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Drifting Front Sight On An Old Savage Model 3B

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by otisrush, Apr 4, 2019.

  1. otisrush

    otisrush Member

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    A while ago (last Summer) my son and I discovered that the sights on this old gun were off.

    I, finally, got around today to taking it to the range and seeing if I could get things adjusted. It was shooting high, which was easy enough to fix.

    The problem is windage. It's shooting to the right - and I could not for the life of me drift the front sight to bring that group to the left. I happened to have some Kroil with me and I put some on the sight. But I definitely was not in a position to let it soak for an extended period of time.

    I'm figuring I need to get some Kroil on there and let it sit for a day or two - and then give it a try. Is that most make-sense next plan of attack? Any other ideas on ways to get this thing to move?

    Thanks.

    OR
     
  2. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

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  3. Matthew Clark

    Matthew Clark Member

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    I assume you're using a brass punch and brass hammer? If so, to get it moving, wrap the barrel in leather and mount in a vise right at the sight. Use a steel punch and ball peen hammer and thump it good. Revert to brass when it starts to move. Brass is softer than steel and it gives too much for stubborn sights. You can cold blue it later if need be.
    Those front sights can be pesky, patience is tested!
    Good luck.
     
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  4. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

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    Aren’t the dovetail slots in the barrel also tapered; that is, the right side of the slot is a different width than the left side of the slot? If so, it may be that the sight is already as far to the right as it can go.

    As I recall some manufacturers installed the front sight from the right side, others from the left. I don’t know that it was ever standardized.

    It’s something to check out before pounding too hard.
     
  5. otisrush

    otisrush Member

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    Great point! I'll look into it.

    Thx.
     
  6. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    If it does indeed drift left to right, I’d mark the position, try to drift it out completely, and file the sight base a tad to allow it to move further right. Easy to measure the dovetail with calipers.
     
  7. otisrush

    otisrush Member

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    I checked it with my calipers and the groove for the front sight is about .010" smaller on the left than it is on the right. So it appears it is installed right-to-left. A guy on rimfirecentral.com said most of those sights are installed that way.

    So.....I should be able to move it right. Time to let it soak for a while.

    Thanks!
     
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  8. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Member

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    Is the rear sight adjustable for windage?
     
  9. otisrush

    otisrush Member

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    The rear sight is pretty traditional from the standpoint that it's length of metal with a small stair-step piece that can be moved front-to-back to adjust how high the rear sight (elevation) is.

    The front of this piece of metal is held in place with a screw. I did wonder for a split-second if I could loosen that and move the rear sight to the left. But given there is a slot the front sight is installed in I figured that was the intended windage adjustment method.

    I'll have to give it a look.

    I've been stumped as to why I haven't noticed this (sights being off) before. I'm in my late 50s and this is the gun I first learned the basics on when I was 9. I gave it to my son when he was 9. But my dad had it drilled and tapped for a scope. I don't recall, if when I first started using it, if it was open sight or not. But I took the scope off just a number of of years ago. It's the first time in 40-50 years we've seriously looked at how it's doing with irons.
     
  10. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

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    Kroil should do the job 99 times out of 100. If it doesn’t, try a mix of acetone and automatic transmission fluid (Ed’s Red). You might also try warming and then chilling the sight while keeping the lube on it...the expansion and contraction of the metal can help “pump” the lube into the dovetail crevices. Be patient and I bet the bugger will give up eventually!!
     
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  11. otisrush

    otisrush Member

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    This is near-zombie-thread status. But I thought I'd follow up with some results.

    Over the last couple of days I finally got the right circumstances assembled between getting Kroil on the sight the night before I was going to work on it at the range, plus a large block of uninterrupted time at the range so I could take as long as I wanted to get the sight where I wanted it to be.

    I don't have a brass punch, but I do have a pretty large diameter steel punch. I placed that inside an empty 9mm case so that it was brass touching the sight, not steel.

    It took a bunch of trial-and-error as to how hard I needed to hit it to get it to move......but it eventually did. The "before" target is a 3-shot group I shot on the large center target before I fiddled with anything. The "after" target is what I shot on one of the smaller targets in the corner of the sheet. In between those two events were lots of rounds down range, looking through the spotting scope, and tapping the sight. At one point I went too far and I had to bring it back.

    The bottom line is I'm pleased with the results. It's shooting a little high but the elevation setting is as low as it will go (unless I take that little stair-step adjustment piece out completely....which I don't want to do.....mostly because I think the safest storage place for it is in the sight itself). LOL

    I'm quite thrilled with how this is shooting. I'm amazed at how these old .22s just keep going.

    Thanks for the ideas and guidance on this.

    OR

    Before:

    Big....Smaller.jpg

    After:

    Small.....Smaller.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
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  12. film495

    film495 Member

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    22 ammo is cheap, I'd get a bunch of kinds and see if one of them doesn't shoot a little different and take that couple inch vertical and put it right on. Would be a fun excuse to shoot up a bunch of .22 anyways ...
     
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