The L.C. Smith Collectors Association
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Re: 2nd Bead, good? bad?
I'm assuming you're speaking of a mid-bead; and if so that bead should be smaller than the front. It's there to let the shooter know his eye is in perfect alignment with the front bead; if so the mid bead becomes "invisible", if not properly aligned with the shooter's eye the mid bead will be visible either to the left of right side of the front bead depending on how the gun was mounted. On a pistol grip gun the mid bead should be centered between the breech and the muzzles; i.e. the mid bead would be mounted 15" from the breech on a 30" barrel. On straight grip guns it is not uncommon to see the mid bead located 2" further towards the muzzle; i.e. at 17" past the breech on the same 30" barrel. I've owned/still own a number of guns with front and mid-bead sites (usually ivory); for snap shooting they're about as useful as tits on a boar hog, but they are useful for pass shooting to insure the gun is mounted properly. A properly installed set of front and mid ivory beads look good esthetically; and to be honest, that is their main appeal to me, but for me personally they don't add any more value to the gun. But I've also seen mid-beads installed close to the breech; say 4-6 inches out that look weird and out of place to me. I'm assuming these were placed there to act as a "rear site" (?); they turn me off and I suspect others have the same reaction, so guns with that feature would probably have less appeal and less value.