Author Topic: eyesight  (Read 6093 times)

dan parrett

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eyesight
« on: May 27, 2009, 10:39:08 PM »
It's a sad day for me. I've finally accepted the fact that my close vision is moving down the barrel while my far vision is still better than 20-20. Tomorrow I'm off to the eye doctor for the diagnosis.

I'm in the process of building two Hawken rifles, a flinter from Pecatonica and a full stock capper from Don Stith. I haven't cut the dovetails for the rear sights yet and am looking for opinions on placement for an optically challenged shooter. I've had perfect eyesight until now and don't know what effect wearing glasses will have. I'm sure I'm not alone in this....any help or insight (pun intended) would be appreciated.


Harnic

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Re: eyesight
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2009, 11:33:43 PM »
I built a fullstock flint Hawken a few years ago (Track parts mostly) & I converted the semi-buckhorn sight to a closed buckhorn (which is a large aperture) by opening the notch up with a chainsaw file & soldering a small ring cut from a sleeve for re-lining a 22 rimfire barrel.  Works very well for my ageing eye sight.  Some misguided individuals attack it as period incorrect, but that's not true.  There are a few examples in collections & museums of closed buckhorn sights on Hawken rifles.  Some mountain men lived long enough back then that their eyesight needed help too!


BrownBear

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Re: eyesight
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2009, 11:41:36 PM »
The longer the sighting radius the better, but you have to weigh that against the fact that the further your rear sight is from your eye, the better it's going to work.  I rely on receiver sights on most of my hunting guns, which work great for clearing up that front sight, provided the aperture is really close to your eye.  Having said all that, there appears to be some combo of architecture with conventional rear sights that really clears up the front sight.  I'm no expert, but among my rifles with primitive sights, those with very narrow slots in the rear compared to the width of the front sight, really clarify the front sight.  They're tough to us in low light, though.  I can get by with slow, deliberate aiming on paper targets in good light.  But for quick shots on brown hairy targets in low light, I have the best luck with receiver sights.

Offline Don Getz

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Re: eyesight
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2009, 03:29:52 PM »
Harry.....I like that "Peep" sight, however, if you go to matches, especially Friendship, you will not be allowed to shoot this type of sight in an "open sight" match.   Lately I have been using those small, low type to original sights as one would see on an original kentucky, and amazingly, I can see them.   I use the small cast front sight which I buy from Reaves, they come in a strip.  They require some filing and dovetailing, but really look good.  I make my own rear sights.
Learned this from Allen, they not only looked good on his guns but I discovered I could also see them............Don

Harnic

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Re: eyesight
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2009, 06:18:07 PM »
Harry.....I like that "Peep" sight, however, if you go to matches, especially Friendship, you will not be allowed to shoot this type of sight in an "open sight" match.   Lately I have been using those small, low type to original sights as one would see on an original kentucky, and amazingly, I can see them.   I use the small cast front sight which I buy from Reaves, they come in a strip.  They require some filing and dovetailing, but really look good.  I make my own rear sights.
Learned this from Allen, they not only looked good on his guns but I discovered I could also see them............Don

Thanks Don,  I've played with several open sights with very limited success & always come back to this sight... because I can see it.  It's extremely unlikely I'll ever make the 3,800 km trip to Friendship, as much as I'd like to, so there's not a lot of point to conforming to the "official" rules.  I haven't tried those really low "Kentucky" sights yet.  Daryl (or maybe it was Taylor) has a really low set on a rifle I saw at the Heffley Creek Rendezvous that were amazingly clear.  Maybe that's the trick, make 'em low with a wide "v" on the rear.  I haven't been challenged directly at the few shoots I attend, but there have been more than a few comments like: "you can't use that sight, it's a peep!" around the fire after shooting.  When I explain it's not an entirely incorrect sight & closed buckhorns were used 180 years ago(there are several examples), it often defuses the arguments.  Thanks for your suggestions Don, I will explore the low, open style of sights further, it may help keep everyone happy.  ;)
« Last Edit: May 28, 2009, 11:45:18 PM by Harnic »

Daryl

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Re: eyesight
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2009, 03:54:40 PM »
This subject crops up a lot - it's an "AGE" thing, ya know.

