So I set about to make a set of rifle sights for my Mossberg 500. I wanted to be able to use slugs more easily than with the simple bead, but mostly I wanted to make something when I was bored in the lab while waiting for my fuel cell furnaces to heat up, or waiting for paint to dry, etc.
My plan was to use scraps found in my lab, and make a set of sights for less than $10, that are completely removable (in case I don't like them). I may decide to go back to a bead after testing these for speed and precision with both slugs and buckshot.
I managed to keep it under $10, but I put a lot of work into it.
First, I found some old swagelok fittings sitting around. The 1/8 inch size was perfect for the aperture of the rear sight.
Using a hacksaw blade, I cut down the hex part, leaving one edge for mounting on a spring leaf.
Now not only is it a nice aperture, it has a hex on the outside, which will make vertical alignment a bit easier.
I drilled and countersunk a hole in it for a flat head 6/32 screw.
Here is some of the spring steel I cut for the leaf. Two pieces in case I screw one up. I did.
I drilled holes and bent the edges of the spring up to "hug" the shape of the hex aperture.
Once it was in place, I silver soldered it on to make it rock solid. Then I ground down the excessive screw from the bottom, making it flush with the nut.
I took a steel drawer divider from my old surplus desk, and this was to be the protective wings on the rear sight.
Using my big-*** scissors (aka tin snips, but that doesn't sound nearly as manly as big-*** scissors) I cut the piece to shape.
And this is that shape.
Using a polishing wheel, I took off the old paint and rust.
I mounted it in a vice for the next step.
Which is using a propane torch! Once the metal was hot, I whacked it with a hammer.
And this was the result.
Again with the torch and big hammer.
And here I am with big-*** asbestos gloves. Very manly.
And I drilled holes in the front for mounting to the scope rail holes on the Mossberg receiver. The rear was drilled for one mounting hole and one adjusting screw hole. The spring with aperture mounted on it will be mounted in the front, and bend up over the rear two screws. The third screw will be used for vertical adjustment. All the screws were obtained from the local gunsmith.
The front sight was a bit more problematic. How do I get the front sight to mount on my barrel without soldering or anything permanent? The bead screw hole is too shallow for anything solid to go on there.
So I obtained a front sight blade and mount from the gunsmith. The mount was trashed, and I kept the dovetail blade.
I found a piece of what I thought was steel sitting around my lab. Turns out it is not magnetic. It seems a little heavier than aluminum, and is certainly harder and stronger than aluminum. It was very difficult to cut with the big-*** scissors.
I made a jig from a piece of conduit and other scraps, and with the torch and hammer, I bent this around the conduit.
Here you can see it near my first attempt. This first try was okay, but the aluminum was so soft that I could nearly dent it with my fingernail. Ridiculous, and not only was it soft, but it was also quite brittle. Bad qualities.
I finished the bending with a vice, and once it was in place, I annealed it with the torch so it didn't spring out to the same shape it was before.
I drilled the holes for the protective wings before I cut the pieces. Here I discovered that drilling holes in this metal was a difficult process. The metal seemed as hard as steel, but didn't conduct heat away from the drill point like nonmagnetic stainless steel should have. I'm guessing it may be titanium? No idea why I have titanium scraps sitting around my lab, but hey...
I cut out the wings, then cut them to shape and sanded them smooth, and bent them with the torch and hammer.
I set about making a block with a dovetail cutout for mounting the front sight blade. Starting with a hacksaw.
I ended up shaping it with a triangular mini-file I picked up at a garage sale for a quarter.
See how well it fits!
I drilled a hole in the bottom for the bead to fit in. This should help it align a bit easier, and help keep it in place.
Here are all the pieces for the front sight.
Some screws and lock washers and nuts from the hardware store later, and we have this:
And it mounts pretty well.
I had to finish it, but I didn't want to spend $20 on gun-specific paint. The wife suggested rustoleum. So Rustoleum it was.
Here they are mounted:
You can see the hole in front of the aperture where the wrench fits through to adjust the elevation.
Here you can see my swollen hand. I injured my thumb (subsequent x-rays showed no breaks) an hour before I took the pics.
And that's that. I'll post a range report after I have a chance to shoot it. For the time being, the Glock has replaced the Mossberg by the bedside, since the Mossberg now has uncalibrated sights.