View Full Version : Sghting in a 2 in bbl SW? Bend the bbl?
June 28, 2005, 02:08 AM
I have two SW ,38 2 inch bbl one old steel one new titanium.
One shoots left and the other to the right.
Is there a way to change the sights or to bend the barrels to get them closer to where the sights indicate.
June 28, 2005, 02:41 AM
Kentucky windage. My first instinct is to match a revolver to each eye. Really though, there are some who file the front sights to better mate up with their eyes and some simply file the rear sight wider to correct a left-right drift. Single actions are known for their fixed sights and they are adjustable with a file too. I do suggest that you try to adjust your aim and sight in again. There is not a multitude of choices.
June 28, 2005, 06:36 AM
Or you could move the target to fit?
June 28, 2005, 07:52 AM
June 28, 2005, 09:10 AM
Ask S&W first.
June 28, 2005, 09:11 AM
No, you don't bend the barrel.
There's a couple of ways to deal with this. You don't say how much off the sights are, but...
1. Change your loads, and find one that offers the performance you want but shoots more to point of aim.
2. File the rear sight groove to move the point of impact.
3. Bend (GENTLY) the front sight to move the point of impact.
4. File the front sight to move the point of impact.
June 28, 2005, 09:20 AM
As the happy owner of my first revolver, I've run into the same issue with my new-for-me Smith 37, but let me make sure I have all this straight...
>1. Change your loads, and find one that offers the performance
> you want but shoots more to point of aim.
> 2. File the rear sight groove to move the point of impact.
Hmmm. To move the point of impact left, I should file the left inside edge of the rear sight groove. Correct?
> 3. Bend (GENTLY) the front sight to move the point of impact.
Again, to move the point of impact left, I should bend (gently :)) the front sight to the left. Correct?
> 4. File the front sight to move the point of impact.
I don't even want to think about that.
June 28, 2005, 09:21 AM
Lorenzo - how much do they shoot left and right respectively? What is the target distance you are using? How did you determine that they do, indeed, shoot left and right, by firing them off hand or by using a pistol rest?
dbuffington - To move the point of aim on almost any iron sighted firearm, you move the rear sight in the same direction you want the POA to go and/or move the front sight in the opposite direction.
So for #2, no, you would enlarge the left side of the groove and favor the right side when aiming. For #3, yes, you would bend the front blade to the right. You should try the "bend the front" first as it is easier to do and creates a more accurate sight picture. For a really bad case a combination of both methods might be necessary.
All in all, Sir William's "Kentucky Windage" method is probably still the best answer for small aiming problems.
June 28, 2005, 10:05 AM
Actually, it was (and still may be) a standard factory authorized practice to take a babbit to a barrel occasionally to change POI. Not the first choice, but it does work in cases where it may be indicated.
June 28, 2005, 10:48 AM
Don't you have those sight movements backwards? You move the rear sight IN the direction you want the shot to move and move the front sight in the OPPOSITE direction. Thus to move bullet impact left, you move the rear sight to the left OR move the front sight to the right.
Good shooting and be safe.
June 28, 2005, 11:31 AM
Use KY windage or move the target. :) What if you sell or trade. Might be all screwed up for next person :rolleyes:
June 28, 2005, 11:35 AM
Yeah, Mal has it backwards (happens to the best of us).
You move the rear sight in the same direction you want the impact point to go. This means that you file the inside edge that you want the impact point to move to.
You bend the front sight opposite of the direction you wish the impact to go.
June 28, 2005, 11:44 AM
Is this model a SA? or DA? I have a 605s taurus and the trigger is like 10 lbs or so...maybe heavier...
If I dont pull the trigger slowly the point of impact is about 3 - 4 inches off to the left.
June 28, 2005, 12:09 PM
Is there a way to change the sights or to bend the barrels to get them closer to where the sights indicate.
WTFO?? :eek: :eek:
You never bend the barrel on any firearm, unless you are trying to blow up the gun - and yourself. Try different loads - you will eventually find one that shoots to point of aim.
A snubbie is a close quarters weapon. Point of bullet impact is not really an issue. If you can put the bullets in an area the size of a 4"x6" file card at 15 to 20 feet, the gun is capable of performing as intended.
June 28, 2005, 12:26 PM
2" SNUBBIE ?? A close parking lot gun at best. I say this because most threats will come at very close range. Fixed sights ? Learn where it shoots and practice within the parameters of 5-7 yards. Only in the movies is a 50 yard shot made with a snubbie....
