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Model 1873 tang sights original and repros
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February 17, 2024 - 5:15 pm
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I have an original condition Model 1873 rifle that I enjoy shooting and never plan to part with. With my 70-year-old eyes, however, I find a tang sight is a huge improvement on my group size. I would like to acquire a tang sight for the old ’73. The rifle was shipped from the warehouse in 1882, so I’d prefer to find an original tang sight that is period-correct, but if they are too hard to find, then I’d settle for a modern reproduction for shooting purposes. However, I need to know what a period-correct tang sight would have been. Can someone enlighten me on what sort of tang sight was used for the ’73 in 1882? (you can see my old rifle, and its shooting results in this post here ) https://winchestercollector.org/forum/winchester-shooting-and-hunting/tried-out-my-141-year-old-winchester-model-1873/

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February 17, 2024 - 5:49 pm
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Kirk Durston said
The rifle was shipped from the warehouse in 1882, so I’d prefer to find an original tang sight that is period-correct, but if they are too hard to find, then I’d settle for a modern reproduction for shooting purposes. However, I need to know what a period-correct tang sight would have been. Can someone enlighten me on what sort of tang sight was used for the ’73 in 1882?

Sure, a Lyman #1, code “W”.  May cost you $300, but money spent on a repro is money thrown away.  A good original sight can always be sold easily, if you change your mind about it.  Ebay is the place to find one, just create a “saved search” & you’ll be sent email notices when one is listed.  (Add “-repro” & “-new” to your search, to cull out the junk.)  Or contact Ben on this site.

I only wish I had my 70-yr old eyes, & back, again, but they’re 10 yrs behind me.

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February 17, 2024 - 5:58 pm
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In order for the Lyman to be period correct, it would need to be a 1st variation (with the really fine knurling on the elevation staff), and they are a lot more money than just $300.  Your best bet will be to contact Bob (1873man) and sweet talk him into selling you a correct tang sight.  If you were looking for a correct tang sight for a Single Shot, I just might have a few of those in my goody box.

Bert

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February 17, 2024 - 6:06 pm
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Bert H. said
In order for the Lyman to be period correct, it would need to be a 1st variation (with the really fine knurling on the elevation staff), and they are a lot more money than just $300. 

That’s a hyper-narrow interpretation of “period correct.”  A reasonable interpretation would be “within the same decade.”  The owner of a new rifle wouldn’t necessarily change its sights the day he bought it; more likely to take time shooting it to decide he wanted something better or different.  Of course, if he’s got a thousand to spend, more power to him.

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February 17, 2024 - 7:13 pm
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Kirk,

If I were putting one on a gun just to shoot than any thing would work but if you want to be correct for the date of manufacture that you would get if you ordered the gun with sights then it would be a thick base fine serration elevation adjuster, a thick base mid range vernier or a thick base graduated peep, the sights on the left side of the picture. All these sights are high dollar sights if you want originals. The thin based Lyman with the course knurling would be the cheapest.  If you want to have something that was made later than the DOM of the gun than the ones on the right would be correct. The staff with the fine serrations was sold either with the base or just the staff.

 

Bob

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February 17, 2024 - 7:54 pm
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 Kirk,

 I to have old eyes so I understand. A year ago I bought a 1894 rifle in 25-35 just to shoot with the grand kids, I have to have a tang sight. I put a thin base mid-range vernier peep off a 1876 on it. Ten minutes to install, works great, blue matches the gun, and the 76 doesn’t miss it. If I sell the gun the sight will go back on the 76. The sight is worth 1/3 what I paid for the 94, not a good investment in the 94, but a good investment by itself. Good original Winchester sights are an investment. Modern reproductions are not an investment.

 I wonder what 1873man would sell the entire glass case for?   T/R     

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February 17, 2024 - 8:00 pm
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TR said
 Kirk,

 I to have old eyes so I understand. A year ago I bought a 1894 rifle in 25-35 just to shoot with the grand kids, I have to have a tang sight. I put a thin base mid-range vernier peep off a 1876 on it. Ten minutes to install, works great, blue matches the gun, and the 76 doesn’t miss it. If I sell the gun the sight will go back on the 76. The sight is worth 1/3 what I paid for the 94, not a good investment in the 94, but a good investment by itself. Good original Winchester sights are an investment. Modern reproductions are not an investment.

 I wonder what 1873man would sell the entire glass case for?   T/R     

  

Probably enough to buy a brand new fully loaded Ram 3500 Cummins Diesel 4×4 truck Cool

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February 17, 2024 - 8:01 pm
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Both of these tang sights are on two different Model 1873 rifles I own and both are period correct for my 1883 production rifles and would be appropriate for yours.  Both are original to my two rifles.

