.45-70 Lever Rifle
Ultimate Northwoods Guide Gun
Marlin touts the Model 1895SBL as the ultimate Northwoods guide gun, relying on their proven side-ejection lever action to rapid-fire up to seven massive .45-70 Govt. cartridges. Comes set up for fast shooting with fully adjustable peep-style XS Ghost Ring Sights and a mounting rail for long-eye relief scout scopes.
We decided to forego the scope and shoot our test gun with the peep sights. Recoil with 300-grain Remington Express hunting loads was substantial yet not overwhelming. The lever action was slick and sure, and the short-barrel package shouldered quickly with the shooter’s cheek on the stock and eye aligned behind the rear peep, focused on the front post sight.
“Concentrate on the front post sight, and eyes and hands naturally work together to keep the ‘ghosted’ rear ring centered around that post.”
Peep sights rely on the eye’s ability to see in two planes at once, as long as the near object is allowed to soften slightly out of focus. Concentrate on the front post sight, and eyes and hands naturally work together to keep the “ghosted” rear ring centered around that post. It’s arguably the most instinctive sighting system for fast shooting at close range, and we had no problem rapid-firing 50-yard shots into 6-inch circles. Shooting off of a rest tightened those 50-yard groups to about 2 inches and no doubt a scope would have tightened them a good bit more.
18-1/2 inch barrel comes with peep-style
XS Ghost Ring Sights and a mounting rail for long-eye relief scout scopes.
Stainless steel 18-1/2 inch barrel is cut with Ballard six-groove 1-in-20 right-hand rifling. Receiver-mounted crossbolt hammer-block safety. Solid top receiver, lever loop, trigger guard, and full-length tube magazine all stainless steel. Black/grey laminate hardwood pistol-grip fluted stock features diamond-cut checkering, nickel-plated swivel studs, and Pachmayer Decelerator recoil pad. Length 37 inches; weight 7 pounds. Found on a discount website for $870 plus shipping. Contact: Marlin Firearms, PO Box 248, North Haven, CT 06473-0905; (800) 544-8892; www.marlinfirearms.com
FOXPRO Prairie Blaster remote-controlled game caller combines the latest technology; vast library of digital sounds; built-in decoy; and extreme volume capability from the SP-55 speaker, large cone speaker, and two tweeters. It’s the most complete and versatile caller ever, built with the quality and reliability you have come to expect from FOXPRO. The 24-bit audio assures extreme audio performance; 4 GB of internal memory stores up to 500 sounds (comes loaded with 100). FOXCAST feature lets you pre-program up to 10 custom calling sequences, and FOXFADE allows you to control the volume independently of the left and right channels of a stereo audio file. Use the Auto Volume button to slowly ramp up the volume of a sound and then let it modulate up and down, leaving your hands free for manual volume changes or preparing to take the shot. Made in the USA. Contact: FOXPRO Inc., Dept. FFG, 14 Fox Hollow Dr., Lewistown, PA 17044; (717) 248-2507; www.gofoxpro.com
Outdoor Edge SwingBlaze rotating-blade knife is the most advanced big-game skinner ever with a drop-point skinner blade that rotates into the most efficient gutting knife for big game, a special blade that cuts just beneath the skin to open game like a zipper while eliminating the risk of cutting hair or internal organs. Hand-finished shaving sharp from AUS-8 stainless steel; subzero quenched for superior edge retention and performance. Rubberized Kraton blaze orange handle makes the knife easy to locate at all times while also ensuring a positive, non-slip grip even when wet. Comes with a quality nylon belt sheath and a lifetime guarantee. Contact: Outdoor Edge Cutlery Corp., Dept. FFG, 9500 W. 49th Ave., Suite A-100, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033; (800) 447-3343; www.outdooredge.com
Kenetrek Bobcat Zip Boots easily slip on and off thanks to the heavy-duty zipper. And the waterproof 4-way stretch panels sewn into the 6-ounce oil-tanned leather uppers keep the boot secured to your foot. Keeps your foot warm and dry thanks to a sewn-in 6 mm 3-part liner, quilted from synthetic lining for wicking and durability, 400 grams of Thinsulate Ultra insulation, and 3 mm of wool felt. Scent-free, hand-made rubber bottoms with steel shanks come with your choice of either K-Talon™ high-traction outsoles or traditional Tractor Tread outsoles. Contact: Kenetrek Boots, Dept. FFG, 237 Quail Run Rd. Unit A, Bozeman, MT 59718, (800) 232-6064; www.kenetrek.com
Swivel-Loc Hitch rotates beyond 180 degrees and moves in and out to take the work out of aligning vehicle with trailer while backing up. Simply swing the hitch ball under the trailer tongue and lower the tongue onto the hitch. As you pull forward, hitch automatically lines up trailer with vehicle. Available in two versions: Swivel-Loc Hitch and Vertically Adjustable Swivel-Loc Hitch. The Adjustable Drop Swivel-Loc Hitch boasts a 6-inch drop, 5-inch rise, and can be stowed concealed under the bumper. Class IV and V-5/SAEJ684 ratings; 6,000-pound towing capacity. Contact: Inventive Products, Dept. FFG, 3195 Industrial Way, Mountain Home, ID 83647; (888) 310-6037; www.inventiveproducts.net