Backup Irons for the Elite Combat...sort of!

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Backup Irons for the Elite Combat...sort of!

Post by GlennSFX » Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:21 am

OK...so I've had the Combat for almost a week now and absolutely love the gun! So much so that I want it to be my primary carry. I'm a big fan of red dot optics and want to address the one pitfall of the Canik optics mounting, the lack of a rear iron sight. They don't provide the necessary real estate for a rear or forward mounted rear iron. To solve this issue, as best as I can with what we've been given, I decided to use the painted lines on the back of the Venom optic body as the rear sight. I’m planning to do something similar to the “dot-the-i” thing as with the XS Sights. My thought is to replace the front sight with a .430 tall Dawson Precision fiber optic sight. I don’t want to clutter up the red dot view, so I’m planning to have the front site dot sit on top of the rear body of the optic between the lines. Kind of a 1/3 co-witness setup.

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https://www.xssights.com/Handgun_Sights_pr-8208.aspx

I spoke with someone at Dawson about my idea and he said they can make any height sight I need. I took a number of measurements of the current front and rear sights on the Combat and it looks like the .430 sight is going to be pretty damn close.

https://dawsonprecision.com/dawson-prec ... nt-sights/

Calculations are as follows…
The rear of the optic body sits 0.348” above the slide.
The notch height in the rear slide is 0.09375”.
So with the front fiber sitting in that slot, it has to be raised by 0.09375 above the rear optic body.
Calculated front height should be 0.348 + 0.09375 = 0.44175.
That’s less than 1/64” taller than the 0.430, pretty damn close.

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The real test obviously will be getting to the range and see how the POI varies from the POA. I’m also thinking of removing the fiber all together and using the “opening” as the dot. Or I might try the green fiber and see how the two co-exist especially when shooing in bright sunlight. There’s always the option to have Dawson make the sight with Tritium and use some phosphorescent luminous tape on the rear. We’ll have to see with a little trial and error.

The one thing this doesn’t solve is a situation involving total darkness and a failed optic. I have night sights on my SIG, front sight is an Ameriglo, and a Viridian C5L. Sure the night sights are good, but they are tiny and in a real stressful situation wouldn’t be the easiest sight picture to align and focus on. That’s where the Viridian shines…literally. With a strobing light and laser, you just dot the target/threat and you’re good. No reason I couldn’t mount one on the Combat and issue solved.

So when using the gun in competition, I think my approach will work fine, along with daytime and situations with reasonable light. Today’s optics are pretty reliable and if you replace the battery every 6 months you should be in good shape.

Hopefully the sight will be here in a few days and I can get started on this project.
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Re: Backup Irons for the Elite Combat...sort of!

Post by ncjw » Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:52 pm

The Viridian is an excellent idea. It just goes to show that money can't solve everything, but it can solve a lot of things...
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Re: Backup Irons for the Elite Combat...sort of!

Post by GlennSFX » Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:53 pm

ncjw wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:52 pm
The Viridian is an excellent idea. It just goes to show that money can't solve everything, but it can solve a lot of things...
:lol: Exactly...there's always a solution to every problem if you throw enough money at it!
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Re: Backup Irons for the Elite Combat...sort of!

Post by vee12 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:30 pm

I have a TP9sfx, and was thinking of doing the exact same thing. Replacing the front sight with something suppressor height....and getting a "1/3 lower" co-witness type of sight picture. Very interested to see how this project comes out!
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Re: Backup Irons for the Elite Combat...sort of!

Post by GlennSFX » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:10 pm

vee12 wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:30 pm
I have a TP9sfx, and was thinking of doing the exact same thing. Replacing the front sight with something suppressor height....and getting a "1/3 lower" co-witness type of sight picture. Very interested to see how this project comes out!
The sight is scheduled to arrive Friday, hopefully will get it installed Saturday and get to the range. I have a SFx as well and if this works out I will be doing it to that gun as well. The SFx has a has a Burris Fastfire 3 so I'm planning to apply some Luminous/Phosphorescent Tape to make my own lines. Will have to take the measurements on the Burris to see how the sight measures up.
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Re: Backup Irons for the Elite Combat...sort of!

