The FrankenRuger EVOLVES, and gains a cool new holster...

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JimMarch1

Blackhawk
Joined
Feb 19, 2007
Messages
525
Location
Tucson, AZ, USA
(Note: this post starts out talking about the gun, which may be of limited interest. However, the holster I ended up making for it turned out exceptionally well and may be of broader interest...)

Folks,

For those new to the "Hacksite" saga, short form is I've been experimenting with an alternate sight setup based on the Goshen Hexsite:

http://www.goshen-hexsite.com/index2.htm

My previous homebrew version (the "Goshdarn Hacksite") involved a full-length brass tube to put the rear hex aperture into and fully enclose the conventional post:

3630584151_db71ea1b65.jpg


This worked extremely well and is the best sight setup I've ever shot - but I ran into a problem when the gun in it's fanny pack slipped off my desk.

Yeah, the brass dented. I shoulda seen THAT coming.

OK, so...obvious cure is, enclose the brass tube in a steel tube. Well finding the right diameter steel tube turned out to be a pain, and when I finally did...it wasn't pretty. OK, scratch that, it was truly "drunk baboon ugly".

Sigh.

I thought of all kinds of ways to cover it, tried a couple of types of paint...nothing worked. Finally had a brainstorm: cover the whole damn thing with LEATHER, which doubles as extra padding:

4156490487_afacb7a5b8.jpg


It's...yeah, ODD, but not terrible :). Looks like something the Comanches got ahold of circa 1880 or so. If of course anybody ever scoped an SAA back then. And as far as functionality goes, it does NOT glint AT ALL, a major plus.

The rear hex aperture and front post are unchanged as those worked great in the Mk2 incarnation. The only functional change is a bit of a notch at the top of the front post; I haven't shot it this way yet but just dry-firing, it does appear to catch the eye and may indeed make a great system even better. The Hexsite concept is by far, without question the best sight type I've ever tried for handguns. You focus on the target instead of the front sight, yet even slightly blurry these sights work extremely well at high speed and are very accurate at all ranges. They "feel" like a red-dot sight except without the annoying red dot staring you in the face, acting as a distraction.

While the thing appears fat as hell from the rear, because this is a target-focus setup and it's both easy and natural to hold both eyes open, it's easy to look "around" the sight with the off-eye and get an unobstructed view of the target area - so I don't expect the extra bulk of this sight to be a problem.

Weight isn't too bad either, and toughness has gone through the roof.

I've also covered that funky exposed putty epoxy from the Mk2. It still isn't a visual masterpiece" but it's not quite as screwed up I don't think.

NOTE: Tim Sheehan at Goshen has asked me to tell y'all to contact him and ask permission before doing any more funky homebrew derivatives of his sights. Contact him at the link above.

Right...next step, make a new holster for this critter. The fanny pack is getting a wee bit annoying and it's much colder now so a moderate jacket isn't out of place even indoors. So I got to work on the holster.

My "mental starting point" was an old Bill Grover design, still sold by Ted Blocker as the CC1:

http://www.tedblockerholsters.com/product.cfm?pi=5C89D10E-0FB8-C3D9-74D157928572DFB9

...but I was disappointed by an early attempt along those lines. Basically, it was too loose, not enough tension, and no easy way to lock in a lean angle for either a forward-tilt strongside or backwards tilt crossdraw.

I'm *extremely* happy with what I ended up with, a holster I call the "Mark 3":

4156437707_5afecf2299.jpg


4156437709_a23571b617_b.jpg


4156437721_d492121581_b.jpg


As you can see, the conchos are each a mount point for one end of the piece I call the "tilt strap". Set it to the upper concho, you have a crossdraw rig, lower means it's a strong-side forward tilt. A middle position would allow a vertical ride if you're into that. The conchos are screw-on so it's a few minutes worth of adjustment.

The double-ring buckle is secure and allows me to crank down on the tension to whatever degree I want, and the rig works fine with any width belt.

I think a lot of the ideas behind this are original to me - at least, I've never seen anything quite like it. If anybody HAS seen something similar, including the adjustable belt tension, the ability to install and remove the rig without taking the belt off and the adjustable tilt, please let me know. For now, I'm releasing the design under a Creative Commons non-commercial license:

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

In other words, you can make your own, please mention me if you publish details, and if you want to make them commercially talk to me and we'll work out a (very cheap) deal.
 

JimMarch1

Blackhawk
Joined
Feb 19, 2007
Messages
525
Location
Tucson, AZ, USA
It changes *everything* about how sights work.

First thing: the extra weight isn't too bad. At worst, it makes the 4.68" barrel feel more like swinging a 5.5".

It's worth it.

OK. What happens is, you line it up anywhere close to on target and it feels like the final alignment gets "sucked in". And then once it is aligned with where you're looking, you can look anywhere else and feel the gun follow. To shoot, you don't have to first ID the target and then shift your eyeball's focus in tighter to the front sight - that step is simply eliminated. You look at something that needs shooting and decide to shoot it with no pause.

Describing it is a LOT harder than doing it.

