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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you take a look at my GB Undersea site, you'll see the underwater accessories I produce. I've been doing this for years, and have developed great long-term relationships with some really excellent fabricators, such as machine shops, anodizers, etc. They do truly superb work.

I'm a longtime reader of the KT boards, and as of April 2004, a very happy P-3AT owner. During my extensive browsing of the forums, I've seen many wishes expressed for improved P-3AT/P-32 sights.

The inventor in me just couldn't let it go, so I prototyped and tested a low-profile drop-in rear blade sight for the P-3AT and P-32. It provides a sight picture almost identical to that on typical pistols. I'm still tuning it, but it seems to work very well.

I don't have a final quote on the finished product yet, so the price is still unknown. I won't sacrifice quality, so if I can't make them to my standards while still being affordably priced, I just won't make them.

I'm brave (or dumb) enough to manufacture something new yet again, if people want it. However, I'd like to get input from everyone before doing so.

Please let me know your thoughts on this. All comments and suggestions will be most appreciated.

Also, many thanks to Flyer for his words of encouragement and advice.
 

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I'd be interested, for one. Does the prototype require a dovetail be cut in, or does it require that the slide be drilled and tapped for screws, or does it attach in some other fashion?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Pictures of sight

Midi and madman,

I wanted to design the sight so that no gunsmithing or slide modifications are necessary. Also, I'm making it as low-profile as possible, to avoid snagging and interference with holsters. It sits in the existing rear sight cavity. I debated a tension-based mounting method with a set screw spreading it and holding it in place inside the cavity, versus use of an adhesive. I like the adhesive option better, due to simplicity of design. A tension-based sight would be a lot more expensive and complex to produce. Plus, while an adhesive can fail, so too could a set screw vibrate loose. I'm waiting to hear from Dover about his adhesive experiments. Time and testing will tell if it works as I hope! (Ah, the joys of inventing...)

In the meantime, here are some pics of the prototype sight, and of my first test. This was shot offhand, using UMC from Wal-Mart. I was pressed for time, so I didn't get to measure the range exactly, but it was between 5-6 yards. I aimed at the 6 o'clock (bottom) of the center target circle as shown, with the circle "sitting" on the horizontal formed by the front and rear sights. As you can see, it was still low, which will be corrected. (I take full blame for the leftward shot placement though! :oops:)









Please keep the comments coming!
 

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VERY slim and unobtrusive... nice!
The sights I made for my own ATs use a hex-screw in a tapped hole to spread the stud fitting into the recess to keep it in place. Here's a rough drawing of mine, directly from the rear:

My sight's a bit bigger than yours... about the size of a PPK sight.
My guess is there's gonna be plenty of interest in your sight... good luck with it!
Flyer
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Flyer - thanks for your compliments! That's a good-looking piece of work you did yourself. I was wondering how you successfully did the setscrew/split configuration.

This one should indeed be very low-profile, as long as the adhesive works right. Bigiron over on KTOG told me about Loctite "Black Max" which is sold by Brownell's and advertised as being ideal for attaching sights. It is a toughened cyanoacrylate adhesive, and is supposed to be one of the best around. If this proves to be the one, I may sell the small tube along with the sight. I can sell the Loctite for less than Brownell's does.

For the sight itself, I'm looking at black anodized 6061-T6 aluminum or Delrin, both of which I use in my underwater products. I'm thinking that the right adhesive, coupled with low mass, should equal good retention.
 

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That certainly is an improved sight picture. I'm interested.
I have heard of "Black Max" and the like have been used sucessfully for mounting gun sights before.

Is silver soldering a possibility.

Of course, then a refinish job would be necessary.
http://www.shootiniron.com/index.html

It is truly amazing...the ingenuity and creativity of some people. I wish my mind worked like that. Hell, most days I'd be happy if my mind just worked. :wink:

gbundersea...... :cheers:
 

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Interest in rear sight...

Yes please. I'll take one at a price ~2-3 boxes of shells. And JB Weld gets my vote as an adhesive. The stuff stays stuck when you start with clean surfaces.
 

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Need a tester

If you would like a tester just let me know. I don't mind paying you for it. I can subject it to pocket carry and weekly shooting if you would like.

sub2k
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
More pics

Here are some top views of the prototype sight on my P-3AT.

