1911 staked on front sight fragile?

Discussion in 'Beginner's Corner' started by MotorcycleMan11, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. MotorcycleMan11

    MotorcycleMan11 New Member

    Jan 12, 2018
    Hi all, new member here.

    I'd like to replace the sights on my 1911 (rear will be the 10-8 NM sight; front is still up for debate but something thinner than the current stock front sight). It's a bone-stock reproduction Colt 1911 series 70 and will be used for plinking, perhaps a class or two, and occasional carry. I just had a question regarding the staked on front sight.

    I talked to a gunsmith and he told me I'm better off just getting a dovetail cut for the front sight because the staked on tenon sights are fragile and prone to breakage. The only thing is, I'd like to keep my 1911 as traditional looking as possible.

    So for those of you who have any experience in this field, how fragile are staked on front sights? Are they notorious for shooting loose or breaking? I've read about using loctite but are there any other methods to prevent the front sight from shooting loose?

    I apologize if this has already been addressed but I haven't been able to find very many threads/info on this matter.

    Thanks in advance!
    41 Charlie likes this.
  2. WWB

    WWB Moderator Staff Member Moderator Supporting Addict

    Apr 11, 2015
    Get it dovetailed they have a tendency to come loose if they are staked not worth messing with IMO dovetail is the way to go

  3. NPV

    NPV Previously CT Specialist Supporting Addict

    Nov 15, 2017
    This, it'll also give you a larger range of front sights to choose from.
  4. 41 Charlie

    41 Charlie Get off my lawn...

    Feb 4, 2014
    Good advise provided by all. A Novak dove tail cut front sight is probably the most common, and provides the most options. I've sent my Colt slide (only) to John Harrison for for the machining, and installation of his domed gold bead front sight. He also installed his retro 'U' notched rear sight. This is a very traditional sight combination, the gold bead front sight is very visible and just pops for me! John Harrison is a true gentleman, and expert Smith.

    Welcome aboard, and best of luck with your decision!
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
    Badabing11 and limbkiller like this.
  5. MotorcycleMan11

    MotorcycleMan11 New Member

    Jan 12, 2018
    Thank you all for your input!

    I have to admit that I'm a little disappointed that the staked on front sight isn't more robust... I guess I'll have to give Mr. Harrison a call
    41 Charlie and Wilsonwessonbrown like this.
  6. HannibalMontana

    HannibalMontana Active Member

    Apr 30, 2016
    Mr. Harrison did one for me. Fantastic work.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    41 Charlie likes this.
  7. Greg45acp

    Greg45acp Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Oct 31, 2016
    You can send just the slide to Novak's and they'll cut the dovetail, install the front sight and have it back to you in about 2 weeks. Great service!

    When you see pics of all the GI surplus 1911s, the ones that got dragged all over in numerous wars, they still have staked on front sights. Dovetail is stronger but a properly staked on front sight is still to be found on some 100+ year old Colts.
    41 Charlie likes this.
  8. mrbieler

    mrbieler Member

    Jan 13, 2018
    A staked on front sight should not be liability or weak spot if installed properly. No less so than a properly installed dovetailed sight.

    That said, these days the selection of dovetailed sights is huge and changing them is very easy once the dovetail is cut.
  9. TPC

    TPC Member

    May 5, 2017
    Properly staked tenon-style sights are pretty robust, in my experience. I have over 50K rounds through a series 70 custom, and the sight has been off the gun twice when it has been refinished. It certainly hasn't gotten loose or taken flight.

    Having said that, finding someone who knows how to properly stake those front sights is getting harder. A dovetail front is probably a better choice these days, and it does make changing the front sight easier.

    Just my two yen's worth...
  10. NPV

    NPV Previously CT Specialist Supporting Addict

    Nov 15, 2017
    Good thing my two cents are worth more ;)
  11. TPC

    TPC Member

    May 5, 2017
    Depends on the day. Today, my opinion is worth 1.8 cents...
  12. NPV

    NPV Previously CT Specialist Supporting Addict

    Nov 15, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
  13. TPC

    TPC Member

    May 5, 2017
    .0180 of a dollar, which I believe works out to 1.8 cents...
  14. NPV

    NPV Previously CT Specialist Supporting Addict

    Nov 15, 2017
    Serves me right for skimming your post though you put USD
    TPC likes this.
  15. Jim w.

    Jim w. Well-Known Member

    Jul 27, 2016
    A PROPERLY staked on front sight is plenty durable. The only one I have ever had to kick loose was on my ACE .22.

    But sloppy staking or a taller, thicker, heavier blade than GI has kind of spoiled the stake on front sight's reputation. A cross dovetail is the way to go these days. Of course that can be screwed up, too.
  16. azpoolguy

    azpoolguy Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Jul 4, 2013
    Check the width of the notch on the 10-8 sight before going to a narrower front. There might not be a need if the rear notch is wider then what you have.
  17. MotorcycleMan11

    MotorcycleMan11 New Member

    Jan 12, 2018
    Thank you all for your input, I really appreciate it :)
    41 Charlie likes this.

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