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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ordered a William's Fool-proof receiver sight for my 1897 Texan. I'm planning on super gluing it to the receiver to see if I like it before attempting to drill and tap the receiver to fit the sight properly.

Any suggestions regarding the super glue? I figured if I cleaned the receiver and sight real well (de-greased) it would work quite well for a while, while still being able to remove it with a sharp blow of a brass hammer. I have done this to machine other metal parts and it has worked OK. Any comments?

If I like it, thought of using the sight itself as a template for the drilling.
By using the biggest bit that fits the hole in the sight to make a centered dimple in the receiver and then switching to the proper size for the tap.
Again, any comments?

Does anybody know, is the receiver on the 39A/1897 Texan hardened, or particularly difficult to drill? I'll use new drill bits and taps for this job and I have a good drill press. But if the receiver is hardened I need to either grind off a bit or use carbide drills, which I would have to order.

If all that works out, I also ordered a "fire sight" for the front, so hopefully I'll be able to shoot the rifle without mounting a scope.

Any and all comments would be appreciated. That rifle cost a lot of money, so I'll be very careful.
 

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I have a 39A with a Williams FP and an 1897 with a Marble's tang peep sight. Both work great. Unless you are an expert, take the 1897 to a gun smith to drill and tap the holes. Don't mess with this yourself.
 

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luisyamaha
I was a machinist from 1966 to 1991.
The most important thing is to hold the workpiece (your reciever) ABSOLUTELY still in your drill press or milling machine.
The best drill will "walk" somewhat if it is full lenth.
Use a "center drill" & a "jobbers length" carbide drill with a "crankshaft" point.
OR save yourself the headache - and do as I did to mount a williams reciever sight on my 1897T - have a competent gunsmith run the risk of having to replace the reciever.
Take care
jim.e
http://www.carbidedepot.com/formulas-drills-terms.htm
http://www.sizes.com/tools/twist_drills.htm
http://www.triumphtwistdrill.com/products/screwmachine.asp
http://www.unionbutterfield.com/tech/drills/trouble_shooting.asp
 

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The William's FP is aluminum. I'd be mighty careful about whacking it, even with a brass hammer and drift. Aluminum reacts weirdly to impact- guess it depends on the day of the week- sometimes it simply dents- other times it cracks and shears off....

Regards,

Doc Sharptail
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks to all for the replies. I've glued the sight on with super glue. It already fell off once, so it doesn't take a lot of whacking to get it off! Hopefully it will stay on for a stint at the range. I want to make sure I like the sight before driling and tapping anything.

I tested the metal of the receiver on the inside and it drills easily enough. unless it is case hardened on the outside (is it?) I shouldn't have a problem.

Since I have to go to the range and shoot it first, and then order the Tap(s) and drill(s), it will be a while before I do anything permanent.

Any more advice is very welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Went ahead and bought the drill (#31, $1.50) and 6-48 tap ($8.95.) and decided to drill it yesterday. Using the base as template, drilled a bit with the biggest drill that would go through the base holes, I believe that was a #26. Just enough to make a good dimple for the #31 drill to center on. Then drilled through with the #31 and tapped one hole. After putting that screw in, then drilled through the other hole and tapped that one. Removed everything, cleaned and made sure there were no burrs left anywhere and then re-assembled the base using Loc-tite on the screws.

The rifle was separated into it's two main parts to do all this. No further dis-assembly was required.

The drilling and tapping was very easy. The metal is not too hard.

Today took the rifle to the range and tried it out and the new sight works great! I also installed a .420" front "fire sight" to replace the .500" 1/16" brass bead. The combination works very well. The original semi-buckhorn sight on the barrel was removed, I'll get an insert for the dovetail later, as it is sharp and uncomfortable to the hands.

With the right tools and attitude it wasn't a hard job, and I was less anxious than having somebody else do it.
 

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Glad it turned out well.
 

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Quick question, Luisyamaha....

Did the superglue leave any discoloration or other visible result on the blued surface of your receiver?

hog
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hogship: Not that I could tell, but, frankly, I wasn't looking for it, as once the drilling and tapping was done I just cleaned it again and put some loc-tite between the sight base and the receiver, in addition of in the screw holes. :)

When cleaned with acetone, the receiver did look different in that area, a bit duller. But since I keep everything else lightly oiled I attributed it to the lack of oil. I don't think there is any permanent change, but can't tell you for sure. I definitely wouldn't crazy-glue anything on the top of the receiver. That area is like a bead blast dull, (looks a bit more porous) and I think you would never get the glue residue out of that area.

BTW, red Loc-tite is not the bad bugaboo everybody makes it out to be.
I use it often in other non-firearm related projects and it's easy enough to remove when needed. Just warm it up a bit with a heat gun, and out it comes. I sure prefer it to the idea of banging scope base screws with a hammer to make sure they don't loosen! Plus, if you put some under the base itself, for sure the damn things won't move. With a little heat , it all comes off. :wink:
 
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