Removing Factory Trap Sights

Discussion in 'M, C, L and S Series' started by armory, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. armory

    armory New Member

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    I've seen that a lot of people have had trouble removing the factory Steyr sights, so I thought I would share the method I've been using to remove them. They are extremely tight, but it can be done.


    *** Disclaimer: DO NOT attempt this unless you have the correct tools and a fair knowledge of gunsmithing.


    First, take down the pistol, remove the slide end plate, retainer, and striker. Using wood or plastic blocks, clamp the slide in a vise, preferably a swivel vise so you can rotate it up 90 degrees. Be sure to keep the sight dovetail you are working on near the vise, so the center of gravity is in close. Note that Steyr sights remove from right to left in the dovetail.

    Use a hair dryer to warm the slide for 6-8 minutes. A heat gun would work, I tryed to stay away from torches an the like, so as to not brittle the steel. After several minutes with the dryer, take a piece of ice, and push it into the sight. Quickly melt the piece of ice into the sight, when it becomes harder to melt, stop.

    Grab a medium weight hammer, a 3/16" steel punch (Brass will not suffice.), and a cleaning patch, if you want to salvage the sight. Place the patch over the sight and hammer carefully, square on the dovetail. Reposition the patch every other blow as it will wear thin. If you are going to trash the sight then you can skip the patch. Getting it to move at all is the key. Once it moves, it will come off.

    The rear sight is the toughest. The two I've removed, I saw evidence that they had been pushed in with a hydraulic press and staked in place. I repeat this for the front sight, but it is generally easier to remove.

    And thats about it. The heat expands the slide, the ice contracts the sight, and the steel has enough ass to move it out. I tried and failed probably three times before I got the formula right, then it was pretty easy.

    Another tip, I replaced the trap sights with Trijicon's. I usually file just enough off the bottom of the sight to polish it. Then put them in the freezer for 25-30 min. Heat the slide as above, then use a brass or polymer punch to hammer in.

    Good luck and happy shooting.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2011
  2. ETH77

    ETH77 Premium Member

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    Thanks for a good how-to!
     

  3. khoff

    khoff New Member

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    that is some GREAT KNOWLEDGE . thank you for shairing that with us. although i have no intention to remove mine i now KNOW the particulars. i bet they put those rear sights in so tight because of the loaded chamber indicater that runs threw it. newer guns don't have LCI's from what i understand, i wonder if those rear sights are put in SO tight ?
     
  4. armory

    armory New Member

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    Thanks, the two pistols i described above were post-LCI models, so yes they are still extremely tight.
     
  5. Shooter

    Shooter Premium Member

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    Is there a left-right component in the process or any direction on and off?
     
  6. 45MINK

    45MINK New Member

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    one reason I bought a Steyr was the sights why would I want to remove them ? In fact I bought my C9-A1 from SAI direct and had them istalled the trap sights before sending it to my FFL. If I wanted sights everyone else has I would've bought a glock or beretta lol
     
  7. Fireof59

    Fireof59 New Member

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    +1; I completely agree; Love my sights

    (Either way; great info from the OP; Thanks for taking the time)
     
  8. Shooter

    Shooter Premium Member

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    Ok I missed that right to left sentence :salute:
     
  9. khoff

    khoff New Member

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    usually sights in a pistol slide are removed pushing to the right from the left and are installed pushing to the left from the right looking at the slide from the rear with the muzzle end pointing away from you as in firing mode. that is the way it is with glock so i assume it is the same with steyr as they are both Austrian guns. it is the same with 1911s and sigs and berettas.
     
  10. 73sbVert

    73sbVert Member

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    How much did that run you? I'd like to do the same, for the same reasons!

    :D