Avatar
Please consider registering
Guest
Search
Forum Scope




Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
Register Lost password?
sp_Feed sp_PrintTopic sp_TopicIcon
Lyman 48WJS question
sp_NewTopic Add Topic
Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 17
Member Since:
February 28, 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
1
March 8, 2020 - 12:46 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

How can I tell if a Lyman 48 WJS is or is not the pre-1947 design where a cut in the M70 stock was needed to accommodate the base block?  Would anyone be king enough to post, or point me to where I can see side by side examples of Lyman 48WJS pre and post 1947 designs?

Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 17
Member Since:
February 28, 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
2
March 8, 2020 - 12:51 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Sorry, I just realized there is a section specifically for sights discussions.  Mods, please feel free to move this thread to the sights section.  

Avatar
Winchester, VA
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 959
Member Since:
November 5, 2014
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
3
March 8, 2020 - 3:36 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi Ramsay-

The photo below should help with the Lyman 48WJS series:

Lyman-48-series-for-M70.jpegImage Enlarger

The three on the left are the “full block” design that necessitated a stock cut.  The first two have the earlier style “thimble” shaped knobs.  These came in both long slide (175 point) and regular slide (75 versions). My impression is that these usually turn up on pre-1940 M70s. The long slide version required additional “T” shaped inletting to accommodate the long protruding elevation screw.  The sight in the middle is the usual pre-1947 48WJS, with the slide graduated to 60-points and the improved “target knobs”.  These also came in a long slide version (not illustrated).

The fourth from left is the correct 1947-1949 “half block” version that did not require stock inletting.  On these, the elevation screw does protrude slightly below the bottom of the block when the slide is all the way down, so rifles that once had them will often have a long “scratch” corresponding to the bottom edge of the block if it contacted the wood, and a small “divot” for the elevation screw.  The one on the right is the post-1950 48WJS that would not have been factory installed on a M70 standard or SG rifle.  On this sight, the exposed leaf spring on the left side of the block that served as a return spring for the slide release was changed to an internal coil spring.  The change happened somewhere after 1950 and the Lyman 48WJS was dropped by Winchester as a cataloged regular production sight for the M70 after 1949.

Hope this helps,

Lou Smile

P.S.  While we’re at it, I have a QUESTION too for any experts who might read this.  It’s about those “thimble” shaped knobs on the two sights on the left.  I’ve never seen those knobs on a Lyman 48W series (M54/70) sight pictured in the Lyman catalog.  Catalog No. 25 (dated 1937) shows the 48W for the M54, but not the 48WJS.  Catalog No. 26 (dated 1939) shows the 48W and the 48WJS (with target knobs as in the middle).  What do you call the ones with the “thimble” shaped knobs?  Are they the mysterious 48WJ that is often mentioned?  

sp_PlupAttachments Attachments

WACA 9519; Studying Pre-64 Model 70 Winchesters

WACA-Signauture-3.jpg

Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 17
Member Since:
February 28, 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
4
March 8, 2020 - 5:55 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Exactly what I needed Lou, thanks!

I haven’t had the opportunity to use a Lyman 48.  Are they intended to be set and forget sights or are they intended to be actively dialed for different ranges / elevations and windage, like a modern target scope?

Avatar
Winchester, VA
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 959
Member Since:
November 5, 2014
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
5
March 8, 2020 - 6:29 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

Hi Ramsay-

They are designed such that with 30″ spacing between the sight aperture and front sight (typical for a 24″ barrel) each click gives 1/2″ at 100 yards.  For target use, what was usually done was to zero the rifle for the shortest range at which you’d be firing, then change the elevation by a pre-determined number of clicks at longer ranges.  This worked well in formal target shooting where you know the exact ranges at which you’re firing.

Two features of the sight let the shooter return to “zero”.  One is that the little index plate (pointer thing) can be moved up and down a bit then held in position with the little screw.  So once sighted in at the shortest range, you’d usually moved the pointer such that it pointed to “zero” on the scale marked into the slide.  This would give you a quick visual check to guard against forgetting to return the slide to the base setting when changing range. 

