Sunday, February 16, 2014

Just Piddlin' Around

Some time ago, I tried out a Savage 1899 in 25-35 Winchester.  I like the rifle but it shoots really high.   I loaded some light Barnes POX Bullets (Plain Old X) to see if that would make enough difference to make the gun useable but haven't tested them out yet.  Saturday morning, I decided to write myself an insurance policy in the form of a tall front sight blank to take to the range just in case.

This particular rifle is old enough that it uses a blade that slides in a groove that runs down the sight base and is held in by a screw.   Its similar to the US Krag front sight in the picture below.

 One side of the Savage sight blade has a series of grooves for positive adjustment and the screw actually pinches the sight base to hold the blade in place.  The hole in the blade that the screw passes through is an open channel on the Savage sight.  That's to allow the vertical adjustment.

I had a piece of brass that was nominally the right thickness and I used a sight height correction gizmo on Brownell's website to calculate how much taller the new sight would need to be and I added a little extra for a margin of safety.

A coping saw worked fine on the brass.  I even used it to cut the channel for the screw and then used a welding tip cleaner to widen the groove and smooth it out.   Lightly drawing the new blank across an oiled file took the high spots off the sides.    It goes in the slot with just a little bit of resistance so it should work fine when the screw is tightened.

That's it upside down in the little vise.

After I got it done, I was reading a thread on the 24 Hour Campfire by a guy that wanted to have some Savage Model 20 stocks duplicated.  In the middle of the thread somebody mentioned that he used a Krag sight to replace his missing front sight.   For a minute I felt dumb because I could have just bought a Krag sight and filed it down but when I found them on line and saw they cost $21.50 with shipping I decided that it had been a good use of the time after all.

If I have to resort to the new sight, I will get it filed down to a height that works and then use it for a pattern for one made of steel.

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