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Discussion Starter #1
I have a Model 14-4 target revolver, 8" barrel, K-Frame. No matter what I try to do with the rear sight, the gun shoots too high. If I could shoot it sub-6-o'clock hold, I would be fine. I wold prefer to shoot it center-hold.

The sight has been removed, cleaned, everything seems to be fine. It has the 0.126" sight blade, which is correct. I tighten the adjusting nut (CCW) until it bottoms out on the post, and that's as far as it can go. It should go quite a bit further down. On some of my other S&W revolvers, the sight goes down all the way until the rear of the sight bottoms out on the frame.

I bought the gun used, so potentially the sight might be the right one for this gun, but I'm pretty sure it is.

The sight adjusting nut needs to screw down onto the post several more turns, at least, but I can't - it's already bottomed out.

The sight leaf appeared to be bent more than it should be - with the approval of the service tech people at S&W, bent it slightly, but this made no real difference.

This makes no sense to me - the gun appears to be barely used, and the way it comes from the factory, it should be easy to get it sighted in for "center hold". Any advice?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Here's a photo from the side - there is plenty of room for the sight to come down lower in the back.
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Yeah, I think all of my S&W wheel guns with adjustable sights will lay the sight body down right on the frame recess, I wonder why yours won't? Can you take a thumb and push down on the rear sight and move it downward without touching the elevation screw? If yes, once you are pushing down on the rear sight, can you turn the elevation screw then? Just trying to get a better idea on what's going on.
 

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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass! What weight bullets are you shooting?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I don't have enough strength to move the rear sight downwards, without touching the elevation screw, but I'm sure it would move right down onto the frame. This doesn't happen as the elevation adjusting nut "bottoms out" on the square piece with the post that it is screwing onto.

If I remove all the parts, and put a washer (a spacer) between the elevation adjusting nut and the sight housing, I expect everything would work as needed. Or, I could replace the 0.126 sight blade with a 0.106 sight blade, which I found last night, and which I could order today.

Regarding the ammo, I'm using the same 148 grain 38 Special wadcutters that I shoot in my S&W Model 52.


My plan for today might be to disassemble the rear sight, removing the square post, then removing the C-clip that prevents the adjusting nut from coming out of the sight body (preferably without losing any of the tiny spring and plunger), and push my extra C-clip all the way onto the adjusting nut. Then I would re-assemble everything. The second C-clip would act as a washer (spacer), so the sight body would move that much further downwards.

Another option would be to file on the sight blade to lower the top surface - this would have the same effect. Here is a photo to show how much I need to lower the sight:

478998
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Added later - this grouping was shot with me aiming with center-hold, on a NRA B-8 target at 25 yards. I'm guessing 1.5 inches would do it. Somewhere I have the number of how far the aim-point drops for each click of the adjusting nut......
 

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You could use a 6 o'clock hold...I'd get the shorter blade but trying to find the screw kit may be problematic.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi, and thanks. Yes, 6-o-c'lock hold was my original goal, but that makes it even more difficult to "aim", when using area aiming, compared to center hold.

My original plan was to remove some of the "bend" in the rear sight assembly.

I removed the sight, put it on a flat surface, and found a way to measure the distance from the end of the sight down to the "tabletop". I then used a vice and an unusual clamp, to remove a little of the bend - it went so far, and it sprang back. I went a little further, ditto. Eventually I stopped, and re-measured. The end of the sight was now lower by about the thickness of a dime.

I re-assembled the gun, and took another photo.

If one "click" on the sight on an 8" barrel lowers the POI by perhaps half an inch at 25 yards, my gut feeling is I've gone far enough already. If not, I know how to lower the sight even more by bending. Here's the photo - not too much more and the sight would be resting on the frame, which was my original goal. I'm closer.
479039
 

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Have you thought about using a shorter elevation screw? You should be able to find one at an Ace or True Value hardware store.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The "elevation screw" isn't a screw, it's a "nut" regardless of what it looks like on the gun.

Check this page, and you'll see what the parts look like.

I found lots of options, but the only one that makes sense to me is the bend in the sight on my gun is more than it's supposed to be. This even made sense to the guys in S&W Technical Support - they explained how it could have happened, as all these things were made by hand back then.

