Friday, June 10, 2011

XS Big Dot 24/7 on a Walther PPS

I've always wanted to try the XS Big Dot 24/7 sights, so when my laser went kaput on my Bodyguard 380 it gave me the perfect excuse to equip my Walther PPS with them. (I need something that I can shoot at night, right?)

I found a good deal on them online and two days later they were in my hands, ready to install. or so I thought.

The front sight was very easy to remove from the PPS. Simply unscrew a flathead screw and pop it off. No problem. The rear sight was another story. According to the instructions and others online, you simply use the included non-marring punch and drive the rear sight out of its slot with a few light hammer taps. In reality, that sight was damned if it was going to leave its home. I ended up having to use a heavy brass punch, lots of hammer blows, and heavy cursing to get it out. And tape. Lots of blue painter's tape. (So I wouldn't scratch the slide.)

Anyway, once the old sights were off, the new front sight almost fit in easily. I tapped it in a bit with the non-marring punch and it fit flush to the slide. Honestly I don't think it would have moved even after that, but I used the red thread-locking fluid XS supplied and screwed in the new screw. (Don't use the screw from the old sight, it will break the tritium vial in the front sight as it is too long.)

The rear sight, unfortunately, was just as bad as the old rear sight. It would not slide into the slot, even with light tapping. I ended up having to buy a $30 set of files to shave off enough material from the sight to allow it to fit. Once I did get it slid into the slot, I lined it up by eyeball and tightened the set screw. I then applied the red fluid to the sight and let it set overnight as directed. As you can see from the pictures, it seems to look OK.

I took it to the range after the fluid had set and fired off about 100 rounds of 165gr .40 S&W ammo. Eyeballing the sight seemed to have worked OK, as I didn't have any windage issues. It did, however, take me about 40 rounds just to get used to lining up the big dot on the front sight with the line on the back sight. I kept lining up the middle of the dot, and instead should have been lining up the bottom of the dot. So, for 40 rounds all of my shots were low. Once I figured it out, I was able to punch a bunch of holes in the bullseye at 7 yards. I didn't try any farther as I was getting used to the sights and had a limited supply of ammo on me, but I feel confident the sights would do well at longer distances too.