Post by GlennSFX » Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:30 pm

Look what showed up this afternoon... \:d/

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So being the impatient guy that I am...I just had to get this thing installed.

So first to remove the factory sight. Last night I decided to use my SF Elite as a guinea pig to see how easy or hard it would be to get the sight off. Well the sight pusher was having a problem with the slide twisting in the press. There's only about a 1/4" of the bottom of the slide that comes into contact with the press clamps. The Canik factory sights are tight. Tighter than other sights I've changed on other guns. But they do come off. I had to use a steel punch to get the sight off. So I ended up just using a punch and hammer to take the sight off the Combat. Pretty much was the same as the Elite, no surprises. I'm working on a mod to the press that will pull the slide down to the base. I'll follow up with that when it's done.

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According to the installation instructions and a video I watched on Dawson's website, the bottom of the sight has an "arrow" etched on it that shows the direction the sight should be installed.

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The ironic thing is that having the front of the new sight facing properly, the direction to install is from left to right, again according to the arrow. This is referenced from the rear of the slide which is opposite from what Canik told me. This sight installs in towards the ejection port. I decided to follow the Dawson instructions and see how it goes. I did have to file the new sight on the bottom some, and a little off the dovetail towards the front of the slide. I had it fit about 1/3 of the way on by hand, again as advised by Dawson. I used the supplied aluminum punch to drive the sight into place. It was a firm fit, not quite as tight as the factory sight but should be fine. Once I know if this works I'll use a tiny bit of loctite as recommended to make sure it stays put.

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I mounted the slide back onto the frame and was like a little kid at Christmas... couldn't wait to see what the sight picture looked like. Well as I kind of expected, the red on red wasn't looking so hot. My plan from the beginning was to install the green fiber and see how the two co-existed. I cut the red fiber off and installed the green...WAY BETTER! When I melted the fiber facing the rear of the slide, I purposely tried to keep it small but tight enough to not pull out of the sight. My thinking was to keep the dot size small. Again this is a "backup" sight and I didn't want it over-powering the optic.

I turned the dot up to it's highest brightness level to capture in on the cell phone. The camera doesn't show it as it's seen by the human eye, really not even close, but it does give you an idea of how it looks.

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Completely covering the green fiber with the red dot...

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With the dot off the green really looks nice. Again, it's a lot brighter as seen by the human eye.

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Last edited by GlennSFX on Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Backup Irons for the Elite Combat...sort of!

Post by GlennSFX » Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:31 pm

Over all I'm very happy with the install. The height seems to be pretty good. I'm heading to the range tomorrow morning before work so I'll do some testing and see how things work out.

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Re: Backup Irons for the Elite Combat...sort of!

Post by Janik » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:40 pm

GlennSFX wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:30 pm
Well the sight pusher was having a problem with the slide twisting in the press.
Please tell me that's not a Wheeler sight pusher. I just ordered one for $120 and it should be here tomorrow. I got tired of dinging my slides with brass punches, even though I try to be careful.
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Re: Backup Irons for the Elite Combat...sort of!

Post by runeight » Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:26 am

Very good information, exactly what I was looking for. :-BD

Is the Combat the same height as the SFX? (I would think so.)

If you do end up getting a Dawson made order two. I’ll take the other.
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Re: Backup Irons for the Elite Combat...sort of!

Post by runeight » Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:29 am

Janik wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:40 pm
GlennSFX wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:30 pm
Well the sight pusher was having a problem with the slide twisting in the press.
Please tell me that's not a Wheeler sight pusher. I just ordered one for $120 and it should be here tomorrow. I got tired of dinging my slides with brass punches, even though I try to be careful.
Dawson has several aluminum punches, one with a nylon tip.
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Re: Backup Irons for the Elite Combat...sort of!

Post by runeight » Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:36 am

Looking at your installation I see the Dawson is .125 wide. The sights I ordered are .130 wide.

