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Sights wizards, help ID rear sight on 1892 + other fun info
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October 27, 2023 - 2:10 am
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Oh great sights wizards, I acquired this 1892 as pictured. From this forum I have learned it has the Beach combo front sight (probably 50% of the gold wash remaining under all the gunk) but I cannot find any markings on the rear sight. See pics, but the knurled shaft raises/lowers the ring/peephole and it has a little knurled knob on the side that seems to set tension to lock it in place. Does anyone recognize the rear sight?

Also, just looking for general info…the rifle is a 1913 build and was wondering if these sights were available factory order during that time since I can’t letter the gun from Cody. They don’t look like they’ve been messed with or beat up and the bluing under the rear is perfect, so I think it’s been there awhile.

Anyway, any other fun facts or nuggets you have would be great! Cool

 

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October 27, 2023 - 2:30 am
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A common Lyman 1A.  Should be marked DA underneath base.  Both sights could be ordered from factory, but in that case the rear sight was usually replaced with a blank or a Lyman #6 folding sight.

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October 27, 2023 - 2:41 am
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clarence said
A common Lyman 1A.  Should be marked DA underneath base.  Both sights could be ordered from factory, but in that case the rear sight was usually replaced with a blank or a Lyman #6 folding sight.

  

I wondered about it also having the rear sight in place…they don’t all line up looking through the tang sight forward. Thanks for the ID, it probably has the marking, but it was super small and I couldn’t get my eyes to focus in bad lighting well enough… I will read up some more on it!

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October 27, 2023 - 2:56 am
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Jeremy P said I wondered about it also having the rear sight in place…they don’t all line up looking through the tang sight forward.

Great majority of tang sights were added after purchase of rifle.  If you intend shooting it with the tang sight, rear sight should be removed.

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October 27, 2023 - 5:44 am
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Jeremy. FYI. What I do is use a fine fishing line with a small loop placed over front sight. Then I stretch it over the center of the bolt and adjust the rear sight to the fish line. Then I stretch it back to the tang sight and using shims adjust the tang sight to the fish line. At least it is a start. Don

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October 27, 2023 - 12:11 pm
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I suspect that semi-buckhorn style rear sight gets in the way to see the front sight and whatever you are shooting at when trying to sight through the tang sight?

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October 27, 2023 - 12:22 pm
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 Jeremy,

  I like having all three sights on a gun, I know it was not the intent of a tang sight but it works for me. I start by centering the front sight and adjusting the tang sight by sighting it in at 50 to 100 yards depending on the cartridge. Up and down with the tang sight is turning the knurled knob, lateral is with shims under one side of the base, cutting a sliver off a business  card works well. Then I move the rear sight until I get the proper sight picture in the tang sight and drop it down one notch. That gets me close at short range with the rear sight and right on with the tang sight at the range I sighted it in. You can also use the range notched under the rear sight for longer range adjustments of the tang sight. On my 86’s with original velocity loads many times these notches are 50 yards. With my old eyes I need a peep type sight to focus on the front sight and the rear sight gives me quick ranging adjustment of the tang sight. After setting the range I drop the rear sight back down.

  This setup allows me to pickup one of my guns and have a general idea of ranging, all were put away sighted by the same method.

  86Win’s fishing line method would save a few rounds. Sounds clever, I like it.

        T/R 

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October 27, 2023 - 12:38 pm
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Here is the list I have used to identify Lyman sights… now everybody can be a wizard.  I keep it in my phone for easy reference at gunshows.

Lyman tang sight code:

