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Increased accuracy from an open sight muzzleloader

Custom sights on a muzzleloader

When it comes to muzzleloaders or other primitive weapons, a lot of people get intimidated. Because of this, permits reserved for those weapons are typically easier to draw or require less points than rifle hunts in the same area. 

Brandon Evans' 2014 Colorado mule deer

Last year when I had to resort to a last minute muzzleloader landowner tag after not drawing anything in the state draws, I was one of those people. Being primarily a bowhunter, it was not so much being intimidated as it was being completely unfamiliar with muzzleloaders. After talking with a few people and my good friend and fellow employee here at goHUNT, Dave Loescher, I felt that I was ready to tackle the smokepole hunt. My equipment did not let me down, I took a great buck after a hard hunt. You can read the hunt story here.

Here are a few things that I learned to help shoot my muzzleloader with more accuracy. Please note that I was hunting in Colorado where it is required that you to use “open” or “iron” sights. Magnification, scopes or red dots are not allowed. Remember that muzzleloader laws vary by state. Here is how to improve your sights and still stay legal in the West.

Why go with a custom sight setup?

Stock front muzzleloader sight

The original sights that came on the rifle are decent and include fiber optics, but are made of a mix of metal and plastic, which is a relatively tough setup to shoot with. My main complaint is that at 100 yards, lining up the front and rear sights only allow you to see half of your target and allowed for a bright sight picture good for 50 to 100 yards.

Stock rear muzzleloader sight

If you move it back a few yards where you would need to hold it on the top of the back of an animal, everything disappears behind the sights. I wasn’t comfortable with this setup.

After talking with Dave, he introduced me to a sight system that muzzleloader target shooters have been using for years. This is a rear peep and front globe sight system. A lot of muzzleloader guys will switch the rear sight out for a peep, but still leave the big front sight on. In my opinion, the front globe is where the magic is found in this sight system. It allows the use of a ultra fine crosshair and allows the shooter a full view of the target. Below I will walk you through each step I took in changing over a modern muzzleloader to an accurate “open sight” shooter.

Parts for custom muzzleloader setup

Accessories for new muzzleloader sight setup

The first step is finding the right components for your gun. I get most of my shooting supplies directly from Brownell's or Midway USA — they always have everything I need. 

  • Item number one is the rear sight. For the Thompson/Center FX that I set up, I ordered the Williams Gun Sight, part #63304.
  • For the front, I needed a couple different pieces to make it work. With whatever gun you have, try and get the lowest or shortest option out there. I needed a front ramp, a Marble dovetail, part #072312. For the globe sight, I ordered the Lyman Target Globe, part #3171076. To get the ultra fine crosshair, the Lee Shaver Globe Sight Insert part #LS001, is the best I have found.

Parts and cost list



Williams Gun Sight $35.99
Marble dovetail $11.99
Lyman Target Globe $39.99
Lee Shaver Globe Sight Insert $21.95
Total price $109.92

Once you have all of the parts, it is relatively simple to assemble. The trick to an accurate open sight system is to get the front and rear sights as far apart as you can.

Step 1.

Brandon Evans removing stock muzzleloader sights

I started by taking off all of the old sights.

Step 2.

Replacing old sight screws

I pulled out the plugs that are in the barrel on the breech end and I put them back in where I removed the original rear sight. I like to keep the clean look and it helps keep moisture and debris out of the unused mounting holes. 

Step 3.

Adding custom rear sight to the muzzleloader

Install the rear peep with the supplied screws.

Adding Loctite to the screws

I also like to add a little loctite for security. 

Step 4.

Adding the custom front sight to the muzzleloader

Next, install the front ramp with the supplied or the original screw. Make sure that it seats flush so that the dovetail can slide in. Remove screw and add a little loctite and reinstall. 

Step 5.

Adding front globe sight to muzzleloader

The dovetail on the globe will slide into the groove on top of the ramp. They typically are a pretty tight fit and some will only go in from one side, getting tighter the further you slide them in. Install the globe as close to the center of the barrel are you can.

Step 6.

Breaking off desired globe sight

With it all assembled you can interchange the inserts in the globe to the desired one. Break it out, taking care not to damage it. Remember that these can have sharp edges and corners; be careful not to cut yourself. 

New front muzzleloader crosshair sight

I personally like the fine crosshair that is included on the Lee Shaver card.

Step 7.

Supergluing the front sight in place

After everything is installed I like to hit all non-adjusting parts with some super glue or JB Weld to keep if from coming loose. 

Custom and standard muzzleloader front sight

There you have it, for a little over $100 you can have a more accurate shooting open sight muzzleloader. For me, this helped give me confidence that I could hold more accurately on target, see the entire target and not cover anything up. Remember that this is only part of getting a muzzleloader to shoot good. You will still need to find a primer, bullet and powder combination that works good in your gun. Diving in and becoming efficient with these primitive weapons opens up new hunting opportunities throughout the West. Good luck with your muzzleloader adventures and let us know if you have any questions!

For a different approach, you can check out Part 2 of muzzleloader customization here.


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David M. - posted 2 weeks ago on 02-11-2020 12:38:37 pm

Hello everybody, I just found a very good deal on a peep sight that works great on a CVA wolf muzzleloader. Go to Amazon and it is called a Williams ghost ring fiber optic rear sight 70919 model year. The cool thing about this site as that you don't need the actual hole rail that comes with it. Loosen the screw that you would unloosen to adjust the windage on the rear sight on the wolf pull that completely out after loosening the screw. Take the new part that you get from Amazon and loosen the screw in the same exact position in the same exact way and slide the peep sight that you got out from its peas in the same position like I said and slide it right in to the windage area of the CVA wolf then put the site is close to the center of the gun is you can and tighten that screw down. You can either leave the front sight that comes with a gun on the gun because it works just fine with it or you can replace it with whatever you want to but after this simple change you have now a peep sight with fiber optics that shoots honestly amazing and is very adjustable in every way. I don't know if it works on any other guns all I own is a CVA wolf in it works excellent on that I think I kind of got lucky because the peep sight is actually only about $16.99. Good luck guys good hunting.

