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Thanks in advance for responses.

I bought an 1866 Springfield 50-70 2nd Alin conversion. It is in good shape for a rifle that came out of the corrosive primer and black powder era. It started life as an1864 Springfield musket. It is all original except for the ramrod and this winter I will make it brown to match the rest of the parts.

The problem is the sights. At 50 yards it is about 8 inches high with the front sight buried at the bottom of the V. Trying to line the top of the front sight with the top of the rear sight it went about 12" high. Looking at the front sight I think it is 1 piece soldered to the barrel. I could not find a cross pin holding it in. There may be one and that would make this a lot simpler. Being that it is 156 years old and still all original I do not want to change the front sight if possible. I looked at the rear leaf and I am not sure there is enough height available to trim it down enough to get close to zero.
Plan A I have thought of making a clamp to grip the front sight base and carry a new taller blade. I would be able to remove it too.
Plan B My question is who is the goto guy that could change it out, make it look original to the gun if I would decide to go that route?
With both plans I would buy a repro rear sight and fill the existing notch and make a new one.

With 65 grains Swiss 2f and a wonder felt wad under the 450 gr bullet I got minute of deer at 50 yards. The wadless ones were about the same with very little grease ring around the holes. There were no Keyholes. I sure did gather a bunch of gawkers at the range.

I have seen the "Sniper Sight" being sold.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
All I am looking for is a taller front sight.
 
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Thanks in advance for responses.

I bought an 1866 Springfield 50-70 2nd Alin conversion. It is in good shape for a rifle that came out of the corrosive primer and black powder era. It started life as an1864 Springfield musket. It is all original except for the ramrod and this winter I will make it brown to match the rest of the parts.

The problem is the sights. At 50 yards it is about 8 inches high with the front sight buried at the bottom of the V. Trying to line the top of the front sight with the top of the rear sight it went about 12" high. Looking at the front sight I think it is 1 piece soldered to the barrel. I could not find a cross pin holding it in. There may be one and that would make this a lot simpler. Being that it is 156 years old and still all original I do not want to change the front sight if possible. I looked at the rear leaf and I am not sure there is enough height available to trim it down enough to get close to zero.
Plan A I have thought of making a clamp to grip the front sight base and carry a new taller blade. I would be able to remove it too.
Plan B My question is who is the goto guy that could change it out, make it look original to the gun if I would decide to go that route?
With both plans I would buy a repro rear sight and fill the existing notch and make a new one.

With 65 grains Swiss 2f and a wonder felt wad under the 450 gr bullet I got minute of deer at 50 yards. The wadless ones were about the same with very little grease ring around the holes. There were no Keyholes. I sure did gather a bunch of gawkers at the range.

I have seen the "Sniper Sight" being sold.
The problem is you're a modern shooter with modern ideas shooting an antique military rifle. Back then, 8in high at 100yd was perfectly acceptable because if you were holding on an enemy's belt buckle, he's still going to have a very bad day from a hit 18" high. This allows a soldier to center hold way on out there and still get a hit. Or alternatively, the target wasn't a single enemy but a troop formation several hundred yards distant and again, that would put the bullet into an area with a high density of enemy soldiers. They weren't concerned if it hit Pvt Bob or Pvt Joe, just that it was a hit. What you're describing is very, very common with unaltered guns.

Yes, modern repro sights can be added to bring it more into your expectations. Whatever you're doing, if the arm is completely original, don't change anything in an irreversible manner.
 

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Like Jack 951 said, it's 20th century shooting mentality with a mid 19th century rifle. If your deer is close, i.e. under 100 yards, you hold on the bottom of the chest line. 8" high at 50 would put you on somewhere around 150, so at the 100 - 150 yard mark you hold dead on.
The front sight is brazed to the barrel. Since you need a taller front sight to shoot with todays techniques, you could make one to fit over the current front sight, then two part epoxy it in place. About 400 degrees of heat will remove it, keeping it original, and not slip the liner that was used to turn it into a 50-70 from the original 58 calibre. That would be the way I'd go with it if you can't accomodate yourself to the original sights.
You could also try a lighter bullet, say something around the 385 grain mark. Gets out the barrel faster, so less muzzle flip acts on it. I've done that with a couple of early Allin conversions that worked well.

Good luck and enjoy the ride with these old girls!

Doubletap
 

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Like previous fellas have already said, 19th Century military rifles are designed to hit high to extend max point blank range on a human target. My most used deer rifle is an original 1861 musket, and it is 6" high at 50 yards, 8" high at 100 yards, and zeroed at 150 yards. I also shoot Trapdoor rifles, and they hit even higher (18"-24" @ 100 yards) with original sights. I get excellent groups with my 1861 musket, and I have learned just to hold low on close shots on deer. Works for me. Some later Trapdoors, not yours unfortunately, do have front sight blades that are removable and can be replaced with taller ones. On your rifle, repro rear sight leaves are available that MAY allow enough filing down to lower impact. That is if you can remove the original, as many are rusted/corroded in place. Another method I have seen is to drill a hole in the leaf, so that while it is in the upright (long distance) position, it acts as a peep sight. That can sometimes get you on target at shorter ranges, but again, I wouldnt do it to my original sight leaf. There is little else to be done to fix your "problem" other than to build up your front sight, which I don't find to be an attractive option. I personally wouldn't mess with my sights, and just live with it. I have attached a pic of my 100 yard groups and POI with my 1861 musket. Loads are a standard .580 510 gr. Minie with the Government standard 60 grain load, using various powders. Only one shot hit the paper using Pyro RS. Doesn't have enough umph to expand skirt and engage the rifling.
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