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  1. #1
    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    a3 front sight post

    up next on my list...this A3.
    I'll start by saying it shoots great...but zeroing requires maxing out left windage because the front sight is obviously pointing to 11 o'clock or so.
    The blade is not bent.
    The witness mark on the receiver is perfectly aligned to the one on the barrel.
    When zeroed, a witness mark on the original rear sight housing (yolk holder? whatever) lines up with a corresponding witness mark on the receiver bridge.
    My conclusion therefore is that this barrel was made this way - and it is annoying as a left handed shooter to have the rear sight assembly pushed off-center all the way over by 1/4 inch or more.
    During manufacturing, was the timing mark on the barrel applied before or after it was put on the receiver? If I unscrew the barrel 1/12 of a turn (maybe a bit less) will this create excessive headspace? Right now headspace is tight, bold barely turns on my Forrester no-go.

    It was hard to get a good picture that shows what alignment the eye sees. Third pic falsely looks like the blade might be bent only cause the camera lens was off center a bit.


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    Contributing Member Doco overboard's Avatar
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    I would start simply by making sure the key for the front sight band is in place.
    If for some reason the key was not installed or the wrong size, fell out or was lost, the band may have just become slightly rotated.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doco overboard View Post
    the key was not installed
    That's what it looks like. Check out the front end first.
    Regards, Jim

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    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    There certainly is a key in there, me thinks

    The key or keyway could be damaged, or the key too small. I'll give it soak again. I tried to get the pin started - right to left (looking from behind the rifle) - with a regular punch and lots of small taps. I didn't want to beat on it and break/bend my punch. I think I need to support the blade with a block of wood, and give it a really big fing whack with a small nail set to get it started. The pin is tapered right? and right to left is the correct exit?
    I saw chuck's method of cutting it off - but will try to save it first.
    Last edited by ssgross; 01-05-2021 at 10:36 PM.

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    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    Yahtzee that was easy! Got the pin started moving right to left with a 1/32 nail set and a very big hammer. I supported the sight with wood door shims to protect it. When I switched to a regular punch, it wouldn't budge. Tried hundreds of small taps - tried to let the vibrations work some more kroil around it. punch started to bend.
    Hmmm. I took a small hand torch and lightly touched around the the pin for a few seconds - just a bit of warmth - I could still touch it without burning my finger. punch snapped midway up the tip...but the shortened punch then started to move the pin right out!
    Muzzle against a carpet on the concrete floor, and a piece of hardwood dowel behind it. The sight collar started to move after a few blows.

    Now the diagnosis...nothing wrong with the key (key came out after scrubbing with kroil and pulling with needle nose). Either the keyway was cut wrong, or the witness mark on the barrel was off, or both - this barrel was over timed quite a bit. I used a hex wrench to make sure my level was on the flat of the milled part.
    Last edited by ssgross; 01-06-2021 at 05:55 PM.

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    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    Just to convince myself I'm not going crazy, the marks do match up. Were the barrels marked when manufactured, or when assembled? I thought since all the replacement barrels I've seen already have witness marks on them they were pre-marked.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    I'd unscrew it and recreate the crush factor and tighten up again. I've come across lots of witness marks that didn't match. Lots...
    Regards, Jim

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    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by browningautorifleicon View Post
    I'd unscrew it and recreate the crush factor and tighten up again. I've come across lots of witness marks that didn't match. Lots...
    Yep. I was very surprised by how far off this one was. Glad I got the sight collar off so I can knock the light rust off and make it last for several centuries to come.
    I'll pull the barrel off, likely this weekend, re-index, check headspace is still good, and post back.

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    Looking forward...
    Regards, Jim

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    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    Well, Jim, you may have to wait a while. I shopped earlier in the week for a 1.175" aluminum bushing for my brownells barrel vise. Thought I had one coming but no-dice, backordered. I'm gambling that the no. 5 steel bushing will work - it's in stock. Brownells says it fits Mauser 98 military barrels, which best I can find on the interweb is 1.2", same as the 03a3. Am I wrong?
    Now, I've never used a steel bushing before. Can I wrap aluminum tape on the barrel to prevent damage to the finish, same as I do on the action?
    For anyone else that stumbles on this now, Chuck's thread is a must read, although his equipment is a bit more than my DIY shop. For convenience...https://www.milsurps.com/showthread.php?t=26677

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