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Modify rear sight notch

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james r chapman
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Modify rear sight notch Empty Modify rear sight notch

Post by Boxturtle 3/24/2018, 12:39 pm

Hello Folks,

My new gun is very nice, but the rear sight notch is not wide enough for me.  How would you go about cutting the notch a bit wider?  I hope to do this without removing the sight from the slide.  Is it feasible?

Thanks, Tom


Last edited by Boxturtle on 3/24/2018, 6:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by SteveT 3/24/2018, 1:42 pm

I've done it with a mini-file with a safe edge, followed by cold-blueing. It isn't perfect, but with care can be pretty good. File at a slight angle so the gap is a little wider on the front side so there is a good clean edge on the back side.
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Post by Ed Hall 3/24/2018, 6:16 pm

What Steve wrote!  That's what I do.  You might set up a guide, if you can, to help make the new cut cleaner.  You might even just do one side instead of both.

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Post by mspingeld 7/19/2019, 11:14 am

Any recommendations for a file? Do you follow up with a stone? Do you need to repair the finish? With what?

Thanks,

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Post by Ed Hall 7/19/2019, 11:37 am

mspingeld wrote:Any recommendations for a file? Do you follow up with a stone? Do you need to repair the finish? With what?

Thanks,
I use a "safe edge" file and keep the original angles as much as possible.  (Personally, I have a Kart East-Fit file that I use.)  The front of the opening should be slightly wider than the back, so that you see a clean edge instead of the inside of the notch.  You really need to be careful not to tip the file.  If possible, you might want to find a way to clamp a guide for the file.  I don't bother with any finishing stone.

I prefer 44/40 bluing solution to touch up the sight after the work.

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Post by john bickar 7/19/2019, 11:48 am

Remember that you're adjusting a piece of equipment that you use to "eyeball" at arm's length, so there's not really a need to get 0.001" precision.

I usually "womp out" the rear sight on guns that don't have adjustable notches.

"Womp out" being a highly technical term.
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Post by Jack H 7/19/2019, 1:25 pm

A little bit of womping goes a long way.  Go slow.
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Post by SteveT 7/19/2019, 2:05 pm

Safe Edge file and cold blue after to cover the bare metal.
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Post by STEVE SAMELAK 7/19/2019, 2:23 pm

Ed Hall wrote:What Steve wrote!  That's what I do.  You might set up a guide, if you can, to help make the new cut cleaner.  You might even just do one side instead of both.

So if you're going to do just one side do you file opposite the direction you'd like to move?
It seems to me if I just file the left side of the notch that my group will move left.  Like a click per thou filed????

Naah I got it backwards


Last edited by STEVE SAMELAK on 7/19/2019, 2:25 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : second random thought)
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Post by blindshooter 7/19/2019, 9:39 pm

I've opened nearly every one I have to some degree. If the notch is too narrow I find myself "working" too much on perfecting sight alignment. Its ok for a few shots but soon my eyes tire and groups open up. I too use a small file safed  on one side.
I was told a long time ago when I first started with service rifle that to stare too long will make your shot go wrong. I did much better accepting the first good sight picture and let it go.

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Post by Ed Hall 7/20/2019, 12:06 pm

STEVE SAMELAK wrote:
Ed Hall wrote:What Steve wrote!  That's what I do.  You might set up a guide, if you can, to help make the new cut cleaner.  You might even just do one side instead of both.

So if you're going to do just one side do you file opposite the direction you'd like to move?
It seems to me if I just file the left side of the notch that my group will move left.  Like a click per thou filed????

Naah I got it backwards
Correct the first time.  Removing some from the left will cause you to move the sight (back of firearm) to the right and the shot will print to the left.

