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Front Sight Block ( FSB ) Swap / Removal Tutorial


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#1 Classy Kalashnikov

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 07:39 PM

OK, I have yet to see a single tutorial for this anywhere. And since a bunch of people have helped me out with my project I figure I would put a tutorial together for anyone else down the road.

I have only the most basic of tools and am going to outline how this is done as such. It is possible with very few, simple tools. There are other ways to do with, with a press (about $129-179 at Harbor Freight) and metric bits/pins. Below is how I did it, this method uses minimal tools and what I have on hand.

Tools I used:

- Dremel
- Sledge Hammer
- Ball Peen Hammer
- Wood Block
- Drill
- 3/32 Titanium Bit
- Iron nails

First, begin by removing the factory front sight block and barrel shroud. The barrel shroud is attached to the front sight block, and can be removed either separately or together.

The Saiga's front sight block is not pinned on like a regular AK's is, it has dimples and is pressed on . Some have regular pinned on front sight blocks. Mine is dimpled on.

Block on:
Attached File  IMG_1538.JPG   302.68KB   442 downloads

To remove the dimpled block, I cut paralell to the barrel, right along the dimples with a dremel. I went very slow, and every so often tried to smash it off with the sledge hammer. You don't want to cut into the barrel by accident, only a little kiss, not even. Eventually, after cutting enough, simply smack it with the sledge hammer and it will come flying off in two pieces.

Block off:
Attached File  IMG_1539.JPG   739.65KB   296 downloads

When you put the gun in the vise to smash anything, don't squeeze the receiver. You're gonna be pounding on it with a sledge hammer so you do not want to put stress on the receiver, you can probably fuck the gun up pretty bad that way. You will be smacking this thing pretty hard with a sledge hammer so be aware of how and where you are striking the gun and not putting undue pressure on parts.

Severed Block:
Attached File  IMG_1541.JPG   125.53KB   253 downloads

Now the block is ready to be installed. Due to legal reasons mine had to be welded in place, my brake and block are one unit, and the bayonet lug is ground off. When doing this part, you would do this with just the sight block, or a welded unit in some states. I was surprised that I was actually able to press it on with my hands maybe the first 1/5 of the way.

Attached File  IMG_1542.JPG   57.86KB   226 downloads

After that I took the rubber mallet, and was able to smack it on about halfway. From there, I eyeballed the sight tower and whacked it with the hammer, gently, to index it roughly.

Attached File  IMG_1543.JPG   76.65KB   213 downloads

From there, A little more indexing, and then a wood block on top of the brake, pounded with a sledge hammer. I had a hard time rigging it up in the vice, do I just held it in one hand with the other hand using the hammer. After it was on about 3/4 the way, I took the wood block down and just used hammer to the brake. Once it was fully down, I indexed it one final time. This time I used a piece of string tied to the buttstock, put it in the rear sight notch, and then had the string (dental floss) against the top of the post, and eyeballed how even it was with the barrel. Not really the most scientific way or anything, but I was sober so there's a 1-up on the typical east bloc factory worker :D

After that, I drilled through the holes with a 3/32 drill bit, making sure to go carefully and evenly. After that, I took some nails and pounded them through with the sledge hammer, then with the block against the anvil on the vise, keep straightening and pounding them with the sledge and ball peen until they were driven in hard and seized up good. You can tell because the nail will be bending outside the block and needing straightened more and more.

Attached File  IMG_1544.JPG   360.27KB   199 downloads

Then I cut the excess nail off, and did a little more pounding with a sledge/punch and then the ball peen again. Some final touch up and it's good to go.

Attached File  IMG_1547.JPG   133.43KB   170 downloads

Hopes this helps someone. Big thanks to everyone who helped me along the way, especially Nalioth and Paulski.

Edited by Klassy Kalashnikov, 07 May 2010 - 07:01 PM.

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#2 Polak

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 11:51 PM

Nice. When is part 2 coming?
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#3 Classy Kalashnikov

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 11:58 PM

Nice. When is part 2 coming?


Hopefully by the end of the week, someone is welding the brake to the block for me and then mailing it back.
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#4 Coils

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 08:22 PM

Nice pics, very clear.

I removed mine basicly the same way, used a 4.5" angle grinder with cut off wheel for the bulk of it, then a dremel to get as close to the barrel as I could.

After seeing how deep those dimples are, I don't think I'd try to just press them off without a cut or at least drilling the dimples some.

#5 guido2

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 09:33 PM

Hello
Are all the rifle's FSB's "dimpled" on like this now? The ones that I've previously removed were pinned (.308 and x39) they seem easier than these.

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#6 Classy Kalashnikov

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 10:28 PM

Hello
Are all the rifle's FSB's "dimpled" on like this now? The ones that I've previously removed were pinned (.308 and x39) they seem easier than these.

