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Old 03-20-2020, 09:26 PM
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Default Want to send two back to get re-lamped questions/advice

OK so I finally decided to send a couple back to Trijicon to get the S&W factory night sights new again. I started the process but I’m already worried. (I do that too much.)

I’d prefer to just get the sights as I’ve got a great sight pusher and am very comfortable/proficient using it. But I’ve never “pushed” night sights and I understand that is a bit different.

I’m very apprehensive about “mailing” two slides that can not be replaced regardless of insurance. How can I put a value, (for insurance purposes,) on something that would be difficult to replace?

Am I over reacting to my concerns? Anyone have ANY similar experience or suggestions?

Thanks again for any/all imput.

Jim

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Old 03-20-2020, 09:45 PM
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I'm not sure about the procedure for submission of the sights for re-lamping that Trigicon uses, but can't you just remove the sights from the two guns and send the sights in? (If not, I personally would not have them re-lamped) As you said, it wouldn't be worth the risk to mail the slides to them. I agree completely.

Your other concerns about how to install tritium sights are, I believe, unfounded. I'm sure if you are confident on how to properly set up and use your sight pusher that you should be able to handle this without any problem. You should mark the sights as to which gun they came off of, so they can be re-installed in the same configuration....and on the same slide when they are returned.
Also, I've never understood why gun owners are so concerned about the sights being "exceptionally tight" during installation. If they are too tight, it's a very simple process to remove a small amount of material from the sight base in preparation for them to be installed into the dovetail. Proper fitting of the oversized bases is, or should be, part of the installation process, and insures the sight itself, and the slide, will not be damaged.
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Old 03-20-2020, 09:53 PM
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If you're concerned about the possibility of losing a slide or two just bump the sights off and send them sans slide. Those sights are notoriously stubborn to get off. My recommendation is a brass drift punch and a copper hammer. The forces and shock loading imparted by knocking the slight off is nothing compared to the violent action they are subject to during live firing. Just don't hammer on the blade but direct your blows against the sight base.

I always use a copper hammer...With a copper head hammer, a missed blow will merely leave a copper crayon mark that can easily be wiped off with a copper solvent...Instead of a permanent dent.. Same deal with the brass drift punch...it'll leave some marks here and there which are easily wiped off with copper solvent.

You can see a bit of a brass "crayon mark" here just under the dovetail cut...


I have a couple sight pusher tools too including a factory S&W unit but they little use. Only when I need to make a precise windage adjustment do I use a pusher. otherwise, when removing or installing sights... A vise (jaws insulated to protect finish) and a brass drift with copper hammer.

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Bill
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Old 03-20-2020, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by BMCM View Post
If you're concerned about the possibility of losing a slide or two just bump the sights off and send them sans slide. Those sights are notoriously stubborn to get off. My recommendation is a brass drift punch and a copper hammer. The forces and shock loading imparted by knocking the slight off is nothing compared to the violent action they are subject to during live firing. Just don't hammer on the blade but direct your blows against the sight base.

I always use a copper hammer...With a copper head hammer, a missed blow will merely leave a copper crayon mark that can easily be wiped off with a copper solvent...Instead of a permanent dent.. Same deal with the brass drift punch...it'll leave some marks here and there which are easily wiped off with copper solvent.

You can see a bit of a brass "crayon mark" here just under the dovetail cut...


I have a couple sight pusher tools too including a factory S&W unit but they little use. Only when I need to make a precise windage adjustment do I use a pusher. otherwise, when removing or installing sights... A vise (jaws insulated to protect finish) and a brass drift with copper hammer.

Cheers
Bill
Please don't use a hammer with night sights. The gas in them is radioactive. You do not want to crack the lamps and breathe that in. A sight pusher is the proper tool.

Is there any reason you cannot just buy replacement night sights and replace the dead ones? Seems if the cost of losing the slides is that high, the cost of new night sights should be easily justified.
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Old 03-20-2020, 10:03 PM
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First off, pushing night sights is no different than other sights if you are indeed using a pusher. You generally do not want to "drive" night sights in with a punch although there are some who have done so successfully.
Secondly, I would state that most replacement sights need to be fitted to the individual slide's dovetails as they can/do vary slightly. The sight's base needs to be slowly stoned or sanded a stroke or two at a time between trial fittings in the slide. I'm comfortable with the sight's fit when it will slide into the dovetail with mild force 1/4 to 1/3 of the way. If you try to force the base of an oversized sight into the dovetail, you CAN bend the sight base and then the sight cannot be made to fit properly into the dovetail. (Don't ask, but let me assure you it happens.)
As far as shipping and insuring your slides when shipping to Trijicon, I insure for the full replacement amount of the entire pistol. Yes that adds to the shipping cost and luckily I haven't had to make a claim yet. I typically ship mine Priority Mail so I get better tracking and in my case Trijicon's Service Center is usually a one day drive straight up IS75 from my post office. I only ship out those items on Mon-Wed, just in case there is a snag, so the package doesn't sit somewhere over the weekend. I would use UPS or Fedex but there are no close by shipping points. I have utilized Trijicon's
re-lamping service on at least 12 pistols and all have been shipped, processed and returned in perfect shape. Allow up to 6 weeks for turn around but mine have usually run around 3-4 wks.
I am not disagreeing with BMCM as he is much more experienced than I and I am sure he has the experience to apply judicious force using a hammer and drift. I just believe that for the novice, with patience and proper set up a sight pusher provides less chance for damage.
Just providing my many experiences using Trijicon's service.

