"Bubba'd " my Charter Undercover


April 2, 2010, 12:53 PM
I have a Charter Undercover that just never has thrown the slugs where the sights are pointing. Well one night, I got the idea in my head to try and tweak the front sight a little to correct it's windage problem. I got it nicely secured in a padded vise, taped the sight off and tried to bend it some with a pair of vise: no go, it won't move, so I move to a punch and BIG hammer.
The thinking (actually, probably wasn't much of it) here was:
if it bends the sight; great.
if it turns the barrel; fine, just check the barrel/cylinder gap and adjust if necessary.

The reality was that I broke the front sight off:
Now, I'm pretty upset with myself, but then I realize since it wasn't hitting where it was aimed before, not having a front sight isn't that big of a deal.
I'll just file the remainder flat.

Flash forward a couple of days, I notice a take off SIG sight in my parts cabinet.
Hmm.., in for penny in for a pound, why not go for it. In hindsight, this actually was, IMO, a good idea; I just should have had a smith mill the dovetail (though it was hard to justify the cost in my mind). Out come the files and sometime later I have a dovetail (actually a trench) cut. No doubt about it, I need to work on my dovetailing. The sight does slide into it, but loosens up after a certain point:( . Anyway, a little super glue on the bottom of the sight holds it in place and I'm off to the range. Drifting the sight, I can now correct the windage and make note of the sight's position. That done and back home, I decide to solder the sight in place and do so. To finish, I tape off the barrel, bead blast, Oxpho-Blue, then apply shake and bake paint. The results aren't the best, but not bad (I think?) and the gun now shoots to it's sights. I also learned a thing or two.
What say yea?


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April 2, 2010, 12:59 PM
you are absolutely better then me on this kind of stuff. All I can say is wow

collector rob
April 2, 2010, 01:01 PM
Bubba would have JB welded it back on. That there was home gun-smithing.
Looks great!

April 2, 2010, 01:05 PM
I do not see anything wrong with what you did. It looks great! If I had that done at a gunsmith and it came back like that I would have been very happy.

April 2, 2010, 01:05 PM
Looks good to me. :)

April 2, 2010, 01:05 PM
If you hadn't told me you did it, I would have assumed it came from the factory that way.

April 2, 2010, 01:23 PM
I'd say its an improvement.

April 2, 2010, 01:32 PM
I think its great!

April 2, 2010, 01:37 PM
I am in awe. Well done, Sir.

April 2, 2010, 01:40 PM
I was thinking JB weld too. Looks danged good to me!


April 2, 2010, 02:39 PM
Very cleanly done and professional looking. Well done, indeed.

April 2, 2010, 02:42 PM
very nicely done

Low Budget Shooter
April 2, 2010, 02:47 PM
Dear gb,

I think what you did is fantastic, especially as it shoots POA now.

The only problem with what you have done is that it gave inspiration to the rest of us to bubba ours. I'm afraid there are going to be a bunch of cut-up old revolvers appearing around the country over the next few weeks.


April 2, 2010, 02:59 PM
Very nicely done!

April 2, 2010, 04:21 PM
Nice recovery gb!

Drug out my beloved 1960s vintage Undercover to compare the front sight with the one in your photo, discovered mine's slightly off too. :eek:

Ohio Gun Guy
April 2, 2010, 04:27 PM
Fumble......and recovered by the offense for a Touchdown!

A gun that the sights are not adjustable and not shooting to POA isn't much of a gun IMO. Now you have a functional pistol (With a night sight?) that at a minimum now shoots POA! Good work!

April 2, 2010, 04:29 PM
Good save!!!

April 2, 2010, 04:38 PM
If you hadn't told me you did it, I would have assumed it came from the factory that way.

I scrolled up the thread to the first post to see the pictures, I actually couldn't see anything unusual until I got to the picture of the broken off front sight.

Fantastic work, that does not count as Bubba'ing.

Ozark Guy
April 2, 2010, 04:44 PM
That turned out really well.

Just remind me not to let you near my '68 Colt Detective Special...Especially if you have a hammer and punch in your hand. ;)

April 2, 2010, 04:48 PM
Hello friends and neighbors // Reminds me of the time I tried to duct tape a car battery wrapped in tinfoil........
Great story and save, I think it looks much better.

Approx. how long did it take to make the dovetail with a file?
Did you need to tweek the sight at the range right after the superglue was applied or had it dried?

April 2, 2010, 04:55 PM
Fantastic save old boy! Hats off!

April 2, 2010, 07:20 PM
Bubba would have JB welded it back on...

Naaah, Bubba would have took a swig of beer, leaned into his 3/4hp Craftsman grinder and smoothed that bugger off! Sights! We doan need no stinkin' sights!

Excellent work! Looks like a pro job to me.

April 2, 2010, 07:41 PM
Good recovery. Try peening the front sight along with your super glue.

April 2, 2010, 07:50 PM
Looks great to me, like a factory done job. There's no way I'd be able to do something like that.

Fat Boy
April 2, 2010, 09:20 PM
Here is another person who would have used JB Weld- I really like the looks of the finished product!

April 2, 2010, 09:40 PM
If a genius is all you claim to be can't nobody proove you ain't

April 3, 2010, 12:38 AM
I want to thank you all for taking the time to comment; the input is very much appreciated.

To answer a few questions:
Approx. how long did it take to make the dovetail with a file?
Did you need to tweek the sight at the range right after the superglue was applied or had it dried?

The dovetail didn't seem to take all that long to do (not really sure of the exact amount of time), but it probably should have taken longer than it did as it wasn't done quite right (my bad).

