Adding "real" sights to a .45/.410 barrel - Graybeard Outdoors
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-01-2019, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Michigan
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Default Adding "real" sights to a .45/.410 barrel

I've got a factory Super 16 .45 Colt / .410 Contender barrel. It's a chambering that anyone with a Contender should have... just because. Having said that, it doesn't seem to do either shot or solid projectiles all that well.

I was working up some .45 Colt loads from the "Ruger - T/C only" section of the loading manual using some Hornaday 240 gr. XTP and H110, and was shooting them over the chronograph and for accuracy out of both the Contender and my 4-5/8" Ruger Blackhawk. I was disappointed to find I was getting 6"-8" groups from the bench at 25 yards with the Contender. My rested groups from the Ruger were less than half of that, which is more in line with what I'm used to seeing.

I half wonder if the "sights" on the Contender are somewhat to blame. The .45/.410 has a vent rib with a bead front sight, and a U-notch rear sight. I find I have a difficult time getting a consistent sight picture, putting the round bead into the bottom of the "U", and then covering the whole bullseye on the target.

So has anyone tried just pulling the vent rib and putting a standard square post/notch set of handgun sights on the .410 barrel? Are the screw holes threaded the correct distance apart for a set of factory sights? Any improvement noted when doing this?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-05-2019, 10:48 AM
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Location: Northern Ozarks of Missouri
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Sir; if you will notice the chamber you should find that there is about an inch and a half of free chamber from the end of the 45 cartridge and the throat of the rifling in the barrel. The 45/410 barrels are well known to not be all that accurate using the solid projectiles. With that much jump from case mouth to rifling the accuracy is just not there. As for the sights I have never tried that and not ever heard of anyone doing it, but I am sure it has been done by someone.

For using shot shells in the Contender you may have to try a few different brands and types of shells to find just what works best in your particular barrel. These are just my thoughts and probably worth less then you paid for them, but I hope that it is of some help. Good luck and God bless.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-09-2019, 08:09 AM
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TC used to make a version of the .45/410 barrel without the rib, with their standard pistol barrel sights. I had one for quite a time. The .45's shot no better with that barrel than several other .45/.410 barrels I had along the way that just had the shotgun type sight.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-11-2019, 08:52 AM
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Location: Ridgelines of Virginia, Roanoke Valley
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My experience with hot shot barrels has been as previously stated, disappointing, unless measures are taken to allow projectile seating closer to the lands in the barrel.
I gained a 357 hot shot barrel that had been reamed to accept 357 maximum loads and the vent rib had been removed and replaced by a solid rib and front blade which allowed the use of mounting target sights. With this set-up you can easily hit an egg at 25 yards ... and a deer's vitals at a hundred!
Add to these features a custom threaded muzzle brake that mirrors the design of the 'shellcracker' insert (which coincidentally is the same thread as on the hot shot 44 mag Bbl) and "“Voila!”
Even with chamber reaming, I don't think there is a safe use of 45-70 in your barrel, sorry!
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