Help on something 'simple' that I've never learned.

bisleybisley Senior MemberPosts: 10,658 Senior Member
Knocking fixed sights (in a dovetail slot) one way or the other to adjust aim, or removing them altogether.

Simple mechanics, I know, and I'm fairly mechanically inclined and have a light touch, when needed. But, every time I've tried it, the results were unsatisfactory - or more specifically, no results at all, because I always back off for fear of damaging the barrel or maybe just the finish. I think I know that it is all about securing the barrel (or receiver) properly in a proper vice, but I'm even squeamish about that and would like some specifics.

I would like to see a video that shows it being done properly, preferably in several different ways, if possible. Failing that, any kind of tutorial would be useful to me. I can't believe that there aren't a lot of other folks who would also benefit.

In particular, I have an early '70's Marlin Model 94 .44 magnum that I have always had scoped because I could not adjust the factory iron sights to suit me, and also a Henry lever action .22. Both rifles are very accurate for what they are, but need to be scopeless, in my opinion. I could put Skinner aperture sights on the receiver, but I would still need to remove the old sights. I have also tried to bump the sights on a Kahr semi-auto pistol, without good results.

Please post links to video, if one exists, or give me whatever details you can.

Replies

  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,429 Senior Member
    The trick is to have a solid, non-marring support for the firearm, and use enough force to get the job done. I like a support block made of hardwood like Maple, or a bench block made of Nylon, etc. with a contour that's able to provide firm support. For instance, file or rasp a semi-circular groove in a block of wood that will support the front of the barrel in the area of the front sight, and clamp it in a strong vise or support it on the top of a sturdy workbench. Then use a non-marring punch such as a brass drift to move the sight, and hit the drift with a regular steel ball **** hammer. Use short, firm hammer blows- - - -don't be timid.

    The same process works for rear sights. Use a support fixture shaped to firmly support the receiver or the rear of the barrel and drift the sight right or left to change the point of impact of the bullet. Virtually all dovetail-mounted factory sights get tighter in the dovetail as they're drifted to the shooter's left from the perspective of holding the gun in a "ready to fire" position. If you're planning to remove a dovetailed sight completely, always move it to the shooter's right until it clears the dovetail. driving it left will make it get VERY tight before it clears the slot.

    Front sight- - - - -move the sight opposite the direction of bullet impact change. To move the bullet strike right, drift the sight to the left, from the shooter's viewpoint.

    Rear sight- - - - - -move the sight in the direction you want the impact point to go. Sight moves right, so does the bullet.

    Elevation changes- - - - -raise the rear sight to raise the POI, lower it to lower the bullet strike. File the front sight to raise the impact, or install a shorter sight for large changes of vertical impact point. Higher front sight- - - -lower impact point.

    In general, shooting a heavier bullet with similar velocity to a light one makes the POI higher, due to increased dwell time in the barrel allowing more time for muzzle jump due to recoil. Have fun! I don't know of any video, but I'm sure somebody will come up with one soon.
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • KENFU1911KENFU1911 Senior Member Posts: 1,052 Senior Member
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VF38cwT4M64 ..........Best I can find......but just follow what Jerry gave you........and You will be fine....Ken
    My idea of a warning shot is when the 2nd bad guy watches his 1st buddy go down....
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,658 Senior Member
    Excellent description, Teach. Thanks.
    One question on cutting the groove in the hardwood block: Would a V-shaped groove work just as well?

