How to Adjust a Dovetailed Front Sight

by Jeremiah Blanchard
Learn how to adjust your dovetail front sight.

Learn how to adjust your dovetail front sight.

Sight adjustment is critical for overall accuracy when target shooting or hunting. Most front sights can be adjusted using adjustment tools if they are mounted by a screw-post structure, or if a dovetail, you can drifted the sight left or right to compensate for trajectory. No matter the weapon you use, test-fire it first, then adjust your sight. Remember, when a bullet strikes the target to the left of bull's-eye, the sight must be drifted right to land on target. This process may take a few test-firing attempts before the correct placement is achieved, but luckily dovetail front sights are the easiest sights to adjust for windage trajectory.

Check that the weapon is unloaded. Place the weapon in a padded gun vise. Place the weapon exactly how you would hold it when you shoot, with the front sight upright.

Hold a brass, dowel or plastic drift tool against the sight. If you need to adjust for left round placement, hold the drift at the right of the sight, so you can drift it to the left.

Use a plastic hammer and lightly tap the sight toward your preferred direction. Move the sight only 1/32 to 1/16-inch at a time.

Test-fire the weapon to see if your rounds are landing on target. Drift the sight again if you need further adjustment.

Items you will need

  • Plastic or brass drift, or dowel
  • Plastic hammer
  • Padded gun vise


  • Never attempt maintenance on a loaded weapon.

Photo Credits

  • Revolver Pistol image by Peter Orsaeo Sr from