Explain the differences in the 1855 rear sight?

maillemaker

Cadet
Joined
Mar 8, 2011
I'm trying to understand the different variations of 1855 rear sight.

I found this thread here which had some helpful information, including the description of a notch cut in the barrel for the 1858 sight:

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/m1855-springfield-rifle-musket.89874/

I have ordered Confederate Rifles and Muskets by Murphy and Madeus through intra-library loan.

I'm trying to find the appropriate rear sight to put on an M1840 H&P conversion, which I understand would be an 1858 rifled musket rear sight. But I can't find any vendor that sells something explicitly called an "1858" rear sight.

Thanks in advance,
Steve
 

rob63

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
Location
PA, but still a Hoosier
Dang, that thread is old now. I suspect you can't find it because vendors usually just call it an 1855 sight even though that is not the proper name.

Here is a reproduction that is available: https://www.ssfirearms.com/proddetail.asp?prod=58S220A

The only thing you really need to be careful about is that the Model 1858 rear sight could be easily confused for the more common Model 1861 rear sight. The difference being the area at the very rear of the sights. If you look at the photo in post #3 of the thread you linked to and compare it to that on a Model 1861 rifle-musket you will see the difference.

Can you post a photo of the Musket you are trying to find a rear sight for, including the mortice where the sight goes? It may well be beneficial to make sure you are looking for the correct item before you go spending a bunch of money.

FWIW, there has recently been a book published specifically on the Model 1855 rifle-musket that may have better information regarding the sights than the book I refered to in that thread.
 

maillemaker

Cadet
Joined
Mar 8, 2011
Can you post a photo of the Musket you are trying to find a rear sight for, including the mortice where the sight goes? It may well be beneficial to make sure you are looking for the correct item before you go spending a bunch of money.
I am creating a reproduction H&P conversion of an M1840 musket.
You can see my progress of this saga here:
https://www.n-ssa.net/vbforum/showthread.php/14942-The-saga-of-the-home-made-H-amp-P-Conversion!

Basically, I'm taking an Armisport 1842 and have retroverted it to appear like an M1840 by adding wood to the stock so that the longer, sharper tail of an M1840 lock could be fitted to it.

The Armisport (like most reproduction muskets today) already has a threaded-on breech mated to the barrel, which makes it simple to replicate the threaded-on replacement breech that H&P constructed when they cut off the rear end of the flintlock barrels.

I created a new breech and it is ready to be married to the barrel. Now I need the correct rear sight to add to the barrel.

S&S says this is an 1855 site:
https://www.ssfirearms.com/proddetail.asp?prod=58S220A

And they list this as an H&P conversion site:
https://www.ssfirearms.com/proddetail.asp?prod=16S43

I already own this sight:
BYQxAtxl.jpg

rTUe6MUl.jpg


But I am told this is a reproduction Remington Zouave sight, which is very close to the Harper's Ferry 1855 sight and I need an 1858.

Steve
 

mrockwell

Private
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Location
12021 Birch Dr., Corning, NY
I don't know if this will help you at all, but here are two examples of H&P muskets compared to a Model 1842. The top example is a state contract for New Jersey. As one can see the sight is set backwards. The second musket is the federal contract that H&P delivered. Both muskets are fitted with the leaf Model 1855 rear sight and both are converted Model 1816s. I also included the rifled musket rear sight that was used on muskets that were rifled/converted by the National armories. This is the same sight that was used on the early 1855 rifled muskets. The rifle sight basically looked the same, but was shorter and different elevation settings.
I also included the different bolsters with the 1842 on the bottom. There is quite a difference between the 1842 and the H&P conversions. Good luck on your project.

P1010217.JPG


P1010218.JPG


P1010219.JPG


P1010220.JPG


P1010221.JPG
 

maillemaker

Cadet
Joined
Mar 8, 2011
There is quite a difference between the 1842 and the H&P conversions. Good luck on your project.
Indeed there is, which is why I had to come up with a brand new breech to thread onto the Armisport barrel.

oN4Cayjl.jpg

0zz0nODl.jpg


The breech needs additional machining so that it screws in tight to the barrel and locks up at the correct 12 o'clock position. And the correct sight has to be fitted.

But other than that, the project is nearly there.

The full story of the project can be seen here:
https://www.n-ssa.net/vbforum/showthread.php/14942-The-saga-of-the-home-made-H-amp-P-Conversion!

Steve
 

Noonanda

Private
Joined
Oct 19, 2016
Location
Fredericksburg Virginia
Indeed there is, which is why I had to come up with a brand new breech to thread onto the Armisport barrel.

View attachment 413123
View attachment 413124

The breech needs additional machining so that it screws in tight to the barrel and locks up at the correct 12 o'clock position. And the correct sight has to be fitted.

But other than that, the project is nearly there.

The full story of the project can be seen here:
https://www.n-ssa.net/vbforum/showthread.php/14942-The-saga-of-the-home-made-H-amp-P-Conversion!

Steve
Steve are you going to have this ready by nationals?
 

maillemaker

Cadet
Joined
Mar 8, 2011
No, I will be handing off the barrel and breech to John Bly at the Nationals to get them mated together. The problem is you cannot control where the threads start. So, you cannot control whether or not when you screw the breech onto the barrel if it stops in the right place or not. This requires careful fitting/machining. Me and a machinist buddy tried it on an earlier prototype and missed the "clock" on the first try. You then have to cut away another thread's worth of material to try and hit it on the next rotation. I've given up trying to do this myself and will let John do it. I'm going to have him install the rear sight also.

After that, I just need to do some minor fitting of the breech to the stock, and file/polish to match the diameter of the breech to the diameter of the barrel. I deliberately left .015" extra material all the way around for this purpose.

The rest of the gun is basically done. I need to grind off the cast-in front sight on the front barrel band and solder on a correct brass one. That's easy.

Steve
 

Noonanda

Private
Joined
Oct 19, 2016
Location
Fredericksburg Virginia
No, I will be handing off the barrel and breech to John Bly at the Nationals to get them mated together. The problem is you cannot control where the threads start. So, you cannot control whether or not when you screw the breech onto the barrel if it stops in the right place or not. This requires careful fitting/machining. Me and a machinist buddy tried it on an earlier prototype and missed the "clock" on the first try. You then have to cut away another thread's worth of material to try and hit it on the next rotation. I've given up trying to do this myself and will let John do it. I'm going to have him install the rear sight also.

After that, I just need to do some minor fitting of the breech to the stock, and file/polish to match the diameter of the breech to the diameter of the barrel. I deliberately left .015" extra material all the way around for this purpose.

The rest of the gun is basically done. I need to grind off the cast-in front sight on the front barrel band and solder on a correct brass one. That's easy.

Steve
I am very much looking forward to seeing this rifle in person once its done
 
Top