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M1 Carbine front sight

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by Henry Bowman, Nov 18, 2005.

  1. Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman Senior Member

    I have an M1 Carbine that is a shooter (non-collectable quality, but not a Universal). The front sight is rotated slightly off center and it looks to have been put on with J-B Weld or some such. I have heard that you can apply heat to that stuff and loosen it, but I hesitate to put a torch to it for fear of screwing up the barrel.

    Any suggestions on how I can remove the front sight and re-install it properly centered? :confused:
  2. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    You should be able to apply a moderate amount of heat without hurting the barrel. Does the gun have the GI type sight ring surrounding the barrel, or is the sight just stuck on?

    The GI type is put on with a key; removal requires driving out a cross-pin, then pulling or driving the sight band off the barrel. The only way a GI sight can be rotated off center is if the barrel is not lined up. If that is the case, I recommend taking it to a gunsmith, as barrel misalignment can affect headspace as well as the functioning of the operating slide.

  3. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Well-Known Member

    I have a front sight ramp JB welded to a .22 rifle barrel in 1991.
    It seems to hold well.

    The epoxy bond can be broken down by heating sights
    or scope bases with a candle flame: that's hotter than most
    gun barrels get normally from gunfire but not hot enough to
    damage steel.

    The M1 sight encircles the barrel, a flat key fits a slot in
    the sight and a groove in the barrel, and a pin then goes
    through the front sight and key. If an M1 sight has been
    epoxied to the barrel, the key and pin may be obscured.
    Of course, it may have been epoxied because the key
    or pin or both were lost. I would study a parts diagram
    before attempting to remove the sight.

    I have a M1 carbine that was re-headspaced, resulting
    in the barrel screwed in to where the front sight is
    canted just enough to be annoying.
  4. Sunray

    Sunray Well-Known Member

    Which carbine is it? It matters. You might be able to get a proper sight that is pinned on.
    J-B Weld is just two part epoxy. Epoxy loosens with heat. A barrel requires a lot more heat to damage the steel than getting epoxy off does. A regular propane torch will do nicely. About a minute or so of heat will do. Once it's off, clean off the rest of the epoxy and silver solder the sight back on. Same torch, but you'll have to remove any metal finish first. Or install the proper sight.
  5. Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman Senior Member

    Thanks, folks! I appreciate the information and advice. I will check it out carefully before doing anything to it. My guess it that it is no longer pinned -- otherwise, why would it have the epoxy and be crooked?

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