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Old 07-16-2019, 12:39 PM
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Default BMCM Fixed my 457

My 457 gets a lot of use. But it is a pistol I have had to work with regularly to shoot well. Unlike all my other compact 45s in general and my 3rd gen 45s in particular. Some days it was vexing trying to shoot it accurately. Yes, vexing!

I wasn't sure whether the problem was my deteriorating eyesight or the pistol. Experience told me it was probably me. Usually its the Indian, NOT the arrow. So for a few months I just went slow with the 457 and practiced the basics with it. The results were......mediocre. it would shoot a large pattern at 15 yards. Around 5 or 6 inches. At 10 yards 4 to 5 inches. Where every other 3rd gen compact 45 I own would do 3 inches with the same ammo.

I read a report of some Detectives 457s at a NC LE Agency getting "loose" with a high round count. Due to frame wear. My 457 has a high round count, but the rails and frame look ok.

Then I started noticing the sights. It was on its 3rd rear sight. I'm left handed and my guns get banged into things. Car doors, counter corners, desks ect. The metal Novak sights on my other 3rd gen 45s are no worse for the wear, but the nylon sights on the value line guns get chipped, cracked and sometimes they can be moved in the dovetail with just thumb pressure. Not good.

So I decided to upgrade the 457 with decent sights. And I wanted BMCM to do the work becuase he is a craftsman and also a fine gentleman.

BMCM put up with my stream of PMS asking questions and discussing options. I value his opinions. And I went with his suggestion for an SA28 front night sight. Bright with a white plastic ring insert that stands out in daylight. Makes my eye go right to the front sight.

For the rear, I wanted a Novak. BMCM had a like new, but slightly dim Novak Low Mount Rear sight in stock for a S&W 45. He measured it and it would work with the SA28 to achieve POA = POI. As always his work is outstanding! The gun looks like it came from the factory wearing this sight setup. And if S&W had not chose to avoid paying Wayne Novak royalties on his fine products, it would have come from the factory with them.

Just drawing and dry firing I am already seeing an improvement. I will go to the range and test it this afternoon or tomorrow morning and report the results. I will also try to post a pic of the 457 wearing the Novaks.

Thin, light weight, black, 45 caliber, reliable and now looks good doing all that. Thanks again BMCM! You are an asset to this board and I appreciate you!

You just may have made the 457 my new favorite carry gun! Best regards, 18DAI
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Old 07-16-2019, 01:56 PM
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I for one , hope he doesn't age . I don't know what we'd do without him . I get a couple of gun mags , and I'd put him up against any of the "professonal" gunsmiths out there .
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Old 07-16-2019, 02:12 PM
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I would like to see the pictures when they are posted.
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Old 07-16-2019, 03:13 PM
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FYI, in modern usage putting a word like "fixed" in quotes means it was done in name only or implies sarcasm.

I fully expected a post about how the work was said to be done, but actually was not.
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Old 07-17-2019, 03:47 AM
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Then I started noticing the sights. It was on its 3rd rear sight. I'm left handed and my guns get banged into things. Car doors, counter corners, desks ect. The metal Novak sights on my other 3rd gen 45s are no worse for the wear, but the nylon sights on the value line guns get chipped, cracked and sometimes they can be moved in the dovetail with just thumb pressure. Not good.
100% agree 18DAI, I've always felt that the weakest area of the Value Line guns was the plastic sights, for the reasons quoted above. I've purchased a number of these pistols and slides where the sight was severely damaged and/or could be moved around with hand pressure. Plastic guide rods don't bug me, plastic mag catches either, but those plastic sights get replaced quickly, then the gun is ready to get in the carry rotation.

My 457 wears XS Big Dots and I absolutely love them. Too bad they are discontinuing most of their sights for the S&W 3rd Gens.
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Old 07-17-2019, 11:19 AM
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Seconded... Those plastic sight are utter rubbish and should never have made it past QC. That was the very first thing that got binned off my CS9.
For the record, I shoved the rear off 18's slide with my thumb

Although that sliding rear does make for some speedy in the field windage adjusting

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Old 07-17-2019, 11:52 AM
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I have two completely original 457s, and have not experienced any problems of any kind with the factory sights.