Scott M. - posted 1 month ago on 01-25-2020 01:32:36 pm

k.E. - Thank you for this information! I have an Impact Muzzy and was just starting to order my parts. I'm a bit confused on the Williams set up - what is the dovetail that you are using? Again thank you very much as this is extremely helpful.

Also - thanks to the author of this article - this is such great information and I truly appreciate you detailing everything!

k E. - posted 1 month ago on 01-20-2020 10:26:11 am

For those of you with a T/C Impact who ordered the setup described (like me) and found that the Lyman Globe is to tall (even with .10" ramp)to get a zero, there is a new peep/globe combination being produced by Williams (Part # 676584) for $100. The new combo has many front sight inserts including the fine cross hair. The front globe comes with 6X48 and 8X40 screws, as the T/C impact has an 8X40 screw. I talked with Brian (ext. 511) at Williams today and he said it should be available within 2-4 weeks. He took my order for one when they become available. Note on Marble Front side ramp (part # 72312)- this ramp only comes with a 6X48 Screw and an 8X40 will not fit in the hole. I don't know if all T/C muzzleloaders have a 8x40 front sight screw, but I suspect so.

Andrew S. - posted 4 months ago on 10-08-2019 09:21:44 pm
Anacortes, WA

Hey Chris N. Sorry for the late reply I have been gone hunting a lot lately. To answer your question, my rear sight was maxed out in the highest position and still shooting low before I shimmed it. The combination of the shim and the lower front sight seemed to do the trick. I am shooting good groups now and the rear sight is only positioned halfway up the ramp.

Hope this helps you out.

JUSTIN M. - posted 5 months ago on 09-15-2019 08:59:52 am

Chris N.
I had the same issue with my Traditions Vortek. Front ramp was too high and was 8" low at 100 yards with peep maxed out.......This year an unexpected tag fell into my pocket and didn't have time to properly fix it . I had to shim the rear peep up with Hamms cans to get it to shoot 2" low at 100 yards.....It shot great groups and it worked fine but I need to find a smaller dovetail ramp in the front to mount the globe before my next muzzleloader hunt.

Chris N. - posted 5 months ago on 09-14-2019 08:36:02 am
Stratton, CO

Hey Andrew S. With your CVA Accura V2 was your rear sight topped out or bottomed out? (When I using the set up in the article above I was hitting about 6"low at 100 yards with the sight maxed out) Thanks

Bruce H. - posted 6 months ago on 08-07-2019 07:26:39 am
Colorado Springs, CO

Hey guys and gals, here's a Free eBook by a guy, Judd Cooney who knows a think or two about muzzeloaders.

Derek S. - posted 6 months ago on 08-06-2019 09:47:17 pm

I installed my globe on my Dovetail today and it slid in and out very easily, in fact it won’t stay in on it’s own. Am I to assume I need to add some sort of epoxy to get it to stay in at this point? In the article above it looks like it was suppose to be a tight fit and in some cases only goes in from one direction where mine slides in and out very loosely.

Ryan B. - posted 7 months ago on 07-27-2019 04:57:32 pm

Derek S. I was able to get the marble dovetail on midwayusa they just got some in a couple days ago and they still have some in stock, I received it today had to play with the screw a bit but otherwise setup was perfect.

Derek S. - posted 7 months ago on 07-24-2019 07:05:25 am

Hey guys, I ordered the Marble Dovetail months ago and it has been on backorder ever since and when I contact Brownell’s about it they say it is still on backorder for another month or two and even that number is not a guarantee that it will be ready by then. Do you have an equivalent that you can recommend so I can cancel my order with them and get one coming in time to practice with this before hunting season gets here? All the other parts have been installed on my gun or are waiting for this Dovetail so I can get this wrapped up?

Shane S. - posted 1 year ago on 12-20-2018 05:31:32 pm

Has anyone tried this setup on a Thompson Center Hawken?

Andrew S. - posted 1 year ago on 12-13-2018 09:09:43 pm
Anacortes, WA

Just wanted to give you all an update on what ended up working for me. Maybe it will help someone else out. I have the CVA Accura V2. I posted below that when I using the set up in the article above I was hitting about 6"low at 100 yards with the sight maxed out, and the Lyman globe ended up being loose. Well I ended up taking off the globe and purchasing a lower front sight (Marble's Uni-Ramp Front sight .405" Orange fiberoptic (#810516). I kept the same rear peep set up, but I shimmed it two one thousanths with shim stock. The combination of the raised rear sight and the lower front sight allowed me to adjust my rear sight back into place (midway on the ramp). I was then shooting perfectly 1" high at 100 yards, beautiful groups. I am very happy with this set up and ended up making a perfect heart shot on a nice Mule Deer buck at 93 yards this season with it. Hope this helps if anyone was still playing around with set ups as I was.

josh b. - posted 1 year ago on 08-06-2018 12:04:21 pm
Windosr, Colorado

So according to google and Lyman, lots of female dovetails need work to get a tight fit..... apparently tapping the ears down on the female side, creating dimples/craters in the flat female bottom dovetail, and/or shimming between the dovetail female flat bottom and the bottom of the sight are the 3 answers.......

Steve S. - posted 1 year ago on 08-05-2018 02:40:39 pm

Hey guys, just wanted to give a heads up on these ramps. I contacted skinner sights and they make a ramp with the same specs. I just ordered a few , hopefully they will be better. I’ll repost after I get them.

josh b. - posted 1 year ago on 08-05-2018 02:14:18 pm
Windosr, Colorado

I have the same issue as many do the Lyman globe is completely sloppy and cannot be secured in the marble ramp.

Steve S. - posted 1 year ago on 07-26-2018 03:45:14 am

It is definitely an awesome set up, just have to figure out what to do about that ramp/globe sight.

Brandon E.
Brandon E. - posted 1 year ago on 07-25-2018 03:54:52 pm
goHUNT Team

@ Steve S.

I haven't had any of these issues with the setup. I've set up quite a few different guns the same way, but it has been over a year since I did the last one. I hope that the manufacturing process and parts haven't gone downhill. You see that all the time in the archery world.

