wide rear sight notch

Discussion in '1911 Gunsmithing' started by nmiller08, Feb 9, 2012.

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  1. nmiller08

    nmiller08 Active Member

    163
    Dec 11, 2011
    I discovered, when changing out rear sights, that the dovetail was cut wide in the slide resulting in quite a bit of space under the sight:

    P1030133.JPG

    The dovetail depth is fine, it's just that the wider cut width pushes the sight's dovetail up when you tighten the set screw. you can see the extra width:

    P1030141.JPG

    Anyway, wondering if anyone has had to correct this, I'm thinking of welding a small bead into the rear of the sight dovetail (on the sight, not the slide), then filing it down to fit. Worth the hassle? I'm just a little leery of a sight that has absolutely no friction fit to it and depends 100% on the set screw. Asking around hasn't yielded anyone who will cut a sight to custom dimensions.

    Thanks for ideas.
     
  2. cttbax

    cttbax Member

    82
    Jan 23, 2012
    What sights are those? From the shape it looks like heine....also what gun? My Ed Brown Kobra had the same issue with 10-8 style sites. I just cranked the screw down with some loctite and checked the tension everyonce in a while... But I know what you mean by depending just on the screw..that kinda sucks.

    FWIW, ended up sending my Kobra back to Ed Brown for his oversized sights to be fitted to my gun.
     

  3. Greg Derr

    Greg Derr Custom Pistolsmith Supporting Addict

    691
    Oct 3, 2011
    That would work. In the past I've made the fix by silver soldering in a piece if feeler Gage. IRS the slide have detent drilled for the set screw? You should have that too.
     
  4. nmiller08

    nmiller08 Active Member

    163
    Dec 11, 2011
    top sight is a 10-8, bottom is Novak combat style, unmarked. A Feeler gauge like the swiss-army knife style that has a bunch of different pieces of thin metal to check spacing? Did you just cut a piece off of the correct sized one to fit? A weld will be a lot more filing work than that would be, but I've never silver soldered, I'll have to look into it, thanks for the tip. There is no detent hole, but wouldn't that effectively fix the sight to one lateral position? doesn't seem like a problem but what if you switch sights and the set hole is slightly off? I guess I don't plan of changing if I can get the 10-8's to work, I like them so far.
     
  5. Greg Derr

    Greg Derr Custom Pistolsmith Supporting Addict

    691
    Oct 3, 2011
    Yes, I buy feeler gages just to cut them up for shim stock. I get many at machinist tool sales. The detent hole should be cut after zeroing, it adds a layer of security to the sight position. I don't view fixed sights as anything other than "fixed" If you have a torch you can braze silver solder, but practice first.
     
  6. nmiller08

    nmiller08 Active Member

    163
    Dec 11, 2011
    Thanks for the info Greg. As a point of curiosity (because I'm not equipped for or comfortable with drilling a detent), do you zero the sight and then mark the bottom of the set screw with chalk or something to leave a mark? Or do you just use an undersized bit and use a press to make the detent through the set screw hole with the sight still on the gun (and hopefully tightly friction set)? Basically, how do you locate the detent point?
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012
  7. Greg Derr

    Greg Derr Custom Pistolsmith Supporting Addict

    691
    Oct 3, 2011
    coat the bottom of the dovetail, when you have zero tighten the set screw it will leave a mark. Remove the sight make a shallow depth hole for the screw. I use a ball mill, but a drill bit would work.
     
  8. Bender

    Bender Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Aug 15, 2011
    Darn great tip,.......feeler gauges as shim stock!
    Flippin genious!
     
  9. bjg-1911

    bjg-1911 Member

    34
    Oct 13, 2011
    Personally I have access to a laser welder where I can add metal to the front of the horizontal dovetail and refile to fit to to bring the sight down. However, the quick down and dirty way would be to use a heavy screw driver and move the back of the dovetail cut on the slide down with some firm hits with a hammer. Or you can turn the sight upside down and place and brace it in a vise and hit the flat of the rear dovetail in the center equally spaced from left to right moving the center up to move the sight down in the dovetail. Either way it isn't visible from the side.
    Barry
     
  10. nmiller08

    nmiller08 Active Member

    163
    Dec 11, 2011
    Thanks, I ended up using bjg's quick and dirty method on the rear of the sight and it worked great. Will post pics later. My welder friend said it would be hard not to fill the acute angle of the sight dovetail, which would then require a lot of careful filing to keep the underside flat and re-establish the angle. So I used the hammer method instead :)
     
  11. Joe C

    Joe C Custom Pistolsmith

    Sep 11, 2011
    Surprised you couldn't find someone to make a custom rear sight...I have made several for guys over the years and there are a couple of smiths on here that could probably do it for you also if you asked super nice like. ;-) Greg's solution of silver soldering on a feeler gauge is a good one that has been around for years, I would solder it to the sight myself. Modify the cheapest part first and make sure it is a carbon steel feeler gauge so you can blast and blue it. But hammering down the dovetail will work. Personally, I don't care for the detent idea...what happens if you change ammo and your POI changes? Then you have a detent in your slide in the wrong place. Just some thoughts anyways.

    Me, I'm like Barry, with access to a laser welder now things just get simpler.
     
  12. nmiller08

    nmiller08 Active Member

    163
    Dec 11, 2011
    To be fair, I guess I was probably asking the wrong people; large sightmakers rather than smaller scale smiths. If I have another need I'll remember who to ask nicely! I did not opt for the detent, I didn't want the (semi) permanence of it given small differences in sights if changed (or ammo as you point out) even though I agree with greg generally regarding fixed sights.
     
  13. nmiller08

    nmiller08 Active Member

    163
    Dec 11, 2011
    P1030189.JPG

    Meant to post this awhile ago. You can see where the back of the sight got raised and contacts the dovetail mid height. This brings the sight down and now it sits flush on the slide and in the bottom of the dovetail.
     

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