P3AT Tritium Night Sights Installed

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by mxitman, Apr 2, 2008.

  1. mxitman

    mxitman New Member

    Apr 2, 2008

    I started this project because of one of the failing aspects of the Kel-tec P3AT
    was the crappy sights on it. I understand that it's a backup gun, pocket pistol,
    mouse gun whatever you want to call it but the sight picture is just about
    useless. I actually love the gun for what it is, almost disappears in your pocket
    it's so small and lightweight.

    I tried the whole paint thing to the sights but it still didn't catch my eye enough
    to be useful or even at night when it was impossible to tell where the sights
    were. I even contemplated using the glow in the dark paint but I would have to
    remember to charge it every time I slipped the gun back in my pocket. It never
    see's the light of day, so whats the point of that too much maintenance and i
    would most likely forget and then need it and not have any sights.

    I checked with some gunsmiths and some recommended to add regular sights
    to it. Not only was it costly but made the gun not true to form. Imagine having
    the smooth P3AT in your pocket with huge rough sights on it dragging on
    everything when you try to draw it out. Even if you did pay the $200 to add
    some really nice sights to it now the sights are worth almost as much as the

    So I looked into adding my own Tritium sights to it myself, the hard part was
    finding a small enough capsule of Tritium to make it work. After looking for
    about 3 months I found some and bought 10 of the capsules, enough to make
    5 sets of night sights if I didn't break any of them.

    I first started working on the gun just as you should every time you handle a
    gun by treating it as if it was loaded... As it was. First I removed the magazine
    and cleared the chamber. I then pulled the slide back slightly and using a
    small screwdriver popped up the slide frame pin. I removed the slide and then
    the barrel and recoil spring. I spent about 20 minutes alone just cleaning the
    slide to make sure there were no oils or contaminants present.

    I then proceeded to slowly cut out a small section of the front slide using a
    dremel tool and first a cutting wheel disc to get started. Then using a 1/16"
    diamond rotary cutter removed the rest of it. I kept putting the small Tritium
    capsule in place to see how much further I had to go.

    When I was done with that I degreased the slide again and used a blueing pen
    to blue the area I just cut out. After that had dried I cleaned it up again and
    started to mix the epoxy. I used 2 ton ultra clear epoxy, the kind you have to
    mix up prior to using.

    I was only using 2 pieces of Tritium one in the front one in the back so i had to
    be creative with the rear one. I blacked out the middle of the capsule with
    black paint to correspond with the notch in the rear sight. I also black out the
    front of the capsule for the font sight. I didn't want anyone knowing where I
    was or what the glowing thing was at the end of my hand.

    After that it was as simple as using a toothpick to add just a small amount of
    epoxy to the channel i cut in the front sight and using tweezers dropping in
    the tritium capsule. I also added a little on top to cover over it and protect it a
    little. The back one was pretty much the same just a little more epoxy and then
    the tritium capsule was place in there and aligned as best as possible. Then I
    justed cleaned up any remaining epoxy that had gotten on the slide, and then
    waited for it to dry.

    The final result was even better then I thought when I first started on the
    project. I little nerve racking but in the end well worth it. I thought I might like
    doing someone else's if their interested in it, much cheaper and still
    streamlined to look good and not be obtrusive.

    If you want to see more pics go to my website http://heezy.com

    Looking forward to your replies!

  2. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005

    Thanks for a great first post. I'm going to your sight next ad look around.

  3. doubloon

    doubloon New Member

    Jan 5, 2008
    Houston-ish, TX
    That's pretty slick. Nice job and yes the sights on the P3 are virtually usless.

    Would you mind sharing where you found the capsules and for how much?
  4. mxitman

    mxitman New Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    I purchased the tritium through Merkava at http://www.cpfmarketplace.com/mp/showthread.php?t=170374 They are only $10 each and take about 2-3 weeks for shipment from overseas. I bought 10 of the 1.47mm x 5.5mm It's the perfect size. I'm not sure how long he will have them so if you want to do it buy it soon, he sells out fast and doesn't always have the same size. I tried to buy some 2mm x 5mm from him and he sold out very quickly. So good luck and post your pictures if anyone else does it. BTW I shout about 3 mags through yesterday and didn't have any problems.
  5. Bobo

    Bobo Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jun 13, 2005
    Verrrrry nice!
  6. Checker4Tix

    Checker4Tix Well-Known Member

    Aug 6, 2007
    Hey, that's pretty cool - and excellent first post!

    As for the rear capsule, did you just epoxy that one in place after blacking out the middle, or did you cut a notch in the rear too (I think you did not)?
  7. keltec-NK

    keltec-NK New Member

    May 23, 2007
    very neat job!!! ;)

    and thanks for the website and other info ::)
  8. gbm5170

    gbm5170 New Member

    Mar 7, 2006
    That is a one of the most interesting P-3AT mods that I've ever seen!

