New front sight

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Michael Tinker Pearce, Apr 2, 2021.

  1. Michael Tinker Pearce

    Michael Tinker Pearce Member

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    Last trip to the range I determined that the front sight I made for the Colt Police Positive Special .32-20 was… well, it sucked. It’s too wide, and the colored insert shows up poorly in the shallow rear sight. This made it difficult to obtain a sight picture quickly, and when I did it wasn’t good.


    Even with the front sight taped for greater visibility accuracy was not special, and the gun was consistently hitting low even at 7 yards.

    OK, honestly a civilian self-defense handgun really doesn’t need to be a tack driver, but I want to be able to eek out some decent accuracy from the gun. A change was needed, but what change specifically? Obviously the point-of-impact needed to come up and the sight should be narrower. So should I shorten and thin out the blade of the existing sight? Replace it? Mount some kind of rear sight because I can’t really make the fixed sight channel any larger?



    All of those options made some sort of sense so, being me, I did something else entirely.



    I’m investigating big-dot sights and will be testing them on my 1911 soon. I got to thinking that maybe such a thing might work for the PPS too. I decided to find out, but rather than spend a bunch on money I’d try a home-spun solution.



    I cut the sight down slightly, then carefully filed a groove in the top and silver-soldered a short piece of 1/8″ brass rod in, with the rear surface angled to be non-snag and to catch overhead light. This produced an interesting effect; if the sight is a vertical oval you’re aiming too high, and if it’s a horizontal oval cut by the sigh-notch you’re aiming too low. If it’s round you’re dead on, and if it’s round and sitting in the sight groove you’re going to hit what it’s pointed at. This gives a different sight picture than I’m used to; I’ve always uses a conventional sight picture with the top of the front sight level with the to of the rear sight. This doesn’t work that way.

    IMG_1015.jpg


    Here’s the real-life sight picture. On a sad note my iPhone will never be a great shooter; I just can’t get it to focus on the front sight…

    Of course when I am aiming the front sight is sharp and the rear is a bit out of focus. To be sure, these are not the sights you want for Bullseye competition, but for self-defense it should provide adequate accuracy. A bit of testing at the range had the bullet hitting dead-on to the front sight. After that I did some draw-and-fires at five yards, where I started with the gun securely holstered, drew and fired a single shot, then rinse and repeat for a total of five shots. How did it work out?




    IMG_1040.jpg

    I’m gonna go with pretty darn good. The sight is very easy to pick up and at five yards is basically the same size as the bullseye in the ten ring. The learning-curve is not much; put the dot on the target and fire. The angled surface picks up ambient light well, too; even in dusky conditions it’s reasonably visible.



    Not only has this been a serious upgrade to this little Colt’s sights, but it’s really got me looking forward to the ones I’ll be trying out on the 1911. I will, of course, keep you posted when that happens.
     
  2. earplug

    earplug Member

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    File down the front sight to raise the point of impact. tap/fasten a piece of smooth metal to your file and rest that on your rear sight when you file the front.
    This helps keep the top even.
    Different bullet weights will shoot high/Heavy or low/light.
     
  3. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    Those are some crisp Wadcutter holes tight there :thumbup:.

    Neat way to solve a problem. Most brass-bead sights I’ve seen are way too small to really have the brass stand out. That one is more like an Ashley Express big dot, which are really easy to pick up when a quick sight picture is needed. :)

    Let us know how it shoots with a few other loads :thumbup:.

    Stay safe.
     
  4. Michael Tinker Pearce

    Michael Tinker Pearce Member

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    I also fired a lot of 100gr LFP bullets, and the POI at 7 yards did not change noticeably. They were over the same charge of Unique, only 10%heavier and it was only seven yards, so that's not too surprising.
     
  5. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    So why did your thought process NOT surprise me in the least! That worked out sweet:thumbup:
     
  6. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Polish it up and apply some sort of clear coat to keep it from tarnishing.
    Make the next one gold.
     
  7. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    First...SWEET!!! I like that sight picture, too. It’s how I have the sights on my favorite Marlin lever rifle set for brush busting boar hogs. Second... sadly my eyes are old enough to share the sight picture with your iPhone. I am far sighted enough I can’t see the target, front sight and rear sight simultaneously. I get one clear, one fuzzy, and one wavy blur. :(

    Nice upgrade.
     
    Michael Tinker Pearce likes this.
  8. MikeJackmin

    MikeJackmin Member

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    iPhone tip: if you touch a spot on the camera's viewfinder, it will focus on that spot. If you touch and hold for a couple seconds, it will lock focus on that spot, and remain at that focus until you touch it again.

    So, for something like your front sight, you can hold the camera high, well clear of the rear sight, lock the focus on the front sight, and then bring the camera down to view it through the rear sign in a proper sight picture.
     
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