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Once the sight is removed, there is a way that does not damage anything.

Turn the barrel upside down. At this point the key's body is half inside the keyway, half sticking out toward the ground. Tighten a vise around the sides of the protruding half. Tap upward just behind the front sight area of the barrel and whaalaa! The key is now in the vice and the barrel is free withing you hands. For me it has worked every time, even with keys that were heavily staked.
 

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Sometimes the keys get deformed. I found many imported take offs with keys that were in such poor shape that installation of a new sight was impossible.

I have also seen keys that were pounded in from the top. This makes the key deform on the bottom half and once removed from the keyway will no longer fit another barrel.

Inland 44 is correct about having the proper tools. That is 90% of the answer to proper removal/installation/changing of front and rear sights.
 
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