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Thread: Tang Vernier Sight for Stevens Favorite

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    Tang Vernier Sight for Stevens Favorite

    I love these little Stevens Favorites, a lot of folks don't care for them (yes they have their clear design weaknesses - the swinging block design does NOT hold up to much) but I love the style these have. I've always been a fan of the 19th Century designs (especially single shots and levers) and to me, these Favorites just sort of sum it up. Stevens certainly made some higher end rifles and the Favorite is NOT one of those, but I like the style.

    This one is in .32 RF and I converted it to centerfire (32 Colt). Yes I know you can reload RF (the best thread on the topic on the 'net is on this forum) and I still reload RF for a revolver I have, but I've been doing this long enough that I personally wanted a CF for this favorite. Only my 0.02.

    After figuring out how to make .32 Long Colt brass (following this thread:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...p-W-Long-cases) I could tell it has some potential for accuracy (I believe the jump for the .32 SC brass in a Long chamber is too far and accuracy suffers, the difference is significant).

    Most Stevens Favorites tangs I've seen come drilled for a tang sight. Finding an original is tough and not worth the money. Yes you can certainly modify a current aftermarket one, but most I see just don't fit the looks to me. "Disproportionate" comes to mind. That's only my opinion. Well who am I kidding? I just wanted to make one. I don't need a better reason than that.

    I made a very basic tang sight for a Crackshot 16 that I reblued and repaired, but that one was really basic. Good first run, but I wanted to make a fancier vernier style.

    With all that said, I built my "Mark II" vernier sight:
    Here are all the basic parts roughed out after about a month of evenings here and there (my time is pretty limited); the base is drilled for the fixture I was using for milling here, not for the tang. I use a rotary table on my mill to shape the round for base and for the bottom of the staff:

    Here they are again with a little more refinement and you can see the spring and ball detent I'm using to lock the positions:

    Just machining the eyepiece, a few steps earlier. I really enjoy making these things. I'm using a #55 drill (0.052") which seems to give a nice clear view. The forward is drilled to a larger size, I found that if I just had it 0.052" the entire length, the view was fuzzy. The diameter of the eyepiece is 1.25" I believe

    Finished eyepiece upside down:

    An idea of the finished product, again with the base not cut/shaped/drilled for the tang yet.

    Starting to rust blue, and you can see the final shape of the base. Note that I did elect to "distrain" the finish a bit which turned out OK in the end, but I think I should have just browned it to match the patina (I just think a "new" looking finish would not look good on a "brown" rifle. My opinion only):


    And here she is on the old girl:

    And with the sight in the "store" position:


    I designed the sight for this rifle, with the lowest adjustment being inline with the top of the receiver; and when it folds down the elevation knob clears the cheekpiece.

    I was really hoping to go out and try out some loads this weekend, unfortunately I just don't have time. I "should" have a chance this week and I'll post some results. I've been keeping track of different loads with the stock rear sight (which doesn't like to stay up) and as I've said this rifle has a CLEAR preference for .32 LONG Colt over Short Colt, so... I can't wait to see what I can do and how this sight compares to the factory sight.

    Hope someone finds this interesting, shows you what the hobbyist can do as well without CNC capability or super expensive machinery. A lot could CERTAINLY be done with a file and saw and some ingenuity, if you are so inclined. But the little lathe and mill really speed it up.
    Last edited by NorthCoastBigBore; 04-29-2018 at 11:58 AM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    Very nice work! Your time line is certainly within my own experienceóeverything I do seems to take foreveróbut slow and careful is the way to go. Youíll be spending a lot more time shooting the rifle than the job took, so having it right will add to the satisfaction.

    I like those 94 model Favorites a lot too. Stevens got that Victorian flying-buttress look down to perfection.

    Replacement hard-rubber buttplates with the Stevens logo on them are available, if that chip off the top bothers you.

    Please let us know how it shoots!

  3. #3
    Boolit Bub
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    Thank you sir; yes I'll be (hopefully) getting on the range this week and I'll post the results. I'm very much looking forward to it.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    Chev. William's Avatar
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    RE: Peep Sight Clear vs Fuzzy comment:
    From Memory of reading about "Pin Hole Apertures" for cameras; I believe the thinner the aperture is made the clearer the view though it. with 'Pin Hole' for a camera made from thin shim stock. pricked with a center punch and the 'dimple' sanded down to open the "Pin hole" for a Very Fine and Thin hole edge.
    Obviously 'sanding the dimple' won't work in your eyepiece.
    I am 'Sure' there is a Repeatable Machining Technique around that would give a similar sharp thin fine edge to your sight Eyepiece.
    Your Finished Sight does Look Very Good!

    Best Regards,
    Chev. William
    Last edited by Chev. William; 04-29-2018 at 11:58 PM.

  5. #5
    Boolit Bub
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    Great information there Chev William; and you are probably quite right re: Repeatable Machining Technique.

