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1890’s artillery sights

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  • 1890’s artillery sights

    In all the years of shooting cannons i had always had access to antique sights or optics from surplus stores. Today i decided to attempt a vernier sight for my new Puckle gun, which i have written about on this board. I have recently seen a number of early iron sights and have decided to build a few variations and reproductions of such sights. Here is the first.
    This is an offset post sight that will have elevation and incremental windage adjustments by means of screws. The sight is to be mounted on the side of the receiver block of the barrel. Near the trunnions. I like to scavenge for material so i start with a length of 1 inch diameter dom steel tube with .25 inch wall. Next is a long eye bolt, a screw and some brass bar stock. I am not yet doing CAD, so i start with a sketch and gather my material.
    the sight aperture will be a flat blade soldered to a barrel nut that i made. This gets mounted in a tube with a slot. A screw is run through the barrel nut. A brass knob locks the scew in the tube. Turning the knob adjusts the windage. The tube that carries all this is welded to the threaded rod, previously an eye bolt. This rod will have keyway cut in it to ensure alignment. A knurled brass nut adjusts for elevation. Here are some pictures:
    Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    You make nice looking stuff out of scrap. Quite impressive.

    Dan
    At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

    Location: SF East Bay.

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    • #3
      I'm curious how this works -- is it similar to the tang sights? That is something I want to learn. Anxious to try some lo-budget gunsmithing here.
      25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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      • #4
        Originally posted by nickel-city-fab View Post
        I'm curious how this works -- is it similar to the tang sights? That is something I want to learn. Anxious to try some lo-budget gunsmithing here.
        yes, very similar to a tang sight, though the post type don’t have a windage adjustment. I am including some photos showing the barrel nut with the blade, the lead screw, the adjustment knob and the barrel. This is just a fit up before the finishing. For the final assembly the knob gets loctite to keep it from unscrewing.
        the lead screw is a 3 inch 1/4-20 screw with a washer TIG welded to act as a flange. The elevation screw has a flat milled in it for a guide, though i may go deeper and add a brass strip with calibration marks. This would be sweat soldered into place. Brass set screws in the main barrel keeps this post in alignment.
        Click image for larger version

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        • #5
          Well the gunsight is complete and mounted to the gun. Rather than mechanical methods of attaching the sight pedestal to the gun i chose simple, direct TIG welding. Now comes building the front sight.
          Click image for larger version

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          • #6
            The front sight is to be an offset post mounted at the muzzle. So with a metal band saw and a hole saw i could hack out a profile. Nawww, i bought a cnc system for my plasma cutter...

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            Attached Files

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            • #7
              Congrats on the sight manufacturing and the cnc plasma cutter. The offset looks like it will work well for you.
              Will you put some sort of felt with a slit in it to protect the threads of the rear sight to minimize dust and debris from getting in?

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              • #8
                yeah, we used to have a cannon shoot also, at least until the lawyers got involved...
                Attached Files

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by jmm03 View Post
                  yeah, we used to have a cannon shoot also, at least until the lawyers got involved...
                  some of those guns look familiar. And some of the shooters too.
                  Click image for larger version

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                  • #10
                    from the Ojai valley Gun club, going on 5 years ago I think...

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jmm03 View Post
                      from the Ojai valley Gun club, going on 5 years ago I think...
                      Ok, ours is still going on at Coalinga. Almost spitting distance from Ojai, from my perspective here in Washington. They are having a shoot now and another in October. Been going on for 30 years

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                      • #12
                        Yeah, ours had been around probably as long until the shysters got their panties in a bunch. Funny how you could go for so long without any problems... I got to shoot the Gatling, what a hoot that was. Jim

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