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1911 Front sight repair

SteveM74SteveM74 Member Posts: 98 ✭✭
edited October 2018 in Ask the Experts
So a bit of background first.
I had taken my 1911 to a local shop who did "gunsmithing" to have new sights put on. The rear was a simple Novak dovetail swap. The front was a post that needed to be peened over. I looked online how to do it and found the best way was to have a special tool. I didnt want to spend the money on a one use item that would sit in the box in perpetuity after.

So I gave the local guy a shot. Everything looked good and the limited shooting I was able to do after seemed to be A Ok.

Until Sunday. Went to the range to put a good amount of rounds downrange. Wife likes shooting it so she was having a turn on the trigger. She took a break and I went to shoot. And... FRONT SIGHT IS GONE! Wife said it was there on her last shot.
Luckily we found it.

Turns out, all this guy did was red LocTite it in and ground off the excess taht should have been peened over.

So called a shop about 3 hours away where we hunt, they said that they can fix it by silver soldering it. But it is a minimum of 8 weeks. Or if I wanted to I can simply JB Weld it.

My question is, will the JB Weld hold up to the heat and the shock? Also, will it get enough in there to make a solid bond?

I appreciate any help.

Comments

  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,348 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I had the same issue with my stainless steel AMT POS, only the front sight was lost in the weeds. I made a new sight and the tool to stake it in place. Didn't take long to start loosing up. I shot a lot in those days. So I high temp silver soldered it in place. Still there, still tight. Some day I'll buff out the discolor from the red heat required.

    added That's very reasonable.

    http://www.lpasights.com/en/

    First pop up is there are some bad screws - they own their issues impressive.
  • forgemonkeyforgemonkey Member Posts: 20,243 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The correct way is make sure there is a slight 'concave divot' inside the slide where sight post come through(1/8" round burr in a Dremel).

    This allows space for the metal of the post to expand into,,,,,,,also, having a very shallow groove in the bottom of the 'post' will facilitate equal spreading/peening into the 'divot',,,,,,However, without the proper jig you risk marring the slide and damaging the sight.

    JB Weld might hold for a little while but sooner/later it will work loose,,,,,,silver soldering risks discoloring the slide.
  • SteveM74SteveM74 Member Posts: 98 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    So bite the bullet and have the gunsmith see what he can do to get it done right..this is what I knew the "right" answer would be but still not happy about it! Because of course.. the local guy is not around anymore. Looks like I will be carrying my back up .40 with me until I get it back.

    quote:Originally posted by forgemonkey


    The correct way is make sure there is a slight 'concave divot' inside the slide where sight post come through(1/8" round burr in a Dremel).

    This allows space for the metal of the post to expand into,,,,,,,also, having a very shallow groove in the bottom of the 'post' will facilitate equal spreading/peening into the 'divot',,,,,,However, without the proper jig you risk marring the slide and damaging the sight.

    JB Weld might hold for a little while but sooner/later it will work loose,,,,,,silver soldering risks discoloring the slide.
  • rufe-snowrufe-snow Member Posts: 18,424 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by SteveM74
    So a bit of background first.
    I had taken my 1911 to a local shop who did "gunsmithing" to have new sights put on. The rear was a simple Novak dovetail swap. The front was a post that needed to be peened over. I looked online how to do it and found the best way was to have a special tool. I didnt want to spend the money on a one use item that would sit in the box in perpetuity after.

    So I gave the local guy a shot. Everything looked good and the limited shooting I was able to do after seemed to be A Ok.

    Until Sunday. Went to the range to put a good amount of rounds downrange. Wife likes shooting it so she was having a turn on the trigger. She took a break and I went to shoot. And... FRONT SIGHT IS GONE! Wife said it was there on her last shot.
    Luckily we found it.

    Turns out, all this guy did was red LocTite it in and ground off the excess taht should have been peened over.

    So called a shop about 3 hours away where we hunt, they said that they can fix it by silver soldering it. But it is a minimum of 8 weeks. Or if I wanted to I can simply JB Weld it.

    My question is, will the JB Weld hold up to the heat and the shock? Also, will it get enough in there to make a solid bond?

    I appreciate any help.





    The part of the front sight, he ground flush. Is called the tenon. Because this is missing. Not likely that JB Weld, or anything else will hold the front sight in place.

