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GUNS Magazine October 2010 - Page 26
C M Y CM MY CY CMY K • HAMILTON S. BOWEN • oH, SAY CAn YoU SEE…? The sights, of course. ack in the glory days, telescopic sights were not nearly so B refined as today and were often viewed with suspicion. Virtually all high-quality American firearms had provision for sophisticated iron sights from domestic makers Lyman, Redfield, Marbles and several others. Installation was usually no more complicated than bolting on the sight and, perhaps, installing a different front sight. Often as not, a good peep sight would provide accuracy on par with the scopes of the era. Most sight sets provided nowhere near the new on factory iron-sight line of sight afforded rifles these days are pretty by the NECG peep rudimentary and, fairly, cry and the factory front out for improvement. The sight. Little chance this resident M77/44 Ruger boltcombo would shoot action carbine, nice a gun on the paper; a quick as it is, is no exception. The theNewEnglandCustom trip to the range and a integral scope mounts and gunsreceiversight(above)is couple shots confirmed rings provided with the rifle asimple,hardypeepsight. suspicions. A different gives you the impression the FortheRuger,itrequiresno front sight was clearly gun was intended to sport a gunsmithingtoinstallandfits indicated. scope and the simple folding intotheintegralscopemount. Musing on front U-notch rear and gold bead theXSSightswhite-line sight prospects, I front sight were merely an blade(below)wentinwith consulted the Brownells afterthought. I figured a minimalfittingandimproves and Midway catalogs, in 6-pound .44 Magnum with sightperformancealloutof search of a military-style an 18" barrel would remain relationtoitscost. post blade compatible a lot lighter and handier with my NECG peep without a scope, but it sight. Nothing jumped still needed a serviceable out at me. While both set of iron sights for best Marble and Williams performance. produce a wide selection I had a New England of classic ivory and gold Custom Guns detachable bead sights, none were peep sight for Ruger properly configured for integral rifle bases lying around and the Ruger base. Furthermore, gold thought it would be just the ticket. The beads blend nicely with groundhog sight clamped right onto the Ruger fur, making for a murky sight picture. base without drama. On the first Ivory beads now come from the tusks peep through it, however, it was clear of the Eastern Nauga, a porcine the barrel-mounted factory sight was creature whose hide is used extensively now as a leather substitute. Nauga ivory glitters in bright sunlight like a halogen headlamp in the dark, which obliterates the sight bead edges in the sight picture. About to give up and resort to making a proper sight, it occurred that we have used XS Sight Systems front sights on handguns for years and perhaps they might have something in their catalog. As it turns out, they Youcouldprocureallthesetoolsforlessthan not only had their excellent white-line thepriceofthetriptothegunsmithanddo post, but also in three heights just for thisyourselfwithperfectresults. the little Rugers. In my experience, this arrangement, designed by 26 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • OCTOBER 2010