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Hey all,
Been thinking about sights for a 1911 pistol. I know the original had a staked front site and a dove tailed rear sight. I like the lines the pistol presents with this type of sight setup, the smooth front end and the more business like back end (dove tailed sight, cocking serations and what not). Would it be practical to have a 1911 with a staked vs. dovetailed front site? I was thinking of having a Novak adjustable lo-mount rear installed, the one that has the tritium inserts. Then having a new front site installed that has the tritium tube, but would be staked instead of dove-tailed. Thnx all!

-Mitchell R. Drews
 

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Mitch,
For looks, I prefer a staked front sight too, but only if it is silver soldered in place. To not silver solder it would guarantee that at some point in time, you will be in the midst of shooting and notice the front sight is no longer there. Of course if you have tritium installed, you should have no problem finding it. Just go back after dark and look. :D

You can probably still have the tritium insert installed in a silver soldered front sight, but it would require pre-drilling the sight for the tube to be installed after the slide is refinished. Good luck!

Tony
 

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Some dovetail jobs are better than others. The better ones have the tabs contoured to match the slide radius. This "blending" is the best of both worlds, combining the security of dovetailing and pinning and the smooth look of a staked sight.
 

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Archer said:
Some dovetail jobs are better than others. The better ones have the tabs contoured to match the slide radius. This "blending" is the best of both worlds, combining the security of dovetailing and pinning and the smooth look of a staked sight.

Very true, but front sight installation doesn't come any cleaner than this....




It is soldered btw. I asked. :D

Tony
 

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If you want a staked-on front sight, there's no reason not to.

Things have progressed since the days when 1911's shed front sights like a cat sheds hair.

First, we've found out more about how to do the staking job properly, so it can't come loose.

This is no more complicated than simply cutting a shallow depression inside the slide to give the sight's tenon room to flow.
The problem is, unless the depression is put in, the rivet has no place to go, and simply forms a rounded rivet head.
When the rounded area is ground down to clear the barrel bushing, the rivet is weakened to the point the sight isn't held firmly.
Result: loose or missing sight.

Another factor is the design of newer front sights.
In the 60's and 70's everybody wanted the large ramp-type sights like the above picture by T. Kanaley.
These large, comparatively heavy sights were simply too massive to stay put with just a rivet, so they were silver brazed in place.

Since then, in addition to figuring out how to do a strong rivet job, the sights have have shrunk back down to more reasonable size.
Most people figured out that the long, heavy ramp served no really useful purpose.
Gunsmith's also realized that while silver brazing might not HURT a hard 1911 slide, it certainly doesn't do it any GOOD.

As a result. new sights are simply wider and taller versions of the original 1911-A1 sight. As such, they lack the mass of the large ramps, and having a thicker tenon, the rivet is much stronger.

So, modern luminous sights can be staked in place, and be expected to last the life of the gun, AS LONG as the installer does it right.
Most of the sight companies that offer installation, do it right, as do the better pistolsmiths.

All you have to do, is pick the sight you want, and insure the installer knows his stuff.
 
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