Getting more out of your Snub’s Sights


If you can’t see the sights on your snub, you can’t use them. While there are some ways gunsmiths can put better sights on a snub, careful application of paint and perhaps Magic Marker can go a long way to improving your ability to see the sights. Most snubs’ sights are not of a color to contrast against the target. The lack of contrast makes it difficult to pick up a quick visual reference. Fire trucks and school buses aren’t painted blue or silver for a reason. Silver generates glare easily and blue doesn’t contrast against a dark target nor in limited visibility.

Colored nail polish or paint is an old trick to increase the visibility of the front sight. If you paint the sight first with white paint as an undercoating, the color will stand out much better. Degrease the sight before applying paint to ensure the paint sticks. Let the white paint cure completely and then apply the color paint over the white.

A common error is painting the entire front sight ramp with color. This will cause the front sight to visually rise out of the notch causing high shots. Putting color only to the visual depth of the rear notch as seen when you have a sight picture is what is desirable. The visual depth is usually about 1/3d of the length of the ramp.

Front sight

Czech to see what color your eyes see best. Eyes perceive color differently and what works best for one person may not work as well for another. Most people will perceive green better than red, but the opposite may be true for you. Green will sometimes wash out in bright sunlight, so I have chosen to stick with red. For the really industrious, you can make a reference tool using a notched trowel and different types of paint.

Sight tool 005

If your snub is stainless or silver anodized, you’ll also need to do something about the rear sight. This is simple; take a black magic marker and color the rear notch black. Include the interior of the notch as well as the back of the notch.

rear sight

What we want is to have both sights with improved contrast to the target. That will allow us to not only have an improved sight picture for more accuracy but also to pick up the sights more quickly.

front and rear

Improving the visibility of a snub’s sights can really improve your shooting. This simple solution pays a lot of dividends toward hitting the target.

My ebooks about shooting will also pay a lot of dividends toward hitting your target.

Indoor Range Practice Sessions

Concealed Carry Skills and Drills

Advanced Pistol Practice

5 responses

  1. Great advice as usual professor. I love the eye color testing idea. Keep up the great work.

  2. In answer to a question, I didn’t notch a trowel, I painted a thinset trowel that was already notched.

    1. Or just use an index card for cheap.

  3. I use Testor’s fluorescent colored model paint.

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