Yet another of those things that makes me go, "Hmmmmmmmmm..."
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Old 07-17-2019, 12:50 PM
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Although that sliding rear does make for some speedy in the field windage adjusting
Wise guy!!!

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I have two completely original 457s, and have not experienced any problems of any kind with the factory sights.

Yet another of those things that makes me go, "Hmmmmmmmmm..."
I think it's one of those "carry everyday" vs. house or range gun kind of things. I've never had any problems either, but my 457S pistols tend to live at home or go to the range in a nice, secure 3-gun case. They do not contact any car doors... ever!

And let's also be honest: I'm too old with too little time left to worry about sights not being 100.00% on the money. Even if I did accidentally hit or push them a bit, I'd push them right back to center and not give it a second thought.

Of course I would like to be in a position to replace all my plastic sights with metal, but the cost (in my case) cannot be justified. I have bought spare plastic sights, but that's all I care to invest in at this time. When I finally win the lottery, it will be a whole different story.

++++++++++

BTW, years ago I did buy an SD40VE with a damaged plastic rear sight. Got it for a song. I did buy a metal replacement... but, like so many other projects, its replacement is still pending. So why did I buy it like that? The story goes that it formerly belonged to one of our New England Patriots... one who obviously fumbled his balls and guns from time to time! Never did find out which one (the shop would not tell me and it is now closed), but I always wondered if it was Tom Brady before he made his mega-millions!

And like I said: It was insanely dirt cheap.

Last edited by TTSH; 07-17-2019 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 07-18-2019, 08:09 AM
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I have not had a chance to shoot it yet. Hopefully soon. But here is some pics as promised. Regards 18DAI
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Old 07-18-2019, 08:11 AM
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And a couple more. Thanks again BMCM! Regards 18DAI
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Old 07-18-2019, 09:30 AM
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I have not had a chance to shoot it yet. Hopefully soon. But here is some pics as promised. Regards 18DAI
Iíll take it!
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Old 07-18-2019, 09:40 AM
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Iíll take it!
Hey, wait a minute!

I didn't even know it was for sale.

If it is, I'm interested too!
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Old 07-18-2019, 09:58 AM
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That 457 isn't going anywhere fellas. Sorry!

But BMCM will make you one just like it! Regards 18DAI
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Old 07-18-2019, 06:35 PM
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So 18, just to bring us all up to date on what you've tweaked on your 457, can you run down what-all you've done to improve it? The new sights are way cool! Do I remember changes involving the guide rod and the mag release too?
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Old 07-18-2019, 06:47 PM
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Hi vigil617. The guide rod is original, BUT - I did have to replace the nylon mag catch with an LE metal 457 catch. And NO, I don't know where to get another one.

The good news for 457 owners is it took in excess of 4K rounds to wear out the original mag catch. Most folks won't shoot that much through ALL their guns.

At around.........8.5K rounds....I broke the sideplate and replaced it with a stainless 45XX sideplate. And the sideplate was readily available on G.......the big auction site. So the nervous nellies who worry about parts availability have nothing to fear. And I am running many more rounds through the guns than the average shooter/owner. Or was anyways.

The other mods I did, besides the sights, were to fit an early 4513TSW mag baseplate on my carry mag and to put a rubber grip sleeve over the OEM grip. The sleeve gives me better contollability without sacrificing the excellent concealability of the 457.

And that is it. Otherwise it is a normal early production 457 with rollmarks and forged parts. Because as we all know, forged parts are 100% the strength of forged parts. Regards 18DAI
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Old 07-18-2019, 06:59 PM
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Boy I'll tell ya getting that front sight on there and set on the midline is just a miserable *** of a job. The nature of the sight with the beveled sides really leaves one nothing to drive against. Ya cant beat on the blade for risk of breaking the sight. And a pusher is utterly useless.

