Front Sight Fix


The finished product.

Loving Ruger revolvers doesn’t mean I’m not aware of their minor shortcomings. The .45s in particular are made with notoriously tight cylinder throats and the front sights could be taller on most guns, regardless of caliber, and especially for heavier loads. Alas, it is easier to remove metal than adding it, so these minor irritations are easily fixed. Doing so makes them more “yours” too!

If you have a stainless gun, simply removing the front sight roll pin and replacing the sight blade with a taller one takes care of the sight problem. Cylinder throats can be reamed to proper dimensions, leaving you with a very accurate shooter.

Here’s the Flattop, disassembled and ready for machining.

Ken Kelly mills down the front sight, to the base.

Blued Guns Blues

However, if you have a blued gun, you are kind of stuck with the one-piece front sight. I’ve seen some ingenious solutions for fixing the short blade. Everything from soldering brass stock on top, to using JB Weld and popsicle sticks to build up the front sight. The blades are then filed to shape. Although crude, they work. For a professional job, about the best solution I’ve seen is performed by Ken Kelly of Mag-na-port International.

A roll pin hole is drilled on the side of the base.

Ken sets up the EDM for the sight pocket.

The EDM in process, using spark erosion to mill the pocket.

EDM Saves The Day

Ken is a master gunsmith, being awarded by the Guild in 2007 as Pistolsmith of the year. Ken skillfully mills the integral front sight down to the base. He then uses EDM (electrical discharge machining) to form a pocket in the base for the front sight blade to fit into. Then he drills a hole through the base and sight for the roll pin. Adds a splash of blue and a coat of oil and your new front sight is looking pretty sharp!

It’s the easiest, cleanest way to replace a front sight. There’s no need to remove the sight base using this method. Re-soldering entails having to re-blue the whole gun, adding expense. Plus, you can swap blades if you need, matching taller blades for heavier bullets, or of different colors, for better target contrast. The choice is yours.

Ready for a taller front sight.

The front sight installed, looking brand new.

Tank trying to figure out how to abscond with Doc’s gun.
Curse you, blasted COVID mask!


The 7.5″ Ruger Old Model Flattop Blackhawk belongs to mi amigo, Doc Barranti’s son, Lu. Obtained for a song on an auction site, the front sight was filed thin and butchered by the previous owner. Ken Kelly brought it up to snuff in no time at all. Ken charges $135 for this magical conversion, plus the cost of whatever sight you decide to go with. Standard blue sights are $35 and lead time is running 4–6 weeks. This process is a true bargain to bring your POI (Point Of Impact) up to snuff! I’ve got a few guns needing this service so I’m getting in line.

Mag-na-port International can be reached at 586-469-6727. Tell ’em Tank sent you. If you live within 5–6 hours of Harrison Township, MI make plans to drop your gun off in person. Mag-na-port houses the Handgunner Hall of Fame and the front lobby is full of Larry Kelly’s Trophies from around the World. You won’t be sorry!