Category Archives: Gunsmithing

Posts that touch on gunsmithing topics such as improving function, finishes, changing parts, and anything else that alters a weapon

Great Deals On Pistol Braces and Pistols With Braces At PSA

When the ATF reversed the ruling about braces and enabled folks to use them however they saw fit, the demand and supply of pistol braces went into orbit. I have carpal tunnel and a hereditary tremor so for me, using a brace is the only way I can wield a heavy pistol – such as one based on an AR, AK or MP5 type of action.

Examples of Braced Pistols

SB Tactical’s PDW brace is great on AR pistols
IWI Galil Ace in 7.62×51 with a SB Tactical SBA4 adjustable brace
PTR PDWR .308 pistol with a SB Tactical folding mechanism and SB Tactical SOB brace

Palmetto State Armory (PSA)

PSA has come a long way. I’ve used them as my go-to AR parts supplier for years and now they have great deals on parts, kits, receivers, and firearms. They also offer some great deals on braces – by themselves as parts, as part of a kit offering or even on firearms.


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Brownells Has All Kinds of Metal Finishes And Surface Preparation Supplies

Folks, if you are looking for supplies to finish your firearm, Brownells is a great source. I’ve done business with them for years and they have provided me great technical support as well as customer service. If you are considering a spray on finish like Alumahyde (their own product), Cerakote, Duracoat, or Gunkote plus other finishes like cold bluing, hot bluing, color case hardening or parkerizingBrownells has a ton of options for you.

Both of these rifles were finished using Duracoat’s spray on finish. You really needed to blast the surface, make sure it was very clean and then allow the finish to cure for a week for it to be durable.
Baking on Molyresin over manganese park. That’s a M92 with a long barrel in the front and a M72B1 in the rear from back in the days when I had free time 🙂

These days, I do a base surface preparation of manganese parkerization and then Norell’s Molyresin on top. The park creates an ideal surface for any sprayed on finish like Alumahyde, GunKote or Molyresin to stick.

The following are some great examples of products they carry:


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How to Install Or Replace A Polymer80 or Glock’s Firing Pin Spring Assembly

Installing or replacing the firing pin spring in a Polymer80 or Glock pistol can seem daunting. It’s actually quite straight forward but you would never know it at first glance. I had to do some digging and want to share with you two videos that really helped me out.

Here are all the fun parts of both the firing pin and extractor plunger assemblies.
The top unit is the assembled firing pin group. The lower part is the Extractor Depressor Plunger assembly. I’m just showing the plunger because I had them together when I did the photo. You can leave the plunger alone.

Glock Striker Disassembly and Reassembly Video

Great Detailed Animation About The Firing Pin Assembly Specifically

Complete Glock Disassembly Video

In case you want to completely take your pistol apart, this is a very good video:

I hope this helps you out.


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How to Check A Polymer80 Or Glock’s Firing Pin Strike

One of the challenges when you are working on a firearm is trying to figure out what is going on in spaces you can’t directly observe. The Polymer80 frames given an awesome platform to build a custom pistol but you have the challenge of wondering just how hard the firing pin will strike the primer. I know a bunch of you load a round and test fire but that is not an option where I live now so I had to figure out an alternative.

The internals of a Glock reflect pure genius on the part of Gaston Glock. How he figured it all out is beyond me and the best I can do it is look at the parts and the functioning and draw conclusions about what is going on. Obviously a lot has to happen to release the firing pin and have it travel forward with sufficient force to strike the primer and trigger ignition. All sorts of stuff can go wrong and cause a light strike that then results in erratic firing.

So, I was sitting and wondering how I could test the strike in my shop. I started thinking about what I could put down the barrel that would get hit by the pin and both move reflecting the degree of force and also get dented so I could see depth, etc. My answer? A 1/4″ hardwood dowel.

I buy these 1/4″ x 3′ hardwood dowels by the bundle from suppliers but even at a big box store, a 3′ dowel will run you $1-3 for a 3-4′ long piece. I’m talking the plain jane wood dowels you see with the hardware and parts aisle section – not premium oak, etc.

