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Fake Flip Sight Thread?

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carbinekid View Drop Down
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    Posted: Oct 30 2022 at 1:47pm
This topic seems to get brought up every so often. Fake flip sights are abundant and every new thread seems to pop up after a new guy gets burned by one or very nearly so.

Many of us spend time doing our own research and assembling reference pictures of good and bad parts. I know we often hesitate to post many direct photos of known good sights or go too deeply on why we know sights are fake with the reason of avoiding providing help to the fakers. However I do think that is a little flimsy at this point. If I can search the net and find dozens and dozens of photos of good sights than so can the fakers…

But what are thoughts to posting known fake sights? We don’t need to get too into the why they are bad, but it seems like it would help out the newbies and keep good money from being wasted.

I’m sure this will have mixed responses. I don’t want to just go ahead and dump a pile of photos though if the response is really negative though.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jond41403 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 30 2022 at 5:05pm
My opinion is not worth much but I'm going to give it anyway haha. I personally would not, simply because the fake flip sights are getting better these days and the reason why is because they are obviously following along in real time the same threads we all read and participate in. That has to be the reality otherwise they would just remain the same, easy to spot fakes, but they don't, they get harder to tell. This site probably being one of the main ones they use I would imagine. I'm afraid creating a quick guide to help us newbies would also create a quick guide and speed up progress on the already harder to tell fake sights. Pictures of real sights have always been around but the better fakes have not. That's a sign to me that they are reading every thread in present day, reading the subtleties people are paying attention to to authenticate something and adjusting by the information they read. Just my two cents
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Why Carbines? Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 30 2022 at 8:04pm
Originally posted by Jond41403 Jond41403 wrote:

My opinion is not worth much but I'm going to give it anyway haha. I personally would not, simply because the fake flip sights are getting better these days and the reason why is because they are obviously following along in real time the same threads we all read and participate in. That has to be the reality otherwise they would just remain the same, easy to spot fakes, but they don't, they get harder to tell. This site probably being one of the main ones they use I would imagine. I'm afraid creating a quick guide to help us newbies would also create a quick guide and speed up progress on the already harder to tell fake sights. Pictures of real sights have always been around but the better fakes have not. That's a sign to me that they are reading every thread in present day, reading the subtleties people are paying attention to to authenticate something and adjusting by the information they read. Just my two cents


Respectfully, I pretty much disagree with most of your statement. The best so called "high quality" flips have been around for 20 years or longer now and have changed during that time. Now, I have seen more of the HQ flips massaged to look older, but they are generally easy to spot even after being messed with. As far as fakers peering in, probably, but let's face it, they're going to do what they do with little internet research and minimal effort because their main concern is to screw people over. Let's not give the scammers too much credit, not many of them sound like brilliant minds from the descriptions they use in their ads. I would suggest anyone wanting to know what a fake looks like just do a quick internet search and you'd be surprised what pops us.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jond41403 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 30 2022 at 8:11pm
Yes I agree that's pretty much what I was talking about is how they're aging them and stuff to look older not necessarily manufacturing them differently. I'm afraid a thread of nothing but fake sights would be minimal effort for them to learn from the mistakes depending on what was said of course. But yes just like you state, fakes have been around for longer than I've been in the game for sure but the finishes and aging and mixing of half repro and half usgi is making it to where it's getting harder for at least me to tell but I'm no expert. It just seems things are sneakier and there's more of them nowadays
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote carbinekid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 30 2022 at 8:22pm
From what I’ve seen, the “best” fakes have not really changed in a number of years. Now I’ve seen those fakes manipulated to look more real, but their base features are the same. And truly, I don’t think it is possible to replicate an original perfectly. The effort that would go into their production would surely out weigh the eventual selling price.

I’m just thinking of this as a PSA thread.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote Rezin777 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 30 2022 at 9:21pm
As a fairly new carbine collector, and someone who has recently bid a large sum on a fake Rockola sight (luckily the seller was kind enough to retract my bid), I have to say that I have given this very topic a lot of thought.

