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Correct Sights for 1892 Sporting Rifle Circa 1914
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Posts: 216
October 14, 2015 - 4:04 pm

1sp_QuotePost

I have a 1914 production 1892 rifle in .44 WCF. The rifle is in good condition but someone years ago replaced the sights, front and rear. I have a no.22 rear sight from a 1918 vintage model 1894 in .38/55. Would this sight be correct for the 1892 being for a black powder cartridge chambered 1894? I also have a couple no.21 front sights of different heights and by looking in the sight forum at one members excellent sight info I learned the smokeless front sight was .381 in height. I am guessing the front sight for the 1892 would be somewhat lower than that? Any help would be appreciated. I would like to put the rifle back in original trim.

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Posts: 955
October 15, 2015 - 12:45 pm

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Well, since no one has answered yet I’m going to submit this information, some from 1894s, and if someone else has the answers they can correct and I can learn something too.  Hopefully I’m not hijacking your original post too much.

Front sight could be a 21A or a 21C if High Velocity ammunition is used.  A 21A front sight has an overall height of .358 and a 21C has the .381 height you mentioned. 

I have also found tin tipped and Nov.4 ’02 patent date stamped Sporting Front Sights scattered on 1894 Deluxe, Standard Sporting Rifles and 1894 Carbines between 1910-1920.  The George Madis Sight Book identifies the dovetail sights as the 21K (which is in all other respects has the same dimensions as a 21A) and the 21L (which is in all other respects the same as a 21C).  I would be interested to know if this pattern exists on 1892s also.

I personally would not be afraid to substitute the Winchester front sight with a period Lyman front sight, like a No.3, No.4 or No.5, either if you had one and it looked right on the gun.  It might not be standard but would be period correct for a replacement.

For rear sights I see a lot of flat top Sporting Rear Sights starting around 1915 in my 1894 survey.  They are referred to as the 22A, but also sometimes just the Sporting Rear Sight which leads me to believe that was the accepted style of a standard rear sight on some models for a time.  The notes in George Madis’ Sight Book states the 22A has a top that is cut “straight & horizontal and sighting notch changed from “v” to “u” form, adjusting slide & binding screw omitted” starting in 2/23/14.  I have Model 1894s in my survey with the 22B semi-buckhorn rear sights in this period also, among other sights, but I see a lot of the flat top sights after 1914.

It would be interesting to know if the 1892 aficionados here have noted these sights or sight changes on their guns and if this crossed over between 1894s and 1892s.

Thanks,

Brad

Regards

Brad Dunbar

http://1895book.com/

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New Mexico
Posts: 1167
October 15, 2015 - 2:22 pm

3sp_QuotePost

I have one of those tinned German silver bead sights stamped “Pat. Nov. 4 02”.  From what I’ve been able to research these were made for .22 caliber rifles, the height determining which model, 1890, 1903 or Model 56.

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"This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend." 

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Posts: 955
October 15, 2015 - 7:10 pm

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There are several versions of them, whether they be carbine blades, Winchester Express Front Sights and also the Sporting Front Sights that I have seen on 1892s and 1894s.  These are on 1894s.  The Madis Sight Book lists this particular type as for 1873s and 1892s for “South American Trade”.  I personally believe they were more widely used and I can’t see why they wouldn’t end up on an 1894 or other model also if the  dimensions were correct for the caliber and the sights were available.

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Regards

Brad Dunbar

http://1895book.com/

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Posts: 216
October 16, 2015 - 11:28 am

5sp_QuotePost

Thanks for the reply, Brad. Interesting about the appearance of the flat top rear sights in 1915. I have a 94 sporting rifle in .32/40, shotgun butt, round barrel, 2/3 mag, 1917 vintage which has a flat top rear sight. Haven’t seen many earlier 94’s with that sight. I was mainly wondering about whether black powder 94 sights would have been identical to 92 sights. It seems reasonable to assume they were as production of so many different sights would have been a headache for Winchester.

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Posts: 955
October 16, 2015 - 5:24 pm

6sp_QuotePost

There were flat top rear sights before then, I just think they were used more by the teens.  Not just by Winchester either.  I suppose it was a popular trend for a time.

The older gun writers did not like the buckhorn rear sight.  One of my favorite books is The American Rifle by Townsend Whelen.  It was first published in 1918 and I believe he spent many years writing it.  He had firsthand knowledge of the rifles we now collect and that is a big reason why I enjoy reading the book so much, besides the fact he was a good writer and by the accounts I’ve read from Jack O’Connor to David Petzal, he was very honest and one of the good guys.  If you go to the chapter on sights he gets right into it and is using illustrations from the WRACo catalogs.  Whether you agree or disagree, he is giving the reader firsthand knowledge from the time period.

I also agree that it would be logical for Winchester to use the same sight in as many applications as possible if it fit the application.

Brad

Regards

Brad Dunbar

http://1895book.com/

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Los Angeles
Posts: 379
October 16, 2015 - 6:01 pm
7sp_QuotePost

hedley lamarr said

One of my favorite books is The American Rifle by Townsend Whelen.  It was first published in 1918 and I believe he spent many years writing it…

 

Just a note. Some of these books have fallen into the public domain and are available as a free download. I keep them on my iPad for perusing during downtime.

The American Rifle is available on Google Books here: The American Rifle.

 

A list of other free books (not necessarily Winchester, but some historical stuff) is here: Classic Firearm Books.

 

Just an FYI if you are interested.

WACA Member. CFM Member. NRA Lifer.

