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Education / Training Peeping Tom – Part 2

Peeping Tom – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

This is the second part of Vince’s guest blog. Based on the comments for the first part, I know you’ll enjoy reading and seeing more of Vince’s unique and clever handiwork.

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me.

Bloggers must be proficient in the simple html that Blogger software uses, know how to take clear photos and size them for the internet (if their post requires them), and they must use proper English. We’ll edit each submission, but we won’t work on any submission that contains gross misspellings and/or grammatical errors.

Take it away, Vince!

Peeping Tom – Part 1

by Vince

Peeping Tom – Part 2

After the successful completion of Wayne’s rear peep sight mount, I had to give some thought to the front. The original sight is a dovetail mount that’s about a half-inch too low. For reasons previously explained, I’m not willing to modify the original part.

The original sight is a simple blade that’s far too low.

Suddenly, it hit me! The perfect solution! Simple, elegant and, above all, cheap! I whip out some electrical tape and presto! I’ve got a front sight!

Simple, light, adjustable, and flexible! It even tells you which way the wind is blowing. What’s not to like?

Then it hit me: the flaw with this design! It gives a new meaning to the term windage when your front sight flaps around in the breeze like this one would. So ,I nix that idea as a permanent solution, but I DO use it to determine how high the new front sight will need to be. I test fired the gun using the tape as a front sight, and trimmed it down until the elevation was about right at 10 yards. That told me what I needed to know. In all honesty, it really was the only reason I did this to begin with. Honest. Anyway, it turns out that the front needed to be just about 1.04″ above the centerline of the barrel bore.

I was kicking around how to best make a permanent sight while browsing around Home Depot, just looking at various things and trying to visualize how to do this. When I spied a piece of 3/8″ key stock, I decided I would be best off–gasp!–buying one and making something out of that. Wayne, you now owe me an additional $2.09 + tax, and I DON’T WANNA HEAR ANY GUFF ABOUT IT!

The hard part is hand-cutting the proper dovetail, which really isn’t that bad if you exercise a little patience, judgement and care. Which means that I had a devil of time of it. No matter, I managed to do it without overdoing it and got a set of very decent dovetails ground out of the key stock.

It took about 30-45 minutes to get the dovetail cuts just right.

After a lot of careful measuring, calculating and double-checking, I trimmed the keystock to length and ground out a “smile” on the end opposite the dovetail.

The curved cut-out will hold the hood.

I was really careful about measuring the overall length of this assembly. Remember that.

For the hood, I reverted back to one of my favorite materials–old copper water pipe. I sliced off a piece about 3/8″ long and bore a single hole in it so that it sat nicely on top of the other piece.

The hole lets the hood fit over the pin.

This is how it goes together.

Since this isn’t a highly stressed joint and there’s lots of surface area, I’m just soldered the hood onto the mount. So, I slopped up everything with soldering paste, mounted it (gently) in my vise and had at it.

Don’t laugh at my vise. It was $10 on Ebay. I got two of them.

The ever-so-carefully-crafted dovetail was a snug fit, but it went on.

I’m beginning to think this is gonna work….


I hate to say it, but I really like how this piece turned out. It’s very solid and gives a good sight picture with the Mendoza peep. And all that careful measuring and re-measuring I did? Phooey! I still got the height wrong by about 1/8″ or so. But I got it wrong in the right direction; it’s a little higher than I wanted, but the Mendoza peep has LOTS of vertical adjustment. So, it’s still well within the usable range. Besides, if Wayne goes shootin’ those light Hobby pellets, he may very well need more room for downward adjustment.

All that’s left is to finish the sight. I cold-blued the steel base and painted the copper hood to make it look half-way presentable.

Due to flash photography, it doesn’t look black. But it is.

The completed rifle. I think Wayne’s gonna like it.

That about wraps it up. Peeping Wayne can now peep to his heart’s content. I think he’ll find that it works well enough and gives him a good sight picture. And, perhaps best of all, he got his peep on the cheap, and it’s one I think he’ll keep.

