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The peep looks like it was made for the rifle. It fits right in. I like the 18th c screws too. They have a nice patina, and look like they've been around for a while, which they have been. Again, the right look.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
The peep looks like it was made for the rifle. It fits right in. I like the 18th c screws too. They have a nice patina, and look like they've been around for a while, which they have been. Again, the right look.
The '94 Winny the sight came off of had the sight added on. Pretty early on I'm thinking. The gun still has it's original sights. What was really fortunate for me was how the radius of the sight bed matched exactly with that of the stock's. Meant to be, I guess.

I'm waiting on a mounting screw to attach the front ramp sight. The sight was on an older Marlin 336c 30-30. It was pitted and really mangled when someone tried to force a new sight with too big a dovetail in it. I asked the guy who replaced it with a new setup if I could have it, and mine it was. I've been working with it, and mocking it up. While, it is vastly different from original.......I just love the vibe it gives the gun. And as a shooter it should be a major improvement. Can't wait to get that screw in!
 

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Homeowner / DIY-er
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Good job on the resto... my dad has a great condition Springfield 1842... He got it back in the very early 1970's, He was on his way home from work and saw an old woman putting it out on the curb with her trash..lol He pulled over asked her if he could have it and she said yes. Then around 1976-1977 when everyone was celebrating the Bicentennial, I was in the yard messing with it and tried to stick a tree with the Bayonet...well it snapped into two pieces and I was in trouble so I hid it for a few days and then threw it away figuring, "No Body, No crime" lol. But I for some reason, didn't even think about the fact that my dad was a welder and could have at least fix it...lol He ended up finding another one at a flea-market years later though, so all is good. Ahhhh the good old days! lol,lol,lol..
 

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Discussion Starter #26
It's a shame someone ruined the rifles, Please watch
It is a shame. But as you know these rifles were a dime a dozen after the War and a tremendous amount were converted to trapdoors, modified to shotguns and just plain hacked up to suit the needs of the new owner.

Thanks for the link, some good stuff there.

Good job on the resto... my dad has a great condition Springfield 1842... He got it back in the very early 1970's, He was on his way home from work and saw an old woman putting it out on the curb with her trash..lol He pulled over asked her if he could have it and she said yes. Then around 1976-1977 when everyone was celebrating the Bicentennial, I was in the yard messing with it and tried to stick a tree with the Bayonet...well it snapped into two pieces and I was in trouble so I hid it for a few days and then threw it away figuring, "No Body, No crime" lol. But I for some reason, didn't even think about the fact that my dad was a welder and could have at least fix it...lol He ended up finding another one at a flea-market years later though, so all is good. Ahhhh the good old days! lol,lol,lol..
Great story. I found a pretty fair Marlin 30-30 lever action in a dumpster once. I'd say your dad got me beat with his score.

I really love that peep sight on there!! Really I enjoy using peep sights. They really work well. The production of good affordable scopes kinda pushed them to the foot note in history sadly..
Thanks Paul. Yeah, I think it's pretty cool too. Can't wait to put the front sight on and shoot it....if the screw ever comes in the mail!

Funny you should mention scopes.............been researching and noodling over building one of those long brass tube sniper scopes from the day. I'm thinking, machine the body and incorporate modern guts to it. The scopes are very basic, but the mounts, with adjustability would be a lot of fun to build, I think.
 

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Cranky Motorsports
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very cool build.
 

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Funny you should mention scopes.............been researching and noodling over building one of those long brass tube sniper scopes from the day. I'm thinking, machine the body and incorporate modern guts to it. The scopes are very basic, but the mounts, with adjustability would be a lot of fun to build, I think.
I’d be really interested to see what you come up with, Ellis.

I think I mentioned I took my late FIL’s Marlin lever action 37A to the gun club the other day and had a good time hammering the steal target way down range. I was sitting on a bench rapid firing with iron sights. I’d like to try long range shooting at some point, with a long black powder rifle. There were two old Revolution era long guns at my wife’s late grandparents house. After they passed her uncle grabbed them and sold them, I’m still sore about that.
 

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Cranky Motorsports
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I’d be really interested to see what you come up with, Ellis.

I think I mentioned I took my late FIL’s Marlin lever action 37A to the gun club the other day and had a good time hammering the steal target way down range. I was sitting on a bench rapid firing with iron sights. I’d like to try long range shooting at some point, with a long black powder rifle. There were two old Revolution era long guns at my wife’s late grandparents house. After they passed her uncle grabbed them and sold them, I’m still sore about that.
I have a Rossi model 92 357/38 special lever gun, and I was shooting to 200yds with it a month or so back. Iron buckhorn sights, and wide front post. The post covered the 2 ft center of a 4 ft target at 200 yds, but all my shots were in a 18" circle. I was very happy! Better accuracy at 100 yds and it feels like a 22 because it's a heavy stainless gun. One of my favorites
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Returned to work from a recent trip, so I jumped back onto the Springfield. The main two projects left were the new front ramp sight and the ram/cleaning rod.

Tackled the front sight first. As earlier said, it was a freebie that was off a vintage Marlin Model 336 lever action 30-30. It was badly mangled when someone had tried to force the too large dovetailed sight into the ramp. I cajoled the metal back and filed and shaped the dovetails into working order. I also filled the front screw hole. It now has one.