June 28, 2005, 01:58 PM
Yes, I did have it backwards. (Thanks Mike, for correcting me.)
Good thing I didn't try to adjust any fixed sights while my brain was turned around backwards. :)
(Fortunately, I've always gotten the concept right when the file meets the metal.)
June 28, 2005, 06:05 PM
DPris is right. Using a 'babbit bar' is an old, old gunsmith practice. Trust me, you don't want to watch while a 'smith whacks a pristine SSA Colt, but they do it. There is SO much dis information online..............
Check this link:
June 28, 2005, 08:36 PM
That's the BIG qualifier right there, folks.
No one said that using a babbit bar to change the point of impact on a handgun has never happened.
But, just for a second, let's be realistic.
Is this something you REALLY want to try yourself? How good are your gunsmithing skills?
Mine are probably better than most, and I'd NEVER attempt this with any of my firearms.
Because there are BETTER options available for the average joe sixpack handgun owner.
But, if you feel the need to start whanging willy nilly on the barrel of your handgun as a FIRST resort, instead of trying the more logical approach of a different load, more power to you.
June 29, 2005, 06:17 PM
I agree completly Mike. As they say on TV: "kids, don't try this at home"
June 29, 2005, 08:04 PM
Well, an interesting night in which I learned something...
I'm a lousy shot.
Shooting the Smith in double-action mode is especially embarassing.
The ammo DOES make a difference.
Tried three different Winchester types and one Hornaday (125 gr. JHP/XTP) from a rest at 50 feet. One Winchester was constantly high and right. The other was just high. The third (WinClean) was a bit high, but five shot strings would scatter over a six or seven inch diameter circle.
The Hornaday was in the black, constantly. I love it, well, except for the price.
June 30, 2005, 02:33 PM
I have a 2 1/2 inch Model 66-2 that is all tuned up and blasted with a combat finish. I know it will kill a perp at 3 yards. That is what it was made to do. Mine has adjustable sights with a red ramp on the front. It has been in the family for 10 years and I never even thought of sighting it in. I have other guns that do 3/4ths of an inch at 25 yards. Ditto the KW (Kentucky Windage). And try some different loads in it.
June 30, 2005, 05:54 PM
Grips can also make a big difference. Pick up a Tyler T and try it. Your hand on the grip also makes a huge difference, if you don't grip it with a consistent index the groups will move around on the target.
June 30, 2005, 07:01 PM
First, I don't recommend bending barrels to get fixed sights to point to the right place, but I did it. I used a Babbit bar or a 5 pound lead hammer as appropriate. On Colts, though, it is easier to screw the barrel in/out to adjust the front sight, and that is what the Colt factory does to this day on revolvers.
On S&W snubbies, though, bending a barrel is very hard to do without bending the frame, so I will endorse the other suggestions.
But, "never bend the barrel on any firearm, unless you are trying to blow up the gun - and yourself."? Why? How would a bent barrel cause a gun to blow up? Sorry, but bending barrels is less common now than it used to be, due to better machining, but factories once did it all the time, and it is still done on M16 type rifles. Of course, they call it "straightening" the barrel, but it is the same thing.
July 1, 2005, 01:05 PM
Not to be too picky, Jim, but perhaps "Twisting" would be a better word for doing this. I have smacked a few , too with my babbit bar, but do not recommend it. The barrel can be "Twisted" to the right or the left to change the sight picture, but only if it is easy to do. Pinned barrels are a problem for this fix and on a belly gun, I would leave it alone. Those cracked frames are hard to fix.
July 1, 2005, 07:52 PM
not sure how much you are off...but you will likely not be shooting bullseye much with the 2 inch anyway...if you can keep all in a saucer size area at 10-15 paces, be happy and adjust your point of aim to suit the point of impact.
You may find it performs better with a certain brand or bullet weight ammunition.
July 3, 2005, 01:19 AM
Gosh lots of information.
The gun is an S/W 637. Steel and Aluminum. Winchester 150 gr. loads were tested in single action fire from a bench rest with my hands rested on table.
After reading the responses I have taken a critical look and the barrel is a tube held in the frame by ? Friction?
Also the front sight seems canted with respect to the rear sight. If this is the case would the factory fix it?
July 3, 2005, 10:33 AM
The barrel is threaded into the frame.
