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Old June 21, 2009, 03:24 PM   #1
gokyo
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I hear 1860 tend to print high.

It seems that a lot of people report that there 1860 prints high at social distances (say out to 25 meters).

I know some of you would be happy to just aim low. However I like to hit what I am aiming at. In truth I would do not plan to shoot this any farther then 25 meters.

Now I have not shot my 1860's yet. but if they do print high.... i can think of two mechanical solutions.

File down the notch in the back with a "v" jeweler's file. Taking your time and going very slowly and checking every few strokes.

Or

Is it possible to fabricate a brass front sight blade that is rather tall and then file it down slowly.

I like this 2nd idea better because it seems you would less likely be able to do irreparable damage to the weapon. However i am not sure how the sight blade is inserted into the weapon. Is it soldered in or just a press fit?

If you have any insight or experience please share. Thank you.
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Old June 21, 2009, 04:18 PM   #2
Oquirrh
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Or you can do it right...

Yes, they print high.
I took a heavy-gauge piece of copper wire and JB welded it to the top of my sight. It doesn't look terrible and the the colt is right on the money at 50 feet. It's also extraordinarily accurate.

When and if it falls off, I'll probably do it again with a piece of brass rod and solder.

BTW, i have an older Pietta.
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Old June 21, 2009, 04:24 PM   #3
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I believe the Colts had a 75 yard zero.
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Old June 21, 2009, 06:59 PM   #4
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I believe the Colts had a 75 yard zero.
That they did and still do. Most newer 58's have taller than original front sights and hit pretty close to dead on at 25 yds. but nobody I know of makes a 60 Colt with a taller than original front sight.
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Old June 21, 2009, 09:35 PM   #5
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Hawg, have you ever heard any reason for the 75 yard zero? I have always thought a 50 yd is more practical, but then I'm not defending myself from a hostile person.
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Old June 21, 2009, 10:18 PM   #6
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MCB what I read was the Colts were zeroed for 100 yards as were the Walker and Dragoon Horse pistols for ememy engagement in battle... battle sights on M-16 the V notch were 100, tha SKS and AK47 200 yards.
All the Colts I have with stock sights are right on at 100 yards while watching 1 gaL Milk Jugs vaporize :O)
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Old June 22, 2009, 12:49 AM   #7
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Everything I've read says 75 yd. zero to hit a man on a horse at that range.
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Old June 22, 2009, 01:33 AM   #8
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I read it was to hit a horse and stop the man on it from advancing in a charge or a volley of rifle fire , normally effective engagement was at 100 yards.... I read 75 paces which would be closer to the 100 yard mark. But I really don't care if you rather call it 75 yards go ahead... the point is they were made to shoot a longer distance than 25 yards. It's more accurate to aim low and hit a man at 25 yards than to shoot 5 feet over a horse's head and drop it at 100yards...
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Old June 22, 2009, 02:49 AM   #9
olyinaz
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You can buy brass bar stock at Ace Hardware and fabricate a new front sight if you're handy in the shop.

Cheers,
Oly
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Old June 22, 2009, 04:13 AM   #10
gokyo
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I am very handy. the just a press fit?

thanks
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Old June 22, 2009, 07:04 AM   #11
madcratebuilder
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Quote:
I am very handy. the just a press fit?
I've seen both threaded and pressed fit front posts.
I have a Dragoon with a slightly taller and wider front blade, coupled with a square notch cut in the hammer. It is a major improvement of the sight picture.
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Old June 22, 2009, 08:09 PM   #12
59sharps
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2 other options

Bend the barrel.
do a dovetail for the front sight. get it where you need it silver soider it. then cut and contour the wings to the barrel. Can check the N-ssa board for sutlers that sell the blades
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Old June 22, 2009, 11:21 PM   #13
gokyo
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I love the idea of a square notch.

I have a friend with a mill. I look into this option.
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Old June 27, 2009, 04:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
It seems that a lot of people report that there 1860 prints high at social distances (say out to 25 meters).

