"How to Install Sights on a Smith & Wesson M&P Handgun
Posted on October 1, 2011 by Seven Springs Armory
Many people have complained at the difficulty of installing aftermarket sights in their Smith & Wesson M&P semi-automatic handguns. We have found installing aftermarket sights into the S&W M&P to be a chore but have found the solution to this problem. Read on and we’ll go into detail how to accomplish this feat.
Changing the rear sight usually isn’t a problem. The rear sight on the M&P is a dove tail sight and uses a set screw to hold the sight in place. To remove the rear sight you will need an Allen wrench to loosen the set screw. Note that it is often very tight as Smith & Wesson applies thread locker (aka Locktite) to the set screw. Once the set screw is loosened we recommend using a sight tool to remove the sight and install the new sight. With the rear sight removed install the new sight. The easiest way to align the rear sight properly is by removing the firing pin cover in the back of the slide and lining the sight up with the firing pin. Once the new rear sight is in place tighten down the set screw until it is tight. We recommend applying “blue” Locktite to the set screw prior to tightening the screw; the Locktite will help ensure that the set screw doesn’t loosen up from firing the gun and help ensure that the rear sight doesn’t drift.
Changing the front sight is where the real problem lies.
First, you will need to remove the factory front sight. To remove the factory front sight use the sight tool to remove the slide. Be sure to remove the sight by sliding it out of the dove tail toward the ejection port side of the slide. Failure to remove the front sight from the ejection port side could cause damage to the dove tail notch in the slide.
With the factory sight removed you can try to install the aftermarket sight. Use the sight tool to slide the sight into the dove tail from the ejection port side. Again, failing to install the sight from the ejection port side could cause damage to the dove tail notch in the slide. We recommend applying a small amount of cutting fluid to the notch to help get the sight into position. If the new aftermarket sight will not slide into the dove tail notch you will need to read on.
If the new aftermarket sight, using a sight tool, will not slide into the dove tail notch you will need to file the sight down so that it will fit into the dove tail notch in the slide on the Smith & Wesson M&P. To do this we recommend that you use a micrometer to measure the width of the factory sight. Typically the factory sight measures .2575 inches. We often find that aftermarket sights measure .2675 inches when we use the micrometer.
To file the new aftermarket sight you will need to use cutting fluid and a triangle metal file. Remember that metal files only cut on the forward stroke. We recommend that you file the new aftermarket sight equally on each side of the dove tail until the new sight measures .0025 inches larger than that of the factory sight. Apply a drop of cutting fluid to the surface of the sight once every ten file strokes. Once the new sight measures only .0025 inches larger than the factory sight it is time to install the sight into the slide of the S&W M&P handgun.
NOTE: Do not file the new sight to anything less than .0025 inches larger than the factory sight. Doing so may result in sight drift after firing the Smith & Wesson M&P.
Now to install the front sight apply one drop of cutting fluid in the dove tail notch on the slide and use a sight tool to install the new aftermarket sight. Remember to install the sight from the ejection port side.
Now you may be saying to yourself that you don’t have a micrometer, metal files, cutting fluid or sight tool. A universal sight tool will run about $150, micrometer $20-200 depending on the type of micrometer purchased, a triangle metal file will run $3-5 and cutting fluid will cost approximately $5. The other option is to have a gunsmith install your new sights or you can send your slide to us along with your new sights and we’ll install them for $25. You can also purchase sights from us and we’ll install them for free, all you have to do is send us your slide.
For more information about our sight install services please call us at 480-779-0319, send us an email at email@example.com
or visit our website at www.sevenspringsarmory.com."