Sight Swap

I finally swapped out the Burris red dot sight on my G20 non-compensated slide for a set of TruGlo fiber optic sights. I got a compact sight pusher tool from RST. It’s a simple & clever “I could have made that” design but I didn’t have to.

The pusher consists of two steel plates, both with holes and one with nuts welded in front of them. There are two long thumbscrews for clamping the slide between the plates and a shorter one with an interchangeable tip that does the actually pushing work.

Clamping the pusher to the slide is pretty trivial, beyond aligning the pusher screw to hit the sight but not the slide.

The base plate of the Burris sight is only slightly narrower than the slide, so all this pusher could do was pop it loose and start it moving. I put the slide in a vise and tapped the sight the rest of the way out with a handy deadblow hammer, which was bigger than needed. I have no doubt that I could have completed the removal without the vise if required.

Installing the new sight was pretty much exactly the reverse of removing the old. I had to tap the new sight far enough into the dovetail for the RST pusher plate to be able to clamp to the slide, then the pusher very easily and precisely moved it into place.

The slide had a Trijicon front sight in place. It was very easy to remove and replace with the red fiber optic TruGlo.

That pic was deceptively hard to get. The focus depth of field on my smartphone is narrow enough that I had to hold it almost at the limit of my reach for front and rear sight to both be in focus. Since I needed to crop most of the pic, I had to turn the resolution up to max. Pretty happy with it, actually.

The one complaint about the RST was something I might have been able to avoid, but the soft brass pusher tip left brassy colored scuff dots on the black finish on both sights. This is mostly removable, but particularly on the Burris plate, cleaning the brass dot off left a slightly polished finish. I think that is because the Burris plate has a paint/powdercoat finish and the TruGlo is some sort of chemical finish like anodizing.

The tool comes with a spare brass point and a steel point. The steel point may have actually been better for not leaving these marks. If I need to adjust the TruGlo sight, I will test the steel point for that.

All in all, I am very pleased with the RST sight pusher tool. It was inexpensive and is small enough to leave in the range bag, particularly disassembled and kept in a plastic bag.
As of this writing, I have not yet fired the pistol with this slide and sight. One of the main reasons to have changed out the Burris sight is that it is not IDPA legal. By putting the notch and post on the non-compensated slide and changing the slide release back to stock, this pistol we be IDPA legal in the SSP division, though only in 10mm Auto. If only there was some technology to make soft shooting 10mm rounds…
Speaking of ammo, we recently had an IDPA classifier match where some old ammo problems I thought I had address came back for me, resulting in quite a bit of lost time clearing failure to feeds. As a Marksman shooter, I scored firmly in Novice territory. To my credit, I did not accrue any ammo-jockying procedural errors, even when it was all jammy during an advance or retreat.
I was using some 165g RNFP loads with Ranier Ballistics plated bullets that I had gotten from Cabelas. Once I started having troubles, I unloaded all my magazines into a pocket in my range bag and grabbed a box of previously reliable 155g RNFP loads with Xtreme Bullets plated bullets. At first, I thought perhaps I had ammo that had not gone through my fairly rigorous QA process, but I have since found that all the rounds of both loads drop perfectly into the gauge block and that the OAL of both loads is the same. As it turns out, I am reasonably sure the OAL turns out to actually indicate the problem.
Left to right: 165g Ranier, 165g Xtreme, 180g PMC factory, 180g Remington factory.
If you look closely, you will see that the flat point profile of the Ranier bullet is significantly smaller than the flat profile of the others, leading to a more acute angle for the cartridge to contact the feed ramp during feeding. I don’t have a stock Glock barrel to compare it to, but the LoneWolf conversion barrel in the Glock 20 will frequently fail to feed these rounds that are otherwise drop-in happy. In a quick and non-scientific test of cycling a few magazines of this ammo manually through two pistols, the Ranier bullet loads failed to feed about half the time in the Glock with a 40S&W conversion barrel, but only once in the native 40S&W Kahr CW40. The other three examples did not fail to feed even once.
Long story short, the OAL length for the Ranier bullets needs to be longer than for the Xtreme bullets. It’s that pesky ogive impingement angle. The overall length is a critical measurement, but really it’s not the actual end to end length that matters so much as the base of cartridge to the circle/point on the bullet that first contacts the feed ramp.
The longer part of the story is that, while I might be able to slightly extract these bullets and reseat them to the proper depth, the actual better way to do it would be to pull them all and reload them from scratch to the proper length, once that length is determined.
In other news, a coworker sold me his Wather P22 pistol. I had shot it a few times before he sold it, but I have not yet shot it as “mine”.
He included a significant quantity of Federal, CCI and Aquila ammo, as well. I was able to find a leather Galco Stinger belt loop holster for it at Cabela’s, in the Bargain Cave, but I don’t particularly like that particular one. The holster fits tightly enough to the pistol and loosely enough to my belt to not draw nicely. I want it to be secure, but I don’t want to struggle with it to draw. It’s primary role will be to carry around the property and while fishing, ATVing or other outdoor activities. Some additional forming on the holster may help, but I will probably end up with a Kydex holster of some sort. CompTac makes one for it, the same model as I got for the Kahr.

