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Hey guys, would I be absolutely crazy to use steel punches for installing my sight on my 1911? They are not tritium sights or anything, just black rear and brass bead front. To avoid marring the sights, what if I put a couple of strips of gorilla tape on everything to keep it from getting ugly? I just don't have any brass punches and cannot find any to buy locally. Thanks!
 

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1/4 brass rod makes a great punch.
cut off the size you want, chuck it up in a drill and use a file and sandpaper to shape to your needs
 

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I've had brass mushroom from trying to move a rear sight. Steel is the option when this happen. Just use paper or tape to protect the surface. There there are those in which you have to cut out too. Some mfg use a hydraulic press it install the sights, they can be very tight and hard to move.
 

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Whether you use steel or brass, protect the sight with a couple of layers of tape. I use hardwood blocks whenever possible to avoid marking or deforming the sight and I use fiberglass filament tape.
 

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I also thought I read somewhere that Bob Rodgers uses small pieces of hardwood to install and remove sights.
 

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I've gotten by with nylon, brass and steel. I try the softest one first and move up if needed. I've had brass punches mushroom but hammer the tips back to more-or-less round.

The Dawson nylon-tipped aluminum punches for rear sights work well, but you'll destroy one if you use it on a really tight rear sight.

For front sights I use the aluminum punches, also from Dawson. You get one free with each front sight you order.
 

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I use both bras and aluminum and grind them to shape. One thing I never do is hold the punch on the front sight blade, always on the base/dovetail. If you hold on the blade it's just a matter of time til you snap one off, usually a tritium vial sight with some obscure sight cut that you cant get right away.
 

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I use both bras and aluminum and grind them to shape. One thing I never do is hold the punch on the front sight blade, always on the base/dovetail. If you hold on the blade it's just a matter of time til you snap one off, usually a tritium vial sight with some obscure sight cut that you cant get right away.

Yesiree! Gold bead sight in this case, similar construction to a tritium sight



 

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Rdb, ouch!!! Those brass bead sights aren't cheap, either.
 

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Some folks actually use a tool designed to remove and replace sights. There is one of my design and manufacture in the classifieds. I know, shameless plug! :)
 

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Some folks actually use a tool designed to remove and replace sights. There is one of my design and manufacture in the classifieds. I know, shameless plug! :)
A punch and a hammer is still a very viable method. Not to take away from your plug. We all gotta eat :)

I use an Arbor press with a brass tip. Works wonders.
 

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Punches indeed work on some guns, some of the time. One still has to secure the slide somehow and with an arbor press, there has to be a fixture to hold the slide rigid. An arbor press can work extremely well if you have the right fixture to hold the slide.
 

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Punches indeed work on some guns, some of the time. One still has to secure the slide somehow and with an arbor press, there has to be a fixture to hold the slide rigid. An arbor press can work extremely well if you have the right fixture to hold the slide.
Very true. Your sight tool is pretty nice BTW. Simple, yet very effective.
 

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No sight pusher, whether shop built like mine or a commercial model, is any better than its ability to clamp to the slide. After that, any tool needs to apply pressure to the base of the dovetail or as close as possible to this position. Some of the sights these days are incredibly tight. Rather than fit the sights, the manufacturers ram them in with a hydraulic press, regardless of whether they fit or not. Sights need to be tight enough that they don't move under recoil and normal handling. They need not be so tight that they sound like a rifle shot when they break loose. I've had several do that. Mostly Smiths and Kimbers.
 
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