Nail Polish on Sights?

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by gunnewb666, Sep 10, 2004.

  1. gunnewb666

    gunnewb666 New Member

    Mar 9, 2004
    I was looking into getting something like the "bright sights" where you paint colors or "ghost paint" for night time on the standard 3 white dot combat sights as an alternative to trijicon or tritium. Someone told me that colored nail polish works just the same as bright sights. Is this true? Anyone ever use this on their gun? seems like it might damage it but I dunno I'm a newb
  2. frosty

    frosty New Member

    Mar 4, 2003
    Hello Gunnewb666,

    First,... welcome to the TFF! :)

    Second, make damn sure that when you do this you are positive you have no problem in doing this "little touch up".

    If you decide to you will need the following:

    tooth pick (to apply the polish)
    cotton balls (3 or 4)
    nail polish (nice bright color)
    nail polish remover ( mistakes for shakey hands)
    paper plate ( to protect the table you are working on)


    Here we go! Take the tooth pick and dip into the nail polish just enough to get the very tip wet. do not want a drop on the tip of the tooth pick. Now very gently and smoothly (no caffeine please) apply the nail polish where you want it. You are essentialy painting with the tip.

    If you make a mistake just dab a little nail polish remover on a cotton ball and gently remove the nail polish. !WARNING! Nail polish remover may affect the blueing or finish of a fire arm. BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL AT THIS POINT! It may remove the original sights of the weapon.

    Now stop. Take a look at your work. If you are satisfied then stop. Wait till it dries and take the pistol outside and hold it at arms length. Do this in the shade and in direct sun light to see how your eyes will "catch the sights". Do this late in the evening also when there is just a little sunlight left to see about 40 ft clearly. If the sights are "catchable", then your job is done.

    I have done this myself to a .357, and it helped tremendously! I also did this on my .45 Springfield Mil-Spec. It greatly enhanced the front sight for easier pick up at low light. Good luck and Keep shooting. :)

  3. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    I have done this, using the method described by Frosty. The only complaint I had was that nail polish chips faster than factory. I started adding an overcoat of clear polish and solved that problem.

  4. pickenup

    pickenup Active Member

    Here is another welcome to TFF.

    I have done it too. Works good.
    Gotta try that clear coat suggestion though.
    I keep re-applying. Thanks.
  5. Pistolsmith

    Pistolsmith New Member

    Feb 14, 2004
    I always carry a bottle of white nail polish in my range bag. (Don't ask me what the ladies do with white polish. I learned early in life not to question things of this nature.) The white will make the front blade stand out against a black target and give the sight picture definition. I have not found it necessary to dope the rear blade.
    Testors model paint also works well, but in either case, degrease the front blade with alcohol or lighter fluid so that the dope adheres to the blade.
    A more permanent front blade paint can be made by mixing a small quantity of 5 minute epoxe and coloring it with white Testors model paint. Apply it with a camels hair brush, using a magnifying glass.
    A friend and I once sat in a gravel pit at sundown and tested out different sight color combinations as well as luminous sights and laser sights. As it got darker and darker, the white front blade worked better than anything else. Bright colors disappeared first and obscured the sight picture. Luminous sights interfered with normal night vision. (You get a sharp sight picture, but you look away from your sights and you still "see" your sights. (A ghost picture remains on your retina.) Our conclusion was that the white front blade with an undoped rear blade works as well as anything. The lasers pinpointed the spot the bullet would impact, but we could not see what it was we were aiming at.
    Some of my customers favor a gold sight surface, and I found a way to apply gold to the rear surface of a front sight. This is as good as white paint and is more permanent, but, obviousdly, it costs more.
    In further tests, I determined that by carefully wire brushing, using a Dremel tool and a rotary wire brush, I could remove the blueing from the serrations at the rear of the front blade. The bright surface thus presented does not cause any problems (for me) under normal daytime conditions and the bright blade contrasts against the rear sight notch and a black target on an indoor range or at night in the dim lighting of, say, a parking lot. If your stance is uniform, you have no trouble picking up the front blade contrasting with the rear blade in the rear sight notch, though it does take a bit of practice. And, the prophets of doom that told me I would ruin my sight, the glare would destroy my sight picture, etc. etc. etc. were all wrong... The serrations on the front blade break up glare; that's why they are put there. Those sights that are smooth can be quickly altered by using a serrating file with between 20 and 30 lpi.
    All kinds of theories and superstitions go down the drain if you take the time to experiment and see what works for YOU. Not every shooter is comfortable with some alterations, but eventually you will settle on a personal m. o.
  6. Neil

    Neil New Member

    Sep 7, 2004
    Stanwood washington
  7. Neil

    Neil New Member

    Sep 7, 2004
    Stanwood washington
    wELL......tried the pink....and quickly went to white....much more visable.

    Oh and found out what white Nail polish is for...."French Manicure's"

  8. Pistolsmith

    Pistolsmith New Member

    Feb 14, 2004
  9. Neil

    Neil New Member

    Sep 7, 2004
    Stanwood washington
    roughly an Hour North of Seattle........and west 5 miles.

  10. It kinda worries me that y'all are discussing fingernail polish and all the different colors and such, no matter what y'all are usin it for..... :rolleyes:

    Don't Ask, Don't Tell
  11. Pistolsmith

    Pistolsmith New Member

    Feb 14, 2004
    Well, look at it this way: You can experiment with different colors by buying only a small container of nail polish, whereas you would have to buy a quart of each color at a paint store. Nail polish is nothing but lacquer.Testor's model paint seems to be a synthetic enamel. The way to tell for sure would be to try to remove test samples with lacquer thinner, which will not lift enamel.
  12. Neil

    Neil New Member

    Sep 7, 2004
    Stanwood washington
    Nothing wrong with a little nail polish talk now and then.........when Dresses or eyeliner come up.......then worry.

  13. ryan_marine

    ryan_marine New Member

    Aug 4, 2004
    I have done this to my M-16 to shoot a little better. Just remeber that it is like a slight sight adjustment to put it back in the X ring.

  14. Neil

    Neil New Member

    Sep 7, 2004
    Stanwood washington
    well I got to use my new Nailpolish sights.......very nice, the white stands out nice. sure helps out a poor eyed guy.
  15. denfoote

    denfoote New Member

    Mar 24, 2003
    Here's something I was gunna try.
    The front sight on my PPK/S has "lost" it's white filler. there is just a empty hole there!!
    I was going to go down to the hardware store and see if I could find a piece of white plastic dowel rod thin enough to fit the hole and some super glue. I plan to fit the rod into the hole, then secure it with the glue. sand it flush and never worry about my white dot "disappearing" again!! What do you guys think??
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