View Full Version : School me on old S&W Front Sights

09-28-2011, 5:54 PM
I own this gem, see original post.
I was going to change the front sight to the red ramped but found this inserted red
Patridge, see attached picture.
I know I should probably keep it as is. Being a 27-2. but it has already been changed with the Hard Chrome Plated Trigger and Hammer.
What are the pros and cons with ramp or patridge front sight?

Sorry for the reference back to old post. I donít have a photo posting account.
Just old and Old fashion

Can't buy anything here
09-28-2011, 6:19 PM
I wouldn't touch it...it's a classic and worth a lot in original condition...the hammer and trigger are drop in parts so you can easily put it back to original condition...it's a target gun right? So all black sights should be fine...:)

c good
09-28-2011, 6:39 PM
Ramped front sights with red ramps were mainly designed for weapons that were going to be holstered. The ramped rear of the sight made for easy extraction from a holster with no snags, the red insert was for quick front sight acquisition. Since this is not a short barreled revolver, and probably not going to be holstered, I'd leave it the way it is. It's a target revolver. Patridge front sights give a more "crisp" sight picture with square surfaces. This is a great idea as long as you have good light and good "young" eyes. As my eyes get older I find myself wishing for brighter front sights. But I still prefer a Patridge style front sight. Don't change the front sight! If you need better front sight acquisition, do what alot of the oldtimers do. Put a little dab of easily removable white or red paint on the back of the front sight. The polished and hard chromed hammer and trigger, while not original, are well done. I'd keep it the way it is and shoot the heck out of it. Congrats! c good

09-28-2011, 6:58 PM
I hate ramped sights. I shoot bullseye, and ramped sights mess up the appearance of the front sight (it appears lighter compared to rear sights and can get lost in the black bullseye if shooting center mass) even if I spray the front sight with sight black.

So short answer, keep the original black patridge sights.

Mickey D
09-28-2011, 7:48 PM
Cut the barrel to 3" before installing the ramp sight. :facepalm:

09-28-2011, 7:49 PM
I agree, don't do it. You have a really nice target revolver, key word is 'target'. Your front sight is what you focus on, you want it to be crisp and clear. As stated earlier, sometimes it gets lost with the background if colored a lighter color. Black is good.
Leave it alone.

09-28-2011, 11:20 PM
I'd avoid changing the front sight to a "red insert" Patridge style only because it screams "aftermarket". The chromed trigger/hammer are bad enough, but like others said, you can drop in replacements and still get by easily.

For target shooting, lots of folks liked the plain black Patridge style. For those with aging eyes, many of the earlier guns used a Patridge front sight blade with a "gold bead" affixed to the upper portion of the sight. This was simply a polished brass "BB" in appearance but it allowed you to find and focus on the front sight with older (or nearsighted) eyes. A gold bead would be at least correct for a S&W sight.

Ramp sights were used for holstered guns (mostly police and "defensive" guns). Over the years, they have appeared in blue (black), nickel and stainless. Ramp inserts from S&W are predominately red or red-orange in color. In the 70's, a Yellow insert was offered for a short time but it was found to be sub-standard because the color blended in too much with the muzzle flash of magnum loads.

09-29-2011, 6:06 AM
I still have my carbide smoker from the old days for smoking up my Patridge sights to ensure a nice crisp square front sight picture :) I used to serrate my Patridge sights also as seeing the serrations meant I was truly front sight focused.

I agree with BillCA; if you're goinna change your sight consider a gold bead insert front Patridge sight. SDM Fabricating is one possible source. Fortunately your front sight is pinned in place so its relatively easy to change out for a gunsmith.

09-29-2011, 6:37 PM
Thanks for all the shared knowledge.
In haste sometime we overlook the obvious.
Keep it as original as possible.
This S&W was purchased to replace a Highway Patrolman, five screw side plate, that was made in 1956, that I lost in a Home Burglary. It had a red ramp and white outline rear sight that I added. I bought it from a LEO and it was rather rusty. After much steel wooling, re-timing with new ejector assembly, and re-bluing. I had a beautiful Bullseye shooting revolver. I will look for a stock hammer and trigger to replace in the future. Until then back to the Range and Shoot.
Thanks Again