DIY white-dot sight restoration

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by StainlessSteel215, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. StainlessSteel215

    StainlessSteel215 New Member

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    My ONLY gripe so far with my new American Classic Commander 1911 is that the white paint in my 3-dot sights is slightly discolored, and not completely filled all the way. Makes for a weak sight picture.

    So, I did some digging around YouTube of course, and stumbled across a very simple and seemingly effective way to do this....compliments of my buddy Pete from TheARMORYChannel, with whom Ive spoken with since were both local guys. For those who dont know who he is...Pete is a VERY simple, down to earth and hilarious Joe Shmoe with a dry sense of humor. And he knows a lot about DIY builds and small fixes of all sorts. Very handy fella

    Basically he recommends taking a dental plaque scraper type tool (steel rod with a slightly curved sharp point) and simply picking out the white paint. Then, once the empty dish has all the paint removed as best you can....taking rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab and twisting/cleaning out all the leftover remains. Finally....once its dry....take some basic hobby bright white acrylic paint and gently dabbing it evenly to fill the cavity with the end of a toothpick.

    Seems legit. Any better suggestions or improvements to this technique?
     
  2. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    pretty spot on there SS215! the only difference i might add is that they now have some new paints that will glow in the dark, but the process you described would still be the same.
     

  3. StainlessSteel215

    StainlessSteel215 New Member

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    Hmmm like a homemade tritium for night sights? That sort of pigment has to be charged with a light though and only lasts a few minutes, correct? Seems kinda pointless to do that. I prefer plain bright white. Down the road I might spend the $150 on night sights...but for now this will cost me under $10 :)

    I'll post a before/after once the stuff ships to me later this week. Ordered the dental pick/paint from amazon
     
  4. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    the reports i have read is that the paint will glow for quite a while and some are better than others at retaining their glow.
     
  5. Olympus

    Olympus New Member

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    White crayon crushed up and pushed into the dots.
     
  6. BeyondTheBox

    BeyondTheBox New Member

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    Is just like with watches, those luminous paints only last a couple hours at best and do need sunlight to activate/charge them. The more sun the brighter, Unfortunately not the longer... You can buy it by the bottle but it's very expensive unless you buy in bulk. You can also buy tritium tubes from watch part sources, from my understanding, and possibly superglu them into a sight from there? Not sure on logistics, might try it myself just out of curiosity.
     
  7. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    some craft and hobby stores use to carry the glow in the dark paints. last time i saw some was on another gun forum and someone posted a link for it. it was made to use primarily on firearms. it was about $12 for half an ounce. now that may sound like a lot of money, but half an ounce would do a boatload of guns!
     
  8. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    fingernail polish is highly visible in certain colors as well. dont forget to use a bit of clear lacquer to protect the paint.
     
  9. StainlessSteel215

    StainlessSteel215 New Member

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    Great replies fellas, and thanks Jon that was a great suggestion that I would have never thought of!
     
  10. HOSSFLY

    HOSSFLY New Member

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    Only thing I use -
     
  11. nosaj

    nosaj New Member

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    I went through my daughter's nail polish and picked out the brighest/most visible shade she had. Have about 150 rds through it since and they seem to be holding up nicely

    ForumRunner_20130101_204508.jpg



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    ForumRunner_20130101_204534.jpg
     
  12. StainlessSteel215

    StainlessSteel215 New Member

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    WOW that looks fantastic, thanks for posting those pics! I think you just convinced me to switch from white to a bright neon green for better contrast
     
  13. nosaj

    nosaj New Member

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    Take your time and be careful. I used the tip of a safety pin to apply the dots. My first attempt didn't come out so neat....haha
     
  14. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    wooden toothpicks work pretty good for application of the paint as well.
     
  15. StainlessSteel215

    StainlessSteel215 New Member

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    Well, it was pretty darn simple and turned out great! I'll post pics at some point but trust me when I say that I took a half-asses factory job.....scraped it out....and replaced with BRIGHT white sights that now give me a great sight picture.

    It did take me two time to understand how fast the cavity fills up when I injected the paint.....has to do that one twice ;)
     
  16. BeyondTheBox

    BeyondTheBox New Member

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    I would thing rear white and front orange or green or yellow would work best to provide a quick sight contrast.
     
  17. onelonegunman

    onelonegunman New Member

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    Dimentional paint

    I had the same problem with my Novack 3-white dot sights on my Kimber Pro Carry HD II. I tried the white paint - holes too deep, did not fill enough, turned yellow when I cleaned the gun. Tried the acrylic glow-in-the-dark paint - shrank too much, could not see them in daylight, needed time in the sun/under a lamp in order to charge, did not glow for very long. Tried self drying clay (craft store item, very white) - clay was too dry to manipulate and press into site holes, became off white as it was being worked. Finlay I tried this combo:3-dimentional fabric paint, since it shrinks I let it round over above the holes slightly. I then used a hobby knife to cut away the overflow but the plastic paint either pulled free of cut ragged. I Removed the paint and started over but this time I only put the paint in level with the rim of the holes. The paint shrank a bit but it was fine only it was shinny. To dull it down I used some flat clear paint and applied it with a tooth pic. When it dried I had flat white 3-white dot sights.

    Later when that went bad I tried something desperate. I mixed 2 part epoxy with some enamel white paint and used that. It dries very glossy so I used the flat clear to dull it down. It has held up the best so far.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2013
  18. onelonegunman

    onelonegunman New Member

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    I also tried different colored paints and nothing worked or looked as good as the white.
     
  19. qwiksdraw

    qwiksdraw New Member

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    A drop of Super Glue over the dot has worked well for me so far.
     
  20. GunLover528

    GunLover528 New Member

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    I used an over sized tooth pick with the flat back side. It's perfect. I also filled in my engravings on my xds with fingernail polish. All my friends want me to do theirs.