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Added a Gold Bead to my front sight.

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Greg528iT, Apr 22, 2013.

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  1. Greg528iT

    Greg528iT Member

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    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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  2. Greg528iT

    Greg528iT Member

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    The top picture won't cooperate. I flip it in an editor and save it.. it re flips.
     
  3. marb4

    marb4 Member

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    Nicely done. I've often thought of doing something similar. May have to try it now.
     
  4. Flt Simulation

    Flt Simulation Member

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    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)?

    Thank's

    637490.gif
     
  5. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Member

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    Very bling.
     
  6. Greg528iT

    Greg528iT Member

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    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".
     
  7. Flt Simulation

    Flt Simulation Member

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    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!
     
  8. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Greg528iT

    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.
     
  9. Florida Guy

    Florida Guy Member

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    Wish I was handy instead of old.
     
  10. YZ

    YZ member

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    Did you use a power drill? What kind of drill bit? How did you keep the drill centered?

    Brilliant idea.
     
  11. glove

    glove Member

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    Good job I like the way it looks.:cool:
     
  12. Greg528iT

    Greg528iT Member

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    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. ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2013
  13. YZ

    YZ member

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    Greg
    Thank you for explaining this.
    Last Q -would you consider soldering the pinhead into the hole instead of the epoxy?
     
  14. snakeman

    snakeman Member

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    I need to do that to a buckmark thanks for the inadvertent tutorial.
     
  15. Greg528iT

    Greg528iT Member

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    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.
     
  16. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    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:
     
  17. Jolly Rogers

    Jolly Rogers Member

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    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.
    Joe
     
  18. Oro

    Oro Member

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    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.
     
  19. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

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    Good job and a great idea.
     
  20. Greg528iT

    Greg528iT Member

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    DOH is right.. :(

    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.
     
  21. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Member

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    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).
     
  22. btg3

    btg3 Member

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    Nice bling. Might be hard to stop there.
     
  23. SleazyRider

    SleazyRider Member

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    What is Michaels?
     
  24. Greg528iT

    Greg528iT Member

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    After Apache said
    I wondered.. where else can I put one????
    OR,, maybe I'll scrape the gold plate off exposing the duller brass.

    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.
     
  25. Inebriated

    Inebriated Member

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    How does it compare outdoors with fiber optic?
     
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