Author Topic: Front sight picture  (Read 18189 times)

Offline moleeyes36

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Front sight picture
« on: January 04, 2015, 12:24:56 AM »
Most of my rifles have open iron sights and are browned, both the barrel and sights.  During cloudy days shooting targets with a black bullseye or hunting in low light it's darned hard to find the front sight.  I once had a half-stock plains style rifle that had a front sight blade made from a nickle coin.  It was more visible most of the time. 

I see that the catalogs all have a number of front sights with brass and silver blades, not that they would sell anyone something that wasn't historically correct  ;).  I understand some original long rifles had a silver blade front sight, but back in the day how common were brass or silver front sight blades on long rifles?  Anybody have some insight about that?  Thanks.

Mole Eyes
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Offline hanshi

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Re: Front sight picture
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2015, 12:48:46 AM »
I solved that problem the "cheap" way by painting the back side of the front sight with flat, white paint.  Works well in the woods, too.
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Offline moleeyes36

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Re: Front sight picture
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2015, 01:09:08 AM »
I solved that problem the "cheap" way by painting the back side of the front sight with flat, white paint.  Works well in the woods, too.

Yes, that remains an option that I've done in the past when I used to shoot suppository rifles.  I was hoping to arrive at a more HC approach.  However, somebody may have plausible data that something like that was sometimes done "back in the day"  Thanks, Hanshi.

Mole Eyes
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HAWKEN

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Re: Front sight picture
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2015, 01:53:40 AM »
Moleyes,  My solution was similar to hanshi's except that I use an office supply product called "white out".  It makes a flat white mark that you can remove with your thumb nail.  Keep yer powder dry.........Robin   ;)

Offline PPatch

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Re: Front sight picture
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2015, 01:54:06 AM »
I have seen several original Ky rifles with silver front sight blades and a lot of brass ones on mountain rifles. The sights on the mountain rifles are low, like a 1/16th or less. I generally install a silver blade, but what do I know except that in bright sunlight it shimmers, reflects and glows a bit too much, but in darker settings it is perfect.

dave
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Offline Curt Lyles

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Re: Front sight picture
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2015, 04:33:10 AM »
Mole Eyes   I have 2 originals and they have silver sights and are verrrrrrrry small ..They are a lot different from what you see today on modern rifles,course they look like they would work very well in the woods or low light conditions.Try some fine sand paper on your front sight and polish it up and see if that dont help some.
Curt

Offline David R. Pennington

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Re: Front sight picture
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2015, 04:43:19 AM »
Most of the originals I have seen had coin silver front sights but they are very low to the barrel. The first rifle I built I did one this way and found out It won't work if you shoot a match where you have to shoot and load one shot after another. The barrel heat waves distort your sight picture. I made a taller coin silver sight and filed the back part of the sight with an angle leaning back toward the rear sight then filed the top of the back edge with a forward angle. Here is how it works, the top part with the forward angle picks up the light on the silver and the bottom part with the different angle is shaded. For longer shots this is my elevation adjustment, the shiny part I hold above the rear sight notch and for closer range I hold it even with the rear notch.
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Offline moleeyes36

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Re: Front sight picture
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2015, 05:04:36 AM »
Most of the originals I have seen had coin silver front sights but they are very low to the barrel. The first rifle I built I did one this way and found out It won't work if you shoot a match where you have to shoot and load one shot after another. The barrel heat waves distort your sight picture. I made a taller coin silver sight and filed the back part of the sight with an angle leaning back toward the rear sight then filed the top of the back edge with a forward angle. Here is how it works, the top part with the forward angle picks up the light on the silver and the bottom part with the different angle is shaded. For longer shots this is my elevation adjustment, the shiny part I hold above the rear sight notch and for closer range I hold it even with the rear notch.

