Modify rear sight notch

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Modify rear sight notch Empty Modify rear sight notch

Post by Boxturtle on 3/24/2018, 11:39 am

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, 5:38 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by SteveT on 3/24/2018, 12:42 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 on 3/24/2018, 5:16 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 on 7/19/2019, 10:14 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 on 7/19/2019, 10:37 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 on 7/19/2019, 10:48 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 on 7/19/2019, 12:25 pm

A little bit of womping goes a long way.  Go slow.
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Post by SteveT on 7/19/2019, 1:05 pm

Safe Edge file and cold blue after to cover the bare metal.
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Post by STEVE SAMELAK on 7/19/2019, 1:23 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, 1:25 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : second random thought)
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Post by blindshooter on 7/19/2019, 8:39 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 on 7/20/2019, 11:06 am

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 on 7/20/2019, 4:17 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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