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How to change sights recommendations






vw68j

uber Member
#1
So I'm looking to start changing/adjusting my own sights. What is a decent sight pusher for handguns?

I have punches but I'm always fighting the back and forth. Especially when trying to make small adjustments.

I searched the web and most seen very similar but I'm sure some are better than others.

Thanks in advanced!
 

Eric S.

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#2
I've sometimes wondered about this as well. Wonder if there is any need to spend more than $35 for the "hobbyist" that rarely messes with sights.
 

NYECOGunsmith

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#3
For rear sights, this one will do what you want without breaking the bank, and with no steep learning curve, and there are some that take a masters in mechanical engineering to figure out. And with a bit of hand word, one could easily make an adapter for it to push front sights in their dove tails too. It's only a bit more than the $35 cheap ones on E-bay, but if it has a problem , Midway will stand behind it, good luck with the ones on E-bay.
NcStar Vism Universal Rear Sight Tool (midwayusa.com)

Beyond this, you will require (most likely) some other tools, rarely will a new dovetail sight be a perfect fit for the dovetail slot on the gun, they almost always require some fitting.
That part I can walk you through if you need it.
 

sai

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#4
I bit the bullet and bought an Avid master sight pusher a while back. Its pricey especially compared to the generic ones found on Ebay but its nice and makes changing out sights almost too easy. If you plan on doing many times its worth it.
 

NYECOGunsmith

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#5
The Real Avid would be my choice for a pusher for most folks with more than one gun they wanted to work on, but it was outside what I perceived the OP's price range to be.
A top of the line Universal can set you back $500+, but if you are going to work on a wide variety of guns, day in and day out, well worth it.

Once you calculate how much to move the sight, there are ways to do it pretty easy with a brass or nylon punch and not overshoot how far you want to adjust it.

Fitted properly, the sight should enter the dovetail 1/2-2/3s of the way across with just thumb pressure, it should only need to be driven the last 1/2-1/3 of the way to final position.
 

Glocksterpaulie

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#7
The Real Avid would be my choice for a pusher for most folks with more than one gun they wanted to work on, but it was outside what I perceived the OP's price range to be.
A top of the line Universal can set you back $500+, but if you are going to work on a wide variety of guns, day in and day out, well worth it.

Once you calculate how much to move the sight, there are ways to do it pretty easy with a brass or nylon punch and not overshoot how far you want to adjust it.

Fitted properly, the sight should enter the dovetail 1/2-2/3s of the way across with just thumb pressure, it should only need to be driven the last 1/2-1/3 of the way to final position.
Agree. Years ago when I was a Meprolight dealer I had their universal sight tool. Expensive but I had several blocks for different pistols. If you don’t change out a lot of sights on different pistols it’s not worth it.
 

vw68j

uber Member
#8
Thanks for the input guys! I like Real Avid stuff, Ill probably get one. I figure at $25 for a sight install, 6 changes and Ill break even :cool:.
 

Gullwing

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#9
Thanks for the input guys! I like Real Avid stuff, Ill probably get one. I figure at $25 for a sight install, 6 changes and Ill break even :cool:.
Yes but be careful of some guns. I damaged my original pusher (universal "Glock" pusher) on a Ruger because they require 9074387080234 ft pounds to move. Yet popped out easy with punch and hammer............
Bent a screw on my new Lyman sight tool, but probably user error.
My crappy universal tool 10 years ago cost more than the better Lyman one I just got.
 

NYECOGunsmith

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#10
Yes but be careful of some guns. I damaged my original pusher (universal "Glock" pusher) on a Ruger because they require 9074387080234 ft pounds to move. Yet popped out easy with punch and hammer............
Bent a screw on my new Lyman sight tool, but probably user error.
My crappy universal tool 10 years ago cost more than the better Lyman one I just got.
When (AND IF!) you ever get promoted to Padawan Apprentice SECOND class, by then you will have hopefully learned, if it doesn't fit, DON'T FORCE IT! get a bigger hammer! And if it breaks it needed replacing anyway.

If the sight is tight, and doesn't want to move easily with a sight pusher, (which hopefully you have correctly installed, after first checking to see that the sight dovetail is NOT a tapered dove tail, requiring it to be pushed out in the correct direction! Or that the sight has a micro sized set screw locking it in place, or, as some do, some LOC TITE® under it) then I suggest the following.

First, heat the sight up, a hair dryer or hot air gun is best, butane torch or electric soldering gun / iron if nothing else, to make sure that any thread locker under the sight is compromised, then try the pusher.

No go? Heat the slide/barrel/receiver up, put some KROIL® ora 50/50 mix of Acetone and ATF on it, let it cool, do that a few times to get the oil to wick in under the sight.
Now heat the receiver/barrel/ slide and cool the sight (ice, or key board cleaner spray turned upside down) and use the pusher to drive it out gently.

The screw threads on the pusher generally generate a whole lot more force, and more controllable force at that, than the punch and hammer method will, because most folks are afraid to whack it as hard as need to free the sight, for fear of slipping and marring the sight or the gun.

Which is why I always pad the area around the sight with shop rags and blue painters tape when I have to resort to the brute fore method, aka , OLD SCHOOL, the way we did it for a few hundred years before I found time to invent the sight pusher.
 

vw68j

uber Member
#14
I received the Real Avid Pusher today and its a well built piece. Its definitely going to make things simpler when changing out sights. However, trying to make small adjustments are a little more difficult than I thought they would be. Its only because its hard to get a good look into the pusher to see exactly where you are at. So no biggie but I had to make an adjustment then take it out to see the progress and repeat. I think I can streamline the process once I get more comfortable with all the moving parts. Overall Im happy with the purchase and will be keeping it!

