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  #1  
Old 01-12-2010, 07:34 PM
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Default Should I paint my front sight?

This is the sight picture for my Ruger SP101.



I'm wondering about painting the front ramp with some red or orange fingernail polish to make it a little easier to see.

I just tested it out by painting a dab on some scrap, then after it dried, tried to rub it off with Hoppes numba nine, and it stayed put.

Opinions pro/con?

Thanks all.

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Old 01-12-2010, 07:54 PM
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I paint my front sights with an acrylic paint that Wal-Mart sells in their crafts dept. Brand name is Apple Barrel. It comes in 2 0z. plastic bottles & is easily removed. I put on a coat of white followed by a coat of orange. This stuff drys very quickly & lasts for a few range trips, then I redo it as needed. I think when I first bought it a couple years ago it was 35 cents a bottle, but now I think it is about a buck a bottle. It is available in many colors. One bottle of color will last you many lifetimes. FWIW
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:22 PM
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I've used this gun sight kit - it's bright and durable, if you don't like red, juts scratch it off and apply a different color: Bright Sights High Visibility Gun Sight Paint

Pete
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:31 PM
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Good answers, thanks.

So, what about fingernail polish? It looks like it would be more permanent that these options, but can still be removed with acetone.
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:41 PM
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I usually use red nail polish on front sights. For sure on nickel! Lasts quite a while before touchup is needed.
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:46 PM
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Hi:
Over the years I have used different colors.
1. White (white out)
2. Red (fingernail polish)
3. Bright Orange (model car paint)

I have found that #3 is best for me.
Jimmy
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:37 PM
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If you can live with white?
I highly recommend appliance touch up paint. It has a hard enough compound to resist a few cleaning cycles. I've used it on a couple of 3 dot sets that were damaged by brake cleaner or some other solvent.
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:54 PM
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More good answers, thanks folks.
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Old 01-12-2010, 10:02 PM
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Why not, give it a try and you can use finger nail polish remover (acetone) to remove the paint if needed.
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Old 01-12-2010, 10:02 PM
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I have used a red/orange model paint. I first read this in "Copper on Handguns" back in the 70's. It still works.
The stuff is still on my sights. I like it a lot better than an installed Red Ramp... if you don't like the shade, you can easily try another.
Russ
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Old 01-12-2010, 10:02 PM
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I use White Appliance Paint, show up real well and in the dark it picks up and reflects ambient light real well. Plus its hard and will not wear off.

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Old 01-12-2010, 10:09 PM
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I did the front sight of my Winchester using crazy glue and glow powder. It keeps a nice visible glow for 8-12 hours after being exposed to a light source. I originally got the powder to re-lume watch hand and dials and works as well as any non radioactive lume. It also comes in red and orange though the lume does not last as long in the colors.

Glow in the dark powder

I mixed up a bit of glue and powder into a paste then put a dab on my front sight then sprinkeld dry powder over it to cover it as much as possible. I also cut a triangle of paper soked it in glue then put it on the rear sight and sprinkled it with lots of glow powder.
I have taken the rifle on two hunting trips and to the range many times and the crazy glue has held up better than i expected.





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Old 01-12-2010, 10:26 PM
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I use the same nail polish I use on my toes. Chartreuse
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Old 01-12-2010, 10:36 PM
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Benjamin Moore
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:46 PM
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I have a SP101 also and used orange nail polish on my front sight. It is my everyday carry gun and I have shot about 300 rounds and cleaned it several times and it looks like it did the day I put it on there.


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Old 01-12-2010, 11:50 PM
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I like bright yellow. Testor's model paint. Comes off with the wifes nail polish remover.

Out West
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:51 PM
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Thanks to the OP for asking this question, and for the replies. I have the exact same model and have known for some time that it needed something on that front sight. A nighttime confrontation would not be good with the way it currently is.

Andy
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Old 01-13-2010, 12:04 AM
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Forget paint..get a fiber optic sight...I have one on my SP101 and it makes a world of difference in daylight.....you can put it in yourself too..here's mine...you can get one at the website below....



Gemini Customs LLC - FOR SALE
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Old 01-13-2010, 01:06 AM
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I did it on my 36. Old eyes and black sights didn't work for me. I used Testors day-glo yellow. Now I can immediately pick up the front sight.
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Old 01-13-2010, 01:15 AM
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Yet more good replies, thanks all.

