Author Topic: Indian head penny front sight?  (Read 1271 times)

Offline Ironbadger

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Indian head penny front sight?
« on: November 15, 2022, 02:08:38 AM »
I read somewhere a long time back that it was a common practice to replace the front sight on colt revolvers with half an indian head penny.

Anyone else know if or heard of this?
I have a badly damaged IH penny that would not be any real sacrifice to use for the purpose, (about a quarter of it is missing).

But I wondered if anyone else had heard of this before I start shaping the penny and prepping my pietta 1860 to solder the sight on.

Thanks.

Badger

Offline Froogal

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Re: Indian head penny front sight?
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2022, 03:29:24 PM »
I've not heard of it until now, but I LIKE the idea.

Offline St. George

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Re: Indian head penny front sight?
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2022, 04:23:07 PM »
More guys in C&WAS have done this than in the Old West - they even use silver dimes.

For these guys, the date 'has to show, 'cuz that's how they did it 'back then' - except they didn't.

Any gunsmith of the era could make one and it'd look stock.

Vaya,

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Re: Indian head penny front sight?
« Reply #3 on: Today at 05:24:00 AM »

Offline 45 Dragoon

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Re: Indian head penny front sight?
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2022, 05:31:47 PM »
I used an 1860 penny on a customer's Army early on and that's the only  sight I've done to date!!  Turned out great but I don't need " it's  too tall, it's too short, it's not straight  .  .  .   That's for somebody else to do  .  .  .

Mike
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Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: Indian head penny front sight?
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2022, 07:46:55 PM »

 :)  Oh Yea!!  ;)

A BIG PLUS ONE for Da Dragoon you betcha!!!

Offline Froogal

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Re: Indian head penny front sight?
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2022, 08:21:19 AM »
Guys, You've got the wheels turning in my head. Maybe use a dremel to cut the groove? And solder to keep it there, or JB Weld?

I've got a percussion revolver that was shortened, therefore NO front sight.

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: Indian head penny front sight?
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2022, 08:39:31 AM »

 :)  Froogal  ;)

I'm sorry.  Never intended to light off yer thought processes.  However, Unless you have a VERY rigid machine to hold that Dremel, I want the Peanut and Popcorn concession when you fire it up  ::)

People Are Hazardous to Yer Health

Offline Jack Wagon

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Re: Indian head penny front sight?
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2022, 11:04:34 AM »
Coins do make a great sight replacement when a taller blade is needed. Here is a foreign coin sight for my 1860, chosen because the width was a close fit for the slot in the barrel. Note how tall the replacement was next to oem sight to hit poa at 25 yards. The stock sight is just tapped in. Check you tube for how to videos. After installation you will have to file for windage and elevation which could very likely mess up the Indian head design. If you use a dime like I did on my 1859 Sharps, be aware that after 1964 they are no longer made of silver. The new dime is a sandwich of nickel with a copper center.  Jw




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Offline 45 Dragoon

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Re: Indian head penny front sight?
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2022, 01:17:33 PM »
Here's  the 1860 sight.

Mike
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Offline Ironbadger

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Re: Indian head penny front sight?
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2022, 10:30:14 PM »
Well, the date is the part thats missing on my old penny... :P

Kind of reluctant to destroy a good/decent condition indian head penny when I have most of a damaged one that won't bother me to repurpose.
You can find them on ebay in various conditions and dates for a buck to 5 bucks all day, after all.

I want taller sights on a couple cartridge conversions I been working on.
So I remembered this and thought it'd be rather cool to do.

I've been a custom knifemaker since the early 80s, so I have an extensive collection of tools and decades of experience.  :)

Badger



More guys in C&WAS have done this than in the Old West - they even use silver dimes.

For these guys, the date 'has to show, 'cuz that's how they did it 'back then' - except they didn't.

Any gunsmith of the era could make one and it'd look stock.

Vaya,

Scouts Out!

Offline Ironbadger

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Re: Indian head penny front sight?
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2022, 10:39:46 PM »
Very nice, Dragoon!
My penny is missing around a quarter of its metal, and the top above the feather headdress is in good shape.
I never knew the date might matter, and since the date is missing anyway, I was just planning to cut it down and use the good part.

To me, its just a convenient solution to a problem that would look cool when I am done.

Think I'll go for it for my own satisfaction, verified period or not.  :)

Badger



Here's  the 1860 sight.

Mike

Offline Ironbadger

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Re: Indian head penny front sight?
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2022, 10:47:11 PM »
An end mill would work best.
If you do not have an end mill, theres tricks you can do with a drill press to make a slot, if you have enough experience.

A dremel would really require a jig of some kind to ensure you do not slip and scar the barrel.

Silver solder is the way to go to secure the sight.
I've been silver soldering for over 40 years, so I'll go with what I know.

Badger



Guys, You've got the wheels turning in my head. Maybe use a dremel to cut the groove? And solder to keep it there, or JB Weld?

I've got a percussion revolver that was shortened, therefore NO front sight.

Offline Major 2

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Re: Indian head penny front sight?
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2022, 01:00:40 AM »
Like Mr. Jack Wagon, I replaced the front sight on (in my case) 63 Sharps.
The mount is like his 1859 though...I actually use a silver dime, but it was so worn no date was apparent.
It was in an old leather change snapper purse, with many 19ths. century coins including 1/2 penny's,
Indian heads & 1/2 dollars including a Stone Mountain 1/2 an several Morgan Silver dollars.
It was cut and slipped right in and staked, bad news was it was later lost as well: :)     

I still have that purse & the other coins  :)  sadly not the Sharps  :(
when planets align...do the deal !

Offline Froogal

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Re: Indian head penny front sight?
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2022, 08:42:00 AM »
An end mill would work best.
If you do not have an end mill, theres tricks you can do with a drill press to make a slot, if you have enough experience.

A dremel would really require a jig of some kind to ensure you do not slip and scar the barrel.

Silver solder is the way to go to secure the sight.
I've been silver soldering for over 40 years, so I'll go with what I know.

Badger

I do have machining experience, but I do not own, or have access to any machining equipment. I'm pretty sure that just free-handing the dremel would have less than desirable results, so for now, that old revolver will remain in the safe.

Offline Abilene

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Re: Indian head penny front sight?
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2022, 11:19:33 AM »
When I got my '92 it had a penny (not old) for a front sight.  It wobbled around.  Replaced it with half of a French half-franc.  So I guess it's a quarter-franc now.  ;D

 

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