    And thanks, Ken for the link. I think I can do that.
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 10,258 Senior Member
    I'd think with a flat receiver, like a 1894 Marlin, you wouldn't really need to cut a groove. My shooting buddy and I have bumped the sights on a 336 Marlin and laid it flat on the bench. It's all a matter of trial and error. We put a piece of tape on the barrel with a pen mark at the sight so we could tell how much we moved the sight.
    Not too many problems you can't fix
    With a 1911 and a 30-06
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,968 Senior Member
    Gene that is a great tip, thanks
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • HAWKENHAWKEN Senior Member Posts: 1,688 Senior Member
    Before I move a rear sight, or front sight for that matter, I scribe a line at the edge of the base, with a scratch awl. This is the starting point and you can see how far you have moved the sight. You can blacken the line later, if you so desire. Keep yer powder dry........Robin :wink:
    I don't often talk to people that voted for Obama, but when I do I order large fries!
    Life member of the American Legion, the VFW, the NRA and the Masonic Lodge, retired LEO
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 10,258 Senior Member
    Yeah, that's the object of my post about putting a piece of masking tape on the barrel and marking it with a felt tip pen or a ball point. No scratching the barrel.
    Not too many problems you can't fix
    With a 1911 and a 30-06
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,429 Senior Member
    bisley wrote: »
    Would a V-shaped groove work just as well?

    Yes, just anything to keep the barrel more or less centered on the bench block. Gene is right about the slabside receiver, no groove required there. If the rear sight is on the barrel like my Marlin 336, I'd still recommend a groove of some type.
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,857 Senior Member
    Hey thanks Teach, Gene, Hawken, and Bisley for asking the question. I always wanted to ask that but never could remember to. I have an old Westernfield (Made by Marlin I believe) 22 LR Bolt gun with tubular magazine that was my grandfather's that had a bent front site. I tried to gently tap it straight but as Mr. Murphy was no doubt present it broke off. I was afraid to heat the site because I didn't want to damage the barrel. Anyway, I know that it's a 10 minute job to fix if I have another site handy, but I tried to drift it out and chickened out for like reasons Bisley mentioned. I knew there was a direction to go to remove it but I couldn't remember which. I was always going to ask on here, but my CRS always got in the way of my thought process. Anyway, now I'll find me another site and do it.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 10,258 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    Hey thanks Teach, Gene, Hawken, and Bisley for asking the question. I always wanted to ask that but never could remember to. I have an old Westernfield (Made by Marlin I believe) 22 LR Bolt gun with tubular magazine that was my grandfather's that had a bent front site. I tried to gently tap it straight but as Mr. Murphy was no doubt present it broke off. I was afraid to heat the site because I didn't want to damage the barrel. Anyway, I know that it's a 10 minute job to fix if I have another site handy, but I tried to drift it out and chickened out for like reasons Bisley mentioned. I knew there was a direction to go to remove it but I couldn't remember which. I was always going to ask on here, but my CRS always got in the way of my thought process. Anyway, now I'll find me another site and do it.

    Make sure you get the height of the sight right, the same height as the one broken off. Westernfield is a Marlin made for Montgomery Ward.
    Not too many problems you can't fix
    With a 1911 and a 30-06
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,857 Senior Member
    Gene L wrote: »
    Make sure you get the height of the sight right, the same height as the one broken off. Westernfield is a Marlin made for Montgomery Ward.

    Yeah I know it was made by Marlin and it is a totally sweet rifle. The trigger, even though it cocks on closing, is excellent for a 22. It is also very accurate even with the sites like they are now. That's why I want to get it up to speed with a good sight. And I may be interested in installing a good receiver site. But with the bolt being straight up upon extraction, it cuts the rear receiver bridge in half and the bolt would interfere with such a site as it would with a scope mount.

    Any ideas on doing this like bending the bolt? I know this is doable. Too many of them out there like it that have been done.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • sarg1csarg1c Senior Member Posts: 1,707 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    The trick is to have a solid, non-marring support for the firearm, and use enough force to get the job done. I like a support block made of hardwood like Maple, or a bench block made of Nylon, etc. with a contour that's able to provide firm support. For instance, file or rasp a semi-circular groove in a block of wood that will support the front of the barrel in the area of the front sight, and clamp it in a strong vise or support it on the top of a sturdy workbench. Then use a non-marring punch such as a brass drift to move the sight, and hit the drift with a regular steel ball **** hammer. Use short, firm hammer blows- - - -don't be timid.

