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Thread: Dan Wesson 1911 front sight attachment?

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rmiked View Post
    Thatís good to know. If I need a replacement I would match dimensions to what is on my pistol. My factory Ameriglo fits perfectly. My friend just got night sights installed on his Remington R1. He said those dovetails were also proprietary and required gunsmith fitting. The Smith did a great job
    Why do you think your front sight is "factory"? How do you know it didn't ship to DW as a blank and was fitted? Don't just assume because it fits that the dovetail must be to Novak's spec..there's enough weirdness with DW dovetails where I would not expect other sights to just drop in without fitting.

  2. #22
    By ďfactoryĒ I meant as received from Dan Wesson. Itís possible that DW fits them to their nonstandard dovetail cut, if they are nonstandard. Iíll measure my cuts and compare to the Novak Lo Mount (rear, std Novak front) and see how they compare. By me saying I would match the dimensions, I would remove the sights, measure them and compare those dimensions to available sights. I donít know why any manufacturer would make cuts that donít fit commonly available sights. It just creates more work unless the pistol manufacturer is trying to create more service work? Once again, I have looked at many installed sights and mine fit as good as I have see .

  3. #23
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    My opinion is that dovetails are cut to some standard. Sights might fit, or if wider, the base can be filed or stoned to fit. A pistol manufacturer might use one brand of sights this year and another brand the next. Also, makers usually out source parts, especially smaller ones. As a young man, I drove a lot of people crazy by over thinking a lot of minor details. Shoot your pistol and enjoy it. Today we have pistols that will outshoot and out last the ones made in the not too distant past. I have never owned a 1911 as fine as one of the Dan Wesson's. I have handled several and inspected each and found no fault. There is such a thing as honest wear on a firearm. Over time shooting and handling and carrying put honest wear on guns. This adds a certain character. Try not to put idiot marks on your pistol. Don't drop it on concrete, and keep Bubba away from it. Shoot the hell out of it.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rmiked View Post
    By ďfactoryĒ I meant as received from Dan Wesson. Itís possible that DW fits them to their nonstandard dovetail cut, if they are nonstandard. Iíll measure my cuts and compare to the Novak Lo Mount (rear, std Novak front) and see how they compare. By me saying I would match the dimensions, I would remove the sights, measure them and compare those dimensions to available sights. I donít know why any manufacturer would make cuts that donít fit commonly available sights. It just creates more work unless the pistol manufacturer is trying to create more service work? Once again, I have looked at many installed sights and mine fit as good as I have see .
    You clearly have not spent much time reading any of the various 1911 specific forums

    Kimber, Springfield, etc have all used either proprietary, or otherwise not "normal" sight cuts over the years. Kimber cuts are unique to Kimber, and Springfield has used a handful of different cuts over the years. Then there's Les Baer, Wilson, etc etc etc. Even Heinie sights have their own dovetails for front and rear; they make sets that fit Novak cuts but they won't even call them Novak cuts; they'll call them "low mount" or something like that so as not to send business to Novak.

    Here are many of the sight cuts out there, and this isn't all of them...just the most "popular" ones that your average gunsmith is likely to run into. It also doesn't go into many details of what to expect from which manufacturers (i.e. what sight cuts do Rock Islands have, and for which models? How about Tisas, or Taurus, etc?)

    Most large makers have standardized on Novak cuts but even then, some of them are knockoff cuts (see Novak's site for details) and are not true to spec.

    My point is, you can't assume that just because your 1911 looks like it may have Novak cuts that they're actually cut to spec and correct...if they weren't made by Novak or a manufacturer known to follow Novak's spec (again, see Novak's site for details), then all you can assume is that they should be to spec...but may not be.

    Anyway, why are you concerned about sights in the first place? Unless you are planning to replace them, just leave them be. The hole in the front sight is for a hollow roll pin, which is probably there but very thin. The pin is to keep the front sight from drifting in the event that the sight is too small or dovetail too large. If you really want to, you can use a roll pin punch and drive it out, but I would probably purchase a new replacement pin before doing that in that case...you don't want that pin to become loose from constant driving in/out of the hole. Consider that pin a one-time-use-only thing that needs a replacement if it's ever removed. Otherwise there is no reason for the hole in the front sight and slide to be there, and they wouldn't waste the machine time on it if they weren't going to use it. The front of the slide is the part of the gun that sees the most movements in the most axis (axies? axis' ?) and even with a tight front sight, it can get vibrated/heated loose over the course of a lot of rounds. It goes through a lot of heat/cool cycles and can very easily come loose when hot.

    Edited to add - some makers, like Les Baer, won't actually drill the hole through the slide...just the front sight, and seat the pin that way. That means the front sight is basically unremoveable; you need to drill or mill out the pin if you want to remove the sight intact...my understanding is the easiest way to remove the front sight from those is to twist and break the blade off with a set of pliers and then drive out the bottom half from the dovetail. I don't know if other manufacturers do this too.

  5. #25
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    4 different Dan Wesson 1911's.

    I like arched mainspring housings, short triggers and 10-8 rear sight with .156 U-notch. Zero issues on all 4 guns swapping/fitting those parts. Ed Brown arched mainspring housings fit right in and the pin hole lined up perfectly. A little material stood proud at the butt and needed to by removed for a perfect flush fit. The sights were a nice snug fit needing to be tapped in place. 10-8 short trigger and Harrison Custom short triggers (No adjustment screws, just a post filed to the proper length) needed a little sanding on the top & bottom of the shoes to perfectly fit the channel.

    I also swapped out the slim grip bushings and used standard thickness VZ grips.

  6. #26
    Evil Ed, yes I am new to 1911s and was unaware of all the nuances of sight cuts. I love my sights. Just wondering if in future a replacement was desired, how does it come off? Now I know . The split roll pin in mine is thin and hollow. A 1/6Ē punch will fit in hole. I can get a 0.03Ē safety pin thru the hole into the slide and it it centered in the slide hole well. I would not like if removal required drilling the pin out. What a pain. Anyway, thanks for sharing the experience.

  7. #27
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    There's a ton of good info on

    m1911.org
    1911forum.com
    1911addicts.com

    There's a bunch of other forums out there as well...m1911.org used to be very popular and very active but I think some severe over-moderation got in the way. Similar with 1911forum.com...there's still a ton of very valuable information on both sites though. A lot of traffic and eyes pass over 1911addicts.com but the signal/noise ratio there can be iffy...

  8. #28
    Site Supporter FrankB's Avatar
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    Dan Wesson 1911ís do have a pin. Itís a split roll, and extends through the slide.
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    You should be able to punch that pin through easily. I often grind down punches to fit my needs, and they work well.

  9. #29
    Yes, I looked at mine with a light and have the split roll pin just like that. Thanks for confirmation. If I had not asked here, and wanted to remove the front sight, I would have used a sight pusher against that pin (not knowing it was there). My Beretta 92A1 has no such pin but a very tight dovetail fit. I like the idea of a shear pin, especially the split roll (spring) pin.

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