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Discussion Starter #1
Greenhorn Dave, I have been thinking that I would like a Patridge type front sight like you describe Clements as having put on your revolver. Are you truly finding that it gives a much better sight picture, especially reducing glare? How much did he charge? I presume he cut off the old sight and installed his or did he shorten the barrel and install his? I also would ideally like less barrel/cylinder gap. It is presently at about 0.008". How much did he charge to reduce the gap and what gap did he set it to? Thanks, Brian C.

357 Posts
Brian -
The attached photo (at bottom of this reply) is worth a bunch of words. The Clements sight is nicely serrated on the back edge like the original Ruger, but because it is so vertical it is much darker and sharper under all light conditions. Combined with the Bowen rear sight it is outstanding. Because it is blockier than the original sight, it looks taller. But it is exactly the same height which works for me. Mr. Clements sent back the original sight in case I want to use it again (I don't). It wasn't cut off. On my SBH there is a tiny pin in the sight base that holds the front sight blade on. I think maybe on Ruger Bisleys the front sights are soldered on, so they would be removed by heating and soldering on a replacement.

Here is what he did for me, per my request, for a bit less than $150 (maybe he was feeling sorry for me and charged me less than average):
1. Made and installed the sight.
2. Honed out all six cylinder throats to match the size of the largest. That worked out to a hair over .431 on my gun. A machinist friend checked it for me and said Mr Clements did them all to the exact same size. Now I have ordered .431 Beartooth Bullets which will slip through without shaving lead and without letting hardly any of the power slip by.
3. Set back the barrel to about .003 gap and gave the barrel forcing cone a bit of cleanup. I had put in a Belt Mountain base pin, so he redrilled the set screw hole once the barrel was set back.
4. Fixed the anti-reverse pawl so I can spin the cylinder both ways. Boy, do I like that improvement! It is easier to place a certain bullet to be the next shot, I don't have to go around again if I turn the cylinder a bit too far, for me the spent cartridges come out faster when turning counter-clockwise, and it doesn't make a clicking sound when I rotate the cylinder.
5. Mr. Clements took the sharp edges off the back of the hammer, the trigger guard, trigger, and a few other small places.
I am very pleased. He met my expectations and probably saved me about $3350 rather than doing it myself (about $2900 for special tools and time to figure out how to do it, plus $450 for a replacement gun since I would probably mess up at least the first attempt. :)
AFTER I got it back I went through the long, long process of firelapping it exactly the way Marshall Stanton of Beartooth recommends. That really polished the cylinder throats, the inside of the barrel, and when I look at the grooves and lands from the back end of the barrel they look like polished, sloped ramps instead of cutoff boards. So I figure the bullets are ramping more gently onto the lands than hitting those original cutoff land ends during firing. Finally, I drilled out the primer hole of a fired 44 brass case, fastened a SS nut and machine screw through that hole with the machine screw end sticking out the back of the cartridge, put the machine screw into the chuck of a slow-turning battery power drill, coated the outside of the case with some of the firelapping compound, and polished up the cylinder chambers until I figured they were shiny enough. Now the cartridges slip in and out of the cylinder as slick as can be. I put in the better base pin (mentioned before) and a lighter trigger spring kit, but left the hammer spring original.
Oh yeah, one night I completely disassembled the gun and deep inside above the trigger, where nobody hardly ever goes, I found about a 1/8 inch metal shaving that was nearly, but not quite removed during manufacture. I broke it off and smoothed the breakoff place with a small file. That might have saved me a malfunction someday when I really didn't need a malfunction.
I still have a lot of load workups to do, but the gun is shooting better and the velocity is very good. I didn't check the speed of 240 grain Federal Hydroshocks before the gun work, but I clocked six shots the other day.
Federal says they will go 1180 fps, but all 6 shots through my 4 5/8" barrel were a hair faster than 1300 fps and were in a very small cluster. I am looking forward to getting the 290 LFNGC Beartooth Bullets I ordered. The specs on those indicate they will be about the most accurate and efficient bullet in this particular gun. Time will tell.
If I had more money in my budget I would have Mr Clements install a custom barrel that is straight and true for about $250, plus have him line bore a new cylinder for perfect alignment of the cylinder hole axis and barrel axis. But that would be alot of money for probably very little gain.
Right now I believe I can squirrel hunt with it, and if I
can hit a squirrel, I guess I'll be alright on a deer or hog. :)
I suppose my answer more than answers your question. One more thing: no, I am not a relative or lifelong friend of David Clements. I was just fortunate to have Marshall Stanton recommend him to me.
Greenhorn Dave


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