    The same process works for rear sights. Use a support fixture shaped to firmly support the receiver or the rear of the barrel and drift the sight right or left to change the point of impact of the bullet. Virtually all dovetail-mounted factory sights get tighter in the dovetail as they're drifted to the shooter's left from the perspective of holding the gun in a "ready to fire" position. If you're planning to remove a dovetailed sight completely, always move it to the shooter's right until it clears the dovetail. driving it left will make it get VERY tight before it clears the slot.

    Front sight- - - - -move the sight opposite the direction of bullet impact change. To move the bullet strike right, drift the sight to the left, from the shooter's viewpoint.

    Rear sight- - - - - -move the sight in the direction you want the impact point to go. Sight moves right, so does the bullet.

    Elevation changes- - - - -raise the rear sight to raise the POI, lower it to lower the bullet strike. File the front sight to raise the impact, or install a shorter sight for large changes of vertical impact point. Higher front sight- - - -lower impact point.

    In general, shooting a heavier bullet with similar velocity to a light one makes the POI higher, due to increased dwell time in the barrel allowing more time for muzzle jump due to recoil. Have fun! I don't know of any video, but I'm sure somebody will come up with one soon.
    Jerry

    Well said Jerry, doesn't get any simpler....
    Also if using a bore sighter while adj. sights, remove from barrel before moving sight, then reposition in barrel. may damage bore sighter if not removed. Using a maple or other block of wood, drill a hole close to the diam. of barrel, saw length wise with a fairly wide saw will usally grip well enought for this job. Keep block for future use.... Good post also Gene.... Lot of good and simple instructions on this blog. I like the information on this site.
  • will-jwill-j Member Posts: 50 Member
    Teach; Just askin' now. If dwell time is the same for the two bullet weights, barrel rise/ POI should not be affected, unless velocity difference of 250+ FPS is reached.. With .30-30 Win. [150/170 gr. ( real world velocity =2205/150gr. vs. 2007/170gr. factory over Oehler 35P, in Marlin 336, and .308 Win. 150gr. Bal. Tip @2910* vs. 168gr. [email protected]* both handloads, over same chrono @12ft. in Ruger 24" Varminter and same powder/primer/case; Only change is charge wgt. diff. 2.5gr. in .308. POI w/ .308 is same elev. vert. though 1.5" right horiz: With fact. .30-30 , (1)-5 rd. group w/each weight-10 rds. total =2" grp.w/ same POA.
    What was your reference for your POI difference w/ your findings? Been doing this 40+ yrs. Not claiming to be an expert: Just a little experienced. All is about the same w/other calibers also, given same components w/ handloading. Can't speak for factory ammo, as the .30-30 ammo was bought and grouped in 1975,and what was left of 20 boxes (1ea.both wgts. was chrono'ed 1n '91 after return from the Storm. The .30-30 ammo is/was the ONLY fact. ammo fired in any of my firearms. Everything else you posted is pretty well spot-on. will
    :confused:
    [email protected]; I need my meds.
    THE WINDS OF TYRANNY ARE BLOWING FROM OUR OWN CAPITOL.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,658 Senior Member
    I think Teach was just speaking in general terms about the different bullet weights, since it was just some added information relative to the question I asked. I doubt if anyone here has actually attempted to quantify the differences. It's basically just something to try (for folks like me) before they start banging around on their expensive gun.

    In my experience, the differences in POI seem to be more dramatic on small pistols, like my Kahr K-9 and K-40, both of which like heavy bullets, but this could easily just be operator error. On the other hand, my Marlin .44 mag uses the same zero at a hundred yards with both 240 gr. and 225 gr. bullets. Again, operator inconsistency may be a factor.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    Wasn't there a Western Auto (automotive) brand manufactured by Marlin ?
    Essentially a Marlin 60.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
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