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Thread: Painting my front sight.

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy fastdadio's Avatar
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    Painting my front sight.

    I'm having a hard time focusing on my Bisley, 7 1/2" front sight. I painted it years ago with Testors orange model paint. I noticed that the top 25% of the paint has worn off. Besides being 61 years old and wearing a bi-focal, I thought that might be part of the problem. So I stripped it tonight and I want to repaint it. Question is, what color? Flat black, white, or some other color? What would give the best contrast to the rear sight white outline for contrast? If this doesn't work, it's getting a red dot. What do you folks have to say?

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master
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    If orange paint worked before, is it not working now?

    I put down a couple of coats of white before applying orange Testor’s. This makes the orange more noticeable and contrasty. Did it for the smallish sights on my LCP or any pistol where the front sight fills too much of the rear notch.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    I've had good luck with a bright lemon yellow.

    Its quick to see, and doesn't blend in with anything.
    Everyone can learn from their mistakes.
    However; it's less painful, and cheaper to learn from the mistakes of others.


    Old age and treachery will always overcome youth, and skill.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy metricmonkeywrench's Avatar
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    +1, I use nail polish, but the same combination. International safety orange over bright white to bring out the orange.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Wheelguns 1961's Avatar
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    I have the same gun. I also wear bifocals. You have me by 3yrs. I used to paint my front sights with bright white nail polish. I have since stripped them all, and now prefer black on black. To me, it gives me a better sight picture. I have been down the red dot rabbit hole, and still use them sometimes. The problem I have with red dots is, I must have a slight astigmatism, and the dot sometimes looks like a blob instead of a tiny dot. I use a thinner front sight on my single sixes and sevens. Of course, they are easy to change out. Not so easy on a blued blackhawk. If you do decide to go with a dot, I found that if I keep it as dim as it will go it works best for me.YMMV. Good luck! I hope you find something that works for you.
    Due to the price of primers, warning shots will no longer be given!

  6. #6
    Boolit Master TNsailorman's Avatar
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    I am 77 and my eyes are not what they use to be either. I recently painted the front sight on my .45ACP S&W revolver with FolkFirt paid I bought at Wallyworld. It was #2904E Vivid Orange and it really stands out, even in bright sun. Great in shadows. I used finger nail polish back in my competition days in the 70's and 80's. It worked also but did not stand out as well as this Vivid Orange. My experience anyway, james

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy fastdadio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 35remington View Post
    If orange paint worked before, is it not working now?
    The orange has worked fine over the years, but the top portion has worn off, and I was just thinking that may be part of the problem with getting a good focus on it.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy fastdadio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wheelguns 1961 View Post
    I have the same gun. I also wear bifocals. You have me by 3yrs. I used to paint my front sights with bright white nail polish. I have since stripped them all, and now prefer black on black. To me, it gives me a better sight picture. I have been down the red dot rabbit hole, and still use them sometimes. The problem I have with red dots is, I must have a slight astigmatism, and the dot sometimes looks like a blob instead of a tiny dot. I use a thinner front sight on my single sixes and sevens. Of course, they are easy to change out. Not so easy on a blued blackhawk. If you do decide to go with a dot, I found that if I keep it as dim as it will go it works best for me.YMMV. Good luck! I hope you find something that works for you.
    Luckily for me I have no problem seeing the red dots, and have them on several other guns. I just don't really want one on this pistol. I understand what you're saying about black for the sight. I'll likely soot this one with a candle and try that before I reach for the paint brush.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I like the orange, but it depends on your primary shooting venues. The black on black is what I want on paper, but is a no go in the woods. That is especially true if there is not enough light on each side of the blade. Most handguns come with too wide front blade or too narrow rear notch, depending on your perspective. I have opened the notch in the rear sight blade on several of my Ruger revolvers to get enough light. I don’t comprehend the “white outline” so I paint the upper corners of my rear blade light blue and the front bright orange. Pretty gross to look at but very effective in the woods while functional on paper. I also opened the top strap groove on my M36 before I blued it, lots better sight picture now. Before having a heart attack, it was a 140$ cosmetic basket case with serious pitting!
    “You don’t practice until you get it right. You practice until you can’t get it wrong.” Jason Elam, All-Pro kicker, Denver Broncos

  10. #10
    Boolit Master BigAlofPa.'s Avatar
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    I do the same thing. I'll paint the back a different color. My baby rock the sights were real hard to see with the short sight radius.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    One round at a time.
    Member of Valley Gun & Country Club. Elysburg Pa.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I like black on black but fire sights are pretty nice too.

  12. #12
    DOR RED BEAR's Avatar
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    I like red on front and white on back. But i think orange would work well to.
    I read that green was an easier color for the eye to see and painted my front sights bright green. That didn't work for me at all.

  13. #13
    Cast Boolits Owner



    No_1's Avatar
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    I use nail polish. With 3 daughters and 3 granddaughters there is an endless supply of bottles with “not enough left to do squat” left in them which is more than enough for my needs. I clean the front site with lighter fluid then apply 2 coats of a color I think may improve my sight picture. If it does not work out the polish is easily removed without harming the sight.
    "Things always get better once thought, time, and money are applied in the correct amounts at the correct time"
    - No_1 -

    "The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion."
    - Albert Camus -

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Typewriter "White Out" works well for me. When it wears thin it's easily removed and replaced. Just scrape it off with a wooden toothpick and repaint with the little applicator brush.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy fastdadio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bazoo View Post
    I like black on black but fire sights are pretty nice too.
    Yes, the fire sights are nice. A friend of mine has them on his Red Hawk. The really dangerous part is that Williams Gun Sight is less than an hour drive from me. If paint don't work, It's a toss up between these and a red dot. One thing at a time.....
    https://williamsgunsight.com/product...oduct_brand=37

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    I use white on all of my revolvers. Paint pens from the arts and crafts department at Wal-Mart. I've tried red nail polish, and also red paint pens. White works the best for this guy who wears tri-focals.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
    contender1's Avatar
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    While orange is a common & often used color for contrast,, a discussion with an optometrist allowed how some folks are a bit color blind,, and orange isn't the best color for contrast. His thoughts were to use a lime green,, as it was more pronounced,, even for folks who aren't color blind.

    I'd try the "paint it white & follow with green" attitude first.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Lime green is what I settled on after using orange and black for decades
    East Tennessee

  19. #19
    DOR RED BEAR's Avatar
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    I use acrylic paint from walmart or craft store. Fifty cent to dollar a bottle and alcohol will take it off.

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    2 that we use are testers model paints.
    Fluorescent yellow- more of a bright green. not so good in summer but good fall and winter.
    Fluorescent pink- when my bud brought that one out I said no way! But after using it I got to say not bad. Used it in killing fields this yr with it diluted with a dab of white. Very good in all light conditions for hunting.

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BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
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LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check