    Thanks, I can't wait to try it out with the Long Colts (based on Harry O's thread), as I say above these are providing substantial accuracy improvements in my Favorite over the shorts.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    Nice work, will start one soon, or a few. Never made the body but made piles of eye pieces and it is tricky to get the hole just right, sharp drills and drill stops are the only way to get them done right. Got lots of over size ones to confirm this.
    Be safe
    When you read the fine print you get an education
    when you ignore the fine print you get experience

  7. #7
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by leebuilder View Post
    Nice work, will start one soon, or a few. Never made the body but made piles of eye pieces and it is tricky to get the hole just right, sharp drills and drill stops are the only way to get them done right. Got lots of over size ones to confirm this.
    Be safe
    Good advice thanks; I plan on making some more so that's useful. Makes sense following Chev William's post above, I'm not sure how much meat I have left in there just kept drilling the "foreward" part and trying it until I had a nice crisp picture.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    I found the eye piece the "pan" closest to you should be flush and the inner tube drilled with enough meat to support the threads, then drill till the inner hole is as thin as possible. The pan can be recessed to provide shade. Getting old my inner holes are bigger now.
    Be well
    When you read the fine print you get an education
    when you ignore the fine print you get experience

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    Make or acquire a tapered reamer to enlarge the hole from the front. A simple D reamer would suffice.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master robertbank's Avatar
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    Now I know what you have been doing with your "extra" time "P". See you at the range.

    Take Care

    Bob
    [SIZE=3][COLOR=#ff0000]Je suis Charlie

    "If the human population held hands around the equator, a significant portion of them would drown"

  11. #11
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by robertbank View Post
    Now I know what you have been doing with your "extra" time "P". See you at the range.

    Take Care

    Bob
    Yes, sorry Bob, I didn't get out there this weekend after all. Toooo many chores...

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Watchmaker or Clockmaker tapered reamers would be the range i think would give the peep sizes needed, but the holes may be too long to give 'Sharp' viewing.
    The reamers were used to fit bearing plates to motion stem ends.

    There are also Printed circuit board drills that are available on closely spaced diameter ranges.
    You need to spin the tiny drills at high speed and gentile feed to prevent breakage.
    chev. william

  13. #13
    Boolit Bub
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    So far so good just using a quality drill on my lathe and going slow. Picture is clear, as I play around with different aperature sizes it may become more of an issue.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
    Chev. William's Avatar
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    Perhaps a possible economy; make the Disk and the main Peep stem separately and use a fine thread to attach the Disk to the outside of the Peep stem.
    this way the large diameter Stock for the disk is not 'wasted' by cutting the Peep stem integral with the disk.
    It might also be possible to set up to clamp a thin disk of metal (shim stock) between the main disk and the peep stem. The thin disk would allow more control of peep hole diameter.
    Chev. William

  15. #15
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chev. William View Post
    Perhaps a possible economy; make the Disk and the main Peep stem separately and use a fine thread to attach the Disk to the outside of the Peep stem.
    this way the large diameter Stock for the disk is not 'wasted' by cutting the Peep stem integral with the disk.
    It might also be possible to set up to clamp a thin disk of metal (shim stock) between the main disk and the peep stem. The thin disk would allow more control of peep hole diameter.
    Chev. William
    I like your thinking Chev. Thanks for the idea! I believe I will give that a try. Would make for much more convenient storage of the various aperture sizes in the range bag as well.

    I just need to find some TIME now, it seems to be elusive so far this month.

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    Some off the Russian 22's have the removable pan I like the system but never applied it. The thread is quite fine and they sit in small tapers to ensure concentricity. One problem is holding the work piece to effect machining to them, kind of like picking fly poop out of pepper with boxing gloves on.
    Be well
    Last edited by leebuilder; 05-27-2018 at 07:56 AM.
    When you read the fine print you get an education
    when you ignore the fine print you get experience

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy enfield's Avatar
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    Chev that is a great Idea, I've made several eyepieces the hard way, that sounds much simpler. Nice work on that sight NCBB, I have a very nice 32RF stevens That I'm trying to decide what to do with ( but right now the 52 Willys is taking all my time ).

    hey, watch where ya point that thing!

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by enfield View Post
    Chev that is a great Idea, I've made several eyepieces the hard way, that sounds much simpler. Nice work on that sight NCBB, I have a very nice 32RF stevens That I'm trying to decide what to do with ( but right now the 52 Willys is taking all my time ).
    Mention of "Willys" reminded me of 'fond memories' 'helping my Father overhaul his 'work Car 1937 Willys Coupe' every two years until he finally retired for the Third time in 1974 and sold the coupe to a 'hot rodder' for $500, the same price my Father paid for it in 1941.
    Chev. William

  19. #19
    Boolit Bub
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    I hear you both, I have a couple of "Automotive Projects" along the same lines on the go (again delayed by a lack of time). Just ordering some floor pan parts for one this morning...although not for a Willy's. Another pending project that will be very interesting (although time consuming).

    Thanks Enfield for the compliment. I'm really disappointed that I haven't made it to the range yet. Usually I can get out there once or twice a week but work, kids and volunteer commitments have destroyed my plans this month.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Memories of the Movie "Carousel" and a song about 'the Month of June'.
    "June is breaking out all Over, out on the meadows and the hills . . ."
    Last edited by Chev. William; 06-08-2018 at 11:08 PM.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check