Table of contents
- How to cut a Lyman globe sight
- The ammunition shortage
- My printable target
- ‘Natural zero’ calculation (and the Millet sight combo)
- How I calculate groups for target shooting
How to cut a Lyman globe sight
In other articles here there are references to cutting a Lyman front globe sight to fit. You don’t have to do any cutting if you don’t want to put on a muzzle adapter, or a similar device that ‘wraps around’ the front sight. If you do need to cut, it’s pretty simple, and here’s how.
First off, you’ll need a measuring calipers. On the rifle muzzle, there’s a ‘band’ around the end, sort of a cylinder thing. On that, you will find a rectangular lug. It has a dovetail cut into it at the factory, where the front sight attaches. That lug is 0.345 inches wide. You want to cut the bottom of the globe sight (the bottom of the dovetail and the dovetail face) to the same width.
Fresh out of the box, the bottom of the globe sight is 0.57 inches wide.
What you want to do is center the width of the lug on the center of the bottom of the globe sight. From one side of the sight, to its center, is 0.285 inches. Half of the lug will be on the near side of that line, and the other half of that lug will be on the far side of the line. So, take 0.285 and add half of the lug width, or 0.1725 inches. That gives you 0.4575. Round that down to 0.457.
Draw a line on the bottom of the dovetail that’s 0.457 from one side. Then, draw a line on the bottom of the dovetail that’s 0.457 from the other side. Those are your two cutting lines, like you see in the picture above. I’ve had good luck (four times so far) clamping the sight in a vise, cutting with a hacksaw, and dressing down the saw tooth marks with a file. Here’s a helpful hint, which works for lots of other things as well: spend more time and attention on measuring than you do on cutting.
One time out of my four, I found that the dovetail on the sight was too ‘tall’ and would not fit into the cut in the dovetail lug. This was easily solved by clamping the sight in a vise and filing off some of the bottom of the dovetail. Three times out of four, it just tapped straight into the dovetail cut with a good tight fit, like it was a factory original part.
The ammunition shortage
With a new shooting of innocents in the news, a far-left Democrat in the White House, and ammunition flying off the shelves, I had an apocalyptic thought. If things get really, and I mean really bad, it will even get hard to find .22 ammo. So I joined everyone else and stocked up. Not outrageously, just enough to get by.
Well, I wasn’t half wrong. Basically, nearly all ammo disappeared, even 12-gauge shotshells. Then, the .22 disappeared.
Early on, the story of the shortage was all about hoarding. I was somewhat guilty of that, so I could see the sense. I read in the newspapers that gun shops were getting the same amounts of ammo, as usual, but they were selling out in hours, rather than weeks. I asked the clerk at the local gun store, and he said, yes, it’s business as usual except that it goes out the door as fast as it comes in.
As long as everything makes sense, I’m a pretty contented guy. As you can see from the other stuff on this site, I insist on things making sense, and keep digging for facts until they do.
Well, that story about the ammunition shortage quit making sense one day, and I became dissatisfied. What happened is that the gun stores quit getting the ammunition as usual. Ammo wasn’t flying out the door, because it wasn’t coming in the door in the first place.
I like to get my facts ‘on the ground’ when I can, since I don’t trust journalists much more than I trust rumor-mongers. (When you think about it, they might basically be the same people.) So I asked the clerk at the gun store about the shortage. Just like before, he said it was because of hoarding. So, I ask, how do the hoarders get the ammo before you do? He had no answer. I’ve asked several gun store clerks about the shortage since then, and gotten the same answer. It’s hoarding, but nobody knows how the hoarders get there before the dealers do.
Just think about it. There’s a supply chain. The factory gets the raw materials — brass, powder and lead. The factory turns it into ammunition and sells it to the dealers. The dealers sell to the hoarders.
Something is out of order here. Are factories selling directly to hoarders? That would cut out the dealers. If the factories are doing business that way, there are a few hoarders out there sitting on several billion rounds of .22 and they’re not sharing with dealers. Considering that a $24 brick of .22 now sells for $140 if you can find it, these hoarders obviously love their billions of rounds of .22 more than they love money. Lots more.
Now, that doesn’t hardly make sense. Anybody who buys so many billions of rounds that the dealers can’t get it is institution-sized and gearing up for war. But .22 isn’t a military round, except for the peasants in some banana republics. The institution that is gearing up for some serious shootage is the Federal government. Stories abound about how the Feds are buying up all the ammo. But they’re buying centerfires. And most of what they’re buying is .40 S&W hollow-points. (For target practice, they say.) For sure, the government is not hoarding .22.
