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Old 02-25-2011, 11:27 PM
Walt Sherrill Walt Sherrill is offline
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Default New to Me 4506 shooting very low.

I picked up a 4506 recently in a trade. In ANIB condition, it seems to shoot well, except it's hitting about 4" low at 30 feet, with 230 gr. hardball (from a rest.) Lighter bullets hit several inches lower.

This gun, unlike the first 4506 I had many years back, doesn't have adjustable sights -- and I'm pretty sure that the "shielded" adjustables that were on my first 4506 can't be installed on this model, which has the driftable sights.

I have an adjustable LPA sight in the drawer that has a base that can be removed; that base is attached to the sight body, but is too narrow for the S&W dovetail. I can probably get my gunsmith to fabricate a new base piece that fits in the dovetail, but would prefer something else, if possible.

My objective is simply to raise the point of impact by several inches. Unhappily, the front sight is already pretty low.

Is there an adjustable after-market sight that can be put on this gun?

Is there another option?

(A friend had a Witness 45 that was shooting just as low, and his gunsmith dimpled the barrel bushing at the bottom which raised the barrel a bit and changed the point of impact. I haven't examined this one to even guess if there's enough space to allow that sort of "adjustment.")

Last edited by Walt Sherrill; 02-25-2011 at 11:30 PM.
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:30 PM
Fkimble Fkimble is offline
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If it's shooting low, then you can take a little off the top of the front site or swap out the front site to a lower one. Much easier to fix a low shooter than a high shooter.
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:31 PM
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SW CQB 45 SW CQB 45 is offline
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there are several front sight heights which may correct your problem.

not to question your abilities, but confirm its shooting low through a secondary means...second shooter, sandbags, machine rest, etc.

measure the front height and SW sells various heights and get one lower.
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:45 PM
Walt Sherrill Walt Sherrill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SW CQB 45 View Post
there are several front sight heights which may correct your problem.

not to question your abilities, but confirm its shooting low through a secondary means...second shooter, sandbags, machine rest, etc.

measure the front height and SW sells various heights and get one lower.
If it wasn't grouping really well -- I'd be right there with you asking if others had the same results. But, I've installed enough sights, and evaluated enough new guns to know THIS isn't me. It groups well, just low. And It has a nice trigger; heavy but surprisingly crisp. I was shooting from a rest. (Big bag of rice in doubled freezer bags.)

The current front sight is already VERY LOW (approx. 3/16th of an inch high from the little raised base area on the front of the barrel.) I doubt that S&W has a lower one -- as there's just not much room left for a sight that still has a dot on it.

(I will contact them, but I doubt it will be a good exercise. I guess I could also order a replacement front sight from E-GUNPARTS, and grind it down and see whether that will raise the point of impact enough to do any good.)
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:49 PM
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One of my 4506s has an LPA rear sight. It is in the factory dovetail cut.
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Old 02-26-2011, 12:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt Sherrill View Post
If it wasn't grouping really well -- I'd be right there with you asking if others had the same results. But, I've installed enough sights, and evaluated enough new guns to know THIS isn't me. It groups well, just low. And It has a nice trigger; heavy but surprisingly crisp. I was shooting from a rest. (Big bag of rice in doubled freezer bags.)

The current front sight is already VERY LOW (approx. 3/16th of an inch high from the little raised base area on the front of the barrel.) I doubt that S&W has a lower one -- as there's just not much room left for a sight that still has a dot on it.

(I will contact them, but I doubt it will be a good exercise. I guess I could also order a replacement front sight from E-GUNPARTS, and grind it down and see whether that will raise the point of impact enough to do any good.)
measure your sight blade and pick one lower or order from SW and they can tell you which one to get. they will need to know what you have installed.

factory lists 4506
FRONT SIGHT .245"

factory lists 4566
FRONT SIGHT .229"

factory lists 4516
FRONT SIGHT .216"
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Old 02-26-2011, 10:17 AM
Walt Sherrill Walt Sherrill is offline
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I'll try talking with S&W. But, see below.

As the answers above indicate, it would appear they DO have sights lower than the one now installed. Mine is the equivalent to one of the higher ones: .266". But that is only a diference of .05" between mine and the lowest available.

(E-Gunparts doesn't seem to have the lower ones in stock, but does have several HIGHER!! Maybe I can sell them mine, which they show as out of stock.)

I pulled out the target I last used, and it was set at 25' and I was hitting approx 4" low. I was off on the details a bit. (That was due to the fact that I had also been trying some lighter Ranger hollow-points during the same range session. That's what gave me the 6"+ drop.)