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Post by inthebeech 7/20/2019, 5:17 pm

The safe edge file you're looking for is called a Pillar file.  I would buy a swiss pattern pillar, four inches and anything from 0 to 4 coarseness.  Go a little at a time, shooting a bunch in between.  I went too far (.156 inch) and had to buy a replacement rear.  finally settled on a .135 inch wide rear notch to go with an unmodified .125 front.
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Post by SingleActionAndrew 2/2/2023, 7:34 pm

Could anyone please provide a specific model safe edge file to order? The inside of my rear sight is only 0.11" wide and most files seem to be 0.2"+
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Post by RADJAG 2/2/2023, 8:00 pm

I ran a search on Amazon for "Pillar File" and then looked for a 4":-

https://www.amazon.com/Nicholson-Pillar-Pattern-Rectangular-Coarseness/dp/B001T4FGSW/ref=sr_1_2?crid=1OIQPR1M8PFOE&keywords=pillar+file&qid=1675385491&sprefix=pillar+file%2Caps%2C379&sr=8-2

Frankly, I think that buying one of these is overkill - there are lots of quite decent sets of needle or swiss files that include small safe edge flat files that will do the job very well for much less money - and you then get a variety of files for other jobs too. Like this:-

https://www.amazon.com/Hardened-Strength-Barrette-Crossing-Equaling/dp/B07PPYWSCY/ref=sr_1_5?crid=1OHRVEOAX3QOG&keywords=needle+file+set&qid=1675385786&sprefix=needle+file+se%2Caps%2C470&sr=8-5

But, no doubt, someone will immediately comment that good tools are worth the extra money, etc. OK, fair enough, whatever floats your boat!

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Post by SingleActionAndrew 2/2/2023, 10:46 pm

@RADJAG thank you but case in point the first file you link has a width 0.2"+ too great for my sight notch and the 2nd set says 3mm/0.118" which again is too wide to fit within my sight
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Post by RADJAG 2/3/2023, 12:16 am

OK sorry. Did not check the width. That is a very narrow notch. I have many sets of needle files and each set contains at least one file narrower than your notch. Buy a cheap set off Amazon, try it, if no good return it.

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Post by Jack H 2/3/2023, 1:30 am

A flat needle file might be what you want.  They are usually thin.  If there is no smoothe edge, you can grind the edge off.  Keep it square to the flat for a good square cut.  Use a fine grit grind stone
Look for X-acto via google

I think I remembered now what you really need is an AUGER FILE


Last edited by Jack H on 2/3/2023, 1:55 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by john bickar 2/3/2023, 1:39 am

RADJAG wrote:OK sorry. Did not check the width. That is a very narrow notch. I have many sets of needle files and each set contains at least one file narrower than your notch. Buy a cheap set off Amazon, try it, if no good return it.

Did you forget your password yet again?

How many accounts are you going to make?

I'd deport you if I could.
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Post by RADJAG 2/3/2023, 1:47 am

JB. You can't deport me because I'm not in USA at present!

I have only ever had two accounts. There was a glitch in the system and I could not load photos with RADJAG. The simplest solution at the time was to create a new account in my full name. Then, recently, I discovered that RADJAG works OK again, so I switched back.

So now you know.

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Post by Jack H 2/3/2023, 2:00 am

And if possible file at a slight angle so the front of the notch is a bit wider than the rear (eye side)
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Post by john bickar 2/3/2023, 2:02 am

RADJAG wrote:JB. You can't deport me because I'm not in USA at present!

I have only ever had two accounts. There was a glitch in the system and I could not load photos with RADJAG. The simplest solution at the time was to create a new account in my full name. Then, recently, I discovered that RADJAG works OK again, so I switched back.

So now you know.

Three usernames, my across-the-pond friend. This one is quite new.

As a Distinguished Pistol Shot friend tells me on a weekly basis, "get your sh*t together".
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Post by RADJAG 2/3/2023, 2:54 am

JB, I guess that I should feel flattered that both you and Dave Foreman noticed my "double identity" and you both "showed me the love"!

TWO identities! The reason that RADJAG appears to be brand new is that, in order to reset things so that the username works properly, I deleted that account completely and then started again. So, yes, correct, I have in fact registered on the forum three times in total. Hope that this is sufficient S~~~ gathering for you!
Modify rear sight notch 1960973398

P.S. Only about another 3 weeks left before I leave paradise and return to USA. Then you can deport me!

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Post by john bickar 2/3/2023, 3:16 am

RADJAG wrote:Only about another 3 weeks left before I leave paradise and return to USA. Then you can deport me!

I have CBP/INS on my speed dial for you, specifically.

See you in Ohio, my friend, if I don't see you in Phoenix first.
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Post by james r chapman 2/3/2023, 6:16 am

GAJDAR is also available!

Smile
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Post by james r chapman 2/3/2023, 6:20 am

Modify rear sight notch 43346010
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