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Cavalry carbine sight cover

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englishman_ca View Drop Down
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    Posted: August 04 2018 at 5:50pm

I have a couple of cavalry carbines that at one time have been fitted with the leather back sight cover.

The cover was secured by two wood screws, one each side in the wood of the fore arm directly below the sight. Usually the leather cover decays after a hundred and twenty years. It is just a piece of cow skin. Sometimes you will find a carbine that displays the empty screw holes.

 The screws are a slightly domed flat head wood screw. Initially there was a couple of changes to the shape of the head due to complaints about the screw cutting harness and uniforms. So it is not quite an #7 oval countersunk head wood screw. Not quite a sheet metal screw, it is an oddball.

The screws come in two lengths. The short one is for the left hand side of the cover where it is screwed down snug to make that side of the cover captive. The other longer screw sits on the right of the forearm where it is used in a way similar to a button for the keyhole shaped opening in the right hand side of the cover to slip over and secure.

A working set of screws can be made from the right sized self tapping screw, if you can find them.

So I was sitting drinking tea at my work bench looking at this here carbine to which I had fitted a set of original screws that I had put away. I stripped and repaired a cav carbine that still had its original sight cover screws. I put them somewhere safe. That was about ten years ago, I could not remember as to where I put them. Figured that I had picked them up and just used them for wood screws somewhere on the farm. Damn!

Then I found them in a place where I was sure that had already looked. Hmmm

Anyhoo, I was looking at the carbine and the screws. I was wondering about the cover. There are some repros available from a couple of artisans, very nice leather, very neatly made, but heavy leather and a bit bulky. Which us exactly the opposite to the intended function of the cover..

So I went looking for period photographs to see what the troopers actually used on their carbines. They all seemed to be tight fitting moulded leather, they were not bulky and they really hugged that sight to keep it from snagging on the edge of the scabbard when it was slide into place.

A snagged sight leaf would end up with the sight being flipped right open and over, bent backwards, it would bend the leaf.

The cover was tight and let the sight slide past the edge of the scabbard.


I had a biscuit up to my mouth and was about to take a bite when I froze. There sitting in front of me was a back sight cover staring right up at me.


So here it is. Vintage Military black pebble grain leather.

 Hand sewn with waxed linen thread. As close to an original as I can get. 

I copied the saddler's sewing stitch for stitch. 

Here is the scrap of leather from which I cut the sight cover. 

And here is from where I cut that scrap of leather. 

A Canadian Army Mk.III combat boot.

Look to your front, mark your target when it comes!
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hoadie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hoadie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 04 2018 at 6:33pm
Dang!! Where did you find/ get my ex wife's army boots??!!
Loose wimmen tightened here
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A square 10 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote A square 10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 04 2018 at 8:52pm
very nice , i did not know of these before this - dont have that rifle in my collection so no research done thus far , i like your work 
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