Zouave rear sight

Discussion in 'Percussion Rifles' started by Columbus, Oct 31, 2018.

Help Support Muzzle Loading Forum by donating:

  1. Oct 31, 2018 #1

    Columbus

    Columbus

    Columbus

    32 Cal.

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2018
    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    19
    Picked up a used musket that I'm cleaning up and planning on shooting. The Zouave has a three leaf rear sight and the two flip up leaves just flop around, nothing holds them in place. Anyone have one of these, any suggestions on how those could be tightened up?
     
  2. Oct 31, 2018 #2

    stubshaft

    stubshaft

    stubshaft

    40 Cal.

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2010
    Messages:
    511
    Likes Received:
    5
    I lightly peened the sides of the rear sight to provide a slight friction fit for the blades.
     
  3. Oct 31, 2018 #3

    14Tenn

    14Tenn

    14Tenn

    Pilgrim

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2014
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    If I remember correctly, there should be a screw that goes through the sight blades. Can you post a picture of what you have on the rifle. I have some spare parts that you can have if they will fix your problem
     
  4. Oct 31, 2018 #4

    Flint62Smoothie

    Flint62Smoothie

    Flint62Smoothie

    50 Cal.

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Messages:
    1,701
    Likes Received:
    85
    Location:
    NE Mass
    I put a drop of low-strength Loktite on each side of the blade pivots, let it seep it, then wiped clean. Works great without any permanent physical deformation!
     
  5. Oct 31, 2018 #5

    Artificer

    Artificer

    Artificer

    Cannon MLF Supporter

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Messages:
    9,237
    Likes Received:
    745
    That is the correct way to fix the problem, most of the time.

    Over many years of working these and other UnCivil War guns at the NSSA Spring and Fall Championships, I saw too many guys try to tighten the Rear Sight Leaf Screw down more to attempt to tighten them up. What inevitably happens then is they bugger up the screw slot and/or strip the threads on the screw and/or base and the sight leaves are still loose.

    Sometimes the best way to fix the problem can be to get replacement sight leaves that are wider and fit inside the rear sight base tighter. Then carefully file them to fit.

    Gus
     
  6. Oct 31, 2018 #6

    Artificer

    Artificer

    Artificer

    Cannon MLF Supporter

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Messages:
    9,237
    Likes Received:
    745
    OK, now that we have talked about peening the rear sight base, here are a couple of ways of doing it.

    I prefer to do this by removing the rear sight screw and leaves, then taking the rear sight base off the barrel. HOWEVER, some rear sight base screws don’t have screw slots, but instead have two holes that require a spanner wrench to remove them. I’m sorry I don’t remember if the Zouave Rear Sight Base Screw requires the spanner wrench “screw driver” or just has a screwdriver slot on it.

    If you can take the Rear Sight Base off the barrel, here is how I do it:

    With the “Naked” Rear Sight Base removed I first try to tighten it in a vise with smooth jaws or with brass/bronze jaw pads so you don’t mar the side of the Rear Sight Base. I put the RS Base upside down in the vise and tighten the rounded area on the top rear of the RS Base a bit and MAKE A POINT to notice how far I turned the Vise Handle. Let’s say the handle stopped at 2 O’clock when it was just tight, so then I turn the handle to 3 O’clock to tighten it a bit. Then take it out of the vise jaws, install the RS Leaves and Screw, and check the leaves to see they are tight enough. If not, then I strip the RS again and put it back in the vise jaws and this time turn the Vise handle to a little beyond 3 O’clock. Maybe 3:30 or 4 O’clock and see if that is tight enough. I prefer to do it this way as I can better control how much I am tightening the RS Base each time and as a way to see how much I tighten it a little more at a time, when I need to.

    OK, so what happens if you can’t take the Rear Sight Base off the barrel?