So, I take them to my bandsaw and cut off about a 6″ section in my bandsaw and then I sand the ends real quick to get rid of stray fibers.

Here’s a new 6″ test rod next to a Polymer80 G34.
Look at how it’s nice and clean – no dents and also no stray fibers/slivers that will catch on the barrel.

How To Test

First and foremost, visually inspect the pistol and don’t assume anything. Make absolutely sure the weapon is clear – that there is no ammunition in the chamber or a loaded magazine. Life is going to suck in the next part if you pull the trigger and the pistol is loaded so make sure it isn’t!!

Step one, cut yourself either a new dowel or trim the end of an existing one so you have a clean end.

Okay, hold the pistol vertical, drop the dowel down the barrel and pull the trigger. The dowel should to shoot up about 2-3 feet in the air depending on what springs you are using. The stronger the spring, the further the dowel will go.

Try this with some known good pistols first to get a feel for how far the dowel pops up. If a 1/4″x6″ dowel doesn’t even leave the barrel then you know you have a problem.

Here’s the dowel sticking out the end.

Now, the second part of the diagnostic is to look at the divot in the end. There should be a clear indent in the wood. Look at this next photo:

That dent was made by the firing pin hitting the wood and is from my PF940CL pistol that works great plus it’s also running a full power OEM Glock firing pin spring. It makes a much more pronounced dent that my G34 which is running a reduced weight Glockmeister firing pin spring.

This method has worked very well for me as I can repeatedly test fire with the dowel to diagnose light strikes without constantly needing to shoot live ammo.

You can see this one is short. I’m not worried about a precise length. Before I test or after I am done, I trim off the end so I have a nice fresh “face” for the pin to hit so I can see it. Bear in mind that a shorter dowel will be lighter and fly further. This dowel is at the end of it’s useful length and I’ll use it for something else now.

I hope this little trick helps you out as well.


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How To Install a Polymer80 or Glock FIring Pin Channel Liner

When you buy a stripped slide for your Glock or Polymer80 build, you will find that you need to install a Firing Pin Channel Liner – Glock part number 1148. For some reason this worries a lot of folks but it is actually extremely easy to install.

This small plastic tube is the firing pin channel liner. Please note it is solid – the tube with a channel in it is the firing pin spacer sleeve so don’t confuse the two. Also, please note this has two different ends – the left end is beveled and is what goes into the slide. The right side has a straight edge and this is what will rest on the shoulder of the installation tool.

Do I really need it?

This question pops up from guys who feel intimidated by having to install the liner. The short answer is, “Yes, you do really need it”. The liner serves a couple of purposes. First, it is a buffer that isolates the firing pin from the steel slide so you do not have metal on metal wear. Second, because the system was designed with that spacer, leaving it out will cause alignment problems. Note, stick with OEM Glock plastic liners. I’m not recommending brass, stainless, etc.

Do I need a tool?

I’d recommend it and they are dirt cheap. Basically the tools are a metal rod with a shoulder. The channel liner slides on and you tap it into place. Some are threaded to enable removal. I use the following simple tool for installation:

Ok, how do I install the liner?

The first step is to inspect the channel liner. On the end with the straight cut you will usually see some waste plastic, known as “sprue”, left over from the casting process. Use a razor blade or sharp knife and just cut that off so it doesn’t hang on anything or get in the way.

See that little piece of waste plastic sticking out on the top? Just cut it off flush with a razor or a sharp knife. You cal also see how this is the straight end of the liner that will sit against the shoulder of the installation tool.
This photo isn’t as crisp but hopefully you can see the slight bevel on this end of the liner. This is the end that will go into the slide.

Slide the liner onto the tool. The straight cut edge rests on the shoulder of your tool.

Slide the liner onto the tool with the bevel facing out and the straight edge against the shoulder.

Then you insert the liner into the big hole in the rear of the slide. You and usually push it a bit of the way. Rest the nose of the slide on your bench and tap lightly with a small hammer. You will hear and feel the difference when the liner is seated all the way. It really is that easy.

This is just so you can see the orientation of the tool. I rest the nose of the slide on my bench block and tap the tool with the a small ball peen hammer to seat the liner. I had to use the vise purely to take the photo.

