Making A Custom Front Sight

  1. Shooter

    If you've ever wanted a custom touch on your rifle but are on a budget, this might be an answer. Here is a custom front sight that you can make at home with tools that you most likely already have available.

    Start with a magazine tube band for a tube fed .22 rifle. Here I used one for a Marlin Model 39 (Marlin part # F406309 or Brownells part # 550-220-121). The cost at Brownells was just over $9. This particular band can make a sight from about .20" high to about .40" high. You will also need a 1/16" roll pin that you can buy at most any hardware store (try to get a black one, most are black).

    For tools you need a 1/16" drill bit, a drill (drill press makes it easier), center punch (or hard nail like a cement nail), hammer (or suitable rock), punch for remove/install of sight (brass is great but any smooth face punch or another nail with tip cut off and smoothed), some way to cut the roll pin (I use a quality nipper but the cutter on a pliers would most likely work), and last, a way to smooth the roll pin cut (a piece of sandpaper or a grinder/Dremel).

    The big advantage here is the band already has the 3/8" dovetail just like a front sight. Take the tube band and turn over to the bottom side. We are now going to center punch in the exact center of this piece. To find the center use any straight edge and hold it at a diagonal from corner to corner. Scribe a line (use a scribe or a nail). Do this again using the other two corners to produce an X mark. Center punch the center of the X. Drill your 1/16" hole all the way through the bottom of the band.
    This is the only screw-up point. The hole must be straight up and down. Pretty easy on a drill press but harder with a hand drill. A partner is helpful here to see if the drill is held straight. Measure your old sight top to bottom or just hold the roll pin up to it and mark the pin where you will cut it off. Cut the roll pin and tap the uncut end into the band. Smooth the bottom with sandpaper or grinder if needed.

    Install back into your rifle and you are done. Being rather frugal I used a broken tube band and soldered on a short section steel tube (this is now called "going green" but used to be called being cheap).
    You are now the envy of all your friends with a custom front sight.​

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