I've yet to see any C/B pistol that didn't print high, Colt or Remington !
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Old June 30, 2009, 01:37 AM   #15
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I've read a lot of things about the zero at the long distance too. I also read that the expected use of the cap&ball revolvers was 7-28 feet in close combat.
The 1873 SAA was the one the Army asked for a pistol that could disable a horse at 100 yards thus the original 40 gr. powder charge and the 255gr. bullet.
Personally I never read anything that Colt Company said about 100 yard zero. I think the sights were low on the barrels so they wouldn't get loosened too easy and fall off. You know...tall sights have more leverage to get loosened if hit on something.
Also..if the guns were expected to be used at close combat distance of 7-28 feet and the sights were tall the guns would shoot low. The gun fired at close distance shoots low due to the sights being "up there" and the centerline of the bore is "down there" (like a scoped rifle shoots real low at real close distance.....scopes high and the bore is low).
Example...take a gun sighted in for 25 yards....shoot at a quarter sized target at 2-3 yards and aim with the sights....the gun will shoot under the small target. The same gun sighted for 25 will shoot a little low at 10 yards. The gun will shoot real close to right on at about 15 yards when sighted at 25 yards. It has to do with recoil and the height of the rear sight and perspective at different distances.
Anyway..if that's the case then a gun with a short front sight will shoot real close to dead on at real close distance. Close distance the guns were made for.
Try it....take an 1860 Army with stock sights and shoot at something 25 yards away and it'll shoot high.Then shoot it at something that's three yards away and see if it shoots high. Just don't shoot at something that's real close that the ball can bounce off of and wang ya in the forehead.
Anyway I figure that for what the guns were made for and the fact low sights don't get knocked off as easy as high ones it only made sense to have low sights on the front of the barrel.
When the Army asked for a new pistol that could disable a horse at 100 yards the 1873 SAA Colts were made in 45 Colt caliber cartridges for the heavy bullet and heavy bullets shoot higher than lighter ones in revolvers. That's why even though the sights are rather tall on an 1873 Colt they could still be aimed right at a horse 100 yards distant because the bullets were rather heavy and shot high. If an 1873 Colt revolver had little low sights like an 1860 Army it might just shoot right over the top of the horse and the rider when aimed right on at a 100 yard distance. I'm just trying to explain that even though the 1873 was the revolver that filled the bill for the Army's need for a horse killer at 100 yards the sight is still rather tall because of the heavy bullets making the gun shoot high. Anyway I think it was the 1873 that was supposed to shoot at a horse at 100 yards. The cap&ballers were made to be used real close. Saber in one hand and the revolver in the other. They may have been able to be aimed right on a target 100 yards or 75 yards away but that wasn't a design factor asked for in the guns. They just came with low front sights because Colt made them that way from day one with the Paterson. I believe he made them that way because they would work at close range and he wanted the sights not to fall off all the time when they got bumped on things. The cap&ballers may have been used to shoot at targets 100 yards away(it's documented that Indians were shot off horses at that 100 yard distance) but that's not why the front sights were made short.
I think that was a wifes tale that just keeps getting carried along on the wind generation after generation. Made to be sighted in at a hundred yards? Heck....they didn't have much punch left that far away and Sam Colt would know that. Shoot at a horse 100 yards away and it'll sting the horse a good one but I doubt it would disable it. I used to believe that tale about the cap&ballers being designed to hit dead on at a hundred yards but...I also knew the guns were considered close range combat weapons and the Army judged the distance to be from 7-28 feet by the average soldier clamoring for his life in a whirlwind of blood and guts and screaming and horses stepping on everyone and sabers glistening in the sun as they were being swung all over the place and blackpowder smoke getting in everyones eyes and all. I've read the Army then didn't have the soldiers do a lot of practice with revolvers either. Point it and pull the trigger was about all it was for practice.
I've found that if a person fires a gun with low front sights enough that after awhile they can get really proficient at different distances with the gun that way pointing low by different amounts by instinct. That had to be the way it was done since most originals still have low front sights.
Anyway...just my opinion folks.
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Old June 30, 2009, 02:31 AM   #16
Smokin_Gun
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I'm sure Sam Colt did know...

