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  #1  
Old 05-15-2012, 08:08 PM
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Default Painting Front Sight on Revolver

I've just about decided that the front sights on my 64, 637 and 642 are going to get a base coat of white Testor's enamel, topped with either fluorescent orange or fluorescent green. My question is how much of each sight to paint. Do most people paint the entire grooved portion of the ramp or just the the upper 1/4" or so?

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Old 05-15-2012, 08:21 PM
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I have been coloring mine with a grease pencil in either red or white And I do the complete length.
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:54 PM
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Before I painted the front sight on my Model 65, I experimented with a piece of that blue painters masking tape. You will want to paint all the way up to the top serration before the part where blade turns to smooth. But to figure out how low to paint, place the edge of the tape at various points close to the lowest serration and take a good sight picture. You can figure out what the lowest serration is that is visible at the bottom of the rear sight notch pretty quickly. Then count how many serrations up from the bottom to start and paint the area between that serration and the top serration.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:57 PM
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I've been using red nail polish for decades. Paint the entire length. Works greats and last a long time.
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Old 05-16-2012, 02:09 PM
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If your concern is being able to see the front sight in low light use yellow. Tests conducted by the insurance industry have shown that yellow is seen by the human eye better than any other color as the light source is reduced. This is the reason most fire departments are now painting the trucks lime green or yellow instead of red. Bright fluorescent colors seem like a good idea but on an outdoor range in bright sunlight where the sun is off to one side of you it can glare so fiercely on one side it will make you pull your sights off to the sunny side. I settled on yellow years ago and haven't found anything that works better in sunlight or low light. I also found that a small dot applied with a toothpick works better than painting the entire width of the blade. You just need a small reference point for your eye to center in the rear notch.

Last edited by Drail; 05-16-2012 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 05-16-2012, 03:06 PM
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I to use a toothpick to apply a Neon Orange acrylic paint to the upper half of my front sights after first cleaning the sight with alcohol. After two or three coats have dried I then apply two coats of clear nail hardener from my wife's nail stuff. This makes the final product rather durable. I get a 2 oz bottol of paint from the craft section of Walmart for around a dollar, also the shelf life is longer than the Testor paint I used before. There is also; Neon Green, Pink, etc.
Allow an hour or so between coats for the acrylic colored paint, the clear nail finish dries in 15 min.
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Old 05-16-2012, 04:35 PM
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I always paint all of the serrations but will come in one
serration on each end with my tape on my white, base coat(s).

For my "color" coats I do the serrations that I didn't get with the white
and do it this way just so I don't end up with white showing at the ends.
Basically it gives me a "cleaner looking" sight when I'm finished.



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Old 05-17-2012, 01:39 AM
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Maybe I'm old fashioned but most of my handguns have the painted foresight. On the ones that do have a removable front sight I plan on getting one of the gold bead sights and see how it works. There has got to be something better than painting the whole of the ramp with paint. Frank
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Old 05-17-2012, 09:38 AM
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The gold or brass bead front sight is one of the best designs anyone ever came up with.
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Old 05-18-2012, 08:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ogilvyspecial View Post
Did you break into my house? You've got a picture of my 642 and my Robert Mika pocket holster! (No - wait a minute - there's no Tyler T-Grip.)
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Old 05-18-2012, 09:08 AM
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I don't have my 642 yet, but here is what I plan to use. I've used it lots on restoring watch dials.

Tom
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Old 05-18-2012, 09:38 AM
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I have heard of people painting gun sights. I have a S&W model 686 stainless that came with a front orange sight, but my other revolvers have the plain sights. I only know of one guy who did paint them and it didn't come out to good. He's a big gun buff, (some 40 guns) so he wasn't happy with the out come of it, so he took the gun to a dealer, who had some good advise for him. I don't know if i would try to paint my own sights, only because i would worry that the paint would not stick to the metal. This is a tough one! Good luck.