32 thoughts on “Peeping Tom – Part 2”

  1. Vince,

    I sure like your articles. You allow us inside your head when you're trying to figure out solutions to a problems never encountered before.

    The rolled pin was great. I use a rolled pin that was ground, sanded, then blued for a scope stop on a beeman SS2 that fell in my lap. 😉

    Thanks for all the effort on the series. Great photos and great writeup.

    Here's something you don't see everyday:



  2. Vince,

    The check is in the mail.. I made it out for $2.11 since it's been awhile.. I have to add my two cents don't ya know!

    Your cleverness is unending.. and that's a good thing.

    I also agree with Kevin, that your writing style is great.. informative and engaging.. add funny and you really have a real talent!

    You could start writing for a living too!

    But… you'll have to quit spending so much on tools and supplies!.. or you won't have enough for paper and pencils!

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range

  3. That tape foresight may be worthy of a little further investigation, Vince. Think about it. The wind blows from the right, the tape bends to the left, et voila — the barrel points to the right and the sights automatically correct for the wind. The issues would be matching the tape's stiffness to the pellet's deflection, but it would be cheap enough to buy the necessary materials to do the testing.

    All kidding aside, you did a very nice job on this.


  4. I was going to mentioned about finding the right material to have the front sight self adjust to the wind…….but that may only work at one range…….perhaps have several tabs with taller and thinner tabs to self adjust for longer ranges.

  5. Vince,
    That sight looks great, and I bet its perfect with the Mendoza in the rear, although a little bit of overkill: if you can get the Mendoza to hit at 10 yards, it has enough adjustment to take most springers in the c/f territory:). The only things I would have done differently are add a bead on top of the post (mainly preference), and JB Weld instead of solder:).

    By the way, you have the same milling machine as I do:).

  6. Vince,

    Could you go into a little more detail on how you cut the dovetails? What kind of file did you use to do that and how did you measure the dimensions. From reports that I've read in the past from both B.B. and Nick Carter, it doesn't seem like a very easy thing to do especially without using special tools (PeeDee wires?). So, how did you solve the problem?

    Great ingenuity, btw! I've run into the front sight too low issue with a cheap Westlake pistol that I bought some time back. I still haven't come up with a good, creative solution to raise the height, so three cheers to you!

  7. Cal. State Champ Match report..

    Well, let's just say that Tom and Kevin were right.. I'll probably be clicking soon.

    At the National Field Target match I used my wacky holdover method (target dot scope, instead of mildots) with a 4" dia. sidewheel. Unhappy with the 75% hit rate, I switched to a 6" dia sidewheel to have more room for numbers in the long range area…

    Great idea, but I didn't take the time to get the marks on the wheel, until the morning of the match! I was swamped with business stuff and planned to spend the day before the match finishing the number job.

    Well of course, I didn't make it down until early Saturday morning, and the sight in range was not available because they were setting the course, and folks would be down range. There would be one hour of sight in before the match!

    I tried to get some numbers for the long range shots, but there was still not enough room for the detail between 40 and 55 yards.

    Now you can see why I call myself "Wacky Wayne"

    So, my score went from 75% to 53% hit rate… how's that for going in the right direction!

    But, it was still a wonderful trip! I did meet LD. (Larry Durham) designer with Tim McMurray of my USFT… I think Tim has made about 140 of them now.

    We all had a great political discussion around the campfire (propane stove) Saturday night.. and of course you'll find in the near future all the worlds' problems have been solved!

    I even got to shoot with Tim on Sunday… and he has pretty much convinced me to start clicking… but..

    LD. still uses holdover, but with a mildot scope.. he only missed one target on Saturday!.. but sort of fell apart on Sunday after our late night discussion that left him with a headache/hangover the next morning.. missing 6 on Sunday.

