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Old March 16, 2019, 07:12 AM   #1
Joe L.
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S&W 617 Front Sight

Getting ready to replace the factory front sight on my 617 with a fiber optic.....I've read up on the process, any additional tips from those that have performed this task?

Thanks,
joe
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Old March 16, 2019, 08:40 AM   #2
NoSecondBest
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Depending on what you're trying to accomplish, a fiber optic sight can work against you. For precision shooting a flat black blade front sight is by far (and I mean BY FAR) better for accurate shooting. For closer up targets and less refinement in your expectations, a fiber optic will work fine.
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Old March 16, 2019, 12:24 PM   #3
pete2
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F/O is OK for action shooting but I can't get a real sight picture with them. I guess it depends on what you plan to use the gun for. Plain black works better for bulls eyes and bunnies. I actually like a gold bead better than F/O for IDPA style shooting.
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Old March 16, 2019, 04:55 PM   #4
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Gotta agree with the others - I've installed FO sights on all my runNgun match revolvers, but kept the stock front target sight on my 617 for the reasons explained. If you really want the best of both, the Mac Daddy setup would be a Weigand interchangeable front sight base.
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Old March 16, 2019, 05:00 PM   #5
Joe L.
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Appreciate the responses. This revolver will walk with me in the woods more times than not....will also see a trip to the range and a squirrel hunt or two. I agree the black blade would be most precise, however, my eyes just can't find that darn thing unless the light is just right.
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Old March 16, 2019, 05:24 PM   #6
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There are fibers that are somewhat protected (e.g. HiViz) and some that are not (e.g. EGW, SDM). The EGW types, IME, are less durable, in that the fiber can break if you hit the muzzle on something. OTOH, extra fiber is available, so it's a 2-minute repair (if you happen to have extra fiber optic, nail clippers and a cigarette lighter on hand).

The HiViz types are (again, IME) more durable, but if you do manage to break it, you need to replace the whole sight. IIRC, the HiViz types seem a tad brighter, too.

Be sure to read up on what width and height you need. The SDM website has some decent info.

HiViz-type:



EGW-type:
https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/i...Z_rdRh_me2I7RO


SDM-type:

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Old March 17, 2019, 09:28 AM   #7
4V50 Gary
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From looks aline, I would prefer the EGW.

I looked at the Weigand MrBorland suggested. Then I read this.
Quote:
It can be seamlessly installed by a competent machinist.
That's an easy pass with the mill, but I wonder what the radius of the rear end of the sight base is? You have to have a mill bit to match to make it seamless. That's not a big thing if you have it.
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Old March 18, 2019, 08:11 AM   #8
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After revisiting the Weigand site, I see they list the sight bases as "discontinued". The Bowen sight base looks to be another option. It, too, requires some milling, but it looks to my eye like the back of the exposed base sits proud of the milled channel.

http://parts.bowenclassicarms.com/in...products_id=58
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Old March 18, 2019, 08:29 AM   #9
NoSecondBest
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Put a red dot on it like the Burris FF3 or the Vortex Venom and get a much better end result. You can do that without having to machine anything and simply put the gun back into original configuration at any time you choose. They're small, you can shoot very accurately with them, and work well out to very long distances without having to use any magnification. I personally think fiber optics are a step in the wrong direction.
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Old March 18, 2019, 09:34 PM   #10
Joe L.
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Installed the HiViz version this evening. Some minor fitting, and this project was wrapped up. All in all, I like the green fiber dot, I can pick it up much better than the black blade. I also noticed the black housed that holds the fiber still creates a sharp black square top....if I really focus on the front sight as you're supposed to, I can pick it up in good light......I wouldn't go so far as to say it's the "best of both worlds", but I like it.

On a side note, I installed a similar green dot on my GP-100 a few years ago......Ruger's plunger system to install the front sight seems a million times better than a tiny roll pin....but that's just me.
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Old March 19, 2019, 11:42 AM   #11
MrBorland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe L.
On a side note, I installed a similar green dot on my GP-100 a few years ago......Ruger's plunger system to install the front sight seems a million times better than a tiny roll pin....but that's just me.
IIRC, a number of GP100 variants come with an interchangeable front sight, which is one of the "pros" in favor of the GP100 over, say the comparable S&W 686. To get a factory interchangeable front sight on a S&W, you'd have to pony up for a Pro or PC model.

At any rate, an interchangeable front sight is a very nice set-up, which is why I suggested the Weigand or Bowen base.
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Old April 2, 2019, 08:41 AM   #12
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Black on black sights against a black bullseye, are no shooters friend, especially as eye-balls age.
Many indoor ranges are dimly lit with little ambient light to benefit the fiber optic type. Outside, the do work better.

I, along with many other handgun owners I know, have much better luck with inserts such as these:

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Old April 2, 2019, 04:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Black on black sights against a black bullseye, are no shooters friend, especially as eye-balls age.
You might want to discuss that with experienced shooters from all over the world. Every record ever shot in IHMSA silhouette was shot with black on black. Revolver makers of noted fame such as Bill Davis all sold premium custom built handguns with black on black sights. Fiber optics are good for small game hunting at closer ranges. They are not precision sights by any means.
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Old April 3, 2019, 12:09 PM   #14
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I've discussed it thoroughly with my customers and some exceptional bullseye practitioners, real ones. And they agree with me. As folks who shoot, age, they prefer a brighter front sight. Good shooters, that is.
Maybe you should discuss that with some shooters who are still alive.
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Old April 3, 2019, 01:14 PM   #15
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I've discussed it thoroughly with my customers and some exceptional bullseye practitioners, real ones. And they agree with me. As folks who shoot age, they prefer a brighter front sight.
Maybe you should discuss that with some shooters who are still alive.
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Old April 3, 2019, 01:25 PM   #16
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Quote:
I've discussed it thoroughly with my customers and some exceptional bullseye practitioners, real ones. And they agree with me. As folks who shoot, age, they prefer a brighter front sight. Good shooters, that is.
Maybe you should discuss that with some shooters who are still alive.
I'm still alive and I've shot with the best shooters in the world. You need to take the time to read the post. He didn't say he was going to use his gun for bullseye. He's talking about woods walking and hunting. Just to be clear, I know a lot of world class shooters who are still alive. In fact, I shot with them for years. I've set a few records myself for precision handgun shooting that still stand. I don't care what your customers are telling you about bullseye shooting, that wasn't the question. READ THE POST. You're not going to find any precision handgun shooter who's any good that fiber optic sights are the way to go. In fact, most top shooters actually blacken their sights up before shooting for score. They either use a spray can of blackener or a carbide lighter to smoke them. I've never seen even ONE use fiber optic sights when shooting for groups. READ THE POST AGAIN.
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Old April 4, 2019, 08:53 AM   #17
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Precision shooters(Bullseye Pistol) shoot with black sights or red dots.
the sights are aligned on the white of the target, the black sits on top of the front sight. You are not trying to align the black sights on the center of a black target. The beauty of the red dot sight is you don't have to align anything, just put the dot on the target. I hate a hand gun that shoots low, you can't aim at a small target if the sight hides the target(squirrel's head for instance). Sit his little tiny head on top of the nice clear black front sight.
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Old April 11, 2019, 12:41 PM   #18
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Time to step into the MODERN world of shooting. Red dots are GREAT these days, and colored inserts, even greater for older aging eyes like yours. You need to try using better sights. You might even be able to compete once again.
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