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Winchester Combination front sight
June 9, 2019
1:26 am
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There have been some interesting discussions about the differences between the Beach combination sight which was patented in 1867 and the much later Lyman combination sight patented in 1891.  Of course both of these were offered by other rifle manufacturers in addition to Winchester.  They were also sold in gun shops and hardware stores. 

I recently became aware there was a Winchester combination sight, different than these other two.  It was designed by Victor A. King in March 1879 while he was superintendent of works at Winchester.  It was only in the catalogs from 1880-1884 according to James D. Gordon in the "Winchester's New Model of 1873 - A Tribute" book on page 308.

Here is an  image of the original Winchester drawing for this sight.  Also a few photos of one installed on an 1876 sporting rifle.  Note that the little blade portion is fixed in place, only the globe portion pivots.

Not sure why Winchester developed this sight.  It was competing with the Beach sight which had been in the catalog for years.  In any case, it didn't last long.  This sight does not show up in either Stroebel's "Old Gunsights" book or Madis' "The Sight Book."

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June 9, 2019
2:01 am
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Bill Hockett said

Not sure why Winchester developed this sight.   

Well, one possible reason was that, while Beach's patent remained in force, it would have saved money to make it themselves.

What's always puzzled me (though I've shot countless rounds using them) in the supposed advantage of a globe sight; to me, they are as much of a useless obstruction as a full buckhorn rear sight.

June 9, 2019
6:42 pm
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Here is a snip from an 1882 catalog reprint that shows the Beach and Winchester combination sights.  The Winchester sight is less money but apparently did not compete well with the Beach sight.

I like the Beach sight better, it is attractive with the gold wash on the globe.  Maybe that's what the shooters thought back in the 19th century as well.  The Beach sight stayed in the catalogs into the 20th century.

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June 9, 2019
7:08 pm
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The Beach Combination shown in the catalog looks similar, if not identical to the Winchester 71A which was used up until 1932.

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June 9, 2019
8:41 pm
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Bill Hockett said
The Winchester sight is less money but apparently did not compete well with the Beach sight.
  

Furthermore, Winchester's use of "combination" was a misnomer, relative to the Beach.  The Beach sight provided two different choices of front sight--a bead & a post or blade; that's what "combination" was intended to mean.

June 9, 2019
8:48 pm
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JWA said
The Beach Combination shown in the catalog looks similar, if not identical to the Winchester 71A which was used up until 1932.  

That's the one with the 1902 pat. date, & not manufactured by WRA until AFTER Beach's pat. expired in 1891--about the time Lyman began making their #5 front sight.

June 9, 2019
9:07 pm
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clarence said

That's the one with the 1902 pat. date, & not manufactured by WRA until AFTER Beach's pat. expired in 1891--about the time Lyman began making their #5 front sight.  

Yes, you are correct.  Once the patent expired Winchester copied it almost exactly.  The tinned tip and patent date on the Winchester 71A was discontinued in early 1914.

Regards,

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June 9, 2019
10:53 pm
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I can think of two reasons the Beach was preferred over the Winchester combination. It had a spring under the base to keep the globe in position rather than relying on friction and the replaceable post was quite thin giving you more accuracy.

Bob

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June 10, 2019
2:54 pm
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Man that is neat! I'm a big fan of peep sights and the globe sight, which adds another reference point (concentric circle) of alignment for the shooter. Besides aiding in accuracy for the typical shooter at still targets...it's as rare as all get out to my knowledge and just plain cool to boot!

James

July 9, 2019
4:02 pm
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jwm94;

   If you think any of the Beach type globe sights are "cool", check out the 1882-1883 Winchester Catalog. Within these pages where the sights are located you'll find the "Winchester Reversible Front Sight". This sight is probably the rarest front sight of them all. Most collectors never knew it even existed, but although it obviously wasn't very popular it was in fact manufactured by Winchester for the Model 1876 Centennial rifle. Thus far I've found only 1 still in existence. This sight is on a English Proofed 1876 Short Rifle of 40-60 WCF caliber. The rifle was sold in England and used in India in 1883. Now that's cool!

Apache ( ya ta hey )CoolCoolCoolCoolCoolSmile

July 9, 2019
4:48 pm
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apache said
jwm94;

   If you think any of the Beach type globe sights are "cool", check out the 1882-1883 Winchester Catalog. Within these pages where the sights are located you'll find the "Winchester Reversible Front Sight". This sight is probably the rarest front sight of them all. Most collectors never knew it even existed, but although it obviously wasn't very popular it was in fact manufactured by Winchester for the Model 1876 Centennial rifle. Thus far I've found only 1 still in existence. This sight is on a English Proofed 1876 Short Rifle of 40-60 WCF caliber. The rifle was sold in England and used in India in 1883. Now that's cool!

Apache ( ya ta hey )CoolCoolCoolCoolCoolSmile  

Do you have a picture of this "Unicorn" sight?

July 9, 2019
8:58 pm
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I posted a picture for Apache a while back on here.

Bob

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July 13, 2019
1:12 am
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1873man;

Bob, let me thank you once again for coming to my rescue, first with the picture of the Winchester Reversible Sight you sent me a while back, and second for letting Manuel and any other doubters know that this "Unicorn" sight actually does exist. I often wonder why when someone comes up with an item most never heard of there always seems to be folks out there that immediately yell "FAKE" or "IMPOSSIBLE". Over the last 60 years that I've been collecting firearms I've run into many rare and unusual items that most Collectors never knew existed. One example was a Model 1905 Colt in 45 acp caliber that was several hundred serial numbers past the time it was thought to have been discontinued. Another was a Mauser Hsc automatic used by the German Army as a "Test Pistol". Last but not least my Winchester 1866 Carbine carried into battle by both a U.S. Army soldier and then by the Sioux 14 years later. The whole world knows about that one. Anyway thank you.

Apache (ya ta hey)SmileSmileSmileConfused

July 14, 2019
5:45 am
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I was not doubting. Just wanted to see a picture.  

July 14, 2019
5:43 pm
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Apache, here is the thread you mentioned above. 

https://winchestercollector.org/forum/winchester-sights/a-most-unusual-combinatiion-sight-for-the-1876/#p50683

If there was a post with a pic of the sight on the rifle, I must have missed it. 

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July 14, 2019
7:42 pm
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Apache never did post a picture of his sight, he just described it and that how I found the picture.

Bob

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