Steve S. - posted 1 year ago on 07-25-2018 03:44:12 pm

Dan P - I did everything as well and my front sight screws are different sizes plus the globe sight does the same thing. It moves freely in the dovetail!! Brandon did you have this issue at all?

Brandon E.
Brandon E. - posted 1 year ago on 07-23-2018 03:42:14 pm
goHUNT Team

@ Dan P.

Sorry to hear that! Sounds like the tolerances in one of the parts isn't quite on spec. The only thing I can think if is return it and try a new one to see if it fits better or try to crimp the dovetail on the ramp down so that it binds a bit better. I would use caution as they can be a bit brittle and may break. I hope it ends up working out for you.

Dan P. - posted 1 year ago on 07-23-2018 03:17:18 pm
Villa Rica, GA

I did everything you did. However the front sight is loose in the ramp and there is no set screw to hold it in place. Suggestions?

Micah S. - posted 1 year ago on 07-03-2018 06:12:42 pm

Has anyone tried the SeeAll open sight?

Also, would the non-tritium version be legal in Nevada for Muzzleloading?

Max W. - posted 1 year ago on 06-17-2018 05:50:48 am

After straight up missing a buck last year in low early morning light with my old TC New Englander due to a mix of bad sights, low light, and a bit of buck fever, I purchased a new CVA Optima.

I am going to shoot it this morning for the first time with the factory sights. I tried to move the rear sight back to the scope mount holes but the holes are the wrong size. That seems to be an unnecessary complication that they made for no reason, but that is beside the point and I just wanted to complain about it somewhere.

I know I definitely want to change to a rear peep sight, but I am uncertain about the front globe. It seems like a better idea, but I am curious about the low light visibility. I have access to a range that allows shooting 24/7 so I can test it, but I would like to know what your experience is before I start this setup.

How does this shoot in low light?


Keith S. - posted 1 year ago on 06-03-2018 10:00:22 pm

@ Andrew S. Yes, I had the problem where the Marble ramp would move a little bit. The hard part is getting it tight enough. It really should have two screw holes for a mount that long. Although, part of the challenge of it being so long is the end of the ramp extends over to where the fluting starts on my barrel and it just didn't like staying put. I put quite a bit of Loctite on the threads, and touched up the ramp to barrel interface with superglue for now. Longer term, I think if you cut an inch or more off the end of the Marble ramp, it will be a much better fit. So far after multiple range sessions my ramp is holding strong with how I mounted it. This setup has really extended my range.

Andrew S. - posted 1 year ago on 06-03-2018 09:27:10 pm
Anacortes, WA

Keith S. I have the same set up on my Accura V2. I like your idea with the paint, I am going to do the same. Did you have any issues with the Lyman Globe fitting loosely in the Marble ramp? I set mine up but the globe seems to be too loose. At least looser than anything I want to walk around in the woods with. I am not sure what to do, I was thinking of ordering another one just to see if the first one was a manufacturer defect.

Keith S. - posted 1 year ago on 05-26-2018 09:23:13 am

Thanks for this write up. Great ideas. I just completed this setup on my CVA Accura V2 Nitride. Since WA just made 209 legal this year, and removed the exposed cap requirements, I just did an overhaul to my CVA and copied your idea for sights. Bought the BH209 breech plug for the CVA. Running 120 volume units of Blackhorn 209, Thompson Center magnum sabot, and 325 grain Beartooth bullet.

My setup:

EABCO PeepRib rear sight. Comes with the adjustable peep (made by Williams, I believe). Can easily mount a scope for load testing at longer distances should I feel like it.

Merit adjustable peep insert. Can turn the diameter of the peep hole to match the light conditions, for better accuracy.

Marble front mount, 0.1" height, to fit 0.875" barrel size for the CVA.

Lyman globe front sight.

Lee Shaver set. I'm using the fine crosshairs right now. Will try a few others as well, but like the crosshairs so far.

And to improve low-light conditions, I painted the crosshairs with Glow-On gunsight paint. During bright daylight hours it looks like a normal sight. And during lowlight morning and evening conditions, the crosshairs glow just enough to see them to put on the target.

This setup is so much better than the factory sights.

Mike M. - posted 2 years ago on 11-26-2017 07:39:00 pm

Nice buck! Not to many people are serious about getting maximum accuracy with open sights these days.

I thought I would add some of what I know for anyone else who is interested in this. I was hunting Washington for a few years. WA requires open sights and an exposed cap, no scope, no 209's. WA does allow sabots though. I have a TC Northwest Explorer and did the same thing a few years ago using the KNS Precision crosshair front sight from Midway and a Williams FP target peep. Man does it improve point of aim! I also have found more powder and less bullet to be more accurate in my rifles. I use MMP 45/50 sabots and Hornady's 225gr FTX over 140gr triple 7. This combo will shoot 4-6 inches at 250 yds all day! I know this sabot combo is only legal in WA. and not Co. and ID.
I also put a Boyd's stock (same as an Omega)on the TC and glass bedded it. The TC has a bullet starter so I had the last inch of the barrel ported like a brake. These improvements make a huge difference in accuracy and take the harsh kick out of practice shooting. My goal was to get as much accuracy as possible from a factory rifle. I was pleasantly surprised to get this level of accuracy with a few easy upgrades.

I saw a question about front sight height below, if it is an issue, a COMPETENT gunsmith can dovetail the barrel for the sight. If the rear sight is an issue, Williams has short, standard and tall sight bases that can be tried. The Williams FP peep sight is bulkier but has a lot more adjustment. I went with the FP with the idea of making marks for different ranges on the elevation adjustment, kind of like a long range turret on a scoped rifle. I haven't had time to fully test this idea yet though.

If we as consumers demand more from our muzzleloaders, someone will be there to make the improvements needed to make them even better! I hope this is useful to a few fellow smoke pole shooters!

Lou A. - posted 2 years ago on 11-09-2017 06:11:45 pm

I plan on buying a CVA Accura (Northwest Model) Muzzle loader and mounting a Lyman's Front Globe Site and a William's Ghost Ring Rear Sight on it , as opposed to using a Lyman's Front Globe Site and William ITHICA Rear Sight . My concern is that the William's Ghost Ring Rear Sight may be too low when being used in conjunction with the Lyman's Front Globe Site. I was wondering if anyone has installed this combo of sights ? Thanks

Brandon E.
Brandon E. - posted 2 years ago on 09-20-2017 10:58:45 am
goHUNT Team

@ Aaron O.