The top competitive shooters in IPSC are doing "flash sight pictures" in which the gun is brought to eye level but then instead of using the actual sight, they use the broad outline of the gun as a "sight". Some have even found that using the squared edges of some semis (like Glocks) with no sights at all can be faster because the eye isn't distracted by the fine sights.

Because our eyes are good at lining up simply geometric shapes.

What Tim Sheehan figured out is a much closer to a perfect geometric shape that our eyes can lock onto. And we can do so without the extensive training the IPSC guys go through, and with much better fine alignment than the entire slide of an autopistol.

The end result is, once you have a sight alignment on ANY target, and it happens at least as fast as with conventional sights, you have an alignment on anywhere your eye looks, automatically, with no delay in setting up the shoot by short-focusing back to the front sight.

As a bonus, if you're holding the sights down on a possible threat, your can tell if he's pulling out a small handgun or knife as opposed to, say, a wallet or cellphone - because you're target-focused. This system certainly feels like it can eliminate a whole class of mistaken shootings of the "Amadou Diallo" type (the guy shot 41 times in NYC for pulling out a wallet in low light).

It's also a lot easier to hold both eyes open while target-focused, so the bulk of either the real Goshen Hexsite (which isn't much) or my "Goshdarn Hacksite" (which is now getting...yeah, kinda up there!) isn't a problem.

Look...when I read Tim's website, it seemed intriguing but...well, certainly it's a very different sight with a theory of operation that completely bucks conventional wisdom. But at the same time, conventional sights didn't "feel right" to me. Since it seemed damned unlikely he was going to have anything that could fit a NewVaq soon, I started to roll my own as an experiment. The Mk1 was a short tube at the rear with the aperture in it, and a conventional front post - fiber optic at first, but it was soon obvious the red core was actually getting in the way exactly as Tim predicted.

Tim invited me to his workshop in Sedona AZ, I got to see the "real thing" and realized that total blackness at both the front and rear sight was part of the recipe that couldn't be denied. That led to the Mk2 with a full-length brass tube, which used shadow to fight glint instead of the high-tech polymer coatings I didn't have access to. It worked but wasn't strong enough, which has led to the Mk3 - bulky but by GOD it works.

Final thought. Back in the 1950s Jack Weaver and his buddies at the Leatherslap competitions changed how we look at combat shooting. They transitioned from holds and stances focused on target shooting into holds that were combat-oriented, and now all combat shooting is influenced by what they accomplished. But they didn't transition away from target SIGHTS. Attempts have been made to do so by adding colors and glowing crap to what are still target sights, but nobody has actually finished the transition to real combat sights, unless you count red dots of various types involving wires/lenses/batteries and even more bulk than my homebrew critter.

In stark contrast, Tim's real Hexsites are small enough that they're compatible with standard holsters and work *better* than a red dot sight because there's no red dot getting in the way. I've compared side by side and Hexsites (or my Hacksight starting with the Mk2) works better.

Tim has found a way to finish the transition to real combat shooting, by rethinking both the sights and how we use them. It's a genuine breakthrough.
 

btrumanj

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jan 29, 2005
Messages
490
Location
Louisville Ky
Skalkaho Slim":xg85kdwz said:
Kinda has an old west "Bladerunner" thing goin' on there.

Frankly, I think it's cool. If it works for the OP, I ain't gonna say a bad word about it.

My feelings exactly!! :) Edited to add that's a right nice looking holster.
 

azrugershooter

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
Messages
147
To each his own, if it works for him more power to him. I was thinking this pic
bellyboy.jpg

Is not someone you will see standing next to Valerie Bertinelli in the next Jenny Craig commerical! :lol:
 

azrugershooter

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
Messages
147
Some of the original scopes used were really nothing more than a tube mounted on top of a rifle. At least in the 19th century any way.
 

toysoldier

Hunter
Joined
Aug 23, 2006
Messages
3,332
Location
Hutchinson, KS USA
JimMarch1":2gk7x0db said:
Looks like something the Comanches got ahold of circa 1880 or so.

I think you do the Commanches an injustice.

I have soem high-strength thin-wall steel tubing salvaged from medical devices. If you are still interested in going that route, send me a PM with the dimensions you require and I'll see if anything matches.
 

Quietdood

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 24, 2008
Messages
67
I think your rig doesn't really match your attire. Try wearing more tattered clothing, maybe some football shoulder pads (get some ideas from Mad Max movies... The Road Warrior will help). Cool gun though.
 

M'BOGO

Buckeye
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
1,950
Location
METRO DETROIT
Skalkaho Slim":uk41rp9y said:
Kinda has an old west "Bladerunner" thing goin' on there.

Frankly, I think it's cool. If it works for the OP, I ain't gonna say a bad word about it.

I've been thinking about this in flashes this weekend, and my thoughts usually end with "the name of the game is THUNDERDOME! Two men ENTER, one man leaves!"!

Interesting concept all the way around, evolution usually happens in fits and bounds, and there is usually stumbling, unrest, and resistance to it.

The Weaver stance and the modern technique seem to be natural, but when you look at the OSS pistol training reels from the war, it really shows how far we've come.
 
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