Different Way To Make A Front Sight
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Thread: Different Way To Make A Front Sight

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    Different Way To Make A Front Sight

    I needed a front sight on a barrel I had shortened. I decided to make it from MIG weld. This is a work-in-progress shot of a couple trials before doing it on the barrel --


    I first did a string of weld at a higher than usual setting for the welder, to be sure of a firm base. Then, while still hot, I did a string over its top. Repeated about three times gives the result shown. To get the desired height maybe 4 or 5 applications.

    Result is a rough sided width between 1/8 & 3/16" thick that reduced to desired width by carbide cutters on my Foredom With some filing & usual polishing ----------

    Comments and other experience appreciated.
    Last edited by rhmc24; 01-27-2016 at 03:30 PM.

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    Robert, You are always innovating!!
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    I like it. Let's see the finished sight when you're done.

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    When this work is complete, it will look like a factory sight! Robert, your work is fantastic!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SDC454502 View Post
    I like it. Let's see the finished sight when you're done.
    It came & went years ago --- I should explain, I was looking for something & as usual, found something else, this, this a little rusty. Now in Coltform, I recognized its 'show & tell' potential. I think I first used it to make a simple round tit type sight on a muzzle loader for a client -- I thought too thin for a tap thread in. The last specific memory of using the procedure was to add some metal to a New Service front sight that had been modified.

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    The question I have is how hard is the welding material? If you do this, is shaping the weld to the correct form, smoothing it, etc., that difficult with your foredom tool? I have no idea of how hard the welding material is to work with, after you have it on the barrel.

    Interesting way to create a sight
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    As always Bob, highly inventive. I surely hope your ingenuity is passed on to those who appreciate your ideas and means of achieving such fine results in gunsmithing!
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    Tony

    “It's sad that governments are chiefed by the double tongues. There is iron in your words of death for all Comanche to see, and so there is iron in your words of life. No signed paper can hold the iron. It must come from men. The words of Ten Bears carry the same iron of life and death. It is good that warriors such as we meet in the struggle of life, or death ---- it shall be life.” - Ten Bears - “The Outlaw Josey Wales”

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    [QUOTE=blackdog001;855028]The question I have is how hard is the welding material?

    The metal deposited is iron alloy probably as hard as the barrel I weld on. The MIG welder feeds a wire that is melted & fused into/on to the work. I buy the standard grade. I understand there are different wires for different kinds of welding jobs.
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    This is a classic example of "making do" when you can't find what you need.
    There's more than one way to skin a cat, and more then ways to get a gun part then buying it.

    Years ago I needed an odd ball front sight for a rifle and since it was foreign there was nothing available.
    I was thinking about modifying some other sight but nothing was close enough. Then I started thinking about filing a sight from a block of steel.
    That's a lot of work and one slip and you have to start over.

    Then I looked at the sight and realized that a dove tail sight is really a dovetail piece with a blade on top of it.
    So, I used some flat steel stock of the right thickness to file out a long dovetail. The extra length was to allow getting a tight fit without removing too much and winding up with a dovetail too loose.
    Once I had a tight fitting dovetail I cut off the excess on both sides leaving a dovetail that was a nice fit.

    Then I marked and center punched a spot in the exact center and drilled a hole through the dovetail.
    I used another piece of steel the width I needed for the actual sight and filed a tenon on the bottom very much like the tenon on the bottom of a 1911 pistol front sight.
    I made the tenon larger then the hole so I could round off the sharp edges of the tenon and it would be a press fit into the hole in the dovetail.
    I counter sunk the bottom of the tenon slightly then riveted it into the dovetail tightly.
    I gently rotated and bent the sight blade to make it straight, then silver soldered it.

    Result was a front sight that only the very closest examination can tell it's made of two pieces.
    I've since used this technique to make a number of sights, mainly for pistols. They've proved to be about as durable as one piece machined or cast sights.

    The lesson here and with rhmc24's rifle sight is that with a little imagination you can "make do" when something can't be found or is not otherwise suitable.
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    [QUOTE=dfariswheel;855190]. So, I used some flat steel stock of the right thickness to file out a long dovetail. The extra length was to allow getting a tight fit without removing too much and winding up with a dovetail too loose. Once I had a tight fitting dovetail I cut off the excess on both sides leaving a dovetail that was a nice fit.

    Ingenuity hath no bounds!!! -- Here to point out his practice of a good idea --- when making a small part it is sometimes possible to leave part of it projecting for use as a handle or grip-place while working it & when closer to completion cut it off as dfaris- did.


    The different-ways subject, recalls I was building myself a matchlock, a 'memory copy' of one I had years ago & let escape, trading it for a nice Colt 3rd Dragoon. Always regretting its passing, I found a sketch of it & went to work. The trigger on the original was an early 1600s forging which I made a make-do copy much as dfaris- described. The forefinger pull piece I slotted, to receive the upper push-piece & a weld made them one, major saving almost endless filing.


    After comment -- when I was into early gun restoration 1960-2010 collectors were interested in proof & ID marks & few I handled got much ID. I have Stockel, two volume 900 pages of gun marks & for once I found 4 of its 5 marks in Stockel.
    Last edited by rhmc24; 01-28-2016 at 03:45 PM.


 

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