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Bill Lawrence
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Early Ballard/Wesson Tang Sight
Aug 17th, 2017 at 9:19pm
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If anyone needs what is either a very early Ballard or Wesson tang sight - i.e., the one that fits into a dovetail in the wrist - one is for sale now on eBay, item no. 162629531728.  The auction ends tonight, but the sight will likely be relisted or you can contact the owner (who is NOT me) with and offer.

Bill Lawrence
  
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Redsetter
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Re: Early Ballard/Wesson Tang Sight
Reply #1 - Aug 17th, 2017 at 11:12pm
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Certainly used on Ballards, but was unaware Wesson also used it; wonder where it was actually made?
  
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Bill Lawrence
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Re: Early Ballard/Wesson Tang Sight
Reply #2 - Aug 18th, 2017 at 9:51am
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In response to Redsetter's pondering. I seem to remember a post within the last year or so wherein the inquirer was looking for just such a tang sight for his Wesson.  In any case, I'd bet it's a sight that doesn't come along very often.

Bill Lawrence
  
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marlinguy
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Ballards may be weaker,
but they sure are neater!

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Re: Early Ballard/Wesson Tang Sight
Reply #3 - Aug 18th, 2017 at 10:13am
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Not that I've owned or seen a bunch of Wessons, but the few I've owned had holes for mounting a tang sight. Checked Strobel's Old Gun Sights book, and he only shows screw mounted tang sights for a Wesson.
  

Vall
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coljimmy
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Re: Early Ballard/Wesson Tang Sight
Reply #4 - Aug 18th, 2017 at 11:35am
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A friend locally has a very nice Ballard 38-55 with what looks like this sight dovetailed on it .  Has other pre-Marlin parts and the original owner's name engraved on the muzzle with the same style as other engraved factory writing.  A special order with clever parts clean-up.  He is justifiably proud of it.

James
  
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Rebel
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Re: Early Ballard/Wesson Tang Sight
Reply #5 - Aug 18th, 2017 at 12:28pm
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My 2 trigger Wesson has a tapped tang, but I have seen others for sale with the dovetail mounted tang sight.
Aaron
  

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Redsetter
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Re: Early Ballard/Wesson Tang Sight
Reply #6 - Aug 18th, 2017 at 12:29pm
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coljimmy wrote on Aug 18th, 2017 at 11:35am:
A friend locally has a very nice Ballard 38-55 with what looks like this sight dovetailed on it .  Has other pre-Marlin parts and the original owner's name engraved on the muzzle with the same style as other engraved factory writing.  A special order with clever parts clean-up.  He is justifiably proud of it.

James


Seems surprising that pre-Marlin parts remained as late as the introduction of the .38-55; possibly this gun was originally chambered for the earlier .38-50?

Have done considerable shooting with one of these sights, and think it's much inferior to the screw-mounted sights available by the time Marlin was building Ballards.  Despite much tinkering with the flat spring that holds the peep in place, it remains hard to adjust.
  
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Rebel
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J.Lennon

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Re: Early Ballard/Wesson Tang Sight
Reply #7 - Aug 18th, 2017 at 8:20pm
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Wesson pics
  

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Redsetter
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Re: Early Ballard/Wesson Tang Sight
Reply #8 - Aug 18th, 2017 at 8:52pm
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Well, it's very similar, but not identical.  That flat spring holding the staff upright is a better method than the TINY plunger & coil-spring in the Ballard sight, which on mine was stuck and had to be drilled out.
  
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Bill Lawrence
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Re: Early Ballard/Wesson Tang Sight
Reply #9 - Aug 18th, 2017 at 10:35pm
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It also looks to me like the Wesson "version" has a more narrow dovetail base.

In any case, especially when dealing with highly collectible guns, originality can often trump improvement.

Bill Lawrence
  
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marlinguy
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Re: Early Ballard/Wesson Tang Sight
Reply #10 - Aug 19th, 2017 at 9:16pm
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Have never owned an original Ballard tang sight that had a plunger spring to maintain the upright position. I have early ones with the flat spring that sits under the sight staff, and covers the two mounting screws. Also have later thick base that has a screw under the base to hold the spring for the staff.
Would love to see this Ballard sight with a  plunger style?
  

Vall
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Winnetou
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Re: Early Ballard/Wesson Tang Sight
Reply #11 - Aug 28th, 2017 at 11:52pm
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Many thanks, Bill, for posting this information. I was the one seeking a dovetail tang sight for my .32CF Wesson tip-up rifle, which is very similar to the nickel-plated rifle shown above by Rebel. The base on the sight—

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—matches the size of my dovetail slot. I made an offer, and it was just accepted.

I had been searching eBay weekly for an appropriate sight, but made the mistake of using the full term “Frank Wesson”, so never turned up this listing.

My rifle thanks you, too!
  
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Redsetter
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Re: Early Ballard/Wesson Tang Sight
Reply #12 - Aug 29th, 2017 at 10:35am
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marlinguy wrote on Aug 19th, 2017 at 9:16pm:
Have never owned an original Ballard tang sight that had a plunger spring to maintain the upright position. I have early ones with the flat spring that sits under the sight staff, and covers the two mounting screws. Also have later thick base that has a screw under the base to hold the spring for the staff.
Would love to see this Ballard sight with a  plunger style?


Was referring to the usual PRE-Marlin TS--the one on ebay.  Can't "see" the plunger as it's contained in a hole in the bottom of the staff. Probably worked OK when new, before plunger picked up enough dirt & gummy oil to begin sticking.
  
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Winnetou
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Re: Early Ballard/Wesson Tang Sight
Reply #13 - Sep 8th, 2017 at 1:31am
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I have received the Ballard tang sight and installed it on the Frank Wesson rifle, where it was a perfect fit in the dovetail slot, and in terms of the drop angle. As RedSetter has pointed out, the chief difference between the Ballard and Wesson dovetail tang sights is that the former has a little spring-loaded plunger in the base of the ladder. This sight was in superb condition, so the system works well. Another difference is that the Ballard aperture disc can be slid along the ladder, against stiff spring friction, without loosening it first.

Thanks again, Bill, for posting the eBay listing information here!
« Last Edit: Sep 8th, 2017 at 1:39am by Winnetou »  
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Bill Lawrence
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Re: Early Ballard/Wesson Tang Sight
Reply #14 - Sep 8th, 2017 at 8:39am
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Once again this Forum - meaning all those who participate in it - has shown its worth.  Yeah, us!

Also, what a wonderful Wesson!

Bill Lawrence
  
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