Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

1860 Colt front sight question

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by BCRider, Jun 6, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Jim K

    Jim K Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
    17,706
    "I have a couple of hand drills that are not electric or manually powered."

    Gasoline? Steam? Nuclear?

    Jim
     
  2. mykeal

    mykeal Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
    Messages:
    5,147
    Location:
    Michigan
    There were steam powered drill presses in Edison's manufacturing plant. All the machines were powered by belts and pulleys run by a central steam engine. Maybe that's what he has.
     
  3. BCRider

    BCRider Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    Messages:
    7,754
    Location:
    Pacific North"Wet" Coast of Canada
    OK, if we can bypass all this talk of drills I've got updates on the new taller front sights.

    On one 1860 the blade was perfect right off the bat. I didn't measure the height of the original but it's fair to say that the new one is a solid .065 to .075 taller. Turned out for that gun shot one handed that it's just right for out to 15 to 20 yards.

    The other needed a slight topping to remove about .010 or so but after about 4 file strokes it too shot neatly at the same distances.

    The old Navy Arms 1860 turned out to be a humdinger of a gun as well. I'd shot it before and was amazed that it produced about 1.5 inch groups at around 12'ish yards. It's still a humdinger as the tests yesterday showed with 2 to 2.5 inch groups at out around the 15 to 17 yard target and something around 3 inches with a sole flyer that I pulled at 20'ish yards.

    The newer Uberti 1860 didn't do quite as well but it was still more than servicable to use for my intended Cowboy Action Fronteirsman shooting.

    I was also using my own cast round ball for yesterday's testing. Below is a picture of the "foundry". And yes, I know it was stupid to use the BBQ and I'll be giving it a good "de-toxing" cleaning before using it for food preparation.
     

    Attached Files:

    • 002.JPG
      002.JPG
      File size:
      63.3 KB
      Views:
      49
  4. Foto Joe

    Foto Joe Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,378
    Location:
    Cody, WY
    It's my understanding that during the middle ages vessels to hold wine etc. were made from lead which gave the contents as "sweetish" flavor. Who knows, you may have found the secret ingredient in hotdogs.:what:
     
  5. BCRider

    BCRider Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    Messages:
    7,754
    Location:
    Pacific North"Wet" Coast of Canada
    Hatters also used solvents that softened and bound the felts used for the making of gentlemen's hats. Long term exposure led to them providing lots of fodder for the phrase "mad as a hatter". So..... um.... I think I'll just clean it well rather than play with historical food additives.... :D
     
  6. jgh4445

    jgh4445 Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Messages:
    885
    Location:
    South Alabama
    Totally destroyed my front sight trying to make it taller. Now, I guess I have to try and fabricate one like you did. I've never made anything like that before. I think there's a bunch of trial and error, mostly error, coming up soon. Where do ya get 1/8 inch bar stock?
     
  7. Foto Joe

    Foto Joe Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,378
    Location:
    Cody, WY
    It's been said that you can use a silver dime (pre 1965) to reconstruct a front blade sight. A silver dime being 90% silver and 10% nickle should be easy enough to work with a hammer or similar blunt object. I've never gotten around to trying it but I think several here on THR have at some time. Besides, it would add to the "cool" factor don't ya think?
     
  8. jgh4445

    jgh4445 Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Messages:
    885
    Location:
    South Alabama
    It would but...I believe it is way too thin to fit the key way. All of the nickles dimes and quarters I have are. Guesss I'd have to fold it over on itself of something.
     
  9. BCRider

    BCRider Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    Messages:
    7,754
    Location:
    Pacific North"Wet" Coast of Canada
    jgh, sorry to hear about your problems so far. And yeah, I don't know where these stories come from but if the modern reproductions are faithful copies then there's just no way that any sort of coin of the right diameter is going to fit.

    The steel for the new sight doesn't need to be anything fancy. I used some ground flat stock O-1 annealed tool steel simply because it was handy. But some 1/8x1/2 cold or hot rolled whatever you can buy from the metal stock rack at most hardware stores is equaly fine. You'll likely want to get some 1/4x3/4 at the same time to make up that funky looking clamping jig I show in the pictures.

    The hot rolled steel from Home Depot is actually a little thicker than nominal so you can file down the thickness then rub it on a sharpening stone to dress the final thickness down to where it is about .0005 to .001 wider than the slot in the barrel. That'll give you a nice snug "tap in" fit.

    From there use the home made clamping jig to hold the blade's base while you taper file the upper blade.

    And if you're not much of a metal worker keep in mind that a file can work like a poor piece of sandpaper or a precision cutting tool depending on how it is used. A file only cuts in one direction and it should be lifted off the work or at least the pressure reduced to minimal on the return stroke. And if held well using two hands it can be used to cut pretty darn flat faces. To do this obviously the pressure has to shift from the front to back hand as the stroke of the file move ahead. It DOES take some practice and a bit of feel.

