Author Topic: Opinions please...  (Read 16922 times)

Harnic

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Opinions please...
« on: September 21, 2008, 07:11:02 PM »
Just looking for some input from my knowledgeable & VERY opinionated peers.   ;)  I have a rear sight on my fullstock flint Hawken that helps my fading eyesight.  It's still no where near what it was before I turned 45, but it at least give me the illusion that I might be able to compete with "normal" eyes.  It's my interpretation of a closed buckhorn sight which Don Stith & a couple other experts say did exist.  Here's a pic of mine:




I don't shoot competitively often & none of the shoots I have participated in have barred me from using it (they've all seen me shoot!) but this year at Heffley I was showing my rifle to my neighbour in the campground & he said "Oh, that's an illegal sight!  You can't use that here!".  I don't really care what a single individual believes, but what does this collective think?  I don't feel it gives me an advantage over anyone, it's not a receiver sight which would be a big help, & it's a primitive fixed sight.  What do you guys think?  Don't take the fact that I am a terrible shot into account, just look at the sight & the fact that closed buckhorns were used on Hawken rifles.  Should any shoot bar a shooter for such a sight?
« Last Edit: September 22, 2008, 06:36:19 PM by Harnic »

Leatherbelly

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Re: Opinions please...
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2008, 07:52:20 PM »
  Harry,
    I don't think there should be any problems with that sight in competition,but I think they should ban that toadstool hat of yours!

William Worth

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Re: Opinions please...
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2008, 07:57:54 PM »
I be thinken', that if a match didn't like your sights, if they would let you shoot but just not be eligible for prizes.

I don't much give a hoot about prizes anywho.

Harnic

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Re: Opinions please...
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2008, 09:37:46 PM »
You're just jealous of my "Jed Clampet" hat Roy, admit it! ;)

That's how I feel too William, thanks!  I don't care about prizes, I enjoy the folks & the events.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2008, 04:42:08 AM by Harnic »

Offline jerrywh

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Re: Opinions please...
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2008, 09:57:56 PM »
Just take a jewelers saw and make a .010 slit in the top. Shazammm open sight.
Nobody is always correct, Not even me.

Harnic

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Re: Opinions please...
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2008, 10:10:01 PM »
That has been suggested on several occasions Jerry, my concern is the ring is quite thin & would bend easily if split.  I don't get challenged often for it & like William am quite content to be excluded from prizes or even sit the shoot out & just take pictures.  It's all a big social event for me, the actual shooting is secondary.  I'm just looking for some consensus here... wondering what the majority thinks.

Offline jerrywh

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Re: Opinions please...
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2008, 10:32:22 PM »
It certainly wouldn't bothe me in a match. I don't see anything wrong with it.  We even allow tang peep sights in our matches. Being 20 years old is more unfair than that sight.
Nobody is always correct, Not even me.

Harnic

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Re: Opinions please...
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2008, 11:22:14 PM »
Good point Jerry!  Maybe the rules should require anyone under 40 to wear shooting glasses with Vaseline smeared on the lenses so they see what we do! ;)
« Last Edit: September 22, 2008, 04:43:16 AM by Harnic »

Daryl

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Re: Opinions please...
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2008, 12:47:55 AM »
Good one, Harry. HA!

Offline Don Steele

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Re: Opinions please...
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2008, 01:50:46 AM »
Don't cut nothin'.
If you wanta shoot that rear sight go ahead on and do it...ENJOY. 
Look at the world with a smilin' eye and laugh at the devil as his train rolls by...(Alison Krauss)

don getz

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Re: Opinions please...
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2008, 05:35:39 AM »
Harnic.....I don't really care what you use to shoot with, but, if you enter a match where the rules call for "open" sights,
your's is not legal.    You have turned it into a Peep sight.   I will agree, it's good, and I can see much better with one
like this.  Works the same way as a lot of the smoothbore matches, where only a front sight is allowed....if you have a
rear sight on it, they won't allow you to compete.............Don

Harnic

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Re: Opinions please...
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2008, 06:06:27 AM »
Hi Don,

I agree with you, if the rules say "open" sights, mine is not.  Most in these parts say primitive iron sights or are very flexible on sights so for the most part I won't be challenged & if I am, I'm happy to watch & take pictures.  I have tried many different rear sights & mine is the only one I can achieve anything resembling accuracy with.  For me shooting has to be fun, too many ridged rules & I'm not playing! ;)

arcticap

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Re: Opinions please...
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2008, 10:04:23 AM »
I think that the forward location of the sight makes it slightly more similar to an open sight than a peep sight. Although removing a thin slice from the sight would make it technically compliant, I don't think that physically altering it is really necessary.
Yes the rules are the rules. However rules are made to be changed if not broken. At least that can simply be done by consensus in many cases.
If the peep was further to the rear than I'd probably say no, that you can't compete because it's location is too similar to that of a peep sight than to an open site.
To me, the forward location of the closed sight doesn't seem to offer a significant advantage but rather becomes more of a technicality.
Even in baseball the strike zone is a gray area, and some umpires interpret it as being different than others. Each of us interprets rules based on our own unique individual perspective.  ;D
« Last Edit: September 22, 2008, 10:20:39 AM by arcticap »