-guido


Yeah, the older imports have pinned on blocks. All the 5.45's I have seen, since they are newer, all have the dimpled blocks. I am not sure if some of the 545's are pinned on as well or not.
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#7 Classy Kalashnikov

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 06:59 PM

Process finished, more pictures up. Feel free to ask any questions.
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#8 Polak

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 08:18 PM

Thanks. I'll be attempting this soon since I have all the pieces to do it.

Now post pics of the complete gun.

Edited by Polak, 07 May 2010 - 08:22 PM.

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#9 Classy Kalashnikov

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 10:24 PM

Here you go

Attached File  IMG_1548.jpg   73.13KB   487 downloads
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#10 NM0

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 12:15 PM

Good job on the brake. Your rifle looks great.

How did you cut the forearm to compensate for the Ultimax? I'm getting ready to put one on a 5.45 with a surefire forearm. If I end up liking the red dot/ultimax set up I will probably do it to my 7.62 with the factory forearm.

I like how clean the factory forearm looks with the ultimax.

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#11 Classy Kalashnikov

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 02:37 PM

Good job on the brake. Your rifle looks great.

How did you cut the forearm to compensate for the Ultimax? I'm getting ready to put one on a 5.45 with a surefire forearm. If I end up liking the red dot/ultimax set up I will probably do it to my 7.62 with the factory forearm.

I like how clean the factory forearm looks with the ultimax.


Thanks, me too. I carefully measured it out, and I used a Dremel plastic cutting wheel at ~8,000 RPM. Make sure you wear a mask of some sort when cutting, and go slow as to not get it too hot, that forearm is made of one hell of a fiberglass and it will fling hot globs all over if it gets too hot.
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#12 NM0

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 02:48 PM

You did a good job on the measuring.

I was planning on dremmel too (not sure which are plastic cutters yet) with some practice on parts of forearm that would eventually be gone. Was there any reason you went with a straight back on the receiver part other than aesthetics (ie for installation)?

I been checking out as many images of ulitmax with diff forearms for research.

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#13 Polak

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 03:49 PM

Do you know if welding on the brake makes it a part of the barrel, and thus not adding any foreign parts?
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#14 Classy Kalashnikov

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 06:11 PM

You did a good job on the measuring.

I was planning on dremmel too (not sure which are plastic cutters yet) with some practice on parts of forearm that would eventually be gone. Was there any reason you went with a straight back on the receiver part other than aesthetics (ie for installation)?

I been checking out as many images of ulitmax with diff forearms for research.


Thanks. Yeah I went straight back because it's a lot easier to take on and off that way. You can leave it taller at the back but then it makes taking it off and on a lot tricker. Cause then you have to put the forearm on, then the tube, and lose zero every time. All up to you.

Do you know if welding on the brake makes it a part of the barrel, and thus not adding any foreign parts?


Yeah it becomes part of the barrel and not considered adding a part, from what I have read. It is like how a 14" barrel with threads would be an SBR, but a 14" barrel with a 2.5" long brake welded/pinned on is just considered a 16.5" barrel.
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#15 NM0

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 07:15 PM

Thanks. Yeah I went straight back because it's a lot easier to take on and off that way. You can leave it taller at the back but then it makes taking it off and on a lot tricker. Cause then you have to put the forearm on, then the tube, and lose zero every time. All up to you.


Thanks for the info. I was wondering if it was indeed a functional decision.

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#16 Regal

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 08:27 AM

What model FSB did you use and what were the threads? Also was that vertical forearm hard to install ?

#17 Classy Kalashnikov

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 08:46 PM

What model FSB did you use and what were the threads? Also was that vertical forearm hard to install ?


I used a Bulgarian FSB and Bulgarian Zig Zag brake. K-Var also makes US made versions of these parts.

The forearm was pretty easy, I bought a rail kit from CSS. I removed a ~6" section of the spine inside the handguard and used a drive bay from a computer, along with two screws, and two nuts brazed to the plate, to secure the rail. I also used a bit of JB weld for where the rail meets the handguard, and red thread locker on the screws,comes out rock solid.

Attached File  IMG_1534.JPG   112.56KB   35 downloads

Edited by Klassy Kalashnikov, 09 May 2010 - 08:49 PM.

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#18 bigsal

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 09:52 PM

Great thread, the only other member to offer a tutorial was imarangemaster in the 7.62x39 section. This is more thorough, and should be made in to a sticky.
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#19 Polak

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 10:14 PM

Great thread, the only other member to offer a tutorial was imarangemaster in the 7.62x39 section. This is more thorough, and should be made in to a sticky.


I'm pretty sure this is a sticky already.
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#20 Regal

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 06:11 AM


Great thread, the only other member to offer a tutorial was imarangemaster in the 7.62x39 section. This is more thorough, and should be made in to a sticky.


