Dallas area Gunsmith for XD Sight Install?


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MedicMan218
July 2, 2010, 06:35 AM
I've made a few calls and it seems that noone wants to touch an XD for a sight install due to them being particularly fickle.
I can send the slide to Springer Precision but would rather spend my money locally.
Any ideas on a reputable, quality gunsmith that could help me out?

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jmr40
July 2, 2010, 07:26 AM
I had an XD briefly and my local smith tried to replace the sights for me. The fit between the sights and dovetail in the slide is so tight he was never able top remove the factory sights. Because of this and other minor issues I just sold the gun and moved on.

Based on my experiences, and what I've read, if you want the sights changed, or any other work done you must return the gun to SA. They won't sell any parts, forcing you to return the gun for even minor repairs.

Chemist
July 2, 2010, 12:35 PM
Call B and S guns in Garland off I-30.
http://www.bsgunstore.com/store/


Or call Mclelland in Mesquite.
http://www.mcclellandgun.com/

MedicMan218
July 2, 2010, 12:50 PM
Thanks Chemist for keeping it on topic and for the good info!

MedicMan218
July 2, 2010, 01:23 PM
B & S wont do it either. Said the kept breaking peoples night sights during the installation process and it just got to be not worth it.
They also said the best thing to do would be to just send it back to Springfield and get it done right and that I'd be hard pressed to find someone around here that could do it worth a crap without messing up either the sights or the slide.

McClelland said hed do it but it'd be 60 bucks.

youngda9
July 2, 2010, 02:23 PM
You need a brass punch, a vice, and a hammer. That's all.

Chemist
July 2, 2010, 02:48 PM
FWIW, I've found both shops to be good.

B and S will tell you like it is.

Mclelland will do the work to a VERY high standard.

Just my experience.

Sounds like you are gonna either spend money at the shop or in sending the firearm back to Springfield.

basicblur
July 2, 2010, 03:13 PM
If you do end up sending it off (I did), might want to check out this post (http://www.thehighroad.us/showthread.php?p=5269623#post5269623)?
I sent mine to XD-HS2000.com and was pleased with the results.

Superlite27
July 2, 2010, 04:16 PM
You need a brass punch, a vice, and a hammer. That's all.

Nope. Add a very fine file and some heavyduty Loc-tite.

I took my spankin' new XDm40 and ordered some Dawson adjustable tritiums from Springer Precision (BTW: Springer = good company)

After running the gamut on gunsmiths who didn't want to mess with XD's, I got fed up and asked myself, "Could it really be that much of a pain?".

Answer: Nope.

Like you said youngda9: All you need is.....1)a brass punch that fits inside the sight groove. 2) A phone book 3)one of those padded "grip" bar clamps. 4) a small/medium ball peen hammer. 5) A very fine thread file (or "triangle file" as some folks) 6) red loc-tite.

1) MAKE SURE FIREARM IS UNLOADED

2) Leave the firearm assembled so as to not warp the slide when clamping.

3) Place the phone book along the edge of a heavy duty work bench.

4)Clamp the slide firmly to the phone book LEFT SIDE UP (make sure the pads of the clamp are rubber/padded so as to not mar the finish)

5) Use brass punch to carefully drive out old sights left to right. (I used several light taps and incrementally increased force untill....THEY MOVED!) REMEMBER: drive them left to right.

6) Once out: TURN THE FIREARM OVER so that it is laying RIGHT SIDE UP. Install the new sights right to left.

To be honest, they are put in quite solidly as everyone has said, although I didn't find them impossible to remove. Merely "difficult". The problem will be in trying to install the new sights as solidly as the old. I wouldn't attempt to do this. I simply installed mine solidly, not TIGHTER THAN THE HUBS OF HELL.