My options are to buy the shorter sight blade (I found one), to modify how the parts fit together so the sight would be lower (I'd prefer not to do this), or to go back to fixing the most obvious thing, too much bend in the sight. It needs at least a little "bend" so it is springy, and takes up any play in the parts. I think I cut the "bend" in half.


Don't feel bad - everyone thinks that "thing on top" that you turn with the screwdriver is a "screw". I thought the same thing, until I spent an hour or so trying to figure out how things work, and even then it wasn't obvious until I removed the sight assembly from the gun and looked at it as I slowly turned the adjuster and watched what happened.
 

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Like I said before, I'd change the blade. If you do it like S&W made it, you have to break the windage screw. They sell a kit with screw and nut to replace then stake. They also sell a special punch with two prongs to stake the nut, but you can do the staking with a small punch. These kits were always back ordered when I looked. However, they are back in stock at MidwayUSA.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The lowest height sight blade I could easily find before was 0.126".
S&W also makes a sight blade which is 0.106".

Thanks for the reminder. If what I've already done doesn't work, I'm ordering the full kit with all the bits and pieces (Product #: 987831) for $14, and also the .106 blade alone for $ 10 (Product #: 422717). I'll find out tomorrow morning at the range.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you!

Very nice impression so far, good people, interesting discussions, and a wonderful way to post photos, so much nicer than other forums.

When I have time, I need to look around a little more.

The way I learned about this forum, was going a Google search for my revolver issue, and one of the links sent me here. I liked what I saw, so I posted this thread.
 

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I was looking at your pictures and just pulled out several K and N frame revolvers with adjustable rear sights, none of them show light through the gap up against the seating of the frame like yours. I'm talking the horizontal distance from the leading edge of the sight knurl to the back of the frame. Since you've removed and reinstalled the sight assembly and I assume you had no problem with reassembly, I'm struck by a crazy thought; "Is your gun fitted with the proper sight assembly?" They do differ depending on K-Frame model because I've had to change one in the past. I realize it sounds nuts, but your very clear pictures show such a large gap in the fit, it has me thinking something is just not right. Many of our gunsmith experts have made themselves scarce lately, hopefully someone with more experience and knowledge than I have can weigh in. Keep us posted on your progress, but personally I don't think you should have to try and bend the sight piece to make it work properly, I don't care what S&W says, your situation isn't normal.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Two quick thoughts - this is the sight that came on the gun when I bought it from Gunbroker. I have no way to tell if it's the correct sight for this gun. I have found where I can buy a new sight assembly from Numrich, but how would I know if what I'm buying is the correct sight?

I know what you mean - this is my Model 28 Highway Patrolman with a sight on it that came with my Model 29 - I think this is what it ought to look like..... I guess the only way to find out is to buy one. Notice how it also fits down right on top of the frame. Unfortunately, the hole towards the front is not in the right location for my Model 14, or I'd have already mounted it.
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With no disrespect intended, I would first try to get the gun grouping better, then try to move the POI to where you want it. Have you tried the 3.5 gr Bullseye 148 gr HBWC load? That seems to be a very good load in most .38's. Does your Model 52 shoot the load you're using better that the group shown from this gun?

I, too, wonder if the sights on your gun are correct. Raising the front sight is the same as lowering the rear.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I'm already shooting the ammo I bought for my Model 52. I shoot the Model 52 better, as this is really the first time I started to use this revolver. I usually shoot one handed, but I couldn't hold the revolver steady enough with one hand, so I used two.

Yes, I certainly need to improve my grouping, but before I do more, I figured I needed to set the sights. Maybe I'll find out more tomorrow.

I will be shooting the same load that is recommended for Bullseye shooting with the Model 52. Right now, I'm shooting my "Federal Premium 38 Special 148 grain lead wadcutter match".

I have now shot at about five targets with this revolver, all of them sort of wasted as I was trying to get the sight adjusted, until I realized that I couldn't. Tomorrow will be the third day I will have used the gun.

I will probably never shoot this gun anywhere even close to its potential, until/unless I put a red dot sight on it. My eyes are not good enough - something about getting old. My left eye has better acuity than my right eye, but I need to practice (or use a rest) if I want to use that eye. My current level of ability is to usually get most of my shots "in the black" at 25 yards with a NRA B-8 target. If I could do that with this gun, I would be satisfied. :cool:
 
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