Replacing the sights on a handgun can be a frustrating task. The simplest method is to clamp the slide in a vice and drift the sight off with a brass punch. While this is an inexpensive method, it offers a great chance of damage to the slide and sight. In addition to the risk of damage, it makes it difficult to make fine adjustments to the zero of the handgun.
There are a number of sight installation tools on the market to make this job safer and easier. Unfortunately, many of them are make/model specific and expensive. This is why I was excited when I came across the VISM Universal Rear Sight Installation Tool.
VISM is a division of NC Star. NC Star is not commonly known for high-quality products. However, they seem to be putting a lot of effort into their VISM line in order to distinguish it from their other products. When I contacted VISM they were happy to send out a sample for review.
The VISM Universal Rear Sight Installation Tool is an attractive piece. It comes in a zip-up nylon case with a fitted foam interior. The case houses the tool, an Allen key, and some extra plastic shims to fit a wide variety of slides. No directions are included, but anything you need to know is actually stamped into the body of the tool.
Adjusting the tool for your slide is easily accomplished with the thumbwheels on the braces. The tool offers a decent sized handle that will give you enough leverage to remove most sights. VISM included a 15mm hex potion on the screw shaft to accommodate a socket and ratchet for stubborn jobs.
When the tool arrived, I quickly went to work replacing two sets of Glock sights. My carry G19 received a new set of Trijicon HD sights. The Danger Close Armament G19 needed the plastic sights replaced with a set of Ameriglo Suppressor Sights. The VISM Tool handled both types with ease. The sight pusher had a large cutout that should accept most sights with ease.
The only issue that we ran into when using the tool is that the thumbscrew for the top brace was a bit sticky. I expect that it will loosen up with use, but it took some effort to get to the screw down from the fully raised position.
Overall the VISM Universal Rear Sight Tool made the installation of our new sights an extremely easy task. I feel it is definitely worth the price when compared to some of the other tools on the market (the factory Glock version, for example). It has definitely earned a spot on my tool shelf.