Ruger LCR--XS front sight installation(nightmare)

This is a discussion on Ruger LCR--XS front sight installation(nightmare) within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I finally ordered a XS front sight for my LCR and it arrived today. After reading numerous user reports I decided that I would install ...

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Thread: Ruger LCR--XS front sight installation(nightmare)

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array GoBigOrange's Avatar
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    Ruger LCR--XS front sight installation(nightmare)

    I finally ordered a XS front sight for my LCR and it arrived today. After reading numerous user reports I decided that I would install it myself. The instructions seemed very east.

    Man was I wrong--what should have been an easy job has turned into a nightmare. I have completely botched this job and now I'm somewhat screwed.

    The XS sight comes with a 1/16" drift punch to remove the pin from the front sight. After some finesse I got the pin removed. Included with the sight is also some epoxy but I wasn't planning on using that because I figured the pin would work just fine. If Ruger thought it needed epoxy in addition to the pin I'm sure they would have done so.

    I got the old sight off and stuck the new XS sight on. The XS kit also comes with a new pin for the front sight but it is too big and won't fit through the hole

    So I figured the old pin would work just fine. Here is where the fun began and where I'm currently stuck. I have been trying for the last 30 minutes to drive the pin back in and it made it halfway before getting stuck. After looking at it closely I could tell that the end of the pen is slightly mangled from where I removed it with pliers(as instructed). So, sine it wouldn't go the rest of the way in I thought I would remove it and try to "fix" the end of it.

    Only now, it won't come back out. After trying for the last 30 minutes the original pin is completely mangled and won't budge. It is ruined for sure. I really don't know what to do at this point. I could file the end of the pin off and hope it holds, other than that I can't think of anything else to do.

    I'm pissed that the pin that came with the XS sight won't fit in the hole but I blame myself for the rest.

    Thought, suggestions?

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  3. #2
    Member Array SC Tiger's Avatar
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    I'm assuming you tried the drift punch to get the pin back out. If that didn't work I'm thinking gunsmith. My dad tried something similar with a S&W revolver years ago, didn't know when to quit and had to send it (and a couple of hundred bucks) back to Smith. Don't let it get to this point. You can get a new pin from Ruger easily and, knowing them, for free. I would certainly call XS and let them know the pin they sent didn't work and that you now have a mess. They may have some ideas for you.

    If you have a small drill (like a Dremel), a very small bit and VERY steady hands you could try to drill the center of the pin out. That may weaken it enough to let it collapse and come out with the drift punch.

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    Senior Member Array GoBigOrange's Avatar
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    well I finally got the original pin back out. It is now ruined but at least it's out. The pin that came with the XS is unusable which is really frustrating.

    Now I'm wondering if I can just use the epoxy and no pin to hold the sight in place. I'm wondering if it will hold? Epoxy is pretty strong stuff.

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    Now is probably a good time to give it a rest and re-think things. Perhaps contact XS and advise them of the problem and see what they recommend.
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    I am going to ask a really stupid question here. I did this procedure on my S&W 640 last week. Did you have to drill a hole in the new sight? If it was pre-drilled, does it match perfectly? The sight for the 640 is not drilled and you have to do that once you have the sight on the gun.

    Sorry for the stupid question, but you mentioned that the pin only went in about half way, which, I imagine, is where it would hit the sight if the holes did not align perfectly.
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    Senior Member Array GoBigOrange's Avatar
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    Just got off the phone with XS the guy was kind of a jerk but he is sending me a new roll pin. I'm not sure what gun I'm going to carry at work until the pin gets here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoBigOrange View Post
    Just got off the phone with XS the guy was kind of a jerk but he is sending me a new roll pin. I'm not sure what gun I'm going to carry at work until the pin gets here.
    Are you sure the pin will not compress and fit through the hole? My understanding of roll pins is that they are like a spring and will compress then unwind to fill the hole. Will the 1/16" punch fit through the hole in the gun all the way?

    When I did this job on my 640, I had to take a 1/16" (0.0625") punch and mill it down to 0.050". Once I did this, it fit all the way through the hole and drove the pin out entirely. I got that dimension by calling S&W. I also found the drill diameter and size from them. If the punch will not fit all the way through, I would call Ruger and determine what drill bit they use to make the hole. In any case, you have to make sure the hole in the sight lines up with the hole in the gun or you will never get the right sized pin through.

    Good luck.
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    Senior Member Array GoBigOrange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksholder View Post
    Are you sure the pin will not compress and fit through the hole? My understanding of roll pins is that they are like a spring and will compress then unwind to fill the hole. Will the 1/16" punch fit through the hole in the gun all the way?

    When I did this job on my 640, I had to take a 1/16" (0.0625") punch and mill it down to 0.050". Once I did this, it fit all the way through the hole and drove the pin out entirely. I got that dimension by calling S&W. I also found the drill diameter and size from them. If the punch will not fit all the way through, I would call Ruger and determine what drill bit they use to make the hole. In any case, you have to make sure the hole in the sight lines up with the hole in the gun or you will never get the right sized pin through.

    Good luck.
    yes, the 1/16" punch will fit all the way through the hole. The guy on the phone with XS said the roll pin should compress and fit through but I don't see how. It would help if I had a vice to hold the gun in place.

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    Member Array RJHOLLA's Avatar
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    I epoxied mine and I have 600-700 +p rounds through it with no problems.

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    I learned a while ago to not do my own gunsmithing. So called easy installations can and often go wrong. I have run into problems with rifles and shotguns and now I just let my local gunsmith do the work. The cost is minimal for DIY type work. I had one of the first LCRs but found the grips too big for pocket carry and the sights (black against black) difficult to acquire against a dark background. My solution was to trade it in on a different gun and then a few months later buy the LCR with the mono grip and XS sight. Much happier with the current configuration and it carries very easily in the pocket of all my pants as well as IWB.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoBigOrange View Post
    yes, the 1/16" punch will fit all the way through the hole. The guy on the phone with XS said the roll pin should compress and fit through but I don't see how. It would help if I had a vice to hold the gun in place.
    I used a rolll of masking tape. No, i did not tape the gun to the bench, but the gun will sit quite nicely on the roll with the cylinder suspended in the hole. The tape will also not mark up the gun.
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    Senior Member Array GoBigOrange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJHOLLA View Post
    I epoxied mine and I have 600-700 +p rounds through it with no problems.
    did you use the roll pin also or just the epoxy?

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    Your first problem is not having a vice with padded jaws to hold your work steady. The second is improper tools. There are specific punches for roll pins. A front sight pin should have a slight taper so it goes in easily and then tightens up. Some are extra long so after fitting they can be filed down to the proper length.
    If you go the epoxy route, I would becommend JB Weld. Just remember a little goes a long way and make sure it's installed correctly, because once it's on, it ain't coming off.
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    I'm going to the hardware store tomorrow to see if I can find another roll pin. If not, I might just use some JB Weld and hope it holds.

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    You really need to get the gun supported so the force your applying is actually transferred to the roll pin. A roll pin should not fit in the hole without force but should have a short bevel on the leading edge to allow proper alignment. Roll pin punches have a dimple in the middle of the punch to keep the punch centered on the pin. I would also make sure you haven't damaged the pin bore before you attempt to install another pin.

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