Last edited by mckenney99; 03-20-2020 at 10:13 PM.
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Old 03-20-2020, 10:55 PM
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Yes to all. Great ideas. Thanks.

I am used to fitting new sights. That is not a problem at all. I have never found that any replacement/upgraded sights actually initially “slide” right in. Kinda sorta like other parts, (Colt triggers, sear springs and such,) and I like doing the the sometimes slow fitting process.

I really appreciate all the advice for sure. It didn't even think about insuring for the total pistol value.

Jim
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Old 03-20-2020, 10:58 PM
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I’ll add a non-technical answer.

Insure them for the cost of each full replacement HANDGUN, at whatever price you feel comfortable being reimbursed if they get lost or destroyed. You will be paying for the insurance coverage, right? Who is the USPS to tell YOU the “value” of something that they wrecked or lost if you paid to insure it at $X.xx amount?

I certainly don’t think you are odd for being apprehensive, but most of us ship whole firearms around the country and it’s just part of the game. Unless you are really bad at packaging something up, your two slides aren’t more likely to get lost or wrecked than the countless full guns many of us are shipping.

I would much rather let Trijicon do their magic and not move any fixed sight unless I really (really!) need to.
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Old 03-20-2020, 10:59 PM
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Well dangit I didn’t read through all the responses before I added my (not quite original) idea...
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Old 03-20-2020, 11:20 PM
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If you decide to ship the slides intact to Trijicon, couple of tips from past experience. Make a tag up for each slide with the return authorization number and your full contact info on it. Attach the tag to the slide through the ejection port.
Easy padding for the slide can be made with the linear split, gray foam wrap that is used on copper water lines, with a couple rubber bands around it all to hold the split together. Drop your slides in a box with some bubble wrap and protect the ends.
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Old 03-20-2020, 11:45 PM
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Well, this thread sure turned into a can of worms

I am compelled to point out the following...

While Trijicon supplies no specific installation instructions with their sight sets other than "Professional Installation Recommended", XS Sights does.

XS Sights, whos sights are lamped by Trijicon, supplies detailed instructions with their sight sets for fitting and installation. XS specifically instructs NOT to use sight pusher tools. And, in point of fact, they supply, in the package, with the sight set, a non-marring punch to be used for "driving" the sights into position once the proper fitting steps have been completed. I presume when they say "driving", that the use of a hammer is involved in some fashion.

Dawson Precision also sells night sights which are lamped by Trijicon. Dawson's instructions are not as detailed as XS but Dawson also supplies a non-marring aluminum punch with their sights. Again, merely my presumption... but I have to think that for one to effectively use a punch to install a dovetail sight, a hammer must come into play at some point.

Cheers
Bill
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Old 03-21-2020, 12:42 AM
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[QUOTE=BMCM;140706713]Well, this thread sure turned into a can of worms

Well, if you have been following my Friday evening posts, there is a great chance that this might have happened. We still have the weekenders to respond yet.

But seriously, I’ve only got great responses but I am still on the fence. I do feel “qualified” and more than able to do it myself. But I’ll probably just insure them heavily, (but reasonably,) and send them to Trijicon.

Jim
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Old 03-21-2020, 01:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4T5GUY View Post
I’ll probably just insure them heavily, (but reasonably,) and send them to Trijicon.

Jim
Nothing wrong with that plan. Whenever I ship a slide from one of my own or a customer's arm...it's insured at the replacement value of the weapon and shipped via trackable means. I typically use USPS priority mail when sending stuff to Trijicon.

Cheers
Bill
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Old 03-21-2020, 01:47 AM
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I just send in the sights.

It ain't rocket surgery and it sounds like you know what you are doing.

If you do what you already know how to do (remove and replace your own sights), you eliminate the anxiety of the unknown (the US Post Office ).

Besides, even with mega-insurance, you can't be sure when or if the claim will be paid.

Push the sights off, send them in, be proud of a job well done, and sleep soundly at night.