Wikipedia has a good article about calculating how to adjust sights, and I used the following formula (for front-sight adjustment):

D1 - distance between point of aim and point of impact (4")
D2 - amount of adjustment required (to be determined)
R1 - distance from rear sight to target (307")
R2 - distance between front and rear sights (6.75") My 4506 has the low-snag sights which extend rearward from the dovetail.

Using the website's formula D2=R2(D1/R1), it looks like I'd have to lower the front sight .09" to get the point of impact I want. I'm not sure that's an option, as the lowest sight shown above is only .05" lower than mine, and I need almost TWICE that change. (Of course, it's possible that I messed up the calculations, as math isn't one of my strengths. If you see something wrong, I'll be grateful for a correction.)

I'll also talk with my gunsmith early next week about whether he can fabricate a new base for my surplus LPA adjustable to fit the stock dovetail. I'm pretty sure that will work.

To make matters worse, my eyes are at that delicate stage (after cataract surgery) that I don't see sights as clearly as I'd like. That said, I'm not having this problem with my other guns -- they are still shooting to point of aim. I'd have to say my eyes ARE a problem, but not THE problem.

Note: I don't visit the S&W site often, but when I do, I always get better, more thoughtful responses than is the case with other gun sites. Some guys here helped me with a 4006 spring problem last year. What was hard for me to figure out, was simple for them -- but their guidance helped me fix the problem.

Wonder if a different, stock REAR sight might be an option?

Thanks, again.

Last edited by Walt Sherrill; 02-03-2016 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 02-26-2011, 11:17 AM
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Walt, I have not messed with SW sights in quite a while.

are your sights night sights?

are you mesuring the sight blade only...which I think SW uses for their measurements?

Personally, I would not have any machine work done to change sights as it would severly degrade any value down the road.

if you could snap a pic of your sight configuration, that might help us give you a better direction.
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Old 02-26-2011, 11:34 AM
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Could you post a photo of your pistol? It may help someone give you a better answer. It has been my experience that they are pretty much dead on from the factory.
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Old 02-26-2011, 12:30 PM
Walt Sherrill Walt Sherrill is offline
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I wasn't considering changing the slide or dovetails (with regard to gunsmith work), but rather having some SIGHTS I already owned (pull-offs) modified.

I've had an older 4506, several 4006s (including one bought used and given a make-over by Cylinder & Slide), and a 4043. I've not had this sort of problem with any of them -- they were all pretty much dead on...

Here are photos:

Front Sight (with the shaded area representing the part I measured...). As you can see, there's not a lot of "there" there, when looking to lower the sight height. This sight is listed on the E-Gunparts site, as out of stock.

If my calculations were correct -- and they might NOT have been -- I'd need a front blade that was much lower than the height of this sight to get me where I needed to be. I'd need a blade that was approximately .170" high.



Rear sight -- one of three options for this model, it appears:



The gun, itself....

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Old 02-26-2011, 01:56 PM
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Walt, why do you scribe a pencil line at .170 height and place a piece of small masking tape square across the front sight at .170. line up the .170 mark and test fire and see where you are at.

if still too low, move up to the desired mark for point of aim and order the appropriate height front sight from either SW or Brownells. If Brownells has them in stock, they will have a better turn around.

my suggestion to get you were you need to be.

oh, thats a really tall front sight. night sights are that tall. I cannot see the face of the front blade. I can tell the rear is a factory non night sight.

Last edited by SW CQB 45; 02-26-2011 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 02-26-2011, 02:43 PM
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Why are you attempting to sight in a .45 so it's dead on
at 30 feet?

At longer distances this will put your point of impact WAY off.
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Old 02-26-2011, 08:07 PM
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The front sight looks tall to me.
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Old 02-26-2011, 11:33 PM
Walt Sherrill Walt Sherrill is offline
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The front sight IS A LITTLE TALL, but S&W makes even taller ones. If my calculations are right, S&W doesn't make one low enough to get the point of impact UP to where I want it. (The lowest sight mentioned here was about .215" or so. I need one about half that high.

As best I can tell, those aren't night sights. You can see similar sights (seem to be the same ones) in the parts diagram on the E-GunParts website. There doesn't seem to be enough metal in the rear sights to hold a tritium vial. They appear to be just painted dots -- not glass with paint over them. (If they are tritium, they haven't glowed for years, and they do now have paint, mostly.)

Here's the parts diagram -- see part #44. Numrich calls it the "low carry" sight.



Why sight it in at 30'? I'm not planning to shoot wild game with this gun. This will be my home-defense gun, and I want it sighted in at a realistic distance for that use. I'd get night sights if I could find them. Haven't found them anywhere yet, including Midway and Brownells. (If I knew the dovetail specs it might help...)

