AR gunsmithing question.

This is a discussion on AR gunsmithing question. within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I have a flat top S&W AR. I was thinking about getting a front quad rail and some flip up BUS. But after evaluating costs ...

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  1. #1
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    AR gunsmithing question.

    I have a flat top S&W AR. I was thinking about getting a front quad rail and some flip up BUS. But after evaluating costs I'm wondering if it wouldn't just be easier (and cheaper) to put a standard front sight on the gun and one flip up rear sight.

    The up front costs would be hundreds less but what about the installation? How hard is it to do? Will I have to ream the sight?

    How much would a smith charge to install a sight?
    It is surely true that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. Nor can you make them grateful for your efforts.

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    sgb
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    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    I have a flat top S&W AR. I was thinking about getting a front quad rail and some flip up BUS. But after evaluating costs I'm wondering if it wouldn't just be easier (and cheaper) to put a standard front sight on the gun and one flip up rear sight.

    The up front costs would be hundreds less but what about the installation? How hard is it to do? Will I have to ream the sight?

    How much would a smith charge to install a sight?
    If you are talking about installing a pinned A2 front sight it is a job for a gun smith that specializes on AR barrels, check with ADCO. You could however use an Armalite clamp on front sight
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    RKM
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    I had a YHM flip up front sight/gas block on my AR. Wouldn't stay tight against the end cap on the handguards causing movement. There are better flip-up front sights/gas blocks than the YHM for sure. If you do a flip-up front sight, I'd highly recommend getting a free-float rail, gas block and then a flip-up front sight (non-gas block).

    I ended up putting my standard front sight/gas block on and getting a Daniel Defense Omega X 12.0 with the open space for the standard sight to poke through.

    Also, if you're even slightly mechanically inclined, you can put a gas block, free float and front sight on your AR yourself. You may need to buy an AR barrel nut wrench. The pins in the front sight take some time, but they're not impossible. I did them in sitting in my bedroom on my computer chair. Just make sure you push them out the correct way. S&W's are opposite than most brands!

    Zeroing the sight's will probably be a must if you're removing them and putting on new ones. Even removing the old ones and putting the old ones back on, they still may require to be sighted in.

    My recommendations.... keep the standard front sight and get a Daniel Defense Omega X rail. There is the 7" carbine length, 9" mid length, 12" rifle length and the 12" carbine length (which is what I have)
    https://danieldefense.com/rail-syste...ga-x-rail.html

    I believe you'd be able to use both the 9" and 12" rails (even on a carbine length gas system) with a low-pro gas block with a flip-up front sight.

    DD also has other great options as well.

    Also, if you do get a flip-up sight/gasblock, get a pinned version, not a clamp on! The YHM I had (still have actually), like I said, didn't keep sit tight against the standard handguard end cap causing movement in the handguard.

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    If you are talking about installing a pinned A2 front sight
    Yes I am.

    I ended up putting my standard front sight/gas block on
    This is exactly what I'm wanting to do. Only, I'd have to buy a sight and install it.
    It is surely true that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. Nor can you make them grateful for your efforts.

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    You will need to be able to clamp the barrel in a vice,or you can use a large crescent wrench to fit the gas block while you unscrew the flash suppressor

    IMHO what you will need to do is buy the front sight the F stamped one ,remove handguards then remove the flash hider,tap out the gas tube roll pin and roll pins holding the gas block in place,I would apply some lube on the barrel so when you slide the gas block forward you don't scratch it,then slide the front sight on and align gas tube,pin gas tube and front sight in place,replace handguards.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukalmighty View Post
    You will need to be able to clamp the barrel in a vice,or you can use a large crescent wrench to fit the gas block while you unscrew the flash suppressor

    IMHO what you will need to do is buy the front sight the F stamped one ,remove handguards then remove the flash hider,tap out the gas tube roll pin and roll pins holding the gas block in place,I would apply some lube on the barrel so when you slide the gas block forward you don't scratch it,then slide the front sight on and align gas tube,pin gas tube and front sight in place,replace handguards.
    A2 replacement front sight towers don't come drilled for the barrel pins

    "There is a secret pride in every human heart that revolts at tyranny. You may order and drive an individual, but you cannot make him respect you." William Hazlitt (1778 - 1830)

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    I'm going to assume that you are going to be using this for your DM build. I know that some optics (Aimpoints, EO-techs and ACOGS), all work okay with the front sight post, actually, it helps in some ways, with a go co-witness and a low/no magnification scope.

    But I have never tried a higher power scope with the FSP in the way. Maybe it would be fine but I think it is something you should look into. Because you are going to need to look into the possibility of a riser to get the scope up higher if the FS assembly is messing up your field of view through the scope. In fact, if you have access to an AR with the full front sight setup, since I just say your post about buying the scope, you should try it. Just put your scope on a rifle with the post, and see how it is going to be effecting you, and if at all possible, try shooting it like that.

    Just something to think about
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukalmighty View Post
    You will need to be able to clamp the barrel in a vice,or you can use a large crescent wrench to fit the gas block while you unscrew the flash suppressor

    IMHO what you will need to do is buy the front sight the F stamped one ,remove handguards then remove the flash hider,tap out the gas tube roll pin and roll pins holding the gas block in place,I would apply some lube on the barrel so when you slide the gas block forward you don't scratch it,then slide the front sight on and align gas tube,pin gas tube and front sight in place,replace handguards.
    This is what I'd do. I like the fsb's. Do not get a clamp on, it's just not worth the risk. Also, there should be no fitting of any kind, this is an AR, not a 1911 ;) . Just be sure it's lined up correctly. Now, as mentioned much earlier, ADCO is the place to go and it won't be very expensive.