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Posts: 955
October 16, 2015 - 6:08 pm

8sp_QuotePost

Thanks supergimp, that’s where I first started reading it.  When a 1st printing of it came around on ebay cheap, I decided to get the book.  He talks so highly about the Model 1885 and his personal Model 1885 in 30-40 that I can’t believe Bert doesn’t have a link to it in his signature Laugh

Brad

Regards

Brad Dunbar

http://1895book.com/

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Kingston, WA
Posts: 10603
October 16, 2015 - 7:15 pm

9sp_QuotePost

hedley lamarr said 

 
He talks so highly about the Model 1885 and his personal Model 1885 in 30-40 that I can’t believe Bert doesn’t have a link to it in his signature Laugh

Brad

No need to… I own two Model 1885 rifles in that exact caliber, one of them a gorgeous Take DownCool

Speaking about the Flat-top Sporting sight, Winchester used them on the Model 1885 almost from the begining.  The 50-95 WCF high-wall I own (the top rifle in my signature picture) has one on it that is factory original.  Over the years I have seen at least a few hundred of them on Model 1885 rifles, and surprisingly, a fair number of them are specifically mentioned in the ledger records.

Bert

WACA 6571L, Historian & Board of Director Member
High-walls-1-002-C-reduced2.jpg

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Posts: 2282
October 19, 2015 - 4:39 pm

10sp_QuotePost

Hello,

In my survey work on the Model 1892 rifles I have found that for the time period of 1914 the most common rear sight is the buckhorn sight and not the flat top style.  The flat top does become the common style just a few later during 1916 and on when more than 80% of the sporting rifles have them.  But then around 1926 they “go out of style” and the buckhorn style predominates again.

Michael

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Model 1892 / Model 61 Collector, Research, Valuation

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Posts: 2290
October 20, 2015 - 4:18 pm

11sp_QuotePost

My 1916 vintage M1894 38-55 has the flat top sight. I believe that most of the M55’s had these as well. Big Larry

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Posts: 2290
October 20, 2015 - 4:36 pm

12sp_QuotePost

Wincacher said

I have one of those tinned German silver bead sights stamped “Pat. Nov. 4 02”.  From what I’ve been able to research these were made for .22 caliber rifles, the height determining which model, 1890, 1903 or Model 56.

The M56 is standard with the 75-C front sight and the 40-A rear. I do not think many variations of sights were offered for this rare model. Mine is a 22 short and has the M75-C front sight. Probably a different height than one for a 22 LR. Big Larry

 

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ME
Posts: 477
December 7, 2023 - 6:57 pm

13sp_QuotePost

twobit said
Hello,

In my survey work on the Model 1892 rifles I have found that for the time period of 1914 the most common rear sight is the buckhorn sight and not the flat top style.  The flat top does become the common style just a few later during 1916 and on when more than 80% of the sporting rifles have them.  But then around 1926 they “go out of style” and the buckhorn style predominates again.

Michael

  

Hi Michael,

Old thread here but can you advise if the flat tops you observed 1916-1926, had an adjusting slide and set screw or none?

Thanks 

 RickC 

   

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Kingston, WA
Posts: 10603
December 7, 2023 - 8:33 pm

14sp_QuotePost

Rick,

The Flat-top sporting sights on the Model 1894s in the time period you specified do have the adjustable (sliding) piece with set screw.

Bert 

WACA 6571L, Historian & Board of Director Member
High-walls-1-002-C-reduced2.jpg

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ME
Posts: 477
December 7, 2023 - 8:44 pm

15sp_QuotePost

Bert thanks for the reply. I just browsed some of the websites for 1892 rifles for sale. They were from 1916-1921 and I found three that appeared to be original guns with original sights & no set screw or adjustable slider on the flat top rear. It leaves me thinking 1892s were different than 1894’s. ??

 RickC 

   

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Posts: 2282
December 8, 2023 - 2:16 pm

16sp_QuotePost

RickC said
Bert thanks for the reply. I just browsed some of the websites for 1892 rifles for sale. They were from 1916-1921 and I found three that appeared to be original guns with original sights & no set screw or adjustable slider on the flat top rear. It leaves me thinking 1892s were different than 1894’s. ??

 

Good morning Rick,

You are correct!!  I spent 20 minutes looking at photos (40 GB of data) I have saved for almost 15,000 rifles and the flat top rear sight on the Model 1892 sporting rifles do not have any adjustable component on them.  

Michael

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Model 1892 / Model 61 Collector, Research, Valuation

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ME
Posts: 477
December 8, 2023 - 2:40 pm

17sp_QuotePost

Thank you Michael for taking the time and answering my inquiry. I have a 92 rifle DOM 1917 that appears to have original sights with the rear flat top no adjustable component slider. If it’s not already in the survey, it’s serial no 828852, 38 cal, rd bl, standard rifle 24” bl. 

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 RickC 

   

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Posts: 2282
December 8, 2023 - 3:18 pm

18sp_QuotePost

RickC said
Thank you Michael for taking the time and answering my inquiry. I have a 92 rifle DOM 1917 that appears to have original sights with the rear flat top no adjustable component slider. If it’s not already in the survey, it’s serial no 828852, 38 cal, rd bl, standard rifle 24” bl. 

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Rick,

It’s a new one for the survey!!  Thanks so much.  Can you send me a few images of the upper tang and the stamped writing on the barrel please?  [email protected]

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Model 1892 / Model 61 Collector, Research, Valuation

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ME
Posts: 477
December 8, 2023 - 3:28 pm

19sp_QuotePost

No problem and will do Michael. Thanks

 RickC 

   

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