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Steel Sights in the 1950's - center hold vs sub-6 hold, and SA vs DA

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Post by mikemyers Wed Aug 19, 2020 2:19 pm

First topic message reminder :

Back in "the good old days", did Bullseye shooters use a center hold, or a sub-6-o'clock hold?

Trying to align a black steel front sight and a black steel rear sight in front of a black bull seems to be what led shooters to use a 6 o'clock hold, but since that results in "point aiming", many people got better results with the sub-6-o'clock hold which is area aiming.

What did the better / best shooters do back in the day, when revolvers were still king?



Follow-up question - for those shooters, were they using the revolver in single action (takes longer, but good control), or double action (faster, but less precise?)
mikemyers
mikemyers

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Post by mikemyers Thu May 19, 2022 8:07 am

I bought the "sight black" that I posted about earlier.  Easy to apply, and with one coat the rear of my Baer front sight was a nice flat black.  I suspect carbon would be even better, but this was fast and easy, and in no way dangerous.  

Rear sight blades with a white outline are available for S&W revolvers, but I read that the white outline is "distracting".  

So many people in other forums suggest different colors for the front sight.  I might be wrong, but I think they have it backwards.  Seeing the front sight blade is just the first step - getting equal space on either side of it, and keeping the tops level, is the real goal.  There are also fancy front sights with built-in plastic that seems to light up, which is what the Dan Wesson PM9 I was considering buying has.  But, especially after reading Cecil's comments on open sights, that would be a mistake.  I don't want to "look at" the front sight, just the alignment with the rear sight.

That puts me back to square one, which is why people long ago who understood this very well wanted the blackest possible front sight, to make it easier to see the sight alignment.

Sight Black Spray

Having written that, are the carbon devices still available, along with the materials, and do any of you still use them?  Are the safety concerns valid?  Is replacement material still available, and can it be shipped, or is it considered hazardous?
mikemyers
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Post by adminbot1911 Thu May 19, 2022 7:17 pm

I use sight black.  It's cheap, easy to use, and readily available.

It can build up, so it needs to be cleaned off every so often instead of applying layers upon layers.  

Once I settle down in one place I might add a lighter to my kit.  But I've been using sight black for long enough to be comfortable with it.
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Post by mikemyers Thu May 19, 2022 8:20 pm

Thanks, I wasn't aware of that.  If alcohol doesn't work, I can try solvent.  I think my "black" is already wearing slightly, but not to where it's an issue.

I'm very pleased with it.  Shooting one handed, it seems to work even better.  I tried that today too.

The rear surface of my Baer front sight is serrated, I guess to minimize reflections.
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Post by adminbot1911 Thu May 19, 2022 10:24 pm

Solvent isn't necessary, a rag or weapons cleaning brush and choice of standard weapons cleaner is more than enough.  You'll find that sight black comes off rather easily (pretty much on contact).  It applies like spraypaint but transfers like dry erase marker.
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