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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This has probably been ask and answered before, but does anyone know of a place to get a colored insert front sight (think S&W) for a Mk III? I have tried painting my plated sight with several things with some working better than others, but noting lasting very long.
 

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There simply aren't any sights available for the Mark III with a colored insert.
I know of one source of plain black sight blades.
Colt used the same basic front sight on the Trooper Mark III, Trooper Mark V, and the King Cobra. The Mark V and KC had red insert sights, but the supply seems to have been used up and they can't be easily found, or cheaply.

What you can do is have a gunsmith install a colored insert.
If you're handy with small tools you can even do it yourself, using epoxy glue and model airplane paint to make up a cast-in insert which is what the factories do.
If you're interested in doing it yourself, let me know here and I'll post the instructions.

For a new plain black sight, see here: You could buy a new sight and do the insert in it. That way you could keep the original, and if the insert job didn't come out as well as you want, you would have the original sight.

Front Sight Blade (1/8") Gun Parts | 185270 | Numrich Gun Parts
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the info, that explains why I have not been able to find any. The idea of working on a replacement sight and saving the original sounds good to me. I will get a replacement ordered, if you would post the instructions, I would appreciate it. Just replacing that shiny silver front sight with a black one will be an improvement.
 

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Here's how to install a colored insert on a front sight.
You can buy kits from Brownell's that are either the cast-in type or the type that use sheets of colored plastic from which you cut an insert then glue it in place.

This is how to prepare and cast an insert.

First step is to cut a slot in the front sight were you want the insert.
If the sight is on the gun, use tape to thoroughly tape up the gun so there’s no chance of a missed file stroke scarring the finish or for a vise to scratch it. Leave only the sight exposed.
The trick is to get the slot toward the top of the sight so when finished and you look through the sights you don’t see any steel above the insert.

First, use the EDGE of a good, wide file to file a shallow slot in the front sight. Using the edge of the file makes it easier to keep the slot uniform and even since it‘s easier to tell if the file is tilted.
The slot doesn’t need to be very deep. Too many people cut the slot way too deep. All that's needed is a shallow cut.
After you have the slot filed, get a triangular needle file and grind one side smooth. This makes a safe edge file, so you can file the undercuts without deepening the slot.
You can also buy a sight dovetail file from Brownell’s.
Use the file to file the ends of the slot to make undercut dovetails. These undercuts don’t need to be too deep.
Use the files to clean up the dovetail and make the bottom flat and the dovetailed ends even.

Buy a small drill that’s about half as wide as the sight blade.
Use the drill to carefully drill two shallow holes in the bottom of the dovetail. These holes were used by S&W and form “locks” for the insert to lock into. This makes a much stronger insert that won’t loosen or come out.
Make sure to use a center punch to mark the holes so the drill won’t drift off and don't drill too deep.

Use a solvent like Acetone, alcohol, or lacquer thinner to degrease the sight.

Make up two "dams" from small, flat pieces of metal or thick plastic.

Apply a coat of wax to the faces of the dams, then clamp them to the sides of the sight blade with a small pair of Vise-Grips to form a mold around the dovetail.
The wax prevents the epoxy from sticking to the dams. You can use Johnson’s Paste wax or shoe polish wax, but NOT car wax.

Mix up some 1 to 2 hour type epoxy glue. The longer cure time gives more working time and allows the epoxy to level in the dovetail.

After mixing the glue, put a SMALL drop of Testor's solvent-base model paint in the glue and mix it thoroughly.
You need only a very small amount, and the less you use the stronger the insert will be. If you use too much the insert will be weak and crumbly.
Experiment to find the right mix. Use just enough to color the glue properly.

Use a toothpick or needle to pack the epoxy mix into the holes you drilled in the dovetail, then use a small screwdriver or toothpick to put a drop of the epoxy-paint mix in the dovetail.
You want exactly enough to fill the cut to the top of the sight, level with it but no higher.

Brace the sight, (or the whole gun if it's on the barrel) so the face of the sight is level.
This will allow the epoxy to settle level and not run out.

After the leftover epoxy is like a hard rubber, remove the mold and use a brass or plastic "knife" to clean up any excess epoxy.
Allow to fully cure for 24 hours in a warm place, and you're good to go.

This home method works just as well as the commercial sets, and is considerably cheaper.
It's not really all that hard to do this with a little practice, and you can save some money.

I recommend practicing filing the dovetail, drilling the holes, and filling the dovetail with epoxy by using the edge of some steel plate to practice on.
 

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Ruger Redhawk Frt Sight with Transparent/Orange Insert

There is some sort of RC scale Aircraft glue, which one can apply directly on the plastic insert and this glue goes through, and solidifies in seconds.
If I knew the source, I'd reveal it in a heartbeat.

Back in the early 1980's, I filed out the notch on My Ruger Redhawk's front sight, because during early AM, and last minutes of shooting light during Big Game season, I was having difficulty seeing that front blade.
Ruger merely molds solid color plastic over recesses in their Redhawk front blades, and I wanted transparent orange, aka, Ithaca Raybar style plastic.
A gunsmith friend gave Me some of that transparent plastic, and encouraged Me to go ahead with My project.
Epoxy would hold the plastic in the V-notch, but it fell out one day, when I was up in the mountains, and surprised a black bear in the brush, or should I say He surprised the hell out of Me!

An old friend, who designed and hand-built many RC scale beautiful aircraft, had Me bring the entire gun to him...btw, He was politically liberal.
We cleaned out the sight notch with denatured alcohol, and roughed up the entire plastic piece with #320 grit paper, and then with the gun mounted in a hobby clamping tool, I held the plastic down onto the metal sight blade.
My friend put ONLY one drop of that liquid, directly onto the transparent orange plastic piece, and said to hold without moving, for xx amount of seconds.

To make a long story short, that was back in 1988, and My Ruger Redhawk has probably had 1,000 stiff loads through it since that time, plus, it has been on dozens of Big Game hunts.
The transparent plastic piece has a semi-glossy, glazed over appearance, and it absolutely glows, like an Ithaca Raybar sight, with even a speck of daylight.

Both My liberal old friend and the old timer Gunsmith have long since passed away, but My Ruger front sight endures to this day.
I'll try to take a picture later today or tomorrow, and add it to this post.

EDIT: Images Added
 

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BTW: I have a friend in Europe who's scrounging for a couple of brand new Millett, orange bar, front sight blades for Colt Trooper Mark III guns.
Should He be successful, I'll buy them, and keep one....and sell the other for actual cost to the OP of this thread, if interested.
I already have those on two of My Trooper Mark III, 357 revolvers, and they are superior to fiber optic sight blades, IMO.

Post Editted to show Millett Orange Bar front sight blade installed on Colt Trooper Mark III with 8" bbl.
 

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