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Thread: P45 Sights problem (long)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Question P45 Sights problem (long)

    Sorry that this is a bit of a long story, so here goes:

    I currently own a P45, serial number SA4003. Looking in the Serial number breakdown in the tech forum, I'm guessing I got the gun somewhere in 2006. I can't remember for sure, even though I bought it brand new. I can't for the life of me find the original receipt.

    I bought the gun and immediately put around 150 rounds through it to get the break-in process started. Other than the last shell getting stuck in the lips of the magazine during ejection (I have just found the fix for that on this forum) the gun operated flawlessly.

    When purchased, it had the standard combat sites. Within a few months, I ordered the Trijicon nite sites from the Kahr site. Therein lies the problem.

    I ran an additional 50 rounds through the gun to finish breaking in after the new sites were installed. I did notice that it was shooting low, but I attributed it to being very cold and me not taking my time while shooting (was in my back yard). I basically wanted to finish full break in so I would feel comfortable carrying with my CCW license.

    I've carried it off and on alternating with my .380 Colt Pony Pocketlite and my Charter Arms .38 snubnose.

    Fast forward to last week. Decided to do some long needed practice with my P45. My brother and my Dad both came over as well. I don't have a lot of experience shooting, nor does my brother. My dad, however, is a Vietnam Vet and has lots of experience with many different firearms, both rifle and pistol.

    So, I line up to my target from 30' away and fire first round. Low. By a lot. I'm talking over a foot low. From only 30'. I proceded to really line things up and finish the mag. All low. Very low. And I'm confident I'm not pulling, jerking, lunging, etc. Hand the gun to my brother and he does the same thing. He tries to hold over and finally gets the rounds up. Dad does the same thing, shooting way consistantly lower. Used 4 different kinds of ammo and the same results. My target was approximately 7" off the ground, and it was digging trenches a good 8" in front of the target. Yes, you heard right. I wasn't even hitting the friggin 8.5x11 target. Moved in to 15'. Still shooting way low. Barely catching the bottom of the 8.5x11.

    I'm mystified. Never had this problem before. Then it occurred to me I hadn't shot the gun with the new sites. Could the Trijicon sites be out of spec?

    Looking at the Kahr website, it seems you are supposed to tell the difference between the "new style" and "old style" slide by a machined dimple on the bottom of the slide. According the that, my gun has the old style slide. HOWEVER, it says below that, "all 45 acp have the new style slide". Hmm. So which ones do I have, or which ones did I order?

    I do remember checking for the machined dimple on the bottom of the slide. However, I don't remember the part about the 45 acp all being new style.

    I have taken my caliper and measured the stock sites vs. the trijicon. From what I can tell, both front and rear sites are practically the same height. However, the dot on the front site is a bit lower than the other. I'm talking less than 1 mm. I'll be happy to take a pic of my drawn out dimensions if anyone wants to see.

    So, finally, here are my questions:

    1. Are the dovetails common between the old style and new style slides, or are they different sizes?
    2. And thusly, could it have been possible that I have the wrong sites?
    3. Anyone ever heard of the wrong sites being installed?
    4. Could kahr simply have sent me the wrong sites?

    At this point, I'm leaning toward having the trijicons removed and the original ones put back on.

    I'm open to any and all thoughts, questions, and suggestions. Fire away (pun intended).

    Sorry for the book, but wanted to give as much information as I could.

    Thanks!
    Richard

  2. #2
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    I've had several guns with the wrong sights installed and know how much that sucks... not being able to see what you're aiming at! It seems that your front sight might be too tall.

    I don't know if you can try putting your old sights partially into the dovetails... alongside the NS to see if they are of different heights. You don't say if you had Kahr install the sights or who did the installation.

    Wynn
    USAF Retired '88, NRA Life Member. Wife USAF Retired '96
    Avatar: Wynn re-enlists his wife Desiree, circa 1988 Loring AFB, ME. 42nd BMW, Heavy (SAC) B-52G's
    Frédéric Bastiat’s essay, The Law: http://mises.org/books/thelaw.pdf

    Thomas Jefferson said

    “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.”
    and

    "Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading".

  3. #3
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    LGS put the sights in for me.