Finding a sight that works for YOU is a very important endeavor - it makes shooting enjoyable.

For target shooting, it is not necessary to go to peep sights.  Yes- they are more accurate sighting than with open sights. Some people might use eye sight as an excuse to gain an advantage. I know Harry doesn't, however I'm sure he'll find a wide V with bead to work as well.

Failing eyes see and shoot bead front sights better than blades due to the centre of the 'hazy' sight being the impact- that never changes, but fuzzy blades had varying heights and widths depending on the available light and the angle it is coming in - this changes impact constantly  =  huge groups.  The ball hitting on the bead never changes. The bead has to have a flat, angled surface facing the shooter's eye. That makes it always a round circle that doesn't change position.  Some guys find this type of sight helps with failing eyes - I do, even with my corrective lenses (glasses).

The wide V may be a bit fuzzy, but the bead settles into the bottom of the V and sits there - easy to use and get used to.  Sure, I'd like to use a peep - tang mounted even better, but make myself use open sights as that is what is acceptable.

The sight Harry pictured above, if cut open with just a 1/16" or even narrower slot on the top surface would stop any complaints as it would then be legal. Pretty easy to do and simple to boot. It still operates as a barrel mounted peep, but is legal for use everywhere. Some people might be too stubborn to do this - Harry? ;)

Offline hanshi

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Re: eyesight
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2009, 08:31:26 PM »
The longer the sighting radius the better, but you have to weigh that against the fact that the further your rear sight is from your eye, the better it's going to work.  I rely on receiver sights on most of my hunting guns, which work great for clearing up that front sight, provided the aperture is really close to your eye.  Having said all that, there appears to be some combo of architecture with conventional rear sights that really clears up the front sight.  I'm no expert, but among my rifles with primitive sights, those with very narrow slots in the rear compared to the width of the front sight, really clarify the front sight.  They're tough to us in low light, though.  I can get by with slow, deliberate aiming on paper targets in good light.  But for quick shots on brown hairy targets in low light, I have the best luck with receiver sights.

In perfect light shooting at targets narrow rear slots do help precise aiming.  But they are pretty much useless, IMHO, in the woods.  My deer rifles have rather wide "U" shaped notches, for often shots are in bad light and have to be taken quickly.  The ones on my small game rifles are not so wide.  I very much like the idea of Daryl's wide, shallow "V" and bead front.  I've looked at the pictures and really thought this one out and believe it may be best for both targets and hunting.
!Jozai Senjo! "always present on the battlefield"
Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.

dan parrett

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Re: eyesight
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2009, 08:18:01 PM »
Thanks for the ideas. I think I'll make up a buckhorn peep and a wide v rear sight.

BrownBear

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Re: eyesight
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2009, 08:56:21 PM »
I very much like the idea of Daryl's wide, shallow "V" and bead front.  I've looked at the pictures and really thought this one out and believe it may be best for both targets and hunting.

Funny coincidence, or perhaps no coincidence:   In another venue, among my many handguns, the best hunting sights by far are the accessory "express" sights for the Ruger Redhawk.  They consist of a small gold-bead front and an open V express rear, with a slender white line extending up to the bottom of the V.  In use, you just stack the bead on top of the white line.  It's better for low light and long shots than anything I used over 30 years of serious handgun hunting, and now with aging eyes they're the only sight that really works for me.  I'm inclined to consider something similar for my ML rifles.

northmn

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Re: eyesight
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2009, 09:44:26 PM »
Before you dovetail in your rear sight, use some tape and move it back and forth down the barrel to see which position is best.  I think a low wide V or U and a bead front of reasonable size works best.  Most people find that as they age a rear sight over the entry thimble more or less is better than a closer one.

DP
 

Daryl

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Re: eyesight
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2009, 05:19:39 PM »
When locating the rear sight, make sure it doesn't end up in the middle of your palm when carrying the rifle. The sight needs to be ahead of, or behind the balance point.

jim m

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Re: eyesight
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2009, 07:17:04 PM »
I could move my sights daily to keep up with my eyes. I have glaucoma and am diabetic. some days the rear sight is fuzzy and sometimes it's the front, and some days it's both. but I aint quitting yet. your eyes getting older and needing glasses is a very minor problem