John








Quote:
Originally Posted by Hurryin' Hoosier View Post
I've just about decided that the front sights on my 64, 637 and 642 are going to get a base coat of white Testor's enamel, topped with either fluorescent orange or fluorescent green. My question is how much of each sight to paint. Do most people paint the entire grooved portion of the ramp or just the the upper 1/4" or so?
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Old 05-18-2012, 09:49 AM
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Testers 'DayGlo' orange works the best MOST of the time,but hey everyones eyes are different, see things differently ..........REMEMBER though when the sun is straight up, overhead, all of them bright colors tend to 'fade', then one "needs" contrast..............thats why there have been so many different cuts, angles,colors of sights over the years......
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Old 05-18-2012, 11:54 AM
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I use fluorescent orange acrylic model paint and cover the equivalent of 1/8 in. vertical.
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Old 05-19-2012, 09:21 PM
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This article has a lot of good information.

Improving Your Snubs Sights
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Old 05-19-2012, 09:37 PM
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Here's a couple of pics of what I did with my Model 65-3. I like the idea of using fishing lure paint, I'll bet that is more durable than model airplane paint and next time I'll try that kind of paint. The article in the link from frankw is good, it explains why you should not paint the entire surface.

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Old 05-19-2012, 10:21 PM
Ralph G. Briscoe Ralph G. Briscoe is offline
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I use the paint especially designed for gun sights....comes in red, white, yellow, florescent orange and green. It works pretty well. I'm more concerned with being able to take it off if I ever decide to sell a gun than its indestructability--comes off with nail polish remover...no problem.
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Old 05-23-2012, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankw View Post
This article has a lot of good information.

Improving Your Snubs Sights
Interesting article, but I'm not sure I agree with his logic on not painting the entire front ramp. (Besides, I've already painted the whole durn thing and I think it looks good and it's my gun so tthhppfftt!! )
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Old 06-23-2012, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ogilvyspecial View Post
I always paint all of the serrations but will come in one
serration on each end with my tape on my white, base coat(s).

For my "color" coats I do the serrations that I didn't get with the white
and do it this way just so I don't end up with white showing at the ends.
Basically it gives me a "cleaner looking" sight when I'm finished.



I tried some fingernail polish on four of my guns and it was OK, but it wasn't very bright. I'm sure there are brighter ones available, but I decided to try the fishing lure and jig paint. I started with a 13-3 all black...



Then added two layers of white...



Then blaze orange...



And then I did a 642, 640-1 and a Ruger GP-100 3"...



I'm 80% satisfied with my work, but my eyes are getting old and I can't get it as perfect as the ones you guys are doing. However, when I hold it up and look down the barrel the front sight is extremely obvious. My old eyes do like that. So...I'm calling it a success for me - I like the fishing lure and jig paint. Best Wishes, B
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Old 06-24-2012, 05:20 PM
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The Testor's Blaze Orange is the way to go. You need not paint the full front sight, only about 3/8" is the part you will actually see while aiming. Use a factory red insert as a model to judge how much to paint.

BEFORE painting, use some alcohol to clean off any oil or solvent residue. Apply with a wooden toothpick and use 3 THIN coats rather than a gloppy thick one. Do not concern yourself if you get a little paint on the side of the sight, just clean it off with a razor after it is dried - comes right off. Make a simply jig to hold the gun in a horizontal position as the paint dries so it doesn't run.

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Old 07-02-2012, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZretired View Post
I've been using red nail polish for decades. Paint the entire length. Works greats and last a long time.
You ARE talking about the sights on your gun aren't you
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Old 07-24-2012, 10:34 PM
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Default I went to a hobby store

and bought a little bottle of hobby paint for under a buck a couple years ago and put it on the front sights of my rifles and my handguns with a toothpick. No need to spend big bucks on a some special paint I saw advertised recently for gun sights. I could not believe how much it cost. I have good luck with my 86 cent bottle of paint and if it occasionally wants to come off I have more in my shooting box. I am Mr. Frugal
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:54 AM
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Default fishermans "jig head" paint for front sights

even better then Testors model paint is the paint fishermen use to paint their jig heads--comes in flourescent colors
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:03 AM
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Some say DO NOT PAINT the bottom 1/4 or 1/3 portion of the sight.
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:18 PM
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is this fisherman paint removable?
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
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is this fisherman paint removable?
Yes, any paint thinner should do the trick.