I will admit that I was quite put off by the general tone of the "old timers" when it came to sharing info on fake/real carbine parts. I wrote a lengthy post about it, but never bothered hitting the "post reply" button. I would imagine that having new collectors come into this space would be something that those with knowledge would welcome, being more than happy to pass down what they've learned over the years to those who show a genuine interest. M1 Carbine forums aren't exactly bustling with activity. On the two I frequent, I can typically count the number of new daily posts on one hand. 

I am of the opinion that knowledge like that needs to be shared or it could easily end up lost. I don't know how many of the newer generations really care about weapons from 80 years ago (or history at all for that matter), so when someone comes along showing an interest and seeking information on the subject, the last thing they want to hear is stuff like, "I spent too much money learning this stuff to share it with newbies". If the info is that valuable, start a class and sell it to those willing to pay. I know there are people out there who would pay, because I am one of them. I'd much rather give my money to someone who has spent a lifetime obtaining this information than to unscrupulous vendors one bad purchase at a time.

The picture at the top of this forum states, "Where knowledge meets passion", followed by, "A resource for information about the M1 Carbine and it's variants". What good is all that knowledge if it isn't shared with those who actually want to learn?

I realize there are two sides (or more) to every story, and it can be a pain in the ass to answer the same questions over and over. There is literally a meme about it. LMGTFY. However, that typically applies to stuff that is easily found on the web. I have enough free time, and I know how the internet works, however finding information on real/fake carbine parts (specifically flip sights) is like finding a specific needle in a needle stack. Many of the links to pictures on older threads are dead, and without the pictures, the words don't mean much.

I'm stubborn though, so I save every picture I come across of real flip sights, and have a folder for fakes as well (a bunch of fakes on eBay recently). As far as finding a rockola flip, I'll probably end up getting one by purchasing it attached to a complete carbine.

I don't know if it's this issue (discerning fake parts) specifically or not, but I've sort of drifted away from Carbine collecting and refocused my attention on the Russian AK74 (which will probably eat my money even faster). There are a bunch of Carbines I would like to add to my small collection, but I'm just not confident in my ability to suss out a 100% genuine example.

As far as the idea that the fakers will learn how to "up their game" by reading the threads meant for collectors, well you just need to trust that a collector, someone who is passionate about this topic, will seek out and retain this information far better than someone just looking to make a quick buck. Seriously, there are better ways to make money than faking M1 carbine flip sights. If you get good enough to trick knowledgeable people easily, you can probably make more money elsewhere. The Rockola's I've seen lately are so ridiculously bad that even a "newbie" like me can smell the stink a mile away. If more people are armed with the knowledge to discern between fake and real, the market for fakes will shrink and fewer people will bother trying to sell them. Ignorant buyers will always exist but at least those who are willing to learn will spend their money more carefully. That is a win in my book.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Smokpole Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 30 2022 at 11:27pm
Hate to tell you this, but there are several "vendors" who make a good living selling fake parts. When you buy a repro for ten bucks and sell it for 200, you don't have to sell many in a week to make a good living. And if you really want the information, contact individual collectors directly. Most are willing to help you out or point you to reliable dealers when you contact them directly. As a beginner, I got cheated a number of times by unscrupulous fakers. It hurts to pay premium prices and get junk. Many of us won't put out the information on public forum to help protect the beginners. Keep in mind fakers hurt everybody.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rezin777 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 31 2022 at 7:36am
Originally posted by Smokpole Smokpole wrote:

Hate to tell you this, but there are several "vendors" who make a good living selling fake parts. When you buy a repro for ten bucks and sell it for 200, you don't have to sell many in a week to make a good living.

It's easy to fool the ignorant. Only knowledge will fix ignorance.

Originally posted by Smokpole Smokpole wrote:

And if you really want the information, contact individual collectors directly. Most are willing to help you out or point you to reliable dealers when you contact them directly.

Give a man a fish, feed him for one night...

Originally posted by Smokpole Smokpole wrote:

As a beginner, I got cheated a number of times by unscrupulous fakers. It hurts to pay premium prices and get junk. Many of us won't put out the information on public forum to help protect the beginners. Keep in mind fakers hurt everybody.

I don't know how you can't see the contradiction here. When you didn't have the info, you were fooled. Now that you know, you won't get fooled... but you won't share the info that helps you not get fooled in order to help beginners, who don't have that info to help them not get fooled.