    I've probably got the best scope around for clicking.. the BSA platinum 10-50×60.. it's one of the hard to get early ones made in Japan… so I would have to buy or trade for a high quality mildot scope… or start clicking.. still undecided.. but leaning… and falling over to clicking.

    I had Tim send me one of his new designed "comma" sidewheel and sight pointer.. I saw him using it while shooting with him on Sunday.. It's very cool!

    You sight down the long pointer lining up on the comma marks, saving one of the steps normally needed for clicking. Tim is a very smart guy!!! He might be as smart as Vince, but I doubt it!!

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range

  8. Wayne,
    I don't see how clicking would have helped in the case you describe — you still have to know the _actual_ trajectory and windage and temperature variations. Your situation is like someone saying the cows won't eat hay — because its still in the barn:). If you really need to click, then click, but don't give up on a system that was working when you did your part just because someone else says to.

  9. Vince,

    You're reminding me of this line from a Japanese film called Departures: "I'm so good I hate myself." True in this case. 🙂 I bet a guy like you could find a great solution to a Mosin Nagant shooting high because of a low front sight….

    Wayne, the super-elite high power shooters all seem to click, so I'm looking for you to go there. But I have never shot a field target. I don't believe I've heard of a 60mm objective before.

    BG_Farmer, I have a basic grasp of Japanese sword making but the details–the religious rituals, the pouring of human bone powder into the steel and whatever else went on –are far beyond me. I did, though, read recently about the rediscovery of the process of damascening from the era of the Crusades. With such blades, people have been able to reproduce the absolutely straight cuts through silk which were supposed to be legendary and the true ultimate test of sharpness. Meanwhile, I continue to scrape ineffectually at forearm hairs….


  10. Wayne,

    Glad to hear you are enjoying the sport. I am sure you know many of us live vicariously through your experiences and take pleasure in the updates.

    Clicking may make sense. Before coyotes made a come back, groundhogs were pretty thick in this area. We would use hold over with a .22 Hornet out to about 150 yards and then switch to "clicking".

    It was very effective.


  11. Clicking vs. Holdover,

    This is for sure my most fun decision in the Field Target game.. and there are many!

    Holdover means, you place the target dot on your scope above the center of the kill zone on your target.

    Clicking means adjusting the scope so the center of the dot in the scope, is nicely on the center of the kill zone.. much cleaner, less worry, one can focus on that job only not the math in number of mildots..

    ..or in my wacky case.. inches of holdover… since I had to have the 10-50×60 BSA Platinum that Billy Lo put up for sale, after getting my USFT #44,from him earlier.. which is a target dot, not a mildot scope.

    This is one of the best scopes for "clicking" and Wacky Wayne is using it for holdover!! … why???

    besides he's wacky of course,

    I had been a "slow shooter", most clubs don't time you, but they do/did at the nationals, and I was going to be too slow, according to Rick my mentor from Washington.

    I learned the lesson of using too much of the power on my scope when finding the target, and so finding and focusing on the target got way quicker when I turned down the power on big BSA to 22 instead of 50… I gained time, but..

    I was still afraid that clicking and all the adjusting, would take too much time for me…

    ..and nightmare stories about wearing out the turrets, misreading the numbers, going around twice and forgetting…

    …made me stick with holdover even though I now had a target dot scope.

    I could switch back, instead to the less clear Nikko Nighteater with mildots… (with which I was shooting better than 75% at the Washington State finals)..

    But, it all changed with Tim's new "Comma" side wheel and clever pointer that let's you sight down it at the comma, where you have the numbers that match the numbers on the turret… SO EASY!!!

    This is closer to my "focus and read" the holdover in inches on the side wheel system that is very fast for me…

    ..So, Tim's system seems like the best of all worlds.. and I'm glad to have waited for it!!!

    sometimes my wacky ways, work wonders, while wandering where wise workers, wouldn't wander…

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range

  12. BobbyNations, I tend to engage in stupid overkill with stuff like this. You can just file a mating dovetail by hand, checking against the mating part, and often that's faster and easier than laboriously measuring dovetail widths with pins and using machine tools. File use is probably the most useful skill for working on airguns. You can make just about anything with a file and enough time.

