TFB Armorer’s Bench: Closer Look – Wheeler Armorer’s Pistol Sight Tool

    Sight Tool

    Welcome everyone to the TFB Armorer’s Bench! As mentioned in the little blurb, this series will focus on a lot of home armorer and gunsmith activities. In this article sponsored by WheelerTiptonCaldwell, and Frankford Arsenal, I decided to go over one of Wheeler Engineering’s many quality tools. I recently had a chance to swap out a coworker’s Glock sights and I felt this was an excellent opportunity to break out the Wheeler Armorer’s Handgun Sight Tool. This handy compact tool can make a tough time-consuming job a breeze. Let’s dive into this closer look at the Wheeler Armorer’s Handgun Sight Tool!

    TFB Armorer’s Bench: Wheeler Armorer’s Pistol Sight Tool

    Welcome to our recurring series of Armorer’s Bench which is made possible and brought to you by WheelerTiptonCaldwell, and Frankford Arsenal who are our sponsors. Here, we at TFB hope to inform, entertain, and even inspire any would-be gunsmith or armorer out there. Ideally, with the information I provide and with the help of our sponsors, you can have some useful knowledge pertaining to the conservation and improvement of firearms technology while at the same time sharing experiences and teaching each other new tips and tricks along the way in the comments. Digging deep into what it is to be an armorer or gunsmith has significance but what is important is what those people do to show they’ve earned that title. I am happy to share my experiences and knowledge and hope it is informative!

    Make your personal safety a priority:

    1. Practice proper gun safety. Always make sure before the firearm hits your bench that it is unloaded and safe to be handled.
    2. Wear the proper safety equipment. The main one would be safety glasses (decent ones) since parts are often under spring tension and you may work with high RPM tools. Other honorable mentions would be latex gloves or a respirator when working with potentially harmful solvents and oils. Also hearing protection when working with loud machinery or test-firing firearms.
    3. Modifications, alterations, and customizations will void your firearm’s warranty 9.5 times out of 10. Please take that into consideration before attempting any at-home gunsmithing.
    4. If you are unsure about proper safety practices, disassembly procedures, or warranty standards, stop, put down the tools, and consult a competent gunsmith.

    Brief Overview: Wheeler Armorer’s Pistol Sight Tool

    The Wheeler Armorer’s Handgun Sight Tool is a quality of life tool. Changing sights out by hand can be done with a hammer, punch, and maybe even a heat gun but it has to be down with a steady hand, a captive gun or slide, and quality tools. The Wheeler Armorer’s Handgun Sight Tool is an all-in-one thing minus the heat gun.

    Sight Tool

    This sight tool is made to change out “all semi-auto pistol” sights which can be slightly misleading. I have worked with this sight tool extensively in my day to day and even though it is capable of doing just that it may not appear that way on a person’s first attempts. Glock rear sights are a breeze (especially the plastic ones), most Smith & Wesson handguns are just fine (I have noticed the more compact models such as the Shield can be cumbersome for some reason), and SIG sights are fine enough to move around too.

    One of the big hitters is Springfield Armory. As it was explained to me long ago, they heat and hydraulically press in their sights. This is effective in making sure a straight sight does not stray by heating up the material so it expands slightly, inserting a sight, and then cooling and clenching the sight. Life can be made easier with commonplace tricks like penetrating oil, heat (from a heat gun), and patience. Do not attempt to remove a sight if you are not prepared for frustration. Sometimes they plain and simply do not want to budge and may have to be finessed.

    The operation of this sight tool is pretty simple and the sight tool comprises two separate halves that join to make one. I will go more in-depth on how to install sights with this tool in the future. The top chunk houses a crank to move the sight presser itself. In the center is a threaded peg that is attached to a puck that has a half-moon cut in it so when you clamp down on the top portion of the slide it either is resting on a flat surface or a rounded 1911 slide can nestle inside. The sight presser as I am calling it has two sides. One is for more angled sights like Glock sights and the other is more straight to best fit the 90-degree angle of most 1911 combat sights.

    Sight Tool

    The lower half is the base which has a cutout on one side in the center to make room for a 1911 bushing housing or for any applicable low hanging chunk on a pistol slide. On the walls of the base are four total adjustable clamps that when clamping down on a slide should be hand tight. The manual specifies to retract one side’s clamps all the way, rest the slide against those, and then fulling clamp down with the other sides.

    Sight Tool

    Note: You will often see the upper portion of this sight tool over the cutout on the base or on the other side. I looked through the manual to see if there is any warning or literal mention of a “proper” way or direction to have the top on. Everything was very inconclusive and conflicting so as of right now I will have to go by experience. I have not noticed increased difficulty or ease of use while having the top portion facing either way.

    Specifications and Highlights: Wheeler Armorer’s Pistol Sight Tool

    This sight tool is smaller than you would expect. Perfect for sitting on a shelf or in a chest drawer by a bench. It only requires hand tightening when clamping and the force you apply to the crack itself is completely on you. The only tools to use while using this sight tool are tape and a number 3 or 3mm metric Allen head wrench. This brings me to my sole complaint about this sight tool. The presser portion that you can flip from slanted sights to 90-degree sights needs to be flipped by removing the two screws holding it in place. Wheeler makes several screwdriver kits and to my knowledge, none of them include a 3mm bit. They do however make a whole host of Allen wrenches that would do the job.

    • Precision Machined Unit
    • Fully Captures and Supports Slide
    • Works on All Semi-Auto Pistols
    • Large 4 Post Drive Knob To Easily Push the Sight
    • Reference Marks for Precise Adjustments

    With an MSRP of $264.99, the Wheeler Armorer’s Handgun Sight Tool can feel a little unobtainable. Trust me as someone who has been doing this for years that I have worked with far cheaper sight presses that turned out to be absolutely useless garbage. For the ease of use and quality materials I pretty much exclusively use this sight tool.

    The Wheeler® Armorer’s Handgun Sight Tool is designed for adjusting, installing or removing dovetail style front and rear handgun sights. Made of high end materials, the Wheeler® Armorer’s Handgun Sight Tool will last for years of hard use.

    Note: As of writing this, Wheeler has this tool on sale for $229.99!

    Closing Thoughts: Wheeler Armorer’s Pistol Sight Tool

    All in all, I believe that this sight tool is a worthy addition to anyone’s bench who thinks that they will need to replace handgun sights. That being said, I would say this is a frequent request. If you have no plans for it, then save your money and bookmark the tool in case you need it in the future. There are cheaper ones out there but they are not worth it, you get what you pay for in this case! I really like this tool and it has yet to let me down!

    Sight Tool

    Note: As of writing this, I saw that Wheeler currently is offering a majority of the tools and items on their site up to 40 % off discounts.

    As always, thank you for reading TFB! Be safe out there, have fun while shooting, and we will see you next time for the TFB Armorer’s Bench brought to you by WheelerTiptonCaldwell, and Frankford Arsenal! Also, let us know what you think in the comments below! We always appreciate your feedback.

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    Armorer’s Handgun Sight Tool

    Learn more here!

    Sight tool

    The Wheeler® Armorer’s Handgun Sight Tool is designed for adjusting, installing or removing dovetail style front and rear handgun sights. Made of high end materials, the Wheeler® Armorer’s Handgun Sight Tool will last for years of hard use.

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    Sight tool

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    Writer | TheFirearmBlog
    Writer |

    Instagram | sfsgunsmith

    Old soul, certified gunsmith, published author, avid firearm history learner, and appreciator of old and unique guns.