Some Overdue Customizing

Though it is a fairly common “mod”, I had not taken the time to paint fill the imprinted lettering on my magazines and the slide of the pistol.

Pretty happy with the added contrast. It doesn’t help it shoot any better, but it was a nice project that I could do in a couple of hours with a bonus of spending time with my Love in the craftroom.

As an aside, I noticed while doing this work that the screw holding the front sight is loose. It will be an easy enough fix, removing the screw and sight, cleaning with acetone and reassembling with Locktite.

There are many descriptions on the web as to the lettering procedure. In my case, I first cleaned the slide and magazines with acetone. Next, I used plain ol’ Testors model white enamel and a size 0 detail round brush. Technically, I was globbing it on to fill all the lines, but I tried to keep the glob in the lines and the part outside the lines as thin as reasonably possible. I filled all the lettering except for #10, which I went back and did in red. I wish I’d had a brighter red, maybe a fluorescent red or orange, even green. The point is that #10 is also filled but in another color. In IDPA shooting, magazines in my divisions are typically loaded to 10 rounds and since I am corrected to slightly farsighted with my contact lenses, it is hard to make out even the higher contrast lettering to read the actual number. Making the 10 another color makes it easier to check the magazine capacity.

Once all the paint was well dried came the somewhat tedious bit. I used the Testors thinner on bits of paper towel. It took a couple of magazines to refine the technique, but what seemed to work well was to put a drop of thinner on a small piece of paper towel and quickly rub it over a small area of lettering, checking between each stroke. When only the desired coloring is left, buff the area with a dry paper towel. This was the fastest way and required the least retouching cleanup. The thinner needs to be really light on the towel. Too much on the towel and it wets the paint too much and too much is removed from the lettering. I did all the white then came back to the red with fresh towels to keep the white from becoming kind of pink.

I pretty pleased with how they turned out.

In a previous post, I noted that I had a magazine that did not easily drop clear at reload time. Since I had numbered the magazines, I knew which one it was. While I was preparing the magazines, I had them all in one place and wanted to compare this troublemaker with it’s stablemates. I found a couple of differences that I am sure are documented online somewhere else, but here goes….

Since the empty magazine wasn’t dropping well when released, I first wanted to compare the latching notch. It turns out that there was a pretty big difference immediately visible. The magazine on the right is the one that doesn’t drop well.

In further digging, I noticed a difference in the followers as well. The one marked with a 2 is the one that doesn’t drop well. Due to the shadow, it’s hare to see, but the top magazine follower has a simple ’10’ on it while the bottom one has ’10 mm’ completely obscured by the shadow.

Referring back to the pic above of all the magazines, note that the two on the left are slightly different in the placement of the Glock logo. Yes, I have two magazines of this different model. In the original numbering order, these were magazines 0 and 2. The first was easy to remove from the magazine order. I did all other shooting with magazines 1, 2 and 3. However, I have so rarely had to drop mag #2 on the clock that I haven’t noticed if it also had trouble dropping clear.

Partly to address this issue and partly because I just have them, I decided to install the six magazine extension floor plates that I got in the box of goodies that included, among other things, most of these magazines. The previous owner found that, with all other equipment on his pistol, these extension floor plates in stock condition made the overall weight of the pistol perilously close to overweight for IDPA. He drilled out some material from the inside of the plates to reduce the weight. I hope my combination of parts fits under the wire because the added weight to the magazine makes all six thus equipped drop out of the pistol nicely. I have put them on both of the ‘odd’ magazines for the acid test.

The pistol is a close but passing fit in the IDPA box with the extensions.