Esthetics aside, why would a "Ghost Ring" peep rear sight not be effective , for close in (100 yds or less) work on a double rifle?
I see a few doubles set up with a peep of some kind, but very few. The only rifles I shoot are doubles, and I find properly made express sights (which plenty of doubles don't have) to be faster on game, especially if it's moving, and more precise. Expresses also perform much better in low light.
I see no reason that it would not work. It all depends on the size of the aperture, but otherwise, what's not to like.
I believe a Remington roughrider sight is quite a bit like what you are thinking of. I can't seem to find a picture of one to show you but it is essentially what you are talking about.
Thanks! I shoot big bore single shots a lot, Sharps mostly. I use both peep and expess sights (kinda) on the 45/70 and 50/110. I am thinking about getting an SPR22 to fool with. Busting rocks and elk in heavy timber would be the prime uses...
I shoot exclusively single shots except for one double rifle. All but the double are equipped with tang sights and apertures so I know where you are coming from. It will work. I think.
I have seen one German double rifle or drilling that had a pop-up rear aperture in the tang that was just so slick I almost bought the rifle to play with the sight. It was the cat's meow so far as I'm concerned but damned if I could tell you where to find a sight like that, much less how to make one.
A peep is a great sight on any gun! The issue with a SxS rifle is how to get the rear aperture close enough to your eye. The slickest set up I've seen is on one of Clair Kofoed's drillings.
He had a little flip up aperture put in in place of the top lever screw head. I have a picture some where and will try to dig up.
As for the German guns with the flip up apertures...they are NOT peep sights they are designed to let you see the actual fixed sights better by increasing the depth of field that your eye can see. Keep in mind the elaborate Euro guns were designed for old eyes! (The old guys with all the cash to afford those funky guns!)
Thanks! I have a "ghost ring" on a Marlin 45/70 on the receiver, not the tang. It seems to work pretty well on short to medium ranges. Sights on the Sharpsies are tang. I have an SPR22 ordered, gonna mess with a restock and sights and see what kinda mess I can make of it.....Where the boys and I take our elk, shots are seldom over 40 yards. Should be fun....
Dave, the aperture attached as a new top lever screw was originally discussed by Oscar Gaddy on the old board, I think back in 2000 or 2001. Then, Clair Kofoed put up some specs and photos of the sight, I think on one of his drillings. It was an excellent post. I copied it but can't find it. Might it be archived? It would be well worth bringing it back. If not, perhaps Clair could bring it back. Mike Hensley
A proper peep is good for most any range.As a Marine they worked fine out to five hundred yards on the range for all of our service rifles.
I have a Holland .500 BPE with a Lyman peep installed in 1903, as indicated on their ledger page. I have seen them installed on several English doubles but my favorite is the peep on the top lever spindle. I saw a Purdey with this type but had assumed it was an older installation. Could this be the one designed by Oscar?? As my eyes are not getting any better, the peep really does help.
Do you have a photo of the peep on the top lever spindle. I need to mount a peep on a German .250-3000 double and thought that might be the ideal way to handle the problem.
Is this what you are after:
I personally think every double rifle, Drilling...etc. should have one of these.
Excellent - is there anyone known who makes this??
I have no idea who would make it! Each top lever screw end would be custom per the gun.
The actual sight blade with aperature could be common and looks pretty easy for a competent machinist. Windage is via a couple cone type set screws that oppose each other. The hole...well I figure a .20" almost ghost ring size. A spring loaded ball detent to hold it flipped up or down. Elevation would need to be a function of the front sight.
If you find out who can do it at a reasonable cost I would love to know!
Add me to the list, I'd surely like one of those for my drilling. I didn't realize that the purpose was to increase depth of field, a fine idea!
I'd say if we had enough orders for them, perhaps 20 or so we might talk one of the metal working experts to make a run. But it looks as though each one would have to be indexed to face forward when the toplever is at rest.
I'm thinking of going this route also. (Old eyes). If I do I think I'd have the original toplever screw removed and a complete new one made with the peep attached. Not that much extra work and the gun could be put back to original configuration for future owners or if I didn't like it. Next time I see my machinist/gunsmith friend I'll ask him about it.
