Welp, they say the first step towards improvement is admitting that you have a problem….so here we go. When I first became a gun owner I was nearly penny-less. Therefore I cut corners everywhere I could and to my demise, the largest corner I cut was the investment in purpose-built tools. Sadly, after more than 20 years, with 10 of them being a professional I STILL try to cut these corners. Changing iron sights are tough; Let’s face it, they are designed to stay still otherwise they wouldn’t hold zero. After absolutely destroying a tritium front sight by trying to install it with a punch I found myself finally at Step two, admitting that I need help. That help came in the form of the Lyman Accusight tool.
The Lyman AccuSight tool is built to be a two-piece unit. The bottom piece is designed to secure the slide of nearly any pistol through the use of four independent side clamps. By adjusting these one at a time the user can accommodate just about any slide profile to firmly hold it in place. I like to think of these as the rag that I used to use, except these stay put and don’t rip the very instant that you clamp a bench vise on them. Lyman recommends putting a little bit of tape on the contact points for additional protection of your finish. This would be a great application for leather pads as well, something to think of next time you throw out a pair of old work gloves.
The top half of the unit contains the working parts. Here a 5th screw secures the slide from vertical movement and at the same time sets the height of the sight pusher. The sight pusher block is interchangeable to give the user the choice of a flat working surface or an angled one to match the slope of the sight being installed or removed. After that is set two heavy-duty knurled knobs lock the top to the bottom and you are ready to start crankin’.
I tested the unit by installing a pair of Truglo Tritium Pro sights onto a Canik TP9. I was able to secure the slide perfectly, despite its uneven surfaces and contours. I even had enough room to place the pusher block wherever I wanted. I started my test by erasing my sins and removed the half hammered-on front sight. After a few twists of fingertip strength pressure, I felt like a complete moron for not looking into this earlier. It was stupidly easy to move the sight and I got the old one out and replaced it in less than five minutes.
Next came time to set the tool up for the rear sight. Before being able to do so I noticed that I needed to take the pressure off of the pusher block before I was able to loosen the hold-down knobs, otherwise, they would be too tight to get off with hand pressure. Rear sight installation went as smooth as front sight installation, however, I needed to do a little work with some emery cloth to get it started. After getting in just about started in the dovetail I used the AccuSight to straighten it and drive it home, again less than five minutes, first-time success and a completely unmarked sight……man being cheap takes up a lot of time. We finished the job by taking the tool with us to the range and using it to fine-tune a zero. As it fits in the palm of your hand and doesn’t require a vice to use this makes it silly convenient.
Night sights are an important feature of an EDC handgun and if your gun doesn’t have them you owe it to yourself to get some. Not only might they save your life in an encounter but they help tremendously if you shoot at an indoor range as they usually aren’t lit the greatest. We found the Lyman AccuSight to cost as little as $110 from an online retailer, roughly the same price as buying that second pair of high-end tritium sights because you wasted your afternoon destroying the first pair. Visit Lyman.com for more info and to get your own….your pistol will thank you.