That's awesome, congratulations! Glad that it worked out for you. It's always great to hear about others success. I'd love to see some pictures. My email is

Aaron O. - posted 2 years ago on 09-20-2017 07:59:56 am
Leadville, Colorado

Awesome article Brandon! I put this set up on my gun for this year and was able to kill a great buck. Both of my buddies that I was hunting with used my muzzleloader for their deer as well after I got mine opening morning.

3 shots, 3 trophy bucks. 142 yards, 114 yards, and 68 yards.

Brandon E.
Brandon E. - posted 2 years ago on 09-11-2017 09:58:44 am
goHUNT Team

@ Lee S. I've run into this a couple of times with the T/C's. The most common fix is a shim under the rear peep. I've used sheet metal and shaped it to fit or the easiest to work with was a flexible plastic cutting board (my wife wasn't thrilled). You may need to source longer screws, I've been able to get those from my local Fastenal.

JUSTIN M. - posted 2 years ago on 09-11-2017 07:51:11 am

I had the same problem Lee S. I was 6" low at 100 yards. Although not ideal I made it work for the hunt I had last year, but will probably drop the front sight so that I can keep the sights as close to the gun as possible. Now I just need to research a lower front sight for my gun.

Lee S. - posted 2 years ago on 09-09-2017 03:49:47 pm

I followed this sight set up for my TC Pro Hunter. At 100 yards I am a bit low. I have my rear peep as far front as it can go. Any thoughts on how to resolve the issue. I guess the rear has to be raised or the front has to come down, but how?

Brandon E.
Brandon E. - posted 2 years ago on 08-23-2017 12:29:54 pm
goHUNT Team

@ Ryan N.

Thanks for reading the article! Unfortunately, I don't have any experience with the T/C Black Diamond. I tried to find a spec sheet that might show what it would be and was unsuccessful. The best way to get it is use a set of calipers and measure the end. Best of luck to you

Ryan N. - posted 2 years ago on 08-22-2017 10:33:55 am

Great write up Brandon-do you know what the correct front ramp is for a TC black diamond 50 caliber? The ramp I ordered has the wrong contour. Thanks

Tom D. - posted 2 years ago on 08-19-2017 08:19:32 am
Loveland Colorado

Yeah I guess they must have. I read someone else had the same problem on a different web-site. Thanks for the info on the Williams™ FP-Triumph Peep Sight I cant find anyone who has it in stock. I guess I will call Williams on Monday and see if I can get it. I am running out of time....

Brandon E.
Brandon E. - posted 2 years ago on 08-18-2017 10:53:28 am
goHUNT Team

@ Tom D.

I'm wondering if T/C has changed something. I was able to use both of the screws on the set up that we did, but this is an older rifle (4 or 5 years old when we wrote the article). There is a big advantage to accuracy in getting the rear sight back as far as you can. This is a different peep that I have been playing with on a Knight rifle that might fit different might be worth a shot? Hope it works out for you.

Tom D. - posted 2 years ago on 08-17-2017 08:27:45 pm
Loveland Colorado

I like the setup but I have a question. I have a T/C Pro Hunter FX seems like the same gun as the article. In the article you say to remove the old rear site and plug the holes with plugs from near the breach plug. Then you mount the new peep site back further near the breech plug. The holes back there have a different spacing then where the rear site was. The new peep site has the same spacing as the old site so I can only get 1 screw into the new rear site. Is that all you put in or am I missing something? I could put it where the old site was but its harder to look through because its too far away.

Alex K. - posted 2 years ago on 08-15-2017 04:33:23 pm

Thanks Brandon! I'll give those resources a try. Good luck on your hunts this year. Best, Alex

Brandon E.
Brandon E. - posted 2 years ago on 08-15-2017 04:16:18 pm
goHUNT Team

@ Alex K.

I've not run into the shim problems with the Acura's that I've set up but have had to build them on the T/C's I've done. I'm lucky that I have a great Fastenal in my home town and they've been able to get me what I've needed. I have seen people use a Dremel tool and grind the heads to fit. There are a couple of places online that you can order them from like ASM Hope this is helpful, good luck this fall!

Alex K. - posted 2 years ago on 08-08-2017 11:07:42 am

Brandon: I really appreciate this article as it is going to make it possible for me to shoot farther on my Nevada Unit 6 muzzleloader hunt this September with iron sights.

I am having one problem, however, and I wonder if you can advise. I followed your advice below for my CVA Acura V2: " I have actually done this to a CVA Accura V2, it wasn't the Northwest but I believe they just have a different breach plug to make them legal in states like Idaho. The parts that I used are as follows: Williams peep #70154, Marble front ramp #072312, Lyman front globe #3171076, and the Lee Shaver fine crosshair card #LS001. Some of the guys have had issues with the Marble front ramp not fitting tight with the globe, but I just did one and it fit great. I have been very impressed with the CVA muzzleloader. Hope this is helpful, and good luck on that late season elk tag!"

I bought all these parts and installed them, but even with the rear peep sight adjusted as high as it will go (practically falling off the base), the ml shoots 2" low at 50 yards. I built a shim from aluminium to raise the rear sight higher above the barrel but now I can't find longer screws that still fit the sight so I can't install my shimmed rear peep sight on the barrel.

Any advice on where to find longer screws that fit the specifications of the rear sight (need to have flat, small diameter headers, etc.)? Or any advice on how to get a lower hooded front sight so that the shim isn't necessary and I can use the stock screws (do I need a shorter Marbles front sight ramp)?

I really need to get my sights sorted soon so that I can practice a lot with the ml before the mid-September hunt. Thank you for all your help.

Brandon E.
Brandon E. - posted 2 years ago on 07-24-2017 11:48:40 am
goHUNT Team

@ Brandon G.

Glad that you liked the article! I can't find any in stock either. Midway is usually pretty good at getting them back in. I'd try and get a notification of when they'll have them in and grab one as soon as you can. It looks like a few other stores are 2-3 weeks out.

