Vantage Point Jan/Feb 2021

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SIG Sauer News

It turns out the Wilson Combat WCP320 project (Jan/Feb 2021 cover feature) was a sneak preview of things to come. SIG SAUER is now launching the Custom Works FCU (fire control unit) Project through which the company will sell the P320 serialized trigger group by itself. A companion launch is the P320 Design Studio. They will let you design your own SIG P320. Initially the components will be 100% SIG but expect partner companies to come on board over time.

If you like metal guns, you’ll be interested in the P320 AXG — an X-Series module with replaceable G10 grip panels. This aluminum-framed P320 will appear in limited-run custom shop versions first, starting with a Scorpion version. Expect this line to grow.

An Eagle Scout Pistol

Kyle H. from Florida just completed all the requirements to earn his Eagle Scout certification. It’s quite an honor requiring plenty of dedication and perseverance. His dad just might earn his own Eagle patch for how he commemorated Kyle’s achievement. He had the folks at Wilson Combat build a custom handgun fit for … an Eagle Scout.

It’s a Wilson American Combat Pistol 9mm 1911, complete with Eagle Scout trimmings. Wilson built the pistol with the distinctive olive and tan color scheme while LOK Grips of Dorr Michigan created custom G10 grips complete with the Eagle Scout emblem.

Kyle’s been busy making the world a better place, creating proper drop boxes to facilitate honorable and correct handling of worn and damaged American flags. In his spare time, he invented a lifesaving kit for public beach use designed to reduce drownings. Hat’s off to you Kyle!

Springfield Armory XD-M Elite 3.8" Compact

Hot from the factory shipping dock is a new compact Springfield Armory XD-M pistol. Complete with all the bells and whistles of the Elite family lineup, including an improved flat trigger system, more aggressive slide serrations, full ambidextrous controls, increased capacity, and a removable magazine well extension, it meets all the requirements of a solid concealed carry pistol … and more.

Here’s the nifty feature. The magazine extension offers a generous beveled well that makes magazine changes fast and fumble free without adding undue bulk for concealed carry. With it installed, I can fit about half my pinky on the frame. If you remove the extension, you can insert a full length, and larger capacity magazine. Add the optional sleeve and the Elite Compact now feels just like a full-height Elite XD-M. So, by swapping the full compact mag for a full extended, you convert your carry pistol to a home-defense variant in seconds at the end of your day. Look for a full review of this pistol in the upcoming Concealed Carry and Home Defense Special Edition.

A new “out-of-this-world” green/yellow Mega Dot Novak front sight.

The center insert in the Novak LMA rear sight allows elevation adjustments.
Tweak your sights precisely to your preferred ammo.

I’ve got a Springfield Armory 1911 TRP chambered in .45 ACP. It’s a high-quality defensive pistol — essentially a production version of the famed Custom Shop FBI HRT 1911. The sights are just peachy, but with age, the Tritium is dimming a bit and my older eyes are in want of a more visible, but still precise, refresh.

Enter Novak’s Sights. I called up the shop and spoke at length with Charlie, who gave me quite the education on handgun sight technology. We elected to outfit the TRP with a combination of a Novak’s LMA rear adjustable and front Mega Dot Yellow. The LMA features generous cutouts around the squared notch for increased visibility and a horizontal Tritium bar under for confusion-free sight alignment in the dark. The bar helps in daylight, too. Novak’s offers the Mega Dot in both orange and other-worldy yellow/green configurations, and in short order, Charlie had me convinced the Tritium-filled yellow in question doesn’t exist naturally in the known universe, so it stands out against most any target background.

Installation was straightforward, so while I could have sent my slide to Novak’s for professional work, I took on the job myself. Removing the front sight was simple. It’s pinned in the center of the dovetail with a small roll pin. The hole in the slide is drilled clear through, so some gentle tapping with a small punch (or appropriately sized old drill bit) punched the pin through the slide until it protruded enough for me to pull it out the bottom. From this point, some light tapping with a tape-covered brass punch on the sight base (not the Tritium housing!) slid it right out. Generally, you want to drive it out in the direction of the ejection port, and this was the case with the TRP.

Adding the new front sight was easier than expected. It slid about 1/3 of the way into place with finger pressure so I didn’t have to remove any material from the bottom of the sight. Good luck there! With some careful tapping using a gunsmith hammer and brass punch, again only on the base of the sight, I got it centered over the frame roll pin hole and inserted a new pin provided by Novak’s. Done.

The front sight on many 1911s is stuck in the center of the dovetail with a roll pin.
Just push it through the bottom to remove the sight.

Since the front sight was a piece of cake, the universe punished me with the rear. Even after removing the Allen set screw, I had to whale away on the rear to get it out. After two hammer weight upgrades, I finally got it moving.
As with the front, installation of the rear was simple. The new one slid partially into position with finger pressure. A brass punch finished the job. I visually centered the rear sight and set the Allen screw.

Once I got to the range and filled ’er up with Barnes TAC-XPD .45 ACP +P 185-grain ammo, I set up some Victory Handgun targets from Mountain Plains Industries at 25 yards so I could make final windage and elevation adjustments to the rear sight. Check those out — the combination of horizontal elevation line and large “V” makes precise iron sight alignment easy. After a few shots, and a group or two for verification, I raised the mission-accomplished flag.

As for visibility, Charlie was right. The front green sight likes to shine in its own spotlight. I’m finding it effective against all sorts of target backgrounds. As for precision, I’ve now got the best of both worlds. The LMA rear sight contains its elevation adjustment mechanism inside a sturdy sight body, so it shares reliability with a fixed rear, but I can quickly adjust elevation to nail down the zero for different bullet types. If I need a windage adjustment, I just loosen an Allen screw and drift the rear as needed.

New life for a well-used, but still high-performing pistol!

For more info: NovakSights.com

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