Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Next step in the Hammerless mods

 When last we visited this subject, I’d replaced the front sight with a Mepro shotgun bead. It works. Problem was, it sits on top of the original rear sight and overpowers it; that glowing bead is great in dim light, but for aimed fire in good light, this combination isn’t the best. So I’ve been looking for some suitable iron sights.

Lots of looking, trying to find some suitable iron, then something someone said at some point(isn't that precise?) came to mind and I checked the Kahr site: well, well, well. They have parts, including the sights. And some of the Kahr pistols are small…

I picked the rear sight from the P380: dovetails in, white line in the center. It’s a little wider fore-to-aft in the base than the original, much wider side-to-side. The side-to–side isn’t a problem: a little sanding and polishing. The fore-to-after requires more work. Did some measuring and thinking, and found that the dovetail angle on the slide and the new sight matches a equilateral triangular(or three sided, if you want to be precise) file nicely, so I took a file(bought a new one for the purpose) and ground two sides smooth(‘safe’) so only one side can cut. It also made the file a little slimmer: it wouldn’t fit into the dovetail, but after the grinding(on the belt sander) it slipped in nicely. The bottom- being safe- could slide smoothly and keep the file level. So was able to make a few strokes on the front angle of the dovetail, try the sight, turn the slide and make a few on the rear, try, and so on. Only took a few minutes to reach the point the sight would slide in about halfway under finger pressure, and some taps with a punch and the 2oz. hammer took it the rest of the way. So here’s how it looks now:

The rear of the sight, around the slot, is undercut to prevent reflection, and it’s a wide slot: wide enough that that shotgun sight fills it with just a tiny line of daylight on each side(this is after I ground/polished the sides of the sight to fit it to the slide).

Next step is the range to see how this combination works. For my eyes almost anything is better than the original sights, and I think this will work nicely. I might pick up one of the matching Kahr front sights later, if so I’ll have to cut/have cut a dovetail in the slide for it; while it’s possible to do it yourself with a file, I’d be scared to death of getting the dovetail cocked to one side, throwing the sight off square. So unless I can figure out a way to set up a jig to keep things true, that’ll be a job for a mill, which means paying someone(I know someone with a lathe, nobody with a mill). So, if decide to do that, it’ll be a ways down the road.

The other mod I want to do is the safety.  I'm thinking cut a wide groove in it, and solder in a piece to give it more of the shape of a 1911 safety.  Then, if I get REALLY picky, figure a way to give the safety a click for on & off.


Anonymous said...

oh, VERY nice.

I'm not aware of there being any extended safeties specifically manufactured for that model.


Seems to me there are some diagrams in George Nonte's classic manual of pistolsmithing (of the same name) about how to make an extended safety for the Browning Hi-Power, when no such thing existed. It involved filing an approximately 3/16" groove across the safety, parallel with the existing grooves most have, and then taking some 3/16" mild steel and cutting it into an appropriate "gas pedal" shape, 20 LPI grooves in the top surface to help with traction optional, then silver solder it into the groove on the original safety in the obvious orientation and direction. Very slight downward bend in the forward part of this safety is optional, depending on the height at which you put it in. Refinish to match, reassemble, and there you are.

Seems to me this idea is readily adapted to the M1903, and many other designs besides.

Firehand said...

I may have read that in the past, and I know someone who has a copy. Much thanks for pointing to it

And no, there's nothing of the type I've seen as aftermarket for this pistol.