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Custom Front Sight for Nova/Supernova Vent Rib Barrel to Match Ghost Ring Rear Sight


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I have a Supernova Tactical Comfortech that serves as my primary home defense firearm and I have immense fun shooting in the South Florida Pistol Club's USPSA Multigun match every month.


However, I also want to try some trap or skeet shooting, and my preferred range (Markham Park in Sunrise, FL) has a very nice, large trap and skeet range but requires all barrels be at least 26" so I could not shoot my 18.5" Tactical there. I am also planning to go bird hunting in March with a friend.


It's quick and easy to swap back and forth between barrels on the Supernova, and Carlson's sells long hunting barrels for it at reasonable prices. Seems like a good solution, so I got a 30" barrel from Midsouth Shooters Supply for $228.


I had a more difficult problem to solve, though. My Supernova has the ghost ring sights, which I do not want to give up permanently, and I do not want to remove and reinstall the rear sight every time I swap barrels. The fiber optic front sight on the 30" barrel is far too low to see through the ghost ring and still be aiming straight. So I needed to find a way to get a taller front sight installed on the barrel to match the height of the ghost ring rear.


I took precise measurements all over the shotgun and both barrels and then looked all over the internet investigating every product that looked like it might fit and might be tall enough. I didn't come up with much, so I started looking into making one myself.


The fiber optic front sight on the 30" barrel is threaded into a hole in the rib. I measured the threads at M3-0.50 and the depth of the hole at 4.5mm. I later discovered that the hole is not actually threaded all the way to the bottom. In order to reproduce the height from the bore centerline of the tritium dot on the original front sight post, I needed about 15-16mm above the top of the rib.


I found this 316 stainless steel M3-0.50 shoulder bolt with a 4.5mm threaded section (same depth as the hole in the rib), 12mm long shoulder, and 3mm high bolt head, for a total of 15mm above the surface of the rib. That means if the top edge of the bolt head is cutting my target in half horizontally, I should be lined up almost perfectly.




Once it arrived, I tried threading it in by hand and immediately figured out that problem I mentioned: The hole is 4.5mm deep but the threads are not cut all the way to the bottom.


I have an M3-0.50 tap, but it is not a "bottom tap" so the end of it is tapered and will not cut threads all the way to the bottom of a blind (closed) hole. I purchased this set in order to get the bottom tap:




Even though the photo shows a bottom tap with the least taper of any M3-0.50 I could find on Amazon, the tap that actually showed up was not the same as the photo. It had about a 45 degree taper at the end:




Oh well. I ground the end down until it was flat enough to cut threads to the bottom of the hole.



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I worked very slowly, applying a drop of oil to the tap, carefully threading it in and spinning it down by hand, then locking the tap handle on and spinning it slowly and smoothly forwards and backwards to cut a small amount, then backing it out, cleaning, and inspecting the hole. I repeated all of those steps quite a few times, being extremely careful not to damage the existing threads or go too fast (or run into the bottom of the hole) and snap off the tap.


When I finished, I chamfered the edges with my chamfering bit just slightly.




After each step threading and chamfering, I test fit the bolt until I was happy with it.



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I scuffed the smooth surfaces with 1000 grit sandpaper, wiped it all down with brake cleaner, let it dry, then taped off everything but the smooth section and the underside of the bolt head.




I sprayed three light coats of VHT ceramic caliper paint until I was happy with the coverage. I cured it for 30 minutes at 250F, cooled it to room temperature, 30 minutes at 400F, cooled, then 30 minutes at 500F. The last step is supposed to be 600F, but my oven won't go that high. I figured it should be more than good enough. I was very happy with the finish.



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I took it to my friend Jeff, who is the master model builder. He airbrushed the head with two coats of white primer and three coats of fluorescent orange, then hand painted two coats of Future Wax clear acrylic. It came out looking exactly the way I imagined.




I cleaned and dried the hole one last time, applied blue Loctite, installed my new custom front site, and wiped down the barrel with fresh oil. I'm really happy with how this turned out. The black paint turned out to be more of a dark charcoal and matches the barrel finish nicely, except for being a bit more matte (which is good) and the orange is perfect.




I shouldered the shotgun a few times and the new front sight is very easy to pick up. Also, by using a heat cured black and coating the orange with the clear acrylic, they should both be highly resistant to abrasion and to solvents like Hoppes.


This was a fun little project and I'm very happy with how it turned out.

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  • 3 months later...

Not yet.


I've been having some feeding issues with my Nova Tactical. It was sent back to Benelli in November, they had it for five weeks and sent it back to me un-repaired. After talking to the customer service rep, I was told I could send it back again and they would have someone else look at it, or they offered to send me some of the parts that they thought might be causing the problems and I could fix it myself.


I'm still waiting for some of the parts to show up.


On top of the feeding issues, I also told them about plastic shavings that have been falling out of the trigger group assembly. They didn't do anything to address that complaint when they had it and they told me that that part is too expensive for them to send to me.


So, I'm hoping to get an ejector spring tomorrow and I'm searching for a good deal on a trigger group assembly.


FWIW, everyone I spoke with at Benelli has been very pleasant to deal with and they helped me deal with issues I had with the local UPS hub when I tried shipping the gun back to them.


I'm glad your barrel/sight fix worked out for you and it really looks nice. If I ever get mine working properly, I'll probably steal your idea!:D

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