There have been a few times that I either, didn't like the color that I had chosen,
or the end results, so I removed the paint and started over.

I've found that pipe cleaners, dipped in thinner, makes things easier
when removing the paint from the bottom of the serrations.

With that said, I rarely go that far because it's, generally, the white
base coat down at the very bottom of the serrations so there
is no reason to remove it all, just to reapply.
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:47 PM
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awesome. I'm definitely gonna do this. Now where do I buy the damn stuff in person? Also, any thoughts on painting the rear sights a matte black so that the sight tip pops more? I'm thinking either that neon green or orange.
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:19 PM
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You can use white out. It will let you experment whith how much you want to cover and can be removed pretty easy.
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Old 02-02-2013, 01:01 AM
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I just ordered from jannsnetcraft. I got the white, blaze and I think a glow blaze. One day I was trying to shoot my nickel j-frame ane the sun reflection was awful. I couldn't see the sight at all. This should help.
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:13 PM
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There is a company called "Brite Sights" that has several colors to choose from. It is easy to remove by peeling it off and applying another color. It has a rubbery feel to it. I have used it on many of my 1911's with the three white dot sights.
I use orange on the back sight, and yellow on the front. But you would only use it on front sight. Try different colors.
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:41 PM
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The Brite Sights paint is rather pastel compared to model or lure paint.
I use Model Master Fluorescent Red that has a bit of orange cast in it.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:05 PM
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Since my M49 shoots a tad low, I do not paint to the very top of the sight, to bring the poa up a little, for when I am shooting at the range,for more hits on target at slow fire and
testing reloads.
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Old 09-04-2013, 01:23 AM
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I just tried this with some cheap nail polish, and made a mess of it when I removed the masking tape. How long do you wait for the stuff to dry between coats and before removing any masking tape? I did 1 base coat of white, 3 coats of bright orange, 1 coat of clear, all over the course of about 2 hours, and thought I'd given it plenty of time to dry, but I found when doing the top coat, that the orange was bleeding onto the brush and then after going for a swim, I removed the masking tape from one and half the polish came off with it.

Is this a multi-day process?...or something to do every couple hundred rounds while reloading?
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Old 09-04-2013, 05:17 AM
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I only paint the portion of the front sight that would normally have the plastic insert of a Factory job because painting more doesn't do anything and can not even be seen when sighting the revolver on a target. I use Testor's Blaze Orange and when I bought the bottle I left the cap off for a day or so to thicken up the mixture. Making it a little thicker results in less running. Instead of putting on a real thick coat, I usually apply 2 or 3 lighter coats and I like to "fill" the serration's on the sight which gives it a bolder, brighter finish and is easier to pick up. I use a toothpick (not a brush) to apply the paint and it lasts just about forever but IS totally reversible if desired. If a bunch of years down the road the finish gets "tired", simply apply a new coat!
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:09 AM
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Default Painting front sights

I have a M-65 that I bought in 76.....I shot it extensively for years and competed with it in IPSC....along with a GI 1911A1...I painted both front sights with Testor's white....a lot of my IPSC matches were at night and we had high mass lighting to the rear....the front sights "jumped out" and were very easy to pick up visually.....both guns still wear that paint....and they have been used a LOT over the years....I even had SO's comment on the sights when they were watching me shoot a stage. I found that having the entire ramp painted helped me pick up the sight faster.
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:35 AM
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Default Paint

I use "Bright sights" paint. Works well for me.
Bright Sights High Visibility Gun Sight Paint
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:57 AM
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Like many others my eyesight is not what it used to be. That said I only paint half the front sight with a base coat of white appliance touch-up, then blaze orange from WalMart. It give me a flash sight picture that works good at the range and almost everywhere else.
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Old 09-04-2013, 12:07 PM
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Don't forget to get all pretti-fied up and paint your gun too.