Brandon g. - posted 2 years ago on 07-23-2017 08:59:42 am

Brandon- great name and great article! I am having trouble finding the Lyman front globe in stock anywhere on line? Any suggestions? I have a T/C triumph.

Thanks- Brandon

Brandon E.
Brandon E. - posted 2 years ago on 04-24-2017 08:42:14 am
goHUNT Team

@ Mark C.

Try and get the shortest ramp that you can. The one that I used was .100" in height for a .875" diameter barrel. The dovetail is .375" to fit the globe sight.

@ Jesse C.

To be honest I'm not sure what diameter it is. I think it really comes down to personal preference. Coming from the archery world, I made mine feel like a peep sight and a sight ring on an archery sight.

Mark C. - posted 2 years ago on 04-23-2017 06:21:34 am

I have a Thompson Center Model Triumph Bonecollector 50 cal. I have a problem with the sights that came with the gun because of my eyesight. I hunt in Colorado and am very interested in how you modified your sights. For the Marble dovetail #072312 can you tell me which size you used as Midway shows 9 different sizes.

Jesse C. - posted 3 years ago on 02-07-2017 09:17:35 pm

Great article! I've been looking for something like this for years and finally found it. Thank you!! I definitely plan to use this same set up for next season. One question I have is what diameter is the whole in the aperture? I already own a rear peep sight but have several different diameter apertures so just curious which one works best, .05, .125, .093? Thanks again! Jesse

Charles E. - posted 3 years ago on 02-06-2017 07:54:41 pm
Melbourne, Australia

Thanks Brandon, I have just completed your suggested sight upgrade on my .45 Jager Kentucky rifle and I am really pleased with the results. My conversion cost a little more as I had a gunsmith complete the work, but I am still very pleased with the look, performance and overall cost of this modification. The original V sights on my gun were terrible and made precision 'target' shooting impossible. I did a lot of research and calculations to get the height right first time (front sight in particular) and it seems that they are spot on at 25yrds with plenty of elevation left in the Williams for 50yrds+. The sight calculator that I used is called 'SightCalc2.xls' it should come up in a Google search, if anyone is interested. The only element I have not purchased yet is the Lee Shaver card, as I have been using the Lyman circle insert with some success. Thanks again, this was a helpful article.

Bruce P. - posted 3 years ago on 12-29-2016 03:00:50 am
Parker, CO

You mentioned your friend was experimenting with an adjustable rear peep sight with settings for 100 200 and 300 yards. I'd like to know a little bit more about that as I'd like to experiment with that as well. Can you provide some more info? I've seen the target adjustable style knobs on these peep sights is that what he is using? You also mentioned you might play with it and write about it. Any info would be helpful.

John L. - posted 3 years ago on 12-22-2016 06:22:34 pm

Finally shot the gun. Love the gun, but I am going to have to sort out these sights with a lot of time on the range. I started with the fine crosshairs that Brandon suggested, but as the visible light decreased on the afternoon I was shooting, the crosshairs became hard to see. What's great is that I have a multitude of globe inserts to experiment with to find my "huckleberry". I love this set up and on my shoot day, two very experienced black powder hunters that were with me just fell, in love with the setup and promise to do the same. My son, also a black powder shooter, thought he loved his fiber optics, but is ordering the setup as well, once he shot my gun. Thanks again, Brandon, for the nice writeup and all your tips.

Lee S. - posted 3 years ago on 12-03-2016 01:32:46 pm

Looking to hunt in CO in 2017. Just palceed an order for the sight setup you posted for my TC Encore. Wondering what bullet and powder setup might be?

John L. - posted 3 years ago on 11-29-2016 05:48:02 pm

I received my order from Brownells this evening (per the exact part numbers in my above post) and it took about 10 minutes to do the installation. Piece of cake. For now, I have the fine crosshairs installed, like the author's choice, but the are so fine and thin, I'm not sure I will stay with them. I would think in fading light, the fine crosshairs would be a challenge. The sights really look outstanding, aesthetically and I can't want to get to the range and put some lead on paper. We are in a cold snap here in Colorado, so it might take me a week or two, but I will report back.

By the way, My Wolf Muzzleloader has a stainless, completely round barrel. You can see it here:

Glenn L. - posted 3 years ago on 11-24-2016 08:39:20 am

to John L. The CVA Wolf does not have the Bergara barrel does it? (thinking barrel diameters here, my Accura has the Nitride Bergara fluted barrel). I'll be interested in how the Wolf shoots.

Glenn L. - posted 3 years ago on 11-24-2016 08:34:10 am

Brandon: thank you very much for the response about my CVA Accura and the sight parts, I appreciate that (often when I ask questions on websites I don't get any response).
My gun shoots great at short range, but I'm all over the map at 100 yds! Factory sights (and my eyesight) leave a lot to be desired. Where would you recommend I look up ballistics, I tried Powerbelt and Hodgdon, I couldn't find the Powerbelt Lead 295 gr. (this one is legal in Idaho). I'm using Triple 7 FFg, so far trying loads between 85 and 95 grains to break in the barrel. With the typical late elk hunting situation here, 100 yds is a close shot.
If I try this conversion I'm a little apprehensive about needing to shim the rear sight, did you have to do this on the Accura? Does it require a longer screw(s) for the peep? thanks again, I like the gohunt website.

John L. - posted 3 years ago on 11-23-2016 03:46:37 pm

Bit of a son bought the Traditions rifle from me, before I place the order....but only because I stumbled upon a smoking deal on a CVA Wolf in stainless. Today, placed the order with Brownells. I hope it will be a good fit. Front ramp is: 579-000-036WB .875 Dia. .100" Height. For the rear, I ordered: 962-000-027WB WGRS-CVA Fits Win. X-140 w/Round Barrel. And this for the front globe: 539-017-360WB Lyman Target Front Sight Model 17 AHB .404" Height. Will report back on fitment.

Brandon E.
Brandon E. - posted 3 years ago on 11-23-2016 02:48:28 pm
goHUNT Team

@ Glenn L.