Hope that helps anyone on the fence considering buying one and thanks for the recommendation!
 

NYECOGunsmith

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#15
As soon as I hear back from Dustin at Real Avid, I will show you how to adjust the sight by whatever amount you choose.
I contacted Dustin (left a voice mail, he was out of the office) to find out what the thread pitch is on the magnum drive screw as it is called on the Real Avid Master Sight Pusher.

Once we know that, we can calculate how many turns move the sight how far.

That screw is listed as extra fine thread in their documentation, but no mention of the thread pitch or the number of threads per inch (TPI) .

But, for giggles, lets say it is a 40 TPI thread , it looks to be at least that many threads per inch.
A 40 TPI screw has a pitch of 1 divided by the TPI, so in this example, 1 divided by 40 yields a pitch of 0.025 inches.

That means, that for a nut installed on a screw possessing 40 TPI, on full revolution of the nut, or the screw, will move the nut or the screw 0,025" in a linear direction.

So, how does knowing the TPI help us? Well, if we know how much we need to shift a sight from left to right or right to left to obtain the POA/POI relationship we desire (Point of Aim, Point of Impact) and we know the TPI of the screw, we can move the sight pretty darn close with only one or two tries of the slide in the sight pusher.

How do you calculate how far to move the sight? Read on if you dare!

Iron Sight Correction Formula

Remember the acronym F.O.R.S. Front (Sight) Opposite, Rear (Sight) Same.
You move the front sight the opposite of the way you want the bullet to move, and /or you move the rear sight the same way you want the bullet to shift.
Here's how to calculate how much to move a sight, or to add to it or subtract from its height. I'm going to use a M! Garand as an example, because the numbers will be bigger and easier to visualize, but this works for handguns too.
We'll say the distance to the target is 100 yards (3,600 inches) and the bullet is hitting 9 inches to the right of the bullseye, which was our aiming point,

A = The distance from the rear sight to the front sight measured in inches. For an M1 Garand, this is 27.875 inches if my memory is correct.

B = The distance from the barrel of the rifle to the target in inches. Example: 100 yards is 3600 inches , 200 yards is 7200 inches, 300 yards is 10,800 inches, etc.

C = The CHANGE in drift required in the front (or rear) sight to change the elevation, or the windage. We'll go with windage here. The amount (answer) will be in hundredths of an inch in most cases. Sometimes thousandths of an inch!

D = The height ABOVE or BELOW, or LEFT OR RIGHT of the bull's-eye of the target that the bullet is off by, again stated in inches. And assuming of course that the bull's eye was your point of aim. 9 inches in our example here.


Actual Relationship

A is to B, as C is to D. Therefore, the formula is as follows:

A C
---- = ----
B D

Restated: A x D = B x C or C = (A x D) / B

So if we plug in your numbers, we get:

C = (27.875 X 9) / 3600 OR C= 250.875 / 3600, therefore,

C= 0.0696 inches which is the amount that you need to drift the rear sight by, to the left .

So, if our sight pusher has a 40 TPI thread, and we were using it to drift that M1 Garand's rear sight to the left (Remember F.O.R.S. Front Site Opposite, Rear Site Same) to get that bullet on target at 100 yards so that POA and POI coincide.

So, if our site pusher has a TPI of 40, that's a pitch of 0.025, so we divide the amount of correction , above it's 0.0696 inches by 0.025", we find that we need to make 2.78 revolutions of our screw to move the sight that 0.0696 inches.
 

NYECOGunsmith

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#16
UPDATE! JUST HEARD BACK FROM DUSTIN SANCHEZ of REAL AVID!

That screw has a pitch of 1 Millimeter (1 MM) they use a metric screw, and metric screws are stated in pitch, not TPI.

1 MM is equal to 0.03937 inches, so turning that screw one full revolution will move your sight 1 millimeter, or 0.03937 inches.

Do the calculation on how far you need to move the sight , divide that by 0.03937 and that will tell you how many full revolutions of the screw you need to make to move the sight. I'm betting it won't be many, one or two at most.

Or tell me what the site radius is on the pistol you want to adjust, and how far off the POA the POI is, in inches, and at what distance you were shooting at, in yards, and I will run the math for you.
 

NYECOGunsmith

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#17
More practical example.
5" 1911, with iron sights, we'll go with 5 inches of sight radius just to keep the numbers from getting too fiddly.
25 yards to the target (we're shooting Bullseye boys!) , using machine rest, POA to POI, POI is 3 inches to the right, but OK for elevation.

Restated: A x D = B x C or C = (A x D) / B

So if we plug in your numbers, we get:

C = (5 x 3) / 900 OR C= 15 / 900, therefore,

C= 0.0166 inches which is the amount that you need to drift the rear sight by to the left.
With a 1m pitch (equals 0.03937 inches) screw, we would divide 0.0166 inches by 0.03937 and get .4233 revolutions of the Real Avid Sight Pusher screw to move the sight 0.0166 inches to the left.
A bit under HALF a revolution in other words.

It would be pretty easy to stick a piece of tape on the side of the pusher, draw a line down the middle of the tape to use as a reference point, and put a dot of white paint back on the screw near that triangular shaped handle and sight along it to move it pretty darn close to just half a revolution I think.