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I recently picked up a pair of Combat Commanders and I love them except for the sights. These guns date from the early 80s and have the tiny GI sights. I'm wanting to replace them with some basic 3 dot sights like the new Commanders wear and I need some sizing info. Any Brownell's part numbers would be great as well. Don't want anything real fancy - just some basic sights that are a tad easier for my old eyes to see...
6th May 2011, 07:29
I believe your front sights to be of the tenon rather than the dovetail type. The tenon is of the larger, "Series 80" size, I would imagine for a Series 80 :).
Removal and replacement of the tenon-type front sight is a bit more involved than changeout of a dovetailed sight. After removing the front sight (which requires the destruction of the sight), you must chamfer the tenon slot inside the slide, insert the new sight, and peen or swage the end of the tenon to "rivet" the tenon into place. This latter requires a special tool, of which there are several varieties from which to choose.
Alternatively, send your slide to Novak's and ask them to dovetail the slide, cut the clearance in the back end of the slide for a Novak Lo-Mount, and install a set of Novak sights.
A good pistolsmith can do this work also.
PS I cover the tenon sight procedure very thoroughly and lavishly illustrated in my latest book.
I've done tenon sights before, and these are both older series 70 guns - does that make a difference?
6th May 2011, 07:48
Yes, it does make a difference. Your front sights are narrow tenon. The current Colt 1991 style sights are wide tenon.
What I did with a pre-Series 80 Combat Commander (that came to me wearing ugly aftermarket sights) was to send the slide to Colt. They punched out the slot for the front sight to the size needed for a wide tenon and installed a set of the 1991 sights for me. I don't remember the price, but it was very reasonable and my Colt is wearing genuine Colt sights ... that I can see.
Brownells still offer a couple of front sight options with a narrow tenon, but they are limited. The 2-dot 1991 style rear sight is the same dovetail as GI sights and what's on your pistols, so installing Colt 1991 style rear sights is easy.
7th May 2011, 14:17
Considering the trigger and grip safety has been changed in both guns I am amazed the sights are still there. I would get prices from good gun smiths in your area and Colt to see what changing the sights to something you could see would cost.
7th May 2011, 14:56
There are some odd parts on this pistol. My guess is that they were changed by a past owner, rather than a 'smith, since the sights would have been the obvious thing to change first.
The slide stops and thumb safeties look like Kimber parts.
8th May 2011, 20:45
I'd send the slides to Colt and have them do as Hawkmoon posted, the selection of narrow tenon front sights isn't that great anymore.
With the slide modified for the wide tenon, the front sight will probably never shoot loose. Then you could have Colt install their current three dot sights, which as far as basic sights go, are as good as anything currently available.
9th May 2011, 04:45
Fusion Firearms has a good selection of sight options for small and large tenon guns.
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