I thought you all might enjoy some pictures of what I do in the shop. It illustrates the work I put into one single piece, the Classic Target Post.
As a preface, please understand that I generally dislike machines for this sort of work. Though I could turn these posts out on a lathe, I have no desire to do so. I prefer to shape them manually. The drill press is a necessity and is useful, and it's also the most sophisticated piece of machinery I use!
I start shaping with a coarse file. This gets the basic profile down:
I then move on to a less aggressive file. This allows me to smooth out the lines -- though you'll note I do keep lines on the post cut down on glare. The goal is to provide a surface that is as flat matte black as I can achieve:
The last step on the press is to apply cold bluing. This is not so much for color as it is to prep the surface by oxidizing it:
Next, I do a process I invented. I call it Perma-Soot, though it's an unofficial name. I have no idea whether anyone else uses this name for something different, though a quick Google search didn't kick up anything.
You know how target shooters often smoke their sights to make them as absolutely black as possible? My process is designed to lock that in.
Step 1, soot the sight post:
Step 2, apply the Perma-Soot chemical:
Step 3, remove this chemical after a certain period of time:
That's the camera flash on the sight post. That's all the glare I can get it to produce. By comparison, a standard blued sight appears almost white when exposed to the same amount of camera flash.
A couple additional pictures of hand-shaping the shims I sell in my Mosin Accuracy Kits:
I hope you've enjoyed. As I've stated elsewhere for years, I do this by hand. Every single item I make passes through my hands, and is therefore inspected for quality every step of the process. Most specialized tools I use I've made myself, too, with the exception of a jig which holds the sight for drilling. That was made by Elby of the sight tool fame. It's excellent.