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Old 10-16-2011, 09:02 PM
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Question Let's talk about J-Frame sight visibility:

I find the sights on the 642 a bit small and difficult to pick up in certain lighting. Anybody have some tricks to increase the visibility? Model paint? Nail polish? Custom sights? What about night sight or night visibility? Anyone make a decent glow in the dark model paint?

Thanks as always for sharing your experiences!

Shoot686
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Old 10-16-2011, 09:38 PM
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I believe alot of ppl are going to the Crimson Trace grips for that reason, also bear in mind that it really isnt a competition/"long range" firearm altho there are alot of ppl out there that can use the 642/442 out past 50yds while you most likely will never need it for that. Also if you wanted to change out the front sight you will have to send it to a gunsmith as it is not pinned if I remember correctly. There is a company that Trijicon (majority of night sights) would prefer you send your firearm to to get custom night sights put on. I believe it started as TOOL something im sure someone else will know the company I am talking about.
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Old 10-16-2011, 09:48 PM
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As mentioned above Crimson Trace grips are a viable sighting aid.
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Old 10-16-2011, 10:17 PM
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I mentioned this in another post very recently. With these small frame, short barrel guns, its a good idea to practice using the whole gun’s symmetrical outline as the “sight”. Sounds crazy but if you assume a defensive posture and put the outline of the gun on target in such a way that the top of the outline is where you want the round to hit, you will surprise yourself with the "accuracy" you can attain. In the reflexive reaction to a threat, by practicing this, you will be able to hit center mass reliably and without the time delay in trying to acquire a sight picture (you won’t anyway). A BG charging you with a knife won’t allow you time to draw and put your sights on him. Get a silhouette target and give it a try.
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Old 10-16-2011, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrobertson View Post
I believe alot of ppl are going to the Crimson Trace grips for that reason, also bear in mind that it really isnt a competition/"long range" firearm altho there are alot of ppl out there that can use the 642/442 out past 50yds while you most likely will never need it for that. Also if you wanted to change out the front sight you will have to send it to a gunsmith as it is not pinned if I remember correctly. There is a company that Trijicon (majority of night sights) would prefer you send your firearm to to get custom night sights put on. I believe it started as TOOL something im sure someone else will know the company I am talking about.
That's ToolTech in Michigan, but I'm not sure they do J-frame sights.
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Old 10-16-2011, 10:42 PM
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Iggy how old are those CTC grips?
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Old 10-16-2011, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 617X10 View Post
Iggy how old are those CTC grips?
I don't know, I bought them used 10 years ago.
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Old 10-16-2011, 10:52 PM
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I sent my 649 (1 7/8" barrel .38spl) to Karl Sokol in VT. He opened up the rear notch and sand blasted the top strap to reduce glare. He also cut the front sight blade to put in a red insert. I had sent my gun to a company that intalls the XS big dot sights a few years back but that didn't work out. They had the gun for a long time and the work never got done. I would have preferred the big dot tritium sights but opening up the rear notch really helps in acquiring the front sight. If you can get XS big dot 24/7's on your gun, do it. If not, you should consider having that rear notch opened up. Hope this helps.
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Old 10-16-2011, 11:21 PM
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In low light my ca. 1980 Model 60's site picture is difficult for me to see now at fifty-one. I'm sending it to S&W for some trigger work soon, I wonder if there's anything they do that would help.
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Old 10-16-2011, 11:38 PM
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I put white out on the front sight. Worked wonders.
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Old 10-17-2011, 12:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -db- View Post
That's ToolTech in Michigan, but I'm not sure they do J-frame sights.
Thank you ToolTech theyre website doesnt offer alot of information but I have had some people that I know say that they sent in their 642 or 442 to ToolTech and they removed the front sight and put in something along the lines of the night sight for J frames from XS sights
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Old 10-17-2011, 12:40 AM
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Practice like you'd actually employ it - simulating a rapid emergent threat; you will never use the sights close in. Ed45 has the right idea.
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Old 10-17-2011, 12:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy View Post
I don't know, I bought them used 10 years ago.
I really like the way those look with that 36.