Sip: I've noticed that fiber optic on your gun when you've posted pics before (I like it a lot), but figured it was a one-of-a-kind that Gemini Customs did for you. Their web page says that the user can install it themselves - and the price doesn't look too bad. Did you install yours yourself, Sip? Was it difficult?
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Old 01-13-2010, 01:36 AM
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I think SDM also makes them for it as well? (I can't link from this P/C)
It's a matter of drifting out the pin, pulling the blade, replacing the blade, then if the sight is pre-drilled, reinstall the cross pin. On some, you may need to drill the hole for the pin through the blade yourself.
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Old 01-13-2010, 02:03 AM
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Glow in the dark powder ... who'd a thunk?

Thanks Smith357.

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Old 01-13-2010, 02:13 AM
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I painted my sights tonight with the wife's nail polish. It look like ****, like a 3 year old did it. I took it off and will just deal with black sights. Guess I'm not a sight artist. lol
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Old 01-13-2010, 02:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackSky View Post
I painted my sights tonight with the wife's nail polish. It look like ****, like a 3 year old did it. I took it off and will just deal with black sights. Guess I'm not a sight artist. lol
... or, you could do what I'm probably going to do ... let her do the painting.

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Old 01-13-2010, 02:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reerc View Post
Yet more good replies, thanks all.

Sip: I've noticed that fiber optic on your gun when you've posted pics before (I like it a lot), but figured it was a one-of-a-kind that Gemini Customs did for you. Their web page says that the user can install it themselves - and the price doesn't look too bad. Did you install yours yourself, Sip? Was it difficult?
I had it done while it was there for his basic package...but Marc told me it's easy...just knock out the pin, replace the sight and knock it back in...what's nice about it is that you still get a square front to line up for pin point shooting but the bright red fiber really stands out in the light....I need reading glasses to see my sights, but the fiber optic I can see pretty well without them....
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Old 01-13-2010, 04:53 AM
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On a zero to 10 scale, the install looks like a 2 or a 3.
If I'm seeing them correctly they do require pin drilling.
http://geminicustoms.com/Gallery/DSC02183.JPG

http://geminicustoms.com/Gallery/DSC02146.JPG

http://geminicustoms.com/Gallery/DSC02199.JPG

Gemini Customs LLC - FOR SALE

Sip is absolutely correct about the top of the sight post needing to be square. A rounded top edge is the aspect of many fiber optic sights that turns most people off to them.
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Old 01-13-2010, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spotteddog View Post
On a zero to 10 scale, the install looks like a 2 or a 3.
If I'm seeing them correctly they do require pin drilling.
http://geminicustoms.com/Gallery/DSC02183.JPG

http://geminicustoms.com/Gallery/DSC02146.JPG

http://geminicustoms.com/Gallery/DSC02199.JPG

Gemini Customs LLC - FOR SALE
Yeah, if you take a zoom-in look at these pics, there is no hole in these sights ... and since I'm no kind of smith, looks like I'm grabbin' the nail polish.

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Old 01-13-2010, 11:56 AM
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Default Painting the front sight...

I am color blind, on 10 of 12 colors on the eye doctor's chart.
Yellow is my dominant color.
I use FINGERNAIL POLISH to cover the front sight. It comes off with acetone or Hoppe's #9.
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Old 01-13-2010, 12:22 PM
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I e-mailed Marc at Gemini...he will advise me how easy/hard it is.....
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Old 01-13-2010, 01:22 PM
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I use fishing lure paint and put a base of white on first and then a layer of red or green. The white base seems to increase the visibility of the top layer. I also like fiber optic sights for competition but have been reluctant to put them on a carry gun. The fiber optic sight that I like the best is the Firesight by Williams Gunsight. Durable and the red fiber looks as big as a stop light. Good for old eyes.
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Old 01-13-2010, 02:05 PM
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I received this from Marc:

Hello Dave

The installation is easy and requires tools that most have easy access to or own, i.e. 1/16 pin punch 1/16 drill bit and small power drill, padded vise, small hammer. I wrote the instructions, so you know it is pretty simple. I have sold hundreds and installed hundreds, and so far no problems or complaints about hard to install.

Of course the best way to have them installed is to get it done for free when they send in their SP101 for a custom upgrade in my shop! Just like you did.

Marc

BTW, h sent along a few pics of work on Smiths....sweet!



