View Full Version : Update: New Novak sights and range test

02-12-2011, 01:41 PM
Has anyone found adjustable sights that fit the "standard GI style rear sight" like on my SA 4" Champion?


Regular military cut on the rear... 0.330" by ~0.094" by 65 and the front 0.330" by ~0.062" by 65. Base of the dovetail front to back and depth of cut in frame.

I'm looking and still not sure about "needing" any Tritium sights.


03-13-2011, 05:18 PM
I couldn't find the sights I wanted in stock anywhere, and got tired of waiting, so I shipped the slide to Novak for adjustable night sights... elevation only, I believe. I could get the slide back in just a week... I'm hoping.


03-15-2011, 10:49 AM
Well, I got an email from Novak Sights this morning and I replied and then called and talked with the gunsmith about the problems I had with the mismatched sights and what I wanted. He said he would probably have to make a sight for the front since the dovetail was too close to the front.
Anyhow, it seems he's going to work on it soon. I'm hoping to have it by Saturday, but who knows.<sigh>


03-15-2011, 11:37 AM
Seems pretty strange. Wonder why he couldn't just enlarge the dovetail to the rear. Why would yours be different than anyone elses?

03-15-2011, 11:48 AM
Those were my thoughts... maybe he'll think about that. i would think that a little filing to the rear would be all that would need... from about .300 to .330 for Novaks in the front, I believe.

Gotta run to the base and restock ALL of my drugs before I have to start seeing an off-base doctor with Medicare and Tricare as second payer.



03-16-2011, 09:42 AM
I got an email from Novak Sights this morning... "We can install the adjustable sights on your pistol and the night set will be 289.90 installed plus return shipping." Not cheap, but hopefully they will be perfect... and adjustable to point of aim.
Springfield guestimated over $300 for plain three-dot sights!

It's only plastic!


03-16-2011, 09:46 AM
I've been there before. The sights themselves aren't cheap and you no doubt have a little machine work involved so it's kind of a walk or make payments situation.

I've tried to use the "It's only plastic" story on my wife, she normally doesn't have a favorable response. It's not like we're spending real money or anything. Right?

03-16-2011, 10:00 AM
That's right. I just pay off the bill at the end of the month... we don't discuss what's in the statement. :D

Wife's out shopping and I'm thinking about trying to do a few of the 100's of things I need to do around here... but I'm a procrastinator and I may put the off... again.


03-16-2011, 10:37 AM
Paying off the bill each month would be a good thing. We usually just let it ride and pay it all off when we refinance the house every 5 years or so.

Course thats probably why I owe 250 grand for a house I bought for 105 20 years ago.

Somethings amiss with this picture.

03-16-2011, 10:46 AM
Higher finance can be confusing... as in higher cost and more debt.

Hey, I'll be 65 in June and I figure if I want stuff, I can't afford to wait. A little over a year ago we finally got everything but the mortgage paid off... re-fi'ed that twice and not worried about paying it off... just being able to afford the payments.

Unfortunately, if I don't get started on house repairs and renovations, we'll have things falling apart aound us... or on us! :eek: Our house was built in 1996, but not by Mike Holmes of "Holmes on Homes" fame on HGTV. I wish I could have been here to "supervise" with the knowledge I have now from all of the HGTV and DIY shows I've watched.

Less than stellar construction and my procrastination haven't helped anything. :D


03-17-2011, 03:51 PM
I just checked my VISA and there's a pending charge from Novak Sights for $287.42 dated the 16th. So they must have shipped my slide back. They charge when when the work is done and ready to be shipped back.:cheer2:

So... any day now. I'll be watching for it and I hope it's not be UPS because they don't deliver on Saturdays... except for an extra fee.

This will be like Obamacare... I won't know what I'm getting until I receive the package and open it up. I don't know what adjustable sight they've installed.


03-19-2011, 09:46 AM
Well, FedEx brought my 1911 slide just before noon Friday. The sights look great. Novak touched up or refinished the slide because the one scrape or bare metal wear on the left front is gone. The slide was wet with oil and very dark and looked super after wiping down. :)

I’m not sure, but I may have gotten a discount because on the invoice, where it lists the slide, there’s 10% in parentheses, and the sights were 10% lower than listed... rear sight definitely lower. I sent a copy of my retired AF ID as requested… LEO or military.

I took my time and didn’t leave the house until about 4:30 PM. I had to go by Red Lobster and see if they could order us some 3-lb lobsters for this Tuesday, our 25-th anniversary. They usually only have the 1 pound “crawfish-sized” or 2-pounders, which still look inadequate. The card the guy gave me says he’s the “Beverage & Hospitality Manager”, which was appropriate.

I forgot my danged camera… for the first time, so I had to use my 2-megapixel cellular phone camera, which isn’t worth a $#!+ ! You press the button, it takes a second or so and then there’s the “click”… with not the greatest picture. I took extras and deleted the fuzziest.

So, pictures of the sights and a few targets follow. I never missed the cardboard which was about 17.5” by 17.5”… even at 15 yards, which is stretching my eyesight, I guess. What works for me at 7 yards is not tight enough at 15. The sights are kind of fuzzy and I point after I get in a hurry. I just can’t keep my trigger pull consistent.

