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Rex
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Posted: January 20 2018 at 11:46am | IP Logged Quote Rex

I'm going to replace the rear sight blade on my S&W 686. I've always been afraid that I'd mistake the white outline for "daylight". Is that fear justified? My eyes are old and aren't as sharp as they were once upon a time.
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Old Ranger
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Posted: January 20 2018 at 12:51pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Rex, I'm right behind ya in age and my eyes are also
effected by diabetes as well. At this point in time I
have "fuzzy moments" with one or both. Oh well...
However, I grew up with S&W sights and the white outline
rear on my fightin' wheelguns made a real difference. But
again, I was used to em. When I'd shoot the old Ruger 3
screw with plain black I was sorta thrown off for a bit.
Didn't look right. Ya know what I mean?

But with my low plain G.I. sights on my 1911A1 well
shucks, I'm on target in less than a gnat's heartbeat.
But there again I'm used to those sights as I carried
this weapon into more than a few gunfights.

Ya know what I think? It's more of a matter of what
you're trained and conditioned to. Like me. I'm used to
and trained with both of what I mentioned above. But with
a Beretta 92F or a Block 19 I stunk! The WEAPON has much
to do with it too!

Rex, you've been hammering away at stuff with that one
S&W for quite awhile. When you have that revolver in your
mitt that piece becomes an extension of your arm. The
sights are just the final "fine tuning" you use. I'm
willing to bet that when you line up on something it's
90% instinctive from muscle memory and years of
repetitive shooting. And you're likely using point
shooting with little actual "sighting" at close range.
Bet you can draw and just point at a can send it
airborne. But you might miss if you study at it and aim a
lot.

If it were me, I'd leave those sights just as they are.
You know my philosophy; if it ain't broke, why fix it?
And I'd also be willing to bet if you swapped out
the rear to all black, you'd shoot worse. Cause you'd
have then messed up a memorized sight picture!

Ok, that's my 2 cents worth. It's what your mind,eyes,
and nervous system have retained that will emerge in a
fight, competition, or just plain plinking. If ya change
anything ya throw everything out of balance.

Edit: above it wrote Block instead of Glock. That's the
spelling/word thing in my phone changing stuff. But maybe
Block IS more correct!

Edited by Old Ranger on January 20 2018 at 12:57pm


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Rex
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Posted: January 20 2018 at 2:06pm | IP Logged Quote Rex

Wade you may be correct. Went out this morning to put a few rounds down range and a friend stopped by. He is a nice guy but is a bit unsure which end of a revolver the bullet comes out of. At any rate he ask me to shoot his and see what I could do. His is an old Ruger Security Six 4", real nice piece that he'd tried to put a set of Hogue monogrips on without much success. Darn I shot a tighter group with his and my reloads than I did with mine. I suspect that with the strange piece I paid a little more attention to what I was doing and concentrated on sight picture and trigger squeeze.
Those old Security Six are nice revolvers, more the weight of a K frame.
Yes, I catch myself not paying much attention to the sights sometimes on mine. I don't always get the prettiest group but believe I can shoot minute of bad guy at 20-25 yards with no sights.
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STCM(SW)
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Posted: January 20 2018 at 3:29pm | IP Logged Quote STCM(SW)

"Yes, I catch myself not paying much attention to the sights sometimes on mine. I don't always get the prettiest group but believe I can shoot minute of bad guy at 20-25 yards with no sights. "

If you have 25 YDS, Hide!
A 2" 38 may hit a target at that range, but why engage if you can be safe?

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Desert Eagle41
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Posted: January 20 2018 at 5:17pm | IP Logged Quote Desert Eagle41

I too get lazy and proved it to myself lately when I tried to take the NRA pistol instructors shooting test with a new gun I hadn't shot much. Couldn't hit anything so I went back to basics with site picture and trigger control and scored a perfect score. Sure woke me up. Craig

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joed
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Posted: January 20 2018 at 10:10pm | IP Logged Quote joed

I'm going to have to try one of my S&W revolvers with the white
outline.

Just had cataract surgery, first time in 8 years I can read my watch
and the dashboard of the car.   And no more reading glasses.   

We shall see how sights look now.    

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Old Ranger
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Posted: January 20 2018 at 11:50pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Well I refuse to grow old. Got an old joke about that..

I grew up once for 30 minutes. It was the most
frightening half hour of my life!

But yeah, my eyes are crapping out on me yet I keep
pushing the envelope. Ok, maybe not the envelope... Um,
maybe more like a folded sheet of notebook paper.
There's days I don't need my glasses for nuthin' 'cept
reading. And other days gotta have em on just to see the
road. Then there's days that the right one's got fuzz in
a corner and the left is out of focus. Like lookin
through a cheap set of binoculars! Oh well.....

But close quarters I don't use sights. I point shoot.
With my old Smith M&P 38 or my 1911A1, out to 20ft or so
I don't even use the sights at all. From around 30ft on I
use sights for the most part. Now we're talking about
"Minute Of Chest cavity" here. From that range, out
to around 15yds I just use the front sight like a shotgun
bead and just keep the rear in the general area for
alignment purposes. But that's ok. I'm not looking
to get into any more gunfights now that I'm old.
Now it's more fun watching all the politicians and actors
get accused of being old molesters and deviants!