  1. No. 1 Combination Tang Sight (first variation) – patented Jan. 28, 1879. This sight has a thick base and a knurled thumbscrew on the right side of the upright pivot. The real early sights did not have the flip-down peep window, but that feature was incorporated before being replaced in 1884 with the Second Variation.
  2. No. 1 Combination Tang Sight Second Variation – patented May 6, 1884. This sight has both the JAN. 28, ’79 and MAY 6, ’84 patent dates stamped on the base of the elevation upright. The knurled screw was replaced with a hairspring that allowed the elevation stem to be locked in the upright position by a spring loaded detent. It was replaced in 1905 by the No. 1A
  3. No. 1A Combination Tang Sight Third Variation – patented July 25, 1905. The “A” suffix indicates the addition of the locking lever on the left side of the upright pivot. This sight was in production until 1955.
  4. No. 2 Combination Tang Sight – introduced in 1894 and it was intended for Match and Gallery rifles. It is identical to the No. 1 Second Variation except that it has a screw in aperture disk instead of the flip-down peep. Several different aperture disks were available (each with a different diameter peep hole). The larger the outside diameter (OD) of the disk, the smaller the diameter of the peep hole. Seven different sized disks were made (from 3/8” to 1” OD)
  5. No. 2A Combination Tang Sight Second Variation – introduced simultaneously with the No. 1A, and is the same the No. 2 except for the locking lever.
  6. No. 15 Windgauge Tang Sight – patented August 23, 1887. This sight only allowed for the top portion of the stem to be folded down, and because of that fact, had poor sales numbers and was discontinued in 1906.
  7. No. 29 Windgauge Tang Sight – patented March 6, 1900. This sight has a square top stem and could not be folded down like the No. 1 and No. 2 Tang sights. It was discontinued in 1903 due to complaints by shooters of frequent damage to the sight (due to not being able to fold it down).
  8. No. 101 and 102 Range Control Tang Sight – patented March 9, 1915 and April 18, 1916. These were the first sights to offer click adjustable elevation. The elevation thimble had ten graduations (marked 0, 2, 4, and 8 with a detent position between each mark). The No. 101 had a flip-down peep, while the No. 102 utilized a screw in aperture disk.
  9. No. 103 Windgauge Tang Sight – introduced in 1916. This sight is the top of the line. It features a micrometer (half-minute per click) elevation and windage adjustment, and uses the screw in aperture disks. It is highly sought after by target shooters. It has the same locking lever as the No. 1A and 2A, and was discontinued in 1955.
  10. No. 47 Windgauge stem. Option to replace the standard elevation stem on the No. 1, 1A, 2, & 2A Tang sights. It allowed for windage adjustment by use of thumbscrew (1/4 turn changed the impact ½” at 100 yards with a 30” sight base), and it uses a screw in aperture disk like the No. 2 or 2A. If a complete sight was ordered with this feature, it was referred to as a No. 52A.

The following code application list is what I have found to date…  

LYMAN BASE CODE APPLICATIONS, 1878 – 1955

AT – Remington Auto loading Rifles, Models 8 & 81

B – Marlin Model ’92, .32 caliber, Hopkins & Allen, Ballard

C – Colt, .22 caliber, Remington No. 6

D – Winchester Model ’94, .32/40, .38/55 calibers, Winchester Model ’92

DA – Winchester Model ’94, .25/35, .30/30 & .32 Special calibers, Model 53, .25/20 & .32/20 calibers, Model 55, .30/30 caliber, Models 64 & 65

DE – Standard Repeating Rifle

E – Marlin Model ’89, Marlin Model ’94, .25/20, .32/20, .38/40 & .44/40 calibers

F – Stevens Favorite, No. 418 & No. 418 1/2

G – Stevens Models 65 & 66

H – Marlin Model ’92, .22 caliber, & Marlin Models ’97, 39 & 39A

HP – Stevens No. 425

I – Winchester Model ’76

J – Marlin Model ’93, .32/40 & .38/55 calibers

JA – Marlin Model ’93, .25/36, .30/30, .32 H.P.S., .32/40 H.P.S. & .38/55 H.P.S. calibers

JB – Marlin Model 27

JM – Marlin Model ’95

K – Marlin Models 18 & 25

KM – Marlin Models 20, 29, 37, 47

L – Iver Johnson Models X & 2X

N – Winchester Model ’86, all calibers except .33

NI – Winchester Model ’86, .33 caliber

NP – Stevens New Model Pocket Rifle

P – Stevens Ideal, Marksman, No. 414, No. 417 & No. 417 1/2

PC – Stevens Crack Shot

Q – Quackenbush

R – Remington No. 3, all calibers except .22

RA – Remington No. 2, Remington No. 3, .22 caliber & Remington No. 5

RP – Stevens Reliable Pocket Rifle

RS – Remington No. 7

R12 – Remington Repeater, Models 12 & 121

R14 – Remington Repeater, Models 14 & 141

R16 – Remington Autoloading Rifle, Model 16, .22 caliber

R24 – Remington Autoloading Rifle, Models 24 & 241, .22 caliber

R25 – Remington Repeater, Model 25

S – Winchester Single Shot (Model 1885), all calibers except .22 and .30/40

SA – Savage Model ’99, .25/35, .30/30, .300, .303, .32/40, .32/40 H.P.S., .22 H.P. & .250/3000 calibers

