PDA

View Full Version : Sighting my 686


PapaJoe
06-28-2008, 4:43 PM
I own two handguns, a Sig 220 and an S&W 686. The Sig has non-adjustable sights and is fairly true, but the S&W with adjustable sights, is not. I have asked range masters at the two local public shooting ranges about getting the S&W's sights trued, but they have been unhelpful. My understanding is that this process involves a sandbagged pistol position. Any advice would be appreciated.

I would also like to have a gunsmith adjust the actions, (particularly the Sig's action), to make them as replicably accurate as possible while not disturbing their readiness for rough use. These professionals are scarce on the ground her. Again, any advice.

Parenthetically, my girlfriend had an Armand Swenson 1911 that she bought in Santa Monica in 1970 before, I assume, he was known by reputation. She died last year and the gun passed to her brothers. While one of them owned handguns for the same purpose as I, neither had ever heard of Armand Swenson and neither was interested in keeping the gun. I was stunned, but didn't want to make a commotion over it under the circumstances. It was a beautiful stainless piece. By the time that I knew her, she was buying guns for aesthetic reasons, so I never got a chance to shoot it.

Cordially,
PapaJoe

rivviepop
06-29-2008, 8:53 AM
My understanding is that this process involves a sandbagged pistol position.

It's really as simple as that if you don't want to invest a lot of money; there are special bench rest devices (called a Ransom Rest) made for doing this process that actually hold a gun and swing up slightly (for recoil) that are the best way to zero, but most of us (and a range) don't have one of these. (picture below from a guy I know on Flickr)

The ghetto way is to use a simple sandbag rest to firmly seat the barrel and obtain a solid shooting position (sitting, prone, etc.) and just start sighting that sucker in one sight-click at a time. Most people say to use a 20 yard target but it depends on your need of course - and have a pair of binoculars. Shoot. adjust. shoot. adjust. just go through a box of good, reliably accurate ammo until you get that sucker nailed.

BTW: single action shots, not double. :)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/emwon/2290180666
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2061/2290180666_0e03a91f45.jpg

JTROKS
06-29-2008, 9:17 AM
I would also like to have a gunsmith adjust the actions, (particularly the Sig's action), to make them as replicably accurate as possible while not disturbing their readiness for rough use. These professionals are scarce on the ground her. Again, any advice.

Sigs have accuracy adequate for their intended purpose, infact they are usually more accurate than a comparable mid priced defensive pistol. To build accuracy you must look at the barrel and it's lock up. The best and most economical way is to find ammunition it likes, and have a gunsmith do a trigger job. The next procedure in the quest for accuracy is to have a match grade barrel fitted. Bar-Sto is well known for fitting their legendary, superbly accurate barrels. Are you looking for a target grade gun or just want your Sig to be the best it could be? There aren't too many reputable gunsmiths in the state of California since most of them, moved out of state, retired or in shooting heaven.

For sighting in your 686, rivvie's advice is excellent. If you can't get a ransom rest a shooting buddy is a good way to check zero and accuracy. I'm sure there are many guys here willing to meet up with you at a range closer to home.

gdr_11
06-29-2008, 11:16 AM
[FONT="Times New Roman"][SIZE="2"]I own two handguns, a Sig 220 and an S&W 686. The Sig has non-adjustable sights and is fairly true, but the S&W with adjustable sights, is not. I have asked range masters at the two local public shooting ranges about getting the S&W's sights trued, but they have been unhelpful. My understanding is that this process involves a sandbagged pistol position. Any advice would be appreciated.

I would suggest investing $20 in a leather sandbag rest (you can use the front rest made for rifles and available at most shooting stores, plus you can use this to test different ammo and loads forever). If your range allows, start at 10 yards and adjust sights until you are hitting dead center in the 10 ring, then move back to 25 yards and make any minor adjustments from there. My 686 will print both .38 specials and .357 loads within 1" at 25 yards from a sandbag.

PapaJoe
06-30-2008, 1:10 PM
Dear rivviepop, JTROKS, and gdr_11,

Thanks for the excellent, cogent advice. I have a friend who lives over in Alameda and the next time I talk to him, I'll see if he can help me sighting the 686 at the San Leandro range. He's an ex-cop.

As I said, the Sig is pretty accurate. I don't want to make it so accurate that it is temperamental. I thought that a gunsmith could do something, other than a trigger job, to assure that every bullet was seated in exactly the same space and configuration. But I don't want to swap barrels. So, I think that I will leave it as is.

I really like both handguns, but the Sig is my favorite. I wonder if it was worth making it capable of taking an eight round magazine rather than a seven, however. The sig factory mags are ridiculously expensive and the quality aftermarket mags that I have bought don't work reliably. The configuration of the lip of the mag must be subtle and critical.

Cordially,
PapaJoe

maxicon
07-01-2008, 1:40 PM
I always shoot a few cylinders or mags from the bench before I adjust the sights. You want to shoot groups of at least 10 rounds (so 12 or 14 in the 686, depending).

I just use my range bag for a rest, since my indoor range doesn't have sandbags, and I don't want to haul more heavy stuff around. Sure, I've got scorch marks all over it, but it just adds to the character!

A 686 should be able to make one ragged hole with 2 cylinders full of ammo, no problem. This makes it pretty obvious how to adjust your sights.

StukaJr
07-01-2008, 2:00 PM
I have found that weight of bullet and particular load will have great impact on sighting of your Revolver - since .357 defense ammo ranges greatly in weight of bullet and velocity, having someone else sight in your gun is pointless unless you specify the ammo.

I have shot 110 gr, 125 gr and 158 gr .357 loads and have found that even at 7 yard range the impact differs quite a bit - you might find a load/brand you stick to or find the optimal middle ground and re-adjust your aim to impact.

PapaJoe
07-01-2008, 3:35 PM
Thanks for the additional info. My preferred ammo is Remington Golden Sabre but I shoot a variety of cheaper stuff in practice. I will keep StukaJr.'s advice in mind and target the pistol with the round with which I keep the gun loaded at home.

Cordially,
PapaJoe