View Full Version : Popsicle style peep sights (1880's)

Plinker 777
01-23-2017, 07:48 PM
Gentlemen, a shot in the dark here. I have an 1870's-80's BP sugarloaf target gun but the original sights are missing and replaced a long time ago. There is a square socket at the wrist that would have accepted a 'Popsicle' style peep sight. As these items weren't attached to the rifles, I'm assuming that these were all lost to the ages, but in the event I'm wrong can anyone point me to where these items may be lurking? ;D

They look like this:

01-23-2017, 09:47 PM
Have you called western gun parts in Edmonton

01-23-2017, 10:14 PM
Looks like the kinda thing you might want to try and make yourself.

Plinker 777
01-24-2017, 07:37 PM
Thanks guys, but I'm looking for an 1880's contemporary one. If it can be found?

01-24-2017, 09:59 PM
Can you come up with the real name for one. I doubt if Popsicle was a word used back then.

Plinker 777
01-24-2017, 10:26 PM
Can you come up with the real name for one. I doubt if Popsicle was a word used back then.

Hmmm, interesting. So apparently "Popsicle" is a registered trademark name for an ice-pop, like "Kleenex" is for a nasal tissue. Further, the refreshing treat wasn't founded/discovered until 1905 and "Popsicle" in name came sometime after that, so the rear (and removable) target peep sight would not have been referred to as a "Popsicle" sight in the 1880's.

The rifle I'm referring to has a small patch box as we are accustomed to in the butt stock and I'm uncertain if the intent would have been to keep the removable target sight in the patch box when not in use? What I do know is that it is not threaded. It did not screw into the wrist, rather it was a tapered square like a handmade square nail. Any adjustment I'm assuming was windage as the vertical was permanently set by the depth of the stem.

The rifle also has a rear buckhorn, the peep would not have been used aside from leisure target shooting which is the intent and design of the rifle. Having the option to remove the wrist sight and use the barrel sights for hunting is an added "+" i suppose.

01-24-2017, 10:29 PM
Lollipop sight..??

01-24-2017, 10:38 PM
Just hard to search Popsicle sight. And my stupid spell check says it always has to be a capital. The sight makes sense just finding one is going to be fun. Okay googled it and found this post. Plus they seem to call it a Marbles or Lyman Tang sight. Seems to still be made by them also.

Plinker 777
01-25-2017, 03:32 PM
Lollipop sight..??

Quite possibly. Also, the gun is pre-confederation (Canada-West) so, older than 1867...how much older, I haven't a clue. I'm scouring the internet for 'Lollipop sights' Thanks! ;D

01-25-2017, 05:35 PM
I am sure they exist some place. Maybe check for Tootsie Roll sights. Popsicle did bring up a bunch of sights just have to sift the chaff from the grain and find one for sale.

01-25-2017, 05:43 PM
Something about sks' and popsicle sticks. Hmmmm

01-25-2017, 05:56 PM
That's a tang sight by designation because of placement I believe.

here's a little read on what's what.

Target aperture sights are designed for maximum precision. The rear sight element (often called diopter) is usually a large disk (up to 1 inch or 2.5 cm in diameter) with a small hole in the middle, and is placed close to the shooter's eye. High end target diopters normally accept accessories like adjustable diopter aperture and optical filter systems to ensure optimal sighting conditions for match shooters. Typical modern target shooting diopters offer windage and elevation corrections in 2 mm (0.079 in) to 4 mm (0.157 in) increments at 100 m (109.4 yd). Some International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) (Olympic) shooting events require this precision level for sighting lines, since the score of the top competitors last 10 shots is expressed in tenths of scoring ring points.

The complementing front sight element may be a simple bead or post, but is more often a globe type sight, which consists of a cylinder with a threaded cap, which allows differently shaped removable front sight elements to be used. Most common are posts of varying widths and heights or rings of varying diameter—these can be chosen by the shooter for the best fit to the target being used. Tinted transparent plastic insert elements may also be used, with a hole in the middle; these work the same way as an opaque ring, but provide a less obstructed view of the target. High end target front sight tunnels normally also accept accessories like adjustable aperture and optical systems to ensure optimal sighting conditions for match shooters. Some high end target sight line manufacturers also offer front sights with integrated aperture mechanisms.

The use of round rear and front sighting elements for aiming at round targets, like used in ISSF match shooting, takes advantage of the natural ability of the eye and brain to easily align concentric circles. Even for the maximum precision, there should still be a significant area of white visible around the bullseye and between the front and rear sight ring (if a front ring is being used). Since the best key to determining center is the amount of light passing through the apertures, a narrow, dim ring of light can actually be more difficult to work with than a larger, brighter ring. The precise sizes are quite subjective, and depend on both shooter preference and ambient lighting, which is why target rifles come with easily replaceable front sight inserts, and adjustable aperture mechanisms.

Rifles from the late 19th century often featured one of two types of aperture sight called a tang sight or a ladder sight. Since the black powder used in muzzleloaders and early cartridges was not capable of propelling a bullet at high velocity, these sights had very large ranges of vertical adjustments, often on the order of several degrees, allowing very long shots to be made accurately. The .45-70 cartridge, for example, was tested by the military for accuracy at ranges of up to 1500 yards, which required 3 1⁄3 degrees of elevation. Both ladder and tang sights folded down when not in use to reduce the chance of damage to the sights. Ladder sights were mounted on the barrel, and could be used as sights in both the folded and unfolded states. Tang sights were mounted behind the action of the rifle, and provided a very long sight radius, and had to be unfolded for use, though rifles with tang sights often had open sights as well for close range use. Tang sights often had vernier scales, allowing adjustment down to a single minute of arc over the full range of the sight.

Aperture sights on military rifles use a larger aperture with a thinner ring, and generally a simple post front sight. The extreme case of this is the ghost ring sight, a relatively recent innovation that may be the fastest type of iron sight to use, while still providing a degree of precision comparable to or better than most open sights. Ghost ring sights are commonly found on riot and combat shotguns and customized handguns, and they are also gaining ground as a backup sighting system on rifles.