Maybe I'm missing something but I really think that this idea that withholding information somehow helps people is misguided with a touch of arrogance. People with access to knowledge will be more than capable of judging for themselves. The unscrupulous prey upon the ignorant, in all aspects of life.

If it's so lucrative to produce and sell fake flip sights, the fakers can afford plenty of real ones to use as their guides. Why would they even need some pictures or descriptions on the internet?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Why Carbines? Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 31 2022 at 7:59am
For the love of God I don't understand why this place doesn't allow at least some of us, like me, to edit or delete their own content. I shouldn't have to ask a mod to do something that I can do on almost every other site I've ever been on with the exception of Milsurps.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Matt_X Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 31 2022 at 8:37am
The reluctance to post 'how to' is certainly understandable.

A thread with photographs of reprodcutions is a different animal.  These are available on the commercial market. Good photos may not be easily found, either because the retailers see no need or because they are older and not currently sold on-line.

Now who the heck buys repros?  Well lots of people, just not collectors.  The same sort of people who buy current production Auto Ord and 'Inland' reproduction carbines - close enough for their purposes.

The problem is when these repros get passed off as original.  Its a problem for the historical record and its a problem for those who paid good money for a fraud. 

 Its hard to see where there danger lies in posting photos of reproductions in one thread. 
It would be helpful for those who are buying and selling and just don't know better but want to.
They might also help those who are learning understand the basis of at least some fake aged and worked  sights.

The advantage is less repetative queries, where those who know simply tire of answering.
I've been through similar situation on a couple automotive forums.  I've basically stopped even looking, never mind answering.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Jond41403 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 31 2022 at 10:50am
I don't know why people don't like to put in the work anymore to learn, instead want instant gratification or instant answers. People with certain expertise certainly do not want to just give that hard work to get that expertise away for nothing. I'm not even talking about money really, that's where forming friendships and bonds with people on forums become important. It's a closely guarded secret for some no different than any other expert in any other field that had to pay for their education to learn what they know. I am a newbie and I try not to ask questions without doing my own research first. Take M2 disconnector levers for instance, you will not find one place at least I can't on the internet that shows these levers side by side and they're different manufacturers to tell real from fake or the differences between the usgi makers themselves. Instead of asking, I have acquired those levers myself for identification purposes and differences. I have educated myself so to speak, and paid a pretty good chunk of money to do it. I am now very good at identifying usgi or reproduction levers without even seeing the markings and know who makes them just by certain identifying characteristics. I paid for my education. I do not own the whole kit I was just interested in the levers mainly but could find no information on them. I'm not trying to ruffle any feathers I'm just trying to get other newbies like me to understand where the"old timers"are coming from because I completely understand. Try calling Kentucky fried Chicken and asking what their herbs and spices are exactly? Probably wouldn't get a straight answer. Try calling a mechanic and asking him to tell you how to fix your car, odds are he won't tell you unless you personally know him, he'll just tell you to bring it down for him to look at. It's no different with the experts on this forum. Just saying, I don't remember anyone getting frustrated with Bill Rica for not releasing pictures of his items to keep the fakers from copying

Edited by Jond41403 - Oct 31 2022 at 11:12am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rezin777 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 31 2022 at 12:02pm
Originally posted by Jond41403 Jond41403 wrote:

I don't know why people don't like to put in the work anymore to learn, instead want instant gratification or instant answers.

Scouring carbine websites, watching youtube videos, reading threads on the forums, reading the various books on the subject, going to gun shows... these are the types of "work" I would want to do in order to educate myself on parts.

Paying someone authentic amounts of money for fake parts and only learning about that mistake after posting on a forum and having someone point it out for you... not so much.

This is the point entirely. Either the information is available for those who want to learn, or they are left with rolling the dice and hoping for the best with the possible outcome of enriching a scam artist.

New collectors seeking information aren't after instant gratification, they are simply trying to educate themselves so they are better equipped to recognize the real thing.

