In the last decade Glock semiautos have come from nowhere to rank among the most popular pistols in the U.S. According to Glock's own sales figures, more than 50 percent of America's cops and private security agencies now carry Glocks, and civilia. sales more than equal that number. For handgun enthusiasts and tinkerer the straightforward mechanism of the Glock pistol and its polymer frame leave fewer opportunities for kitchentable pistolsmithing than do other, more traditional pistol models, but there is one Glock feature that virtually cries out for customizing attention --the sights.
|Replacing the factory-original Glock sights with an aftermarket setup is easy to do with just few tools.|
Here's a step-by-step guide to replacing the sights on a Glock pistol--any model or chambering--using a set of Heinie basic black rear and front sights for illustration. The same procedcure applies to any of the other Glock accessory sights on the market that are available in a variety of visibility-enhancing patterns as well as plain black, including Heinie's innovative two-dot Straight 8 system (for daylight or night) and Trijicon's well-known tritium nightsight packages.
The first step is to remove the magazine and clear any loaded round from the gun's chamber, then disassemble the gun by pulling the trigger, pulling downward on both sides of the disassembly bar, and simultaneously drawing the slide/barrel assembly forward off the frame. Turn the slide upside down, remove the captive recoil spring assembly and barrel from the slide, and you're ready to work.
|Place the Glock slide in a nonmarring vise and use a nonmarring drift punch to drive out the original rear sight. Then center the new rear sight in the dovetail slot with a nonmarring drift punch.|
You can go ahead and remove the factory front sight at this time or wait until you've installed the new rear one--makes no real difference. But you will have to replace both rear and front because none of the accessory rear sights will work with the factory front blade due to height differences.
To remove the front blade simply turn the slide upside down in your vise (or flat on the workbench with the front hanging out past the edge) and use a small-diameter center punch to drive the little polymer locking stud free. It takes just one light tap from your hammer on the punch, and you'll be surprised at how fragile the setup actually seems.
With both front and rear factory sights removed, first replace
the rear with your new unit. A Heinie Glock rear sight can be
installed in the dove tail from either side. Its leading edges
are slightly beveled for ease in getting it started into the groove.
Clamp the slide in your vise or hold securely dow on the workbench
and use a nonmarring drift punch to tap the sight to cen ter in
the dovetail. One very neat feature of Dick Heinie's sights eliminates
the Glock pistols' well-known propensity to always shoot slightly
to the right with a rear sight that is visually centered in
the slide. Heinie makes his rear sight unit with its notch offset
.005 inch to the left so that when the sight looks visually centered on the gun, it is more
likely to shoot to point of aim without needing to be drifted to an odd-looking, off-center position.
|Before you install the new front sight you should apply No. 271 Loctite to the front sight hole in the slide and to the threaded stud on the sight. Use a 3/16-inch nut driver to tighten down the front sight's nut and threaded post, but make sure the blade is properly aligned before applying your final torque.|
Finally wipe any excess Loctite clean from the slide inside and out, reassemble your pistol, and set it aside for about three to four hours while the Loctite dries. Your Glock pistol now has a new set of rugged all-steel sights of your choice--black, visible-dot, or night-sight system--and you can proudly call yourself a Glock custom pistolsmith (in your own mind, of course). Now go shoot and have some fun.
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Wixom, MI 48393
*Partial listing of aftermarket Glock sight manufacturers and distributors.
HandGunning is not responsible for mishaps of any kind which may occur from use of published loading data or from recommendations by staff writers.