    I've spent the better part of an hour comparing old vs new, using a high end micrometer. I measured in mm.

    I really can't find much difference in old vs new. Then again, I don't know how little they have to be off to throw things out of whack.

    Unfortunately, I have two unknowns.
    1. I can't measure total height of the trijicons due to them being installed.
    2. Unsure if they are flush against bottom of dovetail, or top, or somewhere in between.

    Here are the dimensions I do know:
    Original Trijicon
    Total overall height FRONT: 5.75mm 5.69mm
    Total overall height REAR: 6.33mm 6.39mm

    Height of notch REAR: 2.29mm 2.24mm

    Height of post Front: 4.4mm 4.27mm

    Centerpoint of front dot:
    measured from top 1.69mm 1.78mm

    As you can see, we are tenths and hundreths of a mm. Tiny amounts. Biggest one that jumps out at me is difference between front post heights. Then again, it is only .13mm which is very little.

    However, the RATIO between the front height to rear height is a bit more.

    Stock difference in height is .58, while the trijicon is .7mm.

    Still tiny amounts. Is .12mm error at 3.5" enough to throw things off by over a foot at 30' distance?

    Very frustrating, though, as I KNOW they are different in some way. Even putting them side by side, I can't see a real difference by eye. However, I can't tell for sure as I'm barely able to fit the front beside the installed to tell, and rear is total guess work.

  4. #4
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    Jan 2010
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    Near the Gila Mountains in SW AZ.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 93Cobra2771 View Post
    LGS put the sights in for me.

    I've spent the better part of an hour comparing old vs new, using a high end micrometer. I measured in mm.

    I really can't find much difference in old vs new. Then again, I don't know how little they have to be off to throw things out of whack.

    Unfortunately, I have two unknowns.
    1. I can't measure total height of the trijicons due to them being installed.
    2. Unsure if they are flush against bottom of dovetail, or top, or somewhere in between.

    Here are the dimensions I do know:
    Original Trijicon
    Total overall height FRONT: 5.75mm 5.69mm
    Total overall height REAR: 6.33mm 6.39mm

    Height of notch REAR: 2.29mm 2.24mm

    Height of post Front: 4.4mm 4.27mm

    Centerpoint of front dot:
    measured from top 1.69mm 1.78mm

    As you can see, we are tenths and hundreths of a mm. Tiny amounts. Biggest one that jumps out at me is difference between front post heights. Then again, it is only .13mm which is very little.

    However, the RATIO between the front height to rear height is a bit more.

    Stock difference in height is .58, while the trijicon is .7mm.

    Still tiny amounts. Is .12mm error at 3.5" enough to throw things off by over a foot at 30' distance?

    Very frustrating, though, as I KNOW they are different in some way. Even putting them side by side, I can't see a real difference by eye. However, I can't tell for sure as I'm barely able to fit the front beside the installed to tell, and rear is total guess work.
    Did the P45 shoot to the OEM sights?
    I ask because I don't think there's a problem with the Trijicons as compared to the OEM sights that would cause the pistol to shoot low. I read your measurements as having the Trijicon set with a shorter front sight and taller rear sight than the stock set. If that's correct, the gun should shoot higher with the Trijicon set than with the stock sights.

    As a suggestion:
    Inspect the barrel, slide, and slide stop for damage; then, if it checks good, shoot it from a rest and at a target closer to the same height as the rest (I'm not questioning the skill level of the shooters involved when you had the problem, just trying to minimize any human error).
    Regards,
    Greg

    BTW, here a good sight correction calculator: http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/lid=1...ion_Calculator

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by gb6491 View Post
    Did the P45 shoot to the OEM sights?
    Yes.

    I ask because I don't think there's a problem with the Trijicons as compared to the OEM sights that would cause the pistol to shoot low. I read your measurements as having the Trijicon set with a shorter front sight and taller rear sight than the stock set. If that's correct, the gun should shoot higher with the Trijicon set than with the stock sights.
    I will double check my numbers to verify I didn't transpose anything when typing it over. I can't say for sure that the old sites were perfect, but I know they were pretty close. And I know they weren't off by this huge amount.

