View Full Version : Paint for fixed revolver sights

July 8, 2011, 09:26 PM
I am finding it pretty hard to see my plain, silver-colored revolver sights in low light. Using a flashlight sometimes makes it better, sometimes worse. The tritium sights solution won't work for me, since both my Smiths have their sights integral to the rest of the weapon (my next S&W will have tritium but that is a ways in the future).

Do people prefer different colors for front and rear, or the same?

Orange? Red? Any principles to help choose, or just personal preference? Someone online said red on one front or rear and white on the other was a good idea; sounded plausible to me.

Is there any disadvantage to glow paint? If it can be any color, seems it shouldn't be worse than ordinary paint. Do any quick-access handgun safes have a lightbulb in them for heating? (I could have gone with that option for my tall safe, but went with a rod instead.) A little heating lightbulb may or may not be good enough to charge the paint, so I figured it may be worth a try.

(My overengineered, fanciful preference would be to put a little strobe light in the safe that would go on once, for an instant, just before the door was opened.)

Jim Watson
July 8, 2011, 09:41 PM
I have Model Master Fluorescent Red (has an orange cast to the red) on several front sights. Applied over a white base coat it shows very well. I have not worked with luminescent paint. Black is ok with me for the rear, but if you want to try green or white, it is cheap and reversable.

July 8, 2011, 09:49 PM
Most of my handguns have florescent green nail polish on the front sight.It's cheap and works like a charm.

July 9, 2011, 08:36 AM
I tried orange but found that bright white showed better contrast in low light. I use ordinary Testers model airplane paint. If you ever want to change, it will wipe off with acetone.

July 9, 2011, 09:19 AM
I use nail polish as well. Cheap, durable, and easy to change if you want.

July 9, 2011, 09:33 AM
Do any quick-access handgun safes have a lightbulb in them for heating?

Not that I am aware of. Probably wouldn't be that hard to wire something up with a timer and a small low wattage bulb. Have it come on for a few hours at night to recharge your paint. I have no experience with that paint, how long it glows for or takes to recharge.

July 9, 2011, 12:00 PM
One feature of the Ruger Redhawk I love is the interchangability for front sights.
But, for more versatility, I have painted the black sight using flourscent paints from the model shops. (cars, airplanes, etc.) Small bottles are not expensive, effective and last.
But, in low light, the nylon in yellow on the R'hawk works very well for me. I like it.
Some will argue, but a very good second choice is black. In low light it will still contrast with backgrounds and animals like deer.

Edit: I partially agree with Drail. I paint only the rear of the sight with flourscent paints. But, the all yellow nylon sight from Ruger doesn flare and is fine in bright sunlight.

July 9, 2011, 01:30 PM
For non removable sights I carefully mask around the sight with tape and spray with flat black enamel. On the front sight I apply a small drop of yellow enamel for ease of sighting in low light. Painting the entire front sight with flourescent paint will throw you off in bright sunlight if the sun is to your left or right. The glare makes it difficult to center the front blade in the notch. On ranges with light colored targets in sunlight a solid flat black sight works the best. Occasionally you will encounter targets in the shade or with a drak background behind them. The little yellow dot allows you to find the front sight and get it on the target.

May 5, 2014, 02:14 AM

4V50 Gary
May 5, 2014, 07:53 AM
The advantage of paint is that it is not permanent and the front sight blade may be easily restored. Future generations of collectors will appreciate that.

The advantage of an insert is that it is more durable. Of course, this entails cutting a dovetail into the front sight and sticking in a piece of plastic. The front sight is forever altered and it costs more to do.

May 5, 2014, 09:34 AM

I had the same sighting problem with a couple of stainless steel revolvers - when sighted, the sights blended in with the top of the barrel/frame, and virtually disappeared.

I bought a BRIGHT SIGHTS kit, and have been completely satified.


One caveat: Don't simply apply the color of choice to the gunsights - the cleaned/degreased gunmetal (laq thinner) should first be coated with the white (colored) coating, and allowed to dry overnite before applying the color of choice (and the color coats likewise dried).

If the gunmetal's not done in the white before the color coat, I can guarantee you'll be disappointed with the result.

BTW - The white coating is excellent for making a white-outline rear sight notch (with a very fine, few hairs, artist's brush).