I made a makeshift tool/punch of sorts out of a small chunk of rectangular section 4140 steel just wide enough to fit inside the slide cut to drive against the very bottom edge of the sight base. Bumped the base back 'n' forth a bit until it measured out on the centerline. Anyway, it's on there tight so any windage adjusting needs doing by drifting the backsight, That front aint moving anywhere. Glad I don't have to do those very often

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Old 07-18-2019, 07:54 PM
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Glad I don't have to do those very often
Guess it's not the right time to talk to you about sending in my 457S for the same treatment, eh?

Still and all, Bill, don't lose that tool you made.
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Old 07-18-2019, 07:57 PM
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Hi vigil617. The guide rod is original, BUT - I did have to replace the nylon mag catch with an LE metal 457 catch. And NO, I don't know where to get another one.

The good news for 457 owners is it took in excess of 4K rounds to wear out the original mag catch. Most folks won't shoot that much through ALL their guns.

At around.........8.5K rounds....I broke the sideplate and replaced it with a stainless 45XX sideplate. And the sideplate was readily available on G.......the big auction site. So the nervous nellies who worry about parts availability have nothing to fear. And I am running many more rounds through the guns than the average shooter/owner. Or was anyways.

The other mods I did, besides the sights, were to fit an early 4513TSW mag baseplate on my carry mag and to put a rubber grip sleeve over the OEM grip. The sleeve gives me better contollability without sacrificing the excellent concealability of the 457.

And that is it. Otherwise it is a normal early production 457 with rollmarks and forged parts. Because as we all know, forged parts are 100% the strength of forged parts. Regards 18DAI
I'd venture to say it's a darn sight better (no pun intended) now than the Value Line it was borned into!
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Old 07-18-2019, 08:36 PM
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Wow, all this talk about plastic this and plastic that . . .

I'll say this about my two 915 "Value Line" pistols, the sights ain't fancy, but by George they're steel. As a matter of fact, the only "plastic" on the pistols are the grips.


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Old 07-18-2019, 10:15 PM
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Its a great pistol vigil617. Perfect, now, for me.

If someone would make something like it, I could sell every one they shipped us. As it is, I have 3 or 4 customers a week want to buy it or know what make and model and where to get one.

And when I was working at the range, everyone who shot it liked it. Hence the high round count. Regards 18DAI
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Old 08-29-2019, 07:35 AM
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I have had the chance to wring out my BMCM customized 457 over the last several weeks. The first two shots, were bullseyes on a 3 inch Shoot-N-See target affixed to a B27 at 10 yards. VERY happy. It was all down hill from there.

The rest of the first range session was VERY frustrating. All my groups were around 3 inches at 10 and then 15 yards, but they were ALL high and right. It was me, not the gun. I have OEM grips on it with a rubber grip sleeve. I'm thinking it allows my large hands TOO much purchase on the grip and consequently too much finger on the trigger. Being a lefty, this accounts for the groups to the right of POA.

As far as the rounds grouping to the right of POA......dunno. Too tight a grip maybe?

Last night I spoke to a fellow who is former Durham P.D. His relative was the P.D. armorer. Their Detective division carried issued 457s and some officers had 457s for off duty carry. He had some interesting insights into the gun. He told me that their 457s were amazingly accurate - as in 2 inches at 25 yards, when new. But as the round count went up, a few high round count guns - 4K+ - started shooting much larger groups. He said the S&W LE rep told them it was due to the slide eating into the frame and there was nothing that could be done.

But according to this gentleman the LE rep also told them to clean the barrels with a stainless steel brush! They were using lead rounds to qualify.

My 457 has a very high round count, + or - 9K, but my rails, as verified by BMCM through photos, are in pretty good shape. I use synthetic grease on them and have changed my recoil springs around every 2500 rounds. And I am told, by folks who were there, that the prototype 457s were run out to 25K rounds - including proof loads - "...with no appreciable wear observed..".

