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Old 04-16-2005, 01:18 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 61
front sight for 686+

Is it possible to replace the red ramp front sight on this revolver to something more "visible"?
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Old 04-16-2005, 07:38 PM   #2
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 7
Front sight for 686

Joe, I assume you are talking about replacing the insert with a different color. If that is the case, yes it is possible. You can do it or have a gunsmith do it. Basically what you do is clean out the old insert and either pour in a new colored filler (dam up the sides of the sight first and set the sight level so filler flows flush to the top edge of the sight) or press in a new solid filler and file to fit. Either way, Good Luck!
Old 04-17-2005, 07:14 AM   #3
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 61
I was thinking some thing like gold bead and fiber optic or HI-VIZ. But I e-mailed S&W and was informed that I'm stuck with the ramp type sight.
Thanks for your reply any caliber.
Old 04-17-2005, 09:36 AM   #4
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 194

Try Jack Weigand. He and his son were courteous and efficient in filling a very small order of a replacement blade (I needed a different height from what I had originally ordered). I like his ramp with the detachable blades and have it mounted on several pieces whose barrels I had shortened.

It will require machining but he has red insert, gold bead, and fiber optic options in which you have stated an interest.

Personally, I'm happy with the red insert and don't trust the durability of the fiber optics, but it is an option.

Just do a Google for WEIGAND and check his website.

My gunsmith has mounted a brass bead installed on a shelf in the front sight blade of a short carbine and it's surely visible and seems to minimize the round bead's tendency to shoot away from the light. That being said, the current Browning carbines I've had the sights changed on have solid brass blades built in the old Redfield Sourdough configuration and they are really visible and quick to pickup as that style always has been. Haven't used such on a handgun, but see no reason that shouldn't work well.

I guess I'm behind the times, but I see nothing wrong with a solid black Patridge sight either, for that matter, though, and even my aging eyes still pick it up well if it's wide enough. Seems to me that the biggest problem with fast pick up of the foresight is that all too many weapons have a foresight that's too narrow and a rear sight notch that is also too narrow to permit adequate light on either side of the blade when it's centered in the notch. The fine sights are fine for traditional bullseye shooting, but are limited when speed is significant and the target is grosser than that unforgiving black bull.

Good luck on your search.
Old 04-17-2005, 09:39 AM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Virginia
Posts: 185
I recommend Weigand Combat's interchangeable front sight setup, too. I've got one on a 3" Ruger Redhawk. Works great, looks original, and was very reasonably priced.
Old 04-17-2005, 10:24 AM   #6
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 288
Paint that sucker.
Old 04-17-2005, 11:23 AM   #7
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 61
Thanks for all your replies. I will look at Weigand. I guess my problem is that I'm not use to using sights on handgungs. I've been using my father's Remington Rand he left me about 35 years ago for home defense. I used the same type of pistol when I was in the Navy[1959-1969]. I bought a Kimber to replace the Remington and the S&W for home defense. It's like learning to shoot all over again. Maybe I'm expecting too much from these "modern" firearms. I still can't get the double action down pat. I think I can spit more accurately than shoot the S&W. Sorry for the rambling.
Old 04-17-2005, 11:55 AM   #8
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 39
Old 04-17-2005, 10:20 PM   #9
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 194

If you're trying to learn to shoot DA, get yourself some good snap caps, make sure the weapon is unloaded, load the snap caps, make sure the weapon is unloaded and is chambered only with snap caps, get a proper grip on the weapon, assume a balanced shooting stance, select a target in a harmless direction, and practice slowly squeezing the trigger as smoothly and non-stop as possible while watching your sights for misalignment as the hammer impacts. Starting point is a proper grip and stance like with all the martial arts. Other skills are basic shooting skills complicated by the lack of a shoulder stock and the shorter sighting radius.

When you get the hang of snapping in with good sight alignment on the target, put a quarter on the end of the muzzle, and continue a smooth, non-stop press while watching your sights until you can snap in the weapon without dislodging the coin and still keep your sights aligned on target......THEN bust some caps.

Helps to do this with someone who KNOWS the basics and can watch you and ensure you're adopting a good grip and stance, pulling the trigger straight back, not touching the frame with your trigger finger, breathing correctly, etc. When you get the basics down pat, speed WILL follow.

About a million or ten million repetitions ought to do it......a few less maybe if you've really got the basics of marksmanship down pat and really have a good coach who is a fair bit better than you are.

Problem with pistol shooting is that it takes a fair amount of discipline to get good and most aren't willing to make the effort---especially given the rather reduced accuracy standards that many of the gun games and modern production handguns have encouraged. Plus, most of us lie to ourselves about our shooting skills and that really slows development...

Hope this is helpful.
Old 04-18-2005, 06:12 AM   #10
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 61
Thanks for the advise. I certainly agree with you about practicing. I think part of the probem is that the frame on the S&W is a lttle too large for my hands for me to be consistant with a proper trigger pull. I also have that problem with the Kimber which has about a 1/2" longer trigger reach than my Remington. I plan to get the "small hands" package done by kimber once I get the break-in rounds{400-500] fired. The only thing I can do with the S&W is to trade it in for a Model 60 if I want to stay with a S&W .357. S&W says you can dry fire their revolvers with out damage to the firing pin or spring so I've been dry firing without snap caps or dummy rounds. I have to use an "H" grip with my right hand so that the pad on my trigger finger is directly on center with the trigger using a two handed stance. I'm not interested in bull's eye shooting so I usually practice at about 7-15 yards or closer if I'm allowed to at the range I'm shooting at. I do much better with the Remington than the other two firearms from about 15 yards in. At 25 yards or longer the Kimber is more accurate since the Remington's sights are practically nonexistant with my 64 year old eyes.
Once again thank you all for your suggestions.

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