the HPG rifle, I can't agree more.The rail really does seem to be the element that sets the rifle apart.  I wish you luck in its further development.

Thank you for the information on the Marlin 336.  It is interesting to read about your initial preference for the standard bead front sight over the thicker, white stripe front sight.  I too, have long preferred the bead over the XS style white stripe.  That being said, your experience requires me to revisit this front sight issue. 

Previously, I tried XS sights on a Ruger 10/22.  They were accurate enough for larger bullseye targets (>4"?), but moving down in target size, the sights were not up to par.  The sights were certainly quick to acquire, but the massive front sight didn't seem to offer the precision I was looking for.  Looking back at it, trying the XS style front sight out on a centerfire rifle (bigger targets) may be the way to go, rather than judging them based off my 10/22 experience (smaller targets).   

As a side note, Skinner is now selling their own version of the thick, white stripe front sight.  I think it is listed under the "front sight" link on their website.

Thanks again, Steve M.

 
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11/30/2017 7:05 AM
 
I am not going to try and tell you the XS sights are precision sights because they aren't. They are field sights and as such thicker and more robust. They aren't designed for shooting tiny groups, and if that is your goal then I woudn't recommend them. That being said, back when my eyes were fresher I could consistently group 3 shots into between 1-2" at 100yds off the bench with my 45/70. I never broke 1", but came dang close a time or two. One trick for better precision is to use the white stripe and not the whole blade as the aiming point. Of course your eyes have to be able to do it.

Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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11/30/2017 9:45 AM
 
I undertsand. Thanks for the additional information.

Steve M.
 
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11/30/2017 10:22 AM
 

I just discovered that XS sights sells a  stem that is threaded for Williams aperatures. I intend to experiment with that and I'm curious if anybody else has tried it.

 
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