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Old February 24, 2014, 11:31 AM   #1
happymachinist
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Broken front sight...is this common?

So last week a buddy and I were out shooting. About 70 rounds in to the morning I noticed the front sight on my Browning Hi Power (40 S&W) looked cocked a tad to the right side.
Puzzled I pinched it between my thumb and index to see if it was lose and it came off in my fingers without any effort. Had the wind been blowing it would have probably fallen off with the preceding shot.

My question is has this ever happened to anyone? I've never dropped it but I did buy it used. Could the previous owner have damaged the sight in some way or could it simply be metal fatigue?

I got a new one ordered and "slid" in this weekend so I should be good to go again. Just curious to hear other peoples experiences.

Pics never hurt


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Old February 24, 2014, 11:39 AM   #2
Hal
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The one on my 9mm Silver Chrome snapped off just like that.
Browning replaced it under warranty/
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Old February 24, 2014, 11:51 AM   #3
DaleA
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Even happens to Ruger's:
http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=526661

Nice looking handgun. How do you like it in .40? Have you shot the 9mm version?
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Old February 24, 2014, 01:34 PM   #4
Hunter Customs
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Most likely MIM parts.

Best Regards
Bob Hunter
www.huntercustoms.com
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Old February 24, 2014, 02:36 PM   #5
James K
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Nope, milled steel does the same thing. It was/is common on .45 target pistols with high front sights, and I have replaced many. It is our old friend, Mr. Newton, hard at work again. The slide of a pistol gets into motion pretty quickly and stops just as rapidly. The tendency, old Isaac says, is for a body at rest (the sight) to remain at rest and a body in motion (the sight again) to remain in motion. So the sudden start and stop of the slide tend to break the sight if it is heavy enough to have significant momentum.

That didn't happen with the original 1911 or BHP sights that were small and light.

Jim
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Old February 24, 2014, 03:00 PM   #6
RickB
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The latest thing isn't necessarily the greatest thing. Allen-head grip screws are all the rage, but they leave very little material where the head, shaft and hole come together, so the head can be relatively easily twisted off.
Likewise, the dovetail front sight doesn't leave a whole lot of material where the sight joins with the dovetail, and there's a 90-degree corner on both sides, so that doesn't seem as strong as some other, less-popular mounting systems.
I've read of a few front-sight failures on the sorta-new Ruger 1911s on 1911forum, but don't know if it's out of proportion to their market share.
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Old February 24, 2014, 05:01 PM   #7
happymachinist
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Quote:
Nice looking handgun. How do you like it in .40? Have you shot the 9mm version?
Thanks, I like it, my only complaint I have with it is it fails to chamber sometimes. I clean after every outing and rarely shoot more than 200 rnds. I haven't shot a 9mm Hi Power but would like to.



Quote:
Nope, milled steel does the same thing. It was/is common on .45 target pistols with high front sights, and I have replaced many. It is our old friend, Mr. Newton, hard at work again. The slide of a pistol gets into motion pretty quickly and stops just as rapidly. The tendency, old Isaac says, is for a body at rest (the sight) to remain at rest and a body in motion (the sight again) to remain in motion. So the sudden start and stop of the slide tend to break the sight if it is heavy enough to have significant momentum.

That didn't happen with the original 1911 or BHP sights that were small and light.
This makes perfect sense and is along the lines of my initial thoughts but I still thought I'd ask. I am by no means an engineer but have a decent understanding of certain types of physics. A larger heavier front sight would take more force to get moving or stop it, and would exert more force at the junction of the dovetail whether it be being put into motion or coming to its abrupt stop.



Quote:
Likewise, the dovetail front sight doesn't leave a whole lot of material where the sight joins with the dovetail, and there's a 90-degree corner on both sides, so that doesn't seem as strong as some other, less-popular mounting systems.
That's no joke. a small radius where the sight joins the dovetail would definitely be more robust but make the sight more costly to manufacture if it is milled from a solid piece.


Thanks for the insight.
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