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Need Help Locating a Front Sight for a 1913 '94 SRC
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December 9, 2023 - 8:23 am
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 A few years ago my father-in-law gave me his fathers 1913 ’94 Winchester 30-30. This is one of those “If only it could talk” rifles that has seen some very hard use. It has a ladder rear sight and a pinned front sight. I’d like to get it set up so my son and I could hunt with it. The problem is with a handload consisting of a 150 gr. RN at ~2300 fps MV, it shoots something like 16″ high at 100 yds., which means a taller front sight will be required.  

 I can calculate the height of the sight I need, and the sight is something like .060″ thick, but there’s so much nomenclature (i.e.- Sheard’s No. XX, Marbles No. XX, Winchester Front Carbine Sight, etc.) that I really don’t know where to begin. Currently is has a Marble’s 94C front sight on it.

 Also, when I see some of these sights in which the heights are given, are the heights overall, or just what is above the top of the sight base?

 I’m fairly handy with tools so I could probably adapt most any sight that will fit in the base.

 Any help would be appreciated.

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December 9, 2023 - 2:17 pm
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Interesting story and I’m sure that your not the first one to have a similar story on a Rifle given to him by someone that wants to use it as it was intended to hunt with. 16 inches can be high @ a 100 yards as I’m sure your well aware of. IMHO. I’ve been there before and being a well used and more of a sentimental valued Rifle I removed an old site,(as finding the right replacement was difficult, costly and time consuming), did my adjustments and homework and extended a small piece of metal that I made on top,(weld,braze,glue), and re blued to keep the Rust down,(brown, bluing can be done to match), and am very happy with the outcome and we still shoot it today. Just the option I chose and at this time I’m still not sure of a taller front sight to help you that might fit in and pin into place without making adjustments anyway. IMHO! Good Luck! Smile

Antonio

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December 9, 2023 - 3:13 pm
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  winchesterbob.com lists a carbine blade sight for $25, don’t know how high it is. You can go old school and make one out of a coin, just use your old one as a pattern and make it taller. T/R

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December 9, 2023 - 3:44 pm
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TR said You can go old school and make one out of a coin, just use your old one as a pattern and make it taller. T/R
  

I have a Ballard with a front sight made out of a late 1890s nickel; wouldn’t trade it for a handful of factory sights.

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December 9, 2023 - 4:39 pm
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  “The Sight Book” calls for a 61A, it has a .374″ blade in a 1894 carbine 30/30 smokeless. T/R

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December 9, 2023 - 6:00 pm
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 Thanks for the ideas and suggestions. It never occurred to me to make one out of a coin. I’ll probably try a load with a slower, heavier bullet first.

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December 11, 2023 - 4:09 pm
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Coins don’t work very well on a carbine.  They are way too thick to fit in the blade slot and require much more work than necessary.  I have used a piece of nickel silver shim stock with a thickness of .060.  Should be able to find small pieces at a jewelry repair shop or a machine shop.  Cut it and drill the pin hole to fit and leave it tall.  You can adjust the height as you shoot and then dress it down to the correct contour.  

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December 13, 2023 - 1:54 pm
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I have Christy’s (long closed gun parts manufacturer) front sight blades for Winchester / Marlin & Savage rifles.  NOS in their original cellophane wrappers… The price is good too, if payment is made in 1950’s U.S. junk silver dimes & quarters + shipping.  I find it’s an interesting lesson on “inflation”….

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December 21, 2023 - 2:12 am
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Have you tried 170 grain bullets.  That was the original loading.  The 150 grain bullets came out much later.  I found that was the answer for my 1917 vintage carbine.  Worth a try.  RDB

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January 6, 2024 - 3:16 am
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 UPDATE-

I figured out that 14 ga. steel would be really close to the correct thickness for the front sight. A coworker gave me a piece and the work began!

 It took a WHILE to thin it down to .063″-

https://i.imgur.com/dLsjDR3l.jpgImage Enlarger https://i.imgur.com/ymvMCNSl.jpgImage Enlarger

From there I began whittling it down to a manageable size, the hit the back of it with a Swiss file. 

  https://i.imgur.com/l4q7oQkl.jpgImage Enlarger

 I didn’t have the proper drill bit to drill it for pinning to the base, but it wedged tights enough that I could shoot, file, shoot file, etc. Now I’m within about .015″ of having it the proper height-

https://i.imgur.com/DXSQSk4l.jpgImage Enlarger https://i.imgur.com/RTi5yoYl.jpgImage Enlarger

 Once I have the height correct (probably tomorrow) I’ll decide how I want to shape the sight, then drill it, blue it and mount it.

 

Ben said
I have Christy’s (long closed gun parts manufacturer) front sight blades for Winchester / Marlin & Savage rifles.  NOS in their original cellophane wrappers… The price is good too, if payment is made in 1950’s U.S. junk silver dimes & quarters + shipping.  I find it’s an interesting lesson on “inflation”….

Image Enlarger

  

 Man, those are awesome looking sights!!

