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By Wayne McLerran
Last update: 11/10/17

If you’re like me and prefer to avoid having additional mounting holes
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 $75.00 for the rail and screws.
Note - As noted in the 11/10/17 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

11/10/17 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 mounts?

Steve responded as follows:
1) “The rails are still available, and the price including screws is $75.  
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!”

3) Here’s the link to the rail:

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