7) To install new sights, attempt to slide them in from right to left. Chances are they will not fit. They are new! Take the fine thread file and lightly (and I mean lightly) chamfer the leading (left side) edges of the new sights and try to start them. Keep lightly filing the male dovetail of the sights until you can get them to slide into the groove about a third of the way before they start to "bind" (You don't want them too tight so that you need to POUND THE CRAP out of them to get them in, yet you don't want them too loose so as to fall out.) Therefore, you want to file them in tiny increments until it takes effort to slide them in, but they start "binding" about 1/2 way in. When you reach this point:

7) Take them back out, put a light coat of red threadlocker on them.

8) Use the brass punch to tap them until they are centered. They should be very firm to tap, but not IMPOSSIBLY TIGHT. If you find they are stopping before they are centered GOOD! This means you have not already taken too much off! (This is why you lightly file. You can ALWAYS file more off. You can NEVER file more back on.) If they come to a difficult stop before centered, drive them back out and file just a teensy bit more, add more threadlocker and try again until they come to a stop or are difficult to move further when centered. REMEMBER: tiny increments. Once you file too much.....your really expensive tritium sights are toast. Once you strike too hard...same thing. Make sure your filing angle isn't too "steep". You should just barely be rubbing the file along the flat of the male dovetail a few times between test "fits" by hand. Once you get it to push very firmly 1/2 way through by hand, it should get firmer and require the brass punch to "set" in the centered position.

All in all, I don't see why gunsmiths refuse to touch them. I have had no problems with mine since I installed them. It was a very tedious process, but not "difficult".

If anyone else has anything to add, I'd appreciate any tips or tricks I may have missed as this was my first attempt doing XD sights.

aerod1
July 2, 2010, 06:48 PM
BTW, McClelland's is in Dallas on Centerville. They have always done good work for me.

Detritus
July 2, 2010, 10:30 PM
I don't see why gunsmiths refuse to touch them

As somone who has both, had the sights on an XD changed out and, been looking deeply into becoming a gunsmith, I'll add my thought on this.

I can very much understand why many 'smiths would decline this work. compared to most other, similar platforms, a sight change on an XD is considerably more labor intensive. AND since a good number of those wanting a sight upgrade will want to upgrade to night sights, the likelihood of damage to the sights themselves goes up at an alarming rate for each time you tap them on and off of the slide.

this is very much a "$20-30 job" that can cost a gunsmith "$100 worth of time" and even more if they wind up breaking a night sight.
At a certain point it no longer makes sense to keep doing a, comparatively uncommon, job that is not cost effective for the time and work put into it.

would I personally be willing to do the job, if i were a 'smith? Probably, but I would charge more for the job since it IS more time, labor, and care intensive than most other similar tasks.

mnrivrat
July 3, 2010, 01:41 AM
You need a brass punch, a vice, and a hammer. That's all.


Sorry - Wrong !! That is exactly why the smiths don't want to touch them because this "traditional" method of moving sights does not work well on the XD's ,as well as some other auto's. Their sights are fit too tightly in the dovetail to safely use this method. (causing sight damage when attempted)

Find a Smith that has a specialized sight tool to deal with this issue. The special sight tool clamps the slide into the tool and has a pusher on a threaded rod to apply the pressure needed to move these sights. Simply ask at the place you go whether they have the special sight adjustment tool required to move the XD sight. They are not cheap - a dedicated XD sight tool is about $100 in cost.

basicblur
July 3, 2010, 03:21 AM
Simply ask at the place you go whether they have the special sight adjustment tool required to move the XD sight. They are not cheap - a dedicated XD sight tool is about $100 in cost.
If he checked the link in my previous post, he'll discover the problem that can arise when using one o' those 'universal' sight pushers on the 50% or so XD sights that are a bear to remove.

Got a relative that's a gunsmith-he let me use his SIG sight pusher on my P229R, but I wouldn't chance it with my XD for the reasons stated in the earlier link.
One of the universal tools might be OK for installing the new sights, but you're taking a chance on trying to remove the stock sights using one.

