Author Topic: what kind of rear sight notch is best?  (Read 27971 times)

Offline sonny

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what kind of rear sight notch is best?
« on: November 10, 2008, 12:07:43 AM »
hello,I am in the process of sighting a new rifle an wondered what notch in the rear sight would be best all around.I have seen a great many original longrifles with a "v",notch in rear an a silver barley corn on front.I have always shot competetion with a square notch in the rear sight.I started looking at original guns an they seem to have no square rear notches in any of them.can it be possable that a v notch rear sight is best for speed an accuracy,or the squared off rear notch like a pistol has, might be best an never used by the old timers ,as too hard to make a perfect square notch.I never profess to knowing it all about accuracy but if 99 out of 100 good shots use v notch,or small nick in rear sight or maybe the squared off rear sight notch,i would try it..thanks.............sonny

Teach

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Re: what kind of rear sight notch is best?
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2008, 12:59:33 AM »
I probably changed my rifle sights more times than I can remember, got ribbed quite a bit over it also.I settled on California sights like these. The beauty of them is,  they are matched .


Cheers Bob

Offline Randy Hedden

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Re: what kind of rear sight notch is best?
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2008, 01:44:26 AM »
I used a rear sight with a square notch for many years, but when my eyes got worse, and I couldn't see the front sight very well, I changed to a "V" notch and found that it cleared up my overall sight picture.

Randy Hedden

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Daryl

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Re: what kind of rear sight notch is best?
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2008, 02:34:14 AM »
As with Randy, unless the square notch is huge, I see fuzzy sides. With a wide sqare notch, you have to centre the front blade carefully - too carefully. With a V notch, the bottom of the "V" helps with the centering.  As the eyes get progressively worse, the best sight I've found is a wide "V" like on an English Express rifle, coupled with a bead front sight.  No, it isn't only a close range sight only as some unknowing shooters and/or writers would have you believe.  Even my old eyes, which appreciate that type of sight, are able to put 5 shots into 1 1/2" at 100 yards with just such a sight. The bead settles into the crotch and sits there, not moving one way or the other - as if it welds itself there untill after the shot breaks. Too, much of the animal or target is still visible to the shooter.  The English still use it - from mid 1800's or so until now - must be useable, eh.


 Perhaps the only style sight that is better, is a peep sight with bead or post front, but - they aren't allowed in "open sight' contests.  An all-round sight should be useable in competition as well as hunting. There, the Express-type sight and a bead front sight is the best of both worlds and able to cross-over, doing outstanding work in both.

 My eyes were opened to a different type of sight after the last postal chunk match held through this site.  That is a square sided knoth, with a perfectly round bottom.  The bead front sight is held in the bottom as it if was a peap sight.  it is accurate and I am going to make a set for the .45 cal. barrel, just for testing.  I've already got the front bead on the rifle, only need to make a rear sight - easy pickins. Any rear sight could be modified to this system - just need a front of the correct height - that could be the stickler.  The sight must be the correct height to get the proper elevation for whatever zero a person wants.  If the front sight is made a bit high, this won't be a problem as the rear can be filed at the range while sighting in.

Offline Dphariss

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Re: what kind of rear sight notch is best?
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2008, 05:00:31 AM »
The one that works best for you.

Dan
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Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: what kind of rear sight notch is best?
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2008, 05:53:50 AM »
...and a sight that is superlative for shooting paper targets often isn't the best for a trail walk or hunting situation...so, what's your target?
D. Taylor Sapergia
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Offline sonny

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Re: what kind of rear sight notch is best?
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2008, 05:14:11 PM »
strickly deer hunting!woods walks shooting.with a v notch rear sight won't there be more left/right shots,as the top edges of the v are widest there?....sonny

Offline sonny

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Re: what kind of rear sight notch is best?
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2008, 05:38:46 PM »
my german mauser an a lot of other military guns i have all are with the v notch rear.I am sure the military would not have went with this style if not better.I can see the front sight clearer with a v notch on mauser...hummmm

don getz

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Re: what kind of rear sight notch is best?
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2008, 05:56:24 PM »
How many of you have ever shot a German Luger?  They have a rear "V" notch, with a Pointed front sight......how do you aim with this?  I don't think I have ever seen one used in a target match.    If you look at target pistols, they all have square, partridge type sights....you level up the front and rear, and your eye automatically centers that front sight....
you just can't get anything in an open sight that is better, or more accurate...Don

Offline Dale Halterman

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Re: what kind of rear sight notch is best?
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2008, 06:07:00 PM »
Daryl, in that square sided, round bottom notch you described, how deep is the notch? Half of the bead? Or is so deep that it simulates an aperture with the top cut open?