The second feature is that there’s a little set screw on the horizontal part of the slide arm that contacts the base block when the slide is down at its starting position.  Once zeroed, you’d run this screw down so that it prevented the slide from going lower than your desired lowest position.  That way, you didn’t need to turn the elevation knob through all the clicks to get back to the base setting.  You just pushed in the slide release button on the right side of the block and pushed the slide down until that little set screw stopped it from going lower.  At which point your pointer should be pointing to “zero” on the elevation scale… Wink

Obviously, for field use (where range is less precisely known) you’d set them like you would a scope.  For example to a preferred distance or to maximum point blank range… Smile

Best,

Lou

WACA 9519; Studying Pre-64 Model 70 Winchesters

WACA-Signauture-3.jpg

Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 17
Member Since:
February 28, 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
6
March 8, 2020 - 6:44 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Great explanation, thanks Lou!

Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 1118
Member Since:
May 24, 2012
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
7
March 9, 2020 - 3:00 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Lou, in reference to your question: What do you call the ones with the “thimble” shaped knobs? Are they the mysterious 48WJ that is often mentioned?  I think you are probably right in that they are the mysterious 48WJ as noted by Stroebel as being for the Model 54 (Early Model and New Model), and better defined by David Bichrest in his book as being for the Model 54 National Match, Sniper’s Match, and Target rifles. 

James  

Avatar
NY
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 6153
Member Since:
November 1, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
8
March 9, 2020 - 4:12 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

jwm94 said
…better defined by David Bichrest in his book as being for the Model 54 National Match, Sniper’s Match, and Target rifles. 

James    

The higher & easer to turn knobs makes good sense for these specialized target rifles, requiring frequent adjustments for different ranges. But while the catalogs list “WJ” as one of the three 48s designed for M54 application, they don’t illustrate or explain the difference between it & the others, so how would a customer know it was available?  

Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 1118
Member Since:
May 24, 2012
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
9
March 9, 2020 - 3:37 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

clarence said

The higher & easer to turn knobs makes good sense for these specialized target rifles, requiring frequent adjustments for different ranges. But while the catalogs list “WJ” as one of the three 48s designed for M54 application, they don’t illustrate or explain the difference between it & the others, so how would a customer know it was available?    

Beats me, Clarence.  According to Stroebel, (page 35 of his first book), and a Lyman representative, “. . . all of Lyman’s production records are now at the bottom of a Conneticut land dump!”

Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 37
Member Since:
January 7, 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
10
March 12, 2022 - 4:45 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

I have a “half-block” Lyman 48 WJS circa 1947 on a pre-64 and there is long “scratch” where the bottom edge of the block contacts the wood stock, as Lou described.

This is the later version where the stock is not cut out. 

Should I be concerned about stock splitting or damage? Anyone else seen this on their M70’s?

Wondering if I should get a Lyman 57 instead which doesn’t contact the wood, or grind down the bottom of the 48 WJS so it doesn’t touch the stock…

Avatar
NY
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 6153
Member Since:
November 1, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
11
March 12, 2022 - 5:08 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

Ron P said

Should I be concerned about stock splitting or damage? Anyone else seen this on their M70’s?

If the damage has already been done, don’t think it’s likely to worsen.  Putting a radius on the sharp bottom edge of the block should have been done before it was mounted.  The 1941 WJS catalog description refers to a limited wood removal for the base, but the 1945 catalog says nothing about how it fits against the stock.  But Lou would know more about that. 

Avatar
Winchester, VA
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 959
Member Since:
November 5, 2014
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
12
March 12, 2022 - 7:14 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi Ron-

It is pretty common on late 1940s to early 1950s M70s to see the remnant marks let by a half-block Lyman 48WJS.  A long scratch in the wood from the bottom edge of the sight block and a small “divot” from the elevation screw if it was ever put all the way down.  As Clarence says, the scratch is usually superficial and not likely to cause the wood to split, provided the sight was installed correctly.  But it’s ugly enough that I’d be inclined to keep it covered by leaving the base block in place… 

Since I don’t know the year of manufacture or caliber of your M70, or whether the half block sight has a leaf spring on the left side or internal coil spring (the two versions on the right in the photo above), I can’t say whether the sight was a possible factory installation or not.  In the “Firearms Simplification Program” documents from 1950-1951 (in the McCracken library), Winchester execs argued for dropping the Lyman 48WJS option altogether, noting that by that time most people who wanted a receiver sight bought it separately and installed it themselves (in other words, few M70s were being sold with the Lyman 48WJS option).  

