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Old November 28th, 2009, 07:15 PM
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Default AK front sight: canted or build differences

So I have an AK, almost brand new, that I have a question about. When sighting in POI was a little off, so using the sight tool I pushed the post maybe 1/16"-1/32" to the left, and now it shoots great groups right to POA. The front sight, very basically, looks like this: (l ) My question is, doeas this mean it is canted, or is it just a slight variance that requires a little adjustment?? Thanks!
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Old November 28th, 2009, 08:37 PM
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Default Re: AK front sight: canted or build differences

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kb! Bob View Post
So I have an AK, almost brand new, that I have a question about. When sighting in POI was a little off, so using the sight tool I pushed the post maybe 1/16"-1/32" to the left, and now it shoots great groups right to POA. The front sight, very basically, looks like this: (l ) My question is, doeas this mean it is canted, or is it just a slight variance that requires a little adjustment?? Thanks!
Bob:

Not sure where you are on the AK service spectrum. Quick review:

Front sight alignment and sighting in are two different issues.

Sighting in involves aligning the front sight so that the front & rear sight accurately predict where the round will impact. This is performed with a front sight tool.
  • Windage -- push the front sight in the same direction as bullet impact.
  • Elevation --use the split end of the wrench to turn the front sight post. Moving the post up=lowers the point of impact.

Front sight alignment is the process of checking the front sight base to ensure it's in the same plane as the rear sight. IOW, the front sight base is plumb when the rest of the gun is plumb as well.

Re-alignment Procedure

The gas cylinder block is indexed to the barrel the same way as the front sight block, so the alignment procedure is the same.

Checking alignment:

I use an inexpensive laser line generator (picture) to check alignment.



Correcting misalignment:



To correct cant, you'll need really hard drill bits, like Titanium Nitride (TiN) as a start. Pick a drill that's the same size as the index pins, maybe a few thousandths bigger than the original pins. I recall they were 3mm. Also grab a 1/8" (0.125") drill while you're in the tool cabinet.

You'll also need access to a decent drill press and some 1/8" steel rod. I use 1/8" piano wire, as it's really hard. The original pins are about 3mm (0.118") diameter. So, unless you have hardened steel rod in 0.001" increments, using 1/8" (3.17mm) is about as close as you can get without fabricating new 3mm pins on a lathe.
  1. Remove the cleaning rod, any nearby wood and all other removable parts. If you leave the front sight post in, use the sight tool to push it to the exact center. You'll need a dial caliper (photo) accurate to 0.001" to do this.
  2. Drill out the retaining pins with the drill press, drill as close to coaxial alignment as possible and take your time to avoid damage to the front sight base. Use lots of lubricant to protect the drill bit and aid in swarf (chip) removal. If you're uncertain or inexperienced, pilot drill it first. Pilot drilling is simply drilling a very small hole first. It's just to locate exact center, nothing else. Gradually move up to bigger drill bit sizes until the pin is paper-thin, then use a pin punch to drive out the remains. If you *do* bitch up the front sight base, or you just want a new one try here.
  3. With the pins out, set the rifle up in a rest or similar device to hold it. Allow enough room for easy access to the front sight base. Make sure the rifle is plumb (perfectly vertical).
  4. Set up an alignment gauge to measure the misalignment, a cheap laser line generator (not a pointer) works well for this. Make sure it's level.
  5. 3 to 5 degrees is noticeable. If it's misaligned, you'll see more of the laser line on the top of the front sight post than the bottom, or vise-versa. If it's aligned, the laser line will cut exactly through the center of the front sight post, like the picture above. If not, proceed to the next and subsequent steps.
  6. Warm the front sight base slowly and tap into alignment. Use a non-marking brass or lead hammer. A propane torch is hot enough, but protect or remove nearby wood first. Use a heat dam (wet rag works well for this) if you need a lot of heat, or overshoot and find yourself moving it a lot.
  7. When cool, redrill holes and install 1/8" pins. Cut flush. If using piano wire, you might need to cut with a grinding wheel at high RPM or a Dremel with a composite cookie cutter wheel. Redrive out and blue if you want them darkened to match. Reinstall with brass punch to protect blueing.
  8. Admire your work while rifle cools off. Re-oil & reassemble when rifle cools.
Does this address your concern?
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Old November 28th, 2009, 08:39 PM
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Default Re: AK front sight: canted or build differences

In simple terms.... It sounds canted to me bro.
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Old November 28th, 2009, 08:53 PM
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Default Re: AK front sight: canted or build differences

Great info, thanks! I guess that, using the proper nomenclature, I would say that my gun is indeed sighted in and shoots accurately and true, however to accomplish that I had to push the front sight post (using tool) to the left a bit. I take your info to mean, then, that it is canted but just slightly, correct?



Quote:
Originally Posted by PA Rifleman View Post
Bob:

Not sure where you are on the AK service spectrum. Quick review:

Front sight alignment and sighting in are two different issues.

Sighting in involves aligning the front sight so that the front & rear sight accurately predict where the round will impact. This is performed with a front sight tool.
  • Windage -- push the front sight in the same direction as bullet impact.
  • Elevation --use the split end of the wrench to turn the front sight post. Moving the post up=lowers the point of impact.

Front sight alignment is the process of checking the front sight base to ensure it's in the same plane as the rear sight. IOW, the front sight base is plumb when the rest of the gun is plumb as well.

Re-alignment Procedure

The gas cylinder block is indexed to the barrel the same way as the front sight block, so the alignment procedure is the same.

Checking alignment:

I use an inexpensive laser line generator (picture) to check alignment.



