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View Full Version : 1911 front/rear sight removal - help


drkphibr
02-22-2012, 10:09 PM
Anyone in the Tri-Valley (east of San Francisco) area have a front and rear sight removal tool for a 1911?

The rear dovetail is tight (understatement) as I've oiled it and tried to bench vise/tap it out to no avail. The front sight is a tenon. Looking to refinish the slide and want to do that before putting new sights in at a later date.

Anyone who has a tool I can borrow (have to tinker and try in myself, taking it to a smith and paying for the removal is a last resort, besides, there's no fun/learning in that) would be greatly appreciated.

Please PM me if you can help. I'm sure there is something we can either trade services for or work something out. Thanks.

ojisan
02-22-2012, 10:57 PM
Tri-Valley area ????

The end of the front sight tenon is staked / flared inside the slide to hold the sight on.
You need to get inside the slide with a tapered grindstone bit in a dremel and grind away where the tenon was flared out.
Then you should be able to knock the sight out with a thin punch.
Usually you have to replace the sight as too much metal is lost from the tenon when you grind it off to reuse it.
There is a special tool used to stake in the new sight...I have one but again I don't know where you are.

Rear sight...be sure to use a big enough punch so it does not bounce when you hit it with the hammer.

drkphibr
02-23-2012, 7:04 AM
Tri-Valley area ????

The end of the front sight tenon is staked / flared inside the slide to hold the sight on.
You need to get inside the slide with a tapered grindstone bit in a dremel and grind away where the tenon was flared out.
Then you should be able to knock the sight out with a thin punch.
Usually you have to replace the sight as too much metal is lost from the tenon when you grind it off to reuse it.
There is a special tool used to stake in the new sight...I have one but again I don't know where you are.

Rear sight...be sure to use a big enough punch so it does not bounce when you hit it with the hammer.

The following 3 tools look like they'd cover all the bases, but for a one time removal I'd rather not spend over $200:


http://www.midwayusa.com/product/172968/strobel-front-sight-installation-and-removal-tool-1911
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/419868/kaiser-shooting-uni-tool-universal-front-and-rear-pistol-sight-installation-tool
http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=916/Product/1911-AUTO-FRONT-SIGHT-STAKER

Army
02-23-2012, 7:30 AM
Front sight is toast regardless of how you remove it. Grab with pliars, bend and wiggle until it pulls out or breaks away (the small bit left behind will easily pop out with a punch). Installing a new sight can be done with a number of unique tools, the best being one that holds the blade into the slide, then uses hammered in wedges that "iron" the tenon flat into the slide.

In soft jaws, cranck the vise tight (rear of slide is not hollow like the barrel channel), use a brass drift and whack the hell out of the sight. Otherwise, find a shop that has a rear sight drift tool.

drkphibr
02-24-2012, 5:04 PM
Brute force worked on the rear dovetail. Not so lucky on the tang front sight that I snapped off....

ojisan
02-24-2012, 5:16 PM
...that's why I prefer to grind inside at least a little before I try to remove the front sight.
I have seen the grab and pull method work, too, but it seems easier and less likely to damage the slide with some grinding.

Mstnpete
02-24-2012, 5:32 PM
The following 3 tools look like they'd cover all the bases, but for a one time removal I'd rather not spend over $200:


http://www.midwayusa.com/product/172968/strobel-front-sight-installation-and-removal-tool-1911
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/419868/kaiser-shooting-uni-tool-universal-front-and-rear-pistol-sight-installation-tool
http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=916/Product/1911-AUTO-FRONT-SIGHT-STAKER


I agree! Better to take it to a gunsmith.

redcliff
02-24-2012, 5:49 PM
Do yourself a favor and get the slide cut for Novak type front and rear sight dovetails (or something similar) before refinishing.

Tenon front sights are infamous for coming loose at inopportune times.

Army
02-25-2012, 2:40 PM
Tenon front sights are infamous for coming loose at inopportune times.
Done correctly, a tenon blade will remain with the gun for life. Hundreds of thousands of military 1911's can't be wrong!

redcliff
02-25-2012, 6:11 PM
Done correctly, a tenon blade will remain with the gun for life. Hundreds of thousands of military 1911's can't be wrong!

Nah, it was a problem even on them; I launched the front sight on a Combat Commander in the 70's that had the little g.i. type front sight, and also have launched one on a GCNM with a Patridge front sight. And if you add a larger, higher profile front sight to go with some Novak or Bomar type rears the problem gets worse due to more reciprocating mass. Dovetailed front sights are a vast improvement imho.