My Muzzle loader is a T/C Hawken with a green mountain 54 cal. drop in replacement barrel. About 10 years ago, I swapped the open sights for fiber-optic open sights and they helped quite a bit when hunting in the deer woods. Now-a-days even the fiber optic sights are not cutting it in dim light,so this year I looked on E-Bay and found a tang peep sight for my Hawken.
The new peep sight has made a world of difference when shooting in dim light as I can now pick up the front red fiber-optic sight with no problem. I hope this can keep me hunting with my Hawken for years to come, as I'm 65 years old now.
Your decision on fiber optics may set a few on here into spasms, however I personally commend you in doing what you must to keep the rifle in your hands and the enjoyment in your heart.
The tang peep sight is a great idea and one I have been pondering as well.
I have no issue with fiber optic sights on a hunting rifle. One day I may be there too.
I would not have then installed on a historic rifle or one I took to a pre-whatever event.
But for a hunting and shooting rifle why not?....
Follow me I am the Infantry
I sure understand from where you're coming about eyesight. I just turned 69 and am half blind in one eye and can't hear out of the other. Also off on my right front from falling on ice last week. Getting old ain't fer sissies!!!
Now, if you were to show up at a shoot with the fiber optic sights... man, talk about spasms!!! hehe
I commend Greydog for not turning to a more modern scoped inline (holding my nose as I even type those disgusting words)or even giving up on hunting all together. He has done what he needs to do to deal with aging vision and still keep hunting with his traditional muzzleloader. Hang in there Greydog.
"They do not live their lives 'by your leave'! They hack it out of the wilderness with their own two hands, bearing their children along the way!" - Cora Monroe - "Last Of The Mohicans"
Like others I have no problem with modern sights on a hunting muzzleloader - except for scopes. But, like others here I wouldn't put modern sights on a gun that is used for reenactments or any kind of historic demonstrations.
Many shooting matches and woods walks require open, iron sights. Fiber optic, peep sights, and such as that are not allowed. But for hunting, use whatever helps you see the target best.
I had lasic surgery done about 15-16 years ago. It really helped me. I still need glasses for reading, but don't use them other than that.
My wife, however, also had the lasic surgery, but it didn't work for her. Her eyesight is worse than ever. She wears glasses all the time now.
Know what you believe in. Fight for your beliefs. Never compromise away your rights.
"spasm" is right on.
Several years ago my club voted to allow peeps in our matches. Almost all our members are over 70 years old. I was the only one to vote against it. Stubborn traditionalist here. However, I gave in and now use peeps. The old eyes ain't what they used to be. It is peeps or I don't compete. Haven't hunted in a couple years but when I do I'll just use the front sight. (with practice first, of course)
Peep sights are documented on matchlock muskets in Europe...they fell out of use, first because of the speed and volley fire for smoothbores...then as rifles came into more common use centuries later, rifle shooting was a young man's game at first, and quick use of the sights was important...
It's not what you know, it's what you can prove
I like traditional in every sense of the word and understand the push for authentic paraphernalia. But IMHO using whatever enables or assists one to thoroughly enjoy the sport or make it possible to engage in trumps everything else. If one can't see the sights well it's okay to go to sights one CAN see well.
I'll be 69 soon and my eye sight is lousy, what with cataracts and floaters. I still use the primitive open sights and they work fairly well for me. But if/when the time comes I won't hesitate to get a peep.
*Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.*
I truly appreciate all the kind words from my fellow "smoke-pole" users.
Although my T/C caplock Hawken is certainly not period authentic, It does allow me to, at least, get a small feel for what it must have been like in days gone by. The joy I get out of easing through the deer woods on a cold, crisp winter morning made putting the peep sights on well worth it.
I agree totally with what Hanshi says about doing what you can to stay in the sport.
Not dealing with sights here, but getting out primitive style. I have a good friend whom I have shared several primitive camps with, his only problem is he has sleep apnea and requires an oxygen machine at night. Did he let that stop him from trying to go primitive? No. While it's obvious he still needs his machine, he got creative and made a wooden box to put it in, and then in the day time he finds some place outside of camp to set up a few solar panels so he can re-charge the battery.
So greydog, I'm glad you have found a way to stay in the game.
Hunting is serious. When you set out to take an animal's life you want to do a good job and if it takes a fiber optic sight I commend you for taking that step. I'm 65 and I don't see good close up anymore, but I can still use open sights. Just don't know how long I will be able to. Haven't had to move my rear sights forward on my rifles yet, but you can bet I'll be cutting new dovetails when the time comes. Good thing about my North West gun, it is slick on the back end.
I'll be 79 in two weeks and still use iron sights, although I need to wear my glasses to be able to see em passable. I hunt more with my smoothbores now that don't have a rear sight.
"I remember when, we was Mountainmen
seems like it weren't long ago
We was bullhide tough an we played real rough
there wern't a man that we couldn't throw
When we put sights on a deer our eyes was clear
an that critter was soon on a pole
We Mountainmen...who'd a thought back then
that we would ever grow old
We shoot smoothbores now, can't see rear sights
but the front blade is still fairly clear
We load them smoothies with a big round ball
an still manage to kill us some deer"
The best thing about owning a dog is that someone is happy when you get home.
I have two hunting rifles outfitted with peep sights. All others have primitive open iron sights.
My eyes changed during my 40's and 50's and I missed several deer. When I finally got one, I discovered I was hitting higher than what I though. due to my changing eye sight, I was actually raising the front sight until I could see it but y that time, it was bringing the muzzle up too high. That final case, I was aiming at the front shoulder and actually hit the deer high on its back, breaking part of its backbone. Then I knew what was taking place. The following year I had peep sights on that rifle.
Load fast and aim slow.
Here in NE PA the woods are thick, to say the least. A smoothbore works fine, at 71 yrs. old I am using drops for glaucoma. How much longer I'll be able to do this, I don't know. I will use any help I can get to keep me going.
Bud in PA; The woods in the north west of Washington state can get really dark too. A thick canopy on a dark rainy day makes for a dark hunt, what most photographers refer to as "a low light situation."
So much of our forests are re-growth so they are very thick and often brushy. Rain is the normal for the day so if it's not the rain, the brush and trees drip water as if its raining.
Makes for hunting with a flintlock next to impossible.
Load fast and aim slow.
I haven't gone to fiber optic sights yet, but with my 46 year old progressive lens wearing eyes I did have to take the fine silver blade sight off and replace it with a thicker brass sight. I also had to open up the notch on the rear sight. Age affects us all. The only alternative is to die young.
0remember the peep sights came out in the late 1600's
I wish I could find and put onto my flintlock a sight with built-in Tri-focals
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