    The good news is that if you bought the typical 3 foot length from HD you've got LOTS of material to practice on.... :D

    Stick with it buddy. I just shot the two Colt repros shown in this thread at a big weekend shoot. The sights served me well enough to aid in some small way towards my first place plaque.
     
  10. jgh4445

    jgh4445 Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Messages:
    885
    Location:
    South Alabama
    Congrats on the first place finish! Yeah, I'll get in some good practice with a file I suspect. Thanks,
    Jim
     
  11. Ifishsum

    Ifishsum Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2005
    Messages:
    939
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I fashioned a new front sight for my Pietta 1860 with part of a coin, I believe it was a NZ dollar which was just the right width for the existing channel - plus it was already a gold colored nickel alloy so it looks good and won't rust. I did use a little JB weld to make sure it stays put but the bottom contour and width were a near perfect match for the slot. I purposely made it a little tall, figuring to file it down to where I wanted it but I got lucky and it's now spot on between 15-20 yards.
     
  12. jgh4445

    jgh4445 Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Messages:
    885
    Location:
    South Alabama
    NZ dollar huh? I'll look and see if I can scrounge one up!
     
  13. Pulp

    Pulp Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Messages:
    1,019
    Location:
    Valliant, OK
    Here's mine, made from an Oklahoma state quarter. I cut it so the Oklahoma shows on the right side.

    IMG_0708.jpg
     
  14. jgh4445

    jgh4445 Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Messages:
    885
    Location:
    South Alabama
    Looks good Pulp. How did you get it to fit tight in the key way? A quarter is too thin to fit mine.
     
  15. BCRider

    BCRider Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    Messages:
    7,754
    Location:
    Pacific North"Wet" Coast of Canada
    None of our Canadian coins is anywhere near thick enough to fit my sight slots either.

    Did you shim the coin to get it to fit?
     
  16. Ifishsum

    Ifishsum Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2005
    Messages:
    939
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I only used about 1/3 of the NZ dollar to make the new sight; it filled the slot almost completely and the radius of the coin edge was also a near-perfect match to the barrel slot. Its a nickle-brass alloy that looks very close to the original brass sight, I was very happy with how it came out.

    I only used about 1/3 of the coin; what is left would make a good start for two more sights. If someone wants a piece of it, PM me.
     
  17. jgh4445

    jgh4445 Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Messages:
    885
    Location:
    South Alabama
    PM Sent
     
  18. BowerR64

    BowerR64 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2013
    Messages:
    1,244
    Very cool read

    I wonder if they didnt try something like that back in the day using coins.

    My colt .44 appears to be short as well.

    Colt44_zpsc02fd81a.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2013
  19. Crawdad1

    Crawdad1 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    Messages:
    3,143
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Instead of replacing the front sight why not dovetail in a new front sight. That way you can take care of both problems at the same time, elevation and windage?

    But I don’t know who does that kind of work or where to send it.:confused:
     
  20. BCRider

    BCRider Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    Messages:
    7,754
    Location:
    Pacific North"Wet" Coast of Canada
    Crawdad, because I wanted to keep it as original as possible while still making the blade taller. And a dovetail would be way out of character.

    Besides, the accepted method for correcting windage on this older style is to widen the slight rear V notch towards the direction needed with a safe edge file to control the cut.
     
  21. BowerR64

    BowerR64 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2013
    Messages:
    1,244
    Well i did mine the wrong way then lol
     
  22. Crawdad1

    Crawdad1 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    Messages:
    3,143
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Ah not necessarily BC, there were some back then that dovetailed the front sight. Not many but some. Although I agree 100% and have been doing the same for years to 'V' notch the back sight to adjust for windage and even cut it deeper to correct elevation problems.
     
  23. BowerR64

    BowerR64 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2013
    Messages:
    1,244
    Well i meant i did it in a way im sure you guys wouldnt approve of.

    Not the same gun

    Frotnsightadjust2_zpsa1eacf0b.jpg

    Frotnsightadjust1_zps7c93baca.jpg
     
  24. BCRider

    BCRider Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    Messages:
    7,754
    Location:
    Pacific North"Wet" Coast of Canada
    Bower, for the Remington I'd likely do it the same way as you have. The rear sight notching we referred to above relates to the open top Colt style guns where the rear notch is actually on the nose of the hammer. I would not want to widen the notch in the top strap on a Remington in the same way. But on the open tops it's easy and can be neatly done.
     
  25. BowerR64

    BowerR64 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2013
    Messages:
    1,244
    I would of done it to mine but mine looked pretty square. The front sight looked so tall and thick i figured i could shave a little off and wouldnt miss much.

    Looking at the gun fromt he side you cant really tell anything was done. Only when you look down the sights you see the little tilt to the front sight.

    It is a little weird looking down the sights but it shoots alot better thats all i wanted.

    Now im working on the colts.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page