Rear sight base orientation

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Dick Hosmer
Posts: 157
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:15 pm
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Rear sight base orientation

Post by Dick Hosmer » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:57 am

Something has puzzled me for a long time, and that is: Why (and do bear in mind this is coming from the viewpoint of a Springfield collector) does the high end of the ramp occur at the rear on most (all?) military rolling blocks? Actually it's not so much the ramps, but the fact that the 'profiled/machined' side of the sighting notch is thus presented to the eye - which does not give the sharper, more desirable, sight picture of the flatter 'backside'. At first I thought that the sight orientation was an accident on the few specimens I'd seen, but it is far too common to be that - it was apparently meant to be that way. Thoughts? Thanks in advance!!

wlw-19958
Posts: 77
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2016 7:21 pm

Re: Rear sight base orientation

Post by wlw-19958 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:48 am

Hi There,

I don't have a definitive answer for you. I always
assumed that it was the whim of the customer that
ordered the rifle. Sometimes the country that purchased
the rifles replaced the sights with ones of their own
manufacture (or specified a particular design as in the
case of the 1879 Argentine rolling blocks).

For me personally, I prefer sight orientation where the
sight notch is closest to my eye. Depending on the design,
the sight ramp can be oriented towards or away from the
shooter.

I have one Spanish pattern rolling block where the sight
is oriented "backwards" as compared to the typical version.
I removed the sight, thinking that it was reversed but the
wear pattern on the finish of the barrel shows that it must
have been in its current orientation since new (or at least,
reasonably new when it was reversed).

So, I don't know why they are set the way they are other
than the speculations I have presented here.

Good Luck!
-Blue Chips-
Webb

stanforth
Posts: 138
Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2009 5:56 am
Location: Oxford England

Re: Rear sight base orientation

Post by stanforth » Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:43 am

I am confused :? . On all of my military Black Powder rolling blocks have the high, non pivoted end at the front. One of them, a commercial finished ( blue & case hardened) .43 Egyptian is pivoted at the front but still high at the front.
My only smallbore (7mm) 1902 rifle is also 'high at front'.

wlw-19958
Posts: 77
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2016 7:21 pm

Re: Rear sight base orientation

Post by wlw-19958 » Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:12 am

Hi There,

Well, I'm going by the examples I have in my collection
My collection isn't large but it does have some variety.
Here are the examples I have:

1st. A Danish made RB with their sight (I believe these
sights were installed by them as part of the 1896 update).
Notice that the pivot is at the front and the ramp is
towards the rear.
0613191241.jpg
0613191241.jpg (439.04 KiB) Viewed 156 times
Next is a Remington made RB for the Danish contract.
Notice that the pivot is toward the rear and ramp is
towards the front.
0613191241a.jpg
0613191241a.jpg (663.68 KiB) Viewed 156 times
Here is an example of the typical Spanish model
with the pivot at the rear and ramp towards the
rear.
0613191243.jpg
0613191243.jpg (913.87 KiB) Viewed 156 times
Next is another Spanish model but the sight is oriented
in the opposite direction.
0613191242.jpg
0613191242.jpg (670.5 KiB) Viewed 156 times
Lastly, is an example of a 50/70 cal. Civil Guard RB.
This one has pivot towards the front and ramp towards
the rear.
0613191243a.jpg
0613191243a.jpg (956.94 KiB) Viewed 156 times


As one can see, there was some variation in sight
orientation. Some of this was when sights were
changed by the Country of ownership as part of an
update program but others have the original factory
sights on them with different orientations.

Good Luck!
-Blue Chips-
Webb

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