M70-precent-sales-by-catalog-symbol-1950.pngImage Enlarger

One thing to check on your rifle, however, is that the sight block is firmly seated on the receiver.  I’ve seen cases where there was too much wood in the way such that even when screwed down tight, the contact between the bottom edge of the sight and the stock prevented the sight from being in full contact with the receiver.  Certainly not Winchester factory work… But if the sight isn’t seated correctly I would worry that the pressure of the bottom edge of the sight on the stock might cause damage.  In that case it’s better to remove the sight and modify either the sight or the stock until it fits properly (depending on whether this is a “collector gun” or a working rifle, of course. 

While I’m here, I will correct a mistake in what I wrote before.  It’s true (I think) that the Lyman 48WJS option was last cataloged in 1949 in MOST CALIBERS.  However, the Lyman 48WJS Catalog Symbols for Standard and Super Grade rifles in 270 WIN and 30-06 SPRG only were retained in 1950 and 1951.  In fact, the Feb 1950 catalog includes these symbols (G7013C, G7014C, G7063C and G7064C), and the picture/description specifically mentions “Stayset” knobs (the rounded hunter type knobs Lyman started making around 1950 – these would also have the internal coil spring)..

Feb-1950-Catalog-Clip.pngImage Enlarger

So I was WRONG in asserting that Lyman 48WJS sights hunter type knobs and coil return springs were never factory installed… On a 1950 or 1951 gun in 270 or 30-06 it was possible to get such a thing from the factory… Embarassed

Hope some of this helps!!!

Lou

WACA 9519; Studying Pre-64 Model 70 Winchesters

WACA-Signauture-3.jpg

Avatar
NY
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 6153
Member Since:
November 1, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
13
March 12, 2022 - 8:17 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

Louis Luttrell said
 In the “Firearms Simplification Program” documents from 1950-1951 (in the McCracken library), Winchester execs argued for dropping the Lyman 48WJS option altogether, noting that by that time most people who wanted a receiver sight bought it separately and installed it themselves (in other words, few M70s were being sold with the Lyman 48WJS option).  
 

What the argument should have been about was junking that primitive brl. sight, & making a rcvr. sight standard on the “Rifleman’s Rifle.”   48s might be too expensive to make that a viable proposition, but there were plenty of much less expensive alternatives that would serve every bit as well for hunting.  For ex., retail on Redfield’s rugged #102 was only $5, & probably half that wholesale. 

Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 37
Member Since:
January 7, 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
14
March 12, 2022 - 9:35 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

Thanks for your insights, Clarence and Lou. It is a Standard grade M70 manufactured in 1947, 30-06, 24 inch barrel. Here are pictures of the Lyman 48 WJS sight. They look different than other 48WJS’s I’ve seen as the elevation screw and windage screw are not knurled, but any insights are appreciated.

Also, the last picture shows two rows of scratches, they look pretty superficial and the half block as installed today touches against the bottom set of scratches. 

Image Enlarger

Image Enlarger

Image Enlarger

Image Enlarger

Image Enlarger

Avatar
NY
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 6153
Member Since:
November 1, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
15
March 12, 2022 - 10:19 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Ron P said
They look different than other 48WJS’s I’ve seen as the elevation screw and windage screw are not knurled, but any insights are appreciated.
 

The coin-slotted knobs.  Can’t explain the upper scratch, unless it had to do with a failure to seat the block properly against the rcvr, as Lou described above.  But since it’s covered by the base, it doesn’t matter now.  This obviously is the last design change Lou mentioned, with a coil spring replacing the flat spring.