A Video To Help

Brownells put together a real nice to-the-point video on how to do this:

Sources For Liners and Tools


The Glock firing pin channel liner is definitely nothing to fear and I hope this helps you out.


Listings from eBay

Glock Factory OEM Firing Pin Channel Liner Fits Glock Models Gen 3, 4, 5

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2 Glock Factory OEM Part Firing Pin Channel Liner for All Glock SP01148

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Glock SP01148 OEM Firing Pin Channel Liner Fit All Models 17 19 21 32 33 Gen1-4

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Lot of 2 - Glock OEM Firing Pin Channel Liner SP01148 - Factory NEW

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Glock OEM Firing Pin Channel Liner SP01148 - Factory NEW- 2 Pack

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Listings from eBay

Channel Liner Installation Tool for all Glock models 100% made in USA

$6.99
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Channel liner Removal and Installation tool for Glock

$10.95
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Channel Liner Installation Tool for Glock 100% made in USA

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Channel Liner Installation Tool for all Glock models G19 G17 G26 G27 G21 G3 G4

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Channel Liner Install Tool for Glock Slide G17 G19 G3 Polymer80 gen 3 4 5 g3 g4

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FAST SHIPR Glock 19 Gen & 26 Slide Completion Parts Kit + channel liner + Tool

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Channel liner Removal and Installation tool for Glock Plus Channel Liner ***

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GTG Channel Liner Install Tool or Install & Removal Tool For GLOCK Choose Tool

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GTG Channel Liner Install Tool or Install & Removal Tool For GLOCK Choose Tool

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CDS Channel Liner Install and Removal Tool Stainless Steel For GLOCK Made in USA

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Polymer80 and Glock Parts Vendors

When you want to customize your Polymer80 or Glock, or you need replacement parts, there are a number of solid vendors you can go to:

Those are all reputable vendors and aren’t going to sell you inferior counterfeit products.

The Correct Replacement Spring For the Polymer80 PF940CL Slide Lock

I’m a huge fan of the Polymer80 pistol frames. They are solid products with significant design improvements over their Glock counterparts that make me prefer them – notably the grip angle and the integral Picatinny rail under the barrel. Recently, I did a PF940CL and this is a unique design to them – it is like a Model 19 in terms of the grip length but the slide and internal parts are from a full size Gen 3 Model 17. The “CL” stands for “Compact Long”.

PF940CL Based Pistol

In reading the instructions, they noted the kit came with a special slide stop coil spring instead of the typical Glock 17 leaf-style and to be sure not to lose it. In looking at the little spring in the kit, I had no idea what it was and wanted to have a spare just in case. I can also imagine guys losing this little spring and needing a replacement as well.

I emailed Polymer80, asked what it was and they replied back that it is a Glock Gen 5 slide lock spring. Problem solved — Brownells carries those and I ordered in a couple of spares.

Glock Gen 5 Slide Lock Spring – click the image to go to the Brownells item listing.

I hope this helps you out. The following is in case you need other parts as well.

Polymer80 and Glock Parts Vendors

When you want to customize your Polymer80 or Glock, or you need replacement parts, there are a number of solid vendors you can go to:

Those are all reputable vendors and aren’t going to sell you inferior counterfeit products.


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How to Make An Affordable and Effective Heated Tank For Acid Etching – Part 2

In the last post, I covered the basic construction of the tank. In this post I want to talk about heating the tank. Thanks to mass production of digital temperature switches, you can build a digitally controlled heated tank for a very reasonable price.

Why Does Heat Matter?

In case you are wondering, heating the solution does matter. Years ago, in 1889, a chemist by the name of Svante Arrhenius proposed an equation that would later bear his name. Basically, a chemical reaction increases as the level of activation energy increases. The reason temperature enters in as that you are raising the energy in the liquid, more energetic particles are bouncing around and increasing the volume of reactions which means that more successful reactions will occur as well. We can use a rule of thumb that for each 10C increase in temperature, the reaction rate will double and for each 10C drop, it will be cut in half. To sum it up, cold=bad for chemical reactions. As a side note, this is also why marginal batteries fail when cold weather hits.