Some have correctly suggested that the sight should be mounted with a screw in a small hole tapped in the slide. While I agree that would indeed be the ideal solution, I don't want to open that can of worms. Most folks, myself included, aren't gunsmiths. I feel there'd be too much chance of damaging the slide while drilling and tapping it, which I'm sure would void the warranty. Of course, people could take it to a smith, but then the sight would no longer be an inexpensive, install it yourself item. And also, even a professionally-modified slide would likely void the warranty.

However, I will make sure that the sight lends itself to being drilled, for those with the skills and desire to do so.

I like the simplicity of the adhesive alone approach. Time and testing will show if it works.

Once I get the prototype sighted in, I'll see if I can get a small run of production samples made. Then, maybe some KTrangers can take part in testing.

That is, if it turns out that the sight can be produced reasonably. I'm still waiting on the numbers.





 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Update

Good news: Preliminary production costs are such that it would indeed be economically feasible to make these sights. I'm in the process of finalizing the dimensions based on additional sighting-in, (I hope to finish this weekend) at which point I'll get some prototypes made. These will be glued on and torture-tested to determine if the adhesive will in fact hold up. If so, a production run will soon follow! If not, it'll be back to the drawing board, as they say...

Assuming the adhesive-based design it does work as I hope, the sight will still be capable of being drilled and mounted with a tapped hole in the slide. This is to accommodate those with gunsmithing skills and who don't mind taking the risk of their slide being drilled and tapped.

I have a couple of requests. Please PM or email me if you can help:

1. Does anyone have a bad (cracked or otherwise useless) P-3AT or P-32 slide they could contribute for testing? I may ask KT if they have some. To perform as realistic a test as possible, I want to mount several sight prototypes onto slides, then test them mercilessly. I've come up with a rig which will allow me to strike them repeatedly and heavily with a hammer, and also drop them repeatedly onto concrete. This would impart a sharper blow than that on the slide during recoil, which is being slowed by a spring. I figure doing 1000-2000 hammer blows and vertical drops on each one will either break them free or prove that they'll work!

2. If anyone has a micrometer, could you measure the inside width of the sight cavity on your P-3AT or P-32 and let me know? If so, measure it along the straight (parallel) part, making sure you're not on part of the curved (radiused) section. I want to get a representative sampling of these measurements, since those I have done myself have indeed varied somewhat from pistol to pistol. The average seems to be about .240".

Any assistance you can provide will be much appreciated!

Well, that's the latest for now. I'll keep the thread updated, and hope it works as planned.
 

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GB - send a PM to Bloodwalker about your request for broken / cracked slides and for possible micrometer measurements from a variety of slides. Bloodwalker is Marty, the head gunsmith at KT. If he can't do it for you, he might be able to point you to someone else at KT who can help. Seems to me that KT would probably be interested in helping you along, seeing as how it would only enhance their product, and they have clearly chosen not to get into making add-on sights for the P32/3AT so you're not really competing with them for dollars.
 

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gbundersea,
I measured 2 of my P3at's.....240 seems to be about right for mine...one was about .0005 bigger but that isnt a big deal...Good luck with the design...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Update

Thanks to everyone for all the help and information.

I did more testing with my sight prototype to determine its proper height so that the pistol provides normal shot placement at 5 yards. The sight now corrects the P-3AT's tendency to shoot low.

I'll now proceed with getting some production samples made, and then testing them. I'll keep the thread updated as things progress!
 

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Put me down as highly interested, as well. Unless you're going to make them out of Kryptonite, it might be beneficial to leave them (deliberately) a little high, allowing for each buyer to individually tune the sight to his/her own gun and ammo combination, by filing to the exact final height.
 

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P3AT Rear Sight

I'd like one but would prefer to braze it in. A proper squared front sight would also be nice. Thurs nite I shot my P3AT and P11 at an indoor range and with the lighting did terribly with the 38o because of the sights.
 

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Re: Update

gbundersea said:
2. If anyone has a micrometer, could you measure the inside width of the sight cavity on your P-3AT or P-32 and let me know? If so, measure it along the straight (parallel) part, making sure you're not on part of the curved (radiused) section. I want to get a representative sampling of these measurements, since those I have done myself have indeed varied somewhat from pistol to pistol. The average seems to be about .240".
I just measured my P32 with a dial caliper and it read 0.240" to 0.241" at the extreme rear of the cavity. Actually, mine seems to be "horseshoe" shaped and I don't see any "parallel" sides so anywhere forward of the extreme rear it gets narrower.
 
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