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Teach me... Gold bead sights

Discussion in '1911 Forums' started by Texas Bulldog, Mar 18, 2011.

  1. Texas Bulldog

    Texas Bulldog

    Oct 28, 2009
    I hear great things about them, and some amazing custom's ive seen have them.

    I don't know anyone personally who runs them so i can't try before i buy. A Springfield that ive been carrying more often lately has black/black's and I was thinking of using some XS Big Dots but im thinking i may try the Gold Bead sights for a change.

    I hear the gold reflects TONS of light and i like the fact that its not so common. overall its just one of those "WHy Not" decisions.

    Does anyone have a recommendation on brand and style?

    I can't remember brand but there was one i saw where it was just a gold stripe and not a dot/bead, how well would something like that work?

  2. nastytrigger

    nastytrigger Mediocre Member

    Apr 10, 2005
    I like the idea too. Maybe when my tritium vials fade a little more...

  3. Quack

    Quack Rent this space

    Jan 7, 2002
    NE Ohio
    I've been wanting to try them, but just haven't gotten around to it. might do it on my Brown first.

    the stipe would be Heirloom Precision.

    AFAIK, there are no ready made gold bead sights for the Springfields.
  4. polizei1

    polizei1 It WAS Quack

    Feb 3, 2009
    Cincinnati, OH
    I've wondered what the fascination is also. They are bright, so I'm assuming they make great target sights. However, since my only 1911 is my carry 1911, I'm going to stick to my Trijicon night-sight for the front, that way if I happen to need it at night, I'll easily be able to pick it up. I have zero experience, but I don't know how well a gold bead would do.

    Otherwise, like I said, it probably makes a great target sight. I'm sure the gold on black is very easy to pickup.
  5. Quack

    Quack Rent this space

    Jan 7, 2002
    NE Ohio
    my take is (and you can try this for yourself) that nightsights work well in complete darkness. with a gold bead, and ambient light will make it visible. In bright light, you can't see the tritium dot, where as the gold bead will be visible. also think of if you have to shoot in the dark, you need to identify the target. if it's in complete darkness, you will still need a flashlight to identify the threat. I've practice going from the master bedroom to my son's room, and while i can see my tritium front sight in complete darkness, the dot disappears when i light up the area that i'm aiming at. you can also try this at the range if you can turn of your stalls light.
  6. They contrast with dark backround colors. They are not what I consider bright.
    They do nothing special in low light conditions.
    if your going to try a set you should get the brass ball first as it is much cheaper than an actual gold bead and not any different in what it does.
  7. skipsan


    Apr 24, 2010
    Ive had gold beads installed on several 1911s. In all but one case, the smith installed the bead in the existing front sight--drilling a hole in the post to accomodate the tennon on the bead. I have hemispherical and flat beads, and don't reallY have a preference. Its true, they don't work at all in complete darkeness. If you have a need to shoot in complete darkness without being able to identify your target then you're probably gonna need a lawyer in addition to the gold bead.

    One note of caution: my smith installed the beads with the top of the bead flush with the top of the post. That's where I think it oughta be. My single exception to the local smith instal, was a factory job from a promenent (and expensive) mfgr. With no instruction from me (my bad), he installed the bead a third of the way down the post which really screws up aimed fire for this shooter. The mfgr insists that the bead is in the correct place. Maybe for the professional operator/shootist, but a pita for me. My point is, if you go for the bead, decide where you want it on the post and instruct the installer accordingly.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2011
  8. Quack

    Quack Rent this space

    Jan 7, 2002
    NE Ohio
    just looked back at this past thursday's 10-8 newsletter, which he announce his fiber optic sights. later in the article he had this:

  9. samuse


    Jul 30, 2008
    South TX
    I have a couple of gold beads on my 1911s and they don't do much. They do reflct a little extra light in dim conditions if the light is behind you.

    They get on my nerves when shooting matches, the cardboard targets and the gold sight kinda wash together.

    I think fiber optic is better than gold. Black serrated is my favorite.

    Springfield's Custom shop will install a very nice gold bead front. This is one of theirs.



    Dec 19, 2007
    Maybe on a range pistol, but I prefer Tritium front for carry.
  11. bac1023


    Sep 26, 2004
    I like them quite a bit.
  12. Jason D

    Jason D INFRINGED Silver Member Millennium Member

    Jun 16, 1999
    Mivonks, MI
    Originally called the Call sight, it was more often associated with Ed McGivern.
    Charles Call was a S&W employee that came up with the sight in the 1920's.

    The Call sight differed from the McGivern only in that the gold bead was a flat circular gold disk, while the McGivern was more concave.
    The Call sight predated the McGivern.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2011
  13. Texas Bulldog

    Texas Bulldog

    Oct 28, 2009
    Some great information here!... Thanks everyone.

    Hearing some real world experiences is making me give it second thoughts but i'll probably dedicate 1 to doing it that way just to try it and have my own opinion.

    i didn't really consider shooting the Cardboard targets and having it blend but that makes perfect sense.


    I saw some sights once that really REALLY caught my attention but i don't think they are massed produced.

    I think this with a gold ring would be ideal! Tritium inside.

  14. 20South


    Nov 18, 2002
    East of CBUS
    Hurry up and call your patent attorney!
  15. GJ1981

    GJ1981 Pitying Fools

    Feb 10, 2008
    That looks like a Ned Christensen build, so throw the mass produced chance out the window.

    The gold bead/tritium is a good idea, I'm going to search for someone do just that.

    Last edited: Mar 18, 2011
  16. DLL9mm


    Feb 8, 2009
    I fired the Wiley Clapp Colt Commander a few weeks back and it had one installed. I really liked it. I am trying to find a stake on front with the gold/brass bead for my Commander.
  17. PlasticGuy


    Jul 10, 2000
    I've got a gold line on the front sight of my Yost Signature, and I love it. The stripe stands out if there's enough light to see anything. It's nearly as visible at night as tritium, and much better during the day.

    I don't consider it an elitist option at all. Price isn't any more than many of the tritium sights.
  18. MD357


    Jul 13, 2008

    Looks more like a Stan Chen gun? If so he has his ammo in the background aswell.
  19. GJ1981

    GJ1981 Pitying Fools

    Feb 10, 2008
  20. Cerebrus

    Cerebrus Guest

    God but I love Ned's work.. those conamyds are beautiful.. too bad he is only doing full blown builds...:crying: