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Mounting a scope on a S&W 28-2

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Mizz Maddie, Mar 6, 2019.

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  1. Mizz Maddie

    Mizz Maddie Member

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    I recently purchased a Highway Patrolman with a 6" barrel because it sounded like a cool gun, and I was right--it is very cool, and shoots like a dream. Now, I am not a hunter nor a competition shooter. Just a range hack and occasional plinker. And I think it would be cool to mount a scope on my 28-2, something that functions well but isn't too expensive. (By cool I mean Mad Max cool.) Let's say I'd like to purchase the scope, the mount, and pay to have the frame drilled and tapped if necessary, all for under or around $300. In addition to equipment recommendations I'd like to hear opinions about how invasive a procedure this is for the 28-2 (circa 1979) which of course came with standard adjustable rear sights. Anyone have experience doing this with a 27, 28, 29 or similar models?
     
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  2. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    If I were you, I'd just trade it straight across for a factory D&T'd 686 or 627. But I'm kinda hesitant to D&T a gun that has collectable value when there's comparable models factory ready for a scope readily available.
     
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  3. DWFan

    DWFan Member

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    For just over $300, you can get a JPoint reflex sight and mount made for the S&W that replaces the rear sight. No drilling or tapping and very low profile compared to a scope.
    https://www.jprifles.com/1.6.1.php
     
  4. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    The only sight base they make is for the modern, factory D&T'd models. I'm not aware of any mount that would work on a otherwise unmodified 28-2.
     
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  5. Eddietruett

    Eddietruett Member

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    There are some no drill mounts out there that work surprisingly well. I have one made by Aimpoint that I have mounted on several N Frames. Holds Zero well even with hot loads. Hold back is it clamps on frame above cylinder and if you don’t put tape under it, it will rub the blue. You can always use a Weaver #407 mount made for S&W Revolvers but frame will have to be drilled and tapped. I have several with optics but I prefer a Red Dot Tubes. Simmons has a good one for not much money and Bushnell Trophy is a good one. Both have adjustable moa dots and brightness.
     
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  6. CraigC
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    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    I've had this done on other models. I would have the gun D&T for the factory scope mount location. Which means all the holes would be hidden under the rear sight if you ever go back to irons.
     
  7. forrest r

    forrest r Member

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  8. Dustbowl

    Dustbowl Member

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    So I actually have just done this to a friends Model 28 about 4 months ago. Used this mount: https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1018662029/egw-1-piece-picatinny-style-base

    It sits in the channel where the original rear sight is. It does need drilled and tapped but if done right you can put the rear sight back on and you’d never know. I cut the base off at where the frame and barrel meet and it looks good too.
    He put a Weaver Micro Red Dot on it and loves the set up.
    So $30 bucks for the mount, $120 for the optic, and whatever labor for the tapping unless you can do it yourself.
     
  9. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    Welcome to THR, Mizz Maddie!

    I can't comment on how to mount optics on your particular revolver, as my revolvers are from other manufacturers.

    However, I can give my limited experience on using optics on handguns. I'm currently 54 and have experimented with handgun optics off and on for a few years. The main reason being that I wear trifocals or progressive lensed glasses, and handgun sights are quite blurry to me.

    I've owned and used 4x, 2x, and red dots on handguns. The advantage of the magnified scopes is that the reticle can be focused to aid your vision, obviously.

    I personally could never shoot the 4x well unless I was using a rest or shooting sticks. It basically turned a handgun into a hand rifle for me.

    The 2x works pretty well with or without a rest, but the magnification still amplifies the scope reticle moving all over your target. Plus, a 2x scope with rings isn't much lighter than a 4x scope, so you've just increased the weight of your handgun maybe 30%-50%. Which makes the handgun harder to hold steady unless on a rest.

    Regarding red dots, I've used long tube types, short tube types, and the micro reflex sized red dot. The hardest part with red dots is learning to find the dot with your eye, but it isn't too bad with some practice.

    What I like about the red dots is that the dot is focused at maybe 30 feet from your eye, so if you have a current eyeglass prescription the dot is much clearer than standard handgun iron sights for me.

    Anyway, I personally prefer lightweight micro reflex red dot sights over all other optics for shooting 25 yards or less. The micro reflex sight also blocks much less of your view of the target area than any optic with a tube, whether magnified scope or not.

    Currently, I no longer have a 4x handgun scope, but I still have three 2x handgun scopes, a pair of tube type red dots, and one micro reflex red dot.

