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I'm a machinist and do my own gunsmithing, but still managed to pull a classic rookie move. I was accurizing my home built competition 1911, changed the barrel link and front sight for better lock up and accurate sight picture. One thing, the front sight tenon was nice and tight when installed so I didn't bother to steak it in, 3 shots later it was missing, now I'm re-ordering a new one just a week after my last order:dope:

I'll make sure and stake it in no matter how tight the tenon.
 

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Hate staked in front sights!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I hate staked on front sight can not tell you how many I have shot off. The cure that I have found to be the best is have the Novak dovetail cut into the front of your slide.
Chief
 

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I swapped my barrel link out with a longer one to tighten my lockup, then noticed the slide stop pin hole was starting to develop signs of stress. Also the new longer link was showing signs too, burrs forming on one side. Then I did some research and found that the link isn't designed to lift the barrel into full lockup, the lugs on the bottom of the barrel are to take up all locking stresses. That may not be what you were talking about but if it is you probably would do well to go back to a number 3 link, or whatever the original was. The normal center to center distance between the holes is .278".
 

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I haven't had any problems with a properly staked tenon type front sight. The biggest factor keeping the sight on that way is to bevel the tenon hole on the inside of the slide. This allows a place for the displaced swaged tenon metal to form a type of "rivet head" and keeping the sight anchored.

I'll second what the others said about long linking the barrel. Not a good idea in most circumstances. If you keep it long linked, make sure you do a timing check on the barrel and frame impact surfaces.
 

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Magnumite said:
I haven't had any problems with a properly staked tenon type front sight. The biggest factor keeping the sight on that way is to bevel the tenon hole on the inside of the slide. This allows a place for the displaced swaged tenon metal to form a type of "rivet head" and keeping the sight anchored.

I'll second what the others said about long linking the barrel. Not a good idea in most circumstances. If you keep it long linked, make sure you do a timing check on the barrel and frame impact surfaces.
And I'll second this as well. If you don't make a little crater inside the slide for the swaged metal to move into, the sight will eventually come off.
And long links...no thanks!

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I know about the trouble with tenon sights, it was a bad idea, thats why most of the new manufacturers use a front dovetail now.

I actualy installed a shorter link on my barrel, the slide stop pin should slightly rub on the bottom link lugs for a solid barrel fit, most people do go with longer links, most factory guns never fit right in that erea to begin with.
 

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A taller link will not give you better accuracy. The link is used to pull the barrel out of lockup. A taller link will retard "linkdown" and may cause the barrel upper lugs to rub on the slide. Also the tall link will stress the STP and link pin. Better to weld up the barrel lugs and refit. Or start with an oversized barrel. Greg
 

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I have put many thousands of rounds through 1911s with narrow tenon front sights (pre Series 80) and they all shot off sooner or later. The problem is that the original tenon was designed to support the rather tiny GI front sight. The larger high visibility sights that came later are just too heavy for that small tenon to hold. The large tenon of the newer, Series 80 style slides seem to work a lot better. I have about 40,000 rounds on a Para P-16 .40 with no problems using IPSC Major loads.

I have found that the only way to reliably stake a front sight is to use a rather expensive jig. I got mine for $100 quite a while ago (I got tired of paying the local gunsmith to replace my front sights) but now the same tool costs over $200. In light of this, I would recommend having a dovetail cut in the slide. The sight will be securely mounted and you can easily swap front sights.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Like I said.....I put in a SHORTER link to stabilize and accurize the barrel, not a longer link, I am familiar with the pitfalls of longer links.

A lot of tenon sights shoot off because of improper staking, as previously stated it requires special tooling to be done right, and most people and 'smiths don't have them. I've even seen them welded from the inside of the slide before.
 

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mr1911, I just use the armor's staking tool sold out there. My first staking tool was a cold chisel I modified for the task.

Using these tools I have sights on for many 1000's of rounds and no loosening is detected. But to be fair, for me, it isn't a one or two hit process for me. After fitting the sight to the hole, I elevate the rear of the slide so the top of the front sight is flat on the support surface. Then I spend probably 10-20 minutes peening using several precisely placed strikes on each those tenons. I ensure the whole end of the tenon is swaged into the bevel.

Gammon mentioned the narrow tenons. When putting a narrow tenon sight on I try to use the smallest possible sight which will give me the sight picture I want. That way there is less inertial mass to pull the sight out.

And I'd dovetail it before welding it. Just my preference there.
 
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