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Need help using Williams Sight Pusher.
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May 5, 2024 - 8:17 pm
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Have wanted one for over 50 yrs, but could never justify the cost.  A Model 52 I have finally made it necessary, because both the front & rear sights were obviously installed using an arbor press or mechanical advantage of some kind.  One thing I couldn’t tell from photos was that it has to be used upside down, because the frame isn’t deep enough for the brl., making it extremely hard to position the ram correctly against the sight base.  The ram or plunger has a round side & a flat side, & there should be some way to rotate it, but how?  The two prongs against which the ram works looked like they were attached to the frame with Allen-head screws, but the hole is actually round, so can it be removed?  I know Williams made this over many yrs, so I’m shocked to find how difficult to use it appears to be. 

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May 5, 2024 - 9:20 pm
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Hi Clarence-

I presume we’re talking about the Williams sight pusher designed to install/adjust/remove sights with 0.375″ dovetails from flat sided front sight ramps?  That’s the only one I’m aware of anyway… It’s one of my favorite tools when working on sights… 

To be sure I’m talking about the right tool, this is the one where the “business end” of the ram, where it contacts the male dovetail of the sight and pushes the sight into/out of the female dovetail on the ramp, is flat on the (bottom) surface that would slide into the female dovetail (when removing a sight).  Like this…

Williams-sight-pusher-1.jpegImage Enlarger

Anyway, I do not think that ram is designed to be rotated 180˚, such that the flat is on the (top) surface.  If you look at the larger diameter of the ram, the part that runs back and forth in the aluminum block, it has a flat surface on the top (180˚ opposite the flat on the smaller diameter part).  The thing that looks like set screws is actually a roll pin that passes through the block and is positioned such that it prevents the ram from rotating as it is advanced.  The hole in the base block IS round, as you say, but the roll pin effectively makes it “flat” on top. You likely could rotate the pusher if you drove out the roll pin, but then the pin would not go back in and the ram would be prone to rotating as you advanced it…

I tried (with limited success) to illustrate this…

Williams-sight-pusher-2.jpegImage Enlarger

You are correct about the way you have to use this pusher.  Since barrels vary in diameter and ramps in height, the tool needs to be used “upside down”, i.e. it’s not designed to straddle the barrel + ramp, only to straddle the sight being pushed.  While this does make it a little finicky to get positioned exactly, I find that once snugged up in the right place the tool works beautifully, even on really tight dovetails.  Plenty of leverage/mechanical force… FAR more precise than whacking a brass drift punch with a hand held hammer…

Besides, for me it eliminates the recurring nightmare that I might accidentally smack the side of the ramp with the hammer and break off a silver brazed sight ramp… SurprisedYellEmbarassed  It hasn’t happened to me yet, but the mere thought gives me cold sweats. Wink The sight pusher eliminates the concern, as all the force is exerted on the two sides of the sight/ramp, not the ramp/barrel interface…  I know that I’m alluding to 1950s M70s with silver brazed ramps than many would consider unworthy of the Winchester name, but I still wouldn’t want to damage one!!!

Hope this helps…

Lou

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May 5, 2024 - 9:34 pm
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SO grateful for this info, Lou!  Yes, mine same as yours, only kind I’ve ever seen.  Reason I wanted to rotate ram is because base of 52 sight (93A) is so thin & only the bottom circular edge of the ram bears against it; flat side would be more effective.  On top of that, base of the sight is CURVED, so tendency of ram is to slip off, esp because I can’t see what I’m doing!

I thought from photos that separate piece with prongs was made to flip over for better support in certain applications.

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May 5, 2024 - 9:54 pm
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Hi Clarence-

De nada…

FWIW… I’ve given some thought, one of these days, to making a sight pusher that would work “right side up” and remove/install sights into dovetails cut directly into round barrels (no ramps). For my purposes it would only have to accommodate Winchester standard and medium heavy straight taper target barrels (the diameter of the standard barrel at the rear sight boss is essentially the same as that of a target rifle barrel at the same point – so same difference)…

It wouldn’t be that hard to do… I think I could buy another Williams pusher and just mill a new (deeper) block for (some of) the rest of the parts to go into…  I’m not a machinist but my Brother is a darned good one (he has the shop and is and MUCH better at design than I could hope to be)!!!  Working on rear sights would require removal of the barreled action from the stock, and for standard barrels the block would have to provide clearance for the barrel bedding screw escutcheon, but I don’t think it would be hard to design… Indexing off the bottom barrel bedding screw escutcheon would eliminate the rotational issues I’d have with target barrels… 

And IMHO it would beat the heck out of swinging a hammer at my old(-ish) Winchesters!!!