Early on, the hoarding theory and the government buying theories worked really well because it was the centerfire ammo that was disappearing. You could still get plenty of .22, and the story was that the machines that crank out rimfire ammo were way different from the machines that crank out centerfires. The centerfire machines, they said, could make different calibers. So, if the government is buying all the .40 in sight, you can take the machines that are busy making .223 and .45, and have them crank out the .40s for the government instead. Meanwhile, the .22 rimfire machines just make .22 rimfires, so the .22 supply is safe.
Well, the .22 supply was not safe, so one more story is junked. Either way, I never did have a reliable source for the claim that rimfire and centerfire machines are different.
Some people claim that the Chinese are buying all the lead and brass, and that’s why we can’t make ammo. Nope, we have plenty of that stuff. The people who make screws and car batteries are not hurting. Others claim that demand is so high that we can’t make powder fast enough. If that story is true, then it’s also true that we can make just as much ammo as we could before — we just can’t make more of it.
Fair enough. Maybe it’s even true. And if the Feds are buying up all the powder on the market, everybody runs short of everything, in all calibers. But now you have to wonder if you believe Hornady, a mass-market maker of premium ammunition. According to them, it’s “extremely high demand”.
I really want to believe Hornady. And you’ll notice, Hornady didn’t literally say ‘hoarders’. It said “high demand”. There’s just enough wiggle room there for the theory that it really is about the powder. If the “high demand” powder is all going into ammo for the Feds, all calibers, everywhere else, will feel the pinch. Sure, Hornady says “less than 5% of our sales are to government”, but Hornady isn’t the only ammo maker out there. So there’s still room for the powder theory.
For their part, the Feds deny that the shortage results from their buying behavior. Do I want to believe the Feds? Well, we’d all like to live in a world where their word can be trusted in all things. But an ammunition issue is a national security issue, and national security means they tell the public whatever they think is good for national security. And the people in charge of a democracy want one thing, more than anything else: to get re-elected. They won’t want to say anything that interferes with their odds in the next election. So no, I don’t really trust them.
My answer? I like the powder theory, but I’m still digging.
1. Hornady Manufacturing, A Word on Availability, http://www.hornady.com/support/availability
Target shooting results, and a printable target
Now that I’ve basically got the rifle put together, I’m shooting it in a serious way, at targets. I like the rugged simplicity of iron sights, and when your effective range is basically 100 yards, that’s about all I feel I need for all-around general shooting.
Open target sights have their frustrations, though, and the biggest one is the sheer size of the sights. At 30 yards, which is the zero I’ve chosen, the Lee Shaver front blade covers about two inches of the target.
The target you use can make a real difference. One afternoon I went out with the ‘splattering’ targets, which are mostly painted black so they show a bit of white around the hole where they’re hit. That afternoon, the light was at just the right angle that I couldn’t see the black sights against the black target. They just disappeared. It was like camouflage.
I played around with drawing and printing different targets, and discovered the obvious: the black sights on the rifle contrast the best with plain white. On the other hand, shooting at a plain white sheet of paper won’t work worth a darn. There’s a compromise between the two, though, when the target outlines your sights in plain white when you’re lined up. I tried a few free-download targets online, and wound up making my own on the computer. This is what it looks like (though it’s bigger of course):
I found I shot a smaller group on it compared to the other sights I was trying out, but I’ll have to shoot lots more to say that for sure. At least, it makes it easier to see how my sights are lining up on the target. The vertical and horizontal ‘white space’ (not counting the red square) measures 2.125 inches wide. The bullseye is 3/4 inch. The gray is light enough to save ink, but dark enough to be clearly visible.
If you want to use this target, click here. When it displays, right click on the target and select ‘copy image’. Paste it into a word processing page, such as MS Word, and print it from there. Maybe you can print it directly from the web page, but I’ve never been able to make that work. Not with other people’s web pages, either.
‘Natural zero’ calculation (and the Millet sight combo)
I had to recalculate the ‘natural zero’ for the rifle after deciding that the sight combination I liked the best was the Millet/Desert Eagle sight for the rear, and the Lyman .584 sight on the front. This little article will set out in better detail how to calculate ‘natural zero’, using that sight as the example.
If you’ve read the article on the Millet sight, you know that the center of the Lyman .584 sight is .873 inches above the bore. When finding ‘natural zero’, you’re asking: how long would it take for a bullet to drop from the center of the sight to the bore, and how far would the bullet fly in that amount of time? Answering that question will tell you where to zero the sights if you want the bullet to touch your sight line once, and only once.