Think about it: if it's shooting 4" - 5" low at 25-30 feet, how far do you think it'll be low at 20-30 yards using the current sights?

Last edited by Walt Sherrill; 02-26-2011 at 11:39 PM.
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Old 03-04-2011, 06:59 AM
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I looked at my 4506-1, and the rear sight is a little lower than yours is, but the front is much much shorter than yours is. My gun's POI seems about dead on. I only shot it about 16 times, just to make sure it worked on both mags at a target about 40' away.
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Old 06-25-2011, 10:53 AM
Walt Sherrill Walt Sherrill is offline
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A followup. Thanks for the suggestions. I got a replacement front sight for a 4566 (after talking with S&W), the lowest one they make. It fit, and seems to have fixed the problem.

I noticed, too, in examining a S&W M&P Pro (which I have) that the dovetails on that gun seem quite similar. The front seems the same, and the rear is close. (I'd have to take the existing sights out to be sure, and I'm in no hurry to do that.)

While I have a sight pusher, getting the old out was a real chore. Apparently, the last owner had used some Loc-Tite-like material.

Thanks again.

I think I like this gun as well as any .45 I've owned -- and I've had a few. (Only a SIG 220 Match might've been better. Might've. I don't have the SIG any more.)

Incidentally, I went to Numrich first for parts -- and when they HAD them, they were generally priced MUCH higher than the same parts NEW, directly from S&W. Go figure.
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Old 06-25-2011, 01:08 PM
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Should have read all the posts. But just some thoughts;

If you can't find the correct height front......can Novack get you a higher rear sight.

Or;

Have you tried lining up the dots ( ooo ) vs the traditional tops of front and rear sights. From the pictures that looks like it will pull your front sight up.

Also, in a flash sight picture the front sight is often easier to pick up if it extends above the rear.

So, unless you are planning to do headshots with a hostage......
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Old 06-25-2011, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt Sherrill View Post
A followup. Thanks for the suggestions. I got a replacement front sight for a 4566 (after talking with S&W), the lowest one they make. It fit, and seems to have fixed the problem.

I noticed, too, in examining a S&W M&P Pro (which I have) that the dovetails on that gun seem quite similar. The front seems the same, and the rear is close. (I'd have to take the existing sights out to be sure, and I'm in no hurry to do that.)

While I have a sight pusher, getting the old out was a real chore. Apparently, the last owner had used some Loc-Tite-like material.

Thanks again.

I think I like this gun as well as any .45 I've owned -- and I've had a few. (Only a SIG 220 Match might've been better. Might've. I don't have the SIG any more.)

Incidentally, I went to Numrich first for parts -- and when they HAD them, they were generally priced MUCH higher than the same parts NEW, directly from S&W. Go figure.
Glad you got your gun hitting where you want.

Sometimes it very simple things that can affect the accuracy,glad yours wasnt too bad.Thats a nice gun you have there.
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Old 06-25-2011, 06:59 PM
Walt Sherrill Walt Sherrill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BAM-BAM View Post
(who wrote, in part):

If you can't find the correct height front......can Novack get you a higher rear sight.
It shoots close to point of aim, now. The new front sight (from S&W) is a lot lower than the one that came on the gun.

I couldn't find ANYONE with adjustable rear sights that would work on the 4506, but didn't call Novak. Should have, as they could fit sights to it, I'm sure, and their prices seem reasonable. The lower front sight was only $14.00 or so, shipped.

On the other hand, the M&P Pro I bought (used, and with a lot of work already done) had a Dawson adjustable rear sight and fiber optic front -- and that gives a superb sight picture.

That particular 9mm is the best shooting 9mm I own, and I've got some pretty good 9mm guns. I've been thrilled with it. (The prior owner had SpeedShooterSpecialties do the action work, and its just a great gun.)

My eyes, after cataract surgery, have a hard time focusing on the 4506 sights (and the sights of several of my other guns) -- the NOTCH is too narrow for me on most of them. But, I have no problem at all with the M&P Pro and Dawson rear sight. I may just eventually see if i can get Dawson to install a set of their sights on the 4506, even if it means recutting the rear dovetail -- if I keep shooting it.

Last edited by Walt Sherrill; 06-26-2011 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 06-29-2011, 12:40 AM
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Default 3RD Generation adj. sights

Optics Planet has Millett adjustable sights for the 3RD Gen. S&W. Millett Auto Sights - Series 100 Adjustable Sight System. FB00021, FB00019, RS22012, RS22013, SW40513, RP85006, RP85007, RS22010, RS22011, BE00007, BE00008, SW39595, SW46904, BF00008, RS22002, RS22017,

I put them on a 5906 and a 4566TSW. The front and rear sights are sold separately.
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