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Old January 8, 2023, 08:56 PM   #1
Nathan
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Sight Adjust/Installation in Pistols

I have done this a bunch with hammer and steel punch. Most of them actually look pretty good. I generally don’t use brass as it tends to absorb some of the impact, it seems! A well dressed steel punch with appropriate hammer weight has moved mountains!

That said, I think my skill is slipping. So…..I’m thinking about a pusher….did I mention this would be my 3rd pusher? One pusher damaged a slide. The other ate itself….yep, the window bent!

So, I’m skeptical about buying a pusher. What works? YouTube is kind of leaning towards the Wheeler design or some knock offs of the same. I see these work, but the videos are always Glocks which are the easiest. What moves the really jammed up metal sights like XD or S&W or tight 1911’s
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Old January 8, 2023, 09:58 PM   #2
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Quote:
I have done this a bunch with hammer and steel punch.
And you didn't mar the finish or actually damage the steel of the sight with steel on steel contact ever???

Dude, go buy some lottery tickets, you have incredible luck!

The point of using a brass drift is because brass will not damage the steel. Might leave a brass smear, but that can be cleaned off.
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Old January 9, 2023, 08:54 AM   #3
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If I were sending them out to customers, several were not good enough. That said, I feel like it is all about clamping the slide well, getting a careful strike and pre fitting the sight to the pistol so you are not beating the crap out of the sight and the pistol. I do keep those steel punches well dressed with a file. I also used locktite which is both a lubricant and a hold in place material, right..
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Old January 9, 2023, 12:49 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Nathan
I also used locktite which is both a lubricant and a hold in place material, right..
Which Loctite?
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Old January 9, 2023, 12:59 PM   #5
Nathan
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Locktite 620
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Old January 12, 2023, 12:17 PM   #6
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Dude, that's the high-strength, high-temperature red stuff. The Loctite directions for use say you have to heat it to 300°C (572°F) to remove parts bonded by it. You want to be using blue 242 or similar. Not so high in strength or temperature, but good enough to stop vibration from loosening something and is not so strong you can't remove it.
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Old January 12, 2023, 12:53 PM   #7
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The proper tool for the proper job !!!

Quote:
I generally don’t use brass as it tends to absorb some of the impact, it seems!
Questionable science. I not only use brass punches but also, aluminum and brass "Pin-Pushers". I also use brass and poly faced "small" mallets. The steel in punches, is harder than most sight blades. Sight pushers are great but one size does not fit all. The learning curve has taught me some hard lessons. I have even marred steel surfaces with brass. If your technique works for you than that's fine. .......

Be Safe !!!
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Old January 12, 2023, 10:40 PM   #8
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One could probably make a good low-marring punch by trimming a fat enough piece of drill rod to give it a tip that matches the sight's side profile and then scraping that profiled tip until it mates perfectly over the whole surface of that side of the sight. But you'll likely spend a week of evenings doing the scraping; high spot blue, touch, scrape the transfer points, repeat until blue in the fingertips.
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Old January 12, 2023, 10:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenick
Dude, that's the high-strength, high-temperature red stuff. The Loctite directions for use say you have to heat it to 300°C (572°F) to remove parts bonded by it.
https://www.henkel-adhesives.com/us/...ctite_620.html

Green. 450F, built for retaining small clearance fits. Sounds like sights to me. They make 609 too which is lower strength. I find Locktite rarely can be applied to meet the strength spec.
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Old January 14, 2023, 11:47 AM   #10
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OP asked about pushers-Unless somebody makes one better than Wheeler
which I found not up to task, The hammer and punch works for me, brass for sure.
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Old January 14, 2023, 12:18 PM   #11
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Nathan,

That still begs the question, do you really want to have to let the slide soak in an oven every time you want to drift the sight? Another approach is to use set screws with removable Loctite as the old Micro sights did. Another (what I use on a 1911) for fixed rear sights is to apply an automatic center punch to raise a few dimples in the floor of the dovetail way and then drive the sight in over them. A set screw can still be added for insurance. Keeps it removable.
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Old January 14, 2023, 01:56 PM   #12
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My FLG, being of frugal nature, built his own sight pusher.
He used mild steel for the bar. I have not seen it to mar a sight.

The only time I saw it fail was on a Norinco with Internet Famous Steel of such low machinability that the Chinese machinist gave up before he got the dovetail cut all the way across and just force-fit the sight, swaging the softer sight against the distorted slide groove.

He has a piece of that mild steel as a punch and a bar of nickel silver for manual driving.
Those don't skin up a sight, either, at least not mine.
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Old January 14, 2023, 05:59 PM   #13
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My take on this discussion from 40 years as a smith:

Pin punches are for pins. Using steel punches of flat pieces curls the edge and damages the work.

Brass or aluminum punches for working on steel pieces. Yes, they absorb some energy. Yes, they leave a metal smudge. Yes, yes, yes. BUT, you won't mar the firearm's finish, and the smudge can be wiped off with 0000 steel wool.

I have damaged more firearms with sight pushers than with brass or aluminum punches. Painted guns are much less forgiving than blued steel. Clamp the piece in a vise with soft jaws and grab that brass punch.

Interference fit is the proper way to install sights, not LocTite. LocTite is for when you don't do it right. Don't get me wrong, I've used LocTite when the sight went from too tight to too loose with one stroke of the file.
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Old January 15, 2023, 10:13 AM   #14
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LINK Was $59……seems to bounce around. $75 today.

Looks pretty good. Threading is just a bit tight. Lubricant helps. I pushed out some S&W sights, reported as difficult, with ease. The system is pretty tight overall, which is good. It is a little hard to center up sights, but not impossible.

Seems like same quality as the Chinese made Wheeler. This too is Chinese made. I’d pay the Wheeler price, if made in America. They made a choice…..and so did I.
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Old January 15, 2023, 12:14 PM   #15
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You have to love Amazon and the plethora of Chinese suppliers. The exact same sight pusher is available on Amazon at prices ranging from $49 to $179.
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Old January 16, 2023, 02:17 PM   #16
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Grind file piece of brass to match the contour of the sight.
Mount it in your drill press and the slide in a vise. Use aluminium blocks to protect the workpiece.
Press it in.
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Old January 17, 2023, 11:59 PM   #17
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What Scorch said.
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Old January 18, 2023, 11:48 PM   #18
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Installing a sight shouldn't be that hard. You can always trim down the sight to make it movable with reasonable punch impact. Don't need no pusher.

-TL

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Old January 21, 2023, 04:37 PM   #19
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I was able to keep my MGW Sight Pro sight pusher when my biz partner and I shut down our FFL. It's a beast and works great. Not cheap, but it's quality.
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