: Our gunsmith will mill a dovetail for your front sight, rear sight, or underlug, using a milling machine and dovetail cutter.Hand fitted
: no extra cost!
When you buy the sights or lugs from us, we will remove any burrs, gates and parting lines, and hand fit the sight or lug to the dovetail slot, ready for you to finish and use. Many of our rear sights are cast with an oversize base, to allow these to fill oversize slots. It is wise to allow us to trim these to a standard size before installation in a new barrel.
When you supply your own sights, we will hand fit them to our dovetail slots. We install our parts, at our risk. We install your parts, at your risk. It is unusual to have a sight casting fail, or become damaged, but it can happen.
When you do not order or supply sights, we must cut an undersize 3/8" dovetail. Significant hand fitting will be required, for undersize dovetails.No dovetail standards exist
: despite the term 3/8" standard dovetail
, nearly all sights require hand fitting. Exceptions include sights within one brand (i.e. Thompson Center sights will interchange in T/C rifles, et cetera).
Dovetail slot sizes are not really standardized, in our industry. Sights are always made a bit oversize, dovetail cutters are always a bit undersize, and hand fitting is nearly always required to achieve a fit. We do this no charge.
Front sight slots are centered 1.5" from muzzle, unless your clearly specify another location. Do not imbed special instructions within lengthy text of a letter. Place special instructions immediately after your written order for that item, or in the comment field of our on-line order form.
Rear sight slots are centered 8.5" from the breech end of the barrel (not including plug), unless your clearly specify another location. Do not imbed special instructions within lengthy text of a letter. Place special instructions immediately after your written order for that item, or in the comment field of our on-line order form.Cut your own dovetails
: this work is very easy, using a bench, vise, and three-corner "safe edge" file. Order your copy of The Modern Kentucky Rifle
, by R. H. McCrory. This inexpensive book illustrates the easiest hand installation technique we have seen. We have used this technique in our classes.
When cutting your own dovetails, practice by installing the lugs first, since they are hidden under the barrel. Cut the sight slots last, after you have some practice.Repairs
: failed dovetail installations are often more costly to repair. Never weld a rifle barrel to repair a dovetail slot! Welding will shrink the bore diameter, and ruin the temper of the heat affected zone.
We can select and install a sight or lug with a slightly larger dovetail base. Or, our gunsmith can hand make a sight to fit an oversize slot, at extra cost.
Front sight dovetails are typically .062" deep, but vary widely. Rear sight dovetails are typically .050" deep, and the sight stands a bit above the barrel flat. No standards exist.For safety
: we require that the dovetail must leave .050" or more barrel wall to the bore or groove. A few sights require that the dovetail sight base be thinned, before installation in a thin wall barrel.File the sight, not the barrel
: when fitting a new sight to an existing dovetail, do not enlarge the slot in the barrel. Sights are intentionally made oversize, while barrel dovetails are intentionally made undersize, to allow hand fitting.