    Of course, I'm not hard on my handguns and I'm mostly a recreational shooter. Others will have their own preferences.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
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  10. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Member

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    What types of targets are you planning to shoot? Are you going to hunt with the gun? Will you carry the gun for self defense?
    If you are going to shoot long range silhouettes or hunt you may want a scope with some magnification. If you are going to shoot paper or targets at less than 30 yards you may want a reflex type red dot. If you are going to also carry for personal defense or a nightstand gun for home protection then you may want a compact reflex or even to stick with the iron sights.
     
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  11. silicosys4

    silicosys4 Member

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    20190307_155154.jpg

    Want to trade a scope mount for your rear sight?

    In all seriousness, After purchasing it this way my take on this setup is "Meh", and I've been looking for a rear sight ever since to bring it back to original. The mount is a Buehler and is D&T'd. Not a huge deal to me,

    Its fun to play with at first, but the drawbacks outweigh the benefits for me.

    The crosshairs are finer than iron sights, allowing for a more precise sight picture
    The 2x magnification, while not much, does allow for a bit easier sighting while shooting 50+ yards
    Its an extremely soft shooter even with full power loads
    It gets a lot of looks at the range on the rare occasions it goes.

    But

    It's quiet large and heavy for a 6 shot .357. You aren't going to be concealed carrying this anywhere except in a range bag from the car to the bench, and certainly not in a holster.
    The hammer is hard to reach, to the point its almost a safety hazard when decocking, as there is barely enough room between the hammer and the scope for your thumb when close to full drop.
    Waving your arm around in front of your face trying to find the right eye relief gets old,
    Things that are too small to see well enough to shoot with the irons are still going to be pretty small in the scope...2x isn't a lot, but its hard to go higher without your sight picture being really shaky, as was mentioned.
    There's no point in shooting anything but .357's in the gun, and I tend to shoot much more .38's out of a .357 than I do .357 loads.
    and,
    IMO it ruins the lines of a classic looking revolver.

    There isn't a turn line on the cylinder or case head marks on the recoil shield, which speaks to how much I've shot it since I bought it.

    Basically it turns a fairly versatile revolver into a one or two trick pony. If you are looking for that one trick, great. Its a great setup for a tree stand handgun hunter, or a long range steel plinker. I have a scoped S.Redhawk in .44 that is legal to hunt with, and a .357 isn't where I'm at, so its kind of redundant for me. I might have to try ringing steel with it out past 100 yds +, just to get some use out of it until I find a sight.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
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  12. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    Good to see you on this forum, Maddie! :)

    I probably won't see my Model 28 for a week or more. :(
     
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  13. Dustbowl

    Dustbowl Member

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    7A2D09EE-C0E1-4DB0-81BD-4AB97C49CA40.jpeg Here’s a picture of it complete. It’s a model 27 actually.
     
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  14. Mizz Maddie

    Mizz Maddie Member

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    Thank you all for your great responses. I already own the gun and I'm on the fence about getting it drilled and tapped (probably will not drill--looking at this alternative currently: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Smith-Wesson-N-Frame-Scope-Accessory-Mount-Base-SATIN-BLACK/263612686434 ). I've shot maybe 40 rounds of .357 and another 40 of .38 through it and yes it's big and heavy and I knew it would be when I studied the gun before buying it. And the only shooting I ever plan on doing with this gun is target shooting and steel plinking (if I ever find a place where I can do that) so I don't see loosing much in the way of versatility. It currently lives in my nightstand with a couple of speedloaders ready to go. I've got a couple of other guns that can replace it for home defense if putting a scope on it makes it too unwieldy to grab at a moment's notice. Obviously if it comes to keeping zombies out of my front yard then I think the scope will be handy. Silicosys4 I'll trade my rear sight assembly for that Leupold scope! But seriously I'm surprised you're having difficulty finding a replacement for it (I intend to keep mine regardless). But yes, that's how I want it to look--like something Mad Max would keep in his glove compartment for shooting out motorcycle tires at 120 mph. So that the guys at the range will stare at it. ;)
     
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  15. kidneyboy

    kidneyboy Member

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    I had my 15-3 drilled and tapped and put an Allchin mount and Vortex Venom on it IMG_3343.jpg
     
  16. Mn Fats

    Mn Fats Member

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    601px-MM-S&W29-1.jpg
    600px-DH1S&W25-1.jpg Halt!
     
  17. Eddietruett

    Eddietruett Member

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    AE4922D1-0000-49B9-B927-AD0F0BD278F1.jpeg 7C119CE2-7638-4549-A47F-88F693FCF8A5.jpeg
    Here is a picture of the mount I posted above installed on my model 14. I put electrical tape under the front to prevent blue rubbing. On stainless it’s not a problem. It holds zero great. Obviously you will get more tub on from with magnum loads. The rear is held tight using rear sight hole.
     