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Old 01-13-2010, 02:11 PM
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I asked Marc whey they don't come pre drilled...

To allow for any tolerance differences on the location of the retention pin hole in the barrel as drilled during manufacture. Only a few thousandths of an inch i.e. .001-.003, or the thickness of a sheet of paper will keep the new sight from fitting it's best. It is a pretty anal detail, but a detail nonetheless.

I will predrill if a customer feels like all thumbs and can not do it him/herself, but I charge an additional $5.00 and do not/cannot guarantee a great fit (although they are very close/good)

Marc
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Old 01-13-2010, 09:57 PM
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Thanks for checking on that for us Sip!
That's why I said earlier, it's a mid 2 or low 3 for difficulty. Made easier by the fact that the Ruger is made of stainless steel rather than aluminum like an alloy J frame. And appears to have a LOT of meat in that area. I'm always a little nervous drilling on those alloy guns my self!
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Old 01-14-2010, 12:17 AM
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I tried several things on my stainless guns, as a matte stainless front sight doesn't stand out well against anything. First tried blaze orange Testors model airplane dope. It went black when in the shade and didn't stand out against a dark target. Tried white nail polish, and found it worked the best. It shows up against practically anything regardless of the lignting conditions on the front sight. Comes off easily if you want, but stays on well, even when holstered.

When I approached the cosmetic counter with my little bottle of fancy white nailpolish, the girl gave me an odd look. I'm male, 76, 6'3", not your usual cosmetics customer. I told her it was for the sight of my quick-draw pistol and got an even odder look.
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Old 01-14-2010, 03:28 AM
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Quote:
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Thanks for checking on that for us Sip!
That's why I said earlier, it's a mid 2 or low 3 for difficulty. Made easier by the fact that the Ruger is made of stainless steel rather than aluminum like an alloy J frame. And appears to have a LOT of meat in that area. I'm always a little nervous drilling on those alloy guns my self!
You are welcome..but I don't think you have to drill the the gun, only the sight...
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Old 01-14-2010, 09:44 AM
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I chose to go the nail polish route, instead of paint. It is much more durable, and stays on much longer. Bob
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Old 01-14-2010, 11:54 AM
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I used car paint. You know those little bottles of touch up paint. I had one laying around for my white corolla, and put some on my front sight. It has stayed on with no problems for over a 1000 rounds now. It will get drity after a range trip, but I just wipe it off with some hoppes #9 and its good to go.
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Old 01-14-2010, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
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I tried several things on my stainless guns, as a matte stainless front sight doesn't stand out well against anything. First tried blaze orange Testors model airplane dope. It went black when in the shade and didn't stand out against a dark target. Tried white nail polish, and found it worked the best. It shows up against practically anything regardless of the lignting conditions on the front sight.
I have a similar situation. While my gun club is an outdoor range, the firing line and target stands are covered with heavy baffling between the two. Couple that with heavy tree surroundings, a requirement to use nra black center bullseye targets, and the frequent dark days here make for not so much light.

I have stainless smith revolvers with red ramp, white ramp, and plain ramp sights and the white ramp seems to show up the best but the stock s&w 'white' is pretty weak, not very bright at all. Maybe I'll try some of the appliance white or the fiber optic as it sure would be nice to see the front sight. Black guns are similarly useless in this situation unless they have a white dot or ramp front sight.

It's no wonder I like the CT laser grips so much.
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Old 01-14-2010, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
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I painted my sights tonight with the wife's nail polish. It look like ****, like a 3 year old did it. I took it off and will just deal with black sights. Guess I'm not a sight artist. lol
Don't use a paint brush, use a thoothpick. Testors paint is best IMO.
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Old 01-14-2010, 02:26 PM
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Yeah Sip,
I was talking about the initial "whiff cut" where you install the front sight into it's slot, then use a light touch from both sides with a drill bit through the retainer pin aperture in the barrel. To mark where the hole is to be drilled in the blade when removed from the gun. When doing that on the aluminum alloy guns, even barely touching the soft metal on the sides of the pin I.D. will egg shape the hole from the drill bit's flutes. What I have done is to dedicate the drill bit's for this application. Using a bit that has been modified to have virtually no twist length on the shank of the bit. Since I only use those bits to "pre-mark", it doesn't matter that they don't have the material carry off groove. Once marked, I complete the drilling with a standard bit after the blade has been removed from the gun.
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