Dovetail Sight: How Do You Remove A Dovetailed Rear Sight?

The dovetail rear sight is a popular type of sight used on a variety of firearms, from pistols to rifles. It is an adjustable sight that allows the shooter to adjust windage and elevation. Removing a dovetail rear sight can be a challenging task, but with the right tools and knowledge, it is always a quick and safe job. Today my writing will provide step-by-step instructions on how to remove a dovetail rear sight from your firearm.

What Are Dovetail Sights?

Dovetail sights are a type of iron sight that consists of a shallow groove cut into the top of a firearm. It allows the gunsmith to attach a small, metal blade with a raised sight line or notch and the notch allows the shooter to align the firearm with the target. 

  • The dovetail sight is secured to the firearm by a small screw or, more commonly, a small wedge. 
  • These sights are used on rifles, pistols, shotguns, and some airguns. 
  • They are sometimes referred to as open sights or iron sights.

Benefits of Dovetailed Sights

Enhanced Accuracy: 

Dovetail sights offer enhanced accuracy over open sights. Because they allow you to align the sights more precisely. They also allow you to make more precise shots, especially at longer ranges.

Increased Visibility:

These sights also offer increased visibility over open sights because the notch and blade are deeper and wider. This allows you to see the target more clearly and make more accurate shots.

Easy Adjustments:

Dovetail sights are easier to adjust than open sights. They tend to have more precise click adjustments which make it easier to make fine adjustments to your sight picture.


These sights are also more durable than open sights as the dovetail connection is stronger and less likely to become loose or damaged. This makes them ideal for use in harsh environments or where the firearm is subject to harsh recoil.


Dovetail sights also offer more versatility than open sights. They can be easily changed out with different styles of sights. This makes it easy to switch between different types of sights depending on the shooting situation.

Which Direction to Remove Dovetailed Sight?

To remove a dovetail sight, you will need a pair of pliers and an Allen wrench or flathead screwdriver. 

  • You can start by loosening the set screws on the dovetailed sight.
  • Then use the pliers to grip the sight body and gently pull it away from the dovetail slot. 
  • Once it is loose, you can use the Allen wrench or flathead screwdriver to help ease it out of the slot.

How to Remove Dovetailed Rear Sights?

Gather The Necessary Tools.

To remove most dovetail rear sights, you will need a sight pusher tool, a pair of mechanics pliers, a hammer, a punch, and some gun oil.

Put The Gun In A Vice.

  • Secure the gun in a vice so that it won’t move while you are working on it. 
  • Make sure you do not overtighten the vice, as this can damage the gun.

Apply Gun Oil to the Rear Sight.

Using a small amount of gun oil, lubricate the rear sight so that it will slide out of the dovetail slot more easily.

Place the Sight Pusher Tool on the Rear Sight.

  • Put the sight pusher tool on top of the rear sight. 
  • Make sure the tool is as close to the gun as possible, as this will give you better leverage when pushing the sight out.

Push the Sight Out.

Using the mechanic’s pliers, slowly and evenly pull the sight pusher tool away from the gun. This will push the sight out of the dovetail slot.

Remove the Rear Sight.

Once the rear sight is out of the dovetail slot, use the hammer and punch to remove it from the gun.

Clean and Lubricate the Dovetailed Slot.

After removing the rear sight, clean and lubricate the dovetail slot. It will ensure that the new rear sight fits properly.

Video: How to Remove Dovetailed Rear Sight

Front Dovetailed Sight Removal & Installation


  • Secure the gun in a gun vise or other suitable holder.
  • Ensure the gun is unloaded and there are no live rounds in the chamber.
  • Unscrew and remove the mounting screws that hold the front sight in place.
  • Carefully remove the front sight from the barrel.


  • Place the new front sight into the dovetail on the barrel.
  • Align the sight so that it is level and centered.
  • Secure the sight in place by tightening the mounting screws.
  • Check the sight to make sure it is securely mounted and level.
  • Once the sight is secure, test the sight alignment and make any necessary adjustments.

Video: How to Remove and Install Dovetailed Rear Sight

Can Fixed Sights Be Changed?

Yes, fixed sights can be changed. Depending on the type of gun and the sights you are looking for, some parts may need to be machined to fit a different type of sight. This can be done, but it is best to have a gunsmith do the work.

Generally, if you are changing the fixed sights on a handgun, the rear sight will need to be removed from the slide. 

  • A dovetail is cut into the slide to fit the desired sight. 
  • The front sight may also need to be machined to fit the desired sight. 
  • Many handguns come with a factory dovetail cut in the slide, so the new sight should fit into the existing dovetail. 
  • If not, the dovetail may need to be cut to fit the desired sight.

On long guns, the sights must be removed and the existing mounting holes filled with a filler compound. 

  • Then the new holes must be drilled and tapped to fit the desired sight. 
  • It is also important to make sure that the new sights are properly sighted in before using the firearm. And this step should always be done by a qualified gunsmith.

Wrapping Up

The process of removing a dovetail rear sight can be tricky and time-consuming. It is important to have the proper tools, such as a sight pusher, a hammer, and a punch, to complete the job. With patience and the right tools, you can successfully remove a dovetail rear sight.