Me thinks I better cancel order. :-D
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Re: Backup Irons for the Elite Combat...sort of!

Post by runeight » Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:58 am

runeight wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:26 am
Very good information, exactly what I was looking for. :-BD

Is the Combat the same height as the SFX? (I would think so.)

If you do end up getting a Dawson made order two. I’ll take the other.
Just ordered the Dawson sight, canceled the others.

Thank you for this post. ^:)^
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Re: Backup Irons for the Elite Combat...sort of!

Post by GlennSFX » Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:41 am

Janik wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:40 pm
GlennSFX wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:30 pm
Well the sight pusher was having a problem with the slide twisting in the press.
Please tell me that's not a Wheeler sight pusher. I just ordered one for $120 and it should be here tomorrow. I got tired of dinging my slides with brass punches, even though I try to be careful.
Not to ruin your day, but yes it is. The sights on the Caniks are just really tight, really tight. I don't blame the press. The shape of the Canik slide just doesn't provide much surface area for the press clamps to hold. Even with the top clamping disk on the slide, any twisting, no matter how slight, causes the pusher to apply it's force in a rotational direction. I bought mine for around $60 when I signed up for an Amazon credit card. I got a $60 credit for opening the account and applied it to the purchase. I've been very happy with it.

This is probably the best sight for holding the slide squarely in the press. It uses a "shoe" adapter that fits into the slide rails and pulls the slide down and clamps it in place. I ordered a shoe adapter for a Walther P99 hoping if fits the Elite slides. I figured for $20 it was easier than milling one. The plan is to mill a slot in the base of the Wheeler towards the front, and a hole to make it function like the MGW.

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/87447 ... tion-tool

https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-tool ... =584000039

As far as dinging up the slide, I used a round steel punch to remove the front sights off both the SF Elite and the Combat without any damage at all. I used the Wheeler press mounted in a vise, clamped to a bench to hold the slide. I placed the punch right on the dovetail, not on the side of the sight, and made sure to hammer the punch keeping it parallel to the top of the slide. This way all the force is driving the sight out square with no downward or rotational force. I tried using the aluminum punch supplied with the Dawson sight and all it did was damage the punch. Like I mentioned earlier, these sights on the Caniks are extremely tight.

On a brighter note...During my test run with the SF Elite, I was able to use the Wheeler to press the factory sight back into place. I pushed the sight into place by hand as tight as I could. I then lowered the pusher tool so it made contact with the dovetail, and pushed it as far as I could before the other side of the pusher was just about to make contact with the slide. I then raised the pusher and pressed it the rest of the way on the sight itself.

Image

All in all, swapping the sight really wasn't that bad. I did use the SF Elite for my initial test run and was glad I did. Like any project, you just have to take your time and be careful.
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Re: Backup Irons for the Elite Combat...sort of!

Post by GlennSFX » Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:44 am

runeight wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:36 am
Looking at your installation I see the Dawson is .125 wide. The sights I ordered are .130 wide.

Me thinks I better cancel order. :-D
The width you're referring to is the width of the sight itself, not the dovetail. You should be OK.
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Re: Backup Irons for the Elite Combat...sort of!

Post by GlennSFX » Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:47 am

runeight wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:29 am
Janik wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:40 pm
GlennSFX wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:30 pm
Well the sight pusher was having a problem with the slide twisting in the press.
Please tell me that's not a Wheeler sight pusher. I just ordered one for $120 and it should be here tomorrow. I got tired of dinging my slides with brass punches, even though I try to be careful.
Dawson has several aluminum punches, one with a nylon tip.
Unfortunately this won't work for getting the factory sights off. The aluminum one supplied with my new sight just got chewed up. The sight didn't budge using it. If you watch the front sight installation video on Dawson's website, you'll see how it fits the sights on. They really shouldn't be as tight as they are on the Caniks from the factory.
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Re: Backup Irons for the Elite Combat...sort of!