northmn

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Re: Opinions please...
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2008, 01:53:25 PM »
As one who used to be a rangemaster at a few shoots, I would say that if brought to my attention I would likely let you shoot but bar the prizes.  I used to listen to the b----hing of other competitors about occasional things like that and the others that would notice things like that, and try to eliminate their competition in that manner, were the ones that made range masters look anal.  The barring of peep sights is interesting to me because it is deemed not authentic more than as a way of making the matches fair.  We would permit rifles that were "not authentic" IE CVA's and TC Hawkens but not permit an older person to use that type of sight.  Yours is a modification to an authentic sight, not a Williams or Marbles target sight.  Smoothbores were commonly modified to have rear sights.  Funny how complicated we like to make things.

DP

Candle Snuffer

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Re: Opinions please...
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2008, 03:56:25 PM »
You would be more then welcome to use this set up at our White River Brigade monthly matches.  Fixed rear peep sights date back to the 1680's.

Though some matches held would look at what was common from a certain time period for the sights being used, I veiw this rear sight of yours Harry, as a productive personalization of a man's firearm in which he had altered to fit his needs of failing eyesight.  This could be considered a "common personalization" much in the same manner many muzzle loading firearms were decorated with tacs and inlays.

I'd much rather see a man take to the line with your setup then to see someone take to the line with one of those "block" type adjustable rear sights such as the TC's have on them, and then wax the screws so they can not/or should not  be adjusted during a match.

I personally see nothing wrong with it.  It's still period metals being used.

 

don getz

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Re: Opinions please...
« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2008, 04:29:27 PM »
Fella's,  we're not talking authenticity.   If you think it doesn't help old eyes to aim, try it sometime......there is a big difference between this peep and an open sight when it come to aiming, even tho it is way down the barrel.  I think they
have just approved the use of peep sights on flintlocks for Pennsylvania deer hunters.  Prior to this ruling, you had to use
strictly open sights.  During this period of open sights, I did install some rear sights on guns for local guys.  I put one of
those Lyman flip sights on their gun.  It has an insert in the sight that can be adjusted up or down by loosening a screw
and moving it.  I made some new inserts, but they were "L"  shaped.  When the sight was in the upright position, it had
the normal groove of an open sight, but when you pushed the sight forward, or laid it down, the rear leg of the insert
came up, and had a hole in it, or a "peep"....these guys loved them.    Straight out of the old geezers catalog......Don

Offline Tom Cooper

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Re: Opinions please...
« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2008, 04:55:10 PM »
We just got back from the Yellowjacket Rondy here in Oregon, one of the few that allow peep sights.

I will admit that there is a distinct advantage with the way I have used a peep in the past, I have a 38-55 that I added a tang peep to, used in combination with the factory sights I can hit a 12" diameter rock with monotonous regularity at 200 yds with handloads, even quite a few offhand.

 That being said...
I must admit that I only seen one individual shooting with a peep on his rifle at Yellowjacket and he didn't win the class and he didn't win the long gong competition, this guy was 20 or so years older than myself and I seen no problem with competing against him and his peep.

Harry come out West an join the "Steens Mountain Men", problem solved.
Tom

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Evil Monkey

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Re: Opinions please...
« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2008, 05:06:43 PM »
I can appreciate the failing eyesight issue, but that's why there is a seniors class so all the blind guys compete together ;D.  

Daryl

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Re: Opinions please...
« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2008, 05:10:43 PM »
No one, (that I am aware of) bit at Harry for his sight, at Hefley, and indeed, it gave him little if any advantage.  If you saw the flood of modern 1/2 stocks there, along with their modern-type adjustable sights you'd see why.  I know there are places or rules that state OPEN sights only, and in that case, a small slot would circumvent the rifles.  A raised rear portion of the breech's tang, with a hole through it as a rear sight was a common sight long before the barelycorn front sight became popular - I've seen original matchlocks with this arrangement - probably pre16th century.
 I think where the griping comes from, is if someyoung sharpshooter without morals showed up with a similar peep so he chould win ALL the prises - there there would be reason for clamping down.  I don't think most groups would gripe at some older chap who can't see, using one.  Now, if he showed up with a modern version of a peep sight, things change.  I used to shoot modern long range events against some old !@#$% back in the 70's and 80's who gave up no points to a youngster with good eyes, competing with the same modern equipment.  Peep sigths are an advantage, just not for everyone.

