Smith Enterprise Long Range Ladder Sight Modification

My Marlin 1895 in 45-70 has proven to be an amazingly accurate rifle. I want to extend the reach of this rifle but I didn’t want to use a tang sight as this would be fragile in a hunting environment and certainly not the type of sight one would use for quick shooting in the deer woods.

A Ladder Sight was what I needed. I ordered the “Smith Enterprise M-95 Long Range Sight” from Brownells

When it arrived I was surprised to see it had no provision for elevation adjustment.


But I mounted it up anyways and just as I though, it was much to low and upon sighting in my bullets were hitting 6″ low at 50 yards. A modification was needed.

First order of business was to cut a thin piece of steel to be screwed to the bottom of the sight.

This piece of steel was drilled and taped for two 6-48 screws. One will hold the plate to the bottom of the sight and the other will be for elevation adjustment.

Once mounted to the sight the top view looked like this.

A small recess was ground out of the sight to access the elevation screw. The screw closest to the pivot (top screw in this photo) is the elevation adjustment.

The middle screw is holding the plate to the sight. And the bottom screw is used to secure the sight into the dovetail on the rifle.

It’s time to mount it to the rifle and try it out.

Here it is in the down position:

And in the UP position:

The sight itself is made of spring steel, and in both the up and down position, it needs to “rest” against the barrel or in this case my additional plate, otherwise the sight will just flop around wildly. Not good for accuracy!


Lots more pictures here:




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13 comments on “Smith Enterprise Long Range Ladder Sight Modification”

  1. montana_charlie Reply

    Usually, a shooter would wait until he had his best load figured out, then file down the front sight to bring the point of impact up to center.

    With your sight raised by the added plate, the lowest setting when the ladder is erected may be centered at a longer range than you wish.

    • Roy Bertalotto

      Take a look at my rifle and you’ll reralize that you can’t file down a fiber optic front sight. And I have the lowest fiber front sight available on planet Earth.

      I knew this when I decided to use a ramp front sight on this rifle. But it’s a custom rifle and it’s what I wanted.

      Now I have complete adjustability of the rear sight. No need to be locked into one load.

    • BT

      Good for the hunter and no getting poked in the eye from a tang sight.
      This is great now i need one.

  2. Richard Reply

    “When it arrived I was surprised to see it had no provision for elevation adjustment.”

    Jeez, isn’t that slide on the rearsight (“Smith Enterprise M-95 Long Range Sight”) used for elevation adjustment ?


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  5. john Reply

    I’m looking for a replacement slider leaf and the stop screw for the ladder. where can I get parts, and the price if avail

  6. Ron Olds Reply

    I have the marlin 1895 guide gun 45/70, I changed the front sight to a floresent sight because I could hardly see it when hunting in the timber , or low light days. . I use the H S M 430 grain bullet for elk , my rifle shoots approximatly 6″ low at 100 yards. I’m thinking your.long range ladder rear sight may correct the problem . I need to talk to someone.

    • Roy Bertalotto

      Hi Ron,

      I would suggest that your front sight is too tall. This is pushing the barrel down when the front sight is on target. The rear sight should not cause this issue with the cartridge and load you are shooting. I’d try a lower front sight. Sure wish I had an opportunity to hunt elk. I retired this past February and it is on my bucket list. Just need to find a place to go. Good Luck!

  7. Ron Olds Reply

    My front sight is. a fiber optic sight and is higherhan the original , the long range ladder sight I think should fix the problem . I couldn’t see the original sight . Do you think my idea is correct. ? 174.00$ Is a lot for a dissabeled person to pay if he is wrong . I appreciate your wisdom thank you

  8. RoyB Reply

    Hi Ron, it does seem that a longer ladder sight might fix your problem. Or you could make a riser block that slides into the rear site dovetail and you original sight would slide into the riser. I’ve checked stuff like this by using electrical tape to hold things in place to see how high I needed to go before I started fabricating something.

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