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revolver guys....what do you paint your sights with? Login/Join 
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Picture of jcat
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I guess ignorance was bliss...

The only revolvers I've shot have been a nickel model 64, and a 637. Obviously, light colored solid sights are easy to pick up on black targets.

I recently bought my 442 pro, and while I love it, it definitely needs a couple things. First being some spring changes and maybe some polishing as the trigger is tough. Second being some paint on the front blade.

Black gun, black sights, against a black paper target...talk about pointing it and saying to myself 'well...shit...'

So a popular change of course is to paint the ramp dead center with bright orange something. What are you guys using and where do you get it? I've read nail polish, model paint, all sorts of stuff.

For reference, I just put Ameriglo CAPs in orange on my G34 and absolutely love that luminescent orange color for quick acquisition, so I'd like something similar for the 442.


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Posts: 9933 | Location: RI | Registered: October 08, 2012Report This Post
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I use Testors Model Paint, specifically White because there is not any other color that is more visible.

As for that "tough" trigger on your 442, I would suggest that you learn how to use it. Because the lockwork in the S&W J frame is smaller than the larger K, L, and N frames and this reduction in size means that the leverage lengths are also reduced. Try and lighten the trigger and you'll find that going below about 11 lbs. will likely result in misfire problems.

BTW, if you want a really heavy DA trigger to practice with find an old Dan Wesson revolver. Because these featured a shortened trigger stroke length and as a result even these rather large revolvers had moment arms (leverage lengths) even shorter than the S&W J frame. As a result with the Dan Wesson 15-2 trying to reduce the DA trigger weight below 13 lbs. will result in a near 100% misfire rate with 357 Magnum Federal ammunition. BTW, learned that lesson with first hand experience, now the 9 lbs. triggers on my K and L frames feel almost weightless.

Now for tips on shooting with a heavy Double Action trigger. First, DO NOT STAGE THE TRIGGER. When you are working with a trigger in excess of 12 lbs. trying to hold the trigger at the staging point will only lead to Shaking. Pull the trigger in a moderately rapid single motion and you really won't notice the weight. Second tip is to purchase several sets of snap caps. Because you will need to practice a lot in order to learn how to stroke through the trigger motion smoothly while keeping your sight picture stable. BTW, when you do this enough you will find that you will shoot the rims off the snap caps when they "wear out". If you have one jammed into the barrel so the cylinder won't rotate a light tap on an unsharpened pencil or dowel can be used to drive the snap cap back into the cylinder to free it up.


I've stopped counting.
 
Posts: 4354 | Location: Michigan | Registered: November 07, 2008Report This Post
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I have a 642 and paint my sights black, but I have experimented with colors on my front sight.

First, I degreased the sight. I used denatured alcohol.

Then apply a coat of Testors enamel paint in white. You should be able to find it at any hobby shop. This will serve as a base coat and helps the color stand out. One or two coats should be sufficient.

Once that's dry apply the color of your choice. I've used Testors paint but nail polish will also work. Again, one or two coats should be enough. Fluorescent orange would probably suit your needs.

FYI, I only painted as much of the sight ramp as is visible in the rear notch when aiming. It helps with correcting for elevation.

Once satisfied, I apply a coat of clear nail hardening polish for extra protection.

Depending on how steady your hands are, you can use a small, fine brush or toothpicks to apply the paint. You can also keep some paint remover (acetone, nail polish remover, etc.) and some q-tips handy if you mess up and need to start over.



"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts." Sherlock Holmes
 
Posts: 1286 | Registered: February 26, 2015Report This Post
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Good advice, and thanks for the tips.

However, I think one of two things is at play here...either the trigger on my 637PC ('gunsmoke' edition) was heavier than I thought it was but a lot smoother, or your estimation of going below 11 resulting in misfires might be slightly off.

The main issue I think is the grittiness and momentary resistance *throughout* the pull, rather than the pull itself. It really feels like some rough machining inside this thing on top of needing some proper lubrication.

I'm not trying to go super light on the trigger, but I definitely think there's some room to improve without sacrificing some reliability. That 637PC I had didn't feel a heck of a lot heavier than a stock Sig or Beretta DA pull.


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Posts: 9933 | Location: RI | Registered: October 08, 2012Report This Post
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quote:
use Testors Model Paint

This is what I used to paint the front sight on my LCP. I used bright yellow.



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Posts: 14743 | Location: Birmingham, Alabama | Registered: February 25, 2009Report This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by jcat:
Good advice, and thanks for the tips.

However, I think one of two things is at play here...either the trigger on my 637PC ('gunsmoke' edition) was heavier than I thought it was but a lot smoother, or your estimation of going below 11 resulting in misfires might be slightly off.

The main issue I think is the grittiness and momentary resistance *throughout* the pull, rather than the pull itself. It really feels like some rough machining inside this thing on top of needing some proper lubrication.

I'm not trying to go super light on the trigger, but I definitely think there's some room to improve without sacrificing some reliability. That 637PC I had didn't feel a heck of a lot heavier than a stock Sig or Beretta DA pull.


For the trigger pull, my own preference would be to take it to a good gunsmith to have the action smoothed but retain the stock springs. That'll get rid of the grittiness and make it easier to shoot without compromising reliability.