Yes, there are trade secrets in this world, should identifying authentic pieces of history be one of them?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jond41403 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 31 2022 at 12:13pm
If it were me and I were really truly wanting to learn the ins and outs on flip sights, there are plenty of sellers that sell and describe as reproduction sights. I would buy every reproduction sight that had manufacturing differences that I could see through the pictures from the sellers. I don't know how many different kind or variations of fake sights are out there but I would try to own an example of every fake type and I would then compare them to whatever was being offered up as real to see if those had any similarities to the reproductions you already own with just some kind of fake aging or different finish or even a mixture of real and fake parts. Buying accurately represented reproduction sights would be cheap or at least fairly cheap. You would then have an inventory of what not to buy down the road. To my understanding milling marks and absence of milling marks on some of them are the giveaway but I'm not sure because I am no expert by any means. That's what I would do to start with though because it's the cheapest way to learn and have Hands-On experience. don't get me wrong, I would love to see what a thread like that would produce information wise, but in my opinion it would hurt us in the long runhth
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote carbinekid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 31 2022 at 3:59pm
So the responses have been what I expected. 

I think I’m just going to go ahead and start the thread. No one is going to die and I have extreme doubts it will do anything to impact the production of fake sights. At the end of the day this place is a resource and this kind of info has been kept in the shadows or withheld to private messages. 

A point was made that I’ve recognized and have seen play out. New collectors get turned off by the perceived good old boys club of knowledge and by getting burned with fake parts and humped carbines. The result is those folks seem to abandon this collecting niche or at a minimum leave the forums. Helping to remove this hazard can only help the hobby grow.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jond41403 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 31 2022 at 4:16pm
Just to be clear, I certainly do not and cannot speak for the experts on here. I'm just going by the statements I have already read from the past of how they feel.the only ones that have really responded to this thread are me(farthest thing from an expert you can find) and maybe two other people so not really enough comments to make a conclusion really. If you truly wanted to know the consensus you would have to leave the question up for a couple weeks to give everyone adequate time to read and comment I would imagine.The real question is,will it get expert participation? Even this thread talking about putting up another thread hasn't even gotten much expert attention, but like I commented earlier, they may not have had time. For it to truly work you would have to have everyone's Free Will input. I am certainly not in the good old boys club of knowledge because I'm not an expert at all of anything haha. I'm like a jack of all trades, the master of none haha. I wish you luck and I hope your efforts are fruitful because like I said earlier, I would love to have a cheat sheet myself haha and if one ends up on this forum, of course I'm going to copy it down and learn from it because it's there.

Edited by Jond41403 - Oct 31 2022 at 4:36pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rebel92 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 31 2022 at 5:27pm

I agree with both sides. It is closely held information, but based on some of the excellent fake stock stamps I have seen, It may be warranted. I am still by no means an expert or even close to it , but I have been fortunate enough to contact a few “good ole boys” who have been helpful.  Some want to continue the good of the collector community, but it does seem a few will “give you a fish” instead of “teaching” you to fish.. I probably have 50-100 pictures on my phone now of real flip sights (even more pictures of stock stamps). I even keep pictures of fakes found online, but I make sure to mark them as such. I have only been collecting carbines for 2 years, but have hit it hard. 


Type in “Serial Number spreadsheet” in the search bar at the top, and follow the link to the spreadsheet. You will find lots of nice carbines with original flip sights there.


Good rule of thumb, if a dealer has a flip sight from every manufacturer, they are fake haha I have only ever had to buy one flip sight, and got beyond lucky. A fellow forum member had the exact one I needed, and it was the only one he had and it’s finish is 10/10 match for my inland (it was meant to be haha)


