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Author Topic: Front sight options?  (Read 164 times)

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Offline Talfryyn

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Front sight options?
« on: February 05, 2019, 07:52:35 PM »
The time has come.
I've been shooting this long rifle since 1978. It has always been super accurate. Time was I could shoot pennies and get disgusted if I missed the center.
I also remember taking the last swipe with a file on top of the blade and handing the gun back to my dad to shoot.
The gun is still golden, my eyes are not what they used to be. I just can't get the thin brass in focus way out at the end of the barrel. I blackened the end. I put white paint on it. No joy.
I'm thinking maybe a thicker iron blade.
Any other ideas? I would like to keep it period, so no scopes, fiber optics excetera.
Wearing progressive bifocals is hopeless. Monofocal shooting glasses help. I need really high contrast in the background for the blade to stand out. Aiming left or right is easier than elevation.
 It was snowing today and I had to resort to sighting along the barrel.
Some mornings it just isn't worth chewing through the leather straps. - Emo Philips

Offline mike116

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Re: Front sight options?
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2019, 08:50:20 PM »
I wear progressive cheaters too.  I have had some success putting a piece of electrical tape with a small hole in the middle on the lens of my glasses.  Works like an aperture sight and helps focus on the front blade.   

Offline Omnivore

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Re: Front sight options?
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2019, 10:22:51 PM »
An aperture rear sight is "period correct" and will improve your accuity and your depth of field.  In short, it will bring the front sight much more in focus with the target.  Start with a small-ish rear aperture, and if it cuts down on the light too much, open it up one numbered drill size, until you have it where it works for you.  I have a case of "old eyes' and that did wonders for me on my hunting rifle.

Paint the back of the front sight blaze orange, or some such.  Another really good front sight, which gives contrast in any light in which you can still see a target, is a flat black front sight with a white line down the center of it.  The white line contrasts with dark targets and the black contrasts with light targets.  The way I did mine was; I made a steel front sight, blackened it with cold bluing compound, then graved a center line down the middle and filled it with white "China marker" crayon.  other than a fiber-optic, I think that may be one of my all-time favorites, coupled with an aperture rear.
But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.   James 1:25 (KJV)

So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.   James 2:12. (KJV)

Offline Len

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Re: Front sight options?
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2019, 10:52:51 AM »
I did what Mike did "put a piece of electrical tape with a small hole in the middle on the lens of my glasses". Works just fine, but a bit tedious to mount (and if you forget to rip it off, the other customers at the super market will look a bit worried.
Saw one guy with a fold-down-black-lid-with-a-small-hole that was hinged onto his glasses. Looked like something one could buy, but I forgot to ask where he got it from. 

Offline mike116

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Re: Front sight options?
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2019, 02:06:02 PM »
I've run across that contraption too Len but I'm too cheap to buy one.  I thought I'd make one myself but haven't yet.

Offline Talfryyn

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Re: Front sight options?
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2019, 03:05:39 PM »
"Saw one guy with a fold-down-black-lid-with-a-small-hole that was hinged onto his glasses. Looked like something one could buy, but I forgot to ask where he got it from."

 I tried using an old pair of flip down sunglasses. Removed one lens. Painted the other flat black and put a hole in the sweet spot.
Didn't do much for me. Maybe the hole was too big or was too far from my glasses.
Some mornings it just isn't worth chewing through the leather straps. - Emo Philips

Offline Omnivore

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Re: Front sight options?
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2019, 03:20:53 PM »
The hole would need to be significantly smaller than your pupil at the moment, before it would do much good at all.  then it would need to be fairly precisely located, so as you're not tipping or turning your head to see through it.  That sort of "gizomology" (the study of gizmos) is common at shooting matches, but for field work you're far better off with a run-of-the-mill aperture sight mounted to the firearm.

I've seen old aperture sights as simple as a bolt, screwed into the rifle's tang and having a ring soldered to the top.  The only modification to the rifle is a threaded hole in the tang, and even that can sometimes be averted by using an existing tang hole and having the sight double as tang screw and rear sight.

The more modern version of that is the Marble Arms adjustable folding rear tang sight, but even those are over 100 years old IIRC.  I have one on a Winchester '94 and I like it a lot.  On my muzzleloading rifle I have the Lyman adjustable tang sight, but the simple bolt with a hole at the top will work just as well once you get it adjusted for zero.
But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.   James 1:25 (KJV)

So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.   James 2:12. (KJV)

Offline mike116

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Re: Front sight options?
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2019, 03:39:32 PM »
The one that attaches to your glasses has a diopter that you adjust bt turning the ring.   Made by Merit it was sold by Midway is now discontinued

Offline Talfryyn

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Re: Front sight options?
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2019, 03:59:08 PM »
After some uff da engineering I have a temporary solution to try out a peep sight. I cut the end off of a .410 hull. After pushing the primer out I found a small washer that fit in the pocket nicely. A dab of superglue fixed the washer in place. Next I used a magnet to hold the “sight” to the tang. Using a straight edge run from the top of the front sight to the rear sight and extending to the tang shows the center of the aperture to be centered so I put some superglue on the pieces to fixture everything. Hopefully it will hold together for a few shots.
The front sight blade on this gun is only 0.038” thick so I’m going to try putting some electrical tape on each side to thicken it.
Some mornings it just isn't worth chewing through the leather straps. - Emo Philips

Offline Omnivore

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Re: Front sight options?
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2019, 04:29:02 PM »
When you're viewing the top of the front sight as centered in the aperture, and at the same time the front sight is aligned with the old rear sight (as if taking a shot using the old rear sight), then the rear aperture is very close to the same zero.

When the front sight appears in focus, and the target is also mostly in focus, then the aperture is small enough.  The trade-off you face in choosing an aperture size is between adequate light transmission in low light conditions, verses visual acuity.  For visual acuity the small the aperture the better (until you have a teeny tiny peep), but for light transmission (and also for speed of targeting) the bigger aperture is favored.

This is the "pin-hole camera" concept.  A pin-hole camera has no lens, but it renders the whole environment, at very close to infinite distances, in focus at the same time.  However it needs a lot of light, or very fast (very sensitive) film, or both.  Likewise, whatever your eyeball or lens deformation may be, the image will be improves using a proper aperture.  That is because it reduces the area of your eye lens being used.  On the other hand, if your problem is a cataract then an aperture may actually make things worse, depending on the size and location of said cataract.

For those who understand the basics of photography, you’ll recognize these concepts right away-- A relatively poor camera lens can take some nice photos, and with a tremendously greater depth-of-field, if the aperture is stopped way down because that nulls out most of the lens aberrations, but in that case you’ll need a lot more light, and/or a longer exposure, etc.  That is also why a very large lens, of good quality, is exponentially more expensive (the larger the lens, and/or the larger the aperture, the more the aberrations manifest themselves).

With my near-sightedness and also astigmatism, combined with age-related inability to focus up close) I can't shoot with blade rear sights worth a darn.  Also I can look across a room at some writing and not be able to read it, but just looking through the aperture sight of my hunting rifle, I can read it easily while also resolving the front sight.  Stuff like that.  It’s also why we can see more clearly when we squint in some situations (we’re “stopping down the aperture” of our eyeballs).
But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.   James 1:25 (KJV)

So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.   James 2:12. (KJV)