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Old 05-15-2018, 11:12 AM
center_shot center_shot is offline
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Default Sight Options for 4" 686

Been struggling with the sights on my 4" 686 lately. I can shoot my 45/22 Ruger much easier. It just has a simple black sight with black notch rear with plenty of room on each side of the blade. I'm not sure if the issue with the 686 is the red ramp, width of the blade or width of rear sight notch. The blade fills the rear notch a bit too much and does not give enough room to get good light on each side of the blade. Curious if there are options for narrower width blades or wider rear sights to open up the sight picture a bit. Anyone else had issues like this? If so how did you solve them. Thanks.
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Old 05-15-2018, 11:20 AM
RGVshooter RGVshooter is offline
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There's a big difference between the Ruger 45/22 and S&W 686's sights. One is a 22 caliber target pistol and the other is basically a service/duty gun. The target sights on the Ruger allow for a more precision shot whereas the 686 is more of a "center of mass" sight picture. You can change the front sight on the 686 but honestly I think the sights that come with it are fine. I use my 4" 686 for bowling pin matches where the pins are set up at 20 yards. better yet, we cut the top 6" off the pins and set up 3 pin bodies and two pin tops. I can hit a 6" x 2" pin head with my factory sights. Took lots of practice though.

You can also I believe change the rear sight for a wider notch. I might be wrong on that but I believe S&W offers different width rear sights. You can find them on MidwayUSA or Brownells.

Last edited by RGVshooter; 05-15-2018 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 05-15-2018, 03:07 PM
center_shot center_shot is offline
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Right - I want target sights! My initial post sure was a long winded way to say that. lol I don't care at all about speed shooting, my priority is accuracy. I want/need to be able to shoot a jack rabbit at 25 yards or this thing will go down the road. I know the revolver is capable as I have shot it with a scope. It's just these stock sights that are very limiting for me.

The rear sights I have found are different heights, but the width of the notch stays the same. I may try a partridge type front sight and see if that helps. I had a 617 that with partridge style sight that was much easier to shoot accurately. Maybe just black out the stock sight and give it a try. Any other suggestions? Thanks.

Last edited by center_shot; 05-15-2018 at 03:08 PM.
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Old 05-15-2018, 04:30 PM
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Pizza Bob Pizza Bob is offline
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I have a Brazil 586 that I use for IDPA. The rear sight is an LPA black target sight (used as OE on some PC Smiths), but on a later modified gun I got a Bowen Rough Country rear sight and that is preferable - Both have the standard .125" notch. Front sight is a Dawson Precision .100" wide fiber optic. That is .025" narrower than stock and gives a good amount of light on both sides of the blade with the .125" rear notch. Makes for quicker pick-up, but less precision.

My front blade was integral with the base so I had to mill the whole sight off and install a new base (Weigand - not making them anymore, but Bowen is) the new base accepts the easily interchangeable front blades. If your front blade is pinned in, then all you need to do is change the blade. Dawson makes both kinds of blades.

Adios,

Pizza Bob
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Old 05-16-2018, 11:14 AM
center_shot center_shot is offline
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Perfect. Thanks.
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Old 05-17-2018, 06:04 AM
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Super Dave Super Dave is offline
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It sounds like your eyes prefer a thinner front sight with more of a light bar on each side of the front sight. The standard front sight is .125 wide and the rear notch is also .125 wide. They generally install that sight setup on their short barrels and long barrels. But, the sight picture changes depending on how long the barrel is. For me, the .125 wide front sight is perfect on the 8" barrel. But, I prefer a .115 on the 6 inch and maybe a .100 on the 2" barrel.
If you call S&W they can tell you the height of the sight that came on your gun. Find out the height of your rear blade also. Then you can order a replacement front sight from Dawson Precision in whatever width you want. Their fiber optic sights are real nice and a big upgrade for general shooting (and should be plenty precise for your needs.) Dawson sights are an upgrade over the factory sights. They can even custom make one for you for a small uncharge.

If you want to improve the rear sight you can get an aftermarket rear blade insert from Weigand Combat. They even sell them in different widths up to .140 wide I think. The only thing to keep in mind is that the height of their blade is .160 and that might be different than what's on your gun and could change the point of impact.

The best aftermarket rear sight is from Bowen.
S&W Rough Country Rear Sights : + Bowen Classic Arms +, Parts Store

It takes some time to figure out exactly what will work best for your eyes. But, use your Ruger sight picture as a guide and work from there. Be sure to save your original factory parts. Some day you might want to put them back on. Good luck.
Dave
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Old 05-17-2018, 06:26 AM
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Super Dave Super Dave is offline
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Here's some photos that show everything I was talking about in the above post...







If you want to get real precise a red dot is hard to beat.

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Old 05-17-2018, 09:53 AM
629sixgun 629sixgun is offline
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Dave , that 10 rounds laid out for the speed loader is a great idea. Did you make that or is that commercial available?
thanks,
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Old 05-18-2018, 03:29 AM
mscampbell2734 mscampbell2734 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by center_shot View Post
Right - I want target sights! My initial post sure was a long winded way to say that. lol I don't care at all about speed shooting, my priority is accuracy. I want/need to be able to shoot a jack rabbit at 25 yards or this thing will go down the road. I know the revolver is capable as I have shot it with a scope. It's just these stock sights that are very limiting for me.

The rear sights I have found are different heights, but the width of the notch stays the same. I may try a partridge type front sight and see if that helps. I had a 617 that with partridge style sight that was much easier to shoot accurately. Maybe just black out the stock sight and give it a try. Any other suggestions? Thanks.
The issue here is language. When people talk about target sights they normally mean sights with very slight amount of space on each side of the front sight blade. This is a more precise sight picture because any deviation of exact center in the rear notch will clearly be seen.

Your Ruger with the larger notch/narrower front sight is more of a speed shooting shooting setup. Ruger may advertise the gun as a "target" gun but the sights are not true target sights.

Also the question of what you consider target shooting needs to be addressed. You talk about shooting a rabbit at 25 yards. That by definition requires sights that allow a precise and repeatable sight picture, in other words your Smith sights as they are now, with the possible change of a plain black rear, quite common is some target shooting circles.

Finally the issue of less then perfect eyes. I've worn glasses all my life and as a shooter it sucks. So while a greater amount of light on each side of the blade may seem to aid shooting, the reality is just the opposite.

Last edited by mscampbell2734; 05-18-2018 at 03:30 AM.
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Old 05-18-2018, 04:34 AM
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Super Dave Super Dave is offline
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[IMG]Dave , that 10 rounds laid out for the speed loader is a great idea. Did you make that or is that commercial available?[/IMG]

The loader and board are made by Ansac. I understand that they are the best. I've been using it for years and shot tens of thousands of rounds with never one issue. I highly recommend it. With two of the boards you can head to the range with about 500 rounds ready to go. That's handy when learning how to shoot double action. Our range has steel plates at 50, 75, 100 yards and I go to town on them.

I prefer the 4" version with the Match Dot. I like the balance. The 617 is a great understudy for your 686. Sorry to go off on a 617 tangent...but I love that gun...and it would be great for your rabbits.








Regarding the sights... I think a red dot would probably be your easiest solution if your gun is drilled and tapped at the factory for a scope base. If you look under the top strap of your 686 and it has 3 holes then you are good to go. Weigand Combat sells some nice bases and you can get a decent red dot for less than $100. The red dot is best for precision at distance...much easier than iron sights. You could do all that easily at home.

A new front sight will have to be drilled to fit the pin that holds it in. Unless you are handy and have the tools that will take a trip to the gunsmith.

Good luck.
Dave
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