View Full Version : Front sight replacement?

Dean C
October 9, 2007, 08:31 PM
I'm stumped.
I need to change the front sight on my 39A. It has been modified with a Lyman sight in the front and stock ramp sight in the rear. Not a good match as far as I can tell. There is a threaded hole just next to the guide spring attachment threaded hole which I assume was for a rear sight that no longer exists. Anyway my question:
How does the front sight come off. It's a dove tail just like the stock sight but I find it hard to believe that if I press it off and press on the new one I bought from Marlin, that it will stay tight. Am I wrong? The rifle is a 1951 model that I'm trying to return to stock. Nearly there except for the sight and butt stock plate. Just need help on the sight.

thanks all,

October 9, 2007, 10:24 PM
This depends on how the rifle is set up.
The 1950 and possibly 1951 rifles had an unusual front sight in which the entire sight, including the ramp, barrel dovetail, and bead were machined from one piece of steel.

The barrel had a dovetail and a long flat machined on the barrel, into which the actual sight and ramp slipped.
The flat was to provide clearance for the ramp to clear the barrel.

Later rifles had holes drilled and tapped in the barrel into which a ramp base was attached with screws. The actual sight was dovetailed into the base.

So, what do you have?
A barrel that has a dovetail with a flat, a plain dovetail, or a ramp that's attached with screws?

Dean C
October 27, 2007, 11:30 AM
Sorry it took so long to get back. Huntin' got in the way of my computer time and my company's "net nanny" won't let me open TFL.

The sight is the plain dove tail. As I look thorough the side, it's very poorly fit but doesn't move. I don't want to risk damage to the ramp if there is more than a simple press fit involved. It looks like the existing sight was "beat into place". There are marks on the side of the sight and the ramp looks a bit deformed too. If it is a press fit, I'll fabricate a "press" devilce using a c-clamp or something. (I don't have access to a press where I can take a gun)

Anyway, if I'm on the right track, let me know.


October 27, 2007, 07:16 PM
Again, lets be clear about what's there.

Do you mean that there's a ramp on the barrel, and the actual sight blade is pressed into a dovetail ON THE RAMP?

If so, the sight will press out from LEFT to Right, (As you sight down the barrel).

There are commercial sight pushers that push the blades out. Here's one made by Williams.
Possibly you can come up with a simple design that works the same way.
It has two "lugs" that press against the ramp, while a single lug pushes the sight out:


It's important not to put any stress on the actual ramp, since these are held on with small screws and you can damage them easily, or break the ramp off the barrel.

Another option is to get the RAMP well supported with hard wood blocks, then carefully drive the sight out with a brass drift and a small hammer.
Again, get the ramp WELL braced so the force of the blows affect only the sight, not the ramp.

Dean C
October 27, 2007, 08:02 PM
Dfariswheel, ya' nailed it again. I have the blade that fits into a dovetail on the ramp.

Thanks for the link, it's a bit spendy so I'll try to "jerry rig" something, carefully.

There is a bit of deformation in the ramp since the sight I'm removing looks a bit large for the dove tail slot. It may press or spring back down once the old one is removed. Is it normal to "file to fit" the blade to fit better into the slot?

Thanks again, as usual,


October 27, 2007, 11:32 PM
As long as the dovetail isn't damaged, previously filed, or an odd-ball size, a new blade should slide in friction tight, and without any filing.

If the ramp is deformed, you can use a triangle needle file with one edge ground smooth to clean the dovetail up.
If the damage is too bad, cut to the chase and install a new ramp.

Here's some parts houses that have new factory ramps.
All you have to do is make sure you get the same model ramp. They often call this a "Front sight base".
The parts listed for the 39-AS are for the new rifle and some parts won't fit your older rifle.

Note the several models. You'll want one made for a 50's rifle.
Front sight ramp 378380A $9.50

Jack First is the best of all the parts houses, but you have to call them.

M00732 Front Sight Ramp $3.00

Click on Marlin and WAIT.
FS BASE 39A 220339 $6.56