If you think lube is a concern I'd definitely recommend adding some lube to see if that helps. With the gun unloaded and the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, I hold the gun upside down and add a drop of oil on either side of the trigger, let the lube get drawn into the action, then cycle the trigger a few times.

Also, it is definitely possible to go below 11 lbs on the trigger pull without sacrificing reliability. 8-9 lbs is generally about as low as you can go and still retain reliability.

For a DIY approach, I've read good things about the Apex duty trigger kit, but I have no experience with it. It lightens the pull and includes an extended firing pin to ensure ignition.

Regardless of what you do, dry fire practice is important to developing DA shooting skill. Pull straight through and don't neglect the trigger release/follow-through. Dry fire practice will smooth the action somewhat (not as well as a good trigger job) and strengthen your trigger finger, which will also help with DA shooting.



"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts." Sherlock Holmes
 
Posts: 1286 | Registered: February 26, 2015Report This Post
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I "borrowed" a bottle of my wife's L'orange by Loreal for the front sight ramp of my nickel Smith & Wesson model 10.

PC
 
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I don't. I shoot at computer paper with one of those stickie spots on it.

Aim small miss small.

Bob


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Posts: 4179 | Location: Mass | Registered: January 23, 2004Report This Post
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Another thing you could conceivably use are paint "pens" from the auto parts store, something like this:

 
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White fingernail polish with a coat of fluorescent orange fingernail polish over it.




 
Posts: 24773 | Location: Young American Teen Club | Registered: January 30, 2007Report This Post
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I've tried a bunch of things and have settled on fishing jig paint. One coat of white followed by a coat of orange. It is made to be self leveling and is extremely durable. I haven't found any solvent that harms it once set.
 
Posts: 8118 | Location: The Red part of Minnesota | Registered: October 06, 2002Report This Post
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You could just stop shooting black targets. They're about the worst choice all around.

Back when I was a serious pistol shooter (in terms of pure accuracy) I only shot at blank paper. (which as it happens is also the cheapest targets you can buy. Wink ) Try to put the first shot dead center of the paper. Try and put the rest on top of that first hole. "Aim small miss small" and all will make you a better shooter. The other thought I have is the only way black sights on a black target should be a problem is if your target is too big.


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Posts: 17114 | Location: 18th & Fairfax  | Registered: May 17, 2003Report This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by cas:
You could just stop shooting black targets. They're about the worst choice all around.

Back when I was a serious pistol shooter (in terms of pure accuracy) I only shot at blank paper. (which as it happens is also the cheapest targets you can buy. Wink ) Try to put the first shot dead center of the paper. Try and put the rest on top of that first hole. "Aim small miss small" and all will make you a better shooter.


As we're talking about a j frame here, it should be noted that target shooting is not my main concern.

Low light with someone wearing dark clothing as the BGs tend to, is a situation I can foresee a little orange paint going a long way.


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Posts: 9933 | Location: RI | Registered: October 08, 2012Report This Post
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If you can hit small targets, you can hit big ones.


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Posts: 17114 | Location: 18th & Fairfax  | Registered: May 17, 2003Report This Post
Nullus Anxietas
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The only time I have trouble picking up the sights is black on black on black in very dim light, and that's with my somewhat degraded eyesight. On a typical indoor or outdoor gun range it's not been a problem--even the nubby little sights on my LCP against a black silhouette. So, in what I expect might be my typical SD scenario: I can't see it being a big problem. I think I'd first try getting used to it.

Years and years ago I tried, I think, bright red nail polish on my Ruger Mk. I and Security Six. When it eventually started chipping I removed the rest and never bothered again.

My comments assume self-defence shooting practice. No question I'm gratified by really tight groups, but, what I really concentrate on, or mean to, anyway, is putting them all inside a 4" circle at ~7 yards in a timely manner. The targets I use don't even have a bullseye or rings.




"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
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Posts: 16569 | Location: S.E. Michigan | Registered: January 06, 2008Report This Post
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Back when we were carrying model 64's on duty, many of the officers painted the front blade orange and the rear notch green. For training purposes, the contrast in colors helped with sight alignment. Many revolvers also came with an orange plastic insert dovetailed in the front sight blade.


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Posts: 3072 | Location: Florida Panhandle | Registered: September 27, 2009Report This Post
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I raid my wife's fingernail polish collection. It holds up better than model paint and I'm pretty sure she has every color visible to the human eye in their somewhere.
 
Posts: 1836 | Registered: November 13, 2003Report This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by henryarnaud:

First, I degreased the sight. I used denatured alcohol.

Then apply a coat of Testors enamel paint in white. You should be able to find it at any hobby shop. This will serve as a base coat and helps the color stand out. One or two coats should be sufficient.

Once that's dry apply the color of your choice. I've used Testors paint but nail polish will also work. Again, one or two coats should be enough. Fluorescent orange would probably suit your needs.


This is what I did with my 929. Mine has stayed put very well.


Cathy
 
Posts: 293 | Registered: August 10, 2014Report This Post
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Testor's model paint.
Flat White as a base coat on the front blade.
Then a couple of coats of Fluorescent Orange.
Let each coat dry 24 hours before the next one.
On the SP101's with the rear notch machined into the frame, two coats of Flat Black on the face of the rear notch.
 
Posts: 567 | Registered: December 12, 2013Report This Post
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