Quote:
I think that was a wifes tale that just keeps getting carried along on the wind generation after generation. Made to be sighted in at a hundred yards? Heck....they didn't have much punch left that far away and Sam Colt would know that.
Probly why they all shoot high enyaw... :O) He knew what he was doin' ...

Now the zero thing is real, pick one up out of box and VAPORIZE a 1 gallon Water jug at 100 yards or Clang a gong. I believe there's plenty a zip left in a .44 RB...
But your right unless hunting or targeted, the fun zone is 10-25 yards...
Xlint read enyaw...
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Old June 30, 2009, 04:11 AM   #17
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I've yet to see any C/B pistol that didn't print high, Colt or Remington

Newer Remingtons both Pietta and Uberti have extremely tall front sights.
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Old June 30, 2009, 08:19 AM   #18
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I've read a lot of things ...
Don't believe everything you read.
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Old June 30, 2009, 08:47 AM   #19
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Mykeal, are you infering something I said in my post should/could be contested or corrected or contradicted? Do you disagree with something I posted? If so lets converse about it. Hash it over or shoot the s--t so to speak.
Might be interesting.
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Old June 30, 2009, 09:45 AM   #20
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Mine doesn't have that problem...

I have a brass-framed 1860 reproduction and it shoots where I aim, when I aim with a 6 o'clock hold - like I'm supposed to.

I love to shoot the thing because of all of the smoke and such.

I hate loading it and I hate cleaning it.

I use Pyrodex, but clean it as if I was using blackpowder.
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Old July 1, 2009, 07:50 AM   #21
enyaw
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How's things down on the Levi Big Ugly Tall Texan?
Being Big may be the reason your gun shoots less high. Weight holding it down. Maybe a firm hold on it.
My guns shoot higher when I grip them lighter. Less high when I use two hands instead of one. Must be the extra arm of weight helps hold it down.
Anyway being big can help hold it down.
Being Ugly may scare it into submission too.
Try cussing at it and see if it shoots 10X every time.
It's easier cleaning a gun that shoots good. Actually the cleaning can be shortened if you get the cylinder and the barrel cleaned right away and let the frame,after wiping off the outside, and the arbor wait till later.
I get Butches Bore Shine for Blackpowder. It almost gets the crude off by saturating and then flushing with the facet. Cuts the cleaning time down. Good Stuff.
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Old July 1, 2009, 09:15 AM   #22
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Mykeal, are you infering something I said in my post should/could be contested or corrected or contradicted? Do you disagree with something I posted? If so lets converse about it. Hash it over or shoot the s--t so to speak.
Might be interesting.
Specifically:
Quote:
I also read that the expected use of the cap&ball revolvers was 7-28 feet in close combat.
I have not seen that particular claim myself, but it seems highly unlikely (the expectation, not the claim). The first Colt revolver, and widely considered the first real revolver overall, was the Paterson, followed by the Walker and then the Dragoons. Those guns were most certainly never considered to be for use in close combat. If they were the designer certainly missed the mark badly - they're far too heavy and cumbersome for that use.

Quote:
I think the sights were low on the barrels so they wouldn't get loosened too easy and fall off.
That implies that Colt deliberately compromised the effectiveness of the gun for a minor maintenance item, instead of using a more positive method of fixing the sights. I find that highly unlikely; Sam Colt was a poor businessman, but a design genius.

Quote:
Saber in one hand and the revolver in the other.
Romantic but not realistic. That's not how they operated.

Quote:
I've read the Army then didn't have the soldiers do a lot of practice with revolvers either.
True. In fact, revolvers were very rarely even issued to regular soldiers; they were officer's weapons. The early large frame Colts were intended to be carried by mounted troops (cavalry and mounted infantry - dragoons), not regular soldiers. And their close range weapon of choice was the saber, not the revolver.
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Old July 1, 2009, 09:59 AM   #23
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That's why revolvers were carried with the butts forward

It left the strong hand free to draw the saber.

And as has been said, those big Colts were usually carried on the horse, not on the rider.
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