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Rare Winchester combination front sight on eBay
February 2, 2021
2:46 pm
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I saw this Winchester combination front sight on eBay listed as a “Beech” sight along with a Lyman #5.  The Winchester combination front sight was only in the catalogs from 1880-84.  

I have an 1876 rifle that has a Winchester combination sight.  I have never seen one loose offered for sale.  I have no dog in this fight, just thought a sight collector might be interested.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-vintage-BEECH-Combination-GLOBE-Front-SIGHTS-Winchester-Marlin-Remington-Rifle/203262369904?hash=item2f5361a070:g:ZKsAAOSw6zlgEw-h

February 2, 2021
5:06 pm
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Bill,

Neither of the sights in that listing are authentic “Beach combination” sights. The sight on the left is a Lyman No. 5. I do not recognize the sight on the right.

Bert

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February 2, 2021
7:16 pm
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Bert H. said
Bill,
Neither of the sights in that listing are authentic “Beach combination” sights. The sight on the left is a Lyman No. 5. I do not recognize the sight on the right.
Bert  

Yet 70 “watchers” for these two bedraggled specimens!  Pickins must be lean on ebay.  7/16″ fits Stevens & Rem.

February 2, 2021
10:59 pm
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The sight the first photo is the Winchester combination sight from the eBay ad.  I cut the Lyman #5 out.  

The Winchester combination sight is extremely rare.  I’m not surprised that many Winchester collectors don’t recognize it.  The Winchester combination front sight does not show up in the Winchester Book, The Sight Book or Old Gunsights.  It is shown in the catalogs from 1880-84 then disappears.

Second photo is a Winchester combination front sight on an 1876 made in 1883.  It appears to be original.

s-l1600.jpgImage EnlargerIMG_E1772-1.JPGImage Enlarger

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February 3, 2021
12:10 am
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Bill, You could probably have bought this for peanuts (since you may be the only one who recognized it for what it is), properly advertised it, & reaped a nice profit for your expertise.  I don’t have the catalogs you mentioned, & suspected it was used on one of the lower priced single-shots, like H&A.  In fact, the thing is so crude looking, I’m very surprised it’s Winchester.

I’ve done a lot of hunting with original Beach & #5 Lyman sights, but have never been able to discover the advantage of having a “halo” around the aiming point–it only serves to obscure the target as far as I can judge. 

February 3, 2021
12:34 am
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Hi Bill,

At the risk of bringing Bert down on me, my drawing of that sight which was updated on 3/2/32 (which obsoleted the sight) calls it a #71A after they changed the naming conventions of the sights.

The drawing revisions reflect the following:

Per Change of Product Notice 890 dated 12/21/10 a globule of tin was applied to the “plain sight portion” and the patent date was applied to the base.

Per Change of Product Notice 1263 dated 8/28/11 changed the location of the globule of tin to the “globe pin head” instead of the “plain sight portion”.

Per Change of Product Notice 2948 dated 2/3/14 the tinned tip and patent mark were discontinued.

Per Change of Product Notice 7501 dated 2/20/19 provides for chamfering the base to facilitate driving it into the barrel.

The drawing indicates the sight was dropped from the line on 3/2/32 and the drawing was no longer updated at that point.

The above is from the Winchester sight drawing and is just food for thought from a lowly .22 rim fire collector.

 

Best Regards,

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February 3, 2021
12:51 am
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The sight Bill is referring  to, is on an 1876 .45-75 that I bought at the Denver show over 25 years ago.  This rifle is the finest ’76 sporting rifle I  have ever seen.  I sold  this  gun to Bill at the Denver show in 2019.  Although the letter doesn’t  mention this sight, or the factory sling swivels,  it was most likely installed at the factory.  As Bill mentions, most collectors have never seen this sight, but it is pictured in two Winchester catalogs of the early 1880 period.  Only two collectors that I have talked to, knew of this sight.  One was John Hawk and the other was Greg Garlick.  It is  indeed a very rare sight.  The one on ebay may look crude, but the one on Bill’s gun is in as new condition.

February 3, 2021
12:55 am
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All the above is very peculiar–that it remained in production so long, and was even given periodic improvements, without being included in the catalog, except for those few yrs Bill mentioned!  Whereas the Beach sight was listed from an early date.

February 3, 2021
1:53 am
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JWA said
Hi Bill,

At the risk of bringing Bert down on me, my drawing of that sight which was updated on 3/2/32 (which obsoleted the sight) calls it a #71A after they changed the naming conventions of the sights.

The drawing revisions reflect the following:

Per Change of Product Notice 890 dated 12/21/10 a globule of tin was applied to the “plain sight portion” and the patent date was applied to the base.

Per Change of Product Notice 1263 dated 8/28/11 changed the location of the globule of tin to the “globe pin head” instead of the “plain sight portion”.

Per Change of Product Notice 2948 dated 2/3/14 the tinned tip and patent mark were discontinued.

Per Change of Product Notice 7501 dated 2/20/19 provides for chamfering the base to facilitate driving it into the barrel.

The drawing indicates the sight was dropped from the line on 3/2/32 and the drawing was no longer updated at that point.

The above is from the Winchester sight drawing and is just food for thought from a lowly .22 rim fire collector.

 

Best Regards,  

JWA,  I believe the 71A sight you are referring to is the one that is virtually identical to the Beach combination sight.  These are different than the Winchester combination sight that is for sale on eBay and is on the 1876 that Win4575 mentioned.  

The Winchester combination front sight was only in the catalog for a few years.  Gordon in his 1873 book mentions 1880-84.  I have an 1882 reprint catalog and the sight is in there.  

