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Old April 25, 2013, 05:25 AM   #1
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Join Date: November 20, 2000
Location: Ohio
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S&W Revolver Sight Questions

I have two Smiths that need sight work and have some general questions.

The first gun is a Model 686, with an 8 3/8" barrel.
When I purchased the gun, it had a scope mounted on it and did not have any rear sight included. So, I would like to replace the rear sight. Can someone discuss with me, how you determine the correct rear sight blade needed to work with that barrel length ? I have looked for rear sights on-line and quickly figured out that they come in various heights. I found a chart on the Bowen Classic Arms website http:// but before I order anything I would like someone to double check if I am reading the chart right. I also have to figure out of I need a "new style" or "old style"

The second gun involves the same issue. Years ago, I bought a S&W Model 19, with a 4" barrel. The gun is in like new condition, however with the rear sight jacked up all the way, the gun still shoots like 6" low. Obviously the rear sight blade isn't the right size for the gun and I need to replace it. I am assuming that finding the correct size would be a matter of measuring the one that is on there now, then buying a bigger one ?
FWIW: I find it extremly weird that this problem exists on this gun. I own quite a few S&W revolvers and have had many others go through my hands over the years and this is the only one I ever heard of that had this problem. I don't know if the factory mistakenly put the wrong sight blade on it, or if the previous owner was screwing around with it, or what
Another FWIW: I have read on the internet what is involved in changing this rear sight blade and watched a short video on doing it.

Thank you for your help.
You know the rest. In the books you have read
How the British Regulars fired and fled,
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.
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Old April 26, 2013, 09:01 PM   #2
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AFAIK, the S&W Parts Dept can/will supply the proper sight for each, if you supply the model & bbl length.

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Old April 27, 2013, 12:43 AM   #3
James K
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 24,189
Handguns are sighted for a specific load at a specific distance, usually 25 yards for a revolver. A variation in velocity will change the point of impact in relation to the point of aim, so first I would review the loads being used. As an example, a high velocity bullet will shoot low because the barrel time is less.

Jim K
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Old April 28, 2013, 08:27 AM   #4
Dixie Gunsmithing
Join Date: April 27, 2013
Location: Ohio
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On the chart, just select the model in the left column, then find the barrel length in the middle to match it, and look to the right at the part number.

I agree about a call to the S&W parts guys. Tell them the model, barrel length, and ask what would be best for what load you want to shoot.
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Old April 29, 2013, 02:19 AM   #5
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Plug in the sight radius, the distance to target and the desired amount of correction on the target in inches here and it will tell you how much the sight needs to change.
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