Correcting misalignment:



To correct cant, you'll need really hard drill bits, like Titanium Nitride (TiN) as a start. Pick a drill that's the same size as the index pins, maybe a few thousandths bigger than the original pins. I recall they were 3mm. Also grab a 1/8" (0.125") drill while you're in the tool cabinet.

You'll also need access to a decent drill press and some 1/8" steel rod. I use 1/8" piano wire, as it's really hard. The original pins are about 3mm (0.118") diameter. So, unless you have hardened steel rod in 0.001" increments, using 1/8" (3.17mm) is about as close as you can get without fabricating new 3mm pins on a lathe.
  1. Remove the cleaning rod, any nearby wood and all other removable parts. If you leave the front sight post in, use the sight tool to push it to the exact center. You'll need a dial caliper (photo) accurate to 0.001" to do this.
  2. Drill out the retaining pins with the drill press, drill as close to coaxial alignment as possible and take your time to avoid damage to the front sight base. Use lots of lubricant to protect the drill bit and aid in swarf (chip) removal. If you're uncertain or inexperienced, pilot drill it first. Pilot drilling is simply drilling a very small hole first. It's just to locate exact center, nothing else. Gradually move up to bigger drill bit sizes until the pin is paper-thin, then use a pin punch to drive out the remains. If you *do* bitch up the front sight base, or you just want a new one try here.
  3. With the pins out, set the rifle up in a rest or similar device to hold it. Allow enough room for easy access to the front sight base. Make sure the rifle is plumb (perfectly vertical).
  4. Set up an alignment gauge to measure the misalignment, a cheap laser line generator (not a pointer) works well for this. Make sure it's level.
  5. 3 to 5 degrees is noticeable. If it's misaligned, you'll see more of the laser line on the top of the front sight post than the bottom, or vise-versa. If it's aligned, the laser line will cut exactly through the center of the front sight post, like the picture above. If not, proceed to the next and subsequent steps.
  6. Warm the front sight base slowly and tap into alignment. Use a non-marking brass or lead hammer. A propane torch is hot enough, but protect or remove nearby wood first. Use a heat dam (wet rag works well for this) if you need a lot of heat, or overshoot and find yourself moving it a lot.
  7. When cool, redrill holes and install 1/8" pins. Cut flush. If using piano wire, you might need to cut with a grinding wheel at high RPM or a Dremel with a composite cookie cutter wheel. Redrive out and blue if you want them darkened to match. Reinstall with brass punch to protect blueing.
  8. Admire your work while rifle cools off. Re-oil & reassemble when rifle cools.
Does this address your concern?
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Old November 28th, 2009, 08:54 PM
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Default Re: AK front sight: canted or build differences

Quote:
Originally Posted by Strapped View Post
In simple terms.... It sounds canted to me bro.

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Old November 28th, 2009, 09:39 PM
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Default Re: AK front sight: canted or build differences

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kb! Bob View Post
Great info, thanks! I guess that, using the proper nomenclature, I would say that my gun is indeed sighted in and shoots accurately and true,
Sorry, not trying to sound pedantic. I'm trying to understand whether this is a garden variety AK sight-in, or whether there's a base alignment issue. If so, this needs to be corrected first.

Which image (below) best represents your front sight base position?

The misaligned base (left photo, below) is off 6 degrees, which is very noticeable. Right image is properly aligned.

--

If you successfully sighted it in, then you're done. Front sight base "cant" (misalignment) causes windage errors when the post height is changed, and elevation errors when windage is changed. A dead give-away is when the front sight post is pushed over excessively to one side.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kb! Bob View Post
however to accomplish that I had to push the front sight post (using tool) to the left a bit. I take your info to mean, then, that it is canted but just slightly, correct?
We won't know without actually seeing your front sight. Your first post:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kb! Bob View Post
...he front sight, very basically, looks like this: (l ) My question is, doeas this mean it is canted, or is it just a slight variance that requires a little adjustment?? Thanks!
hints that you don't have a sight base alignment issue.

Is the sight base tilted? Compare to the two photos above. Better yet, why don't you post a similar photo of your rifle?
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Old November 29th, 2009, 09:19 AM
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Default Re: AK front sight: canted or build differences

PA,
It really does look like the "base" is fine. Of the two photos you posted, it looks perfectly aligned like the one one the right. I simply had to push the front "windage and elevation post" slightly left to achieve perfect hits.

PS- My wife is out of town for the next day or two wife my camera, I will post pics ASAP.
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Old November 29th, 2009, 10:36 AM
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Default Re: AK front sight: canted or build differences

maybe its the rear site thats out out of wack....
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Old November 29th, 2009, 11:27 AM
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Default Re: AK front sight: canted or build differences

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kb! Bob View Post
I simply had to push the front "windage and elevation post" slightly left to achieve perfect hits.
How is your visual acuity?

Do you wear Rx glasses? Any kind of astigmatism, etc.?

AK sights are the absolute worst if you have any kind of vision issues.
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Old November 29th, 2009, 12:30 PM
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Default Re: AK front sight: canted or build differences

Quote:
Originally Posted by Strapped View Post
maybe its the rear site thats out out of wack....
I thought about that, but its the same with both the notched leaf sight and the Krebs apperature sight. Wierd. This is the AK that you and I talked about awhile ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyF View Post
How is your visual acuity?

Do you wear Rx glasses? Any kind of astigmatism, etc.?

AK sights are the absolute worst if you have any kind of vision issues.
I do wear contact lenses or glasses, mostly contacts. The correction on the lenses isnt dramatic (-2.5) but it gets me back to 20/20.
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