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Posted: 8/31/2015 7:20:37 AM EDT
Would like to cut a dovetail for a front sight, Barrel is 20 inch 44 magnum, wall thickness is about 0.1 inch at the muzzle.  Is that thick enough to cut a shallow dovetail?  If so how much thickness should be left at the center of the dovetail?
Link Posted: 8/31/2015 10:37:16 AM EDT
This is a fairly straightforward operation in a mill.
Acquire the proper dovetail cutter for your dovetail. Measure back on the barrel, leaving the desired space.
Center your cutter, then make a near full depth cut with, usually a 1/8" end mill. I typically leave a couple of thousandths of depth for the dovetail cutter
Replace the end mill with the dovetail cutter and make the final cut, again at full depth.

With out a mill, I think you're SOL
Link Posted: 8/31/2015 3:36:30 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By KiowaCreekRaider:
This is a fairly straightforward operation in a mill.
Acquire the proper dovetail cutter for your dovetail. Measure back on the barrel, leaving the desired space.
Center your cutter, then make a near full depth cut with, usually a 1/8" end mill. I typically leave a couple of thousandths of depth for the dovetail cutter
Replace the end mill with the dovetail cutter and make the final cut, again at full depth.

With out a mill, I think you're SOL
View Quote

He isn't asking how to do it, he is asking what is minimum remaining barrel thickness after the cut? He doesn't have much room to work with and I'm not knowledgeable enough to give an accurate answer...
Link Posted: 8/31/2015 4:45:05 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/31/2015 4:58:01 PM EDT by Dano523]
Link Posted: 8/31/2015 5:38:19 PM EDT
Good answer Dano523.  
Link Posted: 8/31/2015 10:36:04 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By KiowaCreekRaider:
This is a fairly straightforward operation in a mill.
Acquire the proper dovetail cutter for your dovetail. Measure back on the barrel, leaving the desired space.
Center your cutter, then make a near full depth cut with, usually a 1/8" end mill. I typically leave a couple of thousandths of depth for the dovetail cutter
Replace the end mill with the dovetail cutter and make the final cut, again at full depth.

With out a mill, I think you're SOL
View Quote


your dovetail cutter has a better chance of surviving if you hog out the slot with a flat bottom cutter.
Use a mill undersized enough to only cut one side at a time.

It takes three cuts but is less risk to the cutters and the slide.

A dovetail cutter can do nasty damage if it breaks 'wrong.'
Link Posted: 9/1/2015 7:29:31 PM EDT
I can always shave some material off the bottom of the sight to make it sit at a normal height above the barrel in a shallower than normal dovetail...  

0.025 seems too thin to me, but 0.05 seems plenty thick enough I would think?  I can't be the first person ever to do this, surely somebody knows something!?
Link Posted: 9/1/2015 10:31:23 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Morgan321:
I can always shave some material off the bottom of the sight to make it sit at a normal height above the barrel in a shallower than normal dovetail...  

0.025 seems too thin to me, but 0.05 seems plenty thick enough I would think?  I can't be the first person ever to do this, surely somebody knows something!?
View Quote


In your situation .050” will be plenty of thickness remaining...and remember it is only .050” at the TDC of the cut. As the bore curves away from the cut the wall thickness increases.
Link Posted: 9/1/2015 10:40:40 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By KiowaCreekRaider:
This is a fairly straightforward operation in a mill.
Acquire the proper dovetail cutter for your dovetail. Measure back on the barrel, leaving the desired space.
Center your cutter, then make a near full depth cut with, usually a 1/8" end mill. I typically leave a couple of thousandths of depth for the dovetail cutter
Replace the end mill with the dovetail cutter and make the final cut, again at full depth.

With out a mill, I think you're SOL
View Quote


Not really...   I was cutting dovetails by hand long before Larry Potterfield made it to Hollywood or I knew that Bridgeport was more than a town up North.(Actually I learned the method from Hershel House... who used a hacksaw and a homemade safe file)


Link Posted: 9/2/2015 10:08:53 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By GunCat:


Not really...   I was cutting dovetails by hand long before Larry Potterfield made it to Hollywood or I knew that Bridgeport was more than a town up North.(Actually I learned the method from Hershel House... who used a hacksaw and a homemade safe file)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W60yBwzipKA
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By GunCat:
Originally Posted By KiowaCreekRaider:
This is a fairly straightforward operation in a mill.
Acquire the proper dovetail cutter for your dovetail. Measure back on the barrel, leaving the desired space.
Center your cutter, then make a near full depth cut with, usually a 1/8" end mill. I typically leave a couple of thousandths of depth for the dovetail cutter
Replace the end mill with the dovetail cutter and make the final cut, again at full depth.

With out a mill, I think you're SOL


Not really...   I was cutting dovetails by hand long before Larry Potterfield made it to Hollywood or I knew that Bridgeport was more than a town up North.(Actually I learned the method from Hershel House... who used a hacksaw and a homemade safe file)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W60yBwzipKA

Wow, I'm impressed.
I thought I was a fair hand with a file...but I don't think I would try that on a firearm without lots of practice
Link Posted: 9/2/2015 4:11:40 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By KiowaCreekRaider:

Wow, I'm impressed.
I thought I was a fair hand with a file...but I don't think I would try that on a firearm without lots of practice
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By KiowaCreekRaider:
Originally Posted By GunCat:
Originally Posted By KiowaCreekRaider:
This is a fairly straightforward operation in a mill.
Acquire the proper dovetail cutter for your dovetail. Measure back on the barrel, leaving the desired space.
Center your cutter, then make a near full depth cut with, usually a 1/8" end mill. I typically leave a couple of thousandths of depth for the dovetail cutter
Replace the end mill with the dovetail cutter and make the final cut, again at full depth.

With out a mill, I think you're SOL


Not really...   I was cutting dovetails by hand long before Larry Potterfield made it to Hollywood or I knew that Bridgeport was more than a town up North.(Actually I learned the method from Hershel House... who used a hacksaw and a homemade safe file)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W60yBwzipKA

Wow, I'm impressed.
I thought I was a fair hand with a file...but I don't think I would try that on a firearm without lots of practice


Get some drill rod and practice.
I used drill rod learning how to checker the front of 1911 mag wells.
Link Posted: 9/2/2015 9:15:48 PM EDT
Rifle builders of the past didn't have mills, they did just fine. I also learned by the House method, still use the technique once in a while.
Link Posted: 9/3/2015 12:13:46 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By hockeysew:
Rifle builders of the past didn't have mills, they did just fine. I also learned by the House method, still use the technique once in a while.
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And a nice, clean job you do.
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