Rear sight on a smoothbore

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Murphinator

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I hope I dont ruffle any feathers by asking this but are any smoothbores specifically flintlocks produced with a rear sight ? I recently got a Pedersoli Brown Bess that was in somewhat poor condition in a lot of muzzleloaders that I bought from a deceased neighbors wife. I cant seem to hit the broadside of a barn. I started with paper cartridges then patched round balls and I just cant hit that damn plate lol(@50yards). I think its because I cant get that bayonet lug in the same spot twice and to be honest the Bess just doesnt hold right for me it is a nice smoker though. My question is are there any smoothbores made today like a fowler or fusil that have a rear sight ? I would like to use one for deer hunting .62 caliber is enough for me I think as .75 eats into my lead supplies.
 
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My 54/28ga Pennsylvania smooth rifle (left in the photo) I built from a kit, needed a rear sight. So I grabbed a 3 corner file and dovetailed one in. It made it much more versatile, especially with prb. Except for competition rules, I would not apologize for a rear sight.
 

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Rock Home Isle

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Who/What is Hoyt ? If you dont mind me asking I am not familiar with most notable community members or manufacturers.
Bobby Hoyt will take your .58 calibre out to .62 calibre…I don’t know his prices; I’ve personally never used him; but people here that I respect…swear by him, and the quality work that he does…
 
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In the process of scratch building a .555 diam. smooth bore , long rifle. Guaranteed it will have a "home brew" tang peep sight on it , so I can see the front sight and target. I'm veering towards a Berks Co. Pa. w/ walnut stock. Haven't decided on hardware yet , but it will be Iron , most likely. If I get a wild hair , German silver looks nice with a walnut background. No matter , it won't be fancy , just utilitarian. At my age , fancy don't interest me...oldwood
 
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Many smoothbore guns came with rear sights. The Carolina trade gun was made with one.
Smooth rifles also routinely had rear sights. Many known trade fusils had a rear sight added. Sometimes it was a flake of barrel lifted and notched. Sometimes added.
The first time I ever shot a bess a rear sight had been soldered to the breach between the bands.
All my smoothies get a rear sight
Just beware most smoothbore shoots won’t let you compleat with an historicly correct gun.
 

Brokennock

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Yes.
There are smoothrifles with front and rear sights. I have a TVM Early Virginia smoothrifle in 20 gauge .615 bore.
There are Type-G, or "Carolina", trade guns that have front and rear sights.

I recently saw a picture of an original colonial stocked fowling piece with a small rear sight. I believe it was of Moravian manufacture in colonial Pennsylvania.


The issue you may have with trying to put a rear sight on a brown bess is that what you are using for a front sight is bigger and thicker than most front sights.
 

Rock Home Isle

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Yes.
There are smoothrifles with front and rear sights. I have a TVM Early Virginia smoothrifle in 20 gauge .615 bore.
There are Type-G, or "Carolina", trade guns that have front and rear sights.

I recently saw a picture of an original colonial stocked fowling piece with a small rear sight. I believe it was of Moravian manufacture in colonial Pennsylvania.


The issue you may have with trying to put a rear sight on a brown bess is that what you are using for a front sight is bigger and thicker than most front sights.
F28D7474-3DEF-42BC-ACA0-AC84EF14A227.jpeg

My TVM early Virginia stocked Smoothbore American Fowler. The double set triggers make this an amazing Round Ball gun. Never thought to put on a rear sight, DANG
 
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My investigation has been around early French arms, wheellock to early flintlocks. Almost all were smoothbores (I think I've seen three rifled bores). I was surprised by how many of them had rear sights. The sights were in many styles, some real works of art. But..... I personally have not seen them on the English and Dutch smoothbores. I will be the first to admit my experience is rather limited compared to some on here. The gun in my avatar is a composite gun of English and French parts. It has a 41" tapered round smoothbore barrel. If you click on the photo and open it in a new tab you can see the small rear sight. I'm not sure I would like it as much without the rear sight. It's pretty accurate with a round ball too.
 

Brokennock

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View attachment 146233
My TVM early Virginia stocked Smoothbore American Fowler. The double set triggers make this an amazing Round Ball gun. Never thought to put on a rear sight, DANG
Interesting. Even without the rear sight, I would have thought this a smoothrifle given the rifle style triggerguard and double set triggers. Does it have a cheek piece like a rifle?
A rear sight would not be hard to dovetail in.
 

Rock Home Isle

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Interesting. Even without the rear sight, I would have thought this a smoothrifle given the rifle style triggerguard and double set triggers. Does it have a cheek piece like a rifle?
A rear sight would not be hard to dovetail in.
Yes, the stock is a complete early Virginia Rifle Stock. The barrel is quite thick, much thicker than my Fusil de Chase barrel. It takes heavy round ball loads quite nicely, and not much recoil…just a heavy push.
 

Snake Pleskin

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It is bull to say that fowlers and smooth rifles are not historically correct if they have a rear sight. Any colonial with a brain would have added a rear sight if they thought it was needed. They were not worried about being historically correct, just hitting what they aimed at! (IMHO.) There are examples of many types of smooth rifles & fowlers having rear sights, that is all it takes. You find one example, the precedent is set. Put a sight on if you need one!
 

Murphinator

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It is bull to say that fowlers and smooth rifles are not historically correct if they have a rear sight. Any colonial with a brain would have added a rear sight if they thought it was needed. They were not worried about being historically correct, just hitting what they aimed at! (IMHO.) There are examples of many types of smooth rifles & fowlers having rear sights, that is all it takes. You find one example, the precedent is set. Put a sight on if you need one!
Yea I definitely need one lol, i cant hit squat. Also the Bess I bought in the lot of Muzzleloaders wasnt well taken care of as the musket has loads of rust all over it and all around the touchhole and lock. The satin barrel is also too shiny for hunting imo. A nice fowler would do me fine. The rifles I recieved in the lot 2 of which are traditional the others were unmentionable and were sold off by me after a few weeks because I dont like em. So I need a hunting gun and a smoothbore will do it all I just need to be able to hit whats in front of me lol.
 

Snake Pleskin

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Yea I definitely need one lol, i cant hit squat. Also the Bess I bought in the lot of Muzzleloaders wasnt well taken care of as the musket has loads of rust all over it and all around the touchhole and lock. The satin barrel is also too shiny for hunting imo. A nice fowler would do me fine. The rifles I recieved in the lot 2 of which are traditional the others were unmentionable and were sold off by me after a few weeks because I dont like em. So I need a hunting gun and a smoothbore will do it all I just need to be able to hit whats in front of me lol.
I love BP, even though i do not hunt. However, like many, these old eyes(72) wish they had better sights on them! It gets frustrating when you can't hit beans, and you know you ae better than the results you are getting!
 
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