Fixed sight regulation.


July 28, 2008, 01:07 AM
Don't know why i'm posting this as I'm sure most are going to call me DA. Wondering how most of you regulate the sights on a fixed sight revolver. i only have one, a S&W 58. I had to adjust the POI when I got it years ago. I took the cylinder and crane out, put a piece of leather on the edge of my wooden workbench and whacked it with the barrel to slightly bend it. worked just fine but I don't want to do it again on another gun if it was just stupid and I got lucky, which is what I suspect.

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July 28, 2008, 01:50 AM
I've never had to adjust a fixed sight S&W for windage. I've never seen one that was off. But the proper way to do it, other than sending it back to the factory for correction, is to place the barrel in a set of soft jaws cut to the right diameter for the barrel. These are held in a vise. With the cylinder removed you make a wooden pry bar and place this through the frame. Turn the frame slightly to correct.

This though won't work for all revolvers though. Some barrels are press fit in. The older pinned and recessed guns don't allow for a lot of turning. If a person is not sure it would be best to speak to the factory or a smith before messing with it.

Some front sights are not tall enough to beat on with a hammer and bend.

If the sights are truly off a trip to the factory may be best.

Often only a change of grips or load helps.


July 28, 2008, 01:53 AM
For some revolvers the barrel can be screwed slightly one way or the other in the frame to adjust for windage.
Sometimes the front sight can also be bent a little but this runs the risk of breaking it off if you're not careful.
A third option is to get a front sight dovetailed in so it can be drifted back and forth to correct for windage.
For elevation, you can file metal off to raise the point of aim. If it already shoots too high you either have to live with it or have some metal welded on to the front sight.

Another technique is to try different ammunition. Often the same weight from different manufacturers or different bullet weights will help a lot with getting it fixed.
Handloading can also be used to make ammunition that shoots POA in your gun.

Also, IIRC the S&W model 58 was designed for a sort of downloaded .41 Magnum load, maybe like what you'd call a .41 Special +p if such a thing existed. This could have been part of the issue with your gun not shooting to POA - the factory may have "zeroed" it with a different load than what you're shooting out of it.

July 28, 2008, 01:19 PM
I've been told that factory taught method to adjust Smith and Wessons involves smacking them with a babbit bar:eek:
I have a model 60 that shot a little left; corrected that by opening the rear sight notch some on the right side with a "safe" file. Shoots dead on now and I find I like the slightly wider notch as well.

July 28, 2008, 06:02 PM
a safer way to adjust windage...than wacking to open the rear notch or thinning the front blade.

bear in mind that the rear moves the direction desired, while the front moves the opposite...and filing only moves half the distance you've removed

Vern Humphrey
July 28, 2008, 08:45 PM
I have a Colt New Service which has been reblued (with most of the markings almost buffed out.) When I got it, this gun had a front sight the width of a razor blade and a rear notch to match. It shot 18" high and a foot to the left.

I soldered on a new front sight -- a big, honking piece of steel, 1/8" thick, and carefully shot and filed until I had it on for elevation. Then I opened up the rear notch to adjust windage.

October 20, 2008, 09:18 PM
gb6491, I had heard about the babbit bar too,but didn't know if it was true, I think my method closely matches the babbit bar. I also had to file the front sight a little for elevation. probably could have played with different loads but my standard load for the .41 is so accurate (especially out of this gun), that I really wanted to stick w/it.

The Lone Haranguer
October 21, 2008, 01:13 PM
Selecting a load with heavier or lighter bullets can help with elevation. Lighter/faster bullets shoot lower than slower/heavier ones.

October 21, 2008, 02:51 PM
Vern and 9mmepiphany got it right in one.

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