Avatar
Winchester, VA
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 959
Member Since:
November 5, 2014
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
16
March 13, 2022 - 5:11 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi Ron-

Thanks for the additional information.  The sight you have is a Lyman 48WJS with the rounded “Stayset” knobs (others, e.g. Redfield, called the style “Hunter” knobs). They were intended to prevent unintentional “adjustment” of the sight settings when the rifle was in the field.  This style of knob was added to the Lyman product line in about 1950, which is also when the block design was changed in incorporate an internal coil return spring.  Thereafter, the 48WJS could be had with either Target (knurled) or Stayset knobs depending on the shooter’s preference.

So your sight was made sometime between roughly 1950 and 1975.  It was probably added to the rifle around 1950, so wasn’t a factory installed sight (not that it matters)…  If you like it, leave it.  If scoping the rifle, my inclination would be to leave the base on the gun (to cover the scratches) and install a Lyman slide blank, which was a special piece used to fill and protect the base dovetail when the slide was removed.

FWIW…  The factory installed Lyman 48WJS on a 1947 manufactured gun would look like this:

Lyman-48WJS-half-block-1.jpgImage EnlargerLyman-48WJS-half-block-2.jpgImage Enlarger

The pic I posted earlier isn’t well lit for comparing the two half block variants, but if you compare these photos to your sight you’ll see the differences in both adjustment knobs and base spring.

Good Luck!!!

Lou

WACA 9519; Studying Pre-64 Model 70 Winchesters

WACA-Signauture-3.jpg

Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 37
Member Since:
January 7, 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
17
March 20, 2022 - 9:07 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Lou, Clarence, thank you so much for your insights. My goal is to install a peep sight onto a pre-64 model 70 that does not cut into the stock, but am I crazy that this doesn’t seem possible? 

– For the Lyman 48 WJS rear sight, is my understanding correct that the rear sight height should be roughly the same height as the front bead? In order for that to happen, given the low height of the factory-installed front bead, I’d need to lower the elevation screw so that it cuts into the stock. 

– The Lyman 57 WJS purportedly does not contact the stock or require a notch, according to pre64win.com (link). But when I look at pictures on the internet of 57 WJS sights with the elevation screw down, the screw pokes through the bottom and presumably into the stock, see attached. Is this avoidable?

– Any alternatives for period-correct aperture sights for pre-64 model 70’s which do not cut into the stock?

Image Enlarger

Avatar
NY
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 6153
Member Since:
November 1, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
18
March 20, 2022 - 10:04 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Ron P said

– Any alternatives for period-correct aperture sights for pre-64 model 70’s which do not cut into the stock?

  

If the sight will only be used at its lowest setting (meaning, you won’t be taking those 300 yd shots), you could cut off the elevation screw flush with the base. 

Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 37
Member Since:
January 7, 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
19
March 21, 2022 - 4:21 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

clarence said

If the sight will only be used at its lowest setting (meaning, you won’t be taking those 300 yd shots), you could cut off the elevation screw flush with the base.   

Do you, or anyone else here who has used Lyman sights, usually have the rear peep sight at its lowest height setting? It seems like the factory front sights on pre-64 Winchesters are pretty low and even at the lowest height / elevation setting, the Lyman rear peep sights are pretty high? The elevation screw and slide are pretty long, anyone actually find use for the moving the elevation slide up?

(It seems like if I were to cut off the bottom 1/8 inch from the elevation screw, there is still plenty of room for the slide to move up)

Forum Timezone: UTC 0
Most Users Ever Online: 778
Currently Online: dane62, Gary Ryan
Guest(s) 62
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Top Posters:
clarence: 6153
TXGunNut: 4869
Chuck: 4517
1873man: 4259
steve004: 4097
Big Larry: 2292
twobit: 2284
TR: 1690
mrcvs: 1656
Forum Stats:
Groups: 1
Forums: 17
Topics: 12508
Posts: 108568

 

Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1727
Members: 8718
Moderators: 4
Admins: 3
Navigation