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Old 02-19-2015, 04:36 PM
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I thought it might be appropriate for me to share a recent experience that brought a bad habit of mine to light and might possibly be of benefit to anyone else. I shoot black powder muzzleloaders almost exclusively anymore, about three times a week like religion, I shoot competively once a month at our club monthly get together.
Over the years I have developed a problem seeing the front sight clearly, then aligning that with the front sight and of course whatever target I am shooting at. With my flintlocks I have always kept my glasses up because of the ejecta that is part of the whole game, with my percussion rifles I have gotten into a bad habit of shooting over my glasses. I can do this because my long range vision is still excellent, its close up I have problems.
The other day I was shooting my offhand gun which has a peep rear sight and Lyman 17 type front sight, I had fired it twice and as I mentioned was looking over my glasses through the peep sight. On the third shot there was a loud report and I felt what was like a strong gust of air in my eye. I jerked back but found that I still had my vision and no feeling of any pain. I looked down at the rifle and could not see the nipple or flashguard attached to it, the drum was fine, threads looked good. I called my buddy over and he asked me what happened, I told him it blew the nipple clean out. We looked for the nipple but it has never been found, the flashguard was on the shooting bench. I remember changing out the nipple the night before and I feel I must have accidently put a metric nipple in a standard thread drum. I shoot both kinds of rifles and am usually very careful about this kind of stuff, but the nipple seemed to fit in well enough for me to tighten it down and shoot a couple of rounds before it blew. I figured it must have turned out a few threads on the first shot, a few more on the second and finally on the third it flat let go.
I have felt so fortunate or some people refer to that as blessed that I immediately scheduled a trip to the eye doctor for a pair of prescription shooting glasses with mostly optical clear glass above a bifocal reading lense. I have also made it a point to bring to other's attention the need to be very careful about your eyesight because as I'm sure if as I have you have gotten lazy or taken for granted how well you see it only takes one shot to completely change your life for the rest of your life.
Part of the reason that I am capable of shooting as well as I do is because I have retained my vision as I have aged. Most of the other guys my age are really struggling to see the target let alone be able to align everything else up well enough to shoot accurately at it. My mentor in the sport has only one viable eye, according to him the other eye is "just for looks." He is a national shooter and competes nationally two or three times a year. When I told him about it he just looked at me with his good eye and said "In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king, I don't need any competition."
I forgot to mention that the nipple blew back strong enough against the hammer to crack the tumbler where the screw goes through the hammer, the builder of the rifle had never seen it before and had me back to shooting the rifle in a couple of days after going through the lock and replacing the damaged tumbler with one from another lock. The lock was a small siler built by Chambers, they usually build great stuff.

Last edited by Kinman; 02-19-2015 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 02-19-2015, 04:49 PM
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I find myself looking over the top of glasses. Good reminder, glad you are OK
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