Author Topic: Review of new Prince50 paratrooper front sight....  (Read 895 times)

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Review of new Prince50 paratrooper front sight....
« on: August 29, 2017, 04:11:50 PM »
First, I'd like to give a BIG thanks to Darin and Cheryl at BulletButton for going beyond the call of duty to help me out with a problematic early version! It speaks very well of them, and their operation.
 So here's the good, bad and the ugly (nothing's really ugly, just a figure of speech  :). )
The new (latest generation) sight apparatus arrived yesterday, packaged in a heavy duty ziplock baggie, with several screws, the sight post and barrel, and a set of directions. The directions begin with instructions for cutting and crowning your barrel to turn it into a partatrooper, but I would recommend consulting a couple You-tube videos for a more detailed tutorial (or better yet, find a good gunsmith that won't charge a fortune to do it). This rifle had already been paratrooper'd when I got it, so I didn't have to mess with that.
 Unlike the early version, this new gen front sight includes the internals, the adjusting barrel and sight post, but it all needed to be assembled, which turned out to be the trick.
 I decided to check that everything went together before putting the sight onto the barrel, and it's a good thing I did (much easier to mess with it, off the rifle).
The Allen screw that clamps the sight onto the barrel fit fine, but the sight post wouldn't thread completely into the adjusting barrel. There was also some little burs at the opening, but I used a small needle file to clean that up, so that wasn't a major issue, but I wasn't sure about the internal threads yet.
I scewed the sight post as far in as it would go, then tried to twist it all the way through with a needle-nosed pliers, but it wouldn't go all the way, and I was afraid I'd snap it off, so I backed off.
So then I decided to hop in the car and drove into town to the Lowes, to find a steel screw that I could hopefully work through the sticky threads of the adjustment barrel.
I brought both the sight post and barrel with me to Lowes, so I could be extra-sure I had the right threading, and found that the threading is 10-32.
So, instead of buying the bag of cheap zinc screws and nuts, I opted for the better and more expensive stainless screws. I found a pack of 3 stainless 10-32x3/4 screws with Allen heads for a whole $2 or so. I went with the Allen heads over Phillips for better torque, and they worked out great.
Once back home, I carefully screwed one through, then came at it from the other side, and the threads seemed to smooth out fine, so everything was good. The restriction was pretty minor, but I didn't want to risk the front sight pushing through it, and I'm glad I went and got some steel screws.
Then, I went to install the adjustment barrel into the front sight, and as the directions said, it wouldn't quite fit (but this was intentional,and for good reason). The directions say to use a drill to "hone" the tube in the front sight where the adjusting barrel goes, but I would recommend a Dremel tool (as i used), and going VERY carefully and slowly.
I don't know if all these sights are like this, but I found the barrel slid in one side fairly easily, but on the other side it wouldn't go through, so only this side needed to be honed.
 I carefully ground inside the hole, just enough to remove the black finish, then tried the adjustment barrel. It didn't fit yet, even with a couple whacks, so I tried again. After the third grind, it went in. I actually probably took a tiny bit too much off, because i could force it in by hand. It fits pretty firmly, but not so tight that I need an adjustment tool to move it. I should've stopped with the Dremel just a couple seconds earlier, but that's on me, and it doesn't seem to be a problem.
 So then I installed the main sight unit itself onto the barrel. The fit on this is absolutely perfect (as the older one was, as well). A few fairly gently whacks with a rubber mallet had it on.
I got it as straight as I could, and tightened the screw that clamps it down on the barrel (no loc-tite yet).
 This afternoon, I hopped on my trusty Honda XR650 dual sport, with the rifle slung over my shoulder in a nylon tactical case, and scootered over to my secret blasting spot (that's how we do it out here in the country !!!)
I just took a wild-ass guess on there the sights should be, but after taking several off-hand shots from 15 yards, turned out I was level, and only a couple inches to the right, so no complaints. After a little tweeking and I backed up to about 60 yards, and started shooting 4 round groups, with all the rounds landing in the 5" circles I'd drawn with a Sharpie on a couple small pieces of cardboard. Given that I was kneeling in the dirt, and using a shaky bike seat as a rest, and couldn't use my reading glasses at that distance, I was real happy with the shots I was getting.
So, the bottom line here: I definitely recommend the new Prince50. I think this is a very nice unit for anyone wanting to do a home paratrooper job on an SKS (which I think is a great idea, as it vastly improves the ergos of a clunky,front-heavy rifle) .
Just keep in mind that you may need to do some minor filing and fitting, and to go very, VERY carefully when honing out the sight for the adjustment barrel. And if you have any rough threads in the adjustment barrel, use a 10-32 steel screw to do the work, rather than your front sight post.
Hope this was helpful......

(Here's a close-up pic of the sight, and one of the rifle with it. I'm not sure how to post the actual pics, only these links showed up.)