D&L Sports Custom S&W sights (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)
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Dave Lauck at D&L Sports makes the best combat revolver sight set I’ve ever seen.

I don’t mean, “for the money”, or “on the market today”, or “in their category”. I mean these are the best sights ever, at any price, on any wheel gun.

Image Courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com

If you’re taking your safe queen to the range, the D&L Sports sights are a “nice-to-have” feature. If your life may depend on your revolver, they’re much more a “have-to-have” item.

Mr. Lauck bills these sights as being for “serious revolvers.” That’s about right. If you’re the kind of person who carries a revolver for work, especially if that work is in austere environments where you and/or the gun may get banged around a bit, these sights are for you.

Factory S&W front sight (image Courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

There are a lot of options for the front sight on a Smith & Wesson K, L, N, or X frame revolver, especially if it’s a modern DX-style front sight. That’s because the factory S&W black ramp, left as it is, isn’t great for anything other than shooting at a piece of white paper. In dim light, or against a dark target, that factory front sight just disappears.

Like a whole lot of folks, I’m a big fan of fiber optic front sights. They provide a fine, but bright dot that grabs the eye’s attention. They’re also great because, when compared to tritium tubes, they’re quite inexpensive and are bright enough in even dim light to be useful.

That said, if you like a brass bead front sight, or those aforementioned tritium tubes, Mr. Lauck can include a front sight as well as a tube…or tubes inset into the rear sight as well. D&L can supply whatever you can imagine.

Installation of the D&L supplied DX style front sight is as simple as it could be, and as it would be for any DX style front sight. Simply push back on the factory sight and pull up to remove it. Replace it with the new fiber optic sight in the same manner.  No tools are required.

Factory S&W rear sight (image Courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

The rear sight is where D&L’s level of professionalism and attention to detail really shine.
The factory S&W adjustable rear sights are ok, but they have some significant drawbacks. First, they have sharp edges and get caught on all sorts of stuff. They also tend to come loose, misadjust, and are too delicate for heavy use.

The D&L sights address all of those shortcomings, and they look great too.

Image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com

These are fixed sights as they should be. The best way to make sure your sights don’t get misadjusted is to get a sight that doesn’t adjust. That means you need to know your load, the general range at which you want to zero your sights and get the appropriate height front sight to go with it. If you don’t know what that height is, contact Mr. Lauck and he’ll let you know.

The D&L rear sight is held down by three supplied Torx screws. Modern Smith & Wesson guns will already have the three holes cut into the top of the frame. Older guns may need holes drilled and tapped and if you don’t want to do this yourself, you can send your wheelgun to D&L for the work.

Image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com

Mounting hardware is included with the sights. This includes a set of three pre-shortened black matching Torx head screws and a tight-fitting wrench. These screws were perfect for my revolver, filling every bit of the threads without extending beyond to scratch up the cylinder. Cutting a screw and adding a little cold bluing isn’t a big deal, but this ease of assembly is much appreciated.

Oh, D&L even included the appropriate small thread Loctite (222/Purple), though I seriously doubt a threadlocker is needed, considering the fitment of the sight.

Image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com

That fit is perfect, but may require some adjustment. That’s because, according to my Brown and Sharpe calipers, the D&L Sports rear sight tongue mount is more parallel and more uniform than S&W’s factory sight channel.

The factory sight is a teeny bit undersized for this. The D&L model fills the entire channel.  For me, that meant 20 passes on each side of the channel (you could choose to file the sight itself instead) with a very fine file to get the D&L sight tongue to fit in.

Once the light filing was done, all that was needed was a light tap from a mallet to seat the sight firmly inside the channel. There’s a tab on the back of the sight itself that fills the recess left by the factory sight at the rear of the sight channel.

If you wanted, you could sand down the bottom of the tongue as well to get it to fit perfectly flush with the top of the frame. Once tapped in and screwed down, that rear sight isn’t going anywhere.

Image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com

There are no sharp edges to snag. The flat of the tongue curves up into the sight’s main body and that body angles back on each side to the rear. The edges of the back of the sight have been slightly rounded to both be snag resistant and to blend with the curvature of the rear of the frame.

These are tiny details that, when they’re all added up, make a huge difference.

The rounded edges and the even finish of the rear sight might make you think it’s plastic. It’s not. The whole thing is all one piece of perfectly machined steel.

Fine serrations adorn the back of the sight, eliminating any glare below the U-shaped notch. If you want a larger rear notch, and/or a square notch, just ask for one and Mr. Lauck can handle that as well. These are true custom sights.