For those looking at getting a CTC grip: If you're only going to shoot .38 Special or .38 +P out of your J-frame, the 105's work alright. If you are shooting .357's, get the 305's or 405's. My 340 has the 105's and it's a mite unruly with the loud stuff.
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Old 10-17-2011, 01:09 AM
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I am here to tell you, in the "modern vernacular" Crimson Trace grips are the "BOMB".

They are well worth the money, on any hand gun.

They are Awsome on an AR as well.
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Old 10-17-2011, 05:00 AM
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I've painted the front sight of my 442 with the brightest orange nail polish I could find at WalMart. Put directly on the sight it was better than black but not very bright. Removed it with lacquer thinner, then painted the sight with white nail polish, and after that dried put the orange back on top of the white. Much brighter. Liked it so much I did the same to the front sights on my models 10 and 49.
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Old 10-17-2011, 07:21 AM
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I agree, the average 'J' frame isn't a 25 yrd target gun. The term 'belly-gun' comes to mind. Also include some practice with the gun just in front of your belly with a bent elbow held against your side.
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Old 10-17-2011, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwever View Post
In low light my ca. 1980 Model 60's site picture is difficult for me to see now at fifty-one. I'm sending it to S&W for some trigger work soon, I wonder if there's anything they do that would help.
Instead of sending your Model 60 back to S&W, you may want to consider purchasing one of the new, no-lock Model 640's, 632's or M&P 340's.

The Model 640 and 632 Pro series have front and rear night sights already installed. The Model M&P 340 has a front night sight installed and a U-shaped rear notch instead of the tradition square notch.
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Old 10-17-2011, 11:56 AM
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I went the model paint method on my 642. I put a few coats of white and let them dry completley between coats. Then I put a couple of coats of Flourescent red. Mine came out looking almost exactly like a red insert.

I pocket carry everyday and I have had it on for almost a year and it has not chipped or faded at all.
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Old 10-17-2011, 12:43 PM
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A J frame has sights? Who knew about that?

( Just being a smarty pants here) The CT grips are a great solution for many people. Might work for you as well.

Randy
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Old 10-17-2011, 12:54 PM
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I painted the front sight ramps on both my 642 and 442 with brilliant red nail polish. However, I suspect that since these are belly guns designed for close-up personal protection, it would be "point and shoot" at near-contact distances; precise sight alignment would only take precious time.

John
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Old 10-17-2011, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captbahbah View Post
I sent my 649 (1 7/8" barrel .38spl) to Karl Sokol in VT. He opened up the rear notch and sand blasted the top strap to reduce glare. He also cut the front sight blade to put in a red insert.
By law, if you openly state you have a Sokol custom sight job, you are required to post photos of same...

tp
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Old 10-17-2011, 10:44 PM
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Default Yep it helps for that old trough to be wider.

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Old 10-17-2011, 10:45 PM
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I have a 642 w/ 1&7/8" and painted the front sight florescent orange,didn't help then painted it white, still didn't help and put on CT grips and it makes a remarkable difference. That is the answere for me. Kinda an expensive experiment if you don't know if you'll like.

I don't always use it and turn it off and do point shooting but it a great reference for me.
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Old 10-18-2011, 12:34 AM
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Check out this article. I found it quite helpful when I painted my sights.
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Old 10-18-2011, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Continental Op View Post
Check out this article. I found it quite helpful when I painted my sights.
that's a good article. thanks for that.
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Old 10-19-2011, 05:16 AM
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Default Great Information

Thanks for the input everyone. For starters I'll give one of the paint/nail polish techniques a try. I also like the suggestion of using the "whole gun" as the sight - pretty much like point shooting a rifle, you get so you dont really (at least not conciously) see the sights but just the overall relation of the gun to the target. I think this is most practical for very close work with a handgun as it is quite difficult with a handgun, more so with a snubby. Seems to me most defensive shooting instructors stress front sight acquisition in any shooting scenario anyway though, so I'd like to improve my sight's visibility. Lasers are an excellent option too, but I've never been a big fan of them. If night sights are an option that would be the best IMHO, but there's not alot of metal to work with to install them, either in the existing blade, or some sort of dovetail or pin arrangement.

Great info and suggestions, lots to think about.

Shooter686
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340, 38spl, 442, 632, 640, 642, 649, 686, crimson, gunsmith, j frame, lock, model 60, silhouette, snubby, trijicon, tritium

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