I’m glad that you found the article. I have actually done this to a CVA Accura V2, it wasn’t the Northwest but I believe they just have a different breach plug to make them legal in states like Idaho. The parts that I used are as follows: Williams peep #70154, Marble front ramp #072312, Lyman front globe #3171076, and the Lee Shaver fine crosshair card #LS001. Some of the guys have had issues with the Marble front ramp not fitting tight with the globe, but I just did one and it fit great. I have been very impressed with the CVA muzzleloader. Hope this is helpful, and good luck on that late season elk tag!

Glenn L. - posted 3 years ago on 11-23-2016 09:04:02 am

I just happened onto this site while desperately trying to get better open sights for my new CVA Accura V2 Northwest. The search was getting frustrating, Brandons work here may be the answer!! I live in Idaho, am 65 years old (and need reading glasses) so I cannot focus well on the CVA fiber optic sights. I shoot them well at 25 yards, but NOT at 100. I am unable to obtain a clear sight picture. Great discussion here, does anyone have an update (or Brandon himself) on exact parts I should buy for the CVA Accura? I would love to keep this conversion as trouble free as possible. My elk hunt starts Dec. 1, sure would like to kill one this year for a change! thanks to all for any help.

John L. - posted 3 years ago on 10-29-2016 05:52:23 pm

Based on..... JUSTIN M. - posted 7 months ago on 03-28-2016 08:04:14 pm
I have recently bought a Williams peep sight #70154, a marble dovetail #72312 and a Lyman Globe #3171076.

I ordered the same for my Traditions BuckStalker. Hope it works and will report back once I receive the order and attempt the install.

I really wanted a scope, but just not an option here in Colorado.

Brandon E.
Brandon E. - posted 3 years ago on 09-26-2016 03:47:45 pm
goHUNT Team

@ Dave D.
Sorry for the delayed response. I have used some thin sheet metal and some hard plastic, like the thin plastic cutting boards. Both worked great, the plastic was easier to work with, but my wife was a little upset that I cut up her cutting board.

@ Johnnie L.
I haven't been able to put my hands on the Traditions rifles yet, I've heard great things about them though. Justin M. and Jim M. in the comments above seemed to make the setup work on their Traditions. I hope that they'll comment. Muzzleloading is sure an addictive sport, best of luck to you!

Johnnie L. - posted 3 years ago on 09-23-2016 05:08:26 pm

Great job I am just getting into blackpowder rifles. I picked up a Traditions Vortex .50 cal. Has anyone done the research for what will work on this rifle? Thank you

Dave D. - posted 3 years ago on 07-20-2016 09:19:42 am

Wondering if anybody has any ideas as what to use for a shim if the rear sight does need to be raised up?

JUSTIN M. - posted 3 years ago on 07-12-2016 11:40:24 am

This has worked well for my Traditions Vortek NW muzzleloader. I did break a screw off on the front site so the gunsmith fixed my screw up. I have only shot at the range once around 12 times. I have found 100 grains of pyrodex and great plains bullets (350/370) work fairly well. I am going to try a couple more bullets (black widows) and powder configurations before my season this year. Sooooo much easier to accurately shoot at 100 yards. I would follow these instructions, it is pretty simple.....Just don't torque them too much! Rely on loctite to keep screws in place for the most part.

Paul B. - posted 3 years ago on 04-05-2016 09:41:56 pm

Justin M, I have a NW Magnum as well did this setup work? Line up? And what do I need to do to replicate this setup?

David S. - posted 3 years ago on 03-30-2016 08:28:51 am

Really nice article, thanks for sharing

JUSTIN M. - posted 3 years ago on 03-28-2016 08:04:14 pm

I have recently bought a Williams peep sight #70154, a marble dovetail #72312 and a Lyman Globe #3171076. After taking a lot of time measuring all diameters I found that this should work nicely and is the lowest I can do. I should have figured out more about the screw sizes, but I figured I have a friendly gunsmith if I run into problems. Will let you know how it works!

Brandon E.
Brandon E. - posted 3 years ago on 03-28-2016 02:16:57 pm
goHUNT Team

@ Justin M. and Jim M.

After reading a bit about the traditions, I think that you could make a set up like this work. Williams makes the rear peep, I think Jim already has one, I don’t have the part number handy. Most of the Traditions come with a Williams front sight and I have found that Williams makes a front ramp (Part# 44553 and Brownells Part# 962-011-125WB) and don’t see why it wouldn’t fit. One of things that I like about the William’s ramp is that the globe sight doesn’t cover the screw hole and it still should take the Lyman dovetail globe sight. I haven’t had a chance to try one of these, but I thought that I would pass it along since people were having trouble with the Marble ramps. Like I said, I haven’t been able to work or handle a Traditions so I haven’t checked heights of the front sight compared to the rear peep to make sure you’ll have enough adjustment, but you can always shim up the rear. Hope this helps you guys out, good luck muzzleloading!

Jim M. - posted 3 years ago on 03-15-2016 08:27:37 pm

Justin M.

I'm planning on a couple of muzzleloader hunts for this fall and would really like to make this conversion happen. Lets keep in touch on our progress. Feel free to give me a call 541-948-6575.

Jim M.

JUSTIN M. - posted 3 years ago on 03-15-2016 11:38:09 am

Any idea on how to put this setup on my Traditions Vortek NW Magnum muzzleloader? I know Jim M. asked quite awhile back. I have been talking with Brownells, but it has not been very successful.
Justin M.

Brandon E.
Brandon E. - posted 3 years ago on 03-08-2016 09:30:56 pm
goHUNT Team

@ Justin P.

Out of the 7 or 8 ramps that I have ordered I’ve never come across it, one of the two parts has to be out of spec. There are some other companies that sell ramps and globes, but I’ve had good luck with these companies, especially for the price. If it’s loose I really wouldn’t use it, I prefer them to be tight enough that I have to tap them in with small hammer.

Justin P. - posted 3 years ago on 03-04-2016 04:06:38 pm

I'm finding one problem. I ordered the parts listed above for my CVA accura V2 and the Lyman 17AHB sight dovetail slides right through the Marble front ramp without any resistance. Any thought on a different ramp or maybe it is out of spec from the manufacturer? Thanks!