So what this means to acid etching is that in my cold unheated shop in the Winter, reactions are going to be real, real slow. Thus, I must have a way to heat the chemical and the submerged part to improve the reaction.

The Heating Element For The Tank

The first thing I wanted to do was to keep the cost down and the second was that I didn’t want something that would get so hot that it would melt the PVC. I had a 30 foot length of roof heating tape from when we cleaned out my dad’s garage that I had been thinking about for a while. It always makes me feel good when I use something that was my dad’s.

These roof heating cables use AC voltage to warm up and melt ice are readily availble and are designed not to get so hot that they melt the shingles but also are designed to be spread out and not right next to each other so I was going to need to test the design. I planned to wrap the tape from the bottom of the tank until I ran out cable with each coil right against the previous. I was counting on convection of move warmer fluid up and cooler fluid down but I wasn’t really sure how it would sort out.

Another nice things about these heating cables, or heating tapes, is that they do not use a lot of electricity. The 30 foot model my dad had was spec’d to draw only 150 watts at 12 volts. That makes for a nice portable unit that you can run off just about any extension cord.

So, step one, I applied the tape to the empty tank and secured it just with 3M 3340 aluminum HVAC tape. This is the tape made for higher temperatures with an aluminum foil backing – it’s not dcut tape. I then watched the temperature with my Fluke 62 Max IR thermometer. You need an accurate thermometer and the Fluke has served me very well – it’s proved itself to be accurate, reliable and durable – it’s been bounched around a lot in my shop.

So, the temperature slowly climbed but made it all the way up to 170F before I shut it down. The PVC still felt pretty good but it was way hotter than what I wanted. Just plugging the tape in and calling it done was not the answer. Sure it would heat the liquid up fast but I couldn’t safey leave it unattended. I needed something to control the temperature but use the heat tape.

Please note that there are pipe heaters that are a different creature. Some of them need to be submerged in water or wrapped around a steel pipe. Do not use those types of heaters. There are a ton of different names buy you are looking for the cable or tape that is put on roofs to melt ice dams, etc.

Solution – Use A Digital Temperature Controller

I thought I knew the switch I was going to buy until I did some further research. Some controllers are very easy to set up and others seem a bit more confusing. I opted for the WILLHI WH1436A Temperature Controller 110V Digital Thermostat Switch. All you do set set the temperature for ON and the temperature for OFF. That’s it. If you want them, there are some more advanced settings that you can explore if you want but this seemed like just what I needed.

I undid the top few coils of the heat tape and rewound them with the temperature probe wrapped in them. I then used aluminum HVAC tape to secure the top. I set ON to 90F and Off at 95F and plugged the roofing tape into the controller.

I inserted the temperature probe a few coils down and secured the top with 3M Aluminum HVACtape. Note the small cable clamp screwed into the wood base securing the bottom of the heater tape and preventing it from unwinding.

I started watching with the Fluke meter and since the temperature based on the probe was 40.2F, the controller turned on power to the switch and the tape heated. It did cut power around 95F but the tape continued to warm up even so by about 10F so the peak temperature was between 103-105F according to the Fluke. This was actually within my acceptable range. I was just ballparking 90F but even 105F was fine by me.

The digital controller works well. I’m going to leave it loose some I can move it around depending on what I am working on and were.

There was one minor hitch I noticed during experiments – the controlled heat took over an hour to warm up the fluid. If I unplugged the tape from the controller and plugged the tape straight into AC power, the fluid heated way faster and the pipe never felt soft – probably because the tape was heating part of it and the acid was cooling it. This was the fastest way but risky because if you forget, it’s going to get quite hot. I let the fluid get up to 160F during one run and decided that I would only do this if I was in a big rush and going to be there working the whole time. If I wanted to play it safe, letting the controller keep things safe was a better bet. I could have also sped things up by setting the OFF temperature higher, say at 110F and that’s something I will experiment more with.

The temperature controlled tank worked out great on these high carbon steel damascus blades.

Operating Temperature Range

Do not heat ferric chloride past 131F. Remember that the heating element will still heat the chemical another 10 degrees or so past the upper limit you set as OFF.

