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Old 10-14-2010, 01:42 AM   #1
bjanz
 
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Default Night Sights on the PF9

I'm a PF9 owner. I'm also an amateur watchmaker.

I was talking with a friend (who also carries), and we were discussing the PF9 and whether night sights were available for it. I did some research, and discovered that I could buy Lumi-Nox glow tubes or Trijicon tubes. But the prices were prohibitively expensive, and I wondered whether the shock of discharge might bust the bulbs (Trijicon tubes are properly encapsulated against shock).

Some time ago, I purchased a bottle of SuperLuminova compound, the same aluminum-based material Omega, Rolex, Breitling, and many other brands use on both their dials (numbers and stick markers) and hands.

One thing led to another. I carefully removed the paint dots from the PF9 front and rear sights... cleaned up and reshaped the holes... mixed up some glow powder with a mildly flexible non-UV adhesive (because SuperLuminova NEEDS UV to "charge&quot...

And I now have night sights on the PF9! I have to charge the SuperLuminova in the light for a minute or so - holding it up to the sun for about 10 seconds works even better - but it glows all night long, just like the hands on my Omega Seamaster.

Imagine! A PF9 with night sights!!

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Old 10-14-2010, 05:04 AM   #2
Bjonesy
 
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Default Re: Night Sights on the PF9

Any pics?

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Old 10-14-2010, 08:07 PM   #3
rEVOLVED
 
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Default Re: Night Sights on the PF9

Thanks for posting. I know many people would love to see some pictures. Maybe one with the sights close up in daylight and one with them "glowing" in the dark.

I know I would love to purchase some night sights for my PF-9, but I would love even more to be able to do what you have done. Any estimate of what your overall cost was?

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Old 10-14-2010, 08:35 PM   #4
bjanz
 
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Default Re: Night Sights on the PF9

I think the easiest way to see the three pictures I took is for you to go to http://bhjanz.homelinux.net/pf9-sights.

My costs for this were negligible: I already had the SuperLuminox. *IIRC, the SuperLuminox cost me somewhere north of $100 for a small packet (watch findings aren't cheap), but that small packet goes a loooooong way. *I can probably get more from the same source, but I can easily do another 15-20 set of sights with just a portion of the stuff.

Why? *Were you interested in modding your PF9 too? *(hint )

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Old 10-14-2010, 09:20 PM   #5
The_Knave
 
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Default Re: Night Sights on the PF9

you mention you bought the SuperLuminova "some time ago". what's the shelf life on the stuff and is there any special storage requirements other then a dark, sealed container (cool storage, etc.)? Reason I ask is because this sounds like a doable project, but I'd hate to spend that kind of cash on something that's 10 years old and useless. As to having extra left over, I have a couple of older dive watches that the luminosity has waned over the years and I'd like to have them touched back up. Also, what adhesive did you use?

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Old 10-14-2010, 09:29 PM   #6
The_Knave
 
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Default Re: Night Sights on the PF9

another question.....since you said you were a amateur watchmaker, what's your opinion on this stuff? as good, not as good, etc.? could it do the same job?

http://www.noctilumina.com/main/kits.php

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Old 10-14-2010, 09:51 PM   #7
bjanz
 
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Default Re: Night Sights on the PF9

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Knave
you mention you bought the SuperLuminova "some time ago". what's the shelf life on the stuff and is there any special storage requirements other then a dark, sealed container (cool storage, etc.)? Reason I ask is because this sounds like a doable project, but I'd hate to spend that kind of cash on something that's 10 years old and useless. As to having extra left over, I have a couple of older dive watches that the luminosity has waned over the years and I'd like to have them touched back up. Also, what adhesive did you use?
Well, I hit the wrong "quote" button -- your answer about shelf life is below... :-)

If you don't know what you're doing, I'd suggest NOT opening up your dive watches yourself. Touching up hands can be done IF you have the proper equipment (they should be masked off and THEN painted), but I'd be more cautious about opening the case without having the correct gasket available. Whenever a dive watch is opened, the o-ring or flat-ring MUST be replaced. Otherwise, watertight integrity is lost -- and a dive watch suddenly becomes a no-dive watch.

Nail polish, as well as other clear coats, don't work for this: they don't "take" a "foreign" powder-based pigment properly.

Another thing you should be aware of: the adhesive you use MUST be heat/cold resistant as well as extremely shockproof. The heat generated when the weapon is fired causes the plastic front sight to expand slightly. If the adhesive is too brittle or too sensitive to heat, the "dot" will fall out of the front sight.

Unfortunately, UV-curable watchmaking adhesives are completely unsuitable for this task. Once cured by UV, they become UV-opaque and thus won't allow the SL to charge.

I experimented for a while, and it turned out that some old Duco cement worked the best. It took time to cure, but it's got all the right properties. I'm experimenting with E6000: it seems to be much better than Duco at "gripping" the vinyl.

(Yes, I have plenty of SL to experiment with. Each trial takes no more than the same amount of SL: a tiny bit that fits on the wide part of a small toothpick.)
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Old 10-14-2010, 09:53 PM   #8
bjanz
 
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Default Re: Night Sights on the PF9

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjanz
[quote author=The_Knave link=1287016958/0#5 date=1287088180]another question.....since you said you were a amateur watchmaker, what's your opinion on this stuff? as good, not as good, etc.? could it do the same job?

http://www.noctilumina.com/main/kits.php
Definitely not as good as SL.

It's like any "almost as good" product. If it was "as good" as SL, then Omega would be using it.

They don't. So, it isn't.

I'll stick with SL.
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Old 10-14-2010, 09:55 PM   #9
bjanz
 
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Default Re: Night Sights on the PF9

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Knave
you mention you bought the SuperLuminova "some time ago". what's the shelf life on the stuff and is there any special storage requirements other then a dark, sealed container (cool storage, etc.)? Reason I ask is because this sounds like a doable project, but I'd hate to spend that kind of cash on something that's 10 years old and useless. As to having extra left over, I have a couple of older dive watches that the luminosity has waned over the years and I'd like to have them touched back up. Also, what adhesive did you use?
When properly stored (away from bright light), SuperLuminova has an extremely long shelf life (on the order of decades). On a watch dial, its life is rated as "lifetime" - I'd guess that means 20 years at least. I store it in a 35mm film container - seems to do the job just fine.

My Omega Seamaster is at least 12 years old, and is as bright at night today as it was when I first bought it.

I have treated several watches over the intervening years, and each is super-bright at night.
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Old 10-15-2010, 12:36 PM   #10
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Default Re: Night Sights on the PF9

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjanz

Why? *Were you interested in modding your PF9 too? *(hint )
I have been researching quite a bit trying to find a good night sight alternative for my PF-9. *I do like your ideas. *IMHO, those pictures are convincing enough for me. *Are you trying to modify other PF-9s? *I might be interested. *
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