Post by runeight » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:22 am

GlennSFX wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:44 am
runeight wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:36 am
Looking at your installation I see the Dawson is .125 wide. The sights I ordered are .130 wide.

Me thinks I better cancel order. :-D
The width you're referring to is the width of the sight itself, not the dovetail. You should be OK.
After I posted I thought the same thing. :-?

I’ll go with the Dawson. I prefer the FO over the night sight anyway. Range gun only, safe is full of nightstand firearms.
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Re: Backup Irons for the Elite Combat...sort of!

Post by Janik » Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:21 am

GlennSFX wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:41 am
On a brighter note...During my test run with the SF Elite, I was able to use the Wheeler to press the factory sight back into place.
Thanks for all the info. I'm bummed I just spent $120 on a sight pusher that isn't going to enhance my ability to change out sights faster. I have a cheaper NCStar that works on the rear sight well, but can't do the front sight. I like the MGW, but just can't justify the $300 price tag. I'll have to dig out my steel punches since my brass punches just seem to mushroom every time I try to change out a Canik sight.

Anyway, give us a range report how the sights are working once you get to put some rounds through it.
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Re: Backup Irons for the Elite Combat...sort of!

Post by runeight » Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:48 am

Janik wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:21 am
GlennSFX wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:41 am
On a brighter note...During my test run with the SF Elite, I was able to use the Wheeler to press the factory sight back into place.
Thanks for all the info. I'm bummed I just spent $120 on a sight pusher that isn't going to enhance my ability to change out sights faster. I have a cheaper NCStar that works on the rear sight well, but can't do the front sight. I like the MGW, but just can't justify the $300 price tag. I'll have to dig out my steel punches since my brass punches just seem to mushroom every time I try to change out a Canik sight.

Anyway, give us a range report how the sights are working once you get to put some rounds through it.
Always good to have on hand -or- fleabay. :-D
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Re: Backup Irons for the Elite Combat...sort of!

Post by GlennSFX » Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:05 am

So I did make it to the indoor range this morning. The only problem is the lighting isn't good for fiber optic sights. Actually it sucks. :sad:
I started with a blank piece of 11x17 paper just to see where I was hitting with different POAs. Basically put the front sight between the white lines and play around with the height over the rear optic body. Turns out the front sight had to be a little higher than I expected. More on the side of "co-witnessed" than "1/3 co-witness" The green dot, which I really couldn't see indoors, appears to want to be a little lower than the red when aligning them windage wise. It was also a little weird looking at the front sight through the glass without a clear dot. Again just the range lighting issue, and of course my needing weak reading glasses to get a clear front sight. At home with good lighting, the green dot was easy to see. I think keeping the "melted size" small will help in the overall sight picture with the red optic dot. I'll hit the outdoor range this weekend if I get a chance to really see how it works out and where the two dots coexist. But as of right now I'm pretty happy with the results. Especially seeing that I don't need to order another front sight!!! I wasn't sure this one would be tall enough. \:d/

So after getting familiar with the hold and POA, I put up one of my 10 yard zero targets and put 10 shots down range with the optic turned off.

Good enough for "Government Work"!!!!
As backup iron sights...it should get the job done.

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Put 250 rounds of 115g Fiocchi without any issue. That brings the total to somewhere around 800 I think. This gun is turning out to be worth every penny!!! You do pay a premium, but with the add-ons and the nickle plating of the internals, it's worth it.

My last 50 rounds at 10 yds using the optic with 1 double tap in each 10 round mag.
As of right now with this setup, this it definitely one of my favorite guns! :X

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Re: Backup Irons for the Elite Combat...sort of!

Post by GlennSFX » Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:08 am

Janik wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:21 am
GlennSFX wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:41 am
On a brighter note...During my test run with the SF Elite, I was able to use the Wheeler to press the factory sight back into place.
I like the MGW, but just can't justify the $300 price tag.
Yea...I know. $300 is pretty steep if you're not doing it for a living. Like I mentioned earlier, I'm going to mod my Wheeler once the P99 shoe shows up and I'll keep you posted.
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