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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking to find someone who an repair a Colt 1911 Nationa Match for a friend of mine. The gun needs a new front sight and my friend dos not trust any of the gunsmiths in his area (Northern NJ). I, and the gun, are located in Virginia. Any recomendations are appreciated.

John D.
 

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John D..... perazzibigbore (Mike Greenblatt) on this site could do this job in his sleep. He is in New Orleans and is a great guy to work with. Your friend would not have to worry about the workmanship, for sure.... Dan Thome (Trap2)
 

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The slide probably has a stake in front sight... If you bring it to the Grand.. I'll bring my staking tools and do it for you.. No problem.. Bring the sight your friend wants installed.. Be sure the tenon is the right size...My usual fee for such a task is a Buffalo burger from Buffalo Bob.. I have no sights in stock.. and really don't know which are the "correct" factory match for the year involved.. I do however know how to install them.. All Good.. Mike
 

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This is about as simple of a "repair" as anyone could want. I would not even call it a repair actually

Any gunsmith could do this in seconds with the sight and the right pin- of course a staking tool would cut the time in half

Not sure what your friend is worried about here -

Big Mike could easily do this of course but it is like asking Brett Farve to hand out programs at a football game

regards from Iowa

Gene
 

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Gene.. thanks for the kind words.. but when your gun isn't perfect..the job seems huge..The "secret" to the front sight is to cut a small bevel in the inside of the slide.. so you have a good solid rivet head when you peen it.. Go slowly.. and move as much metal as you can to really fill in the back cut.. Done correctly.. there is little metal to file away..to clean it all up.. If you leave a weeeeeeeeeee bit extra..it's useful to tighten up the barrel bushing..Not rocket science.. just go slowly.. A ball head burr is what I use to cut the back of the sight tenon..
 

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I would suggest machining the slide and using a dovetail front sight as the best solution. That allows you to easily change sights if you want to in the future and it won't easily come loose or break again. It probably has the small tenon sight which are prone to breaking off (especially if you shoot full powered ammo) because of the larger size sight the National Match guns use, this is why going to a dovetail sight is a good idea.

If it's important to keep the pistol original looking then replacing the staked in sight can be done. My friend Mike has the procedure correct.

Ross
 

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Likely shooting hardball in the gun. These are made for target loads.

While you are getting the front sight replaced, have the smith check the plunger tube, and don't shoot full powered ammo.
 

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IF ITS A EX-MILITARY COLT NATIONAL MATCH, IT IS PROBABLY A BALL GUN AND THE FRONT SIGHT ON A GOOD MANY OF THEM WAS SILVER SOLDERED ON LATER ON AFTER THE STAKING LET GO ON THE ORIGINAL. RICK ZINO
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It appears as if the sight was soldered in, no pins or dovetail. That is why the search for someone to replace it.
 

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If it were soldered in it probably wouldn't be loose now. Gene is right it is a very simple repair. All Colt target front sights will come loose eventually. You can lock the front sight in a vise and grab the rear of the slide and rip the sight out. If a Dremel tool is handy it is easy to grind the sight loose from the inside. If you have a small tenon I would enlarge the hole and install a large tenon sight. I would silver solder the new sight in cause it will just come loose again if staked only. A propane torch won't hurt the blue but don't linger and warp the slide.
 

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If your front sight looked like this it is a 1911A1 government NM gun. All sights were furnace brazed at the time of manufacture. Very possible it may have been replaced with something different in the past. If you intend on feeding hardball through your gun have it silver soldered. Staking may get you through wadcutter but probably won't cut it with hardball. good luck-- TG
 

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I never seen a regular propane torch that would melt real silver solder on something as big as a 45 slide, IIRC silver solder flows at like 1250F which I would think will mess with the bluing.

Where did some of you get the idea that this is a military match 45? It sounds to me like a regular Colt National Match that are called Gold Cups nowadays. What happend to the OP?
 

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sliverbulletexpress ,You are probably right about "real" silver solder. Silver brazing would warp the slide. I'm pretty sure I used fake silver solder to do it. It has been a while and I must have read about how to it because I wouldn't have used a propane torch on my 70 series Gold Cup otherwise. It was easy to do and has held up for a long time.
 
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