    As a suggestion:
    Inspect the barrel, slide, and slide stop for damage; then, if it checks good, shoot it from a rest and at a target closer to the same height as the rest (I'm not questioning the skill level of the shooters involved when you had the problem, just trying to minimize any human error).
    Regards,
    Greg

    BTW, here a good sight correction calculator: http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/lid=1...ion_Calculator
    Already inspected teh barrel, slide and slide stop. All looks good. Already thought about shooting from a bench. I really don't think it will make any difference, as we shot 3 different guns that day, all at the same target. Mine was the only one consistently digging a ditch in front of the target.

    Hmm, if I knew someone with a laser bore sighting device, that would certainly be a quick way to verify, I suppose.

  6. #6
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    Shooting at something on the ground can give the appearance of much lower hits... unlike shooting at a proper target... paper on cardboard at several feet off the ground. Ideally, the target should be about chest height because you are simulating shooting at a person. Two feet in front of a ground target might translate to 3 or 4 inches low on a target at a man's chest height.

    Wynn
    USAF Retired '88, NRA Life Member. Wife USAF Retired '96
    Avatar: Wynn re-enlists his wife Desiree, circa 1988 Loring AFB, ME. 42nd BMW, Heavy (SAC) B-52G's
    Frédéric Bastiat’s essay, The Law: http://mises.org/books/thelaw.pdf

    Thomas Jefferson said

    “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.”
    and

    "Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading".

  7. #7
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    Apr 2010
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    I'm afraid to say that I'm with the OP on this one. Have the P45 with trijicons. I am a very experienced shooter and instructor. Mine shoots way low too. At 7 yards, at least 6" low.
    So much so that to qualify, I am at the head to hit center mass at 15 yards.

    I'm actually glad I'm not alone here (sorry buddy). I will be contacting Trijicon to inquire and since I have access to a sight press, I will take mine out and measure them this weekend.

    Love the P45, just need it to shoot point of aim. Every other Kahr I've ever had (quite a few) has been spot on. We'll get this figured out.

  8. #8
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    Don't be sorry. Glad to see I'm not nuts. :lol:

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by josp View Post
    I'm afraid to say that I'm with the OP on this one. Have the P45 with trijicons. I am a very experienced shooter and instructor. Mine shoots way low too. At 7 yards, at least 6" low.
    So much so that to qualify, I am at the head to hit center mass at 15 yards.

    I'm actually glad I'm not alone here (sorry buddy). I will be contacting Trijicon to inquire and since I have access to a sight press, I will take mine out and measure them this weekend.

    Love the P45, just need it to shoot point of aim. Every other Kahr I've ever had (quite a few) has been spot on. We'll get this figured out.
    To correct for that much error (6") at 7 yards would require an additional .125" difference in height between the sights.

    FWIW: My CW45 shoots right to it's sights (Trijicons).
    The rear sight is .250" tall from dovetail bottom to top of the sight.
    The front sight post is .180" tall from top of the slide to top of the sight.

    From the OP's post:
    "Here are the dimensions I do know:
    Original Trijicon
    Total overall height FRONT: 5.75mm 5.69mm
    Total overall height REAR: 6.33mm 6.39mm

    Height of notch REAR: 2.29mm 2.24mm


    Height of post Front: 4.4mm 4.27mm"


    That would work out to:
    Rear (6.39mm) 251"
    Front post (4.27mm) .168"

    My CW45 would shoot about three quarters of an inch higher at 10 yds. with the OP's sights.

    Regards,
    Greg

  10. #10
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    I always thought the kahr 454 had the new style dovetail on them. The dimple I also thought was used more on the K series kahrs as that was their first gun they made and back then it hadthe old style dovetail. I know we see this dimple on PM9' as I have to of them, with dimples.

    I do believe all kahr 45 have the new style dovetail, but I have never read where the old style sighs will fit in the newdovetails or vice versa either. Nodoubt kahr could have sent the wrong sites, but again not sure they should have went in the 45 dovetail either. I also was not sure that the old style sights and the new style sights were of any height difference either, jus tthe dovetals are different. I am sure GB6491 can answer that to
    . My PM9 has over 40,000+ rounds through it, and runs much better than an illegal trying to get across our border


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