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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello gents,

A few weeks ago I'd posted about a Lebel that I'd found at a local shop which was missing its rear sight base:
http://forums.gunboards.com/showthread.php?263892-Purchase-of-Lebel-1886-without-rear-sight-base

Long story short, after reading my post, Vaarok offered to donate me an extra one in the name of "public junkbin charity". :) It arrived, and I bought the rifle.

What struck me about this rifle was its condition; I am beginning to wonder if the fact that the rear sight was off may have had something to do with it not being used much over the last 123 years. This is a Lebel 1886 M93 manufactured in 1889. All serial numbers match, and bluing is still extremely nice in most places with just a few scratches and scuffs here and there; it appears to be all original. The wood is very nice as well, with all the cartouches and serial numbers intact, though it was lightly sanded a long time ago as evidenced by the rounded finger grooves.

I have my work cut out, as I need to figure out how to attach the new rear sight. I suspect it would be best if I could remove the old solder from both components first; any ideas on how to do that (heat it up, scrape it off)? Then I could silver solder the new sight on. I also need to find a leaf spring for the new sight and the screw that holds in the spring... if anyone has any spares, or could tell me the size/specs of these components, I'd be much appreciative.

Welcome comments on this magnifique vieille dame...

cartoonist
 

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Pull the ladder off the new sight. remove the fore stock being careful to push mag follower in to
avoid damaging the wood. Place new sight base on top of old solder it should fit over it completely.
Warm with a proane torch to reflow solder and brush off excess.
after cooling it should be ready for the rest of rear sight parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the advice. I've been reading a lot about soldering lately. Seems like the original French silver solder probably has a pretty high melting point, like 800 or 900 degrees... so I'm wondering how long I need to heat it with a propane torch before it would allow me to reattach. Also what would you use to brush off the excess with, and what would you use to retouch the bluing afterwards?

Hope this old rifle is worth the trouble... no real comments on it so far, and I hope I did OK with it!
 

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Thanks for the advice. I've been reading a lot about soldering lately. Seems like the original French silver solder probably has a pretty high melting point, like 800 or 900 degrees... so I'm wondering how long I need to heat it with a propane torch before it would allow me to reattach. Also what would you use to brush off the excess with, and what would you use to retouch the bluing afterwards?

Hope this old rifle is worth the trouble... no real comments on it so far, and I hope I did OK with it!
Put a sight base on a early D chaterrault a few years back. The sight base should just about cover the solder.
A regular propane should work or you can get MAP gas at lowes along with a cheap head for 25 or less.
A bronze brush shuld work for brushing off excess and may not need bluing touch up get base on and see.
 
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