I put the super glue on the bottom of the sight, allowed it to dry and then installed it in the dovetail. This was done to thicken the sight base for a tighter fit as the dovetail's depth was not consistent all across it's length ( loose fit in spots). Once I had the pistol sighted in, I marked the sight's position on the barrel, removed it, then cleaned the base and dovetail with acetone to remove the super glue and any oil. At this point, I fluxed the the surfaces, reinstalled the sight to it's marked position and flowed solder into the joint. After that, I dressed the ends of the sight base with a file to match the barrel's rib.

April 3, 2010, 09:53 AM
Very nice. When life gives you lemons, make lemonaide.

April 3, 2010, 11:00 AM
Well done.

April 3, 2010, 11:21 AM
I read the whole story before I looked at the pictures of the finished product and you had me worried by the way you worded everything but wow that really turned out nice and now it's adjustable and shoots better can't beat that lol.

April 3, 2010, 11:30 AM
I need you to bubba my model 36's front sight

You started a new business.
If a website can exist called "rock your glock", you can damn well open "bubba my sights"
With this background story on the home page

April 3, 2010, 11:46 AM
Definitely not a bubba job. You need to remove half the wood, shorten the barrel, and put skateboard tape on it!

April 3, 2010, 11:50 AM
Drug out my beloved 1960s vintage Undercover to compare the front sight with the one in your photo, discovered mine's slightly off too
Same here. I have an early 80's undercover that looks exactly like the one in the OP (minus the new front sight - good job on that by the way!), and it shoots high and left even at 10 yards.

deputy tom
April 3, 2010, 07:16 PM
The initial fix didn't work but the second fix is what I would have done in the first place.Good work.tom.

Leafy Cronmer
April 3, 2010, 07:21 PM
Wow, I am very impressed. When I looked at the first pic I thought well just file it down and it wont have a front sight Oh well. But the finished product looks great, congrats.

April 3, 2010, 09:46 PM
Good job!

April 3, 2010, 11:03 PM
If you have any problems with the sight working out...

Take the sight out and get yourself a center punch. Dimple the hell out of the bottom of the sight. Put some dimples on any surface you can find that fits against the dovetail on your gun, but leave some of it un-dimpled so you can get it started back in. Then do the same thing with your dovetail that you cut in the gun. Reinstall and it shouldn't come out. If you really want it to stay RIGHT THERE, put a drop of loctite on it.

I just did this with a loading lever latch on a Uberti Remington New Army, which also fits into a dovetail on the barrel, and that latch seems pretty secure. It's handled about 60 shots so far and has no sign of falling out again. I think it's secure.

April 3, 2010, 11:12 PM
"...Out come the files..." That is impressive. It isn't easy to file a dovetail, never mind one that works. Even if it takes a bit of glue. Well done.
"...loose fit in spots..." Stake it.

April 4, 2010, 11:03 AM
Having the dovetail, you could install a tritium sight or big dot somewhere down the road.

April 4, 2010, 12:40 PM
I'd say its an improvement.

I agree

April 4, 2010, 12:50 PM
Wow man that actually looks really good,nice work man.

April 4, 2010, 12:59 PM
I want to send you my Blackhawk!


April 4, 2010, 01:14 PM
I like happy endings :)

Cocked & Locked
April 4, 2010, 05:39 PM
I'm impressed! :what:

April 4, 2010, 06:10 PM
Darned nice!

Funny how a misadventure can lead to new discoveries and good endings!

April 5, 2010, 12:57 PM
Its now ready for years more service... Nice work!

April 5, 2010, 09:04 PM
Great job! It looks great. Thanks for sharing this just in case...lol

April 5, 2010, 09:14 PM
For a trench filer you done just fine.

And as any fashion model knows a camera always adds 19 pounds. And I'm sure when used in macro mode it's even worse. So in real life lighting and size I'll bet pretty much everyone would assume this was done by a rather compitent smith.

April 6, 2010, 08:58 AM
Best thread I've seen so far this morning! Great work; congratulations on improving your skills.

April 6, 2010, 07:36 PM
Very Nice, Sir!!!

April 7, 2010, 12:05 PM
Again, I'd like to thank you all for taking the time to comment on the Charter's new front sight:)
I find myself really liking the white dot with this setup; it makes for very fast sight acquisition.

April 10, 2010, 09:02 AM
fantastic work!

As a comparison, I had Jim Clark (of Clark Custom) dovetail on a shotgun tritium sight. He did a great job, but declined to do it again. He said there just wasn't enough profit in it considering he has a year long backlog of comp guns. FWIW, he left a paper thin width of space between the sight rib and sight bottom to compensate for the heat difference between steel and aluminum as the snubbie's barrel heated up. Here's a couple of pics:



Next time, I'm calling you!

April 10, 2010, 09:44 AM
Looks great! If I had more trust in my skills, I would try it out with my Armscor. I've always liked the idea of a big dot on a revolver.

Also, I was half expecting to read you used J.B. Weld, because, lets face it, I would have. :D

April 10, 2010, 11:32 AM
Of course you've offended all of us Bubba's in the world.

April 10, 2010, 11:38 AM
I said it as a joke before, but really can you break my model 638-3 if I provide you with the big dot sight, :D

April 10, 2010, 12:43 PM
That's not a Bubba job. I don't see any duct tape or bailing wire anywhere on the pistol. Nice Job!

April 12, 2010, 09:26 AM
Thanks to all for your input:)

That Bodyguard is outstanding; thanks for posting the photos of it!
The "meltdown" is very appealing.


April 12, 2010, 09:32 AM
I would say darn nice recovery of a big mistake.

Silly Rabbit
April 13, 2010, 01:41 PM
new career?, gunsmith

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