General Information There are several suppliers of quality front and rear sights for single- shot black powder cartridge rifles. Since I’m often asked for a list of suppliers, my initial intent here is to identify them for the reader. But since this web site is focused on Miroku manufactured Browning or Winchester M1885 BPCRs, I will also provide specific details you may need to know when selecting sights for these rifles. When reading the following information, please keep in mind that I’ve only had direct experience with three suppliers (Advance Manufacturing Technology aka AMT, Montana Vintage Arms & Lee Shaver) therefore I’m not prepared to provide details on the overall quality, benefits and features of one supplier versus another. To make a final selection will require further research on your part. I suggest you run an Internet search and/or ask for references and recommendations on several of the Internet BPCR discussion forums. With that said I really like the design of the Hoke sights which utilizes a “gibb” to ensure there is no slack in the sight staff, plus the 80 minutes of windage adjustment.
Regardless of the supplier you choose, I strongly suggest selecting a vernier soule-type rear sight design, and a front sight with a spirit level which helps in reducing rifle cant when shooting at long range targets. A“soule” or “soule-type” sight is named after the inventor, John W. Soule, who was issued Patent No. 410,039 on August 27, 1889. It has the windage adjustment in the base of the sight rather than on the eyecup or peephole assembly. Adjusting the sight for windage on a “soule” sight moves the entire sight staff and eyecup.
Another excellent accessory is a selectable-aperture eyecup. Key to a clear and crisp sight image is using the correct aperture diameter to match the ambient light. Traditional eyecups with fixed aperture diameters work well, but a selectable-aperture eyecup is a real convenience when frequent adjustments are necessary for varying light conditions. Hadley-style selectable-aperture eyecups are available from Lee Shaver Gunsmithing, Davide Pedersoli, Montana Vintage Arms (MVA) and Kelley Sights. Lyman-style selectable eyecups are available from Kelley Sights and Baldwin Sights. For additional details refer to the article titled Selectable-Aperture Eyecups.
When purchasing a rear sight keep in mind that the sight base mounting holes must be of the proper size and spacing to match up with the holes in your receiver tang. The sight staff vertical detent angle should also match up with the tang angle of your rifle to ensure that the staff is close to perpendicular to the rifle bore line of sight. Several sight suppliers offer bases with adjustable detent angles. And don’t forget that the mounting screws must have the same threads as the drilled and tapped holes in the tang. Therefore, be sure the sight supplier fully understands the brand and style of rifle the sights will be mounted on.
Browning & Winchester BPCRs The following comments discuss specific details to keep in mind when purchasing sights for the modern Miroku manufactured Browning or Winchester BPCR. By the way, the original sights that came with the rifles were made by AMT (Advance Manufacturing Technology). After supplying Browning with sufficient sights for their rifles AMT offered the identical sights for sale for some time. AMT has since discontinued all sight sales and does not supply replacement parts for the sights.
The rifle tang angle is approximately 18 degrees and the two tang sight base mounting holes have a center-to-center spacing of 2.185”. The tang sight base screws should be 10-32x1/4”. Although all the sight suppliers are well aware of the original Browning BPCR tang and front sight requirements, some may not know that the more recent Winchester BPCRs are identical to the Browning’s. Therefore, if you’ re purchasing a rear sight for one of the Miroku manufactured Winchester BPCR you may have to ask for one that fits a Browning BPCR.
Another area of concern is the front sight dovetail dimensions, especially when purchasing one of the limited series Winchester BPCR that comes without sights, but has a front sight dovetail. Sight suppliers may indicate that the correct dovetail width is 3/8” (0.375”) or 0.3925”, but I have accurately measured many of the original Browning’s and more current Winchester BPCRs and found the actual width is between 0.380” & 0.384”. Therefore, a 0.3925” wide dovetail can be made to fit relatively easily with some filing or by removing material from the base with emery cloth. The dovetails have standard 60-degree shoulders. By the way, the front sight should only be installed from right to left with the rifle pointing forward.
Finally, if you plan on purchasing an adjustable aperture disc, Hadley- style or Lyman-style selectable aperture eyecup for the Browning or AMT sights, the thread size and pitch must be 10-32.
Sight Manufacturers & Suppliers:
Baldwin Soule-Type Sights (Steve Baldwin) P.O. Box 971, Jones, OK 73049 Phone: (405)-399-2875 A well-known high-quality supplier of BPCR sights
Buffalo Arms Co. (BACO) 600 Vermeer Court, Ponderay, ID 83852 Phone: (208) 263-6953 Buffalo Arms is the leading supplier of products for the BPCR reloader and shooter. BACO sells the following brand of soule-type sights: Kelley, Lee Shaver, Red River and Pedersoli. Also available are Lee Shaver and Pedersoli selectable-aperture eyecups commonly referred to as “Hadley”-style eyecups.
C.Sharps Arms Co. Inc. P.O. Box 885, Big Timber, MT 59011 Phone: (406) 932-4353 Besides several models of single-shot rifles: Sharps, Hopkins & Allen, 1885 High Wall and Low Walls, the company also offers a full line of sights.
Hoke Long Range Sight Co. 640 Skyview Dr., York PA 17406 Phone: (301) 535-8844 firstname.lastname@example.org Information is available on Facebook at Hoke Long Range Sight Company or Google “Hoke Long Range Sight Co.” which will provide a link to the Facebook page. Timothy Hoke continues manufacturing the high quality BPCR sights that were offered by his father Kermit Hoke. Unique to the Hoke sight design is an adjustable gibb that removes any slack in the sight staff, both fore and aft and left and right. It features 80 minutes of windage adjustment in a small frame. Also, the sight staff is engraved on both sides for right- and left-hand shooters.
Lee Shaver Gunsmithing P.O. Box 570, 1020 Broadway, Lamar, MO 64759 Phone: (417) 682-3330 email@example.com Lee supplies his own line of sights and works on Browning BPCR sights. He also manufactures a Hadley-style selectable-aperture eyecup. Contact Lee directly or go to Buffalo Arms (www.buffaloarms.com) for his products.
Montana Vintage Arms (MVA) 61 Andrea Drive, Belgrade, MT 59714 Daytime phone: (406) 388-4027, Evening phone: (406) 388-3405 MVA is a well-known high-quality supplier of BPCR sights. MVA also manufactures vintage-style rifle scopes and selectable-aperture eyecups for BPCR sights
Red River Sights Dept. B, 206 Oxford Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3M 3J6 Phone: (866) 239-9451 (best to call after 6 pm CST) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Note, a web site address is not available. Red River supplies Ukrainian made sights previously offered by Parts Unknown Inc. Red River sights are also sold by Buffalo Arms (www.buffaloarms.com).
Davide Pedersoli Sights VTI Gun Parts P.O. Box 509, Lakeville, CT 06039 Phone: (860) 435-8068 email@example.com VTI is the USA based supplier of Davide Pedersoli sights, parts and accessories. The sights are also available at Buffalo Arms (www. buffaloarms.com).
The Original Sight Company P.O. Box 1020, Sundance, WY 82729 Phone: (307) 281-1641 Owner Tony Maddox recreates sights as close as possible to those that originally came with vintage 19th century firearms. His intent is to build sights for collectors who want to complete a gun back to factory original or shooters who want to shoot period correct guns and sights.