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BHP sight problem

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Rittmeister, Feb 1, 2020.

  1. Rittmeister

    Rittmeister Member

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    I picked up a MkIII Hi-Power a while back, and lived with the weird rectangular dots on the sights until last year, when I ordered a set of Meprolight night sights through Amazon and had them installed by a local smith.

    They are dead on, but recently I realized that the front sight, while fitting the dovetail correctly, has quite a gap between the sight and the slide, forward of the dovetail (see pic).

    Is there any chance of a remedy for this problem short of getting my smith to remove the sight and send it to Meprolight? I'm way outside Amazon's return window of course ;)

    Any advice appreciated.

    IMG_6118.jpg
     
  2. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    Weld up and shape the area under the blade
     
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  3. sparkyv

    sparkyv Member

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    I wouldn't mess with it since they are dead on. Unless it causes an issue.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2020
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  4. Mister Coffee

    Mister Coffee Member

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    Your gunsmith returned the gun looking like that? And didn't say anything? Ouch, that smarts.
     
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  5. Rittmeister

    Rittmeister Member

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    Yes, my life tends to run with this kind of luck. This is a big-box range/store that employs a smith once a week. The whole transaction was a pretty big PITA. There is another shop nearby that isn't without its problems but that I've used more, maybe I'll see if they can weld it up for me. They function fine, I just wish it looked nicer.
     
  6. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    Two possible issues immediately spring to mind.

    1. Dropping it and bending it downward
    2. Getting something caught under it and bending it up
     
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  7. Mister Coffee

    Mister Coffee Member

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    Any chance you could ditch the Mepro's and start from scratch with different sites? Or send the gun off to Novak's? The Browning Hi-Power is a terrific gun. I was just shooting my Mk. III the other day. It's all stock, all reliable and all accurate. I love it.
     
  8. Waveski

    Waveski Member

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    You say that the sight is "dead on" ... if the 'smith had milled the dovetail deep enough to have the sight base flush with the slide , wouldn't the sight be too short?
     
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  9. sparkyv

    sparkyv Member

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    Good point, but unless one CCs the BHP, this is of little concern.
     
  10. WVsig

    WVsig Member

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    Do you have a pic of the rear sight. Did they re-cut the dovetails or did they use the factory MKIII cuts? IIRC that is the way Meprolights sit in the existing MKIII dovetail if you do not prep the sight properly. It is sitting a little higher than usual but not by much.They are never flush from the factory. They match the dovetail but like Novaks they need minor fitting. A proper gunsmith can correct it. What you need to do is file the sight so that it will fit flush with the slide or you need to weld it up. I personally would file the sights. They are the cheaper part and can be replaced later while welding on the slide won't be as easy to remove and you will need to refinish or at least touch up the gun. The rear sight might also need to be adjusted depending on how much material needs to be removed.
     
  11. Waveski

    Waveski Member

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    Yes , and that patridge-like sight is not configured to draw anyway.
    If that were mine to deal with , I'd be thinking along these lines:
    Leave it as is ; it is for pleasure shooting , and it works well.
    Or---
    Welding , shaping and refinishing - or re-dovetailing - is so much work I may as well send it off to Novak and have it done right , from scratch.

    I consider the latter approach to be the more desirable - IF you wish to put more money into that High Power. If that is the case , you may as well have Novak replace trigger , springs and hammer while you are at it - you will then have a truly fine BHP.

    Devil's advocate time - a wise man once said "If it ain't broke - don't fix it!"
     
  12. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, I guess if you never drop things :p
     
  13. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm thinking the installing "gunsmith" didn't that you're supposed to fit the dovetail by filing the bottom of the sight
     
  14. Rittmeister

    Rittmeister Member

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    I bought these sights as straight replacements for the factory sights, and my assumption is that the smith simply swapped them into the factory dovetails. The rear sight has a tiny gap above the slide but nothing that concerns me.

    I suppose I can live with it as I don't carry this pistol, but in future I may look into having it fixed for aesthetics.

    I am amazed at how complicated something like this can be though. Both in terms of the physical fitment of the metal parts - i.e. they fit and work but don't look great - and the complications of the transaction between me, the store, and the smith. It was a real issue and I let them know. The smith was totally fine to talk to before the work (I had other questions about the gun) but I didn't speak to him afterwards, as it turns out the shop didn't want him to come out and "waste time" talking to customers in the first place. I think it's the height of stupidity not to allow the actual expert to communicate directly with the customer and told them so pretty bluntly. I continue to use the range at this store (it's by far the most convenient to my home) but will not have them do any more work for me.

