Shimming a Dovetail?

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Amongst the stuff I was given from my dad. A couple sets of sights was in the mix.

Problem is that I cant get the front to stay put on my CVA Hawken

Out of 2 diffeent sights. 1 fits too loose and other not snug enough ( can be easily slid over by hand)

Whats the best approach to fixing this problem?
 

bubba.50

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Lay about a 9/16ths socket across the dovetail & give it a light tap with a small hammer. Tap & try, tap & try tilyou get a nice tight fit and it’ll stay forever & you be able to see or tell that you’ve done anything at all.
 
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Lay about a 9/16ths socket across the dovetail & give it a light tap with a small hammer. Tap & try, tap & try tilyou get a nice tight fit and it’ll stay forever & you be able to see or tell that you’ve done anything at all.
Here are a couple of photographs of the process @bubba.50 refers to. They are supposed to be worth a thousand words each. Should make it self explanatory. You just lightly tap the socket to tighten up the dovetail. I prefer a slightly larger socket.
1648951428077.jpeg



1648951452980.jpeg
 
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In a gunsmithing book I have they show an illustration of doing the center punch trick but im leary about doing that lol
If you go the socket route, be very careful not to hit the edges too hard. Otherwise, you may find you have to grind one side off a three square file to file the inside down again. I'm not sure why you would be leary of the center punch. You can punch once, if the sight is still too loose, punch again until snug. I was mostly a mechanical design engineer for 25 years in plastic and wood. I did dable in metals at times. I have two year technical degree in machine shop.
 
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If you go the socket route, be very careful not to hit the edges too hard. Otherwise, you may find you have to grind one side off a three square file to file the inside down again. I'm not sure why you would be leary of the center punch. You can punch once, if the sight is still too loose, punch again until snug. I was mostly a mechanical design engineer for 25 years in plastic and wood. I did dable in metals at times. I have two year technical degree in machine shop.
I guess being a rookie in this stuff and afraid of messing something up.

But the socket trick worked great!!!

Centered the front sight and rear. 1 step closer to shootin
 
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I use the brass end of the Lyman hammer -- the one that includes a drift punch in its handle. Wrap the barrel in leather to protect it, clamp it in a vise and go to work; the hammer's handle makes it easy to hold in place with the brass end positioned like the wrench socket in the above photos; tap the brass lightly with a small machinist's hammer. Usually takes no more than three-four taps, and the brass protects the finish on the barrel should there be any slip-up.
 
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If you are scared of screwing something up, quit while you are ahead!!! LOL

I ain't sceeered of screwin nuttin up. Got proof right there on my bench. 😀

I once laid a layer of solder down in the bottom of a dovetail. That worked but I think the socket trick would have simplified it. 😀
 

M. De Land

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Besides the aluminum foil shim, I've taken a center punch to the bottom of the dovetail to fix a loose sight.
Shims, preferably steel shim stock, are the correct method of tightening dovetail sights. Pecking underneath or beating down the upper portion of the female is unprofessional gun repair and looks like Hell ! The underside punching of the female can actually impress into and distort the bore if the thickness margin is thin enough.
 
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