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HK and Sig sight pushers

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by tl, Mar 10, 2003.

  1. tl

    tl Active Member

    Looking at pictures of both the SIG and HK sight pusher tools, they appear to be similar in style and design. I'm never done any gunsmithing work, but as an owner of a SIG 226 and an HK USP 45c, could one of these tools from either company be used on both firearms?
  2. larryw

    larryw Well-Known Member

    Probably, but why go that route when the generic one from Browells will do the job on both guns for a lot less money? Trust me, I've swapped sights on USPs (full size and compact, combat and target sights), P7 and a 226 as well as a P99, M40, couple 1911s, Beretta and a big ol' ugly thing that my brother in law shoots from time to time with mine.

    Then I got smart and started using a brass punch. ;)
  3. tl

    tl Active Member

    I looked at Brownells, and see the Williams sight pusher they carry is about 1/3 the cost of the SIG or HK version, in what appears to be a similar style. Yours is not the first brass punch recommendation I've seen, but my assumption is that the sight pushers, well, 'push' the sight rather than 'hammer' it for slower, more incremental control; or is that just a matter of experience (of which I have none)? Also, my HK has night sights; does that change your recommendation?
  4. I would use a sight pusher with the night sights. You can get away with the punch and hammer somtimes, but sometimes you don't.
    I have one of the PI Semi Auto sight pushers (pg 246 Brownells catalog) and it works well with most semi autos.
    Good Shooting, John K
  5. larryw

    larryw Well-Known Member

    Most of the sights I've pushed were night sights; no problem there (if it breaks during installation, guess what will happen when the slide hammers back and forth a few thousand times. :) ).

    Problem with the pusher is a lack of feel; the threads are too coarse to really provide fine adjustment. I now use the pusher to get it close, but find the punch and hammer to be a better solution for me.

    The trick to installing sights is properly fitting them in the dovetail before you drive them home. Don't try to just beat the sight in; you'll eventually be able to do it, but you'll damage the sight and will probably lock the sight in the slide requiring a trip to the machine shop to mill it out (been there, done that).

    Get some 600 and 1200 grit wet/dry sandpaper or emery cloth and a flat surface (glass works, but I use a primer flip tray top that I verified was perfectly flat). A vise with padded jaws is nice to have but not necessary: I've used a phone book and hung the end of the slide off the edge while I tapped the sights out/in; an extra set of hands is useful here.

    So, remove the slide, lock it in the vise and drive the sights out by gently tapping with a nylon punch ("gently" is a relative term; it is better to gently tap with a bigger hammer than pound with a small hammer). General rule is to remove from left to right with muzzle pointing away. Install right to left.

    Clean the dovetails.

    Now, slide the new sight into the dovetail. If it slides in 1/3 of the way before it gets tight, you're in luck and can just tap it home with the punch. But that's not the case more often than not as the manufacturers make the sights large to fit old, worn dovetails. So you'll need to fit it by removing material from the sight. Do not remove material from the slide: new sights are cheap compared to a slide if you go too far.

    When fitting a dovetail sight, I sand the sight at the base of the dovetail, not the dovetail itself. A couple drops of oil on the sandpaper, a few good strokes, wipe the sight off, try to fit. Repeat until you are able to slide the sight in 1/3 of the way.

    When you're there, just tap the sight to the approximate center of the slide. If it binds, stop, remove and fit some more. Then its off to the range to adjust. When adjusting POI to POA, remember to move the rear sight in the direction you want to bullet to hit.

    And I'm not a gunsmith, I only play one on the internet.
  6. tl

    tl Active Member

    Thanks for the information; it helped clarify things for me.

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