Dale h

northmn

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Re: what kind of rear sight notch is best?
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2008, 06:16:47 PM »
The front sight is as important or more so than the rear.  I prefer the bead front like Daryl does.  It can sometimes be hard to find the top of the classic silver and brass blade sights and glare can cause them to shoot off. I use a round file and make a U notch to accomodate the bead, but plan on trying the English Express sight like Daryl pictured.  Most folks make their rear sight too tight or fine in comparison to the front.  There should be a little light showing on both sides of the sight.  Another trick for aging eyes is to take the rear sight and use a knife file or a hacksaw blade with the pitch ground off and cut a fine slot in the bottom of the V or U.  It acts somewhat like a guide for alignment or a painted on white line.  Sights seem to be individual and the best ones are the ones you can see.

DP

Offline Roger Fisher

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Re: what kind of rear sight notch is best?
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2008, 06:28:30 PM »
My rifles (offhand and chunk) carry rear sights as per Bucheles book w/two notches front and rear of the rear sight with frt notch a bit lower.  Supposed to 'trap light'  maybe all it traps is fuzz! ;D

In any case the rear notch is square with flat bottom and I fill the notch with the square front blade and I can still see some light both sides in good light, dark conditions are more of a problem.  My frt blade is notched with an insert therein made from a flourescent red toothbrush handle (fancy eh!)  The ol girl hits the mark if I do my part.  Still have bad days and some good ones as most do! :)

Daryl

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Re: what kind of rear sight notch is best?
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2008, 06:29:46 PM »
Note in the "V" of the pictured sight, the little knotch in the bottom of the V. When there is a lot of light, I find this helps with centering.  That migth be more of an imagined benefit than real, though.

 On short barrels, the normal handgun-type sights Don mentioned are best.  That Luger shoots well, at least the ones I tested were.   For young yes only.  Only they can see the fine points on some sights.

 The round bottomed U knotch is surprisingly shallow - not much deeper than the bead appears.  I've seen them much deeper, though - back in the 80's.  If you wanted, you could have a deep knotch and platinum or gold lines in the side of the rear sights facing flat for distance shooting.  I imagine the bead must be small enough to appear as a bead in a normal apperature sight arrangement.

 The beads on my rifles all have flat faces - that is the part facing me.  It is angled to catch light, but due to it's flat surface, it down not cause off-shots due to glare coming from one side as it's surface lights only as a single sheet without highlights.  I should note also, that the flat face, is the largest part of the rounded bead. From it's face, it is a strait taper to it's tip which is a point.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2008, 06:33:45 PM by Daryl »

Harnic

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Re: what kind of rear sight notch is best?
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2008, 07:09:10 PM »
The only rear sight I've found that works with my eyes is a full, closed buckhorn.  It works very much like a peep, but is placed out on the barrel where a rear sight should be & is only adjustable for windage by drifting it left or right in the barrel dovetail.  I've only been challenged on it once at a formal shoot & as I never seem to make it to the podium, nothing came of the challenge.  It's just a semi-buckhorn sight I opened up with a chainsaw file & soldered a slice of a 22 cal barrel liner in the enlarged notch.  I use a 1/16" wide square blade up front & can see the sights quite well now.  Any "open" sight I've tried is too fuzzy.



A lot of "purists" will have a problem with this sight, but I don't shoot black powder to please them, this is what works for me & if the organizer of a shoot doesn't like my sight, I'll shoot somewhere else.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2008, 06:42:14 PM by Harnic »

chuck c.

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Re: what kind of rear sight notch is best?
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2008, 07:32:29 PM »
Sonny, like you I was a competitive shooter when I was a state policeman. I loved the sights on the S&W revolvers. Old age is now making that front sight hard to see in the tradition v-notch of my rifles. I recently had the opportunity to handle a rifle that had sights very similar to the S&W sights and I was amazed to find that I could again focus on a clear front sight. I brought a set of the sights and was intending to use them on my next build, but when I thought it out more I changed my mind. I remembered how hard it was to determine exactly where you were holding on a sillouettte (sp?) at 50 yds. To compensate for this most of us adjusted sights for a 6 o'clock hold on the head with the rounds actually impacting in the x ring. That worked well in that situation but it wouldn't for hunting, which is the only use for my rifles. That big front sight just covers up too much at longer distances. I think Daryl has the best idea, if I could build one I'd try his suggestion.

