By: Dr Jim and Mary Clary
If you have a single handgun, it would not be cost effective to buy this tool. If you have problems with the sights it would be cheaper to have a gunsmith adjust them. If of your handguns have permanently fixed sights, this tool will be of no value. However, if you have multiple semi-automatic pistols with adjustable and/or replaceable sights, then you should consider adding this tool to your arsenal of firearm tools.
Three reasons why one should consider buying this device. The sights on best firearm can get out of alignment with use, or you may simply want to tweak the sights for more precise shooting OR you are plan on installing new and improved sights (which we will be doing very soon on several of our guns).
This Wheeler tool is designed for professional gunsmiths, but it is also beneficial for "amateurs" who can follow simple and straight-forward instructions. The handgun sight tool is machined from high grade anodized aluminum. It works on all semi-automatic pistols and is designed to install, un-install or adjust front and rear dovetail sights. The reference marks on the device makes it possible to obtain very precise adjustments.
To get a better idea of how this device works and to assist the reader in determining whether to buy one, we include the following instructional sequence from the Wheeler manual on how to efficiently use the tool:
7. Turn the Adjustment Wheel to position the Front Pusher Block near the sight. The Front Pusher Bar must be positioned as close to the base of the sight as possible to prevent damage to the sight or dovetail. The sight must be positioned so it is centered front to back with the Front Pusher Block. Then, Tighten all four Side Knobs and the two Top Knobs to clamp the pistol slide securely in place.
At this point, make adjustments to the position of the pistol slide and the height of the Top Carriage Assembly, if needed, to keep the Front Pusher Block centered and as low as possible without dragging across the top of the slide.
8. Turn the Adjustment Wheel to start pushing the sight. Apply force slowly and inspect the position of the Front Pusher Block often. If the Front Pusher Block twists off vertical.... stop any further adjustment and readjust the Block. If the sight is tight, tap on the bottom corner of the Front Pusher Block with a hammer and set punch in the direction the sight is being pushed. Typically sights are installed from left to right. The left and right side are defined by the orientation the pistol is held when shooting.
Do not use any kind of "cheater" bar or other device that increases the force pressure on the Adjustment Wheel or Front Pusher Block... that will damage your device, your slide or your sight(s).
A. Turn the Adjustment Wheel in the opposite direction to remove pressure from the sight.
B. Loosen and remove the Knobs from the Top Carriage Assembly.
C. Remove the Top Carriage Assembly
D. Loosen the Side Knobs and remove the pistol slide from the Bottom Clamp Assembly.
E. Reinstall or tighten set screws needed to hold the sights in place.
F. Reassembly the pistol slide to the frame and test for full function of all moving components before test firing.
The Wheeler manual contains more detailed instructions and illustration photos on the procedures listed above.
The only question now is whether your arsenal can justify the MSRP of $229.99 (under $170 online). If the answer is yes, then you will find the Armorer's Handgun Tool to be very useful.