How to Remove an AR Front Sight

How to Remove an AR Front Sight

Sometimes an armorer may find it necessary to remove the front sight housing on an AR-15/M16 type rifle. Standard front sights are pinned to the barrel. Manufacturers such as Rock River and DPMS use straight pins, while others like Colt and Bushmaster employ tapered pins.

Moving these pins requires a strike from a hammer and punch, and the front sight must be solidly supported to prevent it from walking around on the bench. If the sight is allowed to move, you may end up with unprofessional looking dings in the steel around the pins where the punch slipped.

Brownells produces a special polyethylene bench block designed to aid both removal and installation. The block is machined to accommodate most front sights, although I have seen a couple that were too big to fit the recess.

Taper pins must be driven out from the small end (left to right). The ends of the pins are rounded and a standard punch will tend to slip each time it is struck. Use a Brownells Taper Pin Starter Punch if possible.


The end of this tool has a concave face designed to fit the ends of the pins. This is only a starter punch. Once the pin begins to move, a standard 1/8-inch punch may be used to drive it out. Before reinstalling the front sight, a size 2/0 taper pin reamer may be used to clean up the holes if they are burred.


Another pin removal tool comes to us from X-Ring Products. This tool consists of a clamp that fits over the front sight and provides a guide that keeps the punch from wandering. Machined from 6061 aluminum and hard anodized, this kit comes complete with a short starter punch and a standard length punch. I have found this device effective for punching out tight taper pins.


Front Sight Block

Norcross\' well-used Brownells front sight block has seen many a pin driven out and replaced. This part is essential if you plan to work on many ARs.

Front Sight Positioned

A front sight positioned for removal on the Brownells block. Combining the block with a taper pin starter punch will keep you from marring the sight.

X-Ring Precision Tool

The X-Ring Precision sight pin removal tool comes packed in a small Pelican case with punch and Allen wrench. It\'s great for the tightest pins.

Rear Guide Hole

Here the rear guide hole of the X-Ring fixture is positioned for removal of the rear pin. With the tool clamped in place, the punch can\'t wander off course.

Tightening the X-Ring

The X-Ring fixture is tightened in place with a socket head cap screw. The thumbscrew adjusts a plastic bumper that bears against the sight so the fixture won\'t rotate.

Recommended for You

Governor Northam is calling a special session of the General Assembly on Tuesday, July 9th, to do nothing but pass more gun control! 2nd Amendment

Virginia Governor Northam Declares War on Gun Owners

Virginia Citizens Defense League - July 09, 2019

Governor Northam is calling a special session of the General Assembly on Tuesday, July 9th, to...

No one can restore receptivity to another Trump term with these disaffected gun owners but the president himself. 2nd Amendment

2020 is Trump's to Blow with Gun Owners

David Codrea - July 09, 2019

No one can restore receptivity to another Trump term with these disaffected gun owners but the...

We at Firearms News hope that you have a safe and happy Independence Day! 2nd Amendment

It's Independence Day NOT Just the Fourth of July!

FAN Online Editors

We at Firearms News hope that you have a safe and happy Independence Day!

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Ruger introduces Rifles Chambered in the All-New .350 Legend

Ruger introduces Rifles Chambered in the All-New .350 Legend

Two Ruger American Ranch rifles and the AR-556 MPR are now chambered for Winchester's .350 Legend cartridge.

Hornady

Hornady's New A-Tip Line of Match Bullets

Hornady Manufacturing, has developed a new line of match bullets. The A-Tip is designed for precision and long-range shooting.

Kyle Lamb and Eric Poole talk SIG pistols

Kyle Lamb and Eric Poole talk SIG pistols

G&A Editor Eric Poole and Viking Tacticals's Kyle Lamb talks about 2 new pistols from SIG Sauer and a Lipsey's Special of the P365.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

No one can restore receptivity to another Trump term with these disaffected gun owners but the president himself. 2nd Amendment

2020 is Trump's to Blow with Gun Owners

David Codrea - July 09, 2019

No one can restore receptivity to another Trump term with these disaffected gun owners but the...

If you want to keep the peace, keep and bear arms. Don't give up your guns. Any other choice would be ridiculous. 2nd Amendment

Is Red Dawn Really Just Ridiculous? If Not, Who Would Citizen Disarmament Help?

David Codrea - May 29, 2019

If you want to keep the peace, keep and bear arms. Don't give up your guns. Any other choice...

Rhode Islanders are setting brushfires for freedom once again as they advance a Second Amendment Sanctuary Town movement. 2nd Amendment

SPECIAL REPORT: BIG 2A HISTORY BEING MADE IN LITTLE RHODE ISLAND

John Peterson - May 22, 2019

Rhode Islanders are setting brushfires for freedom once again as they advance a Second...

See More Stories

More How-To

Bowling Pin Shooting began as a demonstration technique and quickly evolved into an annual shooting match. How-To

The Sport of Bowling Pin Shooting

Patrick Sweeney - March 20, 2019

Bowling Pin Shooting began as a demonstration technique and quickly evolved into an annual...

Hodgdon has launched three new how-to videos on its popular Reloading Data Center, which is not How-To

Hodgdon Reloading Data Center Videos

SGN Online Editors - June 08, 2014

Hodgdon has launched three new how-to videos on its popular Reloading Data Center, which is...

There's nothing in the firearms world as fun and exciting as going full-auto. Unfortunately, there How-To

So You Want to Buy a Transferable Machine Gun?

Brian Poling - January 07, 2015

There's nothing in the firearms world as fun and exciting as going full-auto. Unfortunately,...

See More How-To

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW OUR CURRENT ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.