Pro-Tip. I like to shoot accurately. But I also like to shoot fast. As least as fast as I am capable while maintaining accuracy. To facilitate this, you will see me paint the front sight on just about every firearm I can. When you see accomplished shooters who also shoot fast, invariably you find some variation of this upgrade. Be it a physical sight change or paint.
My way is certainly not the only way. Or even the best way. But in my experience, I have settled on what works best and holds up longest for me: women’s fingernail polish. I can’t prove it, but my theory is the makers of fingernail polish create their products to be more durable under a wider array of environments than run-of-the-mill model paint.
Think about it. A human’s hands in a 24-hour period can be exposed to extreme outdoor temperatures, soaps and cleaners from bathing in either a shower or tub, soaps and cleaners from the kitchen, food stuffs up to and including the harshest of alcohol, coffee and soda products, chlorine from swimming pools, sunlight, and physical abrasions. I have never found a brand of model paint that can even try to compete with fingernail polish durability wise.
The bottle you see here, Sinful Colors, has lasted at least 3 years and will probably last another 15. One bottle should do. So if you are a shy guy who gets embarrassed buying fingernail polish at the makeup counter, you only have to do it once. Or get a lady friend to rescue you.
Personally, I don’t care. When a young attendant walked up asking if I needed help, I explained to her my goal and why I was looking to purchase fingernail polish. I held up the brightest bottle on the rack and extended my arm while indicating I needed to be able to see it from this distance. She learned something and we had an interesting conversation. But she also was able to advise me on particular colors that dry brighter than others. Something I would never have known without her help!
Application? I keep it simple. There is rubbing alcohol on my workbench. I just dip a Q-Tip in that and swab the front sight. Personally that gets enough grease and oil off to allow the color to stick. If it didn’t, I could always rough up the sight with sandpaper. But have never needed to do that yet. I just layer it on. Let it dry for a few minutes and then layer on some more.
So there you have it. My Pro-Tip for the day. Fingernail polish for front sights. Give it a shot. If you like it, great! If you hate it, some acetone will take it right off. Caveat: if you are a collector / gun-snob, nothing I say or do in this post will make you happy. Save it for the gun forums.
“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”
P.S. I have included some bonus pictures of the S&W 547 for those so inclined. It has a pinned firing pin. Seems to have a factory upgraded target trigger and hammer. Has a pinned 4″ barrel. Is a K-Frame 6 shot standard 9mm that doesn’t require moon clips. The finish appears original. I purchased it used. No box and papers. Came with the stocks you see which are ugly as sin but VERY comfortable so no plans to change them.