Garza's Custom Revolver Sights

Seeing Is Believing
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Prototype Garza front sights installed on Ruger’s .327 Single-Sixes.

Which is more important, good sights or a good trigger? At least for me, I can get by much better with good sights and a poor trigger than I can the other way around. But how did we come to have these assorted notches, blades, ramps, posts and such on top of our handguns?

The first handgun was nothing more than a piece of pipe with a flash hole, and no sights or trigger. By the time the first revolvers arrived, things had not improved all that much as far as sights go. From the 1836 Paterson to the 1847 Walker, 1848 Dragoon, 1860 Army and 1851 Navy, all had a tiny bead front sight matched up with a small V-notch cut in the top of the cocked hammer. Remington did a better job with their first .44 percussion revolver by using a top strap with a trough cut down the middle for the rear sight matched with a very thin front sight. But even these sights were still too small.

Colt looked at the Remington when they produced their first Single Action Army and included the top strap, but the tiny sights consisted of a small V-notch rear sight and a thin tapered front. By the time the 2nd Generation and 3rd Generation Colt Single Actions arrived they had at least improved them to a square notch rear sight matched up with a front sight of uniform width rounded off on top. Ruger pretty much followed this style of front sight with the introduction of their .22 Single-Six in 1953.

Sights on single-actions improved with the introduction of the .357 Blackhawk in 1955 with a fully adjustable Micro rear sight and a ramp front sight. Ruger really did it right when they came out with the .22 Super Single-Six in the early 1960s. The rear sight was adjustable while the front sight was an undercut post. This same style of front sight was found on the .357 Maximum Blackhawk, some long-range .44 Magnum Blackhawks, as well as on the .22 semi-autos. With the coming of the .22 New Model Single-Six, Ruger went back to the ramp-style front sight.

Garza Front Sights are offered in any height requested.

This one’s patterned after the sight found on the Colt New Frontier.

Garza meticulously designs and manufactures his sights.

Catching Sight

When it comes down to it, my eyes much prefer a Patridge-style front sight, which is a square black post matched with a square notch rear sight. Now all of us can have this style front sight custom-made to specific heights and widths at a very reasonable price. These are all available in the screw-on style from Fermin C. Garza’s Customized Shooter’s Resources.

Fortunately for Ruger fans, current and recent Single-Sixes, no matter the chambering, have been fitted with front sights held on by a screw, making it very easy to change them. I’ve been shooting Fermin’s prototype sights on all of my .32 Magnum, .327 Magnum and .22/.22 Magnum convertibles. The front sight bases are perfectly contoured on the bottom to fit the Ruger barrel and the screws supplied lock them securely into place.

Fermin’s front sights are all steel and available in any width from a notch-filling 0.125" down to 0.085" for shooters who like a lot of daylight around the sight. You can also adjust the width according to the barrel length and how they want it to appear in the rear sight notch. These sights feature a lower sculpted base profile to keep it from intruding into the bottom of the rear sight notch. They also sport a taller blade, cut crisply and hand serrated deeply at 50 LPI to maximize visibility.

Fermin says: “I believe the fact my front sights are serrated by hand, and deeply, is why they provide such a crisp sight picture. The serrations make what I like to call ‘dark shadows.’ I wish I could trademark that name but some vampire beat me to it.”

Sights are available in blank form or complete with custom height and width dimensions, serrations, bluing and a fitted hex head screw. A flat-bottomed gunsmith blank is also provided which can be used to build anything from a dovetail front sight to one for use on an octagonal barrel. Also, as the Magnum Research BFR is now offered in both .500 Linebaugh and .500 JRH versions, Fermin has tailored his sight for these sixguns as well.

Garza Front Sight on a Ruger stainless steel Single-Six Convertible. The custom grips are by Keith Brown.

A World Of Choices

In addition to Ruger front sights attaching with a screw, Garza is now offering a scaled-down Single 6/7/10, as the Ruger sights are named, for the adjustable sighted Bearcat. This is also available with custom width and blade height to accommodate Bearcats custom chambered to .327 Federal. Rugers, such as the Special Edition Shootists Bisley .44 Specials, came with a front sight which simply was not tall enough and Garza is working on a series of sights to correct this.

He will also be offering his original 2 Dogs Long Range Front Sight, and also sights patterned after the front sights found on the Texas Longhorn Arms Improved Number Five, the Colt New Frontier, and also sights such as those formally offered by Jim Stroh. Reaching way back into the past, Garza is also working to offer a modern version of the old King Gun Sight Mirrored Ramp Front Sight as offered in the 1930s and 1940s.

Does your sixgun need some special attention? If you have a suspect single-action cylinder, Fermin will measure the cylinder chamber throats free of charge and also check cast bullets for roundness and hardness. If any correction is needed such as reaming the cylinders, the service is also offered. Quite often after measuring the cylinder all that’s needed is a larger diameter bullet. Future plans include old-style Colt long cylinder flutes and blackpowder chamfers.

Someone once said, “Seeing is believing.” I’ve seen these custom front sights and shot them on more than a dozen Ruger single-actions. I’m a believer. You will be too once you try them out.

For more info: Fermin C. Garza’s Customized Shooter’s Resources, www.fermincgarza.com/, Ph: (361) 960-3697

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