. I look at eBay each day, and cannot recall the last time I saw an authentic flip sight on there. Unless I am assuming they are all fake (I am VERY SKEPTICAL)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jond41403 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 31 2022 at 6:19pm
That's the key rebel, you are doing great. You are learning the correct way and believe me, you will learn a lot more the way you are doing it by putting the work in and talking and getting to know people then you would by someone just handing you an easy peasy answer. Plus you can make awesome great friends along the way! What's better than that? I'm not saying anyone here has demanded answers or anything but I have read where new people do come on on another forum and basically demand answers, some of them plum rudely, and I completely understand why a lot of the big names and people in the know no longer even comment.I have noticed some of them haven't even commented in years and that is a detrimental loss to the club in my opinion
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Smokpole Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 31 2022 at 7:50pm
Let's add some detail to the question...The originals do not all look the same. Details of sight pin staking vary. There are 3 types. Milling marks can vary as well. The shape of the base may be different depending on who made it and when. Markings on the sights differ as well by size, spacing location, characteristics of the letter stampings, etc.... What I am trying to get across is that you could literally write a book on real sights. Even things like aperture size and height differ between real and repro sights. Even sights that were used by the same company at the same time may show variations. Trying to post pictures of what is real and what is faked would undoubtedly leave out many variations of real sights or combinations of parts. Now add in the transfer, documented and undocumented of sight to other producers and you begin to understand the complexity of the issue. It can boggle the mind.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Matt_X Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 27 2022 at 12:26pm
David Albert's lecture from 2010 is an excellent example of how this problem could be tackled. 
See here.

It addresses legitimate uses of replicas and reproductions, along with some guidance on how to recognize misrepresentations whether purposeful or accidental.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote David Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 27 2022 at 1:37pm
Originally posted by Rezin777 Rezin777 wrote:

As a fairly new carbine collector, and someone who has recently bid a large sum on a fake Rockola sight (luckily the seller was kind enough to retract my bid), I have to say that I have given this very topic a lot of thought.

I will admit that I was quite put off by the general tone of the "old timers" when it came to sharing info on fake/real carbine parts. I wrote a lengthy post about it, but never bothered hitting the "post reply" button. I would imagine that having new collectors come into this space would be something that those with knowledge would welcome, being more than happy to pass down what they've learned over the years to those who show a genuine interest. M1 Carbine forums aren't exactly bustling with activity. On the two I frequent, I can typically count the number of new daily posts on one hand. 

I am of the opinion that knowledge like that needs to be shared or it could easily end up lost. I don't know how many of the newer generations really care about weapons from 80 years ago (or history at all for that matter), so when someone comes along showing an interest and seeking information on the subject, the last thing they want to hear is stuff like, "I spent too much money learning this stuff to share it with newbies". If the info is that valuable, start a class and sell it to those willing to pay. I know there are people out there who would pay, because I am one of them. I'd much rather give my money to someone who has spent a lifetime obtaining this information than to unscrupulous vendors one bad purchase at a time.

The picture at the top of this forum states, "Where knowledge meets passion", followed by, "A resource for information about the M1 Carbine and it's variants". What good is all that knowledge if it isn't shared with those who actually want to learn?

I realize there are two sides (or more) to every story, and it can be a pain in the ass to answer the same questions over and over. There is literally a meme about it. LMGTFY. However, that typically applies to stuff that is easily found on the web. I have enough free time, and I know how the internet works, however finding information on real/fake carbine parts (specifically flip sights) is like finding a specific needle in a needle stack. Many of the links to pictures on older threads are dead, and without the pictures, the words don't mean much.

I'm stubborn though, so I save every picture I come across of real flip sights, and have a folder for fakes as well (a bunch of fakes on eBay recently). As far as finding a rockola flip, I'll probably end up getting one by purchasing it attached to a complete carbine.

I don't know if it's this issue (discerning fake parts) specifically or not, but I've sort of drifted away from Carbine collecting and refocused my attention on the Russian AK74 (which will probably eat my money even faster). There are a bunch of Carbines I would like to add to my small collection, but I'm just not confident in my ability to suss out a 100% genuine example.

As far as the idea that the fakers will learn how to "up their game" by reading the threads meant for collectors, well you just need to trust that a collector, someone who is passionate about this topic, will seek out and retain this information far better than someone just looking to make a quick buck. Seriously, there are better ways to make money than faking M1 carbine flip sights. If you get good enough to trick knowledgeable people easily, you can probably make more money elsewhere. The Rockola's I've seen lately are so ridiculously bad that even a "newbie" like me can smell the stink a mile away. If more people are armed with the knowledge to discern between fake and real, the market for fakes will shrink and fewer people will bother trying to sell them. Ignorant buyers will always exist but at least those who are willing to learn will spend their money more carefully. That is a win in my book.


Amen, brother!

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