Loose front sight on old Bullseye 1911

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Loose front sight on old Bullseye 1911

Post by mprince on Thu Jul 02, 2015 8:51 pm

I finally got around to inspecting/cleaning/lubing a Ball Gun I picked up a while back and plan on shooting it in an occasional match.  It looked kid of rough on the outside so I was not in a hurry to do anything with it.  It is an R.L. Shockey built on a 1943 or 1944 Remington Rand frame and slide.  It has a colt barrel which has the underside machined for his mousetrap and the plug has the mousetrap on it.  The slide is also machined to take the mousetrap out from the rear.  I think the bushing is the large one that he was known for, but I am not certain of that since I can't make out the marking on the front of the bushing. 

It is a ball gun instead of a wad gun since the trigger breaks over 4 but less than 4.5 pounds.  When I disassembled it for cleaning, once I got the light rust spots removed it was apparent that this gun was shot very little  and is quite tight, with very good lockup so I would like to see what this gun will do.  The only issue with it is it was dropped at one point and the front sight is slightly loose.  I would like to get this firmly reattached as opposed to putting a new sight on it, just because of the history of the pistol.  Is there a simple way to do this, such as penetrating Loctite or will there be soldering or welding required.

I know this probably sounds like a complete beginner question, but I have never mounted a tenon front sight nor have I ever had it done.  All my other 1911's have dovetail front sight mounts.   Thanks in advance for the help/advice.

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Re: Loose front sight on old Bullseye 1911

Post by robert84010 on Thu Jul 02, 2015 11:24 pm

I would get it silver soldered, but you have to refinish or dovetailed if you want it to last. My opinion is the dovetail cut is the only way to go.

Both tenon and silver soldered, they just seem to work loose in no time and they never come loose at a good time. I have personally seen 4 fly off during EIC matches.  maybe with the wadcutter and lighter recoil springs it will live?

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Re: Loose front sight on old Bullseye 1911

Post by kwixdraw on Thu Jul 02, 2015 11:34 pm

If you wanted to preserve the looks of the gun you might see about having a gunsmith cut it for a large tenon sight like a later Colt. It would have the same appearance but be more secure.
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Re: Loose front sight on old Bullseye 1911

Post by Colt711 on Fri Jul 03, 2015 12:40 am

robert84010 wrote:I would get it silver soldered, but you have to refinish or dovetailed if you want it to last. My opinion is the dovetail cut is the only way to go.

Both tenon and silver soldered, they just seem to work loose in no time and they never come loose at a good time. I have personally seen 4 fly off during EIC matches.  maybe with the wadcutter and lighter recoil springs it will live?
Robert,
My experience w/ silver solder is it should hold OK. Mine did for sev yrs as a ball gun. I sold it so can't say for an extended period. I am NOT an expert but have never lost a joint on the T's soldered on allen wrenches. Probably the toughest application I have been involved with.

Clean surface(s), flux, and min amt of SS....hesitate to say much as you prob know more than I and likely others will chime in. Oh, clamp or press parts together too.

Ron Habegger

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Re: Loose front sight on old Bullseye 1911

Post by Axehandle on Fri Jul 03, 2015 6:33 am

Don't cut a dovetail in that old girl!  Keep it original.  I'd think that silver solder was the method when that gun was built.

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Re: Loose front sight on old Bullseye 1911

Post by mprince on Fri Jul 03, 2015 10:39 am

I can't bring myself to cross slot it, so it looks like silver solder is the way to go.  Thanks for the replies.

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Re: Loose front sight on old Bullseye 1911

Post by Wobbley on Fri Jul 03, 2015 10:46 am

I wonder if a VERY judicious TIG weld on the inside might also work. ???
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Re: Loose front sight on old Bullseye 1911

Post by DavidR on Fri Jul 03, 2015 11:48 am

try re staking it from underneath, isn't that how it was done originally?
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Re: Loose front sight on old Bullseye 1911

Post by Dr.Don on Fri Jul 03, 2015 3:12 pm

Properly done, silver solder will hold it.  I'm talking silvaloy, not the low temperature stuff you find at the hardware store.
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Re: Loose front sight on old Bullseye 1911

Post by dronning on Fri Jul 03, 2015 3:26 pm

DavidR wrote:try re staking it from underneath, isn't that how it was done originally?

+1 Needs special tool to do it right or at least make it easier. Silver solder might be cheaper, and easier.

http://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-tools-supplies/sight-scope-installation-tools/sight-stakers/1911-auto-front-sight-staker-prod916.aspx

- Dave


Last edited by dronning on Fri Jul 03, 2015 7:37 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Loose front sight on old Bullseye 1911

Post by kwixdraw on Fri Jul 03, 2015 6:01 pm

The relatively heavy post will probably work loose again if you re-stake it. That's why they went to the larger tenon later on. More metal in there to handle the loads. On my Colt Combat Gov't model the large post has the large tenon and is silver soldered from the factory. Been secure for 30 years or so now.
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Re: Loose front sight on old Bullseye 1911

Post by Jerry Keefer on Fri Jul 03, 2015 6:13 pm

Properly silver soldered is a permanent cure.. Carbide tool bits are silvered soldered to a steel shank.. The joint, if broken often rips a piece of the steel shank out with it.
High quality silver welding alloy tensile strength varies from 60,000 to 90,000 psi.. Which exceeds the psi of most firearms steel..
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Re: Loose front sight on old Bullseye 1911

Post by Colt711 on Mon Jul 06, 2015 5:50 pm

Thanks Jerry!

The info provided the "pros" here are a great resource for the rest of us.

Keefer, Crawford, Eulette, Hall, and others, come to mind.

Often they take time from a busy schedule to give us this information!!

Ron Habegger

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Re: Loose front sight on old Bullseye 1911

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