Chinese Type 53 Carbine (Mosin) sight removal

Chinese Type 53 Carbine (Mosin) sight removal

I had a customer bring in a Chinese Type 53 Carbine.  He wanted to remove the front and rear sight assemblies.  The sights on these guns are similar to an AK or SKS in that they are pressed on and pinned in place.  When I received the barreled action the pins were already removed from the sight assembly.

Working with a Type 53, Mosin, AK or SKS is unlike working on an AR15 or 10/22.  Everything is put together with far greater force.  While you might be able to tap a “stuck” front sight base off of an AR barrel with a 4 ounce nylon mallet, that won’t work with these guns.  They require a hydraulic press.  The one I am using in this post is a 20-ton shop press that you can find in most areas for between $200-400.

Before we start working, let’s take time to review the site’s disclaimer:

The contents of are produced for informational purposes only and should be performed by competent gunsmiths only. and its authors, do not assume any responsibility, directly or indirectly for the safety of the readers attempting to follow any instructions or perform any of the tasks shown, or the use or misuse of any information contained herein, on this website.

Any modifications made to a firearm should be made by a licensed gunsmith. Failure to do so may void warranties and result in an unsafe firearm and may cause injury or death.

Modifications to a firearm may result in personal injury or death, cause the firearm to not function properly, or malfunction, and cause the firearm to become unsafe.

Working with a hydraulic press and guns that are put together with this much force can be very dangerous.  When the parts separate the action is loud, violent and scary.  This isn’t a project for beginners.

Before I started working on the rifle, I soaked all the critical junction areas with a liberal amount of Kroil.   If you want to remove stuck parts, this is always the place to begin.  You can order it from Brownells and no gun owner should be without it.

I started by making a set of aluminum jaws that would fit around the barrel and give me something to push the sight off of.  This is just a 6061 aluminum scrap that I had lying around the shop.

I clamped the aluminum jaws around the barrel and placed a block of aluminum over the muzzle of the rifle to prevent the hydraulic press ram from damaging the surface.

Applying pressure from the press drives the barrel backwards.  You’ll notice the muzzle is now almost flush with the front sight assembly.  Unlike automotive parts, which typically break free immediately, there is no way this sight is coming off without more pressure.

I use a long socket that fits inside the front sight assembly to continue driving the barrel back.  This will free the front sight assembly.

The setup to remove the rear sight is similar, except the distances involved are far greater.

To remove the rear sight I made a set of .250″ thick steel jaws to wrap around the barrel behind the rear sight assembly.  I tried some aluminum first, but they were too soft and the sight assembly sheared through them.  The steel worked, but the pressure that needed to be applied by the press was significant (I actually needed to heat the rear sight with a torch).

Success, the disassembled Type 53 carbine.

This is one of the aluminum blocks I used to remove the front sight.  Notice the Aluminum that was compressed from the force that was required to remove the front sight.

It wasn’t easy, but I’m happy it is off.