Shield Driver sight and Extra Stout Plunger Tube
SHIELD DRIVER SIGHT $75.00The Shield Driver sight is something I’ve been making one-off since the mid-eighties. It has previously been available only on my custom guns, but in answer to customer demand, it is now available as a separate part.
The idea is to have a rear sight with a forward abutment that enables the user to cycle the slide against something like a door jamb, table top, or the side of a ballistic shield –hence the name Shield Driver-- without using the support-side hand. The SWAT team’s shield man—the Shield Driver, they call him—leads the team in behind his large ballistic shield, which he holds with his support-side hand. His primary weapon is the handgun—extended forward of the shield, where firing it in a dynamic environment can easily lead to the cycling slide bumping the shield, causing a malfunction. He needs to get it back into action and as you can imagine, he and the guys behind him would prefer it be done without setting the shield down.
The Shield Driver is made to hold up to this kind of rough use. It is not designed for effortless manufacture from soft, low-carbon steel with lead added to speed-up the machining process. It is made from real-deal high-carbon, heat-treated chrome-moly steel, like guns parts ought to be. The dovetail is for the standard Novak ® cut, also known as the Low Mount cut, but the sight is a few thousandths over in this area to accommodate the very common oversized dovetails on factory guns. Dovetailed sights are meant to be a press-fit in, but factory practice, for production’s sake, has been to eliminate the holding of tight tolerances or a fitting process and allow a slide-in fit, to be compensated for by a set screw and maybe some kind of locking compound. For real durability and rough use, this just will not do! When I fit a Shield Driver or other sight, I do it tight enough that no LocTite ® is required—instead I use anti-seize compound to prevent galling. That’s how tight they should be. The Shield Driver sight has no set screw hole (but there is room for one should you really feel the need).
The rear of the Shield Driver is radically angled to prevent snagging. The front is slightly angled but close enough to vertical, and serrated, to offer a good purchase for racking the slide. My preferred installation also includes lowering the top of the slide to expose more of the sight’s front for even more positive engagement.
The Shield Driver is made to take—or give—a beating. It is available only in the white at this time as is intended for gunsmith installation as part of a custom build.
ESPT $41.00(Install kit $25.00)
The ESPT (Extra-Stout Plunger Tube) is my answer to the all-too-common loose plunger tube. Many plunger tubes these days are very thin in areas and poorly installed. Even a good one, well installed, is not as durable as it could be. My ESPT uses four, not two, staking bosses and the tube itself is more than twice as thick all the way around. And, it is made from the same steel as the Shield Driver—heat treated, high-carbon chrome-moly alloy. It is best installed using the available install kit, which includes a drill and a drill fixture. This makes it a snap to get the additional two holes in the frame. The install kit also includes a backer for use with the Gunrunner staking tool available from Brownell’s.
Note that as the ESPT is larger than standard, some grips will need trimming to fit over it, and extended safeties may require trimming, or a little trimming of the ESPT to allow them to move over it.