Sylvan Arms Universal Sight Pusher Test
Eve Flanigan 06.25.20
Between working as a gear reviewer and instructor, not to mention my own shooting activities, it seems there are often sights to be adjusted. Frustrated by the occasional stubborn rear sight and feeling bad about the ding I recently put on a student’s sight by using improvised items for the task, I studied a plethora of sight pusher reviews in the sub-$100 price range, finally settling on the Sylvan Arms Gen 4 Sight “Pursher,” as it’s affectionately named.
If you’re like me, a highly stereotypical picture of an old chap who says “pursher” instead of “pusher” comes to mind upon reading the product name. But I digress.
The kit arrived in a sturdy box with the Sylvan Arms logo. Inside is a zippered cloth case with carry handles, containing the many blocks and the pusher in a Styrofoam shell that has cutouts for each pair of blocks. There is a generous length of tape-backed loop material included, to cut to size and protect a slide or sight during use.
The frame of the tool is 9310 steel. From the tone of the Amazon listing, this is an apparent upgrade from previous versions. The blocks are 6061 aluminum and CNC-machined to fit, jigsaw-style, common rear sight profiles.
Someone with lots of sight tool experience would surely have been faster than I setting the tool up for its first use. An inventory of parts, followed by some mock use, preceded the actual work and helped me understand its operation.
My first two projects with the tool were a minor adjustment to the Salient Arms sights on my Canik TP9 Elite Combat pistol, and the (attempted) removal of an XS Big Dot sight from a Glock 19. I had oiled both sights’ bases the day before to reduce resistance.
The only difficulty in preparing the tool was the tendency of the slides, clamped on one end, to move out of place under their own weight. Setting a book under the loose side solved that. Told you there’d be amateur problems.
Moving the Canik rear sight was a ten-minute process not counting the orientation process nor the task of locating two crescent wrenches (not included) to turn the bolt. Moving the XS Big Dot sight on the Glock was only partially successful. Although the tool is advertised to fit every sight out there, this is one that can only go so far. With the sight pushed about 2/3 of the way off, its tall profile sidled up to the pushing block, and there it stopped. There was no more room to move. So It became necessary to drive the sight the rest of the way out using a punch and mallet.
The “Pursher” would still work to adjust this sight, just not installation/removal.
Is the SA Universal Sight Pursher is worth the $68 I spent on it? For anyone who’s adjusting sights weekly or more often, I think the answer is a resounding “yes.” I would add a set of dedicated wrenches for convenience and store a small magnetic tray with the kit to corral tiny set screws and other parts while working.
Is it worth the outlay for the occasional adjustment? The answer is still yes — if you’re in the camp that gets disturbed over scratches from punches and such. For those not in those groups, my recommendation is to keep doing things the hard(er) way, or maybe try one of the many less-expensive tools available if they’re a fit for your brand of pistol—and supply your own protective material.