Dave,

I like that approach.  I have a hog hunt next weekend so I'll not try to do it with that rifle before then, just isn't enough time to do it and get in some range time with it.  I'm using a rifle I just finished last fall and it shoots extremely well.  Since I haven't had a chance to make meat with it yet, I definitely want to take that one on the hunt.  I'll take a bottle of White Out, as Robin suggested, with me in case it's a cloudy day because the hogs usually move in the evening.  I'll just suck up the HC thing this time I guess. ::)  In the meantime I'll see if I can't scrounge up a silver half dollar to use of making 2 or 3 coin silver blades for some of my rifles.  Thanks for the input guys.

Mole Eyes
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Re: Front sight picture
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2015, 01:11:10 PM »
Instead of cutting up a genuine silver dollar I would get some German Silver form one of the suppliers. It works just the same and I don't think that your eyes could see the difference out there on the end of the barrel. The white out stuff works very good also.

RB

Offline moleeyes36

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Re: Front sight picture
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2015, 03:15:30 PM »
Instead of cutting up a genuine silver dollar I would get some German Silver form one of the suppliers. It works just the same and I don't think that your eyes could see the difference out there on the end of the barrel. The white out stuff works very good also.

RB

I have "German Silver" sheet I use for inlays but it's thin stock.  I'd considered silver soldering a couple of pieces together to get enough thickness and see how that works out.  But this alloy isn't as bright as sterling or coin silver.  It also tarnishes faster, probably because of it's high brass content (about 60% to 65%).  I may just get a piece of sterling silver sheet from Rio Grande rather than cutting a blade out of a coin.  Then I'd have some left over for a nice inlay.  Rio Grande has a good selection of metals for jewelers and their prices are reasonable.

http://www.riogrande.com/category/metals/104/Attribute%7CForm=Sheet
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Offline WadePatton

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Re: Front sight picture
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2015, 06:53:36 PM »
Silver or brass is most of what I've seen.  I like brass, haven't tried silver yet.

German silver is just white metal, zero silver (white copper would be a better name). Never seen it for an old sight. 

I'd cut up a coin.  There's no shortage of very worn silver coins.  I used to pull them from circulation, could always hear the ring of silver long before it hit the counter.

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Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: Front sight picture
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2015, 08:06:18 PM »
David R....my approach entirely!  This sight is perfect for woods/trail walks in the bush.  In the open, a wipe with a black felt pen takes care of the brilliant glare front sight.  I make my sights from brass, GS, and pure silver, depending upon the need.  I usually use a copper base.  I tried the 'low on the barrel' barley corn sight, and it was fine for that first shot, and if that's all you were shooting that day, great.  But in a competition, and that's what we do, it is next to impossible to see.
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Offline Daryl

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Re: Front sight picture
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2015, 09:05:29 PM »
This is an example of the back angle collecting light - in this case, it's a small diameter bead of brass.

Daryl

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Online smylee grouch

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Re: Front sight picture
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2015, 12:10:04 AM »
Just about every one sees the sights different. I have a couple that I cut a thin slit length ways down the center of the sight blade and then fluxed and tinned silver solder into the slit. Cleaned up the excess and when done you see the silver sliver in the V notch. It might not work for everyone but has worked for me.

Offline smokinbuck

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Re: Front sight picture
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2015, 12:18:13 AM »
There are silver blade front sights available on either brass or steel dovetail bases. I have several in the drawer. I prefer brass blades.
Mark
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Re: Front sight picture
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2015, 12:32:03 AM »
The best material I have found for front sight blades is sterling silver.  You can polish the silver by rubbing with your shirt sleeve  if needed.  I have obtained most of the silver at flea markets by buying military marksmanship badges.  The ones given by the army were sterling and marked as such on the back.  The PX variety were usually an alloy.  The MARKSMAN badge was shaped with 4 triangular sections and will make 4 sights.  After cutting and shaping, I solder to either a brass or copper base.

BPRICHARD 

Offline Molly

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Re: Front sight picture
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2015, 04:32:44 AM »
One original rifle in the "family" dating from around 1810.  As noted above by others it's nothing like the typical contemporary.  It almost looks like a line was cut in the top of the bbl and the sight blade set in that line then tightened by ??.

