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This lackluster  8″ group at fifty meters,  is not up to our usual standards.

I suspect the worn string serving, seen below,  is having a deleterious effect on Firefly’s precision.    On another note:  the string appears to be down on the deck in this photo, however, that is only because I am pressing down on it as it gets twisted around to show the serving wear.   Ordinarily there would be a  3/8″ gap here —  and that probably is not a good thing.

I believe I have noticed this degradation of accuracy before when wear on the serving was this noticeable.  It seems reasonable to test this hypothesis by putting on a new serving.    What material the Romans may have used in this area is unknown, but it seems likely they would have needed to keep it in good repair if the orders of the day called for some precision sniping.  If my intent were to figure out what authentic material would make a decent protective wrapping for this very high wear part ,  then using Kevlar webbing like this would be clearly ridiculous.  However, that is not the question I seek to answer this time around.  It will be enough to know, once and for all, what effect a worn serving might have on the group size.   Definition is everything.

Report back later after the serving has been replaced  ………………..   I need to disengage from all this bollocks for a while ……………

…. I find myself with a paint brush in my hand.  ………… Two hours go by as several acts of decorative amusement occur.

…………… Forget to clean the paint brush, but do manage to take a nap. …………………. Coffee.

……… Okay, it’s later, and I feel sufficiently motivated to try for a three shot group on the 50 meter range.  It goes well.  The new serving has brought us back to where we were before  with a nice 3″ cluster of shots at 50 meters.

This kind of precision only seems achievable if the bolt has a pronounced up-pitch to it as it sits on the bolt groove, i.e. the front of the bolt sits higher than the tail.  To test this I  tried a new bolt that did not have a larger than shaft diameter head on it,  and it did not fly well at all.  It seemed to pitch down in flight and hit low on the target.  I suspect that the 3/8″ gap between the string and the deck of the bolt groove is causing the tail of the bolt to lift upwards during the power stroke.  I will try and get a slow motion video of all this tomorrow.

I have upgraded the old plastic overcoat button that was being used for a front sight by replacing it with this shiny new metal model that was manufactured right here in the LCF.

The two holes, used to thread the sight cord through,  also appear in the original kamerion from the Orsova finds.   All this silliness about, “what were the holes used for?”,  it really is pretty obvious isn’t it?    If not for a front sight, then for what?…….. Perhaps they hung tassels on them to honor the emperor?  Little wind socks maybe?

In the above photo,  the springy thread suspending the bronze front sight has the ability to flex with the kamerion during the cocking cycle.   For obvious reasons, a metal rod connecting the two holes would be problematic when paired with a kamerion subject to spring deformation.  Don’t you just hate it when some snod says, “for obvious reasons”.  I only do it because this blog is not meant to be a remedial class for the mechanically disinclined.

……. Okay! Okay!  I’ll cop!  ……… I’m the disinclinate that blew half a day trying to control the flex issues in a metal rod.  My conclusion after that exercise: it just had to be thread that went through those holes.  Metal rod thingies are not a natural fit for suspending a front sight with this flexing style of kamerion.

Also, this thread and button design is extremely resistant to having the zero wander over time.    Wandering zeros are the bane of some otherwise fine weapons, and while it is not always the sights that are at fault, that is one of the first places I look if there is a problem.    Because Firefly’s zero has not wandered in all the day to day testing we have done since the new limbs were installed, it follows that this simple and expedient design works very well as a precision instrument.   In fact, this front sight set up works so well, it takes quite an act of imagination to conceive of how those original holes in the original kamerion might have been used, if not like this.  And if that is the case, it is similarly difficult to imagine that the inventive Romans did not also utilize some kind of rear sight to take full advantage of the great precision inherent in these machines.

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