    You could go Charlie's route vis a vis silver soldering. But you need a pro, to make sure it's done correctly. Years back I had a number of my 1911 slides machined. For a dovetailed front site, by a local very competent gunsmith.

    Considering the hourly rate charges, by gunsmiths who know what their doing. Both of the above choices, likely will be pricee. And you might not get the pistol back, for a couple of months at least. Depending on their backlog.

    I would just say to heck with it. Buy a new front sight, and the swaging tool from Brownells. And have at it, not difficult at all. As long you have a padded jaw vise to hold the slide, In the correct position, When using the swaging tool. Than, "VERY CAREFULLY", dremeling the excess material from the inside surface of the slide.
  • 62fuelie62fuelie Member Posts: 1,036 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    If you are going to take it to a gunsmith you might want to consider having a dovetail slot cut in the slide and installing the sight that way. No discoloration from silver solder's heat and can be swapped out for other configurations in the future.
  • Hawk CarseHawk Carse Member Posts: 4,296 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Silver solder heat will discolor the slide nose finish. Burn it off if it is a modern paint job.

    A properly staked on front sight will stay put, but these days it is simpler just to have the cross dovetail cut. One and done.
  • BT99BT99 Member Posts: 1,130 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I retired from gunsmithing. Still have the staking tool and about a dozen sights. Let me know if interested.
  • truthfultruthful Member Posts: 925 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have had bad luck with several 1911s that have staked front sights. A dovetail is the way to go IMHO.
  • SteveM74SteveM74 Member Posts: 98 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    So a really cool update to this. I contacted Midway to see if they had a replacement front sight as I bought this in a set for front and rear. The said they only had the kit, but to contact LPA directly. Found thier distributor in the states and contacted them. Below is thier response:

    Hi Steve,
    It sounds like the gunsmith did not stake it properly?. We can stake it for you. If you send your slide in we can stake a new one on $34.00 plus shipping back to you. The labor is all we will charge, I will give you a sight for free.
  • Hawk CarseHawk Carse Member Posts: 4,296 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    That is great. A company that will fix its own mistakes gets "good customer service" reviews.
    So what does that make a company that will fix other people's mistakes? Wonderful customer service. $34 is very reasonable.
  • SteveM74SteveM74 Member Posts: 98 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Hawk Carse
    That is great. A company that will fix its own mistakes gets "good customer service" reviews.
    So what does that make a company that will fix other people's mistakes? Wonderful customer service. $34 is very reasonable.


    I was just hoping to be able to buy the front sight separate from the kit! They have won my business from here on out!
  • rufe-snowrufe-snow Member Posts: 18,424 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by SteveM74
    So a really cool update to this. I contacted Midway to see if they had a replacement front sight as I bought this in a set for front and rear. The said they only had the kit, but to contact LPA directly. Found thier distributor in the states and contacted them. Below is thier response:

    Hi Steve,
    It sounds like the gunsmith did not stake it properly?. We can stake it for you. If you send your slide in we can stake a new one on $34.00 plus shipping back to you. The labor is all we will charge, I will give you a sight for free.




    LPA, Italian sights. At one time, were imported and sold by Bob Serba, DBA, Fusion Firearms out of FL. If that is where your going to send the slide. Don't expect a quick turn around time. Per my personal experience.
  • SteveM74SteveM74 Member Posts: 98 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by rufe-snow
    quote:Originally posted by SteveM74
    So a really cool update to this. I contacted Midway to see if they had a replacement front sight as I bought this in a set for front and rear. The said they only had the kit, but to contact LPA directly. Found thier distributor in the states and contacted them. Below is thier response:

    Hi Steve,
    It sounds like the gunsmith did not stake it properly?. We can stake it for you. If you send your slide in we can stake a new one on $34.00 plus shipping back to you. The labor is all we will charge, I will give you a sight for free.




    LPA, Italian sights. At one time, were imported and sold by Bob Serba, DBA, Fusion Firearms out of FL. If that is where your going to send the slide. Don't expect a quick turn around time. Per my personal experience.




    Bob contacted me personally. I have another I can carry in the meantime. But for him to step up and offer this when it was thier product but not thier workmanship. Regardless of tuernaround that is pretty cool
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