  13. CowboyStarDad,

    I was surprised about the comment you quoted from the Canadian service tech regarding the service life of a Colt 1911 CO2 pistol. I emailed your blog comment to the Marketing Manager of Umarex USA, which is a separate company from the one in Canada. I just got his response, and he confirmed that these guns have a MUCH longer service life than 3,000 rounds.

    The US office is notifying the Director of Service for the Canadian company to investigate the service shop in question.

    Umarex is grateful for your comments. Please pass along our thanks to your friend with the broken Colt.


  14. G, the dovetail is a friction fit. It is installed, removed, or adjusted with a punch and hammer. That's what makes it so important to get the dovetail cuts correct – the fit can't be too tight or too loose.

    Derrick38, yes – it's a roll pin. The solder is common electrical solder, which I believe is more than adequate for this application.

    Bobby Nations, I cut the dovetails with a cutoff disk on a Dremel-type tool, eyeballing it next to the original sight so that I'd get the angles about right. I intentionally made it a bit wider than I needed, then gradually shaved it down while test-fitting it until it was a nice, snug fit.

    Wayne, I still owe you, remember – I've got 3 Daisy Targeteer's, an old King, and that German sidelever pistol. But take heart – I'm getting to the point of working on stuff again, so I hope to get to these sometime before your 80th birthday…

  15. Vince,

    That fits my schedule just fine.

    And spring is just around the corner, and a green light will go on in my "collecting" account.. so get ready for more fun!

    Wacky Wayne

  16. Frank,

    My "green light" came at the end of 35 tough years of "boot strappin" in small business.. but, I finally designed the right product for the right time… and put together a fantastic team of partners… so now, each year, my spring turns a little green in two ways!

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range

  17. Wayne,I never doubdted it was much deserved….just trying to make you laugh! ps.since you're movin' on up,wanna sell me that worn out field target scope????I don't mind those FINE japanese optics…FrankB

  18. Frank,

    You did make me laugh. .. and I don't "deserve" anything.. God just finally took pity on me, with all my earlier failures.. and gave me a good idea.

    I'll be keeping big BSA with the target dot. The new comma side wheel is on the way from Tim at Mac1.. so I'll be a "clicker" pretty soon, or I should say "I'll be trying to be a clicker" pretty soon, and see if that helps my shooting…

    ..so far each change has taken me down hill in my scores.. so why stop now… right?

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range

  19. Matt,
    Herb provided a link to a PBS show on Katana making that looks pretty good. I don't understand the hocus pocus of it all, either:). Interesting points you make about the Damascene process as well as the thrusting tactics, although I seem to remember that at one point some of the early (Saxon?) blades were quite springy and used for hacking. Like so many things, the actual "facts" have probably changed anyway since I researched the topic:).

  20. BG_Farmer,

    Somehow I missed Herb's link. Anyway, I was under the impression that the original process of Japanese sword-making is not fully understood today. Yes, Western medieval broadswords were used for cutting as well as thrusting although you can begin to see an emphasis on thrusting that prefigured the development of the rapier. And even the earlier medievals were not as crude as simply swinging away although surely there was a range of ability as in airgunning. 🙂 Dark Age characters were undoubtedly aware of the tactics of the late Roman Empire whose doctrine emphasized sword thrusting.

    Maybe the name for the next Crosman rifle can be the Lance. 🙂


  21. Vince, your enthusiasm is infectious. I'm already considering buying a "project gun" to learn some gunsmithing. 🙂

    Thanks for all the details and blog post.

    Good health to you sir,


  22. If ya drill and tap that front sight base and drill a hole in the hood above that point you could make that front sight adjustable to. Ya could then use a threaded post that would allow up and down adjustments and the dovetail would give you windage. You could then set the rear peep to a more neutral setting leaving more adjustment available for differing conditions etc.


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