Daryl

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Re: what kind of rear sight notch is best?
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2008, 07:50:51 PM »
Harry - your situation is why I mentioned the open square notch with a bead used as a peep.  That way, the bead could be small enough to work on even small gongs, yet large enough to be a bead.  I put a fairly large bead (1/10") on my .45 barrel for hunting, and yesterday on the trail, found it worked well on all of the targets as well. The rear is as I posted earlier, ie: wide V. With that bead out on the end of the 42" barrel, it's appearance is just right. Always shining or glowing or dull gold, round and sharp edged.

Harnic

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Re: what kind of rear sight notch is best?
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2008, 05:19:32 AM »
I found your sight fairly easy to see Daryl, not as good as mine, but usable, I just haven't been able to duplicate it.  I like mine & have no problem being disqualified from the prizes if there's any challenge to my sights.

Offline Kermit

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Re: what kind of rear sight notch is best?
« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2008, 04:17:53 AM »
My last two guns have the rear sight moved forward a bunch. One is a octagon/round smoothrifle, and the sight is just as far forward as the octagonal portion would allow. The other is a swamped full octagon, and I put the rear sight just ahead of the balance point/ramrod entry at almost 14" ahead of the breech. With long barrels (46" and 44" respectively) the sights forward like this don't look at all strange. In fact, a recent MUZZLELOADER has some pics in a piece by Peter Alexander of two originals with rear sights placed forward like this, so it isn't a new solution to aging eyes like mine.

Try it, you might like it.
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roundball

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Re: what kind of rear sight notch is best?
« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2008, 05:06:48 AM »

"...With a V notch, the bottom of the "V" helps with the centering..."

That's the sight and sight picture I like/use...my rear sights have a taller, sharper vertical 'V' than your drawing but the end result is the same...for repeatability, there's only one precise place that the front bead fits into and touches all sides simultaneously:
Fully visible, resting at the bottom of the 'V' notch...and for hunting POA, I place that sight picture where I want the POI...

Harnic

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Re: what kind of rear sight notch is best?
« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2008, 06:25:19 AM »
Kermit, I sort of did that with this rifle when I built it.  My rear sight is 12" ahead of the pan on a 42" barrel, looks fine & helped a little in the focus dept.

Offline sonny

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Re: what kind of rear sight notch is best?
« Reply #20 on: November 12, 2008, 04:34:26 PM »
so the v notch rear is not the much prefered way to go.A square notch slightly wider like getz said is more exact for all around.How the heck can i make a perfectly square notch in rear sight??? seem's like it never is perfectly square (sides tipped/or bottom slanted).A v notch would be easy with a three sided file,but is there a file that would give me a perfectly square notch????........sonny

Daryl

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Re: what kind of rear sight notch is best?
« Reply #21 on: November 12, 2008, 06:18:47 PM »
One either developes the skill to cut perfect notches, or pays someone to do it for them.  Doing is the only way.  There is no file that cuts the notch by itself.  You cut one side, then the other, back and forth. Same with express sights, although there are some files that are close, real close.  The notch has to be crisped in the middle as most corners in files are rounded, not sharp enough.

keweenaw

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Re: what kind of rear sight notch is best?
« Reply #22 on: November 12, 2008, 07:19:44 PM »
I solved the old age sight problem by having a pair of glasses made that have a bifocal in the top of the lens that is focused at the distance of the front sight of my 44' barrel.  When focused out at 4 feet, a target at 100 yds. is only a little bit blurry.  Certainly good enough to shoot inside of an inch from the bench.  Also allows me to see my well set out rear sight.  Many competitive pistol shooters use this bifocal arrangement as well.

Tom

Harnic

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Re: what kind of rear sight notch is best?
« Reply #23 on: November 12, 2008, 08:23:32 PM »
I have a similar solution for my pistol shooting, my first pair of computer glasses focus well at arm's length & the targets at 25 yards are clear enough to see too.  They're not good on trail walks though, I stumble around a lot!

Daryl

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Re: what kind of rear sight notch is best?
« Reply #24 on: November 12, 2008, 10:06:30 PM »
Tom- my bi-focal lense gives me an absolutely sharp front sight and the rear is pretty good too. Trouble is, I can't distinguish what the targets' shape even is.  Sort of like looking at an oncomming vehicle on a Harley's side mirror - is it another Harley or a Mac Truck- can't tell.