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Need to move a dovetailed rifle sight, but it is stuck

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by FW, Apr 8, 2004.

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  1. FW

    FW Member

    Jan 9, 2003
    I am try to drift a rear sight on a Marlin 39A. I have tried tapping it with brass and plastic punches, but it won't move. I am afraid I'll damage the finish if I keep trying. Perhaps I'm doing it all wrong or something. Any suggestions?
  2. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

    Dec 30, 2002
    Deep in the Ozarks
    Which way are you trying to move it?

    You may have to drift it out the opposite way, polish the dovetail with a bit of emery cloth, then re-insert it. If it's a bit loose, you can use loctite after you sight it in, or stake it in place with a center punch.
  3. Brasso

    Brasso Member

    Sep 27, 2003
    On firearms, everything goes out from left to right. (barrel pointing away from you)
  4. MeekandMild

    MeekandMild Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Sometime gentle heat + cold will help. I have gotten tight dovetails out before by heating the whole thing with an alcohol lamp (a kitchen match works) warm enough to boil water but not warm enough to color the metal. Then, the trick is to use a frozen drift punch on the middle part. It will cool off the middle part just a tad faster than the outside part.

    If the part is loctited the frozen drift punch isn't needed. Heat will soften the loctite.
  5. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    The "trick" is getting the thing into a good, solidly braced, "no-bounce" set up.

    Use wood blocks, a padded vise, or a buddy to help hold it steady, and put wood support blocks under the sight to brace it firmly.

    If things move or bounce, the sight won't move.

    If necessary, make a sight drift from a piece of brass bar stock.
    My favorite is 1" wide, 1/2" thick, and 6" long.
    If necessary, I shape the end to clear the sight.
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