Best,

Lou

 

BTW… I think that you’re right… The “two pronged” piece of the pusher can probably flip over (if the screws are long enough).  It’s probably not counterbored on the bottom, so the screws might be too short…  

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May 5, 2024 - 10:42 pm
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Louis Luttrell said
FWIW… I’ve given some thought, one of these days, to making a sight pusher that would work “right side up” and remove/install sights into dovetails cut directly into round barrels (no ramps). For my purposes it would only have to accommodate Winchester standard and medium heavy straight taper target barrels (the diameter of the standard barrel at the rear sight boss is essentially the same as that of a target rifle barrel at the same point – so same difference)…

It wouldn’t be that hard to do… I think I could buy another Williams pusher and just mill a new (deeper) block for (some of) the rest of the parts to go into…  I’m not a machinist but my Brother is a darned good one (he has the shop and is and MUCH better at design than I could hope to be)!!!  

 

Exactly what I was thinking!  Easy job for friend of mine with milling machine.  But hold off buying another one, because my disappointment with the one I’ve got does not presage a long relationship.

But how to remove screws (if that’s what they are) holding the prong, if they’re not Allen heads?  Already thought of drilling them out, but irksome Williams went out of their way to make this “hard.”

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May 5, 2024 - 10:45 pm
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Louis Luttrell said
Hi Clarence-

De nada…

FWIW… I’ve given some thought, one of these days, to making a sight pusher that would work “right side up” and remove/install sights into dovetails cut directly into round barrels (no ramps). For my purposes it would only have to accommodate Winchester standard and medium heavy straight taper target barrels (the diameter of the standard barrel at the rear sight boss is essentially the same as that of a target rifle barrel at the same point – so same difference)…

It wouldn’t be that hard to do… I think I could buy another Williams pusher and just mill a new (deeper) block for (some of) the rest of the parts to go into…  I’m not a machinist but my Brother is a darned good one (he has the shop and is and MUCH better at design than I could hope to be)!!!  Working on rear sights would require removal of the barreled action from the stock, and for standard barrels the block would have to provide clearance for the barrel bedding screw escutcheon, but I don’t think it would be hard to design… Indexing off the bottom barrel bedding screw escutcheon would eliminate the rotational issues I’d have with target barrels… 

And IMHO it would beat the heck out of swinging a hammer at my old(-ish) Winchesters!!!

Best,

Lou

 

BTW… I think that you’re right… The “two pronged” piece of the pusher can probably flip over (if the screws are long enough).  It’s probably not counterbored on the bottom, so the screws might be too short…  

  

Lou-

Nice having a machinist in the family. In my experience if we can draw it he can make it. In my past life of engineering the occasional one-off driveline a machinist up the road aways saved our butts on a regular basis. OTOH the arbor press Clarence mentioned could work if the barrel could be properly supported. That would be almost as scary as whacking it with a hammer.

 

Mike

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May 5, 2024 - 11:50 pm
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TXGunNut said OTOH the arbor press Clarence mentioned could work if the barrel could be properly supported. That would be almost as scary as whacking it with a hammer.

I had thought of that too, but since the Williams is “designed for the job,” it seemed the best choice until I discovered how poorly it’s designed; not being able to see clearly what you’re doing is no small shortcoming.  Guess because they had this small market all to themselves, they perceived no need for improvement.

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May 6, 2024 - 12:24 am
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clarence said

 

TXGunNut said OTOH the arbor press Clarence mentioned could work if the barrel could be properly supported. That would be almost as scary as whacking it with a hammer.

I had thought of that too, but since the Williams is “designed for the job,” it seemed the best choice until I discovered how poorly it’s designed; not being able to see clearly what you’re doing is no small shortcoming.  Guess because they had this small market all to themselves, they perceived no need for improvement.

  

IIRC the Williams sight tool was designed for sight work on pistol slides and they do quite well in that application. 

 

Mike

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May 6, 2024 - 1:17 am
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TXGunNut said

IIRC the Williams sight tool was designed for sight work on pistol slides and they do quite well in that application.  

From Brownell’s cat:  “This is only for a ramped front sight and will not work on any pistol sights.”

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May 6, 2024 - 12:37 pm
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clarence said

TXGunNut said

IIRC the Williams sight tool was designed for sight work on pistol slides and they do quite well in that application.  

From Brownell’s cat:  “This is only for a ramped front sight and will not work on any pistol sights.”

  

My mistake, only one I’ve used was for pistol sights.

 

Mike

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May 6, 2024 - 2:39 pm
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TXGunNut said

My mistake, only one I’ve used was for pistol sights.

  

I bought one of those cheap ones selling on ebay in the hope of making it work for my purpose; impossible, but at least these things are clearly described as being made for auto pistols only, so I can’t fault the makers.  I’ll GIVE it to anybody willing to pay shipping, about $6-7.

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May 6, 2024 - 5:18 pm
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Sorry, but I really would like a picture of how this would fit on my 66 octagon barrel.  I’ve tried for years to change the rear sight.

