Making a Fixed Rear Sight for a Revolver

Jeff H

NW Ohio
By the way, @Petrol & Powder , thanks for posting the link to that thread on 3" revolvers.

I remember very specifically AVOIDING that one, because we were coming up on mid-terms, spring-break and the possibility (which became a waking-nightmare reality) of going completely online for classes - teaching people how to DO stuff - not a strictly academic topic.

I KNEW that if I started reading that thread that I'd bog myself down with it and "get behind." Well, I had no idea just how "behind" I was going to get within the week and STAY that way until NOW.

I forgot about the thread, but now I am going to go back and read through it.
 

JustJim

Active Member
You have me thinking on the rear face of the sight now. I HAD actually considered stippling on the surface, since I don't have a checkering file. If I'd have spent the fifty bucks thirty or forty years ago, it would have paid for itself a dozen times over by now, but NOW, I don't intend to have to do that much more of that type of work. The material on this sight is mild steel and is pretty soft. I've never stippled anything before, but I'm stubborn enough that I think I could do it six or seven times t get it as even as I want, and then post a single pic, making it seem "easy." NOTHING has ever come easy for me and I'm not inherently "good at" anything, but I think I could pull off stippling, even though it will cost me some sore fingers and TIME.
For jobs like this, I've often used a thread-chasing file to layout checkering etc. You can cut the lines deeper with a 3-square file if needed, but for matting a sight the thread-chasing file should be enough. Costs ~$20 at the nearest auto parts store.
 

Jeff H

NW Ohio
For jobs like this, I've often used a thread-chasing file to layout checkering etc. You can cut the lines deeper with a 3-square file if needed, but for matting a sight the thread-chasing file should be enough. Costs ~$20 at the nearest auto parts store.

I'll check that out! Thank you!

I've only seen them in courser threads, but never considered they may have them finer. For a sight, I'm thinking something like 50 lpi, unless someone knows better.

Great tip!
 

JustJim

Active Member
With a thread-chasing file, you're probably looking at no finer than 32 tpi; metric will go about 25 tpi. If you just line the sight--horizontal lines to matte it--if you're careful you can lay out a series of lines then "split" them (that's harder to do when checkering). If it were me, I'd just checker it at 32 lpi, hit it with a wire wheel to take off the burrs and sharp points, and rust-blue it.
 

Jeff H

NW Ohio
I'll look at them. I'm thinking, based on what you're describing, that I could cut half way down and move over half a pitch to cut between the lines I just cut. Would require a sharp file, a guide, a good eye and steady hand.

If the file's sharp, I can make a guide. That would give me two out of four.:oops:
 

Bret4207

Northern NY Dangerous extremist...???
For jobs like this, I've often used a thread-chasing file to layout checkering etc. You can cut the lines deeper with a 3-square file if needed, but for matting a sight the thread-chasing file should be enough. Costs ~$20 at the nearest auto parts store.
Was going to recommend the same thing. As far as stipling, I saw a guy use one of those electric pencils/engravers to stiple/matte the heck out of a front sight once. Didn't look bad, wasn't pretty either, but it seemed functional.
 
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Petrol & Powder

Well-Known Member
I had that grip in, in the upper/left on a SP101. Sorta odd-looking, but it was a great grip. It as unusual in that it had a reduced girth, which afforded me a better reach to the trigger. I prefer to "choke-up" on the grips and get the web of my hand more inline with the bore, but that grip was still comfortable, even though it forced me to not crawl up on the hammer.

Trausch Grips.
That SP101 is a former French Police gun re-imported back into the U.S.A.
It is an early "short frame" SP101 made before Ruger lengthened the frame.
 

Petrol & Powder

Well-Known Member
As for the 3" 5-shot, .357 Magnum......

I think the Ruger SP101 is one of the most overlooked, under-rated guns out there.
In its 2.25" barrel version; it’s a little heavy/chunky for a snubnose. Not bad but wouldn’t be my first pick for pocket carry. But in the 3” version, as a holster gun – It shines.
Yeah, they typically need to be tuned up a little (polish a few parts, maybe shims and springs) but they are solid little guns.

I prefer the 38 Special chambering. In the SP101 you can shoot all the heavy P+ rounds you want and never get close to harming the gun.

The 5 shot cylinder on the SP101 is a bit thinner overall than the 6-shot cylinder on the old Speed-Six. You give up one round (who cares?) but gain a slightly thinner gun and ¼” more barrel.

The 3” SP101 will never exactly replace the 2.75” Speed-Six but it comes close.
 

Jeff H

NW Ohio
Was going to recommend the same thing. As far as stipling, I saw a guy use one of those electric pencils/engravers to stiple/matte the heck out of a front sight once. Didn't look bad, wasn't pretty either, but it seemed functional.
So, I got this idea...

If a thread-chasing file would work, why not the cutting edges of the teeth on a TAP?

I chucked a piece of the waste in the vise and did some careful scratching to see what it would look like. The result?

"Didn't look bad, wasn't pretty either, but it seemed functional"

So, I tried it on the rear face of the sight. Probably something you'd want to do before cutting the sighting notch and finishing the outside profile of the sight, but it works. I shot it with a rattle-can of flat-black for now and am waiting for it to dry.
 

Bret4207

Northern NY Dangerous extremist...???
Good idea! Something like a 10-32 would give you the fine lines.

A black Sharpie likely would have worked and been easier to touch up.
 

Jeff H

NW Ohio
A black sharpie is my go-to "sight-black" and will likely be what I end up using anyway. The paint will likely rub off the top, but should stay put on the protected areas, like inside the sight notch. Figured this way Id only have to so the sharpie treatment to wear spots.
 

Jeff H

NW Ohio
Thanks, @KeithB and @wquiles . I've seen work both of you have done and that's a high compliment.

@Bret4207 , 10-32 is probably right. I used a 1/2-28 freehand and got the desired effect, but I think I'll clean it back up and try 10-32 with a guide of some sort.

@Petrol & Powder , All I had was a can of generic flat-black in a spray can that I use with a "stencil" for targets. Model paint may be the ticket. I almost wonder if powder-coat would work, except that it would really lose definition, so Ill see how this goes and maybe try the model paint too. The Sharpie stays in my "range kit" for blacking on-site, but it's an ephemeral fix at best. Which leads me to the front sight aggravating me even more, now that I have a decent rears site to look through. This could end up being a summer-long project if I'm not careful.

I've filed dovetails on the flats of muzzle-loader barrels, but on this, I'd have to make up a jig - a filing guide and harden it. The Casenite is my dad's barn, which is a scary place. Every time I go in there, I feel like I should have Ariadne's thread with me to find my way back out.

I pick at this stuff fifteen minutes at a time, between more responsible chores, so it goes on for days.