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How late the non knurled tang sight?
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September 8, 2023 - 4:22 pm
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For years I’ve wanted one of those early non knurled parallel line tang sights, as they are EARLY and uncommon.  Lyman manufactured these, I believe, and they were founded in 1878.

A tangent here, but if you have a tang sight on a rifle that was manufactured prior to 1878, who manufactured it?  I don’t think Marbles sights date to prior to 1892: http://www.marblearms.com/about.html

I could have sworn that these early non knurled sights were only from the earliest years of production, from the incorporation in 1878 for only a few years.  Well, here’s a Winchester 1873 dating from 1883, I think, and I’m confident that this sight on this rifle is original.  A letter to follow later, but here it is!

A eureka moment yesterday as I didn’t even know what I had.  Had I wanted one badly enough, I guess I would have searched more diligently on eBay, and, had I acquired one, it would have been part of my tang sight collection—but it’s so much better when it’s on a rifke you have and likely contemporary to the rifle.

And so how late were these non knocked sights manufactured?

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September 8, 2023 - 4:42 pm
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Are you talking about the staff?  The early Lyman sights came this way.  The later ones are much more coarse.  I will look at my sight books and see if I can get an answer when the change over was made. I think it was in the 1880’s.   One note though.  These early thick base fine knurling are worth at least $100 more than the later thin base coarse knurled ones and are much harder to find.

 

IMG_1943e.jpgImage Enlarger

EDIT:  According to Strobel the Lyman No. 1 was changed to a second variation on May 6, 1884. The second variation has a thin base and “improved knurling”.

It also lost the knurled thumbscrew.

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September 8, 2023 - 4:52 pm
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Chuck said
Are you talking about the staff?  The early Lyman sights came this way.  The later ones are much more coarse.  I will look at my sight books and see if I can get an answer when the change over was made. I think it was in the 1880’s.   One note though.  These early thick base fine knurling are worth at least $100 more than the later thin base coarse knurled ones and are much harder to find.

 

IMG_1943e.jpgImage Enlarger

  

Yes, that’s what I’m referring to and I agree these are much harder to find and worth at least $100 more than the knurled variation.

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September 8, 2023 - 5:00 pm
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Ian, I edited my original post.

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September 8, 2023 - 5:15 pm
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Strobel is not quite correct.  The thick-base was changed to a thin base before the knurling was changed from fine to coarse on the elevation staff.  My January 1887 manufactured high-wall Fancy Sporting Rifle in 40-90 Ballard (S/N 7397) has a thin base Lyman No. 1 sight with the fine knurling on the staff (the sight letters on the rifle).  Take note of the patent date stamped on the base of the sight.  I have not ever found another one marked in that location.  This rifle was received in the warehouse on January 20th, 1887.

Frame-upper-tang-top-view.jpegImage EnlargerFrame-view-LS.jpegImage EnlargerLyman-No.-1-tangsight-top-view.jpegImage EnlargerLyman-No.-1-1.jpegImage EnlargerLyman-Patent-Date-on-Base.jpegImage Enlarger

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September 8, 2023 - 6:04 pm
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Bert H. said Take note of the patent date stamped on the base of the sight.  I have not ever found another one marked in that location. 
  

Another one with the same marking was on ebay 6 or 8 months ago, but on a Ballard base. I placed a bid, but lost as usual.

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September 8, 2023 - 6:19 pm
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Chuck said
EDIT:  According to Strobel the Lyman No. 1 was changed to a second variation on May 6, 1884. The second variation has a thin base and “improved knurling”.

It also lost the knurled thumbscrew.

  

Principal reason for this pat was Lyman’s new spring-bolt, which replaced the thumbscrew or crossbolt.  For a time the old style staff remained available for anyone who already owned a factory tang sight base.  It was only at this time that Lyman began manufacturing his own bases, previously using the gunmakers’ bases

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September 8, 2023 - 6:27 pm
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Bert, your sight has all of the features of a second variation except the staff?   I know they are interchangeable because I have done it. 

My Lyman 1889 Catalog states that all of these sights are made with the coarse knurling.

At this point who knows why?  Does your sight have the turn down peep aperture?  It should.

 

EDIT:  I was looking through my reference materials while Clarence posted.  Maybe what he says about the availability of the earlier staff is correct?

