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  #1  
Old 12-18-2009, 11:16 AM
mrboma mrboma is offline
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Default 10/22 Front Sight Change

I just picked up the XS Ghost Ring Sight System form another member here on Calguns. Installing the rear ring was a snap and the wife loves it. I have no exp. in changing out rifle front sights. Could anyone point me in the right direction for changing the front sight on a Ruger 10/22?

Could anyone also point me in the direction of a good gunsmith local to Santa Cruz, Ca? I have a few projects that are out of my comfort level that are waiting on the right person.

Thanks in advance.
Regards,
Mike
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Old 12-18-2009, 12:10 PM
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Seesm Seesm is offline
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small brass punch and soft jaw vice.
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Old 12-18-2009, 5:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seesm View Post
small brass punch and soft jaw vice.
What he said.

To be a little more specific, clamp the barrel at the front sight in a vise with soft brass jaws. Or as I have done, cut a short piece of an old leather belt and bend it into a U shape to wrap around the barrel,leaving the top open and front sight accessible. Clamp that puppy tight in the vise, so the top of the barrel is flush with the top of the vise jaws. It might be easier to do all this with the barrel removed from the action, but you still need to support the back end of the barrel, or the butt end of the rifle to keep it from dropping down and rotating your barrel out of the vise. Once all is secure, you are ready to get to work. I always tap dovetail sights out from left to righ, and in from right to left. I was told to do it this way when I first started working on guns, so that's what I've stuck with. (FWIW, I do pins this way too)

So, take a brass punch and set it against the left side of the dovetail portion of the sight, and with a small hmmer (if you have one) tap the sight out of its slot. Give the punch good firm taps with the hammer, but you don't need to try and blast it out in one swing! The sight should tap right out of the dovetail. If you don't have a brass punch, I have in a pinch used a .308 soft point bullet as a punch, after the tip deforms a bit, it works pretty good.

To put the new front dovetail in might require some fitting. First double check that the vise is still gripping the barrel tightly. Try and fit the sight into the dovetail slot with just finger pressure, from right to left. If it is the right size for the slot, it should go in 1/3-1/2of the way, with just finger pressure. If this is the case, go ahead and use your punch and tap it the rest of the way into the slot. It should get really firm for the last 1/4 of the way, just give it heavier taps until the sight is centered in the slot.

If the new front sight does not go into the front dovetail, or only goes less than 1/3 of the way, you need to do some sanding. You are only going to take metal off the bottom of the new sight. Put a piece of 800 grit or finer sandpaper on a flat surface, and rub the bottom of the sight back and forth a few times on the paper, taking a little off. Try and fit it again. If it doesnt go, take a little more, try it again, and repeat. You want to just do a few passes on the sandpaper before you fit it, and just keep trying, sand, fit, sand, fit, sand, fit, until it goes in 1/3 of the way. Remember, you can always take more metal off, but you can't put it back on. Once it fits right, tap it in to center it and go sight your rifle in!

If by some chance, you take too much off, or the sight goes in all the way with finger pressure, there is a fix for that. You can either try and peen the edges of the dovetail slot down to tighten up the slot, or, what I will do first is use an automatic center punch and simply punch a few divots in the bottom of the slot in the barrel. Funching four or five divots in the bottom of the slot will raise a bit of metal around the divots like a crater, and most times that is enough to get a good snug fit when you install the sight.
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Old 12-19-2009, 9:04 AM
mrboma mrboma is offline
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Mofugly,
Thank you very much for the detailed reply.
This should be a bit eaiser than orginally planned.
Regards,
Mike
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