A general rule of thumb as I understand, and again I'm not a gunsmith, I'm a machinist, is that with front sights shotguns are drilled through, and rifles are blind holes whenever possible. With this gun I had about .125" of metal thickness to work with. That's not much, especially when it has to be tapped 6-40 thread. I don't mind telling you, I've mortgaged my house to buy stuff my business needed in the past, and this stressed me out more for some reason ???

Anyhoo, I chose my favorite Bridgeport to do the job. It's an older geared head, vari-speed. Copper liners were used in the vise jaws to protect the steel. I used blue masking tape to first locate the ramp and then to hold it in place.
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Next I used the proper size transfer punch to center punch the screw location to the barrel. Then it was spot drilled with a #2 combination drill.
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After I drilled the hole to depth with a #33 tap drill, and squared the hole bottom with an endmill. Up next, the tapping. I only had a spiral point tap in stock. They have about 3/16" of their point that does not cut threads. For this job I would need a bottoming tap that could thread the blind hole to it's full depth. I ground the tap point in two stages to recreate a bottoming tap. It took a bit of time, but the mission was accomplished.

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Next up was the ramrod. My rifle didn't come with one. The original one looked like this. Tulips as they are called.

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Umm, pretty ugly, imo. However, the next generation Springfields, the Trapdoors, came with these. These incorporated a slot to facilitate cleaning. More importantly to me, the aesthetics were more to my liking. These look more like those on the earlier British Enfields. Graceful, flowing...........and expensive. Generally, about $125.

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The rod itself measures .22". I had 1/4" steel in stock and it fit. Actually, it fit better. So I decided to do my rendition of the business end on the lathe. Tapped 1/4"-28 on one end, dished on the other.

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Did some more shaping to it in an attempt to ease the transition to the rod. Have to admit, the originals are much nicer. Much more elegant. Perhaps, since the end is screwed on, I'll make a nicer version in the future. But for now, the gun show is less than two weeks away..........so in the next thread I'll be assembling the pieces and see what the old girl looks like.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Pays to have the right tools and knowledge! Did you drill then tap that hole? Not going to have any issues with pressure where you drilled?
Yes, it was tap drilled, but not through drilled, Tim. I don't see any issues, metal is thick and I'm shooting black powder in close target proportions.

I hope to shoot it this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Assembled the front sight and the ramrod.

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Here's the finished product. In short, I'm pretty happy with it. A couple minor tweaks in the future perhaps, but as far as what I set out to do, I'm satisfied. That being a balanced shooter and it having an edgier vibe with streamlined lines while still evoking the history of an 1863 Springfield. Can't wait to send some rounds down the line!

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I'm in awe.., again. While I know that anything associated with machining involves precision, it's still amazing to see "precision applied". The one thing I would question would be your being "pretty happy with it". I would be very happy with it! Great result!
(y)
 

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Make Smoke, Boil Water!
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I've been following this and watching your progress with nothing short of amazement. I was willed my Granpa's 1863 and kept it preserved. His had a bayonet, as it was his weapon in WWI when he fought for Canada (well, Britain). Sadly, I had to decide to broker it decades ago, along with other pieces when there were a series of violent and nasty break-ins in the area close by around me: perps were specifically after antiques, and several people nearly lost their lives.

So, would you mind a question? There are much more knowledgeable folks (with better memories than me):The broker called my Granpa's weapon a "45-70", is that a correct description?
 

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....

So, would you mind a question? There are much more knowledgeable folks (with better memories than me):The broker called my Granpa's weapon a "45-70", is that a correct description?
Questions always welcome. I'll try my best to answer. Original 1863 Springfield's were muzzle loaders. They were bored/rifled to .58 caliber. Many, many of these were altered after the war to what is referred to as "Trapdoor Springfields". These had a fold up door at the breech and accepted modern-like cartridges in you guessed it, 45-70. These were .45 caliber rounds with 70 grains of black powder. I can not attest to all being that caliber though. The later Trapdoors were manufactured as breech loaders for military use to around 1890, until the Krag replaced them. The Krag was the military issue rifle during the Spanish-American War.

I have an 1884 and 1888 model Springfield Trapdoor. They are truly the best of both worlds.....a graceful musket in looks and the convenience and reliability of having a breech fired cartridge. One of my faves to shoot.

So, can you have a '63 Springfield that shoots 45-70? Yes, after alteration, which was commonplace.

Some may know more, I'm no expert, but this is how I understand it.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
I'm in awe.., again. While I know that anything associated with machining involves precision, it's still amazing to see "precision applied". The one thing I would question would be your being "pretty happy with it". I would be very happy with it! Great result!
(y)
Thanks Dave! I appreciate you following along, and as always, your input. Hopefully, I'll get to shoot it tomorrow and let you know how she performs.
 

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Discussion Starter #40
Went to the range today and shot the Springfield. It was a very cool experience. Shot it at 50 and 100 yards. Found 8" black at both. It shoulders, sights and shoots well. The new sights were my favorite part. Next trip I plan on concentrating more on dialing it in. I do need to bevel the inside of the muzzle so it loads easier. Presently, it's too square and the bullet is hard to insert. Otherwise, just a really rewarding day of shooting. Also fired a '44 M1 Garand and a 1888 Trapdoor Springfield 45-70.

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