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September 8, 2023 - 7:15 pm
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Chuck said
Bert, your sight has all of the features of a second variation except the staff? 

Stands to reason Lyman used up their stock of old-style spiral-knurled staffs. You can see the pivot-pin of the turn-down ap just below the hood.  I have a Lyman flyer showing exactly the same sight on a ’73.

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September 8, 2023 - 7:21 pm
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Chuck said
My Lyman 1889 Catalog states that all of these sights are made with the coarse knurling. 

Does it actually STATE that, or are you going by the illustration?  Is this catalog dated? Generally the early ones were not.

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September 8, 2023 - 7:29 pm
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Chuck said
Bert, your sight has all of the features of a second variation except the staff?   I know they are interchangeable because I have done it. 

My Lyman 1889 Catalog states that all of these sights are made with the coarse knurling.

At this point who knows why?  Does your sight have the turn down peep aperture?  It should.

 

EDIT:  I was looking through my reference materials while Clarence posted.  Maybe what he says about the availability of the earlier staff is correct?

  

Chuck,

The sight on my high-wall is 100% original as installed by Winchester, and yes, it has the flip-down peep window. It still has the original card stock shim under the left side of the base.  That sight has been off that rifle exactly one time in its entire lifetime… and I was the person who did it. 

Bert

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September 9, 2023 - 4:01 pm
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clarence said

Chuck said

My Lyman 1889 Catalog states that all of these sights are made with the coarse knurling. 

Does it actually STATE that, or are you going by the illustration?  Is this catalog dated? Generally the early ones were not.

  

Yes it states that in the (Cornell reproduction) 1889 catalog on page 12.  They are showing an 1886 sight as an example.  On page 13 they say that if someone has the older base the new sight can be put on the old base if they wish.

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September 9, 2023 - 4:11 pm
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Bert H. said

Chuck said

Bert, your sight has all of the features of a second variation except the staff?   I know they are interchangeable because I have done it. 

My Lyman 1889 Catalog states that all of these sights are made with the coarse knurling.

At this point who knows why?  Does your sight have the turn down peep aperture?  It should.

 

EDIT:  I was looking through my reference materials while Clarence posted.  Maybe what he says about the availability of the earlier staff is correct?

  

Chuck,

The sight on my high-wall is 100% original as installed by Winchester, and yes, it has the flip-down peep window. It still has the original card stock shim under the left side of the base.  That sight has been off that rifle exactly one time in its entire lifetime… and I was the person who did it. 

Bert

  

I was thinking about this last night.  The Patent date is just when the Patent was approved.  It is not necessarily when production started.  It is possible that parts were being used up for some time.  So it can be correct and I’m not doubting that.  But, there is no way anyone can tell if one staff was un-threaded and another threaded back on.  You do not have to take the sight off to do this.  Just unscrew the knurled barrel.  And I doubt that anyone can really know if a part was removed 100 years ago and then put back on.  Unless something got damaged in the process.

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September 9, 2023 - 4:31 pm
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Chuck said

Bert H. said

Chuck said

Bert, your sight has all of the features of a second variation except the staff?   I know they are interchangeable because I have done it. 

My Lyman 1889 Catalog states that all of these sights are made with the coarse knurling.

At this point who knows why?  Does your sight have the turn down peep aperture?  It should.

 

EDIT:  I was looking through my reference materials while Clarence posted.  Maybe what he says about the availability of the earlier staff is correct?

  

Chuck,

The sight on my high-wall is 100% original as installed by Winchester, and yes, it has the flip-down peep window. It still has the original card stock shim under the left side of the base.  That sight has been off that rifle exactly one time in its entire lifetime… and I was the person who did it. 

Bert

  

I was thinking about this last night.  The Patent date is just when the Patent was approved.  It is not necessarily when production started.  It is possible that parts were being used up for some time.  So it can be correct and I’m not doubting that.  But, there is no way anyone can tell if one staff was un-threaded and another threaded back on.  You do not have to take the sight off to do this.  Just unscrew the knurled barrel.  And I doubt that anyone can really know if a part was removed 100 years ago and then put back on.  Unless something got damaged in the process.

  

Chuck,

Considering that this high-wall rifle was received in the warehouse in January of 1887, the sight itself was most likely manufactured in the latter half of the year 1886 (during the transition from fine to coarse knurling)  Accordingly, I am absolutely positive that the sight is 100% original.

Bert

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