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Joe4d

front sight pin and drill bitl

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Have seen several answers to this. My gun is the 7 shot 686 pro series flat slide barrel.
Has the typical cross pin front sight.
Anyone know what size this is ? And is the 329, 351, N frame use the same pin ? Midway lists a pin for these guns, brownells lists one with a different part number but different guns. Numrich has different part numbers for pins that other places say are the same.
Im guessing the current pin is a atandard 1/16" roll pin, which comes out at .0625.
I have also seen drill bit size reccomendations as .055" ,, strangly enough AKA a number 54 bit. (Guess calling it a #55 would be to simple)
soo Im guessing a 1/16" expanded size roll pin, with a .055" hole in the sight to allow for compression ? Sound right ?
I live in BFE so will have to order the bit, pin , starter and final punch.

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The solid S&W pins run about .056. If you want to use the 1/16 roll pin, I'd suggest you use a 1/16 drill when you install the new sight.

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It's a #54 drill bit, can be had here:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AXAF3QS/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

front sight pin:

http://www.brownells.com/handgun-parts/sights/sight-parts/sight-pins/sight-pin-front-sku940053720-15186-34710.aspx

Also, a drill press is a good tool for the job to drill the sight, a mill would be best.

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the brownells pin is out of stock, I would think Id want to use a smaller than 1/16' bit if I was putting in a 1/16" roll pin, so its spring could be compressed to hold it in.
S&W been using roll instead of solid for a long time, might have one the right size though. Probably order the 54 bit and roll pin punches, alot easier to drill it to small then make it bigger, than to drill it to big and make it smaller.

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The original pin is .055 to .056. The correct drill for that is the #54. The easy thing to do is drill it 1/16 (.062) and use a 1/16 x 1/4" long roll pin. The best way to drill the hole is to install the sight, drill through the hole in the gun to spot the front sight, remove the sight and drill it through on a drill press, then re install. Make sure on the initial install that you get the sight firmly seated before spotting the hole. You only get one chance to get it right.

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I use the correct size drill bit in an egg-beater type drill, I like the additional control this gives me over a power drill. I drill halfway through the sight from each side. Put the revolver in a vise and be careful when you break thru from the second side. If you break the drill bit off, they're a pain to get out. A small clamp is useful to hold the sight in place while you drill.

You don't want to drill straight thru from one side, even on a milllling machine. If you're not straight to the original hole you'll end up with an enlarged hole on the back side.

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You say your 686 is the pro series flat slide barrel, do you mean the 686 SSR? because if so you dont have to drill the front sight it uses the classic dx style sights that have a spring and can be removed without tools.

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You say your 686 is the pro series flat slide barrel, do you mean the 686 SSR? because if so you dont have to drill the front sight it uses the classic dx style sights that have a spring and can be removed without tools.

The seven shot proseries is different. It has a five inch barrel. However you are correct that it should use the DX sight.

OP are you sure it's not a spring loaded quick change sight?

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You can tell if it's a spring loaded Classic style if it has a 1/8" hole in the front of the sight base just below the sight. There is a pin in those too, that makes it look like a Pin On style, but the pin is more forward than on a Pin On.

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thanks guys, glad I posted this, I have changed these before on S&W's but the sights I got had the hole already drilled and came with a new roll pin. Have no idea what the brand was. But looking at some pics it looks like I might have the quick change, it has the 1/8" hole in the front of the sight base above the barrel bore. need to find a diagram on how to change it.

edit...
Now really really glad I came back to this forumn.. WOulda been a real bone head move on my part.. Yep from checking around I just gotta push back and lift, the pin stays in. SWEET.
So umm off to brownells I go for the right front.

Edit again........
And of corse everyone is out of the basic serrated .208 or .250 ramp.

Edited by Joe4d

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black seratted ramp, and thanks again, forgot about Dawson, yep got one on the way.
I just dont like the way the fiber optics look,. That was what I put on, then took off my 646,,, that like a royal jackwagon I sold a couple years ago. Then like another royal jackwagon, I bought this 900 686 instead of holding out and searching for the real gun I wanted The 327 trr8

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I have 2 custom made by SDM and I had them made narrower than the normal width and then I went back to fiber optic. I can send you pictures and width tonight when I get home if you are interested. They are black and serrated.

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I use the correct size drill bit in an egg-beater type drill, I like the additional control this gives me over a power drill.

Pat, you gotta be shitting me with the egg-beater drill thing. What are you, Amish? What's next, a foot-pedal-powered dremel tool?

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You've got to try it. It makes sight installation easy, lots of control. It doesn't take much to drill through 1/16 inch of mild steel from each side.

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"An egg-beater type drill" I think it's called a hand drill. My Grandfather showed me one, a long time ago.

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post-40526-142488324245_thumb.jpg

Carmoney, I'm looking at getting a CNC control unit for it as I believe that will increase my productivity.

Edited by PatJones

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Posted (edited)

Possibly a dumb question, but for those of you who have switched over to a 1/16" roll pin - do you need to open up the cross pin holes in the barrel, as well? Or are they already oversized?

Edited by matteekay

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I haven't switched, but IIRC stock is a #54 drill bit which measures out to .055" , a bit too undersized for a .0625" (1/16") roll pin. Drill out first for new pin. 

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Posted (edited)

Yes, you need to drill the holes in the barrel to 1/16 as well, if going bigger. The roll pins are always a little bigger than nominal size, so they have to squeeze down a little to fit an on size hole. Then they are exerting ouward pressure that keeps them inplace. I like Spirol pins better than regular roll pins. The Spirol pins are stronger.

Edited by Toolguy

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