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Alaskan Front Sight Pin

This is a discussion on Alaskan Front Sight Pin within the Optics forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; I want to change out my Alaskan Front sight. Have ordered the Hi-Viz sight from Ruger. The Alaskan uses a pin from the side to ...


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Old November 9th, 2010, 07:34 AM   #1
 
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Alaskan Front Sight Pin

I want to change out my Alaskan Front sight. Have ordered the Hi-Viz sight from Ruger. The Alaskan uses a pin from the side to secure the sight. How hard is it to remove this pin. Appears to be a 1/16" pin. I have the appropriate pin punch. I believe I will need to drill the front sight once in place to accept the pin. Anything I am missing here. Do you use any locktite on the sight or just rely on the pin?

Thanks




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Old November 9th, 2010, 11:05 AM   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LJenkMD View Post
I want to change out my Alaskan Front sight. Have ordered the Hi-Viz sight from Ruger. The Alaskan uses a pin from the side to secure the sight. How hard is it to remove this pin. Appears to be a 1/16" pin. I have the appropriate pin punch. I believe I will need to drill the front sight once in place to accept the pin. Anything I am missing here. Do you use any locktite on the sight or just rely on the pin?

Thanks

LJenkMD - I don't have an Alaskan but some of my revolvers have a transverse pin that retains the front sight blade into the base and I have removed and reinstalled these pins without much difficulty. I use leather padded plywood jaws in a 4" bench vice to securely hold the barrel. Make sure your pin punch is the correct size and that the tip is flat on the end with no burrs that would otherwise scrape in the pin hole as you're drifting the pin out. Make sure your pin punch is aligned properly and tap a bit on one end to get the pin moving and the pin should come right out the other side. You may have to use a machine clamp or padded pliers to pull the sight blade out of the slot in the base if it was originally fitted tightly but they usually come out fairly easily.

Check fit your new sight blade to make sure it the base slot somewhat snugly. If it is too snug, dress the sides a bit with a flat stone or abrasive paper on a steel backer. If the fit is too loose, you can use a center punch on the sides of the sight blade base extension to raise metal around the punch strikes to increase the thickness and tighten the blade fit in the sight base slot. Do this fitting before drilling the pin hole. If you've fitted the new sight blade base extension properly, it will be plenty tight after it is pinned in without using any kind of adhesive or filler.

You're correct that you will have to drill a pin hole in the new front sight blade base extension. This isn't too difficult but the trick will be keeping this hole aligned as you drill so that the hole in the new sight blade aligns with the original pin holes in the left and right sides of the sight base. If you have a drill press, it's not too hard to make a holding fixture for the barrel and then align the barrel in the fixture such that the drill bit goes through both side holes in the sight base easily with out "tweaking". When you have it aligned, clamp the holding fixture in this aligned position and verify drill bit alignment before inserting the new sight blade and drilling the hole. By using the sight base holes as a drill guide, the hole should be aligned properly. I've also done this job using a hand drill by drilling the hole in the sight blade 1/2 way from the right side and then finishing the hole from the left side, again, using the holes in the sight base as the drill guide. The hand drill method works but I prefer to use a drill press. With either method, use a new drill bit and plenty of machining oil and go slowly.
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Old November 9th, 2010, 12:18 PM   #3
 
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Perfect. Thanks for the tips.
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Old November 9th, 2010, 02:53 PM   #4
 
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JimH, I am not doing this sight job as described above. Plus, I do not own that particular revolver. But, I did enjoy reading your well described procedure. Well done.
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Old November 10th, 2010, 04:22 PM   #5
 
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stoble - thanks for the compliment! Always happy to answer questions if I've been there and done that.
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Old November 10th, 2010, 06:45 PM   #6
 
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Update - Followed JimH's instructions and went perfectly. Pin was not nearly as tight as I thought it would be. Looks great!
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Old November 10th, 2010, 10:24 PM   #7
 
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My hiviz from ruger said to use red loctite.I let it sit over night with the loctite and then drilled the hole with a handrill and stuck in the pin.Held the sight in with a rubber band while the loctite dried.
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Old November 11th, 2010, 03:54 AM   #8
 
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Mine appears to be solid just with the pin, but if it starts to loosen up with use I can always reset it will loctite.
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Old September 23rd, 2013, 03:34 AM   #9
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Reviving an old thread here. You would think that for the money we paid for these guns Ruger would have a nicer sight on the front. Presumably these are for Bears in Alaska (Brown or Black) even though most of us probably just shoot paper. Wouldn't you want a sight that is in contrast to your target? The HIVIZ does not have a replaceable light tube. Could be a problem with the recoil these guns are putting out (at least the .454 Casull)? Regardless, I love my Alaskans.



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Old July 11th, 2014, 08:32 PM   #10
 
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I have the pin out, but my front sight will not budge. Any ideas on how to get the front blade out after the pin is out?
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Old July 12th, 2014, 04:04 AM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimH View Post
.....You may have to use a machine clamp or padded pliers to pull the sight blade out of the slot in the base if it was originally fitted tightly but they usually come out fairly easily.
Have you tried this? Once the pin is removed there should be nothing else holding the blade in place except friction from a tight fit. In my experience I've never encountered any LocTite or such in a factory installed blade.
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Old July 12th, 2014, 05:20 AM   #12
 
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Originally Posted by Gen273 View Post
I have the pin out, but my front sight will not budge. Any ideas on how to get the front blade out after the pin is out?
Have a bowl of Wheaties and give it another try.

If still unsuccessful try, carefully, some padded pliers.
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Old July 12th, 2014, 06:26 AM   #13
 
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I have pulled hard, very hard and it still will not move.
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Old July 12th, 2014, 08:09 AM   #14
 
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Originally Posted by Gen273 View Post
I have pulled hard, very hard and it still will not move.
Do you have a heat gun? If not a hair dryer will do. Heat it up. Give it a few gentle taps with a plastic or rubber hammer and try again "wiggling" it with the padded pliers or clamp the sight in a padded vice and GENTLY tap the top of the barrel with the plastic hammer. Persevere. It WILL come out.
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Old July 12th, 2014, 08:42 AM   #15
 
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Originally Posted by Quiet 1 View Post
Do you have a heat gun? If not a hair dryer will do. Heat it up. Give it a few gentle taps with a plastic or rubber hammer and try again "wiggling" it with the padded pliers or clamp the sight in a padded vice and GENTLY tap the top of the barrel with the plastic hammer. Persevere. It WILL come out.

Thanks for the idea, I will give it a try. I am bummed about this project a little, because I scratched the top of the barrel on the right side of the sight when my pliers cut through the rubber pad and made contact with the top of the barrel. I am sure that there is some kind of bonding agent under my sight that is holding it in.
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