This isn't one of those things that can be handled through a 'production run'
Parts of it might, but as an 'en-suite' build it's just not possible.
The indexing of the aperture/feature is one issue, a couple others would be the diameter of the 'screw head' and the thread/pitch/diameter/depth of the 'screw shank'.
Get to your local gunbuilder or machinist.
The design premise of the part shown above is simple and any machinist qualified for the job will be able to see what's going on and what's needed to make the project happen.
If one of you technically competent lads would follow through on this and actually ask someone who can make it what it would take and what it would cost, I would join the line to have one made for my .303 double.
One drawback to the top lever sight is as the gun wears in the sight moves across the top tang just like the lever.The lever needs to return to the same spot each time its released to have the same sight picture.
The way to deal with that is to push the toplever to the left after the gun is closed to remove any play. Even with that problem, it's still a good bit more accurate than a leaf sight you can't see anymore.
I agree 100%. It is something to be aware of though if going after something that might fight back.In a normal shooting lifetime I doubt the lever would move much.
Couple of things--
On lever travel and sight picture...
The aperture sight (in this application) is there to 'stop down' the exposure of light to the pupil, thereby deepening the field of view over the rear sight, the front sight, and the target.
Slight rotation over the pivot pin's screw thread should not affect the point of impact, and properly made it shouldn't significantly effect the amount of aperture.
On price to build one of these...
Take the image shown above to your local machine shop (the successful one) along with your double rifle and have them quote you on the work. You might be surprised at the price (might be less than you think)
Again, note that from maker to maker, era to era, rifle to rifle, the diameter/depth/shape of the screw head, length/diameter/pitch of the screw shank, and height above the base of the screw head to the aperture will need to be custom for each rifle. Ideal aperture size will vary from shooter to shooter depending on numerous factors, including distance of shooter's eye to the pivot pin axis and distances between front/rear sights and those to the aperture.
Much of that can be measured/calculated/experimented by shooters with little to no machine shop or craft experience by taking black tape or paper and fixing it to the rifle and fiddling away with razor knives or pins or hypo needles to get the aperture size and tape or whatever to get that aperture in the right place.
From there you're close and can work it out with your metal smith. Doing this over email or the telephone might not get you effective results.
Sorry for the late response.
The peep Dave shows was designed by George Hoenig. I have made a few and it takes about 8 hours of tedious hand work. This is how I do it.
After establishing the screw pitch, make a threaded post about .75 long the diameter of the top lever screw. Use a tap or lathe to cut the threads and leave a square shoulder. Tighten the new threaded post in-place on the top lever with vise grips. Take a taught tread and lay it from the front sight blade through the rear sight notch and along the new sight post. Scribe a line on the side of the post in alignment with the elevation on the thread. Cover all of the action and top lever with making tape to keep filings out. Cut the post off, leaving it at least .10 high. File the top flat. Mark the center line of the sights on the new flat post top using the taught tread as a guide. Start filing on the rear post sides making two "flats" so the rear post will eventually be a "cube" about .190 in diameter. Now when you need to remove the post, you can use a cresent wrench on the flats. You will also need to file a radius and "blade stop", on the top of the post. Now make the rear blade out of .150 thick flat stock. The blade will be about .45 high and have a square "notch" .245 wide and .160 deep filed in the bottom. A 3/64 diopter hole will be drilled in the center line of the blade, about .280 above the base. Next drill a shadow hole about .195 diameter, centered on the diopter hole- drilled about half-way through the blade from the front side. Drill and tap holes on both blade "ears" for 2/56 Allen screws. The screws will have sharpend pivot points that fit into center punched marks on either side of the square sight post, allowing the blade to fold up and down.
All of this work requires lot of what George Hoenig calls "fiddling" to get elevations and centers lined up with the thread line. On most rifles, a new front blade also needs to be manufactured. It should be left purposefully high and filed down later for elevation adjustment. Once the rear blade has been adjusted for windage with the Allen screws, Locktite is applied to the threads. You can make the sight as fancy as you like, adding matting with a checkering file if desired. Bluing is the last step.