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Opinions please...
« Reply #19 on: September 22, 2008, 05:36:47 PM »
I put an aperture on my 629 S&W and found it useless. On my MLs I either put on a tang peep (which REALLY works) or use a small notch in the rear sight. Testing shows the small notch works better than a big one.
But everyone has different requirements and what works of one is a poor choice for another.
So experiment.
For matches I use barrel sights.
Sight below is one I made for my D. King "Hawken". It will give elevation to about 250-300 yards and when set to the proper elevation makes the barrel sights nice and sharp.
Dan
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Harnic

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Re: Opinions please...
« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2008, 07:10:08 PM »
This is great!  I knew I could count on you guys for some good, honest opinions!

arcticap, that's been my thinking too.  Because it's way down the barrel (fully a foot ahead of the pan) it's positioned like a traditional rear sight.  Any open sight I've tried has just looked like a very blurred stump out there with no glasses on.  If I use my computer glasses the sights are crystal clear, but the targets are non-existant.  At least with my closed buckhorn I can tel when I'm looking through center because the blurr is brighter.  The thin silver blade on the front sight becomes a slightly blurred stump, but from a rest I can hit a beer can every shot at 100 yards, so it's adequate.

DP, also good points.  So many lower priced replica rifles are accepted with obviously adjustable sights yet my fullstock flint Hawken which is very authentic is questioned simply because I added a small ring to the semi-buckhorn rear sight.  I suspect you are correct in that the whiners are the cheaters, & will stop at nothing to "thin the pack".

Thanks Joe, my thoughts exactly!  It's much more in keeping with our sport to allow a shooter some latitude in altering his sights to keep him in the game rather than discourage him & potentially have him quit.  TC, CVA & a few other "starter" rifles are way more of a compromise than my rear sight to the spirit of our hobby.

Don, while I very much appreciate your support in this... GEEZER?!!!  Not sure I'm ready for that just yet! ;)

Tom, thanks for the invite to shoot down south with you guys, who knows, my wife is from Oregon, maybe we'll head down to Medford where she still has family for a visit & look you up.

Cody, you just smart-mouth your seniors when it's safe... over the net!  I seriously doubt you get that lippy around your Dad!  I'm sure he shoots the pants off you regularly!  ;)

Daryl, thanks for being so discrete!  What he really meant to say was "Harry shot like $#*& & none of the other shooters felt in the least threatened by his sight"!

Dan, I use a Vernier tang sight on my 45 Sharps I built on a Ruger #1 action a dozen years ago & the difference between that tang sight & this closed buckhorn is like night & day.  While I have shot against scoped hunting rifles competitively using the Sharps/Ruger, I can barely hold my own with the Hawken, the sights are just not clear enough.  I just enjoy the companionship of other charcoal burners & the simple complexities of keeping a flintlock working well!  It's all about fun for me, not competition.  If it stopped being fun I'd stop doing it, simple as that.  ;)

Thanks for all the good comments guys, we're all on the same page it would seem.  :D
« Last Edit: September 22, 2008, 11:32:05 PM by Harnic »

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Opinions please...
« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2008, 11:21:03 PM »
This is great!  I knew I could count on you guys for some good, honest opinions!


Dan, I use a Vernier tang sight on my 45 Sharps I built on a Ruger #1 action a dozen years ago & the difference between that tang sight & this closed buckhorn is like night & day.  I have shot with scoped hunting rifles competitively using the Sharps/Ruger, I can barely hold my own with the Hawken, the sights are just not clear enough.  I just enjoy the companionship of other charcoal burners & the simple complexities of keeping a flintlock working well!  It's all about fun for me, not competition.  If it stopped being fun I'd stop doing it, simple as that.  ;)

Thanks for all the good comments guys, we're all on the same page it would seem.  :D

I built the tang sight after seeing a small base held by the rear tang screw of an original Hawken percussion rifle.
Its in some coffee table gun book I have out in the shop.

Dan
He who dares not offend cannot be honest. Thomas Paine

Harnic

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Re: Opinions please...
« Reply #22 on: September 22, 2008, 11:32:43 PM »
I was pretty sure I'd seen a picture or 2 of original Hawkens with tang sights as well Dan, but was never sure at what point in the rifle's life they were added.  Muzzle loaders were used in some areas well into the 20th century as a food provider & I always assumed the vernier tang sights were probably for a Rem rolling block or early Sharps rifle, adapted to a Hawken.    Your's looks well made & very functional.

Harnic

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Re: Opinions please...
« Reply #23 on: September 25, 2008, 05:44:53 PM »
Well, my rear sight may soon be on a majority of muzzle-loading rifles in my area!  I just installed 2 more on a couple friends rifles who had tried mine & liked it.  If I get enough folks switched over, there's no way any "purists" can give me any grief about using a closed buckhorn sight!  ;)

Offline Robby

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Re: Opinions please...
« Reply #24 on: September 25, 2008, 08:15:22 PM »
Dan, I'm in the same boat as Harnic and have been thinking about a tang peep for some time. When you look through the peep, are you seeing the rear and front sights, or is the rear sight removed? Is your tang sight fastened to the barrel tang or directly to the wood stock? If it is on the wood, does humidity have any impact on sighting? I have zero experience with tang sights, thanks in advance.
        Robby
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