Gary T. - posted 4 years ago on 02-08-2016 06:50:51 am

Brandon - Thanks for taking the time to respond. Still working on finding the proper front sight ramp. The rear receiver sight that will fit a Knight Bighorn (and others) is the Williams 54252 FP Legend (black) also available in silver. Thanks again.

Brandon E.
Brandon E. - posted 4 years ago on 02-07-2016 11:12:07 pm
goHUNT Team

@ Gary T.

Sorry for the delayed response. I have not personally done this to a Knight, but do have a friend that has a similar set up on his. He used the same front ramp and globe set up only using one of the screw holes. The Marble ramp and Lyman globe do fit. The JB weld or super glue in Step 7 isn’t meant to hold it together, just gives me a peace of mind and added security. I do the same thing to my bows. One thing that my friend did do to his was added an adjustable rear peep. He has a mark on it for each yardage that he shoots, from 100 to 300. Kind of like a slider sight in the archery world. I’m going to play around with this and hopefully do a part two to this article. One Item that I found on Brownells is 962-020-097WB, it is a two-hole ramp and one of the reviews said it works on a Bighorn. I can’t tell for sure what size the dovetail is, but it might be worth checking into. I hope this is helpful. Thanks again for reading the article.

Gary T. - posted 4 years ago on 01-27-2016 12:15:53 pm

UPDATE: I inquired as to the specifics for the front sight ramp to the Marble Arms tech. The response :

I check it out. Step 7 has me thinking I’m right. JB Weld or Super Glue?
Also, I checked their web-site and it says that 3/8” dovetail on the globes sights. Our front sights are .394” on the dovetails and the bases will be .392”.
Also, I have a e-mail to Lyman to find out what the size is.
FYI: Had a customer that try this and the globe did not lock up in our base.

Gary T. - posted 4 years ago on 01-27-2016 07:16:44 am

Your article has given me hope that I can convert the sights on my Knight Bighorn to the same set up. I have located a compatible receiver sight - 54252 Williams FP legend. However, I am having trouble finding a 2 screw (6-48 X .380 front & 6-48 X .260 rear) front sight ramp that will accommodate the Lyman 3/8 dovetail AHB Globe sight. The recent response from Marble Arms to my inquiry was "No. Also, Lyman sights will not fit Marble’s ramps. Lyman has smaller dovetails than us." Of course this statement is not true. Tried a Williams 1690 streamlined screw on ramp and it was to narrow for Lyman globe sight dovetail and dovetails did not match. I have inquiries into Knight and will try Midway as Brownells tech gave me incorrect info also. Wondering if you know of a solution to my acquiring a proper front sight ramp. Thank you.

DOUG P. - posted 4 years ago on 11-24-2015 12:51:16 pm

Thanks for the info Brandon! Thanks for taking the time to explain what I need... That does help me out!

Brandon E.
Brandon E. - posted 4 years ago on 11-24-2015 09:49:06 am
goHUNT Team

@ Doug P.

Glad that you enjoyed the article. I know that all these little pieces and parts can get confusing. There are two measurements that you’ll want to make sure on before you order. The first one is the dovetail width. On the Lyman (part # 3171076) that I used in the article, it has a 3/8” (.375) dovetail. The ramp needs to have that same dovetail. The second measurement is the diameter of the barrel where the front sight gets installed. Muzzleloaders typically have a heavy barrel, with most 50 cal’s running close to a .875” diameter barrel. If yours is close to that then the Marble Arms ramp (part # 072312) should work for you, as it has the 3/8” dovetail also. This combination will give you close to a .5” height on the front sight, which is fairly high. Some of the rifles that I have done for a couple of friends have required some shims under the rear peep. Hope that this takes a little of the confusion out of it and was helpful. As always if you ever have any questions, let us know. Best of luck to you!

DOUG P. - posted 4 years ago on 11-23-2015 04:33:31 pm

Hi Brandon,
Great write up! This looks to be a huge improvement... I'm currently redoing my CVA Elkhorn sights. I ordered and am waiting on my Williams rear peep sight and I would really like to add one of these Lyman target globes. How does one go about knowing what dovetail mount to buy for the front for the Lyman to mount to? Any chance you might know the parts I need to get to complete this? I know I need to keep the dovetail as low as possible but I look at the websites and it all gets confusing really fast! Any help would greatly be appropriated!

Brandon E.
Brandon E. - posted 4 years ago on 11-23-2015 10:53:39 am
goHUNT Team

@ Chris M.
This set up should work on your CVA Optima. It will require a different rear peep that is designed to work with the CVA’s, Williams Part # 70154. They should be available from Brownell's or Midway USA. For the front ramp you will want to make sure that you get the one that is made for the diameter of your barrel, remember to get the lowest or shortest one that you can find. Match the globe sight to the ramp and you should be set up. I’m finding that each individual gun is slightly different and some require some slight modifications. Hope this helps, and good luck with your muzzleloader!

chris m. - posted 4 years ago on 11-22-2015 08:32:44 pm

Great Article.
I am haveing issues with the stock sights on my CVA optima pro getting them to shoot right, does anyone know if this setup would work on the CVA optima pro or a sight that would work better than the stock sights, thanks.

Jim M. - posted 4 years ago on 09-22-2015 07:26:44 am

Thanks Steve V. and Brandon E.
I purchased a peep from Williams Gun Sight but was too close to my Nevada hunt to mess with it. I'm going to pursue this conversion now that I'm not rushed. (got a nice buck in Nevada)

Jim M.

Brandon E.
Brandon E. - posted 4 years ago on 09-21-2015 10:37:52 am
goHUNT Team

@ Jim M.
Unfortunately I have not had any experience with the Traditions line of muzzleloaders. You may want to give Williams Gun Sights a call and see it they have something that will fit that isn’t listed.

@ Steve V.
I actually ran into the same situation on a T/C that I was setting up for a friend. It was the same model as I have done before, but didn’t shoot the same and had a slightly different barrel bore size also. What I did was put a shim plate under the rear sight to gain the adjustment that I needed. I have found that there is a lot of variation between guns when it comes to muzzleloaders, and its crazy how the same make and model of gun will shoot so differently.