    This gets a bit tricky. You still need to take the Rear Sight Leaves and Screw out of the Rear Sight. Use something like a folded up towel to pad under the rifle as you lay it on the bench. Then you need something to lay under the RS Base and support it; such as a hardwood block, or lead Babbitt or even a flat piece of brass or steel.
    Use a polished flat face of a hammer to gently tap the rounded portion of the RS Base on the side opposite the supported side of the RS Base. (If the face of the hammer is scarred, then it will leave scar marks on the side of the RS Base when you tap it.) At first try a gentle tap and see if that tightened the RS Base enough when you re-assemble the Sight. If not, take the RS apart again and try tapping it a little harder and try it for fit again. Keep trying a little harder taps until it tightens the RS base enough so there is friction to hold the leaves in place.


    Gus
     
  7. Nov 1, 2018 #7

    Artificer

    Artificer

    Artificer

    Cannon MLF Supporter

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Messages:
    9,237
    Likes Received:
    745
    I should have mentioned when you peen the sides of the RS Base with the polished face of a hammer, you alternate taps on each side of the RS Base, as you peen it. This will close in both sides of the RS Base a little, rather than just one side of the RS Base.

    Gus
     
  8. Nov 1, 2018 #8

    Columbus

    Columbus

    Columbus

    32 Cal.

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2018
    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    19
    Will have to find a spanner wrench that fits that rear sight screw. Hate the thought of banging on it while it's on the gun.
     
  9. Nov 1, 2018 #9

    Artificer

    Artificer

    Artificer

    Cannon MLF Supporter

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Messages:
    9,237
    Likes Received:
    745
  10. Nov 2, 2018 #10

    14Tenn

    14Tenn

    14Tenn

    Pilgrim

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2014
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    When I was shooting in NSSA, I took a feeler gauge the thickness needed to take up the slop and drilled a hole in it to fit the screw diameter. Then I used tin snips to trim it to the correct size to fit in the sight base.
     
  11. Nov 2, 2018 #11

    hawkeye2

    hawkeye2

    hawkeye2

    58 Cal.

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    2,879
    Likes Received:
    196
    Location:
    Winchester, VA
    The rear sight to barrel screw on original US firearms is 8-32 and your Zouave will be metric. Also, if you buy a sight screw tool it will be made for US guns and probably won't fit your gun. I have one and haven't had a lot of luck using it on imports. A ceter punch in a hole will work in a pinch but it will damage it. You might want to grind a screwdriver blade ot fit.

    Trying to tighten the screw the blades pivot on will only result in 2 things as it's far too small to exert the force needed. You'll strip the screw and bugger up the slot.

    Some good suggestions above and Flint62Smothie's suggestion is something I'll try in the future as I have a gun with loose blades to work up a load for. I expect super glue would work too.
     
  12. Nov 2, 2018 #12

    Artificer

    Artificer

    Artificer

    Cannon MLF Supporter

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Messages:
    9,237
    Likes Received:
    745
    This is also a very good way to correct the problem, if one has a feeler gauge set they don’t mind sacrificing one or more size blades to fit. Harbor Freight and Walmart both sell inexpensive feeler gauge sets around five or six dollars. That would most likely be easier to procure and cost less than trying to get different thicknesses of brass or steel shim stock for most people. Once the hole is drilled through the correct size feeler gauge laid on a wood block, then one would need to turn it over and lightly tap around the hole to ensure any ragged edge is flattened down. May also require a light bit of stoning or filing to get rid of the ragged portion, as well. I’m sure you knew this having done it, but someone else may not know that.

    What I personally like about this idea is that it will also be a pretty permanent fix, unlike using any type of glue - that is going to continually wear and possibly go loose at the exact time one doesn’t want it to happen.

    This is why I mentioned the first spanner wrench I linked above may fit correctly, because it is made in Italy and even though it says for the M1855/61. Since the Italians seem to use some less common parts/screws in different guns, they may use the same spanner style RS Base screw in the Zouave as well as the Springfield reproductions. Again, I recommend calling Lodgewood first to see if that wrench will fit the RS Base Screw of the Zouave before one orders, as they almost surely will know or will find out for you.


    Gus
     

Share This Page

arrow_white