Here’s the answer, broken down into steps:
A. Convert inches to meters.  0.873 inches is 0.0222 meters.
B. Find out how long it takes for a bullet (or anything, really) to fall 0.0222 meters.  That comes to 0.0673 seconds.
C. Determine how far the bullet flies in 0.0673 seconds. Remington ‘Golden’ 36-grain brass-plated hollow-points (from the 525-rd. econo-box) fly 1,280 feet in one second. So, during the 0.0673 seconds, a round flies 14.8 feet. That comes to 4.9, basically, 5 yards — which is your ‘natural zero’. The bullet path is upward from the muzzle to meet your line of sight at that single point, and then downward from there to the center of the Earth.
In spite of that, I zero at 30 yards because my wife’s .22 has a natural zero at 34 yards (because she uses the Williams/Lyman sight set, which is taller), because the shortest competition shooting distance is 25 yards, and 30 yards is a decent compromise between the two.
So of course, you wonder how far the bullet drops in the course of traveling 30 yards.
Thirty yards is 90 feet. A ‘Golden’ bullet flying 1,280 feet in one second will cover 90 feet in 0.07 seconds. In 0.07 seconds, a bullet will drop 0.024 meters.  0.024 meters is 15/16, or 0.9375 of an inch. 
Gravity works fast! But let’s take this one step further. Let’s say I decided to use the rifle’s natural zero at 4.9 yards. With that zero, how much elevation would I need to hit dead center at 30 yards? The difference between the drop at 4.9 yards, and the drop at 30 yards, is 0.0645 inches. So, I’d have to ‘aim high’ by 0.0645 inches. That’s about the thickness of a penny, which is not something I’ll worry about.
What about those long shots, like out to 100 yards? That’s 300 feet, and a Remington Golden will fly that far in 0.234 seconds. In that amount of time, a bullet will fall 0.268 meters.  Convert that to inches, and you get 10.55. If you’re printing your own targets on US-sized letter paper, you could use a rule of thumb that it’s about the height of an 8.5 x 11 sheet. There’s a good reason for rounding up on the number.
For short shots, like out to 30 yards, air friction won’t have a big impact, but over distance, it builds up. According to the box, a Remington Golden will slow down to 1010 feet per second by the time it reaches 100 yards. That means, since it’s flying slower, it will take longer to get there. And that means, it will spend more time falling before it gets there.
The box of Goldens tells a different story. Or the same story, a different way. It says the bullet drop at 100 yards is 5.6 inches. But, according to the box, that’s if you’re zeroed at 50 yards. Which is halfway there. If your natural zero is 5 yards, you can tell that there’s a lot of elevation dialed in to get a zero at 50. The bullet will cross your line of sight at about 4 yards, and cross it again on the way down, at 50 yards. Which means, of course, by 50 yards, you’ll have used up a good deal of the 10.55 inches of drop you get at 100.
You might have the impression that I like numbers. I don’t. I only work with them when I have to, and explaining things with numbers is not something I find easy or simple. But, hey, I tried, and I hope this made things clear.
1. Metric Conversions, Inches to Meters, http://www.metric-conversions.org/length/inches-to-meters.htm
2. Gravity Calculations, Falling Body Equations, http://www.gravitycalc.com/
3. Metric Conversions, Meters to Inches, http://www.metric-conversions.org/length/meters-to-inches.htm
How I calculate groups for target shooting
In several articles here I mention the size of shot groups in connection with modifications of the rifle. I’ve looked around the web here and there for an ‘official’ method of calculating the size of shot groups, and found nothing. Well, I still needed a method for calculating groups, so that I could compare what worked with what didn’t. So, I invented a method. Wherever you find a measurement of a group, this is the method I used.
Check out this pic:
What I do is shoot groups of five shots each. In the sample diagram, the holes from the shots are numbered 1 through 5. I pick one hole of the two farthest apart, and measure the distance from that hole to the other four holes. This gives me four distance measurements: A, B, C and D. I add up those four distances, and divide by four.
Also, I don’t omit ‘flyers’, which is sort of like taking a Mulligan in golf. A bad shot is a bad shot, and is part of the real, actual average. Flyers are data, and you don’t throw data away if you really care about results.
If you’ve noticed this has nothing to do with the location of the bullseye, you’re right. The group can be anywhere on the target, when the point is to see how small the group is. You don’t need to spend much time counting the distance from the bullseye until the shot groups are about as small as they’re going to get.