Where the sights shot low before, the new ones were high a bit. After a hundred rounds or so, I lowered the sights one click and fired two shots. I didn’t see any holes, so I reeled in the target. The first shot was dead center and the other almost the same hole! The rest of the mag didn’t fare so well

Towards the end I could make ragged holes if I didn’t get in too much of a hurry. I shot 100 WWB100, 100 Federal Champion, and 50 of the totally copper-plated reloads from AAA… Atlanta something… the range ammo. All were 230-grain FMJ or the plated. I bought the range ammo 'cause I was having too much fun. :D

My Wilson Combat magazine that came with the pistol never held the slide open on empty and I found that the best mags were my Checkmate 8-round stainless with extended base. These are a bit longer than the welded bottom ones, which are almost impossible to seat fully with one in the chamber. So I guess I had better not carry the shorter ones. It was nice to find that out under a controlled situation and not trying to reload before the magazine was empty in a critical situation!

The Checkmate mags worked fine. The slide failed to lock back once and the first round didn’t chamber fully, but they worked fine… no springs popped out since they came back from the factory. After about 150 rounds I put on my AF flight glove with the most of the fingers chopped off. I was starting to feel sore a bit in my shooting hand.

First the sights and then some more pix.


03-19-2011, 09:53 AM
One more picture of the sights close up to show the detail of the milling. There's a bit under the front of the sight for the hinge and the slide under the rear of the sight was milled so the sight sits lower.

I'll post targets after I re-size them.


03-19-2011, 10:13 AM
Okay, some targets. The first 8-rounds and some more. As I said, I can't slow down and tend to lose control, trigger-wise, but toward the end of the session. I was making ragged holes... at 7 yards, anyhow. :)

I shot high and really seemed to like the upper left quadrant.


03-19-2011, 10:22 AM
I lowered the rear sight one click and fired two... where did they go?? I reeled in the target and the first was dead center and the next on top of it. I couldn't see them in the darker bullseye.

I tightened up, though I was still getting the sights lined up and then more or less pointing with the fuzzy sights. I would like to try shooting from a benchrest to see how accurate the sight really are. I tried at the range but I was having to bend over while standing and didn't have a good rest.:D

I'm really happy with the sights and just wish they adjusted for windage, too. The sights are really in there tight and I need some "Loctite" with less holding power than RED to hold the elevation set screw on the side. It backs out and I almost let it fall out!

Wynn :)

03-19-2011, 11:39 AM
Those are sweet, they don't look like adjustable sights but they are. How cool is that. Looks like you solved this issue for sure.
They look great.

03-19-2011, 11:47 AM
Now if I could only shoot better! I can do OK at 7 yards but my eyes are just not up to longer ranges offhand.

The gun looks great and I love shooting it now. The Checkmate mags are good, except for the welded-base ones taking way too much attention and force to load 8+1. I hadn't planned to CCW this one, so OWB with the extended base ones is okay for walks in the woods or something where concealed is no biggie.

I really gave that Wilson Combat mag a go, but it just doesn't lock the slide back on empty... weird.


03-19-2011, 01:22 PM
Weird. I've never had Wilson mags give me a problem in the slightest. My Chiefs Para for some reason prefers its original mags over the Wilsons. It's just cosmetic to hang on his belt anyhow so I'm not worried. It's a shooter, I put 350 rounds through it one day trying to recreate a jam issue the instructors complained about. Never jammed for me.
Only gun I've ever been around that didn't thrive on a Wilson mag.
My Para's and my Cbob I don't think have ever been shot with their original mag. I must have shot them when new just to make sure they worked but after that into the range bag, usually never to be used again.

Stay with it Wyn, you'll become a dead eye with that thing. Your just not used to a good single action trigger and I don't have to tell you it isn't the looooonnnng smooth pull so if you carry it stay off the darn trigger, stay a long way away from the trigger. Stuff happens.

Not questioning your safety mindedness but something that can't be emphasized enough and I have to constantly police my own handling to make sure I stay away from it as well.

New set of grips hot off the bench. Pictures forthcoming. Hope my picture guy Old Lincoln is up and near the crystal ball. These are gonna make ya cry. I'm in tears myself but mostly from resin exposure I think.

03-19-2011, 01:35 PM
I decided to go ahead and renew my range membership. It's kind of boring with the limited range and no "action" targets... like cans or metal plates, but I just need to use it a little more than once a month to get my money back.

I just bought a Gun World magazine (Jan2011) because it had a lot of articles on the 1911... Tribute and all for > 100 years.

Duane Thomas (page 56) has an article about mastering the 1911 where he used his Wilson 30th Anniversary Model to take the Firearms Academy of Seattle's Handgun Master test. Wow. I can forget about that. I'm not close to a "master" at 7 yards standing still with a stationary target!:rolleyes: Getting older really sucks, not that I was ever a great shot off a benchrest. :D


03-19-2011, 01:46 PM
I know you do good work and have shown us some great examples.

We're flinging Tomahawks at the Libyans now, and the French have been shooting them up by air. I hope we get some good footage... gun camera and the like. I guess we can try out some new weapons... like whatever came after the Predators. I like the recon and missile-shooters without pilots. Why waste a good opportunity when you get one... like catching those terrorists setting up an IED at night.:D