Thursday, March 10, 2011

Old guns and old sights.

Shooting the old classic guns is a thrill. It transports us back to exciting and adventurous times. Actually using the original guns and original type of ammunition is a unique and rewarding experience. However, there are some complications. One is the sights used on many older guns do not compare favorably with the newer designs that a shooter may be used to. The Model 1911, P08 Luger, and numerous others have smallish sights that can disappear in low light or glare out in bright sunlight. Many older revolvers have a half moon front sight that can really reflect light. This can ruin accuracy and reduce the fun of a shooting session. The problem is worse on guns that have had some finish wear and bare metal is exposed. I recently ran into this problem when firing a Luger and a 1911 on a poorly lit indoor range.

Here are a few options, a good one is to use a sight black spray. This cuts reflection, mitigates finish wear, and helps define the sight to the eye. Of course another is to replace the sights, this can be done on pistols or revolvers, BUT, don’t compromise collectability or originality. For older fixed sight S&W and Colt revolvers, a nifty rear sight replacement is the Wonder sight. Check it out here;

The wonder sight is adjustable, removable and a great design that dates to the 1930s. While it won’t help the half moon front sight very much, the sight picture by the new rear is great. My Argentine 1927 (M1911A1 clone) I’ve elected to replace the sights. This particular specimen has no collector due to its large import marks, replaced barrel, and importer refinish. Putting correct or retro style sights (just a little larger that the originals) is inexpensive and makes sense. Especially if I decide to use this as a main match gun for Zoot Shooting.

On pistols like the Luger or Mauser C96, I just live with the originals, It’s just part of the fun. For many pistols replacement high visibility sights are just not made. The FN Model 1903 fortunately has decent sights, and this will be my main match gun, for the beginning anyway.

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