 

rogertherelic said
Have you tried 170 grain bullets.  That was the original loading.  The 150 grain bullets came out much later.  I found that was the answer for my 1917 vintage carbine.  Worth a try.  RDB

  

 I did not because I didn’t figure there would be enough difference in them and the 150’s to warrant wasting my stash of Speer 170 gr. bullets.
 

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January 6, 2024 - 8:46 pm
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35 Whelen said

 UPDATE-

I figured out that 14 ga. steel would be really close to the correct thickness for the front sight. A coworker gave me a piece and the work began!

 It took a WHILE to thin it down to .063″-

https://i.imgur.com/dLsjDR3l.jpgImage Enlarger https://i.imgur.com/ymvMCNSl.jpgImage Enlarger

From there I began whittling it down to a manageable size, the hit the back of it with a Swiss file. 

  https://i.imgur.com/l4q7oQkl.jpgImage Enlarger

 I didn’t have the proper drill bit to drill it for pinning to the base, but it wedged tights enough that I could shoot, file, shoot file, etc. Now I’m within about .015″ of having it the proper height-

https://i.imgur.com/DXSQSk4l.jpgImage Enlarger https://i.imgur.com/RTi5yoYl.jpgImage Enlarger

 Once I have the height correct (probably tomorrow) I’ll decide how I want to shape the sight, then drill it, blue it and mount it.

 

Ben said

I have Christy’s (long closed gun parts manufacturer) front sight blades for Winchester / Marlin & Savage rifles.  NOS in their original cellophane wrappers… The price is good too, if payment is made in 1950’s U.S. junk silver dimes & quarters + shipping.  I find it’s an interesting lesson on “inflation”….

Image Enlarger

  

 Man, those are awesome looking sights!!

 

rogertherelic said

Have you tried 170 grain bullets.  That was the original loading.  The 150 grain bullets came out much later.  I found that was the answer for my 1917 vintage carbine.  Worth a try.  RDB

  

 I did not because I didn’t figure there would be enough difference in them and the 150’s to warrant wasting my stash of Speer 170 gr. bullets.

 

  

If we’re talking at 100 yards or less, I believe the difference in trajectories would be minimal.  The 170 grain curve gets steeper after that.  A quick and dirty look at a comparative chart of the two bullet weights for the 30WCF yielded these numbers for moderate handloads in hornady brass:

20″ bbl, open sights, Winchester 170 grain FPRN Silvertip, observed mv 2050, +1″ at 50 yards, 0″ at 100 yards, – 3.7″ at 150 yards, -10.5″ at 200 yards. 

20″ bbl, open sights, Sierra 150 graiin FNSP, observed mv 2400, +1″ at 50 yards, 0″ at 100 yards, -1.8″ at 150 yards, -4″ at 200 yards. 

Data source: https://www.ballisticstudies.com/Knowledgebase/.30-30+Winchester++.30+WCF.html

At least according to the New Zealand author of the piece, the factory velocity of the 150 grain load is kept down somewhat so the open sights of typical Winchester and Marlin carbines can be used for both bullet weights. He asserts that, if the 150 grain load were loaded up to acceptable maximum pressure levels, the open sights commonly installed by the factories would not have sufficient elevation range to be useable with both bullet weights. I have no idea whatsover if this is true. And it is coming from a Kiwi — and they are close enough in nature to my Oz buddies that caution is indicated….

- Bill 

 

WACA # 65205; Life Member, National Rifle Association; amateur preservationist

"I have seen wicked men and fools, a great many of both, and I believe they both get paid in the end, but the fools first." -- David Balfour, narrator and protagonist of the novel, Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson.

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January 7, 2024 - 9:07 pm
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 I got the sight finished and here it is-

https://i.imgur.com/8qJqBPIl.jpgImage Enlarger https://i.imgur.com/2iubjSOl.jpgImage Enlarger

 

 I spent all yesterday afternoon trying verify the regulation of the sight with handloads, which it has shot reasonably well. This rifle is making m pull my hair out as it accuracy has become very sporadic and it’s now slinging bullets everywhere. The whole rifle was very rusty when my father-in-law gave it to me, including the bore. I cleaned it up and while the bore is somewhat rough with pitting, the rifling is very pronounced. I think I’m going to try to get all the copper out of the bore and lap it a little to see if that helps. If it doesn’t, I’ll try cast bullets again (which have shot pretty good in it), and if they don’t work, it’ll be a wallhanger.

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January 7, 2024 - 11:31 pm
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Great job with the sight blade though! Cool

Typically a rough (pitted) bore will not shoot well with cast bullets.  I would continue with the jacketed bullet loads as close to the original factory velocity (2,100 fps) as you can get.

Bert

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January 9, 2024 - 2:43 am
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 I know that traditional reasoning would agree with that, and I agree, but when I first acquired the rifle I threw together a couple of cast bullet loads and shot them at 100 yds. I thought they did very well-

https://i.imgur.com/PUX93K9l.jpgImage Enlarger https://i.imgur.com/g2y2yNnl.jpgImage Enlarger

 

 At any rate, I nearly have the bore clean of copper fouling, then I’ll begin the lapping process. Stay tuned…

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