Here's my Walther done in Walther baby blue.

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Old 09-04-2013, 12:08 PM
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I try to mimic the factory red ramp insert seen on S&W revolvers by just painting the first 3-4 ridges on the front sight. I make sure to mask the areas I don't want painted with painter's tape.

Also I recommend model paint by Testors which offers a color in "Fluorescent Red" that stands out better under low light settings than the factory orange.
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Old 09-04-2013, 12:59 PM
GunguyDan GunguyDan is offline
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I sure as heck have no idea what the lot of you are drinking or smoking, but when I lift up any of my revolvers to squeeze off a round, I sure as hell don't see any serations, either a big blob of black or a big blob of orange, must be something in the water, although there are some lines that seem to hold the paint on better...............Dan.
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Old 09-04-2013, 01:08 PM
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I've used white appliance touch-up paint as well as a white paint marker on my blue guns which seemed to work well. Not so much so on my stainless guns. I picked up some cheap reddish-orange nail polish at Walmart for use on those, but it didn't work too well-- not bright enough. I guess model paint or jig-and-lure paint would be better, I'll have to pick some up. I don't particularly like zombie green, but it seems like that might give more contrast than red orange or yellow.
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  #42  
Old 09-05-2013, 11:51 PM
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After a couple of days of trial and error I've learned a bit. First of all, serated front sights are way easier to deal with. The first gun I did was my 1911 which had plain black sights with a serated ramp front. Unfortunately, the guns I really wanted to do are a pair of K frame target guns with non-serated black front sights. I'm not sure of the terminology for this type of sight, but the rear facing part of it is 90* up/down relative to the bore axis and flat other than some minor tool marks.

The "paint" I bought is cheap nail polish (Jordana) from K-Mart. I bought 523 Edgy (which is a sort of dark orange that I thought would be bright), 502 white, and clear. This stuff is really annoying to work with. It begins to dry and turns gummy in about a minute or so. It doesn't actually fully dry for quite a bit longer (an hour or more...wait till you think it's probably dry...then wait another hour or so). If I try putting on an additional coat before the first is absolutely dry, the prior coat comes off as I'm trying to apply the new coat.

After I was reasonably happy with the first two guns (1911, and K22), it occurred to me to mix the white (which I'd bought as a base coat) with the orange. Mixing these roughly 1:1 (2 drops of each in the cup of a empty tray of small pistol primers) produces a nice light/bright orange that looks much better than the orange on its own.

I've had better luck applying the polish with a flat wood toothpick than when I was trying to use the nail polish brushes...and with the mixed polish, using the brushes isn't really an option anyway.

I've been using blue painter's tape as masking tape to control how far down the flat front sights I paint. Before removing the tape, cut the border with a sharp knife. Otherwise, some portion of the polish is liable to come off with the tape

Acetone will remove any overpaint, errors, or everything if you're not happy with it. I've been very careful not to touch the wood grips after messing with the acetone. If your grips have any sort of finish or are any sort of plastic, the acetone is likely seriously bad news for those...don't get any on them. I have a swiss army knife with my finger print embedded in the plastic from 20 or so years ago when I was cleaning tape residue off one of the blades with acetone.


Last edited by njl; 09-06-2013 at 12:39 AM.
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  #43  
Old 09-10-2013, 11:47 PM
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Mineral Oil will take off the paint and not harm the finish.
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  #44  
Old 09-11-2013, 12:25 PM
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I think you mean mineral spirits. "Mineral oil" is used in airplane engines for break-in.
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