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Old July 13, 2012, 08:31 AM   #1
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How firearm-specific are "sight pushers"?

I need to adjust the rear sight on my Springfield EMP just a smidgen, but even after loosening the set screw and tapping on the sight with a brass punch, I can't get it to budge.

I don't mind buying the right tool for the job, but when I go online and look at sight pushers, most of them seem to be for specific models. Are there "generic" ones as well?

If it matters, the slide on the EMP is the same width as a full-size 1911.
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Old July 13, 2012, 08:50 AM   #2
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There's a couple of generic pushers, but they are about $300 when I last looked.
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Old July 13, 2012, 10:06 AM   #3
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I have this one. It works well with any 1911 I have tried it on.
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Old July 13, 2012, 10:43 AM   #4
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For just one gun you can usually just put the slide in a padded vice and use a brass drift punch and hammer to tap the sight into position. It's a little slow going if you are being careful not to overshoot. Get a roll of the aluminum foil tape from Lowe's that is used on ducting and put a small strip on the slide up against the sight, then a second one on the sight so its edge butts against the first strip or very close to it. Then set your calipers to the distance you want to change the sight. Use the ID jaws on top to mark the soft foil from the sight to the slide. Those are your correctly spaced registration marks. Then just tap the sight until the opposite end marks on the tape foils align. Peel the tape off (Goo Gone will remove any trace adhesive).

I might not want to try hammering a tritium sight into place, but otherwise. . .
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Last edited by Unclenick; July 13, 2012 at 10:56 AM.
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Old July 16, 2012, 05:50 PM   #5
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I recently invented a "new to me" way of doing this with a common bench vice, a set of feeler gauges, a shop rag and some poster board.

I cut a piece of poster board to wrap the slide (both sides and bottom, leave the top exposed. I then used the shop rag wadded up under the slide in the vice to support the slide and keep it up in the jaws of the vice.

Clamp down on wrapped slide, and with the feeler gauges, filled the gap on the side of the sight that I wanted to push. Took this total reading (added up the gauges), then added 0.015" gauge to the stack. (That's how much I wanted to push it based on sight radius and target error; quick geometry problem).

Loosened the vise, re-inserted the gauges with the .015 extra, and re-clamped in the vice. Viola. I moved the rear sight 15 thousands. No guess work. I'm sure somebody else has done it this way, but I've not read it specifically anywhere. Best part was being in control of movement; no banging, no brass marks, and I'm zeroed now.

Just make sure that you don't let your gauges slide too deep in the setup, or they may rake across the top of the slide and leave a mark. Feeler gauge set is about $8 at auto zone... I already had the gauges, bench vice and card board so I wasn't out anything.


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Old July 29, 2012, 05:04 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the suggestions! The solution ended up being simpler than I thought. The Marine range where I shoot has a Meprolight Universal Sight Installation Tool that they let me borrow:

I don't think I'd drop the $500 it costs to buy one for myself just for occasional use, but it sure was nice; just had to choose the right position on the block to get the slide at the correct height, then spin the handle until the sights were where I wanted them.
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Old July 29, 2012, 05:42 PM   #7
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I have been looking for a good universal one-at a reasonable price. Still looking. In my case I have a CZ511 with a rear sight that needs a major adjustment, the old brass punch and hammer method hasn't worked yet-that thing is in there tight! And yes, I have tried penetrating oil.
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Old July 29, 2012, 06:45 PM   #8
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The Maryland Gun Works sight pushers are tops.
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