The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > The Smithy

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old February 19, 1999, 01:12 PM   #1
swingcatt
Member
 
Join Date: January 14, 1999
Posts: 25
My my my, I'm just full of 1911 questions aren't I? Here's my latest...

I have a '70 Series Gov't Model with fixed sights. The gun shoots dead on at 25yrds and I like it that way. The only problem I have is that sight pick-up is really poor, so I would like to improve that w/o putting new sights on it. Anyone got any ideas on how to do this?

The obvious way would be to slap some paint on the sights and go with that, but allthough I have done that on other firearms, I would rather not do that in this case. Has anyone tried drilling indentations in the sights and filling those with something? Any ideas are welcome...

TIA, -SCatt
swingcatt is offline  
Old February 19, 1999, 08:22 PM   #2
Jim V
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 31, 1999
Location: SE Michigan - USA
Posts: 4,038
How tall is your front sight? Is the factory little dinky thing or is it of a larger size? If it is the original factory sight, I don't think there is much you can do. If the sight is around .187" tall, take the slide to a jewler or gun engraver and have him make a series of cuts in the sight and fill them with gold. The gold will pick up light evenly, will not tarnish and looks classy. Brass is the same color but it seems to pick up up light unevenly and it tarnishes. Silver does not seem to work very well either.

------------------
Ne Conjuge Nobiscum
Jim V is offline  
Old February 20, 1999, 01:27 AM   #3
Grayfox
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 17, 1998
Posts: 1,885
You might try opening up the notch in the rear sight just abit. This allows more light on either side of the front sight making it easier to see. Careful, a little goes a long way.
Grayfox is offline  
Old February 20, 1999, 03:40 AM   #4
HS
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 11, 1998
Location: Brisbane.....Australia
Posts: 1,258
Darn, Grayfox beat me to the rear site bit...Another option is to use a spring loaded centre punch on the front site, then use an engraver to "drill" a hole - can be done to the rear as well. Fill in with liquid paper & presto " I can see"

------------------
"The Gun from Down Under !"

HS is offline  
Old February 20, 1999, 09:36 AM   #5
George Stringer
Staff Alumnus
 
Join Date: October 12, 1998
Location: Earlington KY
Posts: 2,299
Swingcat, all these guys have given you good ideas and all will help the sights a little. But, for no more than it costs, I'd go with a high visibility sight set like MGW. Front and rear sell for about $28, add about $10 to install and your shooting. They're the standard fixed sight in my shop. George
George Stringer is offline  
Old February 2, 2005, 11:28 AM   #6
Harry Bonar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 5, 2004
Location: In the Vincent, Ohio general area.
Posts: 1,804
re-sights

Dear Shooter:
I've changed my mind about sights on a defensive combat handgun, especially 1911 and clones. I used to want night-sights on all my handguns (semi-autos') After experience the LAST thing I want on a defensive handgun are sights with dots, epoxy or tritium, on front and rear.
I take a perfectly good Novak lo-mount, run through the rear notch with a 3/8" ball end mill and make what I call a "ghost ring" sight, black in the back and on the front, a white or tritium dot with white outline around the tritium. Tritium is good if you can also see it in daytime - at night, after you've identified the bad guy, front sight, front-sight, front sight!
The last thing I want at 69 are a bunch of dots to line up, taking PRECIOUS time from my shot! The ghost ring is only good for our supposed 7 yard senario; past that, especially on a P-12 (which I often carry) you need that rear notch!
The best sights you can have on a combat 45 are FIXED, sighted in at 25 yards.
Also, I tend to carry "hard-ball" the year round now; hollow points tend to fill up with coat and jacket material in winter and act like hard-ball rounds. In summer, if you must carry a golden saber, or hydro-shock. That Golden Saber is a mean bugger! On airliners Glaser is real good.
Sorry for rambling on and on and on!!! We are finding that "gun-fight" ranges are increasing in range!
A tip. Works most of time Most bad guys can't shoot for &%^&*%. When they reach for gun, step to left as you draw; they hopefully will flinch low and to the left! Worked so far; things go very, very fast! Harry

