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  #1  
Old 10-19-2019, 09:54 AM
Duce Duce is offline
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
Posts: 524
Question 03-A3 Front Sight Replacement

I picked up an S-C 03-A3 a little over a year ago. Discovered afterwards that the front sight had been played with by previous owner(s), in which the blade was cut/filed down to the point it shot way too high for any practical use less than 200 yds. So, picked up a NOS 03-A3 front sight for replacement. The NOS front sight did not come with key or retaining pin.

I hadn't replaced one of these before, but thought I'd give it a try. Upon removing the old front sight, I discovered that the previous owner(s) not only damaged the front sight blade, but also the retaining pin and key, as the key looks to have been drilled in several places. However, the key still looked to be serviceable, so I tried using it as I didn't have a replacement. Upon installing the NOS front sight, though, I'm not sure if that was a good idea. While the NOS front sight is firmly held in place, because of the prior drilling of the key, no clear "hole" appears in which to fit the retaining pin.

I suppose my options at this point are to attempt to drill another area in the key in which to seat the retaining pin, or find and use a new key altogether.

Also, I had been planing on using a roll pin as the new retaining pin (the old one disintegrated on removal), but maybe that's not a good idea.

Are these parts (i.e., key and retaining pin) sold separately?

It seems I'm pretty close right now, and that I could probably even get by without the use of the retaining pin as the NOS sight is firmly secured to the barrel, but I'm sure over time it may move forwards/backwards, so I should try to do the job properly.
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  #2  
Old 10-19-2019, 10:03 AM
Shomway Shomway is offline
 
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Location: Michigan
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Not sure why you went to all this effort, since to change just the sight blade you only needed a punch to remove the blade. The sight base can be left in place to do this.
FWIW you can get the key here....https://www.sarcoinc.com/1903a3-spri...ont-sight-key/
And pins can be found on eBay....361870788317
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  #3  
Old 10-19-2019, 10:25 AM
Duce Duce is offline
 
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Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
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Thanks for the links.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shomway View Post
Not sure why you went to all this effort, since to change just the sight blade you only needed a punch to remove the blade. The sight base can be left in place to do this.
Not only was the old front sight cut/filed down, but the old front sight base was not in the greatest of condition. On top of that, it had been dinged in the area where the blade was located, making it look like removal of the blade not to be an easy task.

The NOS front sight I was able to pick up was complete, with blade already installed. So my options were to remove the blade from the NOS front sight, and install it on the questionable old front sight base, or replace the entire front sight base with the NOS. Seemed like a no-brainer to me. It was only upon removing the old front sight base did I see that the old pin and key were mangled.
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  #4  
Old 10-19-2019, 10:25 AM
John Beard John Beard is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Sweet Home Alabama
Posts: 2,996
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The M'03-A3 front sight key is notched for the pin. Although it looks symmetrical, the notch is very, very slightly off-center. You apparently installed the key backwards. Take it apart and turn it around. That should solve your problem.


Good Luck!


J.B.
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  #5  
Old 10-19-2019, 10:29 AM
Duce Duce is offline
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Beard View Post
Although it looks symmetrical, the notch is very, very slightly off-center. You apparently installed the key backwards. Take it apart and turn it around.
Because of the prior drilling, this key contains several notches, and that's reallly the issue I'm having with this key. Obviously, it wasn't installed properly before, and while I thought I could still use this key, I'm thinking a NOS replacement would be better.
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  #6  
Old 10-19-2019, 10:31 AM
navyrifleman navyrifleman is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 386
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I have seen roll pins used to replace solid ones. The front sight blades were made in three different heights, I believe. They are often bent to one side through a mishap.

Replacement barrels came with the sight collar and key already attached, so the only separate new replacement parts in the supply system were the sight blade and pin.

You can very likely find all the used sight pieces you need because of the many drill rifle barrels around these days. The one part that is never present in a usable condition on those barrels is the sight blade itself.
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  #7  
Old 10-19-2019, 10:58 AM
Calif-Steve Calif-Steve is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: California
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With all of the Drill Rifle barrels kicking around you should find a key on this site. Try the "Wanted" forum for the key. Bill Bentz makes 03A3 USMC-style front sights blades. That is the way to go. Good luck.
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  #8  
Old 10-20-2019, 07:32 AM
snuffy1a snuffy1a is online now
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Pittsburgh,PA
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Calif-Steve is right...Bill Bentz is the go to guy for front sight blades and pins. Also, having re-certifyed multiple drill rifles, I've have been pulling the front sight collars and pins myself, just in case of a "rainy day".
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