The operating temperature range from MG Chemical is 95-131F. Based on my results, I don’t see a need to push the upper limit.

Click here both for their technical sheet and MSDS sheet,

Conclusion

I had about $30 in the PVC and fresh glue, nothing for the base, the controller was $29.99 and the roof heat tape was free but if you bought it, the price would be around $30. This definitely falls in the affordable category plus I turned out some really cool etched damasus blades using the controlled tank. If you want to know a bit more about the chemicals and my process, click here.

When I was done, I let the tank cool down, screwed on the lid, cleaned things up, coiled the cords up and stored the tank for the next use.

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Found a Very Good Video Series on Building A Polymer80 Pistol Plus Links To More Info

I like Polymer80 pistols – plain and simple. There are great deals on commercially built pistols that are hard to beat so I would not recommend building one to try and save money – I doubt you can get the combination of price and quality. With that said, if you want to build a custom pistol and be able to do exactly what you want, then the Polymer80 makes a lot of sense.

Related Posts:
Why I think Polymer80 pistols are so great
How to build a Polymer80 legally in Michigan
There are a ton of Polymer80-related parts on eBay
Three must-have simple upgrades to improve handling

Brownells is one of my favorite sources for gun parts, tools and supplies. They assembled the following series of videos on how to build your own custom Polymer80-based pistol. Please note the embedded videos are small. Once you click play, then click on the small square in the lower right corner of the video to see it full screen.

Step 1: How to mill a Polymer80 Frame

Related Posts:
Tips For Building Smooth Operating Polymer80 Glocks
The Best Step-By-Step Guide Book For Building Polymer80s
Two Good Videos On Preparing a PF940C (Compact) Frame

Step 2: Choosing a Trigger For a Polymer80 Pistol

Related Posts:
Finding Glock Gen 3 Lower Pistol Kits (LPKs) on eBay
Customizing the LPK with parts from eBay

Step 3: Assembling A Polymer80 Frame

Related Posts:
Great video on building a full-size PF940v2 pistol
Polymer80 build troubleshooting
Tips for building a smooth operating Polymer80 pistol
I really like SLR mag funnels

Step 4: Picking a Slide For Your Glock’s Polymer80

Related Link:
Click here to see slide listings on eBay currently

Step 5: Selecting A Barrel For A Polymer80 Pistol

Related Posts:
Finding barrels on eBay

Step 6: Choose A Sight For Your Polymer80 Build

Related Posts:
Upgrading to Truglo TFX Pro sights
This is a link to Glock sights on eBay

Polymer80 and Glock Parts Vendors

When you want to customize your Polymer80 or Glock, or you need replacement parts, there are a number of solid vendors you can go to:

Those are all reputable vendors and aren’t going to sell you inferior counterfeit products.


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PSA AK-V Part Three: Changing the Brace, Adding a Red Dot and Installing A Quick Takedown Pin For The Dust Cover

Out of the box, the AK-V is impressive. The trigger is decent, the grip and handguard are functional but there were three things I really wanted to do – move to a SBA4 brace, install an optic and create a quick takedown pin so the dust cover could be removed (the big reason I bought the AK-V from a business perspective). So let’s step through each.

Replace The SBA3 Brace With An SBA4

Yes, they are both adjustable braces but that comparison ends there. The SBA4 is much more sturdy and has five length of pull adjustment positions. The SBA4 does go on sale and that is the time to buy one. I got mine for $99 at PSA’s July 4th sale and there was free shipping!

The SBA4 is the top brace and the SBA3 is the bottom. You can instantly see the SBA4 has more bracing and is bulkier. The back end does not flop around either unlike the SBA3.

Now PSA did something with the SBA3 that is a best practice. They staked the castle nut to the receiver end plate. Now, I started thinking about what would be my easiest option and it dawned on me that if I was SB Tactical and wanted to control cost and complexity, I would try and have as few inventory parts as possible and that means as few buffer tubes. Guess what? The SBA3 and the SBA4 both use a Mil-Spec 6 position buffer tube. Problem solved. You can remove the brace just like most AR/M4 stocks – lift up on the locking pin and slide it right off.

