Gun Sight Installation Tools
Gun sight installation requires precise calculations and measurements in coordination with appropriate tools. The most important thing to take into consideration when performing sight installation is the fact that if your measurements are off only slightly, the sight will be practically useless. Having the appropriate tools for gun sight installation is critical for the weapon to perform accurately and dependably.
One of the most important tools you will need for sight installation is a dial caliper. This device is a sliding ruler shaped almost like a wrench with a pinching grip on the end for making precise measurements down to hundredths or thousandths of an inch. A dial mounted on the side of the ruler will make revolutions with its needle as you slide the ruler into a precise measurement. Revolutions within the dial represent the degree to which your measurements are calculated. Because many gun manufacturers use dovetail cuts for sight mounting, you will use this tool to measure the precise length and width of the dovetail groove and distance from the groove to the end of the barrel. After measurement, minor filing or machining of the slide may need to be applied to properly install a custom sight.
Padded Swivel Vise
A tool required in all gunsmith shops is a swiveling padded vise. Sight installation can be performed much easier with this tool than with an ordinary shop vise. Some novice gunsmiths or gun enthusiasts may use a regular pinching shop vise, but this tool is not suited for working with delicate metal parts because it will leave abrasions and easily scratch the slide, rendering your work poor and sloppy. A padded swivel vise can easily be locked into workable positions that an ordinary vise cannot perform. The pads allow you to firmly secure the gun slide, barrel or any other part you may be working on into the vise without harming the soft metal used in most gun parts. The swivel action of the vise allows you to get into hard-to-reach places, in the nooks and grooves of the slide, and allows you to perform measurements with ease and without manipulating your body into awkward positions to perform your gunsmith sight work.
All gunsmiths and gun owners need to have an appropriate punch tool or set of punch tools calibrated for multiple pins and holes. These tools are used for many tasks, most commonly pinned sight removal and installation. Other functions that punch tools perform can be removing trigger mechanisms, firing pins and safety locks. Since most weapons are manufactured with customized pins of different depths and diameters, a punch tool is normally provided or can be obtained through a specific gun manufacturer. Punch tool kits are widely available at most gun stores, and will fit most modern pins and holes for removing tiny parts. However, you may need to purchase a special punch tool for your weapon if a sight pin is included in the sight assembly. A good gunsmith hammer is also needed in conjunction with the punch tools simply for knocking the pins out. An ordinary hammer will not be suitable for gunsmithing, and metal hammers should never be used on a weapon. Hammers are made specifically with plastic, nylon or phenolic tips for proper gun work.