Image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com

The end result of all of this great work is that you can stop thinking about your sights. That little red dot just sits out there, naturally coming to the eye and lining up with the rear sight window. It’s absolutely perfect. It’s also surprisingly inexpensive, at only $95 for the rear.

What’s even more impressive is that D&L can do the work to do the exact same thing for your J-Frame, solving one of the major issues some of us have with one of our otherwise favorite little guns.

Lauck mills the a rear channel to install a similar rear sight, as well as adding the front sight of your choice. Considering the work done, to include the sight in and placement of the correct sights to fit your load, the $275 for this service was a real surprise.

Image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com

Specifications: D&L Sports K, L, N and X Frame Sight Set

Front: DX Style Fiber Optic (many others available)
Rear: U Cut Fixed Steel
Price: $95 for the rear sight (front sight prices vary widely based on sight choice)

Rating (out of five stars):

Overall * * * * *
The. Best. Sights. Ever. The quality of the work by D&L Sports with these sights made Dave Lauck an easy choice for my next revolver project (watch this space). Now that I know these exist, I don’t think I’ll have a single S&W carry revolver without them.

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23 COMMENTS

    • tsbhoa.p.jr, if that is true, you have missed a lot. I don’t worship at the alter of S&W, and not a fan of everything they’ve built, but S&W has built a few fine firearms. Especially, revolvers.

      • i have a shortlist: is a 41 the .22 semi? one of those. a registered magnum. and a .22 target revolver. no hillary holes.
        probably wind up with a model 60.
        and i want to see the new csx.

  1. Wow! That’s one hell of a review. At first glance I liked the design. The first revolver of mine that comes to mind is my Mountain Gun. The J frame thing is interesting. I wonder if they would do the same job on a fixed sight K frame?

    • He sent me a picture of a 44 caliber Mountain Gun he did, absolutely gorgeous. If I can find one in 45, Pre lock, I may have him do one up. On the k-frame, it can absolutely be done. Take a look at his gallery of guns.

  2. Great review on a product I’ve wanted for awhile now. Mr. Lauck’s builds and products speak for themselves. I know of a 3” Lew Horton that can only benefit from these.

  3. JWT,

    Thanks for yet another excellent review/ write up. These are the kind of add-ons that I can really appreciate being a revolver lover.

    I’ll be checking into Mr. Lauck’s products for sure.

  4. Now that’s the way it should be done. Some straight-up sexy sights they’ve got there.

    It also appears they could easily make a ghost ring out of that rear sight if someone were to ask them to… and I would.

  5. If the rear sight is not adjustable, what is your recourse if there is a windage aiming error? (e.g. the point of impact does not match the point of aim.)

  6. I was thinking they looked decent but then the price was a nice surprise reveal. They should have lost points somewhere for needing gunsmithing to fit though, even if they kept the 5 stars overall.

    • Light file work isn’t gunsmithing, but even if it were, you can have a tight fit or no filing. You can’t have both for every gun. SW (or anybody other big manufacturer) just doesn’t have that kind of consistency.

  7. If you’re packing an N Frame for 2 legged self-defense please give me the data dump. I appreciate a man that “packs iron” these days.

    I grew up with black sights on 1911’s J-Frames and K-Frames, there’s nothing wrong with them that a little white/red nail polish won’t fix in a jam. The brass/gold bead isn’t all that. The red/green/yellow blade insert or Millet sights were/are the best, at least out to 50 yards.

  8. My observation over the past year or two is there is a definite resurgence in interest in revolvers. Not only articles like this and on the guns themselves but an uptick in revolver training classes. Finally look at the prices for pre-lock S&Ws on the various seller sites

    Living on a ranch with larger four paw predators I also “pack iron” Lauck customized Ruger Blackhawk 44 Special with hand loads.

  9. Revolvers haven’t been a serious choice for anything in at least eighty years. Cops were forced to use them for generations because a modern handgun would have been “military,” just as they were forced to keep shotguns in the cruiser for situations calling for a long gun when infinitely superior choices existed and were readily available.

    I love revolvers. As range toys. For punching paper. I would not dismiss them out of hand for hunting whitetail deer, because deer don’t shoot back and having only six shots on tap and reloads that can be timed with a calendar is unlikely to get you killed in your tree stand. For anything else? No. NO. They are beautiful to contemplate, the mechanism is exceedingly clever, and they are the missing link between flintlocks and modern pistols. I own a stainless GP100. I don’t carry it.

  10. The sights look great, but their website is garbage. And they use a non-secure form for ordering. As in, print this out, fill it out along with your credit card info, and mail it along with your gun. So now you have a paper form with your credit card info going through shipping and then sitting in god knows what pile or filing cabinet at some shop. No thanks. Don’t need their product that badly.

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