Last edited by Harry Bonar; February 2, 2005 at 11:33 AM. Reason: text
Harry Bonar is offline  
Old February 2, 2005, 11:42 AM   #7
Dave Sample
Junior member
 
Join Date: December 10, 2004
Location: Prescott, AZ
Posts: 1,002
Harry is 69 and I am 72+. I agree with him completely, but what do we know? My last duty weapon was a 1927 Systima remodeled to my specs. It had tritium sights front and rear by Meprolite that fit the standard dovetail. It was very comforting to see those two little beady eyes in my holster at 0200 on Graveyard Shift.
I have a 1911 GI LW that has a Wilson Front tritium just because it was here in the Junk Box. It also has a black four way Caspian on the rear with no dots. It is a work in progress as I may want to retire my 1954 LW Commander that I carry daily.
Harry, old age and treachery will outwit youth and skill every time! I can't hit anything with dot sights and I do not worry about it. In a gunfight, you never see them. I think everyone should get what they want and can afford.
Dave Sample is offline  
Old February 4, 2005, 11:17 AM   #8
Harry Bonar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 5, 2004
Location: In the Vincent, Ohio general area.
Posts: 1,804
re DAVE SAMPLES

Dear Dave:
RIGHT ON.
Harry Bonar is offline  
Old February 4, 2005, 11:47 AM   #9
Jim Watson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 25, 2001
Location: Alabama
Posts: 11,069
I don't understand why you are reluctant to paint your sights as you say you have others. It is cheap and not permanent. Everybody else's ideas are permanent and some are expensive. Look at what is available and be sure you are buying something you will like. In the meantime, you can be messing around with different paint colors and patterns.
Jim Watson is online now  
Old February 5, 2005, 01:14 PM   #10
Dave Sample
Junior member
 
Join Date: December 10, 2004
Location: Prescott, AZ
Posts: 1,002
Right on Jim. I think that there is an abundance of great sight paint out there now. Teddy painted a front sight for Dean's PATRIOT 10 and it helped him a lot. I tried three dot sights, I tried Atomic sights, I have painted sights, but sadly, the only thing that works for me is black on black. Maybe it's because I have green eyes!
Dave Sample is offline  
Old February 7, 2005, 01:28 PM   #11
RickB
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 1, 2000
Location: Western WA
Posts: 5,697
To improve the sight picture on my S80 Colt, I merely deepened the rear notch. The sights already had white dots all over them, and after removing the rear ones, I thought it looked pretty good. Really, what I'd like is a narrower front sight, .100", but maybe a vertical gold stripe, applied to the stock sight would do the trick. I find that the width of the front makes precise shots difficult, since the sight is as wide or wider than the target. A center stripe might make it easier to find the center, without having to go to altogether different sights.
RickB is offline  
Old February 7, 2005, 02:08 PM   #12
Dave Sample
Junior member
 
Join Date: December 10, 2004
Location: Prescott, AZ
Posts: 1,002


Here is a neat one for Dean's latest '70 Series Colt.



Coupled with a Diamond Shaped Ghost Ring Rear Adjustable, it makes a neat sight picture.



Compliments of Caspian Arms at the Shot Show.
Dave Sample is offline  
Old February 10, 2005, 09:39 PM   #13
Harry Bonar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 5, 2004
Location: In the Vincent, Ohio general area.
Posts: 1,804
re-sights

Dear Shooter:
I'll try to post a picture of my P-12 "ghost ring sight."
Attached Images
File Type: jpg POTO0005.JPG (95.1 KB, 142 views)
File Type: jpg POTO0011.JPG (90.1 KB, 135 views)

Last edited by Harry Bonar; February 10, 2005 at 09:44 PM. Reason: wrong picture
Harry Bonar is offline  
Old February 11, 2005, 12:44 AM   #14
BillCA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 28, 2004
Location: Silicon Valley, Ca
Posts: 7,087
My simple solution is to go to Brownell's web page, search for sight paint and spend $14.95 for 5 colors. Degrease your front sight and use a toothpick (not brush!) to daub a little paint on the front sight's rearward edge. Use an old business card to protect the sides of the sights or remove "spillage". Let dry. Try it. If you don't like it, you can remove it and try another color.

Use one color for the front sight -- white or green say -- and a different color for the rear, like red, so your eye picks up the front sight easier. Personally, I find you don't really need paint on the rear sight if you can see the front one.
__________________
BillCA in CA (Unfortunately)
BillCA is offline  
Old February 11, 2005, 01:23 AM   #15
mikikanazawa
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 26, 2004
Posts: 449
Hey Harry, thanks for posting the pic! I envisioned what you were talking about (the ball-nose end mill) but the pic was great confirmation anyway.

Is there a reason you don't use regular centercutting mills to make a square notch? I had the same idea you're using, except with a regular square-cut mill to make the notch bigger, but keeping it "notchy."
mikikanazawa is offline  
Old February 11, 2005, 02:13 AM   #16
Dave Sample
Junior member
 
Join Date: December 10, 2004
Location: Prescott, AZ
Posts: 1,002
Harry will love it when he knows I built a dozen Ghost Ring sights years ago with Don Williams and that I had a Ghost Ring Bo-Mar on a custom gun I built for one of my Deputy partners 10 years ago. They went nowhere so I gave up on them. Glad to see Harry carrying on! I like them.
Dave Sample is offline  
Old February 11, 2005, 08:43 AM   #17
Harry Bonar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 5, 2004
Location: In the Vincent, Ohio general area.
Posts: 1,804
re-DAVE SAMPLES

Dear Dave:
Dave, like Solomon said, "there is no new thing under the sun." You, know - we all learn as we go along; I'm learning just by being on the Forum! I think there are a fine bunch of Smiths on the forum
Harry Bonar is offline  
Old February 12, 2005, 12:07 AM   #18
BillCA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 28, 2004
Location: Silicon Valley, Ca
Posts: 7,087
I like that "Ghost ring sight" Dave Sample posted, it looks intriguing.

Some years ago I damaged the rear sight on a pistol and a gunsmith had a replacement with a narrow notch. I asked if he could widen it and he did using an "inverted V" pattern. With the green dot sight paint on the front sight it was incredibly fast to pick up the alignment. I think someone made one commercially that was similar to this, but I don't recall the name.

Here's a crude illustration of the sight picture.

The narrow top allows for precise vertical alignment and the wide angle allows you to quickly see if the sight is left/right of center. Ever seen a sight like this one?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg OmegaNotch.jpg (3.6 KB, 97 views)
__________________
BillCA in CA (Unfortunately)
BillCA is offline  
Old February 12, 2005, 12:40 AM   #19
Dave Sample
Junior member
 
Join Date: December 10, 2004
Location: Prescott, AZ
Posts: 1,002
I agree, Harry. We all try to out do each other and the public has gotten the benefit from our little ego trips. This is a neat Forum and the best one I have ever posted on. I hope they will let me continue to play on this cellar door! Some of us never settle for Mediorcity.
Dave Sample is offline  
Old February 12, 2005, 11:30 AM   #20
Archie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 26, 2000
Location: Hastings, Nebrasksa - the Heartland!
Posts: 2,096
I have had the same problem.

My solution:

Check out Brownell's website. They have replacement sights for 1911s that are essentially the same as the issue sight, but taller and wider, therefore easier to pick up.

The rear sight slides in and out with a little discrete tapping, the front sight must be yanked and the new one re-staked. You can do it at home, but it's easier with proper staking equipment.

And I agree with the good visibility fixed sight program. I've used that system for some thirty years now, a decent 45 with hardball will hit a sillouette target out to 100 yards with good fixed sights. For competition, one might demand more, but not for real life.
__________________
There ain't no free lunch, except Jesus.
Archie

Check out updated journal at http://oldmanmontgomery.wordpress.com/
Archie is offline  
Old March 15, 2008, 11:00 AM   #21
primlantah
Registration in progress
 
Join Date: November 2, 2007
Posts: 110
Harry and Dave,

you dont have to be old timers to benefit from no dot. There was an old guy at the range one night giving me some pointers. He told me exactly what yall said about dots. I let him blacken my front sight post and my sight picture improved(and im 23 with good vision). The old guy was right on the money.
primlantah is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:24 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.11488 seconds with 8 queries