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Question about replacing SA 1911 adjustable sights.

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by CPshooter, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. CPshooter

    CPshooter Well-Known Member

    Hi everyone,

    I posted this in the Autoloaders forum as well, but I am not getting any responses and really need an answer as soon as possible! I'm hoping someone around here can help a brother out!

    I just got my Harrison fixed rear in to replace the stock LPA adjustables on my Range Officer, but I have a slight problem. I don't know which direction to drift them out!!! Been searching for a while now and still can't find anything. Not even a youtube video! Also, are there any hidden set screws on the stock LPA sight? I read somewhere that Bomars have a set screw that is hidden, so you need to remember to remove it before trying to drift the sights out. Is it the same situation with the LPA sight or do I simply have to push them out?

  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Sights are traditionally drifted out left to right, and in right to left.
    However anymore, some manufactures are not following tradition.
    If I was doing it, I would go left to right.

    As far a set screw?
    I don't know.

    Screw the elevation adjustment screw all the way out and flip the sight up and look under it.
    If there is one, thats where it has to be.

    Don't loose the little spring or springs.

  3. BBBBill

    BBBBill Well-Known Member

    Honestly, just how many manufacturers actually cut tapered dovetails anymore? Unless someone had created a magical tapered dovetail cutter, the process would require two additional steps in manufacturing. After the initial cut, the slide would have to be slightly repositioned via shifting to another setup position in the machining center in order to remove the additional material to create the taper. More time, more money, more headaches. And what good is it? Drift it one way and the sight is loose/falls out. Drifted the other way and you either cannot get it to where it needs to go or you start moving metal that doesn't want/need to be moved. Tapered dovetails are (and always were IMO) a bad idea. Rant off.....
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Nobody said anything about tapered dovetails.

    If the sight is tight in a straight dovetail as it should be?
    You want to drive it back out the opposite way it was driven in to prevent fighting the tightness all the way through to the other side.

    I have removed sights that were so tight there was a rolled up edge on the sight dovetail where it stopped in the side dovetail. Or galled to the dovetail where it stopped.

    No use fighting that all the way through to the other side if you don't have too.

  5. CPshooter

    CPshooter Well-Known Member

    Okay, so I found this thread on 1911forum.com:

    Looks like he pushed the old sight out to the left and inserted the new one from left to right. This is the opposite of what I'm used to with my other handguns. Not sure if this guy did it correctly or not. Ugh.. it's pretty amazing that I still don't have a solid answer on this one. Even with the power of the internet and Google, nothing to confirm either way.

    Looks like I'll just have to give Springfield Armory a call and see if I can get an armorer on the phone.
  6. CPshooter

    CPshooter Well-Known Member

    Darn it! They are closed for "scheduled system updates" and will resume their customer service hotline on Monday. Can't catch a break here!
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Use a maggot frying glass and look carefully at both sides of the sight dovetails visible outside the slide dovetail.

    It's possible there will be visible finish wear on the end they pushed all the way through the slide from one side to the other.

    If so, it comes out the other way, toward the end with no finish wear on it.

  8. CPshooter

    CPshooter Well-Known Member

    From the man himself:

    Problem solved!
  9. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Well, that certainly wouldn't be how I would ruin a sight by hand.

    Filing evenly off the bottom will drop the whole sight evenly in the dovetail without even messing with the perfectly straight dovetail cut on the rear of the sight.

    But whatever.

    If the President of Harrison Design and Consulting said it?
    It must be true!

  10. Jolly Rogers

    Jolly Rogers Well-Known Member

    The design of the sight has a flat that abuts a flat on the top of the slide. If the flats are too close the bottom of the dovetail on the sight cannot change the fit of the width of the dovetail. The mod you suggest has to have the ability to drop the whole sight down to effect a thinner dovetail. Not possible here. A properly dressed triangular file with a safe flat removes a chance of angle change to the dovetail.
  11. CPshooter

    CPshooter Well-Known Member

    So are you saying to do what Mr. Harrison said and file only the rear face of the dovetail, not the bottom?

    It might not even require filing at all. Now that I have the answer I was looking for (and some time) I'm going to go for it. Will let you guys know how it went in a little bit.
  12. Jolly Rogers

    Jolly Rogers Well-Known Member

    Yes. Follow the manufacturers recommendations.
  13. CPshooter

    CPshooter Well-Known Member

    Gave it a try earlier today. No cigar. There isn't enough room to get in there with a regular triangular file without taking metal away from places you don't want to. I need a VERY small triangular file that cuts on only one side instead of all 3. I know Brownells has something like this, but they have a few of them for different angles (60 vs 65 degree) and I have no idea what I need.

    Help again???? lol... on the bright side, I managed to install Meprolights on my Sig P229 without too much trouble! This Range Officer is killing me though!!!
  14. Drail

    Drail Well-Known Member

    In cases like this I have always filed down the sight base a tiny bit, not the slide's dovetail. File on the cheaper part. You will need a 60 degree file with sharp corners, not rounded ones. One that is safe on one side would be preferable.
  15. BBBBill

    BBBBill Well-Known Member

    Sometimes the obvious escapes us. Best solution is to send the slide and sights to John Harrison if you do not want to spend the money for the correct file. That way you get a perfect install with no worries and no tool laying around that you do not expect to ever use again.
  16. CPshooter

    CPshooter Well-Known Member

    That's the thing. I do expect to use it again. Not sure when, but one of these days I'll be glad I have it.

    I really don't mind buying the proper tools and doing the work myself. It's more fun that way!

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