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Rex
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Posted: January 21 2018 at 4:51am | IP Logged Quote Rex

The revolver I shot yesterday didn't have "white outline", The gap either side of the front sight was a lot narrower than on mine and I had to bear down to get the sight picture. It made me shoot better but wasn't near as fast as mine. I kind of liked that and think maybe I'll give one a try. Don't look hard or expensive to change the rear blade.
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Old Ranger
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Posted: January 21 2018 at 6:19am | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Rex, next time you're near the five 'n dime grab a bottle
of water based poster paint in black. You can then fill
in the white outline on your sight with it and a
toothpick, but not be permanent. Now you can test your
eyes against a black sight and see how you do.

If you find it sucks, a wet Q Tip will remove your water
soluble test paint and you're back with the original
sights without a lot of mechanical exchanges with small
easily breakable parts. If you want the color change to
be more permanent, remove the watercolor paint and
replace it with enamel or acrylic flat black paint.

Not an "Easy Button" but more like a "Try before you buy"
button.

Edited by Old Ranger on January 21 2018 at 6:21am


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KinleyWater
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Posted: January 21 2018 at 7:04am | IP Logged Quote KinleyWater

Before you invest dollars in new sights, try taking a dry erase marker to the white outline. Shoot it thus, and if you find it more pleasant, you can upgrade to permanent marker or a bit of bluing. Myself and a few others used to blank out our white dots with marker. It needed to be reapplied from time to time, but seeing as we had to return them in issue condition, that was for the best.

At any rate, if your sights are not otherwise in need of replacement, it is worth considering other alternatives.

Edited by KinleyWater on January 21 2018 at 7:04am


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RECURVE
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Posted: January 21 2018 at 4:21pm | IP Logged Quote RECURVE

I started buying longer barrels on my single actions I'm
71 and like the sights better on a 7.5 inch barrels
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Buffalogun
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Posted: January 21 2018 at 5:56pm | IP Logged Quote Buffalogun

I have never liked white outline sights.

This Blackhawk Bisley .44 Mag has a 7.5" barrel and there is plenty of daylight between the sides of the rear sight and the front blade.


This Blackhawk Flattop .357 Mag has a 4.62" barrel and the front sight filled up the rear sight. So, I opened the rear sight a little on each side with a small file. You'll notice the rear is more "V" shaped. Works fine.


This Vaquero .44 Mag has a 5.5" barrel but the front blade is narrow enough and provides plenty of daylight in the rear sight. Although you might not be able to see the front blade in the pic.


If I can't see daylight on either side of the front sight, I can't get the windage correct for an accurate shot.

Sometimes you just gotta make some fine adjustments.

Mike

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Rex
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Posted: January 21 2018 at 7:12pm | IP Logged Quote Rex

Mike, I shot a revolver yesterday that had a lot tighter rear sight than mine. I had to concentrate to get things lined up. Made me shoot a little better as a result, not nearly as quick but a closer sight picture.
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joed
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Posted: January 23 2018 at 4:40pm | IP Logged Quote joed

OK, I tried aiming with one of S&W revolvers since cataract surgery
today.   What a difference!   I can see the sights now without
glasses.   Very clear.

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LAH
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Posted: January 23 2018 at 7:34pm | IP Logged Quote LAH

Rex I'm no fan of WO rear sights nor red insert fronts.

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joed
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Posted: January 24 2018 at 8:00am | IP Logged Quote joed

I always liked the red front sites but have no use for the white
outline.   I like the red site so much that I have used a flourescent
nail polish on many guns without them.

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Ham Gunner
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Posted: January 24 2018 at 10:14am | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

Bright pink on front sights helped me for quick point shooting. If fire sights are available for a firearm, I have installed many of them and they are fantastic.

As for rear sights, I never seen a need for white outlines. Even when my eyes could see rear sights I really would rather have plain black rear sights. Now my eyes can not even see the white outlines.

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Rex
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Posted: January 26 2018 at 12:02pm | IP Logged Quote Rex

The new rear sight blade and necessary screw and nut came this morning. Never ordered an extra spring or detent but thought about it. Getting the old sight out and capturing the spring and detent from the broken adjusting screw head was a piece of cake. Putting it back in was a bit more exciting. Lost the detent plunger once but, Lord Have Mercy, I found the little bugger. Two near heart attacks and a whole new vocabulary of foul language it was back together and the nut staked. Wife even gave me sympathy and support which is pretty rare with any of my gun projects.
Now if we get rid of the snow and it warms a bit we'll see how it works out. I had opened the old blade up way back when I first got the gun and like so many of my projects I went a little far and it's hard to put metal back once the file has been there.
All is well that ends well!
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Old Ranger
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Posted: January 26 2018 at 12:19pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger


And folks wonder why they pay a gunsmith to do these
things. When some folks came to pick up their
weapons after I repaired/modified them some asked about
my fees. I'd tap the side of my head and say "You not
only pay for my hand skills but you also are paying for
what's up here." tapping my head again.

Glad you got it done.

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John Van Gelder
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Posted: February 03 2018 at 3:15pm | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

Rex

The trick with old eyes is to try for a bit more light on each side of the front sight. The white outline will get lost in the "daylight" if the rear notch is too narrow.

I believe and I am not sure, but I think you can order different width rear sight blades for the S&W.

Another trick you can try as long as you are not shooting heavy loads, is to bring the gun a bit closer to your eye, kind of like the combat auto shooters.

Hope this helps..j
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