After my own futile attempts and that of a gunsmith, I finally tracked down one who had built his own custom jig to secure my Springfield Armory XD for a notoriously difficult site removal. I drove on over after leaving Bob Reynolds, a big smile still plastered on my face from shooting his Broadsword carbine.
Though I was in a great mood after my full-auto jaunt, I wasn’t too hopeful as we got started on removing the XD’s rear sight.
The ‘smith, Chris, bent his sight pusher on the first attempt. This was a sight pusher that he had successfully used to push out factory XD sights in the past. “This is the most trouble I’ve ever had with one of these before,” he said.
After some adjustments with the jig he proceeded to try the time-tested, brass hammer and punch technique, and started breaking a sweat. He put the brass hammer and punch down, turned on some large piece of industrial machinery I could not hope to identify, and the next thing I know, he’d milled or drilled what I can only describe as a sabot to hold the punch… a target for the bigger hammer… a ball peen.
I think I winced before he ever swung, and know I stepped back.
When I say he hit it, friends, I’m not doing it justice. HE. HIT. IT. Like Eliot “Client #9” Spitzer with $5k to burn, or Oprah at a dollar menu. Full wind-up, and wham!
About the fourth heavy blow the sight moved a little, and the next shot pushed it halfway out of the slide. After that, a couple of gentle taps completed the procedure.
The smile returned to my face and I headed home, one exhausted puppy.
* * *
It wasn’t until tonight that I was able to make a go at installing the Laserlyte RL… remember that? The reason we started this little project?
This time, things were almost disgustingly simple. I was able to start the sight by hand, so I know I wasn’t going to have serious problems.
I still needed a third or fourth hand to get the slide adjusted in the RL tool properly, but once that was aligned properly and cinched down, it was simply a matter of pushing the sight home, and the RL Tool performed as designed.
From there, it was a fairly simply process of anchoring the sight with an allen screw from about, and then using an even smaller floss-thin allen wrench to tune the red dot into something vaguely resembling a bore sighting process, as I did the best I could prior to going to the range.
First, pre-range impressions?
It continually amazes me how technology is progressing. Large laser modules mounted under the barrel are still extremely common (and obviously, preferred by some users). Others use a grip-mounted unit, like the Crimson Trace on the Smith & Wesson 637CT I carried researching Six Months Under the Gun.
A simple unit that mounts in your pistol’s existing rear-sight dovetail is big enough to hold batteries smaller than a children’s asprin and a laser that will provide the shooter with that little extra bit of confidence in tense situations where attitude adjustments may be necessary.
Unfortunately my local range was closed by the time I got the RL mounted and roughly adjusted. I plan on getting there as soon as my day job, daughter’s cheerleading schedule (I swear, they train more than SEALs), blogging, and yard work allow.
First impressions are that the LaserLyte is a solid unit that provides a Glock-like sight picture, though one slightly obscured by the battery and laser modules of either side of the sight channel. Is that serious detriment? I don’t think so. I think that, like so many things, it falls into the category of personal preference. I’d rather give up minimal peripheral vison in my sight picture in order to gain increased sighting speed and increased point shooting accuracy (is it fair to call it point shooting if you use the laser-dot to aim?) and speed, not to mention the deterrent effect lasers can have on folks with less than honorable intentions.
I suspect that the LaserLyte RL will work very well, and I’ll confirm that with a range report for you, just as soon as I can.