Dovetail Sights and Measurements

Typical dimensions for installing and working with sights dovetailed into pistol slides.

by RK Campbell

The dovetail notch is simply a cut in the firearm that sets perpendicular to the bore and allows the sight to be fitted to the firearm. The notch is widest at the base and this is the sight degree. The degree allows the wedge to stay in place.

Dovetail sights and their dimensions are very interesting. They are not that difficult to cut and it isn’t difficult to install dovetail sights, but attention to detail is needed. When you have to cut a dovetail you must dress up the cut, burrs, and parting lines as you finish the job. The final cut must be polished and beveled properly. It isn’t just about the dimensions of the sight but also about the angle. The job isn’t something that is learned quickly, but with care a credible piece of work may be done every time. Most dovetail sights are manufactured …

Read more in the September 2019 issue.

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