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Ball Bearing in rear sight???

This is a discussion on Ball Bearing in rear sight??? within the The M14 forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; Hello all. Been a while since my last post but here is one that has me scratching my head. I disassembled my National Match rear ...


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Old April 14th, 2017, 04:36 PM   #1
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Ball Bearing in rear sight???

Hello all.
Been a while since my last post but here is one that has me scratching my head.
I disassembled my National Match rear sight and much to my surprise a small ball bearing came out and fell on my bench.
I was not aware that a ball bearing was part of the rear sight assembly. I was not aware that a ball bearing was a part of the rifle at all. I have not seen one illustrated in the owners manual or in any YouTube posts.

Anyone have a clue for me as to where this bearing belongs?
I bought this rifle second hand from a gun store so I have no previous owner to query about it.

What do you think? Got in there by accident somehow? Important piece of the rear sight assembly?

Would like some input before I reassemble the sight.

Thanks in advance

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Old April 14th, 2017, 04:41 PM   #2
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RH ear on the reciever(looking down the sights). There should be a hole drilled. There will be a spring and the ball that is retained by the windage drum. It works as a detent for the windage adjustment. You will need it! (Unless you change our the drum)

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Old April 14th, 2017, 04:57 PM   #3
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What Patchhound said.

Here's a thread by Gus Fisher about it. A little history on NM sights.

Here's one line from it: "Also, FOR SAInc M1A's ONLY: They have drilled the receiver for a ball or detent for years. If you add the ball or detent and spring and a NOTCHED Windage knob, it will give you 1/2 windage as well. You CAN drill Garand or other commercial M14 receivers to use this set up, but other receivers don't come pre-drilled with the hole."

I'm glad it fell onto your bench, could have easily gotten away without being noticed!

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Old April 14th, 2017, 06:11 PM   #4
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Thanks Patchhound and Deacon. Now I can start getting it back together

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Old April 17th, 2017, 10:55 AM   #5
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The ball detent set up was used to convert standard windage parts to 1/2 minute adjustments. It was developed by the Air Force due to a shortage of NM rear sight parts. It requires the use of a modified windage knob. A lot of users prefer this system, however I feel that the loose tolerances of the threads on the standard sight base and knob are somewhat detrimental to exacting sight adjustments. I prefer the NM/2A sight. Since SAI is having their sight parts made off shore, I don't see why it would be any more costly to have them made to NM specs. It's only a matter of a finer thread.

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