The second range session went a little better than the first. Some "A" hits. A lot of fast shooting and mag changes while engaging two targets. I was more pleased. And I was using better ammo too. Federal 230 grain ball. During the 1st range session I was using S&B 230 grain ball - because I get it for cheap at the shop I work part time in. But my 457 evidently does not like it as well as Federal and even WWB.

Yesterday, thanks to the kindness and generosity of my friend Jeppo, I got in a third range session with my 457. It started off a little rough, the high right thing again.......and I was using S&B 230 ball again....hey, its cheap and I have A LOT of it.

But when I slowed down a little and worked the basics, the groups - which were still pretty good - got more centered and closer to POA. See? ME not the gun. And then, I shot a drill that we had watched yesterday morning on another board. It was a video by Ken Hackathorn, shooting a drill called the "Wizard". 3 yard line, from the holster, under concealment, 1 shot to the head of an IDPA target in 2.5 seconds. After a few misses I settled down and got a few good hits.

Anyways, it restored my confidence in the 457 as a carry gun and my friend Jeppo certified that it is good enough in my hands for my purposes.

Thanks again to BMCM for all his advice and excellent work - on ALL my guns. But in particular the 457. It is a gun that I have carried often over the last 5 years and due to his work, will be carrying most of the time going forward. It is just the right size, just the right weight and in St Peters favorite caliber. The Goldilocks gun of carry 45s. Regards 18DAI
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Old 08-29-2019, 09:40 AM
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Yes, you and the gun earned the Jeppo Seal of Approval yesterday. However, keep in mind Jeppo canít hit the broad side of a barn...

from inside it.
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Old 08-29-2019, 09:42 AM
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Yes, you and the gun earned the Jeppo Seal of Approval yesterday. However, keep in mind Jeppo canít hit the broad side of a barn...

from inside it.
Oh, I can do that easy!
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Old 08-29-2019, 10:12 AM
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Don't let him kid you TTSH. He is VERY capable! Regards 18DAI
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Old 08-29-2019, 10:46 AM
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I've never had particularly good results with S&B ammunition. During the short period I had the use of a Sig 2340, I had a lot of misfeeds and misfires using S&B in .40 S&W. Some of that, I was told, was due to the newness of the gun.

I have a couple of boxes of S&B 9mm I'm going to bring to the range. It was very inexpensive, but I don't know if it's decent even as range fodder.

All of my 457 have been pretty accurate, certainly more than ma I.
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Old 08-29-2019, 12:49 PM
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I've never had particularly good results with S&B ammunition. During the short period I had the use of a Sig 2340, I had a lot of misfeeds and misfires using S&B in .40 S&W. Some of that, I was told, was due to the newness of the gun.

I have a couple of boxes of S&B 9mm I'm going to bring to the range. It was very inexpensive, but I don't know if it's decent even as range fodder.

All of my 457 have been pretty accurate, certainly more than ma I.
S&B 124gr 9mm has worked quite well for me. In fact, I'm about to buy a case of it as soon as it is back in stock at the last bulk vendor still willing to ship to moonbatty MA.

No experience at all with S&B .40 or .45.
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Old 08-29-2019, 01:36 PM
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I bought the boxes I have from that place in Mendon. Price was good and I always buy a box or two when I visit a new to me LGS. I think it's rude to walk into a shop the first time, take up the guys time, and leave.



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S&B 124gr 9mm has worked quite well for me. In fact, I'm about to buy a case of it as soon as it is back in stock at the last bulk vendor still willing to ship to moonbatty MA.

No experience at all with S&B .40 or .45.
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Old 08-29-2019, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by GaryS View Post
I bought the boxes I have from that place in Mendon. Price was good and I always buy a box or two when I visit a new to me LGS. I think it's rude to walk into a shop the first time, take up the guys time, and leave.
Yep. Anthony is a good guy. I had intended to buy a case from him on tax-free weekend, but I blew it. Now, I have to import it or possibly wait for the Sept 21 show. Every dollar counts when you are old and poor like me.
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