View Full Version : Replacing front sight on new S&W revolver, how hard?

October 20, 2007, 01:07 PM
I just bought a S&W 617 revolver and I was thinking of replacing the front sight with a light gathering fiber optic sight. The job entails punching out a small pin. Should that present any problem? Does the new sight come pre-drilled?

October 20, 2007, 01:23 PM
If it is designed for your gun model, it should come pre-drilled. The pins nowadays are usually roll pins, which are a split tube of spring metal designed to grip the sides of the hole. There are special punches made for roll pins that have a small rounded center that fits inside the hole to prevent deforming the edges of the pin. You may want to get one of these if you don't want to have to get a replacement pin every time you change the sight. They also make it easier to start a roll pin into place because they don't slip off of it.

October 20, 2007, 01:41 PM
Thanks. Where would I get a special punch like that? And where would I get a replacement pin if I need it - preferably not at an exorbitant price?

October 20, 2007, 01:55 PM
I got a set of the punches on Commercial Row at Camp Perry one year. The brand name is Oldforge. You might try searching the web for that? I may have got them from Fulton Armory, but don't recall? Check Brownells, too.

Roll pins are available from any machine shop supplier, but I expect Brownells will have the exact one. Numrich may well stock them, too. Make sure your sight doesn't come with one before you go to the effort.

October 20, 2007, 01:58 PM
Thanks again!

October 21, 2007, 12:47 AM
It may vary by brand, but the SDM made front sight I used to replace my pinned in sight on my S&W 686 didn't come pre-drilled. It fit so tight in the slot for it that I pressed it in using my vise and I didn't bother to drill and pin it in. It has held so far. I have read, if you are installing the pin, to drill it halfway thru from each side of the barrel to avoid popping out the opposite side offcenter. My original sight was really tight in the slot as well and I also had to use the vise, padded of course, to grip the sight and pull it out.

October 21, 2007, 01:53 AM
Of course you could take it to your gunwrench and have it done for $20 and not have to buy a punch, a vise, a roll pin kit....:)

WildidontchangemyownoileitherAlaska TM

October 21, 2007, 07:28 AM
You will need a .050 dia cup tip starter punch(080-620-005). and then use the longer cup tip punch(080-620-006) once the solid pin is started. You will also need to find a drill (.054 or .055 drill bit)bit close to the pin dia. This is not an easy task if you want to do it correctly (hardest is re drilling the new sight)(paded vise grips to hold sight in place)and not mark up your barrel.
The Brownells catalog is tops for parts and tools and will give you lots of info for future projects. www.brownells.com they also show lots of schematics on line.
warning they are addictive.
Hope the above helps out.

October 21, 2007, 09:44 AM
Oh my, this is more complicated than I thought! I asked at two gun shops and was quoted $35-55.

October 21, 2007, 11:45 AM
Sounds reasonable

WildquickinandoutAlaska TM