SB – Winchester Single Shot (Model 1885), .22 & .30/40 calibers

SC – Winchester Model 87 Winder Musket

SE – Savage Model 1905

SH – Savage Model ’99, .38/55 & .38/55 H.P.S. calibers

SJ – Savage “Junior”

SL – Winchester Models 1905, 1907 & 1910 Self-Loading Rifles

SM – Savage Models 1903, 1909, 1912, 1914, 25 & 29, Meriden Models 10 & 15, Mossberg Model K & Stevens 75

SN – Savage Model 1919 .22 NRA & Savage Sporter, .22 caliber

SS – Savage 1922 Sporter, 1923-A Sporter, .22 caliber

ST – Stevens Repeater No. 80

SV – Stevens Repeater Nos. 70 & 71

U – Remington No. 4

W – Winchester Model ’73

WA – Winchester Models 1903 & 63

WF – Winchester Model 52

WM – Winchester .22 Musket

WS – Winchester Models 1890, 1906, 62 & 62A

W61 – Winchester Model 61

X – Express (English)

XA – Winchester Model 1902

XS – Winchester Models 1904, 56, 57, 59 & 60

Y – Maynard

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October 27, 2023 - 1:29 pm
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Those of you advocating retention of rear sight along with tang sight:  you consider yourselves better informed on this subject than Wm. Lyman? Who wrote dozens of articles explaining the optical principal of his sight, & whose chief rule for anyone installing his tang sight was, FIRST, ditch the rear sight?  The great advantage of his tang sight, as he repeated in every catalog, & illustrated with drawings, was that (when it was correctly installed) the shooter saw ONLY his front sight against his target, with nothing to obstruct the sight line.

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October 27, 2023 - 1:40 pm
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steve004 said
I suspect that semi-buckhorn style rear sight gets in the way to see the front sight and whatever you are shooting at when trying to sight through the tang sight? 

Of course it does, except for those with X-ray vision.

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October 27, 2023 - 1:54 pm
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Ben Tolson said The real early sights did not have the flip-down peep window, but that feature was incorporated before being replaced in 1884 with the Second Variation.

Ben, Have you ever seen one without the fold-down?  (Unless it had been broken off, I mean.)  In the late 1870’s, Lyman offered to exchange the original sight staff for the improved one, no charge, though I doubt a great many had been sold before the fold-down became standard. In fact, what he meant by “combination” was the choice of two diff apertures, the larger one for hunting, the smaller one (supposedly) for target shooting.  His early catalog illustrations always showed the fold-down in the “down” position, rather than as they are often found today, with the fold-down stuck in the “up” position.

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October 27, 2023 - 3:42 pm
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86Win said
Jeremy. FYI. What I do is use a fine fishing line with a small loop placed over front sight. Then I stretch it over the center of the bolt and adjust the rear sight to the fish line. Then I stretch it back to the tang sight and using shims adjust the tang sight to the fish line. At least it is a start. Don

  

This seems like a great method, thanks for the tip. Do you recommend as another user did down below that a sliver of business card is used as a shim to provide left-to-right adjustment? That seems like something that would invite corrosion/rust… I was thinking of this last night because it does need to be moved left, as looking at the sight picture.

EDIT: I’m seeing a lot of recommendations for this now….oil soaked paper should be good according to all the wizards!

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October 27, 2023 - 3:50 pm
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steve004 said
I suspect that semi-buckhorn style rear sight gets in the way to see the front sight and whatever you are shooting at when trying to sight through the tang sight?

  

Yes it does, and as Clarence mentioned, my X-RAY vision is poor. Thinking of leaving it (the buckhorn rear), not really planning to shoot it unless I can come across some 32-20 or get serious about overpaying for it.Smile

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October 27, 2023 - 3:53 pm
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TR said
 Jeremy,

  I like having all three sights on a gun, I know it was not the intent of a tang sight but it works for me. I start by centering the front sight and adjusting the tang sight by sighting it in at 50 to 100 yards depending on the cartridge. Up and down with the tang sight is turning the knurled knob, lateral is with shims under one side of the base, cutting a sliver off a business  card works well. Then I move the rear sight until I get the proper sight picture in the tang sight and drop it down one notch. That gets me close at short range with the rear sight and right on with the tang sight at the range I sighted it in. You can also use the range notched under the rear sight for longer range adjustments of the tang sight. On my 86’s with original velocity loads many times these notches are 50 yards. With my old eyes I need a peep type sight to focus on the front sight and the rear sight gives me quick ranging adjustment of the tang sight. After setting the range I drop the rear sight back down.

