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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:48 am 
Single-Sixer
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Location: Maine
I recently had my 7 1/2in Blackhawk .45 Colt cut down to ~4 5/8in. The gunsmith did a good job of remounting the front sight but then he went ahead and milled the front sight down using a bore-sight as his guide to get the height close. He left the rear sight in the middle of its travel believing this would give enough adjustment for most loads.

Unfortunately, he cut a little too much and the front sight blade is too low. Now my rear sight is cranked all the way down and the gun still hits 4-6in high at 25yds. I really want it to hit at the POA.

I checked on Midway and they have a sight blade listed (cheap too, ~6-8$) but it is out of stock (ditto for Brownells). Does anyone know of another source for replacement blades. Ruger has squat on their ShopRuger website.

I wouldn't mind getting a fiberoptic front sight, but the ones I have seen are for different sight designs. Apparently Ruger uses a different front sight on their .357 and .44 mag Blackhawks than they do for the 7 1/2in .45 Colt BH.

I could take it back to him, but his shop is a fair piece away and it would be easier to just get a new sight blade and put it in myself.

Ideas?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:25 am 
Hawkeye
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Why the hell did he cut the front sight down? Any `smith worth his salt should know that shorter barrels need taller front sights, not shorter. Is the sixgun blued or stainless? If it's blued, the front sight is all one-piece and silver soldered to the barrel and you need to take it back to the gunsmith. Have him cut the old blade off, mill a pocket in the base and fit it with a removable, pinned blade. If the gun is stainless, you can replace the front sight with a factory unit for the shorter barrel.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:41 pm 
Buckeye

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 4:45 pm
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Location: MISSISSIPPI
This is true you always need a taller sight when you cut the barrel down shorter. I have cut several of mine down to 4 5/8 and always go with a taller front sight after cutting the barrel. If you want to play with it you can get some jb weld and a wood popcicle stick and clamp the popcycle stick onto the front sight on both sides with about 1/8" of wood above the sight then mix up the jb weld and put it into the slot to build it up. Let it dry then remove the sticks and take a file and dress up the jb on the sides. then take it out and shoot it and file down as nessecary to the proper height with the rear sight in the middle of the adjustment range. That way you will have a measurement to order a correct sight height from.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:46 am 
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Its a stainless pistol. The front sight base was silver-soldered on. He got the sight base off and then remounted cleanly. He did drill and tap a hole for a retaining screw. Its not original, but it works and looks clean.

The blade is replaceable though. Drift out a small roll-pin and the front sight should come right out. The replacement will need to be drilled though. That is one thing that bugs me about Ruger pistols in general. The P-series guns and now my blackhawk both have a drilled-and-pinned front blade. You have to fit the sight in, mark it and then drill it. Not easy if you dont have a drill-press (and I dont...feck).

This is the gun pre-shortening. You can see the roll pin in the front sight.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:08 pm 
Hunter
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I wonder why he didn't at least shoot it to see where it was shooting with the shorter barrel. Measure twice and cut once would seem to be a good placard for his work bench. 8)

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:33 pm 
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I don't like saying this but your gunsmith is a moron. Make your own blade out of 1/8" flat stock. The attachment pin can be either a press fit pin or a "spring pin".

flatgate

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 2:30 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 7:50 pm
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Location: Poquoson VA
sargents1 wrote:
Not easy if you dont have a drill-press.....


Actually, it is VERY easy without a drill press....maybe even easier than setting a drill press to do the job.

First, determine what size your new pin hole needs to be. The ones I have done have been 1/16 - inch, but I would double check.

Either put the gun in a vise or other holding mechanism - I have had good success just hand holding the gun.

Then insert the new (un-drilled) sight blade into the base, and clamp or hold the new sight blade very tightly in place.

Next, using a regular power drill, drill HALFWAY through the base and blade. Then, DRILLING FROM OTHER SIDE, complete the job.

Viola - a drilled blade hole with each side lining up perfectly with the hole in the base.

Final step, insert pin and drive home.

These instructions are not original to me. They came with a replacement sight blade for a SP-101 - from Gemimi Customs, if I remember correctly.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 2:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2003 1:01 am
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Location: MO
I've had a couple of 5 1/2" 45 Blackhawks that shot 4-5 inches high with 325's at 50 yards. I was able to cure those by removing a little material from the underside of the rear sight and relieving the main body so it would lower a little more. I actually prefer that they zero with the elevation screwed down snug. In your shoes I think I'd just build me a new front sight.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:24 pm 
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5of7 wrote:
I wonder why he didn't at least shoot it to see where it was shooting with the shorter barrel. Measure twice and cut once would seem to be a good placard for his work bench. 8)


Yeah, I wondered that too. He test fired my Mini 14 after he threaded the barrel. He did an ok job with the Barrel threading. If I had to guess it was one of two things: No .45 Colt ammo on hand or ......? I dunno.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:27 pm 
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flatgate wrote:
I don't like saying this but your gunsmith is a moron. Make your own blade out of 1/8" flat stock. The attachment pin can be either a press fit pin or a "spring pin".

flatgate



I don't like throwing out statements like that, but I am surely not impressed with him right now. I get the impression he hasnt done one of these before. uhhg. What a pain in the butt.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:28 pm 
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Location: Maine
NewportNewsMike wrote:
sargents1 wrote:
Not easy if you dont have a drill-press.....


Actually, it is VERY easy without a drill press....maybe even easier than setting a drill press to do the job.

First, determine what size your new pin hole needs to be. The ones I have done have been 1/16 - inch, but I would double check.

Either put the gun in a vise or other holding mechanism - I have had good success just hand holding the gun.

Then insert the new (un-drilled) sight blade into the base, and clamp or hold the new sight blade very tightly in place.

Next, using a regular power drill, drill HALFWAY through the base and blade. Then, DRILLING FROM OTHER SIDE, complete the job.

Viola - a drilled blade hole with each side lining up perfectly with the hole in the base.

Final step, insert pin and drive home.

These instructions are not original to me. They came with a replacement sight blade for a SP-101 - from Gemimi Customs, if I remember correctly.


Thanks for the instructions. I will give it a try when my front sight blade shows up. It was backordered from Midway with an expected ship date in mid-October.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:40 am 
Blackhawk

Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 1:01 am
Posts: 987
Location: Hamilton, Ohio USA
I have no idea who the gunsmith is that did this. However, before jumping all over him realize that different people see the sights differently.

I had a shooting buddy (now gone to that better range in the sky) that shot as well as I did. However, shooting the same gun and load he would shoot low and to the left of my sight setting. Frankly, about the difference the O.P. mentions. It's unfortunate that he is having the sight problems that he really didn't "sign on for" but sometimes "things" happen.

When he gets his new sight installed and zero'd for HIS point of aim, he will have learned something, and that is not all bad...

FWIW
Dale53


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:04 am 
Hawkeye
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If he did a good job remounting the base, I could forgive him for getting the height wrong. Silver soldering a front sight base in place, straight, without making a mess, is not an easy task. So with that, I would simply order a new front sight from Ruger for the 4 5/8" .45 Blackhawk and install it myself.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:10 am 
Hunter

Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2004 2:01 am
Posts: 3396
Location: Either Texas or Idaho
I would suggest one of Dave Clements blades at 0.100" width not 0.125" as is typical. Tell him the range of loads you plan to use and the barrel length and he will make you one that will work fine.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:22 am 
Bearcat

Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:38 am
Posts: 44
Location: Texas
I highly reccomend Bowen.

http://www.bowenclassicarms.com/parts_s ... ights.html

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