The Castle Nut has two real solid stakes in it. Kudos to PSA.
Ta-da! Under the brace is a Mil-Spec buffer tube or “receiver extension” depending on who you talk to. The SBA3 and SBA4 use the same tube!! Note, the weapon is upside down for this photo.
Here’s a good shot of the receiver. See that small vertical slider switch just above the mag catch? That’s the bolt release. The M4 buffer tube / receiver extension they are using is rock solid. If it is made by someone else, I don’t recognize it.
Here’s the tail end of the SBA4 on the left vs. the SBA3 on the right.
The SBA4 uses the same buffer tube and slides right on in place of the SBA3 brace.

The result is a very sturdy brace. After comparing the two, I will only use SBA4 braces going forward.

Vortex Crossfire Red Dot Optic and American Defense Mount

I doubt I will ever go past 100 yards with the AK-V and a much more likely engagement distance is 50 yards so a red dot is perfect. I’m a huge Vortex Optics fan and this was a perfect situation for their Crossfire Red Dot mounted on an American Defense AD-T1-L STD quick detach mount. They are my favorite combination of price and performance these days.

By the way, be sure to keep a couple of spare 2032 Lithium batteries in your case or range bag. Nothing dampens a range trip like dead batteries. It’s also why I use a quick detach mount – if the batteries are dead or that optic fails, I am yanking that optic off.

With the AD-T1-L STD mount you are a tad higher than the AK-V’s sights. I plan to watch how they relate at the range so I can ballpark where to aim if the battery is dead and am in a rush. Practice, practice, practice and not just when everything works.

Here’s the Vortex Crossfire Red Dot on the American Defense AD-T1-L STD mount. If you wonder why I use American Defense, it’s for the quality. Cheap Chinese/import quick detach rings shoot loose, don’t return to zero and bend/break over time. AD stuff is rock solid made from aerospace aluminum. Note, you can see our Quick Takedown Pin just above the handguard and I’ll cover that next.

The AK-V Dust Cover Quick Takedown Pin

I had to look up — I built my first Yugo M92 in 2012 and instantly hated the hinged dust cover. I drilled out the rivet and came up with a stainless pin with a ball detent and pull ring to secure the cover. The rest is history. I wound up making pins for the M92/M85, Tula and Bulgy Krinks use the same pin, Vepr shotguns and now the AK-V.

The reason for wanting a quick takedown pin is plain and simple, when you want to clean the weapon or work in the receiver, the hinged dust cover is in the way. To remedy this, you can install our AK-V quick pin and it’s about a 10 minute job if you know how to strip down an AK. This is a quick overview:

  1. Ensure the weapon is empty.
  2. Field strip the weapon like you would any AK, remove the gas tube and the lower handguard so they are out of the way. 
  3. The AK-V’s hinge is simply a 5/32″ roll pin that needs to be tapped/punched out so use something like a bench block to support the weapon and create a hole/gap for the pin to exit into.
  4. Use a 5/32″ roll pin punch and a hammer to tap the roll pin out.  You can save it for the future in case you ever want to use it again for some reason. 
  5. Put the dust cover back in place with the hinge holes lined up and slide in our quick takedown pin.
  6. Re-assemble the weapon.
  7. Done
Here, I have the rear sight block fully supported by the bench block behind it and am using a 5/32″ roll pin punch and hammer to drive the roll pin out.
What makes a roll pin punch different from a normal punch is the dome in the middle that centers the punch on the pin and makes driving the pin out very easy. It also reduces the risk of a regular punch slipping off what you are working on an scratching the finish.
So this is what you wind up with once the roll pin is removed.
This was my first attempt because I am right handed. Having the pull ring there right next to the gas tube locking lever was just too much. I flipped it around and had the pull ring on the other side of the gas block.
This is how I am running it now. The pull ring is on the left / non-operating side and the ring is tucked just behind the handguard.

We have the pins up for sale on our website now. Click here to order one.

Summary

Looking good!

The AK-V was almost done at this point. I still needed to lubricate the weapon and put it in a suitable case. I’ll tell you about that part of the journey in the next post.


