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This photo album describes how to remove an unthreaded Romanian front sight from the SAR2 and Romak II rifles, and attach a threaded sight with a muzzle brake. This instruction set is made possible through technical input from members of several AK websites.
Please Read This Before Proceeding: I am not a machinist or gunsmith. PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK. Please use common sense and use proper safety equipment.
These are the tools I used, from left to right, top: Rubber mallet, 16 oz claw hammer, channel lock pliers, large screw driver, square, and Dremel drill with extension. Bottom: Center punch set, cold chisel, .125 diameter hardened dowel pins, AK sight adjustment tool, dremel drum sander/wire brush and cutting wheel, number 31 drill bits, .124 reamer, 50/50 1200 degree silver solder, and safety goggles. Not pictured: Drill press, and two vises.
These are the Romanian threaded sight bases available from KVAR. The brake is part number AK-141, and the front threaded sight is part number AK-167. Not pictured is the compensator catch pin, spring and dowel pin (part number AK-205).
Field strip the rifle, remove front upper and lower hand guards.
Secure the rifle in a vise. You have two options at this point: Plan A - Use a Dremel drill with a cutting wheel to remove the two cross pins at the bottom of the sight base. Plan B - Take a center punch to the pins to get them started, and then use a drift punch to completely remove them. I tried plan B first, and the rear pin came out no sweat, but the front pin gave me fits. Since a lot of hammering isn't good, I broke out the Dremel tool and cut cross ways above the pin enough to remove it. Don't get into the barrel! Plan A is best, you don't bang on the barrel.
(Like Omar said, don't bang on the barrel, pins may go or may not, depending on how stiff your gun is, choose the plan that is right for you. If I need the sight post, I may go for the Plan B and try it, but if you are doing this kind of work first time and don't know just how much banging is not too much, you may want to make sure you don't hurt your barrel and choose Plan A. Read below for comments. - Thorgul)
[Hbarski reported success with "Plan B" : "...Now see, with a little patience, even a Craftsman punch can remove those pesky pins. I thought I may need the sight one day and just couldn't force myself to cut it. I did use a ball end rotary file (1/8") to open the left side of the post in order to drive the pins out. Heated the post slightly with a propane torch, then ran brake cleaner down the bore to cool the barrel. Light tap, and it came right off. Speed on the steel I used was 1600 rpm. Dremel doesn't have much torque and may bog down at the lower speed range. I used a drill press, and final reaming with a cordless drill... Picture1, Detailed1, Picture2.]
[Jes Ar 15 reported success with the "Plan B": "...I have used no heat. ...What you need to look for is one side of the pins are a little bigger (from being driven in ?). Look VERY closely for the big side and drive the pins out from the other side... Picture.]
Make an incision lengthwise and again, be careful to not get into the barrel!
Once both cuts are completed, you can lightly tap the lengthwise cut with a cold chisel to crack it, and the sight will easily come off with no hammering. You can also try and split it with a big screwdriver inserted in the lengthwise slot and twisting, if you're averse to using a chisel.
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