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7 Leaf Express Sight
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Great Basin
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June 12, 2023 - 8:31 pm
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Out of curiosity, I took out my 1873 with a 7-leaf rear sight to see where it would shoot.  This one doesn’t have a great bore, so it’s not a “tack driver”, but I found the results to be kind of interesting.  Mark

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June 12, 2023 - 11:11 pm
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Mark –

Very interesting and enjoyable to watch.  You sure have fun.

I have seen this sight on the occasional rifle and some have seen a fair amount of use.  It would be fantastic to find some sort of shooting log for someone who used the rifles (and the various leaves).  Maybe past shooters actually did some calibrations and applied that to shots they took at different took at different distances.  I have seen this sight on rifles that saw use on the Dark Continent.  One can imagine some distance shooting out on plains game.

Fun to think about.

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June 13, 2023 - 2:44 am
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Mark, you sure get some neat ideas!  Fun!

Tim

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June 13, 2023 - 4:16 am
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You fellas are right, I’m having lots of fun.  This episode was also pretty interesting to me.  I’ve often wondered about those sights.  I’m now thinking that I should try some jacketed bullets and get that rifle shooting a little better so that I can give the sight a proper test with some very long shots.  Mark

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June 13, 2023 - 5:45 pm
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Mark Douglas said
You fellas are right, I’m having lots of fun.  This episode was also pretty interesting to me.  I’ve often wondered about those sights.  I’m now thinking that I should try some jacketed bullets and get that rifle shooting a little better so that I can give the sight a proper test with some very long shots.  Mark

  

I hope you do – I’d sure enjoy watching a video of that.

I suppose of the guys who ordered these sights – and wanted to use them for varied long distance shots on game – they could test each leaf to determine what distance that leaf was sighted to.  As Mark discusses, it’s going to vary from rifle to rifle and cartridge to cartridge.  But, with enough testing, it could be determined for each leaf setting.  I doubtful that many shooters actually did this.  

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June 13, 2023 - 10:17 pm
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In the active 1876 research survey, I found 12 rifles that have the seven leaf sight.  About half of them have British or African provenance.  

Here is an 1876 at Collectors Firearms with the seven leaf sight that looks original.  Note that caliber markings are on left side of the barrel.  Normally, they are on top of the barrel for rifles that have them.  Also has a Beach front sight but the globe is broken off.

https://www.collectorsfirearms.com/products/1509-winchester-1876-45-75-w3037.html

I call myself a collector as it sounds better than hoarder

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June 16, 2023 - 10:48 am
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Loving it Mark!Smile

Antonio

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June 16, 2023 - 3:43 pm
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steve004 said I suppose of the guys who ordered these sights – and wanted to use them for varied long distance shots on game – they could test each leaf to determine what distance that leaf was sighted to.  As Mark discusses, it’s going to vary from rifle to rifle and cartridge to cartridge.  But, with enough testing, it could be determined for each leaf setting.  I doubtful that many shooters actually did this.   

I doubt very many had pocket range finders, either.  What good is knowing exactly where the gun will shoot at a given range if you have to GUESS the range?  And for ranges beyond about 200 yrs, good guessers aren’t numerous.

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June 17, 2023 - 8:03 pm
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clarence said

steve004 said I suppose of the guys who ordered these sights – and wanted to use them for varied long distance shots on game – they could test each leaf to determine what distance that leaf was sighted to.  As Mark discusses, it’s going to vary from rifle to rifle and cartridge to cartridge.  But, with enough testing, it could be determined for each leaf setting.  I doubtful that many shooters actually did this.   

I doubt very many had pocket range finders, either.  What good is knowing exactly where the gun will shoot at a given range if you have to GUESS the range?  And for ranges beyond about 200 yrs, good guessers aren’t numerous.

  

Range estimation may be a lost art for most of us but I’ve met surveyors and bow hunters who are very good at it. I suspect the person who first owned this rifle spent much more time outdoors than most of us and probably got quite a bit of practice at estimating distances. There were also tools for measuring distance in use long before laser rangefinders came along. 

 

Mike

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June 17, 2023 - 9:01 pm
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I’m terrible at estimating range.  I use a range finder or my scope for getting the proper range.  With a target scope you need to measure as many things as you can at known distances.  Then you can extrapolate the correct distance.  If it is bigger than normal it is closer etc. The hunting reticles were set up to measure a deer at 100 yds.  The belly to shoulder/back should fill the gap at 100 yds. between the top mark and the bottom mark.  If the deer only filled half the space it is 200 yds away.   Lets say a 12″ target is 12″ wide at 100 yds.  So it would be 2″ wide at 600 yds.

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June 17, 2023 - 9:07 pm
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TXGunNut said

There were also tools for measuring distance in use long before laser rangefinders came along. 

I used one of them extensively for woodchuck hunting–a Ranging 1000.  (Still have it in fact; anybody want to take it off my hands gratis?)  Slow to use, & can’t be used at all on moving objects or in poor light; you have to find a stationary & more or less vertical target, like a tree trunk or fence post, to focus it on.  Beyond about 300 yds, its accuracy deteriorated badly.  However, such compact optical rangefinders weren’t on the commercial market before the ’50s.  I suppose an artillery rangefinder (3-4′ wide) could have been procured, but in the course of reading about 10,000 hunting stories, I’ve never run across a report of one being used for a sporting purpose. 

People (esp neophytes) don’t buy things merely because they “look neat”?  Whether they know how to use them or not?  I know a guy who bought a racing motorcycle because it “looked so neat” in ads, but he quickly found out he had bit off more than he could chew, & had a broken foot to prove it.

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