Added a Gold Bead to my front sight.


April 22, 2013, 12:12 PM
The STI Spartan front sight was a bit ummm spartan. My eyes are a bit old. So I heard the gold bead front sights were a hot ticket.
Wilson Combat was out of stock on theirs, so was Midway.

Michaels had 2mm 14k gold pins, 12 for $4. The have a shank soldered to the ball to hang other beads on, before looping to whatever.

Drilled a 5/64" hole. a hair under 2mm. Technically I could have pressed the ball itself into the hole enough to have it stick. I used 2 part epoxy to hold the pin.

Sorry for the crappy cell phone pictures. ( ( ( (

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April 22, 2013, 12:14 PM
The top picture won't cooperate. I flip it in an editor and save it.. it re flips.

April 22, 2013, 12:48 PM
Nicely done. I've often thought of doing something similar. May have to try it now.

Flt Simulation
April 23, 2013, 07:37 PM
Greg ...

Are you talking about a gold pin like this?

And then you just cut off the gold ball and left a little of the stem to fit in the hole you drilled in your front sight (like where I drew the red line)?


April 23, 2013, 09:38 PM
Very bling.

April 24, 2013, 12:24 AM
Flt Sim..... Exactly. I did bend a hook on the end, just to give the epoxy a more mechanical hold on the pin. I started with a 1/32" drill bit to ensure I could hit my center mark. Worked my way up, to the 5/64".

Flt Simulation
April 24, 2013, 06:42 AM
Greg ... You did a really nice job with that, and you saved a bunch of money.

Wilson Combat charges $76 for the "Snag-Free" front sight with gold bead + $69 for milling the slide and installation = $145

You gave me a great idea!

April 24, 2013, 07:51 AM

Looks great and very easy to pick-up on. My somewhat vintage Ruger 10/22 has a bead front sight on it and I have always been amazed at how quick and easy it is to aquire and how much more accurate I was with it versus a plain front sight.

Florida Guy
April 24, 2013, 02:00 PM
Wish I was handy instead of old.

April 24, 2013, 06:19 PM
Did you use a power drill? What kind of drill bit? How did you keep the drill centered?

Brilliant idea.

April 24, 2013, 07:20 PM
Good job I like the way it looks.:cool:

April 24, 2013, 09:00 PM
YZ - I used the dreaded Dremel tool. I bought the small set of drill bits with the Dremel name on them, 1/32" thru 1/8". After marking the center with my dial calipers I was tempted to center punch it, but decided to use the 1/32" bit good glasses and lots of light to touch the center mark and gradually increase pressure and checking. The small bits burned up pretty quick as I was at full speed and lightly touching it. I moved up in bits deepening the center. Now assured I was well centered I put the 5/64" Dremel bit in my drill press. It has about .001" to .002" run out, but my center was deep enough at that point to hold the center of the bit. I was able to leave the sight in the slide since the STI sight has a 45 deg slant. Clamping the slide was much easier than trying to clamp the sight alone. AND ensuring it was square.

IF, I had a sight like in my Springfield, with the "cast in" paint fill hole, it would have been easier to align the bit in the drill press. THOUGH that sight is cut 90 deg and I would have had to remove the sight from the slide. The rear sights of the STI have the paint fill dimples, but 3 might have been TOO Bling. ;)

April 24, 2013, 09:43 PM
Thank you for explaining this.
Last Q -would you consider soldering the pinhead into the hole instead of the epoxy?

April 24, 2013, 10:05 PM
I need to do that to a buckmark thanks for the inadvertent tutorial.

April 24, 2013, 10:54 PM
Solder? Sure, if I was good at it. :-) The bead I used is just gold plate, I assumed brass under. Id want to deal with the sight off the slide so it wouldnt heat sink the heat away.

Modern 2 part epoxies are very good, plus the mechanical press fit, its not going anywhere.

April 24, 2013, 11:55 PM
Nice job.. pistol jewelry - go figure. I can't believe you used a {gasp} Dremel tool and didn't scratch the bore, grind down the stocks or put your eye out.:evil:

Jolly Rogers
April 25, 2013, 05:40 AM
I tried the ball first but got mine from a jewelry store and although real gold the ball was hollow. While fitting it I crushed the ball:banghead:
I just enlarged the hole and ordered a gold bead from SDM. Solid.
Liked it so much I ordered another and did my 9MM 1911 also.

April 25, 2013, 07:38 AM
I read four or five gun forums daily or semi-daily. I had this idea myself two or three months ago but sat on my hands and did nothing. This is the best/most useful post from thr, arfcom, 1911forum, etc. so far this year. It shows something practical, easy to do, and how to do it at home cheaply. Last I checked that's called win-win-win-win.

Excellent post.

April 25, 2013, 07:43 AM
Good job and a great idea.

April 25, 2013, 10:45 AM
although real gold the ball was hollow. While fitting it I crushed the ball
DOH is right.. :(

ordered a gold bead from SDM.
I was this )( close to doing exactly the same. I think it's a great way to go. I went with the ball cause, well it was CHEAP and was thinking about the light reflection off a half sphere being a little better. OK maybe it was just because it was cheaper.

I guess I could take a knife and scrape the gold plate off one of my spare, I have 11, and am receiving another 20 gold plate pins, and double check to make sure it's a brass ball under. My wife likes to assemble jewelry from time to time, so to drop the extras in her kit was a no brainer.

April 25, 2013, 11:35 AM
Good job. If that doesn't do it for you in terms of ability to see, I can reccomend the XS Sights. It has a nice big white dot up front and come standard with a shallow V notch rear. I adjusted reasonable well to this. I know of others who have used the front and I think enlarged a standard rear to 3/16ths (XS will tell you the specifics).

April 25, 2013, 09:18 PM
Nice bling. Might be hard to stop there.

April 25, 2013, 09:35 PM
What is Michaels?

April 25, 2013, 10:00 PM
Nice bling. Might be hard to stop there.
After Apache said pistol jewelry I wondered.. where else can I put one????
OR,, maybe I'll scrape the gold plate off exposing the duller brass.

What is Michaels?
It's a craft store, sells picture frame, hobby kits, jewelry making stuff, flower stuff, model cars. you name it.

OH... and if you order some beads online.. WAIT until they come before you drill. The ones I ordered 2 weeks ago finally showed up.. they said 2mm, they are closer to 1/16" is that. Good thing I only paid $2 for those. ;) literally on a slow boat from China.

April 25, 2013, 10:36 PM
How does it compare outdoors with fiber optic?

April 26, 2013, 10:34 AM
I do not own a Fiber Optic. My nephew who shoots a bit of IPSC.. says.. Fiber Optic for your range gun, Gold Bead for a carry gun. I did the google search, fiber optic vs gold.. the split is about 50/50.

April 27, 2013, 11:00 PM
What is Michaels?
Michaels is a hobby/craft store.

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