Also VERY low to the barrel, maybe only about 2 mm high.  While it realistically may have become "worn down" it probably never was much higher.  One self proclaimed local expert claims the notion existed that the line of sight had to be almost immediately on top of the barrel thus sight were low.  This rifle also has a rear sight which is about the same height as the front....meaning VERY low.  On this rifle, which is a VA rifle, it appears to be made of brass.

Offline David R. Pennington

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Re: Front sight picture
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2015, 05:39:52 AM »
I've heard the reason for low sights was so that you couldn't get excited and accidentally take in too much front sight and overshoot your game. I like real silver, nothing else shines like it. I keep a few worn out coins. Most of the originals I've seen, even some really plain ones had silver front blades.
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Offline LRB

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Re: Front sight picture
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2015, 04:11:58 PM »
   Many of the serious long range SS BP cartridge rifle competitors prefer a blade made from a wheat leaf copper penny, with a slight forward slope on the face. I like silver, but tend to lose it in bright back grounds. Recently I have experimented with the penny blade some, and find that it may be best for all around light conditions. Cheap, relatively easy to find, and worth trying.

Offline Molly

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Re: Front sight picture
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2015, 04:13:57 PM »
Just checked the rear sight of that gun.  A most shallow dovetail shows up on the front part but the rear sight however the rear of the rear sight  almost looks as if it is on the surface.  The front sight has no dovetail but rather looks like a mortise/tenon joint...so how would the blade (sight) be held in place?  Maybe some sort of "flux" melted into the mortise?


Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Front sight picture
« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2015, 05:00:08 PM »
   Many of the serious long range SS BP cartridge rifle competitors prefer a blade made from a wheat leaf copper penny, with a slight forward slope on the face. I like silver, but tend to lose it in bright back grounds. Recently I have experimented with the penny blade some, and find that it may be best for all around light conditions. Cheap, relatively easy to find, and worth trying.

I've done a bit of long range shooting and have never seen such a sight.All of them I shot
and owned over the years had a hooded front sight with whatever insert suits their needs.
The last long range muzzle loader I owned was one I built and I used a Lyman 17A with a special
base and bubble level and Lee Shaver insert in the form of a cross hair.I used this at 500 meters
and it worked well.I can't imagine any kind of a long rifle sight on such a rifle.

Bob Roller


Offline shifty

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Re: Front sight picture
« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2015, 06:07:23 PM »
Bob Roller the Long Range Muzzle Loaders you shoot or shot were they ball guns or conical,and what reading would you recomend for info on shooting long range with the round ball?

Offline LRB

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Re: Front sight picture
« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2015, 07:37:12 PM »
 You're right Bob, and I should have worded that better. Said competitors were discussing the best blades on rifles that had blades, and not necessarily for the long range competition models. At any rate, the copper penny alloy seems very good if a blade is wanted.

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Front sight picture
« Reply #23 on: January 05, 2015, 08:44:34 PM »
Bob Roller the Long Range Muzzle Loaders you shoot or shot were they ball guns or conical,and what reading would you recomend for info on shooting long range with the round ball?

All my long range shooting was with long 40 or 45 caliber bullets.
The term round ball and long range are to me,not possible at least
in the context of what is thought of as long range,1000 or 1200 yards.
I have read of shots made at over 400 yards with a round ball but
never heard of a round ball match at that distance.If I were to try a
long shot with a round ball it would be with a slow twist 58 caliber.
That size ball is about 280 grains.Notice that all the long range 45's
use a bullet of 500+ grains either paper patched or lubricated.
I have seen only brief refwerences to "long"shots with round balls
but don't recall any books or long articles on them.

Bob Roller

Offline shifty

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Re: Front sight picture
« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2015, 03:24:31 AM »
Thanks Bob, I have two 50 cal conical  barrels I have been playing with off and on for a while ,long range for me would be around 150yds ,I have a 54cal and a 58cal round ball barrels that i would like to turn one of them into a good solid 125 yd gun,the 54 cal i have is not slow enuff i don't think 1/48 and the 58cal is 1/60,been thinking about a GM 54 with 1/70 twist