    Sorry, you will need a 2/0 tapered reamer to do it right yourself, but I'd imagine you can easily have that done somewhere, but in that case you might as well send the barrel too and just have it done there.

    What profile barrel do you have now and how is it set up exactly?

    EDIT - As buckeye45 said, it may interfere with your optic, depending. See, if you run an Aimpoint, for example, you can have a fixed front and rear and they really don't get in the way. You can line them up or just loo over the irons and use the dot as if they weren't there. It's not the same with a magnified optic.

    I never used my Nightforce with a fsb, but I have used my ACOG with one and it can get a little irritating. With a 4x32 ACOG, I get a nice dark blur in my lower field of view. It's usable, but not ideal.
    Last edited by jonconsiglio; May 31st, 2011 at 04:14 PM.
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    RKM
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    When I look through my holosight, I hardly notice the front sight. I got the clamp on YHM sight (the one that sucked) so I could have a clear view but it just didn't work out. But, after looking through the holosight after awahile with the rear sight flipped down, you really don't notice it. When I'm using my 4x magnifier, I see a slight blur that can easily be ignored.

    And yeah, I forgot to mention, a bench vise is nice to get the flash suppressor off.

    And remember, S&W M&P pins push right-to-left. NOT left-to-right like most AR. So if you used the Brownell's sight block (not needed by the way) you'd press them out the opposite way. The gas tube roll pin doesn't matter, it's not tapered.

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    I like the front sight up with an Aimpoint (or EoTech), just not with a magnified optic since it's an annoying blur.
    Proven combat techniques may not be flashy and may require a bit more physical effort on the part of the shooter. Further, they may not win competition matches, but they will help ensure your survival in a shooting or gunfight on the street. ~Paul Howe

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    Quote Originally Posted by RKM View Post
    When I look through my holosight, I hardly notice the front sight. I got the clamp on YHM sight (the one that sucked) so I could have a clear view but it just didn't work out. But, after looking through the holosight after awahile with the rear sight flipped down, you really don't notice it. When I'm using my 4x magnifier, I see a slight blur that can easily be ignored.

    And yeah, I forgot to mention, a bench vise is nice to get the flash suppressor off.

    And remember, S&W M&P pins push right-to-left. NOT left-to-right like most AR. So if you used the Brownell's sight block (not needed by the way) you'd press them out the opposite way. The gas tube roll pin doesn't matter, it's not tapered.
    With a non-magnified optic, I prefer the front sight post there, as it can aide in aiming, and with a good co-witness set up, gives you an instant transition in case one system fails.

    Magnified is a whole new ball park though. Since Timmy has been posting a lot about making a DM style AR, and just bought a scope for it, I thought it was worth mentioning. With an ACOC, it is usable, but annoying to have their. With a higher magnification optic, I assume it would be worse.
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    RKM
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    Since it's parallax free, I don't pay attention to the front sight post anyway. But that's just me. Some people like to co-witness with the front sight, some with both the front and rear. Although personally, using the front AND rear sight to co-witness, IMO defeats the purpose of a red-dot or holosight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RKM View Post
    Since it's parallax free, I don't pay attention to the front sight post anyway. But that's just me. Some people like to co-witness with the front sight, some with both the front and rear. Although personally, using the front AND rear sight to co-witness, IMO defeats the purpose of a red-dot or holosight.
    My response will still be kind of on topic, so I'll throw it up here. There are a few reasons I like to have both front and rear co-witnessed with my Aimpoint. One of them is that I don't have night sights on my AR, so in a low light scenario, the Aimpoint would be my go to. The other is that I have qualified repeatedly with irons out to 500 meters. For under 200 meters, I am going to be focused on the Aimpoint, for beyond that, I am going to be using irons. (The liklihood of that shot in SD is extremely small, but it is what I am comfortable with). I can transition from one to the other is almost instant, without needing to change cheek weld or anything. So it makes the set up more efficient, I have a non-folding stand along BUS, so really, I need to change nothing but my focal point to transition. While my Aimpoint has a ridiculously long battery life, if Mr. Murphy shows up when he shouldn't, I can just keep shooting. It is redundant, but it works for me.

    While your EO-tech is parralax free, I think it is worth have the front sight with it, because if your sight fails electronically, but is still intact, you could use the front sight and EO-tech without the hologram as a rough sighting system. Especially if you pay attention to the normal position of the front sight while shooting. It's not ideal, but it is better than nothing.
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    Sorry to muddy the waters. This front sight is not for my DM build. It's for my M&P carbine. I was going to get a front quad rail for it and some back up sights but I thought this idea might be easier and less expensive.

    I'm really just trying to find out what I want the gun to be once I put together the true long range AR. My wife is going to shoot the carbine a bunch this summer and I want her to try a red dot and the low power scope that's on it.


    Sorry about the confusion guys. I'm still learning about ARs.

    What profile barrel do you have now and how is it set up exactly?
    M4 contour.
    It is surely true that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. Nor can you make them grateful for your efforts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    Sorry to muddy the waters. This front sight is not for my DM build. It's for my M&P carbine. I was going to get a front quad rail for it and some back up sights but I thought this idea might be easier and less expensive.

    I'm really just trying to find out what I want the gun to be once I put together the true long range AR. My wife is going to shoot the carbine a bunch this summer and I want her to try a red dot and the low power scope that's on it.
    Well then, guess that goes to show what happens when we assume things.

    But, I still think there is plenty of good info on here.

    Here is another option for you, but I haven't tried these out, so I have no idea on how well they hold zero or anything: Troy Ind. Fixed Battle Sight Combo

    Or you could get a fixed combo set from Daniels Defense from them for about $115
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

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