Drill/tapping S&W442 J-frame for REAR site?


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arizonaguide
March 4, 2010, 12:55 AM
I would like to drill/tap my 442 for an adjustable rear site (for small single mounting screw, in the center of the existing gutter site).

As you can see in the pictures below, S&W does make some "factory" J-frames that have been both tapped and dovetailed for adjustable rear sites, but does anyone do this to the newer alloy J-Frames? Has anyone had this done "aftermarket"?
http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy70/arizonaguide/SWsites.jpg

I would like to have a small mounting hole drilled/tapped to mount an adjustable rear site on my S&W442.
http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy70/arizonaguide/sitemount442.jpg
Any experiences?

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madcratebuilder
March 4, 2010, 08:11 AM
This would be a fairly straight forward machining operation for a gunsmith. It may be more economically feasible to sell your current revolver and buy a model with adjustable sights.

Kernel
March 4, 2010, 09:13 AM
buy a model with adjustable sights
What model would that be? Other than the 317, which is a .22 LR, I don't think S&W makes a J-frame Airweight with adjustable sights. Did they ever?

arizonaguide
March 4, 2010, 12:33 PM
None yet, but I talked to S&W today, and they said there will be a couple (alloys) on the market soon (no details) with adj. rear sites. They (of course) advised against having it done "aftermarket"...and do not offer the option of adjustable sites added to my Jframe at the "Performance Center". Hmmmm. I wonder if a single drop of JBWeld would hold it on. :cool:

earplug
March 4, 2010, 12:43 PM
Building up the rear sight blade height will most likely make you add a higher front sight blade.
Factor that into your costs.

RonBernert
March 4, 2010, 02:17 PM
I carry a 442. Adding a rear sight will not increase it's value. Adding a rear sight will cause it to snag on about everything you wear. A 442 is a short range, point-and-shoot gun, where the sights are a luxury, not really necessary. I have owned my 442 for 18 years and have probably only used the sights a dozen times and I usually practice at 7-15 yards, from the hip or similar stance. If I want to shoot target, I shoot a different gun with a longer barrel and better sights.

I'm not calling you out, yelling or trying to make myself sound superior, I just think you should think twice about what the gun is for, how it was manufactured with nice smooth edges, and that the money you spend on mods could be better spent on a different gun that may suit the purpose better.

9mmepiphany
March 4, 2010, 02:29 PM
i've always thought that the full length leaf spring adjustable sights worked the best as they intruded the least in to the frame structure. also you're going to have to do machining anyway to remove the front sight ramp and replace it with a front base and sight.

a better route might be one a freind of mine took. his fishing gun was a .38 spl, 2.5" Colt Diamondback...very handy, accurate and sturdy adjustable sights

arizonaguide
March 4, 2010, 03:43 PM
:cool:I'm not calling you out, yelling or trying to make myself sound superior, I just think you should think twice about what the gun is for, how it was manufactured with nice smooth edges, and that the money you spend on mods could be better spent on a different gun that may suit the purpose better.

No, I didn't take it that way, Ron. I understand what you are saying completely.
But, I have decided that I will be standardizing on the little Jframe being my "all around" gun (selling the 1911, etc)...and I will in fact be upgrading to a .357 (M640P? :cool:) jframe to be used as my CCW, AND as my woods gun for protection (from snakes to cougers) on wildlife photograpgy trips, etc.
The wife will then get the 442 (for her CCW).

See, the Jframe, with a set of (slightly) larger Hogue grips fits my hand like NO OTHER weapon, and actually the fact that it FITS results in amazing (unbelievable) accuracy out of a 1-7/8" barrel. Enough that I want to "fine tune" it with an adjustable rear site.
Plus tons of hours of training results in it being "second nature" in my hands.

IF I can add a single (tiny) screwhole to mount an adj. rear (similar to the M63 shown above, only of my own small/rounded non-snag design) I will be happy...as I can add material to the existing front site fairly easily, file to zero elevation w/158LSWCHP's, and finish to similar to the existing black (easy) of the 442.

I have a pretty complete machine shop at my disposal, but want to be comfortable with the safety of being able to put a small drilled/tapped mounting hole in that location without compromising the strength of the (alloy) 442. Smith obviously does it (and more with a dovetail) with the steel frame guns, and this outfit (Bowen) installs a fixed rear site with a machined t-slot ...and says the alloy is fine.
http://www.bowenclassicarms.com/NEW/SW_J_FrameSightNotes.htm
Smith also tells me they'll have a couple Alloys with adjustable sites coming out soon (but wouldn't tell me any real details).
So, I guess I'm convinced it's not a problem if I make sure it's plenty rearward...and a tiny dia./shallow mounting hole.

RonBernert
March 4, 2010, 04:11 PM
Thanks. I didn't want to ruffle any feathers. I did not think about it the way you responded, which is "this gun just fits". I have the same thing about Glocks. They are fantastic guns (so are 1911's!!!!!) but they just don't fit me right. I feel that the Sigma series S&W, with a little sear smoothing and care, fit me better, so I prefer them over the glock..

Very happy you didn't take that the wrong way.. A very good gun store friend told me once: Shoot what fits you and forget about what the magazines say! Makes tons of sense!!:D

arizonaguide
March 7, 2010, 12:00 PM
Yeah, this is a hard one.

S&W "doesn't recommend", yet they do it on their steel frame guns at the factory, and they say new alloy models with adjustable sites are "coming soon". And, Bowen does mill into the alloys currently, to put a small T-slot back in the same location.

I just want to put a small mointing screw (like 3-80 size) in the same location...to hold a tiny rear site. Hell, I've even thought about brazing it on (except it's alloy so ???), or even JBweld epoxy.

I can't believe nobody except Bowen has any aftermarket sitework for the alloy S&W's...and they're a "fixed" site, not adjustable.

Time to upgrade to a steel frame jframe .357, I guess...since nobody does this.
The 640P comes with a dovetail rear site from the factory.

tkpinsc
March 7, 2010, 12:22 PM
3" model 60 is available with adjustable sights.

arizonaguide
March 7, 2010, 12:27 PM
Yes, I'd love to find a M60 also!!! :cool:

I just LOVE the little J frame. IT FITS!

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