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Old 07-30-2016, 11:11 PM   #1
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BartCarter .22
My 4" PPQ Red Dot

The PPQ is my pistol of choice for many reasons and I finally got around to milling my 4 inch PPQ slide for my red dot choice - a Vortex Viper. I canít believe how well it came out.

Walther now has the Q5 Match. It is milled into the firing pin channel and uses adapter plates that are milled to become the top of the firing pin channel. The Q5 slide is also milled for bottom lugs of the adapter plates to become recoil lugs. Walther does this so you have a choice of red dots. I wanted to choose one red dot that I could mill for specifically and eliminate milling an adapter plate.

The PPQ has a tapered slide, which cannot be milled for retaining lugs. I talked to Vortex about not having lugs to retain the Vortex Viper. Some reputable providers do not use the lugs. After some discussion, I felt that a slight interference fit and with the Weaver oval gun screws utilized, there would not be a problem.

I had to make some decisions. Did I want a rear sight, which would have to be very tall and limit the depth of the slide cut? Did I want the red dot a low as possible? Which red dot?

After considering many things, including the Vortex warranty, I looked to the Venom and the Viper. I ended up buying both. The deciding factor was a 3 moa dot or a 6 moa dot. For a pistol, I felt a 6 moa dot was best, hence the Viper. The Venom will go on an AR. I liked the top mount battery and the enclosed bottom. The viper has a bottom battery mount and I used a 0.030" SS plate to close it off. The Venom is actually the same height as the Viper with the plate, but only comes in a 3 moa dot.

To get the Viper as low as possible, I milled to the rear, eliminating the rear sight channel. I also milled to just the point that I took out the top of the firing pin channel, using the bottom of the SS plate as the top of the channel.









I gained a total of 0.67 ounce to the slide. I donít think that will affect anything. If it does, there are plenty of places I can take off slide material.

Doing some dry practice, I was surprised how easily I came on target with the dot. I just looked for my front sight as normal and when I brought the rear of the red dot up to the front sight, there was the dot. I donít know how long it will take me to get my red dot on target as fast as I can with open sights, but I donít think it will be as long as I have heard.

The best part? With my eyes, I can finally see the ďsightsĒ. Since I donít train with corrective lenses, this is a big deal.
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Old 07-31-2016, 09:07 AM   #2
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Bart, this is awesome. For 2 cents, I'd call Earl and order a spare (bare) slide and beg you to do your magic.
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Old 07-31-2016, 03:35 PM   #3
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balance .22
Did you have to cut the tab off of the top of the striker?

Is this a defensive pistol? You could mill a dovetail into the slide and put a rear sight in front of the red dot sight. I've seen this done on another PPQ. You may also want to look into getting that exposed metal underneath the red dot coated or plated to prevent corrosion.

I like it. The finished product looks clean.
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Old 08-01-2016, 04:14 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by balance View Post
Did you have to cut the tab off of the top of the striker?...
No. I measured the tab to the top of the channel and there is a gap - the tab does not touch the top of the channel. When I milled, I just took the cut down enough to take out the top of the channel. It does not touch any moving part.

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Originally Posted by balance View Post
...Is this a defensive pistol? You could mill a dovetail into the slide and put a rear sight in front of the red dot sight. I've seen this done on another PPQ...
All my pistols are defensive pistols!

I can move the red dot forward to utilize the rear sight and put in taller sights. But the cut would need to be 0.070" shallower. I may still do one of those. I could only put a 0.077" cut on the front for a dovetail. Is that deep enough? Currently I can line up the front sight with the rear of the Viper and come close to being right on target. I think I can figure something out by marking the back of the Viper.

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...You may also want to look into getting that exposed metal underneath the red dot coated or plated to prevent corrosion...
I'm trying out things now before I do that. Maybe cerakoting the whole slide in a different color.
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Old 08-01-2016, 10:41 PM   #5
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Outstanding work! Looks fantastic. Do you have to remove the sight to change the battery if it located underneath the sight? If so, that means you have to re-zero your sight every time you change batteries if you want a perfect zero at distance, which doesn't sound like fun.

I shoot competitions a lot and tried the new USPSA Carry Optics Division last year with an M&P C.O.R.E. and a Trijicon RMR. I only shot it for 1,000 rounds before I gave up on the class. I've been shooting irons for so long competitively that it was just too much work to change from iron sight sight picture and focus to target focus with the dot. In theory, it is a great idea but I carry different guns all the time and don't want to give up my hard-earned abilities with traditional iron sights. When my vision goes bad enough that I have to get special prescriptions for iron sights I guess that's when I'll be forced to make the change to red dots on pistols.

There is no doubt it works though, I've been shooting IPSC/USPSA for over 20 years and Open Division guns have had red dots that entire time. If you've never seen one shot to a Master or Grand Master level ability on a field course, you wouldn't believe their capable of doing.
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Old 08-02-2016, 09:34 AM   #6
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That's impressive work; thanks for sharing it here. Too bad Umarex doesn't see the light and produce these, or something like it, as an add-on to the current pistol, selling them as a second slide option. They wouldb't have to stop with the PPQ, either.

Nice job, Bart.
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Old 08-02-2016, 12:17 PM   #7
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That's awesome! I have always been interested in shooting a pistol with red dot. Having shot USPSA production for a while with my PPQ 5 inch, I really want to try it in the new carry optic division. It will be great if I can add a red dot on my 4 inch slide instead of getting another gun which doesn't have the nice trigger like the Q.

Bart, would you mind help me modify my slide exactly the way you did? I don't think I have the equipment and expertise like you to get the job done so perfectly.
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Old 08-02-2016, 03:57 PM   #8
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I have put together a CAD drawing of the milling dimensions needed. With that I am putting together a detailed procedure to do the correct steps for everything to come out correctly. You should be able to take your slide and this to any decent machinist and have him do the work.

Would this work for you?
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Old 08-02-2016, 04:03 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by jng1226 View Post
...Do you have to remove the sight to change the battery if it located underneath the sight? If so, that means you have to re-zero your sight every time you change batteries if you want a perfect zero at distance, which doesn't sound like fun...
Yes, battery on the bottom, you have to remove the sight. But the milling tolerances are so close, especially with the tapered head screws, I don't see the need to re-zero the sight.

With a 30,000 hour battery, I might only do this once a year, just to be safe. And would probably time it to coincide with a range session to confirm the zero.
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Old 08-02-2016, 04:42 PM   #10
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Would this work for you?
That sounds fantastic. I am wondering if you would love to take this job as a decent machinist yourself. I would trust a PPQ owner like you who really knows what he's doing more than anyone else.

Last edited by searcher451; 08-02-2016 at 07:50 PM. Reason: bandwidth
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