Basic Sight Installation for Pistols

Basic Sight Installation for Pistols


There may come a time when you decide one (or all) of your pistols could use a sight upgrade.  Perhaps your favorite range gun could benefit from adjustable target sights, or the night sights on your everyday carry pistol have finally given out.

If you've ever wondered how to tackle these upgrades yourself, it’s easier than you may think.  With the right tools and some basic instruction, you can upgrade the sights on most modern handguns from the convenience of your own home.


First and foremost, you’ll need a sight pusher tool to do any sight removal or installation.  Several types of pushers are available; both in universal and brand specific models, but the overall style of these pushers will be the same throughout.

If you own pistols from several different manufactures, a universal model may be your best option, though may not always provide the best fit for each pistol.  Brand specific models can be purchased, but if you start working with multiple models, you will have to purchase more than one sight pusher.


A sight pusher locks the slide of your pistol into place with a clamp.  As always, check to make sure your firearm is unloaded before field stripping.  Remove the slide from your pistol and place it into the sight pusher, then turn the clamp knob until the slide is secure.  Make sure the sight you want to change is aligned correctly.

It is always a good idea to make a mark of the original sight's position in relation to the slide before removal.  This can be done easily using a pencil and will ensure the new rear sight is installed into the correct place.

Once the slide is locked, you can then turn the control for the pusher to remove the sight from its notch on the slide.  You can also make windage adjustments on the rear sight utilizing the pusher. Once the old sight is removed, return the pusher to its starting position.

Place the new sight into the edge of the notch and push it into place, aligning it with the marks made on the slide for the original sight.  Remove the slide from the clamp and you're done! You can repeat this process on most pistols for the front sight.  However, GLOCK pistols utilize a front sight design that is screwed into place from underneath the sight.  GLOCK front sight tools are also available.

Removing the front sight on a GLOCK pistol is not hard.  Simply use the front sight tool to unscrew the front sight screw and remove the original sight.  Place the new front sight into position and replace the screw. We recommend using a little Loctite or other super adhesive to ensure the sight screw doesn't back out during firing.


With your new sights installed, you can now reassemble your pistol.  If you find the sight accuracy to be a little off, you can utilize your sight pusher to make minute adjustments on the rear sights until they are lined up properly.


While not all pistols can have their sights removed with a pusher, especially older or antique models, most modern handguns are quite easy to work on. Taking your pistol to a gunsmith, paying for labor, and being without it for days or weeks is no longer your only option for installing new gun sights.

Sight installation is a basic, straightforward process that can be easily accomplished by anyone who enjoys the hands-on experience of working on their own firearms.