Had a rear sight soldered onto my 1816 Springfield repro

Discussion in 'Smoothbore' started by Stantheman86, Aug 8, 2019.

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  1. Aug 8, 2019 #1

    Stantheman86

    Stantheman86

    Stantheman86

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    A photo taken in the back of my car , I had to take the Musket to work with me since I picked it up at the shop on my way in.

    I bought one of those "solder on Harper's Ferry" repro sights from S&S firearms. I've done way more reading about 1816 conversions than I'd ever have thought......

    Numerous rear sights were used, when they were used, by the countless machine shops who converted 1816's in the 1850s. Whether they received rifling or not seemed irrelevant to whether they were sighted. It seemed more relevant whether the shop had sights and they just used them to satisfy the contract.

    1855 style rear sights, H&P type sights, "Long Range" sights like the ones used on 1842 conversions were applied. Some were dovetailed and screwed on, many were simply soldered.

    Since the facing of the sight didn't seem to matter and large batches were done with "backwards " 1855/1861 type leaf sights, and soldered on Long Range sights were applied based on, I guess, whichever way the shop worker applied them.... I didn't give the gunsmith direction on which way to apply it, just where I wanted it. He put it on backwards which is kinda what I wanted anyway, to give it some character and give it that "small shop conversion " feel to it. The range graduations on the sight don't matter since it's a smoothbore so I'm just using the lowest sight setting to help point the musket anyway.

    I love how it looks, in my opinion the sight completes this Pedersoli conversion musket and gives it a little more historical accuracy. There might not have been conversions done with this exact type of sight and the Colt drum conversion but it's a repro, I'm willing to work with what I have and if its "Historically Possible " then it's good enough for me.

    I need to try those Nessler balls through this now.
     
  2. Aug 9, 2019 #2

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    Oh I like. Nice musket. You will find that a rear sight is a nice addition to a musket. I have a Pedersoli Brown Bess carbine. As there is one in the NRA collection with a rear sight on it, I don't feel bad about my rear sight, and wouldn't anyhow. I went with just a period correct rifle sight. Certainly Historically possible if one actually exists, and it does. !! But again, sure makes it nicer to shoot.

    I also have a Pedersoli 1861 Springfield rifle, and it's quality is absolutely top notch. I do hear about some Pedersolis getting out that escaped quality control, but both of my are excellent firearms. Looks like your Sweet Sixteen is really a nice one.
     
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  3. Aug 9, 2019 #3

    Stantheman86

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    Thank You Sir

    I think it will make the musket way more fun to shoot, it will be the perfect 50 yard "pistol pit" plinker at the gun club.

    The sight seems like it will work if you just ignore all the range graduations on it.

    If I elevate it up to 400 , the bayonet lug obscures the front sight. It doesn't matter anyway because for a smoothbore, using that sliding ladder to shoot is pretty senseless, maybe I could bloop some round balls or Nesslers out to 300 using a high sight setting but its not like I'm gonna hit anything at that range.

    Hopefully the "200" setting is on for more like 75ish yards, maybe 100 if I'm feeling optimistic.
     
  4. Aug 9, 2019 #4

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    It will certainly be a good thing for getting your initial zero elevation-wise. It's been my experience, both with Bessie and a number of single shot modern smoothbores, that as long as the rear sight (and front sight) are centered on the barrel there's rarely any windage problem or adjustment that needs to be done. At least I've never encountered it. I have heard of 20 guage fowlers shooting right or left. Perhaps that is due to the long thin barrels. ? That Sweet Sixteen probably has a pretty beefy barrel.

    I think a 75 yard zero would be good. Beyond that one would have to be optimistic. 75 is stretching it a bit, but that only puts it a tiny bit high at 50, not enough to make any real difference. With some load development and experimentation I think you'll find it very accurate at 50, much more than a plinker. To my mind, and my experience, 75 yards is the maximum range for a round ball in a smooth bore, as far as accuracy, although there's an exception or two out there somewhere. Round balls seem to fly straight for a certain distance, then veer off suddenly, unlike a rifle which has a "cone" like dispersion.

    In my experience, and with my Brown Bess, loads on the heavy side are much more accurate than light or plinker loads. Everyone else's results and opinions may vary. Most accurate load to date, with my Bess, is with 140 grains of fg. But I'm more of a hunter, than a plinker.

    Hey...you can still hit the earth at any range, even 300 or 400. :)
     
  5. Aug 9, 2019 #5

    Stantheman86

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    I had used 100 gr of 2f , before I added the sight and I shot ragged holes at about 40ish yards with .65 round balls in paper cartridges.

    If it hits high at 50 yards that's fine, I know the ball drops pretty fast at 100.
     
  6. Aug 9, 2019 #6

    tenngun

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    It won’t shrink your group a 1/4 of an inch, but it ‘shor do make it t’easier ta shoot’ at least for me, all my smoothies have a rear sight.
     
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  7. Aug 10, 2019 #7

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    Well, it won't make the gun more accurate, but you can sure shoot it more accurately. Also, more consistent I think, and faster to line up sights, then to think about the things you have to think about when shooting without a rear sight. ? I hope that made sense.

    Yes, sometimes paper cartridges shoot very accurately at 50. Mine, not so much. Patched chewed ball is still doing the best for me. But I always carry some paper cartridges for when that wolf pack attacks me. !!!
     
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  8. Aug 10, 2019 #8

    Stantheman86

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    Better pic of the sight......that bayonet lug sure messes up the sight picture but we're not talking precision , it is certainly good enough for 100 yards.

    If it were easy to do I'd just knock that bayonet lug off but it looks soldered on. Don't want to risk damaging the barrel.
     
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  9. Aug 10, 2019 #9

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    close up pic of the lug? Not familiar with the muzzle end of a '16.
     
  10. Aug 10, 2019 #10

    Griz44Mag

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    I JB'd a bullhorn on my Bessie, best thing I have done for it so far.
    Not too bad at 50-75. Makes it a lot more fun to spend the afternoon with!
     
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  11. Aug 10, 2019 #11

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    Okay, I found a pic. Just file the lug down. "Reduce" it a bit.
     
  12. Aug 11, 2019 #12

    Stantheman86

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    Not really a design flaw , these were smoothbore Flintlocks, it's not like they were thinking "in 50 years they're gonna rifle these and that bayonet lug will mess up the sight picture "
     
  13. Aug 11, 2019 #13

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    Right, but we can now squeeze much more accuracy out of them, then what they were interested in doing. Yep, take a file to it and take it down. Those are usually soldered on with a very tough silver solder, takes way too much heat to get them off that way. Probably don't want to try to remove it with files, but you can take it way down, and put some curve on it, kid of "round" it, and it would look fine. Wish I had one of them there Sweet Sixteens, but then my Bess would gather dust.
     

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