Lyman #2 Rifle Sight Wobble Fix

I recently purchased a used Winchester 1886 Take Down.

It came with a Lyman #2 tang sight installed.

When I took the rifle to the range to sight it in, I noticed a lot of movement (wobble) in the sight peep hole. Seems there is wobble in two places. Where the sight sits on the tang piece and in the adjustable stem.

Although at 50 yards, this movement was negligible on the target,  out at 200 and 300 yards it was throwing my shots off a few inches right and left. Elevation was staying rock solid, it was the side to side movement that had to be corrected.

Here are the parts that we will be focusing on.

Sight Base


Knurled elevator

Stem insert

Sight stem

First remove the lock nut from the side of the sight

This is a picture of the lock nut.

Next unthread the sight pivot post. You can use a small drift in the hole on the end of the pivot post to turn it. Once the pivot bolt is out, VERY carefully remove the sight assembly.

CAUTION!!!!!!! There is a very small steel ball that is spring loaded on the left side of the  sight assembly.  If you are not careful this little ball will take off to parts unknown!

Once you have the sight assembly removed, there is a small set-screw at the bottom of the sight assembly. Loosen this screw and remove the sight post.

Remove the O-Ring.

Unthread the knurled elevator and remove.

Once you do this you will have the pieces available in the photo above.

Take the “stem insert” and a pair of pliers and squeeze the slot closed just a little bit. Although I’m showing conventional pliers, I would rather use Vise Grips. With Vice Grips you can control the amount of “squeeze” you are applying.

This piece is hardened and it will take some force to squeeze it a bit. But be careful that you don’t squeeze too hard and crush it. You only want to close the small slot by a thousandth or two.

Next you are going to use a small Swiss file and open the slot for a nice tight fit on the “sight stem”.

File a little and check fit. Take your time. You want a PERFECT fit.

The sight stem has a threaded riser that slides in this slot. The object here is to have a class 1 fit. No movement except up and down. And the up and down sliding movement should be quite tight.

Once that is done the only thing left to do is to file a flat spot on the rear bottom of the Stem Insert. This will give the small set screw a nice purchase and stop the entire stem post from rotating. I can’t understand why Lyman didn’t do this at the factory.

That’s it for the sight stem assembly. When you reassemble, be sure to put a bit of pressure on the O-Ring as you tighten the little set screw. This will stop some other slight wobble and create friction so the height adjuster doesn’t move under recoil.

Now, to take the wobble out of the base pivot area.

I made two thin washers out of a soda can.

I had to install them on the left side of the sight as my rifle was shooting a bit to the left. The Lyman #2 does not have windage adjustment, so any little “windage” I could create couldn’t hurt.

The “D” shape is to clear the spring loaded detent ball that holds the sight upright during firing.

Put it all back together. Use a nice flat nosed drift to hold the little detent ball in as you slide everything back together.

Tighten the pivot bolt so there is just enough friction where it is a little hard to lower the sight and there is no movement when in the upright position.

If you did it correctly, you’ll have near zero movement of the peep even in the highest positions.


Hope this helped!



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2 comments on “Lyman #2 Rifle Sight Wobble Fix”

  1. Steel Horse Bailey Reply

    This is a good piece, Robert. I have noticed the same problem from the Lyman I have. Thanks for posting it with such good photos!

  2. Winston Smith Reply

    When Lyman introduced this modern version of a traditional right I purchased one. The tolerances were as poor then as now, but I figured I could tighten it up much as you have with your more recently made example. I also squeezed the barrel, using vise grips, but with the stem installed so the barrel couldn’t be over tightened. The Slot still needed just a bit of attention to get the stem moving without undue effort. I didn’t flatten the spot where the set screw bites; I just deepened the divot there. I also didn’t do any base ear shimming, I simply squeezed the ears slightly. Works fine. Since I bought it at a gunshow cheaply from the original disgruntled buyer; it was even pretty cheap. So my experience supports yours; perhaps my more crude method might have some minute amount more slop remaining, but it was done in a few minutes while at the range.
    Don’t lose that detent ball. My original is still in the range grass, I replaced it later.

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