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By Wayne McLerran
Last update: 11/28/14

If you’re like me and prefer to avoid having additional mounting holes drilled
and tapped in your rifle barrel, there’s an alternative solution when mounting a
short externally adjustable Malcolm-style scope on a Miroku manufactured
Browning or Winchester M1885 BPCR.  Steve Earle, the well-known supplier
of scope blocks for externally adjustable scopes, is now offering a scope block
rail that will attach using the existing factory holes.

Steve can make the rails to fit either Unertl standard-style or Posa-style mounts.  
Posa-style would be required if you plan to use the very nice extended range
mounts from D.Z. Arms.  If you purchase the Leatherwood Malcolm scope and
mounts from Buffalo Arms, the mounts should be from D.Z. Arms, but confirm
that with Buffalo Arms.  If you purchase the Leatherwood scope from another
supplier, the mounts may be the standard-type Leatherwood mounts which are
vastly inferior to the D.Z. Arms mounts.  

The standard-style rail should also work with slightly modified Fecker mounts.  
Steve noted that the inside dimensions of Fecker mounts, if unmodified, will be
a few thousands of an inch narrower.  Prior to proceeding further I’d like to
make it clear that the mount spacing is fixed at 7.2” (standard spacing for a
short Unertl or similar style scope and mounts).  Therefore the rail is only
intended for shorter scopes in the 18” to possibly 23” range.  Hence, it would
not be a viable solution for mounting a scope to use for 800 to 1000 yd
Creedmoor ranges.  The combination of the short scope length and the tilt
necessary for very long range shooting would result in the scope image being
partially or completely blocked by the muzzle end of the barrel.

The rail is now 8-7/8” long (see 11/28/14 update below) and weighs
approximately 5.8 oz with the four installation screws.  The section mounted
above the barrel is 3/8” thick.  It’s constructed from mild steel and has a hot
phosphoric black finish.  When the rail is mounted in place, the locking cut for the
rear mount locking thumb screw is located above the short front section of the
receiver.  The locking cut for the front mount is 7.2” forward.  At the date of this
writing the price is $80.00 for the rail and screws, which also includes shipping.

Note - As noted in the 11/28/14 update comments below, the rail is no longer 8-
1/2" long, but is now 8-7/8" long.  

If your Browning or Winchester Miroku made M1885 High Wall is not the
BPCR model, but has the two sets of factory holes, Steve can very likely
customize the rail to fit your rifle.  He can be reached at:

Steve Earle Products, Inc.
24 Palmer Rd., Plympton, MA 02367
Phone: (781) 585-3929
Email: steven.m.earle@comcast.net

11/28/14 Update
Since it had been several months since I last spoke with Steve, I contacted him
with the following questions:
1) Are the rails still available and if so what is the current price.  2) Can he make
the rail slightly longer to accommodate a mount spacing of 10.34" to handle a 23"
MVA scope and mounts including the “locking dimples” required for the MVA

Steve responded as follows:
1) “The rails are still available, and the price including screws and shipping is
$80.  I now have a slightly longer version to accommodate Posa mounts.  These
will also still take the regular mounts - the increase in length of 3/8" was needed
to allow for both the Posa and standard cuts to be on one side.  And the Posa cut
needs to be located slightly forward so that the rear one does not interfere with
one of the mount screws.

A slight change was to standardize both the hole spacing and the "step-down" to
the receiver.  There appear to be fairly consistent dimensions there.  The rear rail
mount holes are now slightly elongated to allow for +/-.010" of difference.  This
eliminates the need for the customer to try to measure the spacing on his
particular rifle, and then relay that information to me.”

2) “Making a yet longer rail should not be a problem.  I would anticipate roughly
a $10 increase for the additional required machining time, the two added
"dimples", and figuring it all out in the first place!”

Note from Wayne – a rail with the above noted dimensions should fit your rifle
assuming the rifle has not been modified since leaving the factory.  If the barrel
has been changed, the chamber set back or other modifications made, Steve will
need specific dimensions to ensure the rail will fit your rifle.

Wishing you great shooting