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How to read Buffington Sights

PostedCOLON Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:42 pm
by Dave_Gunn
I am planning to shoot an 1884 trapdoor, cartouche dated 1891, and would like to know how to intepert the markings on the Buffington sight. I will be using black powder so the load should be similar to the original design. The right side of the sight is marked from 2 to 14 and the left side from 15 to 20. Initially I will be shooting at less than 200 yards so I don't think that will involve much sight adjustment but in the event I have an opportunity to go for longer ranges I would like to know how the sight is supposed to be set up. Dave

Re: How to read Buffington Sights

PostedCOLON Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:44 pm
by DRCook
this page: has a pretty good description for use

Dave C

Re: How to read Buffington Sights

PostedCOLON Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:12 pm
by Dave_Gunn
Dqave C: Thank you for the link. It is just what I was looking for. Dave G

Re: How to read Buffington Sights

PostedCOLON Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:03 pm
by NickSS
I know this is an old thread but I thought someone would like the answer here rather than surfing to another web sight. In an original 1884 or 1888 rifle with the buffington sight the sight is calibrated for the standard GI load of a 500 gr bullet and 70 gr of black powder. With the sight laying flat the open sight is calivbrated to 260 yards. This was the battle sight setting. aim at the belt buckle of a man and hit ihim between 0 and 260 yards some place between chin and belt. Wioth the blade errected you will see two sets of graduations as noted in the original question concerning the sight. The graduations on the right are used for both the lower open notch sight and peep sight or 200 to 1400 yards. The marks on the left side of the sight are for the upper set of sights both the notch and peep depending on which reference mark is used. This will zero your sight from 1500 yards to 2000 yards (optomistic werent they). The buffington sight also automaticall corrects the sight for bullet drift due to rifling twist. There are also windage corrections and I believer each line of correction equals 5 moa.