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Rookie Sight Question

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I need to make a small horizontal adjustment to the sights on my Golden Boy. Right now I'm always about 2 inches to the side at 25 yards. The manual says to tap it into place with a wood/plastic dowel. I tried once with a softwood dowel, didn't work at all--all I did was crush the dowel. I've heard some people recommend a brass punch. I'm afraid of either damaging the finish, or over-correcting and never being able to get it close again. Would an oak dowel do the trick? Oh, us newbies and our many problems! :D

Thanks in advance!