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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm having my gunsmith put a Novak front on my Springfield Mil Spec this week.

This is the first time I've ever had to take anything to a gunsmith because this is out of my skill level to install.

At any rate. Perhaps I didn't do enough research first, but the front sight comes with a roll pin to stake the sight. Goes through a small hole in the front of the sight. This of course requires drilling an extra hole in the slide to accommodate it. Seems all Novak fronts have this roll pin. Just seems to me to be a bit of an oxymoron to have to stake on a dovetail sight. I would think it would hold without it.

So at any rate, after some discussion with my gunsmith, we decided we'll give it a try without the roll pin. The thought being that if I wanted to change the front sight later on, at least I wouldn't have that annoying little hole in my slide which may or may not be visible depending upon what I chose later. If it's an issue, then I'll just have him put the pin in.

Sorry to be long winded in getting to my question. But is this roll pin stake really necessary for a Novak front on a 1911? I can't see why it would be needed other than for some added piece of mind. Wouldn't the dovetail be enough to hold it in place? Perhaps I should've picked a Heine front, they don't have the pin.
 

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Most, if not all of my 1911s with a dovetail front sight, have the sight pinned.
I assume its redundant and unnecessary if the sight, and slide dovetail are "to spec" and the resultant press fit would be adequate. My assumption is that the pin as a back-up to keep the sight centered and on the slide.

I think most of the pinned front sights use a thru-hole on the slide so the pin can be easily pushed out. I just had the factory front sight in a Bear modified to add a gold dot, and learned that the pinned was installed "blind", and had to be drilled out. The smith did an excellant job of extracting it without marking the sight or slide. For the reinstall, he drilled the hole in the slide completely through so subsequent sight mods, if necessary, will be a little easier. If the sight and slide have the proper hole in them, I'd use the pin.
 

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my 1911 just went to the gunsmith an hour ago to get the slide cut to fit dovetail low profile novaks....the front didn't have a pin though....it gonna be purtty
 

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The pin thru the front sight blade is not a big deal IMHO. You already have a dovetail cut into the front of your slide to accept the Novak sight ( I personally think the dovetail cut is ugly, even though I have several guns so done). If you're worried about the looks of the tiny hole in the top of the sight blade but don't mind the ugly dovetail cut????Well??? The cleanest front sight installation is, again just my opinion, a silver soldered blade. No dovetail, no pin, just a sight blade on top of the slide. If the tenon that goes thru the slide (like the old factory blades) is properly peened and solder added it's as bomb-proof as the Novak and looks lots better, I think.

outa here

Markwell
 

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Best to have the front sight pinned in place. The battering that the sight will take from the slide cycling is a lot and it WILL work loose w/o the pin. It's only a matter of time and rounds down range. Novak's would not use the pin if it wasn't needed. I have Novak F/O front and rear on my Champion and carry it everyday and use it in IDPA some, the only problem I've had is loosing the front sight F/O insert. I'm trying super glue to hold it right now, so far so good. You are gonna like the Novak sight a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
After a little more research and some other recommendations, I'm gonna have the smith go ahead and put the staking pin in.

Novak put it there for a reason. Must've been enough fly off incidents to warrant it I would assume. For that matter, even if I changed the front sight out, I'd just get another Novak. At least the hole would already be there. My hope would be though that the hole on the new sight would line up with the hole on the slide.

Does Novak make the fronts pretty uniform in this regard? If I decided to change it to Novak tritium front later for example, are the holes going to line up? Odds are low I'll swap fronts, but I just hope this wouldn't end up being an issue later if I did.
 

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Since nobody mentioned it Novak's turn around for doing the sights on my Champion was 7 days. AS far as the pin hole lining up I would think it would be the same.
 

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My Novak front sight didn't come with a hole or a pin. I did put a little Loctite in the dovetail though. It's been over seven years now and it hasn't worked loose yet.
 
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