Flat-top "homemade"

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mo58

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 15, 2015
Messages
6
At the range a few weeks ago and met a guy that ground down the rear sight area/top strap of his NM .357 ...a homemade flat-top.
Obvious question came to my mind since I do love customized revolvers, but I also like playing it safe. ...Seems to me (but what do I know?) that there is more than enough meat left to the top strap yet, I gotta figure that the sight groove is the weakest area of the top strap. ?
Is there enough steel there for said customization?
 

TINCANBANDIT

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jan 3, 2014
Messages
216
nope, lots of gunsmiths perform this modification, you need to make sure there is enough meat left to hold the pin that captures the front of the sight though
 

DGW1949

Hunter
Joined
Apr 10, 2005
Messages
3,638
As far as the remaining strength of the frame goes, I've see a few old 3-screw .357-BH's that had been "Colterized" via reshaping the entire top strap, milling a grove down it's middle, and replacing the front ramp with a "half moon" front sight. They all shot factory ammo just fine, and all of their owners lived to tell about it. :lol: .
You might also note that a lot of Colt SAA's have been used to fire a lot of .357 ammo over the years, Uberti has made a lot of Colt-clones in .44 Mag, and that both of those have a weaker frame than your Ruger.

Yep, I'm perty-sure of it.....If you ever bolw your NM BH up, it'll be because you overloaded the cylinder, not because you removed the rear sight ears.

DGW
 

mo58

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 15, 2015
Messages
6
Been doing a lot of exploitative reading around this forum ...so much info! Obviously I ran into many a discussion and example of this mod ...oh well..another newbie asking an old question :lol:

So...I went for it. First with the grinder to take it down to where I can start filing. Its going to be sweet!
Gun that I decided to start messing with is a NM .45colt 4.5" barrel that is a bit beat up(in a nice used gun way).
I had already removed the bluing and black paint. errr...n I cut the barrel down to 3.75" (just had to have one that was a bit shorter than the others at the range.. :lol: ) Thinking that I want to use a steel grip frame from my SBH (square dragoon style) ...shape it to a plus size birds head. Also pondering using the cut off front sight as a dove tail mounted sight.
So far, when I stare at it and squint my eyes..she will look really good!
 

Hondo44

Hawkeye
Joined
Apr 3, 2009
Messages
7,715
mo 58,

Welcome to the forum.

Bravo, sounds like you're well on your way. There's no strength issue with flat topping your BH. It will be at least as strong as the original flat tops and they were made on the mid frame, yours is on the larger frame. The weakest link in the chain is the cylinder anyway so flat topping the cyl frame is irrelevant.

As you've no doubt discovered already, that the sight retention pin was re-located low enough with a new style rear sight with the bump underneath since the last 12 years or so, and does not interfere with flat topping. Even many earlier guns do not create a problem.

If you like the SBH grip frame with sq back trigger guard that's fine. Just FYI if you think you might prefer a SBH size grip with round guard, the SBH Hunter model is a good choice, albeit only available in stainless.

Have fun and let's see her when done,
 

mo58

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 15, 2015
Messages
6
Hondo44, thanks for the welcome and info.
Beautiful work cellar701 and rugerguy!

Curious... I read here on this forum that it is wise to finish the top with a slight angle downward toward the barrel. This make sense to me since I would like to lower the sights as much as possible.
Any thoughts/advice regarding this?

Im flat topping a 44mag also and was for a sec tempted to continue the rear sight 'groove' all the way forward or to where it meets with above mentioned angle ... Marking it out with a black sharpie did look cool...but a bit contrived. Anywho...thinking outloud here.
 
Joined
Dec 11, 2002
Messages
7,771
the reason for the "slight angle downward" is to try and keep MORE material at the rear, as long as the flat is "flat", the eye will not notice the downward cant,be it ever so slight, the proper and "true" flat ,is just that "flat front to back, if you look from the side, or try and measure like all TOO many "machinists and rocket scientists" certainly would do, oh well, yessir it will cant or tilt or run downhill whatever, but at least its "flat"....neatness counts.........
main thing on the old models, sight protected guns ,the cross pin hole is so close to the top edge, you do what you can to stay away from this "hole" ( pin) on both sides of the top strap.........
 

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