Trijicon also does not warrant their night sights if you install with a hammer and punch, due to possible breakage.
I also gotta wonder 'bout putting Loctite on a sight? :what:

To the OP-check out this post (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=6381468#post6381468) and download the SIG Sight Pusher manual. Some good info in it, and the SIG Sight Pusher fits the XD.

mnrivrat
July 3, 2010, 04:20 AM
If he checked the link in my previous post, he'll discover the problem that can arise when using one o' those 'universal' sight pushers on the 50% or so XD sights that are a bear to remove.

As I said there are ones that are "dedicated" to the XD and therefore have a custom fit to the XD slide. The universal tools if used properly are certainly a step up from the old hammer and drift method, and if used properly they can generaly get the job done. The key is in the set-up and making sure the slide is properly gripped. It is easier to assure that with the dedicated tool and they are about $100 while the universal ones are about $150 which makes them more appealing as they can work on a selection of slides rather than just one gun.

I'm not a fan of the super tight sights - I tend to think the ones that have a locking set screw are a better choice. But then that's just my 2 cents worth.

basicblur
July 3, 2010, 08:59 AM
As I said there are ones that are "dedicated" to the XD and therefore have a custom fit to the XD slide.
Got a link to one of those? The only ones I've run across were either pretty wimpy looking ('specially as tough as some XD sight removal can be) or the slide was wedged in-not installed on rails as the SIG sight pusher.

I've heard of folks breaking sight pushers trying to remove XD sights-I'm guessing they were using some of the wimpy looking tools I've seen.
I'd also be a bit leery of one that holds by clamping against the sides of the rail-again, due to how tight some OEM XD sights can be.

Hard to believe I would haven broken my relative's SIG sight pusher, but for $28 I just let the folks at XD-HS2000 take care of it.

Iff'n I'd had a second spacer as comes with the SIG tool in order to raise the XD slide a bit, I'd probably have taken a stab at it just to see how tight they were.
The sights on my P229R were pretty darn snug, but from 'Net chatter, I'm assuming XD sights are tighter than SIGs?

Chemist
July 3, 2010, 11:24 AM
Mclelland is in the area where Mesquite, Garland and Dallas blur together. The mailing address is in Dallas.

(Kinda like El Paso is in Texas.)

mnrivrat
July 3, 2010, 04:48 PM
Got a link to one of those?

www.mgwltd.com/firearms/shtml should get you there . Their tools are marketed through distributors such as Brownell's .

PS =- Link not working for some reason ? Try just googling MGW sight Tool and you should find it.

onetime
July 4, 2010, 10:18 AM
http://www.advancedgunworks.com/

catmath 1911
July 4, 2010, 10:44 AM
I can vouch for James at XD-HS2000.com, Sent the slide USPS Priority to him, he had it back in the mail within 24 hours with a flawless install.

Harley Rider 55
July 4, 2010, 03:30 PM
onetime - I agree about AGW

CaliCoastie
July 5, 2010, 09:40 AM
had a smith refinish a marlin lever gun the other day and got talking about getting my xd sights changed as i couldnt move them with a punch and hammer. he had just came back from a 3 week class and he said they had three of the xd sight pushers broken in a box there. he said to just send it to springfield armory and they will just remove them for free.

Bo
July 6, 2010, 09:03 AM
I have 2 XD's and have replaced 3 sets of sights on them. I used the same method as Superlite27. I don't think it matters which way you push the sight from as the dovetail is cut the same all the way across. I hammered my out from right to left and installed them left to right.
If you're not going to reuse the old sights, you can use a steel punch to remove them. After ruining 3 brass punches, I resorted to a steel punch. Just make sure you use a brass punch for installation.
As for fitting, I used a fine flat file. Laid it on the work bench and ran the sight back and forth with my hand. About 10 strokes and try refitting.
Like Superlite27 said, when it goes in about 1/2 way, Loctite it and set it in place.
I've installed XS Big Dots and Novak Tritium Sights this way with no problem.

youngda9
July 6, 2010, 10:36 AM
I had no idea that the XD sight system dovetail was so different from a standard sight replacement procedure. It's a shame they made the gun that way that it takes a smith to change sights.

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