Over years of avid pistol shooting I've of course come to know many style of sights and developed some personal preferences. My approach to changing pistols sights has also evolved.
Originally, like many others, I took the pistol to a gun smith and paid a nominal fee or walked out in disappointment when they declined the work. From there I took to the "redneck" method of beating sights with a hammer and punch. Sometimes with success, sometimes damaging the sights, and other times accomplishing little more than marring the sights or slide (I'm not proud, but I am honest). I've also tried a couple different models of sight pushing tools over the years and been mostly disappointed. Those that work perfectly are model-specific. Those that are inexpensive tend to break or were only intended for single use. As a result I had stuck mostly to the hammer and punch method.
That changed when I had not one, not two, but three pistols with sights so snug that I felt like a fool for having purchased replacement sights but not installed them. It was time to get serious. I was either going to pay most of the cost of a quality tool to a gun smith, or give the market one more try at finding a quality sight pusher.
We've been using Real Avid tools for years and found them generally brilliant. Their Pistol Tool has been a range bag staple for years, both decluttering the bag and saving the day. Real Avid's Bore Boss cleaning tools (old video HERE) have also been great at both doing their job and minimizing clutter. With both products the design has been intelligent and feature-rich, so I decided to try their Master Sight Pusher Tool.
With four knobs to locate and hold the slide, two knobs to adjust pusher depth, and a large knob to turn for the pushing there's a lot to take in at first sight. I was accustomed to the simpler block of aluminum or steel with one tiny T-handle to turn. All of that adjustment, however meant that I was easily able to take care of a Sig P365XL slide and then after a few adjustments handle the Bersa TPR9 Slide. As you'll see in the pictures:
The four side knobs locate the slide and have measurement lines so you know your slide is straight in the tool.
A round foot is then lowered onto the top of the slide to prevent the slide from trying to torque under pressure.
A smart, spring-assisted adjustment sets the height of the pusher and can be finely adjusted so that pressure is applied to as much of the sight as possible without digging into the slide itself. There are subtle marks to help you ensure the pusher height is straight.
The part that actually does the pushing is reversible with a narrow tooth for front sights and broad tooth for rear sights.
The knob for moving the pusher is much more comfortable than T-handle metal; made of polymer with grooves to grip. A rubberized top handle helps you anchor the whole device down while turning the knob.
The only improvement I would make would be to integrate some sort of lighting. The tool makes an easy job of removing or installing sights, but it's very difficult (at least for my eyes) to see just how far the sights have moved. You either have to shine a light into the mouth of the tool or completely remove the slide to check which runs the risk of losing all of your settings across the 7 knobs you've just carefully turned to get to the right spot.
The Real Avid Master Sight Pusher Tool fits right in with the rest of Real Avid's lineup of clever tools. It made relatively easy work (once I had everything adjusted) or removing and installing sights, but is a bit tedious for fine adjustments if you have to insert and remove the slide over and over. I'm sure during times of unuse it's relatively larger size will get annoying, but when the need arises for such a tool I don't know of a better choice.