  18. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    The Mad Max gun was definitely cool in the movie.

    I bought a 586 looking like this. Someone had already had it D&Td.
    586-3 With Ultra Dot Pic 2 @ 90%.JPG

    Changed it to this. Less bulk. Which looks cooler is a matter of what one likes.
    586-3 With Ultra Dot LT Pic 2.JPG
     
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  19. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    I drilled and tapped a S&W M25-5 that had no real value. The rear sight can go back and would cover the hole. I wouldn't do this to a minty one, but it wasn't. :)
     

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  20. Mizz Maddie

    Mizz Maddie Member

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    Mn Fats--HA! That is EXACTLY what I was thinking about! Thank you!

    Eddietruitt, you have me thinking more and more about a red dot scope instead of a traditional scope. I like that they have unlimited eye relief--sound like it'd be quicker to acquire the target. I'm currently looking at one with a 2x. Also I'm glad to see that the Square-B mount works that way with the clamp down along/above the yoke. The mount I'm now looking at lacks that feature.

    Again, thank you all for your interest and your great feedback. I'm learning plenty here!
     
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  21. Eddietruett

    Eddietruett Member

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    Just my opinion, but unless you had a real collectable model, I can't see what harm it would do to the value if you drilled and tapped the frame as long as it was done so the original sight could be replaced. A lot of S&W's made in the last 10 years came drilled and tapped and no one stays away from those guns for that reason.
     
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  22. Eddietruett

    Eddietruett Member

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    I use Red Dot Tubes with no magnification. I tried a 2x scope on one of my .357 magnums and the little bit of magnification was not that much of a benefit. The red dot is quicker to pick up a target and some of the nicer models with the adjustable size dot and the different type of dots and crosshairs make them pretty darn neat. I prefer the tube style versus the combat or competition style *not sure of the right description) because I think the tube type works better when you have go sunlight that might cause glare and they lock onto the rail with 2 rings on each end and I think are more stable but maybe not. I'm using a Bushnell Trophy on my main hunting gun right now but have had great results with the Simmons and Center Point. The Center Point is on sale at Natchezz right now for less than $30. If I didn't already have 3, I would buy a couple just to play around with when I wanted to test a gun etc. For less than $50, you can't beat the Simmons or CP. I have put both through the wringer shooting 100's of max .357 loads developing rounds for hunting and never had a problem with either. I know there are a lot better quality red dots out there but if I were just starting out like you and not 100% sure what I liked, I'd order a CP and you can always upgrade and what did you lose? $30? It had different dot sizes and both red and green dots. It only has a 25mm reticle and I thought it would be too small, but it works great. You don't want anything over 30mm on a handgun anyway in my opinion.
     
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  23. Mizz Maddie

    Mizz Maddie Member

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    Eddietruett--More and more I'm thinking I'll let my gunsmith drill and tap those holes. And your comment about 2x not making that much of a difference is helpful. Am I right in understanding that my eye will focus on the image on the lens of the red dot sight, basically where the rear sight is now? I'm asking because my eyes have gotten so bad and at the range I have to focus on my sights and so I can't see the target. With the red dot sight I should be able to see (and focus on) the actual target as seen through the lens, yeah? I mean, that's gonna be a huge improvement just with that.
     
  24. Mizz Maddie

    Mizz Maddie Member

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    Walkalong--I think that 586 looks awesome either way. Very cool! I'm pretty sure I'm going to go ahead and get mine tapped and go from there.
     
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  25. straightshooterjake

    straightshooterjake Member

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    With a red dot sight, you will see the dot at the same distance as your target. This is one of the big advantages that optics offer for people with vision issues. When I shoot with a red dot, I use my single vision distance glasses, not my everyday progressives. With the distance only glasses, I can't focus on anything as close as the iron sights. But with a red dot, that close focus is not necessary.

    I strongly prefer a red dot when I want to shoot a pistol accurately at small things. When I want to shoot bigger targets quickly, and up close, then I prefer iron sights, even if I see them a bit fuzzy.

    For general plinking and target shooting with a pistol, I like a small tube style red dot sight with a form factor similar to the Aimpoint Micro. I have been satisfied with the small Primary Arms sight, and I have heard good reports about the Bushnell TRS-25. These sights might be too large for a combat pistol, but I like them quite well for range or target use. Both of these sights are available under $100.
     
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