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May 6, 2024 - 6:47 pm
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clarence said  But how to remove screws (if that’s what they are) holding the prong, if they’re not Allen heads?  Already thought of drilling them out, but irksome Williams went out of their way to make this “hard.”

Hi Clarence-

If you are talking about the two-pronged part of the Williams sight pusher, it is held in place by two Allen head machine screws.  On mine, they weren’t even very tight.  Easily removed.

Pusher-prongs-as-designed-1.jpegImage Enlarger

You can replace the prongs in an inverted position.  The bottom surface of the prong part isn’t counterbored but the screws are long enough to give decent purchase.

Pusher-prongs-inverted.jpegImage Enlarger

This only gives you about 0.115″ difference in the position of the prongs relative to the ram.  But maybe that’s enough???

Lou

  

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May 6, 2024 - 6:59 pm
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Hi Chuck-

The Williams pusher we’re discussing here won’t work on an octagon barrel.  It’s designed to move a 0.375″ male dovetail front sight in the corresponding female dovetail of a flat sided front sight ramp.  

I wonder (???) however, if one of the pushers like Mike is talking about, that are designed to move dovetailed sights in the slide of a semi-automatic handgun slide, wouldn’t work.  They index on the flat sides of the slide, so if the opening for the slide is both wide and deep enough, it just might work.  Of course the fore end would have to be removed to access the rear sight.

Still, every one of those pushers for semi-auto slides is model-specific, and I’ve never used one (only the Williams for ramped front sights).  What is the dimension (across the flats) of your barrel at the point of the rear sight dovetail?  Anybody have any experience with trying this on an octagon barrel?

Lou

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May 6, 2024 - 7:04 pm
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Louis Luttrell said

If you are talking about the two-pronged part of the Williams sight pusher, it is held in place by two Allen head machine screws.  On mine, they weren’t even very tight.  Easily removed. 

Lou, I have a standard set of Allen wrenches, but none fit; guess I can’t rule out that I lost the “right” one, but if so, can’t imagine how it happened.  But I’m going to buy a new set to cover that possibility.

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May 6, 2024 - 7:16 pm
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Louis Luttrell said
I wonder (???) however, if one of the pushers like Mike is talking about, that are designed to move dovetailed sights in the slide of a semi-automatic handgun slide, wouldn’t work.  

This the one I bought, & Chuck is welcome to it if he wants to try.  However, if his sight has become rusted to the brl, it’s going to take an arbor press to move it, & it won’t be easy even with that.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/154103018614?itmmeta=01HX7MTWXH8JHD9WTC71D47J7A&hash=item23e1417476:g:s~kAAOSwz2pfbdZq&itmprp=enc%3AAQAJAAAAwPqxNzh1wEZTOmOPJj7%2FJ3TJduahIoRtjVU%2BTRXYy%2FRakPuDF7F7RqudcYNE3xG2zeOf%2FeKrNlI4cv8fuBRkgGUe56NzeBxXHCi%2F7SXOrgAuatz3X3xgmWiH%2FCvxebf%2FkodD8Fa5%2F2fziheGiI%2FN6rTtgKpRFVqecm0k5pyCM2QPwUpQ5SIp63jmV19lA4cPTx71pVy7UlnpvPrNZJ7PFNvEkc3lId%2BoOi%2FkGW1kFmdqBcJsKS48dEoJOZcMyyHcOg%3D%3D%7Ctkp%3ABk9SR_LO6_TpYw

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May 6, 2024 - 7:34 pm
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Thanks Clarence.  The picture you show makes it easy for me to understand how it is used.  I have tried every method mentioned and every product.  The sight will rock a bit but something is going on in the middle that keeps the sight from moving?

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May 6, 2024 - 7:41 pm
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Clarence-

The screws on my Williams pusher took an Allen wrench that measures 0.109″ across the flats.  On mine they are Allen head, not “star drive”, machine screws.  The screws were just snug, no real torque required to break them loose.

Lou

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May 6, 2024 - 8:45 pm
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Chuck said
Thanks Clarence.  The picture you show makes it easy for me to understand how it is used.  I have tried every method mentioned and every product.  The sight will rock a bit but something is going on in the middle that keeps the sight from moving?

Very surprising, since it’s apparently NOT frozen as if by rust.  A loose sight can be tightened by making a “crater”in the slot with a center punch, but even that wouldn’t explain such extreme stubbornness.

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May 6, 2024 - 8:56 pm
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Louis Luttrell said
The screws on my Williams pusher took an Allen wrench that measures 0.109″ across the flats.  On mine they are Allen head, not “star drive”, machine screws.  The screws were just snug, no real torque required to break them loose.

Apparently, screws in mine ARE star-drive, as I just found a bit that fit perfectly; you’re right, they weren’t very tight.

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