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February 17, 2024 - 9:19 pm
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Did Kirk say he wished to pass his ’73 off as being ordered with a tang sight the factory ledger failed to record, or was he merely seeking to improve his shooting with a sight that would have been commonly available during the years the gun was in normal use, before it became a “collector’s item”?  Historical “periods” aren’t packaged in single yrs, they’re a SPAN of time, like the Middle Ages, the Victorian Age, the Indian Wars period, the Gilded Age, the Belle Epoch, etc, etc etc.

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February 17, 2024 - 9:27 pm
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mrcvs said
Both of these tang sights are on two different Model 1873 rifles I own and both are period correct for my 1883 production rifles and would be appropriate for yours.  Both are original to my two rifles.

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  Nice sights, they make the gun. I like it. T/R

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February 17, 2024 - 11:11 pm
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clarence said
Did Kirk say he wished to pass his ’73 off as being ordered with a tang sight the factory ledger failed to record, or was he merely seeking to improve his shooting with a sight that would have been commonly available during the years the gun was in normal use, before it became a “collector’s item”?  Historical “periods” aren’t packaged in single yrs, they’re a SPAN of time, like the Middle Ages, the Victorian Age, the Indian Wars period, the Gilded Age, the Belle Epoch, etc, etc etc.

  

Did you read his first post carefully?  I suspect that as usual, you did not!  Try reading the quoted section of his post below slowly…

We are not discussing “historical” periods.  Instead, we are discussing firearms production time periods.

so I’d prefer to find an original tang sight that is period-correct

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February 17, 2024 - 11:18 pm
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February 18, 2024 - 12:13 am
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Bert H. said

Did you read his first post carefully?  I suspect that as usual, you did not!  Try reading the quoted section of his post below slowly…

We are not discussing “historical” periods.  Instead, we are discussing firearms production time periods.

so I’d prefer to find an original tang sight that is period-correct

  

I read & understood his statement with perfect clarity.  And as I said before, you are DEAD WRONG in your dogmatic interpretation of that term.  You’re saying a sight made a few yrs after his gun was built, such as the later model Lyman, would not be “period”?  ABSURD!

But let’s hear what Kirk has to say about the matter.

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February 18, 2024 - 12:35 am
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clarence said

Bert H. said

Did you read his first post carefully?  I suspect that as usual, you did not!  Try reading the quoted section of his post below slowly…

We are not discussing “historical” periods.  Instead, we are discussing firearms production time periods.

so I’d prefer to find an original tang sight that is period-correct

  

I read & understood his statement with perfect clarity.  And as I said before, you are DEAD WRONG in your dogmatic interpretation of that term.  You’re saying a sight made a few yrs after his gun was built, such as the later model Lyman, would not be “period”?  ABSURD!

But let’s hear what Kirk has to say about the matter.

  

Clarence,

You have repeatedly made it very clear that you are not a true collector of Winchester firearms, and as such, your personal opinions are greatly skewed from the majority of us that are indeed Winchester collectors.  While everyone is entitled to his (or her) opinions, I will remind you that this is the Winchester Arms Collectors Association. As collectors, we have a strong tendency towards keeping and maintaining our prized Winchesters as close to original as possible.  If you believe that we are “DEAD WRONG” in doing so, then you yourself is in the WRONG PLACE here on the WACA website.

Bert

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February 18, 2024 - 1:57 am
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It sounds like one of those early sights will be fairly expensive. I want this mainly to improve my sight picture, but I much prefer a vintage tang sight rather than a modern repro. As for what time frame … if some fellow back in the day was like me, there was a time when I eschewed tang sights … until I started getting older, and then I wanted/needed them on all my old Winchesters. So let’s assume the old timer bought it in 1882 when he was in his 30’s or early 40’s and didn’t need any tang sight, but then. about 10 or 15 years later decided he needed one. So as for time frame, I’d be happy with a tang sight model that was released before 1895 more or less. It’s mainly for shooting, but I plan to hand my little collection of old Winchesters down to one of my sons, so I’m trying to keep away from modern tang sights.

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February 18, 2024 - 5:36 pm
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Kirk, as you are well aware it’s money well spent on a very nice “73”, like you have! It’s hard to swallow at times,(the added investment $$ ), but when they look back and say DAD did it right adding this period correct tang sight so he could still enjoy shooting it, You’ll Smile, as I will also.

Good Luck,Smile

Anthony

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