I'm pretty sure this is a sticky already.



I just don't know about this method, wouldn't you want to drill through the dimples with the proper sized drill bit to give natches in the barrel for the FSB pins?
Then you dremel off the FSB, and you would be guaranteed to line up the new FSB because using actual pins they would only go thru where the slots are? Am I nuts thinking this?

#21 Classy Kalashnikov

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 08:06 PM



Great thread, the only other member to offer a tutorial was imarangemaster in the 7.62x39 section. This is more thorough, and should be made in to a sticky.


I'm pretty sure this is a sticky already.



I just don't know about this method, wouldn't you want to drill through the dimples with the proper sized drill bit to give natches in the barrel for the FSB pins?
Then you dremel off the FSB, and you would be guaranteed to line up the new FSB because using actual pins they would only go thru where the slots are? Am I nuts thinking this?


That too is a valid method as well. On my x39 I am in the process of doing this same mod, and drilled first with a 3mm bit for that one. Basically, "there's more than one way to skin a cat."
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#22 dussandr

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 12:06 PM

That too is a valid method as well. On my x39 I am in the process of doing this same mod, and drilled first with a 3mm bit for that one. Basically, "there's more than one way to skin a cat."


Ck,

What happened? Wasn't your name spelled with a K a few days ago?

#23 Classy Kalashnikov

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 01:25 PM



That too is a valid method as well. On my x39 I am in the process of doing this same mod, and drilled first with a 3mm bit for that one. Basically, "there's more than one way to skin a cat."


Ck,

What happened? Wasn't your name spelled with a K a few days ago?


Yeah, it was. Decided to change it to a C. It's a long story involving a guy with "not so modern" view of race relations making some accusations. :lolol:

Edited by Classy Kalashnikov, 18 June 2010 - 01:26 PM.

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#24 dussandr

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 01:46 PM

Yeah, it was. Decided to change it to a C. It's a long story involving a guy with "not so modern" view of race relations making some accusations. :lolol:


I suspected something along those lines.....

#25 C.W.M.V.

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 10:34 PM

When you have pounded the nails through the holes in the bottom of the FSB, do you have to "smash" the ends of the nail or can you just cut it off flush to the sight block?

#26 L5K

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 02:02 PM

You can just cut it off flush. The pins the Soviets/Russians used were not smashed on the ends, they were just flush. I always just use roll pins in mine. If the pins have to be pressed or hammered into the holes, they will have to be pressed or hammered back out. If you combine the actual friction you should have from the tight fit of the sight block on the barrel, with the two pins, there is really no way it is going to move without some serious torque being applied which would probably damage the barrel anyway. You could smash the ends of the pins if you wanted though, can't see what it would hurt at all.

#27 man-at-arms

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 02:11 AM

Klassy-

I was considering moving the FSB back on my Bulgarian rifle, then permanently pinning it and the comp to a total of 16.75 or so. My concern was the expansion chamber on the comp; even if I shot non-corrosive that would be a space that I really couldn't get at to clean. Since I plan to shoot surplus, and to shoot water down the barrel, it seems like a no-go for me. Did you have any concerns about this?

Am I right to think this is such a big deal guys?


BTW thanks for posting this!

Edited by man-at-arms, 03 July 2010 - 02:11 AM.


#28 L5K

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 02:45 AM

Klassy-

I was considering moving the FSB back on my Bulgarian rifle, then permanently pinning it and the comp to a total of 16.75 or so. My concern was the expansion chamber on the comp; even if I shot non-corrosive that would be a space that I really couldn't get at to clean. Since I plan to shoot surplus, and to shoot water down the barrel, it seems like a no-go for me. Did you have any concerns about this?

Am I right to think this is such a big deal guys?


BTW thanks for posting this!


I really don't know if it would be that big of a deal really. If you get a military muzzle brake, or one from K-var (watch out for the price) they are chrome lined. I do however, always remove mine when I clean my rifle just to be sure.

#29 Classy Kalashnikov

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 09:00 PM

I don't have a problem keeping rust out of mine with corrosive ammo. It's kind of a pain in the ass, and takes a little more effort since mine cannot unscrew, but it does keep clean. Just takes a little more effort and concentrated spraying if it is permanently attached.
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#30 man-at-arms

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 12:17 PM

I don't have a problem keeping rust out of mine with corrosive ammo. It's kind of a pain in the ass, and takes a little more effort since mine cannot unscrew, but it does keep clean. Just takes a little more effort and concentrated spraying if it is permanently attached.


How do you know it's not rusting like crazy inside the expansion chamber? Do you shoot surplus ammo? Could you give me any tips on how to clean mine if I have it permanently installed?

Thanks!




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