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S&W-Smithing Maintenance, Repair, and Enhancement of Smith & Wesson and Other Firearms.


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Old 09-02-2020, 05:39 PM
Green Frog Green Frog is offline
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As my Franken-Smith project continues to morph and develop, it looks like I'll be trying to add a reflex type red dot sight to one of the slides. Since no-one is making a a mounting plate for any of the older Smiths now and finding a NOS plate is pretty iffy, I'm wondering which of the currently produced adaptor plates would be easiest to modify (as little as possible) to mount one of these sights? I'm thinking that if I use my 439 non-adjustable sight slide as the platform, a plate for a 1911 might work, but I'm also wondering whether the plate for an M&P or one for a Novak cut might be a better choice.

Has anyone made such a mounting lately and willing to share their experiences? I might alternatively be using a 915 slide and it looks like it has the same dovetail as the 915(??)

As always, Thanks In Advance for any and all help!
Froggie
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Old 09-02-2020, 07:01 PM
tdan tdan is offline
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Have you checked with EGW or Springer Precision? They offer a lot of plates for various slides and rear sight dovetails.
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Old 09-02-2020, 08:20 PM
WR Moore WR Moore is offline
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MGW also makes adapters as do some of the folks who make the optics. That said, having tried one of those plates, if you have any thought of possibly using the optic for defensive purposes, YOU STILL NEED THE IRON SIGHTS! There's also a massive difference between having the optic at/near the normal sight plane and having it waaay up there.
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Old 09-03-2020, 10:47 AM
Green Frog Green Frog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WR Moore View Post
MGW also makes adapters as do some of the folks who make the optics. That said, having tried one of those plates, if you have any thought of possibly using the optic for defensive purposes, YOU STILL NEED THE IRON SIGHTS! There's also a massive difference between having the optic at/near the normal sight plane and having it waaay up there.
Iím planning on having two complete slides, with the reflex red dot mounted on one and a good set of irons on the other. I donít see any real advantage to having a carry piece with an optical sight mounted high above the ďnormalĒ line of sight. If I have any doubt about the efficacy of the red dot in a given situation, I donít want it anywhere in the way!

I looked at the EGR site with no joy, but Iíll try MGW and Springer Precision to see if either of them offers a ďdrop inĒ solution. Meanwhile, does anyone know whether the dovetail for the basic, non-adjustable S&W sight corresponds in size to any other dovetail?

Froggie
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Old 09-04-2020, 12:19 PM
WR Moore WR Moore is offline
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Don't have any non-Novak slide available to do a comparison. The Novak dovetail mounts have a flat to bear on the reduced height of the slide at the rear of the sight. Also, the dovetail is 0.495 in wide. Trying to fit one in a pre-Novak dovetail is going to result in a lot of filing or some machine time-on the mount, not the slide.

OK, let's cover some basics. There's the dovetail type mounts for optics and then there are the plates that gun makers developed to allow you to mount a wide range of optical sights on a particular "optics ready" slide. Then you have machining your slide to accept a given optic.

Doing the dovetail mount puts the optic way high. Machining the slide to use a plate will still put the optic higher (about 1/8-3/16 in) than optimal and any iron sights you fit will probably be way high. You don't want the size of the optic to overpower the width of the slide. Also, the optic is going to get shock loads somewhere around 700-800 Gs during firing, so don't go cheap.

You might contact David Bowie at Bowie Tactical Concepts for advice. After trying the dovetail mount I shelled out for machining the slide and iron sights.

The need for iron backup sights is largely due to the fairly narrow tunnel that exists where you see the dot. With practice, you can be fast with the dot, but having both is simply insurance.

Last edited by WR Moore; 09-04-2020 at 12:25 PM.
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