If the front sight is canted S&W will probably fix it. Give them a call.
July 3, 2005, 12:25 PM
The barrels are not rotated on correctly, that is possible. I have seen plenty of barrels either not cranked on all the way or cranked on over center. On fixed sight revolvers you can change the windage by rotating the barrel on the frame further. If you need to you can do what is called a set back. You can remove the barrel, turn the shoulder back, and rotate the barrel on less or further depending on how much material you remove from the shoulder. This can also give you a chance to fit the cylinder gap a little tighter than factory for a little extra velocity. I hope this has made a little sense anyway, LOL!
July 3, 2005, 02:04 PM
I would send it back to the factory if it bothers you this much with a detailed letter explaining the problem and let them fix it for you. There are very few smiths I would trust with this kind of work. I know that Jack could do it, but I think the factory would, too. I just do this kind of work now for my own amazement. I gave away most of my S&W revolver tools years ago.
July 3, 2005, 02:33 PM
"2" SNUBBIE ?? A close parking lot gun at best. I say this because most threats will come at very close range. Fixed sights ? Learn where it shoots and practice within the parameters of 5-7 yards. Only in the movies is a 50 yard shot made with a snubbie...."
I agree that the 2" guns are not as easy to use farther out, AND that the intention is for a close range gun. However, to dismiss them as close range guns ONLY is a mistake. Because the shooter doesnt take the time and effort to get to know them well enough to do good work with them father out does not mean the guns are not capable of doing good work farther out. Accept your own limitations, but please dont infer the guns are not capable. Even with a bit of Kentucky Windage, I've been able to make hits on a 2' square steel plate @ 200 yards with a 2" Centennial. I would have no qualms about trying a 50 yard shot with that particular gun if it seemed necesarry.The guns are quite capable.
Turning the barrel is the proper way to correct windage problems. It is fairly simple to do for one with the proper tools.
(just realized after posting that I hadn't read the second page, and rotating the barrel was covered)
July 3, 2005, 02:49 PM
Steve Margaret was a freakishly excellent shot.
The rest of us have to settle for the fact that we are not going to get target accuracy from a snub.
My inclination has always been to completely remove the sights for a more streamline package, haven't done it but I am inclined to.
July 4, 2005, 04:00 PM
Now we are getting somewhere. I will shoot again measure everything and call S/W.
I should have provided the model no. in the first post.
For those who came in with off topic general opinions the writer:
Broke 25 trap targets out of 25, yesterday using an 1100 Remington that has a rib but no sights.
Was a Criminal Investigaor in Germany 1946-48.
In 1946 took about twenty 1911s to a range and shot them until one shot where the sights indicated. Carried that one everywhere for over two years. Due to the "Ike Jacket" was never made.
Was in several tense situations; but no shots fired. Prevented one shooting by pushing his partners gunhand up in the air, telling him we can catch this guy, and proceeded to catch him. Actually Germany was pretty calm those years and this "criminal" had not done anything serious.
Does not like guns that don't shoot where they look. Even a "snubbie" should shoot as well as the holder can shoot. This particular snubbie has a smooth trigger pull when hand cocked.
Has read about Ed Mcgivern. Suggests putting Ed McGivern in Google.
July 6, 2005, 10:58 AM
"Also the front sight seems canted with respect to the rear sight. If this is the case would the factory fix it?"
Welcome to the new Smith & Wesson.
Some years ago I was keeping track of how many S&W revolvers had a canted front sight, a "pressure ring" in the bore from being screwed into the frame FAR too tight, or both.
It was running between 30 to 40%. It got so depressing that I quit looking.
July 6, 2005, 10:18 PM
Long ago Winchester sighted their rifles in at 100 yds.
1955: I was handed a Winchester rifle by a Native American , Duffy Tyone, a friend at Cantwell Alaska to drop a Caribou at some 350 yds.
This was meat for his family, it was a surprise opportuity!
I assumed that the gun was sighted in by Winchester at 100 yards, and held appropriatly hitting a large Caribou three times.
I truly understand that S/W may screw the barrel in "mas o menos" or whatever and let it go for the buyer to correct. It would cost at least another $50 to shoot and check the impact and that could result in fewer sales making the revover a failure as few revovor owners care about the sight setting for fixed sights as several posts to this site have pointed out.
The later posts recognized the situation and I Now have the info to reach a solution.
Lorenzo----------WWII 3 point Vet.
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