Anybody have this problem

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Conquerordie

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The only gun I have left from when I used to build guns is a New England Fowler with a 55 inch barrel. I love the gun, but it's hard to shoot because after a shot or two, the heat dissapating from the length of the barrel actually distorts my front sight. I made the sight a small sliver of brass, just like the original. Very low to the barrel. Anybody else expirience this. Kinda makes me wonder if a militiaman was using this type of gun at say Lexington and Concord, it might explain why more British weren't shot that day. The distortion is crazy!
 

Steve Martin

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At Lexington the militia only got off one shot, most didn't get off a shot at all. In Concord they did much better and by the days end The British had lost over 30% of the original force that marched into Lexington that morning. No, I don't think they had any heat mirage related sight issues at least not that day!
 

tenngun

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I do have that problem. Don’t shoot much in the summer because of it. I’ve fitted a rear sight on my smoothies and have taller front and that helps.
But at fifty yards I don’t think I would miss a man sized target, and pretty sure at seventy five I would hit more then missed
 

Osseon

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The only gun I have left from when I used to build guns is a New England Fowler with a 55 inch barrel. I love the gun, but it's hard to shoot because after a shot or two, the heat dissapating from the length of the barrel actually distorts my front sight. I made the sight a small sliver of brass, just like the original. Very low to the barrel. Anybody else expirience this. Kinda makes me wonder if a militiaman was using this type of gun at say Lexington and Concord, it might explain why more British weren't shot that day. The distortion is crazy!
Hope I'm pinging someone right, but @dave_person when building my rifle recommended bluing the barrel because it reduces the heat waves off the barrel would obscure the sights in the Florida heat. Is your Fowler barrel untreated raw steel?
 

Conquerordie

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Actually it's got a aged finish of tincture of iodine and blueing. When I had the barrel made it was made with thin walls as the original was. Maybe that has something to do with it. It heats up fast, not like hot to the touch, but just makes almost like a mirage at the front sight after 3 shots. I can slow down my shooting, and it's not such a big deal.
 

Conquerordie

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I do have that problem. Don’t shoot much in the summer because of it. I’ve fitted a rear sight on my smoothies and have taller front and that helps.
But at fifty yards I don’t think I would miss a man sized target, and pretty sure at seventy five I would hit more then missed
Man sized target, I agree, sadly for me I was attempting to use it deer hunting. Small target zones just disappear. This was a nice October day when I was practicing. So later in the season I might get away with more shots. Yes while hurting I'll only fire one shot, no issue with sight distortion, buy when practicing with the gun it's noticable
 

Crow-Feather

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The only gun I have left from when I used to build guns is a New England Fowler with a 55 inch barrel. I love the gun, but it's hard to shoot because after a shot or two, the heat dissapating from the length of the barrel actually distorts my front sight. I made the sight a small sliver of brass, just like the original. Very low to the barrel. Anybody else expirience this. Kinda makes me wonder if a militiaman was using this type of gun at say Lexington and Concord, it might explain why more British weren't shot that day. The distortion is crazy!
Take a wet cloth and wipe down the barrel as part of your shooting routine.
 

Osseon

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Man sized target, I agree, sadly for me I was attempting to use it deer hunting. Small target zones just disappear. This was a nice October day when I was practicing. So later in the season I might get away with more shots. Yes while hurting I'll only fire one shot, no issue with sight distortion, buy when practicing with the gun it's noticable
It might be worth replacing the sights with taller ones if possible/comfortable.
 

Mark Herman

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May not be HC but the competition rifles I have I put a piece of painters tape the full length of the top flat. It disperses any heat waves and stops any reflection.
 

dave_person

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Hi,
Yeah, that is a problem with low sights. Most civilian guns were not meant to be shot scores of times at shooting ranges. They shot at game and often under a canopy of trees. In those conditions the low sights were not much trouble. I've shot many long barreled fowlers without rear sights and when I shoot I sight over the barrel, not down it. It is like shooting a bow instinctively. In fact, learning to shoot a bow as a kid was the best training I had to shoot a fowler well. You don't sight down the arrow, you see the tip (front sight) and hold it up to, over, or under the target depending on the distance. By sighting over the barrel the heat waves are much less a problem. Any rear sighting grooves, marks, or notches just provide a crude reference for centering the front sight, not actually a rear sight to look through. Rifles with low sights are a different story because you do have to sight through the rear sight. Heat waves can be a real issue but again the original guns were not set up for shooting over and over at a range.

dave
 
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