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Removing sporting rear Winchester sights-from Winchester rifles
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New Mexico-AK-AL
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February 28, 2024 - 12:07 am
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For Winchester rifles; other rifles may vary as to manufacturer. (This is just a reminder. Most know this information)

 

Stabilize action or complete rifle so it will not move, preferably also with rifle padded vise or similar-as CLOSE to the rear

sight as possible. Using a mallet, dead blow hammer, or heavy hammer and a brass or steel square-ended drift-Drive the sight

out by the base from LEFT TO RIGHT, NOT R to L. Winchester sight dovetails are milled with angular wedge end on the LT side.

 

NOTE: Place a small Confusedsheet of paper under the sight after removing elevator. This step guards against marring barrel finish. Proceed carefully.

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February 28, 2024 - 2:16 am
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450 Fuller said
For Winchester rifles; other rifles may vary as to manufacturer. (This is just a reminder. Most know this information)

 

Stabilize action or complete rifle so it will not move, preferably also with rifle padded vise or similar-as CLOSE to the rear

sight as possible. Using a mallet, dead blow hammer, or heavy hammer and a brass or steel square-ended drift-Drive the sight

out by the base from LEFT TO RIGHT, NOT R to L. Winchester sight dovetails are milled with angular wedge end on the LT side.

 

NOTE: Place a small Confusedsheet of paper under the sight after removing elevator. This step guards against marring barrel finish. Proceed carefully.

  

I recommend a wood block instead of any kind of drift. No damage should you slip. Big Larry

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February 28, 2024 - 2:47 am
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Big Larry said

I recommend a wood block instead of any kind of drift. No damage should you slip. Big Larry 

Safest way for sure, but many are hard enough to move even with brass.  Instead of the kind of punch with replaceable brass tips sold by Brownell’s, I use a short piece of brass key-stock, also sold by Brownell’s; greater surface area than round punch.  Someone here recommended the “Wyoming Sight Drifter,” a “no-mar” spring-loaded gadget, so I bought one; maybe it works on new guns, but on old ones with sights that haven’t moved in many decades, it was a waste of time & money on the sights I used it on.

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February 28, 2024 - 3:11 pm
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I purchased a solid brass flat-tipped punch, especially for the purpose of adjusting the sights. After I remove the elevator, I insert a piece of thin plastic to avoid any marring of the finish on the barrel, similar to the paper that has already been mentioned.

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February 28, 2024 - 3:24 pm
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Occasionally my brass punch would make an impression when they were stubborn coming off so I purchased an aluminum flat ended punch a few yrs ago and have never damaged the sides since. Only need to take fine wool and remove the aluminum scuff which easily comes off with a couple rubs. Just fyi. 

 Rick C 

   

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February 28, 2024 - 3:29 pm
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FWIW…………I’ve had good luck using a Delrin punch for this type of work.

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February 29, 2024 - 1:35 am
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I’ve come to rely on a narrow block of white oak milled to a bit less than the dovetail width. Hard Maple works as well. I have yet to deform the tip of one of these.  Good old wax paper or even Saran Wrap will protect the barrel. The real key is stabilizing the rifle. On sights that have been in place for Eternity plus six months, BreakFree CLP dripped onto the line of the mating surfaces and left overnight can ease the removal process. For truly bad language inducing frozen dovetails, removing the stock and borrowing your significant other’s hair dryer to heat the joint can usually do the trick. I didn’t say heat gun and I sure didn’t say propane torch. Leave those to the trained professionals. Hopefully the mating pieces will shrink at different rates as they cool , and thus separate to admit a solvent/lubricant. 

- Bill 

 

WACA # 65205; Life Member, National Rifle Association; amateur preservationist

"I have seen wicked men and fools, a great many of both, and I believe they both get paid in the end, but the fools first." -- David Balfour, narrator and protagonist of the novel, Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson.

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