The Barger sight, which in a measure, revolutionizes wing shooting, consists of a steel ring or aperture, which is so placed upon the muzzle of the gun, that it clearly defines the killing field to the eye of the sportsman. When the bird is visible through the sight and is not out of range, a kill should be a certainty. A charge of shot at a distance of 40 yards, will scatter over a circular space some 36 inches in diameter. In a pattern of this size, it will be found that there is a space of perhaps 30 inches in diameter, in which the shot are so thick that a bird at any point in this 30-inch circle cannot escape. This sight is made of such size, that it clearly defines this killing field at all ranges. In other words, the killing field and range of vision through the sight practically coincide at all points. A gun should have sufficient elevation at the breech to bring the entire killing field within the range of vision, and that by clearly defining this killing field, the gun, if properly charged, is at its maximum efficiency. For it is evident that if half the charge occupies a space that is invisible to the eye, owing to the fact that it is obscured by the muzzle of the gun, the aiming is 50 per cent. more difficult, for the reason: that the object aimed at must be brought into the visible or upper portion of the killing field.
The only way to determine whether or not a gun has the proper elevation is to target it. The following simple method is suggested: Remove the old sight, place the Barger sight in position half an inch from the muzzle, being careful to adjust it properly. On a white paper target describe a circle the same size of the circle exposed through the sight at a given distance; for example: if the sight will cover a circle of 30 inches in diameter at 40 yards range, describe a circle 30 inches in diameter for that distance, or one that is one-half that diameter for one-half that distance, etc. After the target is in position, place four pieces of black or colored paper three inches in diameter, so that they will just touch the inner side of the circle, one at the top, one at the bottom and one at either side, to serve as a guide while aiming. Then, at the proper distance from the target, rest the gun and make sure that the sight surrounds all the colored pieces when you fire. If the charge is evenly distributed over the target, with the thickest portion of the shot at or near the center, the gun is right and has the proper elevation. But should there be more than a quarter of the charge below the circle, and but few shot in the upper portion, the gun is not right, and the elevation should be corrected. This sight can be used on guns with low breech without using any elevation and still have a great advantage over the old sight, for it serves as a guide to prevent shooting to one side, gives a little more elevation owing to the removal of the old sight and also gives an unobstructed view of the object aimed at. This sight ranges in diameter from 3-4 of an inch to 1 inch, according to the length of the gun.
Farrow, Edward S. American Small Arms; a Veritable Encyclopedia of Knowledge for Sportsmen and Military Men. New York: Bradford, 1904. Print.
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