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Sighting Along a Sighting Rib

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Cruzatte

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This is a historical question about gun building in the 18th century; specifically French gun building. An optional feature on some French export fusils was a sighting rib milled along the top of the barrel thus extending the top flat from breech to muzzle. In the photographs I've seen, there appears to be no sight mounted to the barrel. Some of the guns were cut down; one or two I've seen may not have been cut down. I couldn't really be sure.

So the questions are:
  1. If there were a sight present originally, how was it mounted; dovetailed into the barrel, like on a rifle (doubtful), or a slot filed into the sighting rib and the blade soldered into place? (possible)
  2. If neither of the above, was the sighting rib the sight?
 
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They had sights. Usually a fine barley corn type,mounted 4 or 5 inches from the muzzle depending on barrel length. As was the French fashion. Sometimes it was just a flat filled from breech to muzzle, other times it was a raised flat,comparable to a modern one. Difference being the barrel was made oversized, and the excess removed to make the flat. The latter being very time consuming and costly. I have built using one and seen a couple reproductions. I'm not sure if I have any good pictures to show the sights . Most originals have been altered, and it's a detail the average gun photographer neglects
Larry Horrigan will make you one, but sit down for the price.
 

dave_person

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Hi,
Here is one I did using a hand made broach and a bottoming file. The next to last photo shows how the flat ends at the front sight and the last photo shows the front sight, which is morticed into the center of the barrel.









These photos show the front sight and flat on the original barrel. It was a French barrel used on a New England fowler.



dave
 
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Hi,
Here is one I did using a hand made broach and a bottoming file. The next to last photo shows how the flat ends at the front sight and the last photo shows the front sight, which is morticed into the center of the barrel.









These photos show the front sight and flat on the original barrel. It was a French barrel used on a New England fowler.



dave
Thanks for sharing that, Dave
 

Cruzatte

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Thanks for posting those photos. They confirm what I suspected, but couldn't confirm until now.
 

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