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Old September 10, 2012, 09:52 AM   #1
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Frozen dovetail

Any tricks, secret penetrating oil, or spells to get an old, frozen dovetail sight to move? Trying to remove the rear sight on a Savage 99 to use a Marvel tang-mounted aperture.
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Old September 10, 2012, 11:11 AM   #2
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Are you sure you are driving it the right direction? Some of those dovetails are ever so slightly tapered. On those, you have to drift it out the direction opposite the taper. Normally, the open end is to the right as you sight down the barrel.
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Old September 10, 2012, 11:22 AM   #3
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Also make sure the dovetail is held close to the jaws of a padded vise as you drive the sight out. The farther away from the vise the dovetail is, the more spring you will have in the barrel.

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Old September 10, 2012, 01:13 PM   #4
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I have had to cut them out with a Dremel tool or a hack saw; it works, but please be careful. To do that, you cut crosswise, right across the center of the dovetail, being very careful not to mark the barrel. Once a slot is cut, pressure on the dovetail is removed and the two pieces fall out.

The barrel slot can then be filled with a dovetail blank, which can be bought from Brownells or made.

Jim K
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Old September 10, 2012, 03:33 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice. As luck would have it, I am driving it left to right. It may come to cutting it, but I wanted to save the sight. I got the dovetail plug with the tang sight. Anyone had success with heating?
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Old September 10, 2012, 04:02 PM   #6
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I usually swear by Kroil, if that doesn't get it loose it's cutting time. You might try heating with a heat gun, just in case someone "fixed" it with a drop of loctite at some point, or get a piece of dry ice and try to chill the dovetail selectively.
I used to love being able to hit hard at 1000 yards. As I get older I find hitting a mini ram at 200 yards with the 22 oddly more satisfying.
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Old September 11, 2012, 07:19 AM   #7
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Have had sucess with a deep freeze.
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Old September 11, 2012, 07:49 AM   #8
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Get the whole shabang hot with a heat gun. Then apply the corner of a piece of dry ice to the sight. Tap it out before it all comes back to the same temperature. It might work with regular ice, but dry ice ice is better and more fun to play with anyway.

I haven't tried this with sights, but it has worked with other interference fit parts.
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Old September 13, 2012, 08:24 AM   #9
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Finally cut a slot with a triangular file and a hacksaw. When I put the dovetail blank in, I wrote down the direction (yes, it's tapered) so I can get that out without drama if necessary. A note on the Marble aperture sight. It comes with 3 screw in apertures, and with the finest one on the bench, I was able to shoot <2" groups (100 yd). Adjusting is a little funky, as moving horizontally would also move the group vertically and vice versa. Great once dialed in, though. The fine peep looks a little tight for hunting, so I installed the middle size. Very fast target acquisition.
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