Well, I went ahead and removed the front sight/bayonet lug sleeve from the barrel of the Type53. I had set aside a couple hours to do this, and I was surprised when it came off so easily. I had heard that it might take some elbow grease and an Alabama micrometer to get one of these off. Anyway, this is very easy. Simply, drive out the two pins and use some penetrating oil and/or heat to weaken the joint (mine broke free without oil or heat after a few decent whacks with a mallet) and it will slide off the end of the barrel.
I have decided that I would like to keep the front sight instead of mounting an optic due to the fact that the optic sits way high over the barrel requiring a “chin weld.” I got busy with a hacksaw and Dremel and this is what I came up with.
Once I get the muzzle brake installed, I will weld this to the barrel behind it. This roughly gives me a 10 or 12″ sight radius. This is not ideal, but I don’t plan on shooting this beast over 100 yds anyway. Before I started removing parts and cutting, I used my digital micrometer (not the Alabama one) to determine the front sight height from center of bore. This will help me file down the front sight back to zero once I install it on the thicker portion of the barrel.
The next step is gonna be cutting, crowning, and threading the barrel for the brake. You can do this by yourself with hand tools, but I am taking the easy way out and using my gunshop’s nice toys and my friends expertise. I am surprised at how quickly this is all happening and I can tell it’s turning out exactly as I wanted. One final trip to the hardware store should be all I need for some threaded wood inserts and a longer bolt for the AK pistol grip. More to come, stay tuned.