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Thread: Flip up rear sight - can I drift it?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    4

    Default Flip up rear sight - can I drift it?

    Hello - I have a National Postal Meter M1 carbine with a flip-up rear sight. It (the M1) may not be original, but itís close enough that I do not want to do anything that would mess it up. (I have a CMP Inland as a shooter.) The problem is that the NPM shoots several inches to the right, which is probably fine for combat, but not so great when you're trying to hit a paper target. I'm wondering if I can drift the rear sight slightly to the left without doing any damage. However, I am somewhat hesitant to do this for the following reasons: 1) On the right hand side of the rear sight base, there are two scribe marks that correspond with the right edge of the sight. In other words, it seems like the sight was already adjusted to the right at some point. 2) On the left-hand side, right where the sight is dovetailed into the base, there seems to be some type of tiny piece of metal between the base and the front corner of the sight, almost like it may be some type of attempt at staking the sight. It looks like a tiny fragment of a nail or something, or maybe itís just some staking. I don't want to hammer on the sight if it's been staked in place. Iím attaching a few photos which may help, although I know they are not very detailed. Anyone have any ideas or advice? Does this sight look staked, and how dangerous is it to try to tap it to the left Ė could I loosen it permanently? Thanks
    Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    231

    Default

    Some soilders did a "field stake" using whatever they had at the time. I have a Winchester that has a mark made by a sharp object, posibly a bayonet to stake the flip sight from moving to the left. Maybe there is something about sights moving to the left? I have drifted many sights some staked some not, I would suggest that you clamp the reciever in a vice with wood protecting the reciever from the jaws and use a piece of oak and a hammer to drift the sight, be sure to place the oak (I use 1/2" round stock from the local hobby shop) at an angle close to the dove tail. If you hit it high you could bend the sight ears so your flip will not work. Some people like brass to drift because it will not hurt the steel but it can leave brass colored marks, wood will not hurt the steel or finish ... just my opinion
    Bill

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Bitterroot , MT
    Posts
    156

    Default

    Personal opinion: Drift it with a brass drift. The mark will come off with copper remover. I doubt that there will be any problem. I have drifted sights on many rifles (military and civilian) with no problems. If reasonable taps don't work, put some penetrant on it for a day or two.

    Rifles that don't hit drive me nuts.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Thanks. My real question isn't how to drift it, but can I still drift it if it's staked, without permanently loosening it up? In other words, once it's staked, can it still be drifted again?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Fla.
    Posts
    72

    Default

    yes and it depends on how tight it is in the dovetail slot.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Loveland, Ohio
    Posts
    1,598

    Default

    Sure, you can drift it, just re-stake it afterwards. A 1/8" centerpunch works well for this.
    "Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas"
    Jeff Cooper

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    233

    Default

    The best thing you should do is leave the sight alone. Whatever you do don't use a center punch to stake the sight. You will instantly devalue the carbine.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Loveland, Ohio
    Posts
    1,598

    Default

    ref; TM9-1276, Ca. .30 Carbines M1,M1A1, M2 and M3, pgs.99 and 100.Staking rear sight in place with staking punch. It's a centerpunch
    "Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas"
    Jeff Cooper

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    233

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Waits View Post
    ref; TM9-1276, Ca. .30 Carbines M1,M1A1, M2 and M3, pgs.99 and 100.Staking rear sight in place with staking punch. It's a centerpunch
    Yep, and doing so to a carbine that has never had an adjustable rear sight on it will, like I said previously, instantly devalue the carbine.

    Would you hit this reciever with a center punch?


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Loveland, Ohio
    Posts
    1,598

    Default

    Somebody already has, it's been machine-staked on the left side sir.

    BTW, that one is pretty close to my NPM, it's 4,090xxx
    "Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas"
    Jeff Cooper

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