Here is a snip from an 1882 catalog reprint that shows the Winchester combination and Beach front sights.

winsights04.pngImage Enlarger

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February 3, 2021
2:12 am
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Bill,

You are absolutely correct, the drawing I was looking at had the partridge sight blade as depicted on the Beach in the catalog and not the post of the Combination Sight.  Thanks for the correction, I did not realize Winchester made the Beach sight as well (I assumed they purchased them).  There is a drawing for the 71B also but it is narrower, mostly for .22 rifles.

After further searching, I do not have a drawing for the Combination Sight, wish I did.

Best Regards,

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February 3, 2021
2:14 am
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Bill Hockett said

JWA,  I believe the 71A sight you are referring to is the one that is virtually identical to the Beach combination sight.   

  

That must be it, because when I looked Winchester’s patent up yrs ago, I remember that it applied not to the design of the sight itself, but to something having to do with the bead.  I didn’t realize either that it had a number–the catalogs continued to refer to it as a Beach, the pat. on which expired in the same yr Lyman began making their #5, 1891.

February 3, 2021
2:25 am
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clarence said

Bill Hockett said

JWA,  I believe the 71A sight you are referring to is the one that is virtually identical to the Beach combination sight.   

  

That must be it, because when I looked Winchester’s patent up yrs ago, I remember that it applied not to the design of the sight itself, but to something having to do with the bead.  I didn’t realize either that it had a number–the catalogs continued to refer to it as a Beach, the pat. on which expired in the same yr Lyman began making their #5, 1891.  

You guys are both correct, I missed the little detail of the sight blade as opposed to the beaded post on the combination sight.

Here is the drawing of the Winchester “Beach” sight, all of the changes I mentioned above were noted on the back of this drawing.  Learned something new, thanks!

Best Regards,

 

COPYRIGHT-Sight-Book-Page-No-154.jpgImage Enlarger

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February 3, 2021
3:53 am
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JWA said
Bill,

You are absolutely correct, the drawing I was looking at had the partridge sight blade as depicted on the Beach in the catalog and not the post of the Combination Sight.  Thanks for the correction, I did not realize Winchester made the Beach sight as well (I assumed they purchased them).  There is a drawing for the 71B also but it is narrower, mostly for .22 rifles.

After further searching, I do not have a drawing for the Combination Sight, wish I did.

Best Regards,  

JWA, 

Here is a drawing of the Winchester combination front sight.  It was apparently patented in 1879.  Note that Winchester NEVER referred to this sight as a Beach.  It was listed as the Winchester Combination Sight in the catalogs.  The Beach was a different sight, although it has some similarities.  The Beach also came first.  

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February 3, 2021
3:56 am
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I have 4 guns in my 73 survey that letter with the Winchester Combination. 1 first model, 2 second and a early third model. All with special features. One of the guns is pictured in Gordon’s book, a 32″ 38 caliber s/n 70831 but it does not have the sight on it.

Bob

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February 3, 2021
4:01 am
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While I got some sight guys on here, I have a friend that has a 73 that letters with a OAT F. S. in the ledger which I take as a OAT front sight but it does not have the sight on it and has been trying to figure out what  it looks like. Its a early first model.

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February 3, 2021
4:47 am
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Bill Hockett said

Here is a drawing of the Winchester combination front sight.  It was apparently patented in 1879.  Note that Winchester NEVER referred to this sight as a Beach. 

  

Obviously not, because at the same time, the “true” Beach was listed in their catalog; can’t very well catalog TWO Beach sights!  But Winchester clearly was exploiting the name, “Combination Sight,” which was what Beach called his sight.  Beach patented his sight, but didn’t trade-mark the name itself, which created this legal loop-hole, not only for Winchester, but also for Wm. Lyman–his original tang sight was called the “Lyman Patent Combination Sight,” & it was many yrs later before it was assigned a numerical designation.

February 3, 2021
4:15 pm
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I think we have established that the Winchester combination sight is very rare.   It’s value is a different question.  The fact that knowledgeable Winchester collectors have not heard of it makes me think it would not pass the high value test.  

The eBay seller calls it a “Beech combination globe sight” but we know that eBay sellers often don’t know what they have.

Now, when I see a genuine Winchester Reversible sight for sale on eBay, that will be the day.  Apparently, that sight is the true Winchester collector’s unicorn

WinReversible.pngImage Enlarger

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February 3, 2021
5:31 pm
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Bill Hockett said

Now, when I see a genuine Winchester Reversible sight for sale on eBay, that will be the day.  Apparently, that sight is the true Winchester collector’s unicorn

WinReversible.pngImage Enlarger  

It’s rare for a good reason:  with it turned as in the left position, the left & right hand sides of the target are obscured, like a full-buckhorn rear sight–the worst of all sight designs. 

I think the information you provided will boost the value of the combination sight from negligible when it was unrecognized to at least moderate value for anyone reading this.  Too bad it wasn’t listed individually, to make clear what bidders really think of it. 

February 3, 2021
8:52 pm
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Bill Hockett said
I think we have established that the Winchester combination sight is very rare.   It’s value is a different question.  The fact that knowledgeable Winchester collectors have not heard of it makes me think it would not pass the high value test.  

The eBay seller calls it a “Beech combination globe sight” but we know that eBay sellers often don’t know what they have.

Now, when I see a genuine Winchester Reversible sight for sale on eBay, that will be the day.  Apparently, that sight is the true Winchester collector’s unicorn

WinReversible.pngImage Enlarger  

 Bill, Thanks for the education. T/R

February 4, 2021
1:02 am
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Bill,

I am of the opinion that the sight on ebay is worth acquiring.  As rare as they apparently are, somebody that has a Winchester that letters with that sight would pay good money to get it.

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