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Old 12-15-2004, 01:44 PM   #1
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Removing and installing dovetail sights

Changing out sights can be one fo the quickest improvements somone can make to their pistol. Sometimes just replacing a damaged one yourself could save a great deal of money. As long as you get a sight cut for the same dovetail cut, this is something that is easily done. I am using a Stainless Kimber Type II slide and a Colt pre-70 series slide in the white for illustration purposes.

First, it's important that you use a good heavy vice with protective covers over the jaws to prevent any marring to the slide. I reccomend that you remove the slide from the frame and wrap a piece of leather at the contact point to insure you don't damage the finish.

It is critical that your vice be solidly mounted to a stable work surface, I cannot emphasize this enough.

Next, you want to get either a brass or nylon drift. These will be used to drive the sights out and shouldn't harm them.

When drifting out the front sight, go from left to right, and insure you don't use the blade as your striking surface but rather the bottom of a dovetail. This is a Kimber slide illustrated which uses a Novak sight for the front.

If the front sight is also pinned, you would need to drive out the pin first with a punch.

Rear sights are held in usually with a set screw. This has to be loosened in order to drift the sight out in the same manner as above with the front sight,

On adjustable sights, you will need to back out the adjusting screw completely first. There will be a couople of springs and possibly detent balls so collect them and put them in a safe place. Then you can remove the set screw and drift out the sight.

NOTE: On Series II Kimbers, the Safety parts are located under the sights. Be sure you remove than and note how they went in so you can replace them. I can do a picture essay in the future on this system if anyone wants me too.

Now, installing the sights is as simple as reversing the order above, including installing them from right to left. The dovetails are actually tapered so this is important.

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Old 12-15-2004, 03:40 PM   #2
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Removing and installing dovetail sights

Thanks Bill,Very nice Could please show how a sight pusher works,especially when it comes to a BHP MKlll.That would very helpful

Best Regards,Steve
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Old 12-15-2004, 09:11 PM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 1,053
Removing and installing dovetail sights

Great pics and go-by Bill.

I might add that on the front sights, especially on tritium filled ones, I tape a piece of popsicle stick (or coffee stirrer) to the side of the blade as those dovetails are very shallow and some of the ends of the sight dovetail are beveled to blend with the slide giving very little purchase for the edge of the drift or punch.

When (not if) it slips off, you can damage the tritium or bend/break a sight blade as the punch has a running start at it and is hard to stop... trust me on this :'(

The thin piece of wood will cusion the blow and protect the sight.


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