  This setup allows me to pickup one of my guns and have a general idea of ranging, all were put away sighted by the same method.

  86Win’s fishing line method would save a few rounds. Sounds clever, I like it.

        T/R 

  

 

The business card sliver for lateral (L-to-R) adjustment is a nice tip…do you worry about it inviting corrosion at all? I guess that a little oil would soak into the paper anyways…

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October 27, 2023 - 3:54 pm
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Ben Tolson said
Here is the list I have used to identify Lyman sights… now everybody can be a wizard.  I keep it in my phone for easy reference at gunshows.

 

Thank you Ben for the post, that’s great info! If it was already posted somewhere I had missed it. I will save it! 

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October 27, 2023 - 5:03 pm
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Ben Tolson said
Here is the list I have used to identify Lyman sights… now everybody can be a wizard.  I keep it in my phone for easy reference at gunshows.

Lyman tang sight code:

  

A couple of additions.  Tang sights.  O for Colt Lightning Medium Frame.  L for Colt Lightning Large Frame.  I can’t remember where I found this but I know for sure that the tang sight on my Large Frame has the L. So, lightnings C,O and L.  Where’s the T?

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October 27, 2023 - 6:01 pm
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Jeremy P said

Yes it does, and as Clarence mentioned, my X-RAY vision is poor. Thinking of leaving it (the buckhorn rear), not really planning to shoot it unless I can come across some 32-20 or get serious about overpaying for it.Smile

Sure, for a collector’s purpose of not wanting to remove a sight original to the gun, that’s the best thing to do. But well to remember that, originally, they were not made to be collector’s items. The tang sight could be sold on ebay for $250-275, maybe more.

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October 27, 2023 - 6:44 pm
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clarence said

Jeremy P said

Yes it does, and as Clarence mentioned, my X-RAY vision is poor. Thinking of leaving it (the buckhorn rear), not really planning to shoot it unless I can come across some 32-20 or get serious about overpaying for it.Smile

Sure, for a collector’s purpose of not wanting to remove a sight original to the gun, that’s the best thing to do. But well to remember that, originally, they were not made to be collector’s items. The tang sight could be sold on ebay for $250-275, maybe more.

  

Agreed. Yes, the tang sight is really in wonderful condition too

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October 28, 2023 - 12:07 am
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clarence said

Ben Tolson said The real early sights did not have the flip-down peep window, but that feature was incorporated before being replaced in 1884 with the Second Variation.

Ben, Have you ever seen one without the fold-down?  (Unless it had been broken off, I mean.)  In the late 1870’s, Lyman offered to exchange the original sight staff for the improved one, no charge, though I doubt a great many had been sold before the fold-down became standard. In fact, what he meant by “combination” was the choice of two diff apertures, the larger one for hunting, the smaller one (supposedly) for target shooting.  His early catalog illustrations always showed the fold-down in the “down” position, rather than as they are often found today, with the fold-down stuck in the “up” position.

  

Clarence, I have had three…two for the 1873 and one for the 1876. They are extremely scarce.  Basically add 100% to the price of a sight with the fold down in comparable condition, if the staff base is marked with the early pat. date. The 1876 I had (marked with an “I”) was dead mint.  Came out of a large collection I bought at the Reno show 4 years ago… sold it the next weekend at Tulsa for $1400.  The buyer was looking thru my display of tang sights and stammered when he saw it, he asked my price and didn’t hesitate when I told him.  After he paid he said he had a 1876 in 98% condition that lettered for the sight but didn’t have it.  He was ecstatic…bought several other sights that day and subsequent Tulsa shows.  He figured it added $2,000-$2,500 to the value of his rifle…. we were both very happy. 

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October 28, 2023 - 12:12 am
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Chuck said

Ben Tolson said

Here is the list I have used to identify Lyman sights… now everybody can be a wizard.  I keep it in my phone for easy reference at gunshows.

Lyman tang sight code:

  

A couple of additions.  Tang sights.  O for Colt Lightning Medium Frame.  L for Colt Lightning Large Frame.  I can’t remember where I found this but I know for sure that the tang sight on my Large Frame has the L. So, lightnings C,O and L.  Where’s the T?

  

Thanks for the new info…  I found the list on the internet 20 years ago, I’ve added a few to it.  It really is helpful. 

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