I don’t know how it is in your area, but here in California, most gun shops either don’t install sights, charge an arm and a leg for the installation, or wont install them unless you buy them from them at inflated prices. This led me to begin searching for a more economical way to install sights on a bunch of my guns, some friends’ guns, and to change sights for reviews and testing. In my search I found that there are more than a few options, everything from DIY style contraptions to specific branded installers for specific sight and gun models. I wanted something that would last, work with multiple firearms, and not damage and slides, sights, or anything else for that matter. The only “real” option that I found was the MGW Sight Pro tool . . .
I say real because for my use I wanted something that was good but didn’t run me $600 and would work with a bunch of different models (rather than having 10 different tools). The Sight Pro can be picked up from places like Midway USA or Brownells for around $329.99.
First and foremost, this is an armorer/gunsmith quality tool, designed for a lot of use. Because of this, it’s durable, well made and should last a long time.
The first thing I noticed when un-boxing the Sight Pro was its weight. I figured it would be pretty light, but I was definitely wrong. This thing, without any “shoes” attached (shoes are used for holding different slides in place) weighs in at 4 lb 11.5 oz. This thing is heavy duty.
All of the parts are precision machined; they fit together and move very smooth. All of the screws and adjustments used for clamping the slides in place and the main pusher for moving the sights all turn very easily and feel perfect. Everything feels precision; not a burr or cross thread or anything. It feels like a work of perfection.
Slide Shoe Clamps
The tool its self doesn’t come with any “shoes”. You have to purchase them for the specific models of guns you wish to work on. The nice thing about this is that you get a secure hold of the firearms you plan to work on. The downside is that you have to purchase a variety of shoes at $17-$20 a piece.
The Shoes are what clamp the slide of the firearm to the tool. The slide, slides over the shoe like it slides over the frame of the pistol. So it’s more or less the same concept there.
The shoes are also made of a low carbon steel, this is designed to be generally softer than the slides, so when you are removing sights you wont cause any damage to the slide.
MGW offers shoes for the following firearms:
- Sig P220, P225, P226, P228, P229, P239
- Beretta 92/96
- Beretta Cougar, PX4
- Bersa BP9, BP40
- Browning Hi-Power, Tokarev
- Colt 1911
- Colt Mustang
- FN .45 CAL
- Glock (all models)
- Glock 42
- HK USP, P2000, P30, P45
- Ruger LC380, LC9
- Ruger P Series
- Ruger SR9, SR9C, SR40, SR40C, SR45
- Sig P220, P225, P226, P228, P229, P239
- Sig P238
- Sig P938
- Sig PRO
- Springfield XD
- Springfield XD-S
- Steyer M40/MPS
- S&W Bodyguard 380
- S&W 3rd Gen 9mm
- S&W 3rd Gen 45 ACP
- S&W M&P
- S&W M&P Shield
- S&W Sigma
You may notice that there are multiple shoes for specific models, this is because some gun models have different width slides. For example, Glock slides are all the same, with the exception of the Glock 42, so if you want to be able to work on all models that Glock makes, you would have to purchase 2 shoes, one for the Glock 42 then one for all of the other Glock models.
The general usage of the tool is pretty simple, in theory… you simply clamp the slide in, use the pusher to remove the current sights then do the reverse to put the new sights in. In reality, it can be a little tougher to get stuck sights out, or align things perfectly. But other than that, the usage is as you would expect.
There are some nice integrated features to help keep you from scratching or damaging a slide… There is a teflon (or some other material) stop that will keep the pusher at least 0.015″ off of the slide. So you don’t risk hitting the slide with the pusher. Also, there are 4 side supports that clamp down on the sides of the slide to keep the slide from being able to turn or roll when pushing the sights. This will keep slide rails from cracking or otherwise getting damaged in the removal or installation process.
The tool comes with a pusher for straight sided sights, while this will work on angled sights, they say it could scratch them. So they also offer a 30° angled pusher. For example of angled sights, they are the ones on most Glock pistols. I’m using the straight sided pusher for angled Glock sights, and it seems to work just fine. I did put a little “padding” on the sight just to make sure it didn’t scratch them. But other than that, it worked just fine.
You can watch the training DVD below for an up close and personal demonstration of how everything works.
Front Sight Removal
This tool will also work for the removal of dovetail style front sights. This is done with the same process as rear sights. The tool also has a notch cut out on the front side to assist with firearms that have a longer recoil spring cover, for example, 1911 style pistols. Other than that, the process works the same as rear sights.
There are a lot of tools out there for this. Some of them are listed below so you can take a look at some of the other designs out there. Personally, I like this design, It’s simple and has pretty much everything I can think of accounted for.
- Maryland Gun Works Rear Sight Tool Glock
- Glock 17 Or 19 Tool Set
- Ameriglo Rear Sight Tool For Glock GTOOL1
- Universal Handgun Sight Tool
- B&J Machine P500 Pro Universal Front and Rear Sight Tool
Ratings (out of 5 stars):
Fit, Finish and Quality: * * * * *
This tool is built tough and designed to last. It’s armorer/gunsmith grade and should last a lifetime.
Ease of Use: * * * * ½
Overall the Sight Pro is quite easy to use, but there are a lot of moving parts. So you’ll have to watch the instructions to really get how to use each component. Once you have it down, though, it’s very simple and easy to use. The design also makes it easy to quickly work on rear and front sights, etc.
Value: * * * ½
The MGW Sight Pro is a great tool, especially if you have multiple firearms, have a shop, or have a group of people who want to change sights on their pistols. If you have one pistol and just want the sights changed, you’ll be better off paying someone to do it for you. But if you have a number of firearms to work on, this is the tool for you.
Overall: * * * *
This is a great tool. It’s modular, works with most pistols (with the correct shoes) and is built to last. If you’re a gunsmith or just have a lot of pistols to work on, this tool is worth the money.