View Full Version : SKS problem

Futo Inu
June 7, 1999, 06:24 PM
Bought a muzzle brake at the gun show. The kind where you tap out the pin on the front sight, push brake over muzzle; insert new pin. So I put WD-40-like-substance on pin, let sit for a few hours. Bought a new "Popular Mechanics" punch set from Wal-Mart. Took the 1/16" punch. After about 3 taps with a standard-sized hammer, the 1/16" punch snaps off at the base where it thickens. Yell and scream and curse. Then I hammer on that dang ol' pin with anything else I can find - It ain't budging! So how does one get that dal-blamed pin out? Thanks.

James K
June 7, 1999, 08:28 PM
The proper punch for that pin is 3/32"; 1/16" is too small. Also, you should know better than to buy tools from the local "made in GKW"* peddler. Buy a good, American made punch set. They may cost more but they will be worth it in the long run.

OK, finished sounding off. Try from both sides. If that doesn't work, try heating the sight base with a torch; make it hot but not enough to affect bluing or pit metal. If all else fails, you can drill the pin out, but that gets tricky.


*Gawd knows where - wherever the junk peddler could buy cheapest.

[This message has been edited by Jim Keenan (edited June 07, 1999).]

June 7, 1999, 09:12 PM
the cheapest punches are american made ,I can't remember the name, yellow carboard and
bubble plastic, black oxide finnish, hard
punches, $5 for one, but last.they make
slide calipers amd micrometers too.
buy a punch set from Midway, their gunsmith punches.

Futo Inu
June 9, 1999, 12:03 PM
Thanks, guys. $12.00 down the drain for the punch set. You have to understand, I have virtually zero knowledge and experience with mechanical stuff (I do have innate ability, but it's not developed, as I grew up essentially without a dad around -off the subject).

Zot, do you mean the Grace or the B-Square punches? Or something else? And which is better, brass or steel? How 'bout punches found at Lowe's, Ace, Home Depot, etc. - Any brands good that you know of?

Also, Jim, you're right - I heard that the pin only drives out one way (of course probably the other from what I tried) - it's set up to "jam" harder and harder the more it is driven one way - go figure!

[This message has been edited by Futo Inu (edited June 09, 1999).]

James K
June 9, 1999, 05:49 PM
On my Russian, the pin drives out from either side. I didn't check the others. Usually it is possible to tell if one end of a pin is bigger than the other before battering things up.

Punches made especially for gunsmith work are OK, but sometimes more expensive than necessary. I buy from the guy who sells SnapOn tools; don't know the brand off hand.

For the most part (there are always exceptions like Craftsman), chain store tools and almost all other products they sell, are junque. Those stores buy and sell on price, not quality, and they sell enough that they don't care if they ever see an unhappy customer again. Another sucker...er.., "valued customer", just walked in the door.

In fairness, some of the stuff may be OK for Harry Homeowner who uses a tool once a year, but no pro will touch the stuff.


June 10, 1999, 10:27 PM
jim is right Snap-On will give ya a new set if they break or metal is soft, I buy some
from a automotive store, so I guess their
like snap-on, those cheap soft crappers at
Wal-mart, you'd be better off using a nail.
chrome plated pot metal.

June 10, 1999, 10:36 PM
there is such a thing as a "starter punch" to avoid this very problem. instead of a long cylinder, it is a truncated cone with only the very end being the target diameter. thus, it is much stiffer and stronger than a regular punch. you use it to just get the pin broken free, then use the regular punch to finish pushing it out.

I managed to break a Brownells punch (also drove the broken end into my hand with full force; not a Good Thing). at which point I sure wished I'd also invested in a starter punch set...

Mal H
June 10, 1999, 10:45 PM
Futo Inu - here's my $.02 worth. It's hard to go wrong with good old Craftsman tools, they are high quality and usually easy to find. You can always buy more expensive, but it's not necessary. For example, Starrett is the Cadilac of punches, star bits, micrometers, etc., but they're expensive. Unless you plan to make a career out of removing pins its not worth it.

You asked whether to use steel or brass. For removing pins, always use a steel punch of the right diameter, just a little smaller than the pin. Use a brassy on things you don't want to scar or scratch. For example, when adjusting or removing a dovetailed sight. But brass would never last very long if used to remove a steel pin.

Get a good set of both steel and brass, you'll never regret it and you'll always have the right one instead of compromising and messing up something you're trying to fix.

Lastly, but important, always wear safety glasses when working with punches of any type.

Futo Inu
June 11, 1999, 07:23 PM
Thanks guys, got the Craftsman. How can you go wrong with a lifetime free replacement warranty? Good price, too. $9.95 + tax for 5 piece set.