Steve V. - posted 4 years ago on 09-15-2015 01:01:36 pm

unfortunately, this setup did not produce enough elevation because the front sight is too high. had to install the original front sight and keep the rear peep

Jim M. - posted 4 years ago on 08-30-2015 05:34:28 pm

Great article.. I wish I would have jumped on seeing if parts were available for my Traditions VORTEK Northwest Magnum when I first read the piece. I shot some Nosler Sabots in preparation for my upcoming Nevada Mule deer hunt and realize my range has been extended if I only had a better sight picture. Just wondering if any Vortek owners have found the supplies?

Jim M.

Brandon E.
Brandon E. - posted 4 years ago on 08-26-2015 04:03:56 pm
goHUNT Team

@ Lane R.
As Bruce H. posted above, this set up is legal in Colorado. Thanks for reading the article, let us know if there is anything we might be able to help you with.
@ Bruce H.
Thanks for the clarification. We appreciate your comments.

Bruce H. - posted 4 years ago on 08-26-2015 03:53:26 pm
Colorado Springs, CO

As they say Right from the horses mouth page 16 CPW
a. Only legal muzzleloaders allowed in muzzleloading seasons.
b. In-line muzzleloaders are legal.
c. Must be a single barrel that fires a single round ball or conical projectile.
d. To hunt deer, pronghorn or bear, they must be minimum of .40 caliber.
e. To hunt elk or moose, they must be minimum of .50 caliber.
f. From .40 caliber to .50 caliber, bullets must weigh a minimum 170 grains.
g. If greater than .50 caliber, bullets must weigh a minimum 210 grains.
h. Shotshell primers and B.O.R. Lock MZ System bullets are legal.
i. Pelletized powder systems prohibited in muzzleloading seasons.
j. Cannot be loaded from the breech in muzzleloading seasons.
k. Only open or iron sights allowed in muzzleloading seasons. Fiber optics
and fluorescent paint incorporated into or on open or iron sights are
legal. Scopes or any sighting device using artificial light, batteries and
electronic gear are prohibited during muzzleloading seasons.
l. Sabots are prohibited in muzzleloading seasons. Cloth patches are not
m. Smokeless powder prohibited in muzzleloading seasons. Black powder
and black-powder substitutes are legal.
n. Electronic or battery-powered devices cannot be incorporated into or
attached to muzzleloader during muzzleloading season

Lane R. - posted 4 years ago on 08-26-2015 01:11:02 pm
Moore, Texas

Great advice, had no idea this was even possible.
Is this open sight setup legal in Colorado?

Brandon E.
Brandon E. - posted 4 years ago on 08-23-2015 06:16:52 pm
goHUNT Team

@ Steve V. and Wes W.
I just did this same sight system to a T/C Bone Collector for a guy here in the office and ran in to the same issue. What I did was drilled out the front ramp to fit the #8 screw, added a little countersink to it so that the dovetail would slide in and reused the original screw also. I did have to file down the threads a little, but it wasn’t to bad and only added a few minutes to the project. Steve, I really like how fine the Lee Shaver inserts are, I didn’t see a huge improvement with the ones that come with the globe.

@ Eric B
I find it much easier to take off hand shots, I can line it up faster and keep it lined up better than I could with the factory sights. One option with the Lee Shaver inserts is a super fine post style front sight, I pack this as a backup with me in the field. It still goes inside the globe, but gives a different option.

I glad that you guys like the article, I’d love to hear how it’s working out for you guys that have tried it. Also if there are any modifications that you guys have come across, I’d like to hear about them and try them out. I’m still just learning this muzzleloader stuff, and have had a lot of fun tinkering with it.

Wes W. - posted 4 years ago on 08-15-2015 08:15:28 pm

I ordered the part you suggested and the ramp I got had a # 6 screw and home. My tc has a number 8 in the front sight. Did you have this problem?

Eric B. - posted 4 years ago on 08-13-2015 12:01:29 pm

Very nice setup, Brandon.

How does it compare to the factory sights for quick offhand shots? Does it take longer to aim?

I switched to a rear peep sight becuase I have trouble getting the front and rear sights into focus. I am still using a fiber optic dot on the front. However, the dot covers up too much of the target for my liking and I find it hard to aim off the top of a round bead. I was going to switch to a thin front post until I read this. Now I don't know what to do. :)

Steve V. - posted 4 years ago on 08-03-2015 02:48:53 pm

Thanks Brandon. I did this to my Bone Collector. The only problem I had was the front sight screw that came with the Ramp was too small in diameter. I had to file down the original sight screw. In doing so, I also had to file the screw head down in the dovetail, in order for the Globe sight to fit. Small adjustments, but a steady hand needed nonetheless. Thanks for the article, I am looking forward to this MUCH improved sight system for my CO hunt this year! One final note: They Lyman Globe sight comes with multiple sight options, just not the fine cross hair version from Lee Shaver. Although, I will admit it's worth getting the Shaver inserts, they are better options and more finely tuned. thanks.

Brandon E.
Brandon E. - posted 4 years ago on 07-27-2015 01:22:30 pm
goHUNT Team

Bruce H, I’m glad that you enjoyed the article and thanks for the kind words.
Robert H, for me it made a world of a difference. I hope that it works out for you, let us know if you have any questions. Thanks again for reading the article guys!

Robert H. - posted 4 years ago on 07-23-2015 07:23:21 pm

Gonna have to go over this again and order up. I have a hard time using the muzzle loader just for the same reasons you stated. This looks to make things way better.

Bruce H. - posted 4 years ago on 07-23-2015 09:13:06 am
Colorado Springs, CO

Brandon, very nicely done. great content a along with awesome photos tells the story.

Brandon E.
Brandon E. - posted 4 years ago on 07-21-2015 08:28:08 am
goHUNT Team

Thanks, I’m glad that you liked the article! It’s fun to share these little tips and hopefully help someone have a successful season. Let us know if you ever have any questions and congrats on that late season tag. Best of luck to you this fall!

Blake S. - posted 4 years ago on 07-16-2015 08:49:38 pm

Wow. This is a great piece Brandon.
Gotta get one for this upcoming season! I drew a late season muzzleloader tag in Nevada.
Keep up the good work.