This is a four part series on the PSA AK-V 9mm:


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Upgrading To Truglo TFX Pro Sights On Your Glock Compatible Pistols Including Polymer80s

The factory sights on Glocks leave a lot to be desired in my opinion. I like fiber optic sights but also want sights that generate their own light at night. Fortunitely, TruGlo has upgrade sights for Glocks that can do just that. They are the TFX Pro model sights.

The fiber optics use daylight and are very nicely visible. I know there is a trend for red dot optics on pistols but I would rather opt for simplicity. The other really nice thing about these sights is that they use tritium to generate their own light at night – some sights make you charge them with a flashlight but not these. The only issue to bear in mind is that the Tritium isotopes with flouresce for about 10 years and then be dead. My thinking is that is a loooonnnngggg time from now plus it just would affect the night use at that time.

So, let’s get to it, Installation has two discrete steps – replacing the back sight and then the front sight. Both of these can be done by most home gunsmiths because the Glock design is pretty forgiving. Some pistols require a top notch MGW sight pusher to be removed but not the Glocks. The below is based on my experience installing these sights both on my Polymer 80 based Glock 17 and 34 Gen 3 compatible pistols.

Tools & Supplies

I’m kind of like Tim The Toolman Taylor, if you remember the show Home Improvement. I like tools and don”t need much an excuse to buy one in order to try and do the job the right way. When it comes to the rear sight, some guys use a 3/9″ piece of Delrin or wood dowel to tap the old sight out. Because of my hand tremor, that’s risky for me so I looked into sight pushers and decided to go with the Wheeler Engineering Armorer’s Handgun Sight Tool.

For the front sight, a dedicated Glock front sight tool can make the job a ton easier because they are shallow and have a magnet that will hold the tiny screw in position while you get it started. A regular nut driver is too deep and the tiny screw will fall into it vs. being held nicely in position.

You will need some medium Loc-Tite to secure the front sight screw.

Tape to wrap the slide and protect it is a recommended. I use painter’s tape.

Getting Started

  1. Make sure the weapon is unloaded and clear – no magazine and nothing in the chamber.
  2. Remove the slide
  3. Remove the spring and the barrel to get them out of the way – you don’t need to remove anything else.
  4. Wrap slide with painters tape to protect it from scratches leaving the two sights exposed.
  5. I did my back sight first and then my front sight.

Procedure – Back Sight

  1. To remove the back sight. I followed the instructions with the Wheeler unit and flipped the pusher over to use the angled face. Mine was set for straight-edged sights from the factory.
  2. I also oiled all of the threads on the Wheeler.
  3. I secured the slide in the Wheeler unit taking care to make sure the slide was the right height so the pusher would engage the sight and not bind on the slide.
  4. The factory Glock rear sight pushed out incredibly easily. I can see why some guys just drive them out. However, I really liked the control the Wheeler gave me.
  5. I then lined up the replacement sight and pushed it into place – checking over and over and making minor adjustments to ensure it was in the center.
  6. The Truglo has secured by a set screw that I backed out, put a dab of blue/medium Loc-Tite on and then tightened down.
  7. That was it for the back now on to the front.

Procedure – Front Sight

  1. Turn the slide upside down and you will see a small hex head screw that must be removed. I used my Glock Front Sight tool for that.
  2. Push or tap out the original sight.
  3. The replacement TruGlo unit is a tight fit I had to firmly press it into position. It is an interference fit so don’t remove a ton of material so it just falls into the slot cut in the slide. It needs to be pressed in as this helps with alignment and retention.
  4. Put blue/medium Loc-Tite on the screw before reassembly. This is mandatory. If you do not, it will shoot loose over time and you will lose your front sight.
  5. Use the Front Sight tool to reinstall the screw with the Loc-tite and tighten it down.
  6. Done.

Polymer80 and Glock Parts Vendors

When you want to customize your Polymer80 or Glock, or you need replacement parts, there are a number of solid vendors you can go to:

Those are all reputable vendors and aren’t going to sell you inferior counterfeit products.

Conclusion

I really like the TruGlo TFX Pro sights. They are very visible both during the day due to the fiber optics and at night due to the Tritium. They were well worth the investment. I hope this helps you out.


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