John
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Old 03-21-2020, 11:22 AM
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I've been using a padded vise, a brass hammer and a piece of brass bar stock to remove and replace sights, including tritium sights, for years.......more than 35.

The critical component to use here is a bit of common sense. Make sure the sight fits the dovetail properly prior to installation, and, focus the impact of the tool at the base of the sight.
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Old 03-21-2020, 12:48 PM
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Whelp I learned something today.
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Old 03-21-2020, 01:16 PM
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In my 20 years in the armory Ive probably installed/replaced several thousand sets/front sights on different models,S/W , 1911, Glock, others . XDs being the hardest I believe. We probably had a dozen or more sight installation/adjustment tools , I wont go into problems with them, most stayed in the box.
Brass punch, shaped correctly, brass, copper hammer and a good strong vise with padded jaws was all any of us ever used. There are some learned techniques to make it easier, pre-fitting the sights etc. Some sights being made softer than others.
Granted the first few times its a bit nerve racking and you need a strong grip so maybe taking it to a gunsmith isn't a bad idea for someone who doesn't do it very often. Im not sure I would mention the nuclear material,HA! I know it wont explode.
Also had a lot of officers send slides to Trijicon, and we sent in a few hundred. I only remember 1 being lost by an officer. I would use USPS not UPS, lots of gun parts lost there. Insure it anyway and tagging it isn't a bad idea.
Front sight being the easiest to skip off the base and break be sure to keep a good edge on your punch. If you do break one just don't pick it up by your bare hand. I dont have any parts glowing yet and Ive broken a few taking old ones off usually because they were loctited in or the lock screw was stripped out or similar.good luck

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Old 03-21-2020, 05:18 PM
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DoesTrijicon actually remove the sights from the slide or are the tubes replaced with the sights still attached? How are the tubes removed? Solvent?

Just curious.

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Old 03-22-2020, 08:12 AM
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Tool Tech is the company that will fit new tubes in them.
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Old 03-22-2020, 09:38 AM
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I sent my Les Baer Concept VII (Commander) slide in to Trijicon to have the sights re-lamped about five years ago. As I recall it cost about $75 and it took three weeks.

It doesn't look like they removed the sights when they did mine, so I assumed they re-lamped them in place.

At the time Trijicon's website never mentioned sending in just the sights, it was either send the slide from your semi-auto, or remove the cylinder on your revolver and send the rest.

Bill
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Old 03-22-2020, 09:45 AM
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I've changed Glock day sights to night sights and replaced dead/dying night sights with fresh ones on Glocks many times.

I clamped the slide as low as I could in a vise between pieces of wood and drifted the sights out with a brass punch. I tapped the sight as close to the base, or on the base and it worked fine.

Bill
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Old 03-24-2020, 07:19 PM
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I have a pile of dead night sights that someday I will send in to re-lamp with Trijicon (especially now that XS has stopped production on most 3rd Gen models). I plan on sending them in removed from the slide when I do.

Like others have stated, I have found a good hammer and brass punch to be the best way to remove/install night sights. I use a 50 oz Estwing deadblow hammer and a long (12+ inches) section of 1/4" brass rod shaped on the end. The long brass rod keeps the hammer well away from the gun (and my hand), as well as adding more momentum to each stroke.
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Old 03-24-2020, 07:51 PM
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Just to add a couple bits of info...

Tooltech Gunsight can be thought of as the gunsmithing arm of Trijicon. This is where to go if you want lamps installed in something that never had lamps. Like a fixed revolver sight or whatever...I had them install a tritium bar below the notch on a LPA TR series rear sight a few years back.
This is Tooltech's work...

Custom installer of Trijicon Night Sights – 248.628.1811

Trijicon will re-lamp any dead, dim or expired sights that were originally lamped by them for a flat fee of $19 per lamp.
In my experience there was not difference in the fee whether the sights were mounted to a slide of not. To arrange for relamping you start here... Returns & Repairs | Trijicon(R) by requesting a return authorization number.

Cheers
Bill
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Old 03-28-2020, 12:48 PM
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I have had several Trijicon sights on pistols. I have a 4566 with original night sights. They are not marked as other Trijicons are. I believe this 4566 to be an ex police gun due to the sights and being decock only. How do you tell if Trijicon or another brand? Will Trijicon replace only their sights?
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Old 03-28-2020, 01:11 PM
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I have a 4566 with original night sights. They are not marked as other Trijicons are.
Your sights are probably marked on the bottom like these sights and can be re-lamped - 4566 Trijicon How could I know?
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Would you send this back to S&W? arobahn S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present 28 03-28-2012 10:54 PM
Help- Should I send it back?? puller738 Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 11 12-01-2010 12:15 AM

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