    And to think, I just removed my front and rear sights on my P-3AT entirely in conjunction with a slide melt.  I'd have left them on if I'd seen this post 3 weeks ago.

    You got me thinking about other applications for your idea (besides the P-32 of course).  Anybody think that something similar could be done with the PF-9, P-11 and P-40?  The front sight post might be a bit tricky but it might somehow be workable for the rear sight (and if we screw up the plastic rear sight, they are easy to replace).  Sure beats approximately $100 or more for off the shelf tritium sights.
  9. jerry-s.

    jerry-s. Guest

    good job man!

    knowing how to point shoot helps a lot with the lack of sights....
  10. doubloon

    doubloon New Member

    Jan 5, 2008
    Houston-ish, TX
    Thanks for sharing, I followed your link after the question and it looks like you will also make this mod for other interested people also ?
  11. mxitman

    mxitman New Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    First of all I have to say I've been lurking long enough on here reading everyones else's posts and I figured I would start with something noteworthy. I also own a PLR-16 and a SU-16 and haven't done much to them but I love to try new things. I did buy some extra of the Tritium vials and if anyone is interested I could do the same install on others if they don't feel comfortable doing it. I'm not sure what to charge for it though I'm no gunsmith thats for sure.

    To answer Checker4tix I didn't do anything extra to the rear sight just dropped the epoxy in place and then the Tritium on top and pushed it down slightly and tried to align it. I blacked it out with black model paint in the center to give it the effect of a 3 dot sight. They aren't the brightest night sights but they work. I can point shoot but I wanted to do this and try it out, should give some others some ideas.
  12. jerry-s.

    jerry-s. Guest

    with practice point shooting isnt hard for an experienced shooter....

    the main thing in point shooting is knowing how to hold your gun on target without having to look at the sights....i.e. grip angle/hold.

    point shooting is not meant for the 25 yard line, it is meant for close range fast shooting when taking the time to line up sights would be impracticle.

    some do it as a "flash sight picture", some do it as just seeing the gun as a blur with your lower perifial vision, some can do it from the waist.....all of it take practice and lots of it.

    i read on here how many folks shoot thousands of rounds through thier p3at's and that would be about what it takes if your gun gun doesnt naturally point for you.

    i can not point shoot with just any gun, some of them sit in my hand different and i must adjust my grip for it, that makes for a slow draw and fire sequence.

    my 1911 with the arched MSH is perfect for point shooting as well as my J, K, and L frame s&w revolvers because i have changed the grips on them to match my natural pointing.

    if you ever played tennis you already have some idea of how to do this.....you dont really look at the ball and your racket, you just have the feel of where it is and know how to hit it where you want it by focusing on the target/point of the court you want it to go to.

    anyway this is getting long winded.....so i will stop by saying the only after market add ons i need/want for my p3at is the magazine hook extension which i just got, and a metal magazine catch for a more positive feel.....
  13. gbm5170

    gbm5170 New Member

    Mar 7, 2006
    mxitman, sorry your thread got hijacked over point-shooting (that's another subject altogether).  Do you think your night-sight mod will work for the P-32 as well?  
  14. mxitman

    mxitman New Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    I think it would work, I haven't handled a P32 but from the pictures it looks similar. I would have to see some pictures of the sights on the P32 to be for sure.
  15. gvaldeg1

    gvaldeg1 New Member

    Feb 8, 2008
    Who need sights? Don't need no stinkin sights!
  16. rcmodel

    rcmodel New Member

    Feb 6, 2005
    Eastern Kansas
    How do you keep the little glass vials from getting broke?

    With normal night sights, they are encased in epoxy inside the steel sight to protect them from shock & impact.

  17. doubloon

    doubloon New Member

    Jan 5, 2008
    Houston-ish, TX
    He has epoxy holding them in, not sure what kind, but that probably provides some amount of vibration dampening.

    But I don't see any impact protection so you raise a good point about the possibility of one bump taking them out in active duty.
  18. gbm5170

    gbm5170 New Member

    Mar 7, 2006
    Not sure what can be done about the rear sight for protection but perhaps the front glass vial could be inserted inside a steel tube prior to epoxying. That would require a bit more dremeling. I wouldn't know where to begin looking for such a small diameter steel tube.
  19. doubloon

    doubloon New Member

    Jan 5, 2008
    Houston-ish, TX
  20. mxitman

    mxitman New Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    I actually bought some small diameter aluminum tubing that would work for it but decided against it due to the extra height it gave the front sight. The epoxy is completely surrounding the tubes, hard to see though. My other thought was to try and drill a small hole for the front sight but after practicing on some other steel I had figured it would have been too hard to get it straight and in the right place. I'm not too worried about impact protection with mine if it breaks then I will just replace it again. I'll let you guys know if I have any problems.