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No-dovetail Novak rear sight mount

1462 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Ned Christiansen
I've been trying to trick customers into paying me to do this (good guinea pigs are hard to find these days!), and no takers sofar. I couldn't wait any longer so I "stayed after school" today and did it to a little project gun of my own. This is one that gets about an average of 2-3 hours' work a year done to it. Gawd, I'd better call in sick a few days this winter and get it done! Anyway, pics to follow, but instead of milling a dovetail through, I took the dovetails off the sight leaving just a rectangular lug protruding from the bottom, and milled a matching pocket in the slide. The whole sight is slightly narrowed, to match the width of the flat on the slide, which is as per usual to about the depth of the original dovetail. The sight is a light press fit into its pocket. By this time tomorrow there should be two .078 or maybe .093 pins holding it in. They will be in holes starting under the firing pin stop, and running forward, through the sight's underlug and then again into slide metal. Although this is meant to be solid, crash-proof and permanent, and although I hate blind pin holes, I will make them about a .001 slip fit, set them in anti-sieze compound, and tap the ends 2-56 so that they can be pulled. Or I might just be able to angle them up a tad so they break out into a dimple milled in the slide say 3/8 forward of the the rear sight, so that they can be tapped out. The holes would be stepped so that the pins can't come out forward, and they will of course be held at the rear by the FP stop. Yeah, that's it! Once the pins are out, the sight can be jacked out of its pocket by the original set-screw.

I have it set in the pocket now and it looks vewy vewy sanitawy.

Crap. I should'na posted this. Now I gotta go back out and work on it some more. I hate it when I do this to myself!
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This sounds interesting, I'm curious how you can adjust for windage?

[This message has been edited by harley45 (edited 10-22-2001).]
Come on man you could've asked me, I would've been up for that!! I'm deeply hurt that you don't think I'm guinea pig material
If you don't post some pics of that I'll be bummed. BTW the cdp is runnin like a champ now, 700 or so rounds through it today and that damn steel insert is still shiny, *** did you do to it

[This message has been edited by AndrewT (edited 10-22-2001).]
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Andy, your feedramp insert is made from zircon-encrusted moonrock.

H45, the front sight will be silver soldered in place. I will start out with it thick and high, and machine a very shallow, normal-with section on top. I'll shoot it for left-right, calculate the error, and finish machine the front sight's L/R location accordingly, likewise the height. If I ever change barrels I'm likely screwed-- but I like things really, really solid on my personal guns, and I'll never need a barrel change on a gun like this unless I bulge it or something. Most customers don't want things done that way because they're always thinking they may want to change something down the road.

[This message has been edited by Ned Christiansen (edited 10-23-2001).]
Hi Ned, sounds like a lot of work, I'd like to see the pic's, Pete

Metal Smith

The only thing I know for sure is what I can measure!
NRA Life Member
OK, direct from the sanitorium, here are the pics. #1 shows it disassembled. I wound up studding-in a 10-32 to give myself a little hanger-downer to pin through. This is a 10-32 cap screw bottomed out fairly hard at the bottom of the hole and where the threads end on the shank. Then instead of a blind pin, I tapped the hole 4-40, so there is a set screw going fore/aft under the FP stop, which passes through the stud. This by itself should easily hold the thing in, but for a little extra, and to plug up the existing set screw hole, I put a 4-40 flathead in where the set screw was. Really, I think that this flathead all by itself would also do the trick. If I were going to use a screw-down only, though, guess I'd go 6-48. The original 5-40 thread for the original set screw is still in the sight and can be used as a jack-out screw hole (although I'll probably make this 8/32 before I'm done). I don't think you could budge this sight.

It's kinda frustrating doing this sort of work sometimes-- in this case, the rib on top of the slide is about .015 off center, which makes the whole thing look wrong, even though the sight is dead-center to the slide. I'll have to correct that, and the slide-top radii are different on the two sides, and very, very belt-sanded as far as being consistant. Pretty typical though.

A lot of work you say, Metal Smith? You got that right! The next one would go a lot smoother though, and I would be smarter to start with a sight that is not tritium inserted, and do that later. I would only do this on full-house gun as I don't think many people would consider paying what it would take to do it as a stand-alone job. Guess I'd call it a $125 upcharge from providing and installing the sight in the standard manner.

The dent on the freshly milled surface that the sight seats on, between the rectangular pocket and the hole for the stud, was already there in the bottom of the original dovetail.

[This message has been edited by Ned Christiansen (edited 10-23-2001).]

[This message has been edited by Ned Christiansen (edited 10-23-2001).]
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