Springfield XD front sight removal?


July 29, 2006, 09:38 AM
I'm trying to remove the XD front sight to put on one of those fiber optic "firesights". Found a perfect sized replacement from Dawson Precision that even came with a small aluminum "drift". So far the original front sight won't budge :(
Before I try heat and a bigger hammer, is there a trick I need to know?

I see a blind hole on the underside of the side below the front sight, is there some kind of pin in there? If so, how to remove?


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July 29, 2006, 10:05 AM
Everyone I've heard from who's tried to change an XD's sights has said pretty much the same thing: "Take it to a gunsmith."

From what I've read they're mounted with some kind of industrial-grade heavy duty press, and they're just not going to slide out without a lot of work, or a specially-modified tool.

Sorry about that.

July 29, 2006, 11:48 AM
They only come out in one direction. Can't recall offhand which way.

Freezing the slide may contract the steel a bit, but I think you would be ahead to take it to an experienced gunsmith.

July 29, 2006, 12:57 PM
Keep this in mind... What you do with a hammer cannot be un-done.

Take it to a gunsmith.

July 29, 2006, 01:38 PM
Take it to a gunsmith.

Nonsense, where's the fun in that! What's he's got that I don't other than perhaps the experience of having done it before.

If it needs to be pressed out I can arrange that, I just need to *know* there is no blind pin in there before I jack up the force applied via press or hammer. I've replaced lots of sights and know when the force required seems excessive, its time to step back and analyize why.

I'm trying to remember where I put the manual for the exploded parts diagram.


Edit: Found the manual. Slide parts diagram doesn't show any sight retaining pin.

July 29, 2006, 04:49 PM


For these old eyes these fiber optic insert "firesights" rock!

FYI, heat didn't budge it, got it hot enough to melt plumber's solder on the blade, which has always in the the past been enough to let the most permanent Loctite come loose.

Didn't want to mess with rigging up a fixture to use a hydraulic press (which I don't have here) I just cut the sight in half along the dovetail and knocked the pieces out. New one slipped right in with the usual amount of fitting and a drop of Loctite. The hole didn't have a blind pin, its a thru hole presumably for alignment when they set it in the press that installed the sights. The way these are made they might as well have machined it into the slide an not pretended its a dovetailed sight.

So if you don't have better than average tools and mechanical skills, definitely leave this to a real gunsmith.

Sorry I didn't maintain good sight alignment when aiming thru the camera :) but it shows how well these work and why I wanted one on now! Too bad the camera insisted on focusing on the rear sight.

Now all its gotta do is quit raining so I can go to the range tomorrow.


July 29, 2006, 06:00 PM
Fine job sir,

I wish that I had found this thread earlier, as I have done this job on my own XD.

I am glad that I am not the only one who thinks this:
Nonsense, where's the fun in that! What's he's got that I don't other than perhaps the experience of having done it before.

January 7, 2007, 02:50 PM
Finally got around to putitng the Dawson Precision fiber optic front on my XD45 Tactical. After the difficulties with the XD9 Tactical I had a couple of virgin 1/8" end mills on hand and was prepared for the worst.

Didn't need to do anything special this time, factory sight drifted right out (from right side to left). Took a bit more force to drift than did my Kimber or my new RIA Tactical, but nothing I'd deem excessive. Maybe it was the Kroil penetrating oil I put on it a few weeks ago (while it sat in the safe over the holidays) or Springfield realized they were doing everyone a dis-service by having them installed impossibly tight.

Five years ago I thought Fiber Optic sights were a useless gimmick, now they are pretty much a necessitity for these old eyes and work almost as good for me as a red dot optic. They are slowly finding their way to every gun I shoot more than a couple of times a year.


January 7, 2007, 04:12 PM
Thanks for the update Wally, I'm going to order a set of the Tritium FO sights for my 9mm Tactical on Monday. I'll even try to put them in myself, rmembering to soak in oil first, the cut in 1/2 if that doesn't work.

May 4, 2007, 02:05 AM
I have changed two front sights to fiber optics and a sight tool won't do it, I had to hammer them out with a punch and file some on the base of the new sight to get it to go in without excessive force. The sight should come out from right to left looking from the rear of the slide and left to right on installing the new/

The obviously used a powerful press that fit the front sight to install the front sight. I haven't tried the rear yet but I am expecting it to be just as difficult.


May 4, 2007, 09:36 AM
yeah they are a definite pain in the arse from what i heard, i just had sa oput them in while my gun was back there.

October 17, 2007, 12:14 PM
Removed. Not on topic and not at THR standard.

Had been previously warned on another matter similar to this one.

Permanently banned.

October 17, 2007, 01:01 PM

October 17, 2007, 01:14 PM
Is October bring old threads back from the dead month on THR?

I'd like to say its good people use the search, and am glad my post helped someone and appreciate the feedback, but the XD vs. 1911 rant is counter-productive at best.

For another data point, last time I renewed my CHL, while shooting the qualifier the lady next to me was using an XD (9 or 40 I don't recall) and it was a jam-o-matic -- she had a stoppage at every stage. My Kimber Ultra Carry never bobbled.

No maker is 100% and some people can screw up anything. Evolution proves trying to make things foolproof is doomed to fail because natural selection just breeds a better fool :)


October 17, 2007, 01:19 PM
On my XD 45 Tactical, I had to dremel the sights in half as well. I was pounding that sucker so hard, sparks were flying around. You'd need the Hammer of Thor, man. After cutting it, the new Heinie sights went in nicely.

I've read and heard from my gunsmith that XD sights are 50/50. Some are in tight like ours, some simply drift out w/ a punch normally. Dunno why there's a difference, tho'....

October 17, 2007, 03:27 PM
Not needed and the quote reposted the deleted one.

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