I sent my HS2000 (springfield xd) in to get new rear night sights. I sent it to a guys who sells and installs sights (James on HS2000/XD site).
He called me to say he couldn't get them off with a sight pusher or a punch. So he is sending the slide back. I bought the gun and it doesn't have the standard finish, it's sort of a "parkerized" finish. So maybe the finish has something to do with it.
One of the suggestion I got from James was to use a dremel to cut through the rear sight, until it removes the pressure in the dovetail so that it can be pushed out.
I'm looking for anyone who has done this before? My main concern is protecting the slide from a "run away" dremel. I would prefer not having my slide look like a bad roadmap of Europe. Suggestions/experiences?
Buy a piece of hard brass bar stock, about 1/2" by 3/4" by about 6".
Shape one end to fit the sight closely but clear the slide.
Tape the slide sides to protect the finish, and have a buddy help hold the slide on a SOLID surface.
I have used a concrete floor or an anvil.
The idea here, is to get the slide in a SOLID, well-braced "no-bounce" position then use the brass bar stock and a hammer to push the sight out, from left to right.
Why many people, including gunsmiths have problems with sights and pins is, they just don't get the part in a firmly braced position, and the part bounces and moves, which dissipates the force of the blows. This can actually cause the pin or sight to rivet or deform, and can actually lock the part even tighter in place.
Most work benches are NOT solid and will allow things to move around.
The "Secret" is to do whatever needed to prevent bouncing or moving.
If you decide to cut, use a layer or two of a tough tape to completely cover the entire slide.
Next get some sheet steel, cut a hole in it that will just pass the sight, and wrap this around the slide.
The idea is to make a shroud, or guard covering EVERYTHING except the actual sight.
There should be as little of the area around the sight exposed as possible.
This will serve as a safety guard to prevent a run-away from damaging the slide. The tape will protect the finish from the steel.
You can also use sheet brass or copper.
If during the job you damage or displace the tape or shroud, STOP, and replace whatever is damaged or moved.
The problem is, many makers have had problems with sights failing to stay put.
The early Kahr guns sometimes had sights so loosely fitted that some of them fell out during shipping.
Kahr fixed this by fitting their sights so tightly, you often have to cut them out.
Kahr uses a massive modified machine vise to install sights at the factory, and they are so tight, they often can't be moved.
I have done quite a few XD slides now, and it is completely normal that they will not come out easily. All the one's I've done have been at my friend's fully equiped shop. That means access to lots of punches, a grinder to keep my punch the right shape and size, a very sturdy bench and vise, the proper vise jaws, and a milling machine if I need to cut the sights. Personally, I would not even attempt it at home. The problem with using a Dremel is this. You need to remove so much material out of the sight, that it's next to impossible to cut through that rear sight with a Dremel and not hit the slide.
If you look at the front sight, you'll see a couple of marks next to the dovetail base that make it even harder to get it out. The first one I tried to move snapped at the base, and I milled the dovetail base out. It was a major PITA.
Sound advice above from dfariswheel. If you have a vise, get leather padded jaws, as opposed to rubber. Or, use lead to pad the jaws. It's amazing how much that little bit of softness from rubber jaws will work against you. I personaly use a brass punch that is as short as I can make it without hitting my fingers. I use masking tape to pad the sight while I hit it, and I change the tape every couple blows until the sight gets moving. I don't have a generic sight pusher yet, but I'm kind of surprised that it did not work for the guy you sent it to.
Anyway, like I said, it's common, as XDs and Kimbers have extra tight sights. You would be best off sending it to a professional pistolsmith, or at least that's my humble opinion. Best of luck.
I don't want to get into anything I can't do or screw up the slide. However I am just doing the rear sight , front is a night sight already. It seems it might be the "easiest" to cut the rear without damaging the slide.
I think what I'll try is cutting through some bar stock to get an idea of what it takes to cut with the dremel. If I feel comfortable after that, I'll duct tape the slide a few times and cover it with some flat sheet metal I have. I'll bend the metal to fit the slide and just open a slot fot the rear sight., per dfariswheel suggestions.
If the bar stock experiment doesn't make me feel comfortable, I'll be back to find a qualified gunsmith to send it to.
Another suggestion: Just Cut to the Chase and send the slide to the sight MAKER.
Almost all of them do installations of their sights, and they have all the facilities to do it right.
Better this than damaging an expensive slide.