    I do have a 'smith at another store who I have had good luck with and will most likely go back to him in the future. I wish I could find someone in my area to deal with directly, rather than always having to deal with an intermediary.
     
  15. Rittmeister

    Rittmeister Member

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    Also, I don't understand how filing the sight would make it sit lower. I mean obviously if you filed away part of the bottom of the sight's dovetail it would do so, but wouldn't it then fit loosely in the slot on the slide? Also, just looking at it, I don't know if there's enough material to remove to get it to fit flush.
     
  16. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    There certainly isn't enough material anymore.

    My earlier reference was to folks who think the correct way to fit a dovetailed sight to to file on the top of the inclined planes
     
  17. WVsig

    WVsig Member

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    I am not sure what you mean here. Are you agreeing that the smith did not properly prep the sight?
     
  18. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    Oops words getting left out when posting from my phone.

    Yes Smith likily didnt prep sight properly or understand how to adjust dovetails. Also likely is the the manufacturer left extra "clearance " for different dovetail cuts
     
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  19. WVsig

    WVsig Member

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    There might be some slide variance in the factory dovetail. It is most likely shallow. The sight might be little too tall. These 2 things stack and you get an install that is not correct. This is why even thought sights like these and Novaks will say direct replacement there is always the caveat "some fitting may be required". Prepping the sight to fit the dovetail falls under "Some fitting..." Also you always file on the cheaper part which is the sight. You could file on the slide but if you mess up and take off too much metal it is much more costly. Any good gunsmith should have been able to get a much better fit than you got.
     
  20. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    If it bothered me that much, I’d mix a dab of JB Weld epoxy and fill in the area. After it cured, I’d touch it up with matte or flat black paint.

    The gunsmith just set the sight in a milling machine and recut it.
    I’d have hand filled it using a needle file and vise. As a PPC shooter, I’ve replaced and fit quite a few front sights. But none quite like the OP’s photo. Though I have seen a few factory guns with such...
     
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  21. Rock185

    Rock185 Member

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    I've fitted a number of dovetailed front sights. All required a little, or a lot, of fitting and none turned out like that. While firearms and aftermarket manufacturers are more and more utilizing front sights with a tiny gap to simplify production, none I've seen are like that. Something is not right with that installation. Unfortunately, there are no standards at all for those calling themselves "gunsmiths". I have seen the results of some of these "gunsmiths" work. Results are sometimes much worse than what you have there. Regardless, I would not be content with that sight installation......ymmv

    FWIW, Brownells lists different factory front sights for MK IIIs, pre and post 1990, and a rear for post 1990 guns. The sights look the same, but are apparently different heights. I wonder if there is some other dimensional difference between pre and post '90 front sights, sight cuts,etc. If so, the sights you bought may simply be of the wrong vintage and dimensions for your slide and dovetail cut....
     
  22. WVsig

    WVsig Member

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    The 2 sights FN/Browning factory OEM sights Brownells list are different because one is for 9mm and the other is for 40 S&W.
     
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  23. Steve S.

    Steve S. Member

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    Maybe just my perspective - the sight appears to be installed backwards (facing the wrong direction)?
     
  24. Walt Sherrill

    Walt Sherrill Member

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    If you file the bottom of that sight enough to get the sight fitting flush with the slide -- i.e., quite a bit -- I think it's going to make the sight fit too loosely in the dovetail.

    Making the dovetail deeper is going to create a similar problem -- the sight isn't going to fit snugly unless someone inserts a shim in the front or back of the dovetail when the sight is in place.

    Could it be the wrong sight for your gun? Maybe the Amazon vendor sent the wrong set. Call Meprolight and then send them a copy of the picture shown above to see if they have any suggestions.

    Meprolight may be able to do a cosmestic fix, like fitting a small piece of metal inserted the front of the sight (maybe SUPER-GLUED in place) to fill the gap. If they offer a fix (or a different sight) you can send the slide and sight to them by Priority Mail for $5-$6, but be sure to also pay to ensure it for the replacement value.)
     
  25. JDR

    JDR Member

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    The local “gunsmith” here begged off from cutting dovetails on my MKII because he didn’t have the equipment, and obviously never did this work before. And I wasn’t about to let him experiment with my gun.
     
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