This sounds complicated I know, but refering to the photo should help. I probably left out some important detail too. I will try to add other photos when I get a moment.
These sights are not easy to make but if you go to the trouble, you will have one of the handiest and best sights a hunter could imagine. Effective out to about 150 yds, it never it fogs up and folds up and down instantly. Just find the target in the aperture and it's automatically centered by the eye.
I think it was Dr. Don Hopkins who had a Purdey double rifle with a neat little peep at the breech. It's obvious from the position of the pictured peep that the point of impact will not change as the lever position changes by little increments. The aperture is centered directly over the pivot point of the lever.
I also like peep sights and have them on most of my lever guns. However, my Simson -Suhl .405 double rifle has express sights, a Talley QD scope, and, a peep.
You can see the express sights forward of the rear rib which has grooves for the Tally QD scope mount. As luck had it, the Talley QD peep also works and fits perfectly.
When I first tried the peep from a bench rest at 100 yards, the 300 grain Hornady bullet cut the edge of the one inch center of the target.
With this less than one inch group 4 shot regulation at 50 yards, I quit tinkering with the rifle and just went hunting!
It is hard to beat an aperture rear sight. They have kept me in the iron sights game, which I much prefer. They obviously are ideal on your double gun.
I have found that, as my eyes change, adding a +0.5 diopter lens for my shooting glasses helps even more in combination with the aperture sight. They are a little bit hard to find, but they are available for just a few bucks on Amazon with a bit of digging.
I bought this Spanish double in 7x65R and it already had a peep on it.
Nice looking rifle. That peep looks like it can fold up and down - very convenient.
Still in England. With them being closed for covid I can't get my shipment over.
I hope all the posters who think that the point of impact changes as the lever wears in, realize that the peep centered on the screw does not change the point of impact.
Recknagel makes a peep sight that fits in the rear claw scope base on a drilling or DR. I have one but haven’t installed it yet.
Vol423 could you share a little more info about this sight and where I could order one from. I have a drilling that this would be perfect for.
I checked NECG web page and do not see anything.
Recknagle web site tells all, except prices.. I have no idea what the prices are.
While not as compact as the lever mounted one, Skinner makes excellent peep sights that are adjustable for both windage and elevation. I had one installed on the solid rib of a single shot gun for use with turkeys. I hadn't shot a peep sight in close to 40 years and was amazed at the eye-brain coordination to automatically center the top of the front sight's post fiber optic with both eyes opened. Look for the front sight with both eyes open and it's dead centered. I had gotten away from leaf sights as my eyes aged and switched to red dots. With "ghost" rings, the fuzziness of the ring has a clear center that the eye automatically centers on the front sight's aiming point. With a rear leaf sight with notch, it became a guessing game as to where the fuzzy notch was. Gil
Aperture (peep) sights are a tool of the rifleman, a windfall to the older rifleman. In my 40s and 50s I competed with peep sights on rifles, and occasionally hunted with the same guns. I used a Merit adjustable diopter disc that threaded into my tang sight base. When deer hunting I would keep the Merit disc screwed into the base until the light got low, then I would screw it out and drop it into my pocket for the remaining minutes until legal shooting light was gone. I could do some very accurate shooting with the disc screwed out. AS Gil said, when you focus on the front sight the eye automatically centers it in the "ring". Doesn't matter what size that rear aperture is, up to a point. One quarter inch is plenty small for accurate shooting out to two hundred yards or so. Most ghost rings, for rifles, are no larger than that, IME.
That is a very small aperture for a smoothbore. It could be shot just as accurately with a .250" aperture, and faster. Especially in low light.
Stanton, I agree, the aperture is very small, I have only shot it with the barrel sights and when I get it zeroed I will experiment with the peep sight. Sighting through it now it is very hard to pick out the target. I wonder why it was made this way and why it survived for so many years withouit being modified?
Probably because it was never used.
I believe the pop up “peep” is not to be used as a sight but as an aperture (think f stop) to enhance the depth of field to see the barrel sights more clearly. The only down side would be the need for a good bright day for it to be useful.