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Thread: Stuck scope ring screws?

  1. #1
    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Default Stuck scope ring screws?

    Alright, went to pull a scope off a Browning rifle that had been mounted for 20 plus years - got front screws out and split ring off but back screws would not budge.
    Soaked screws for about an hour with loosen-er solvents - ended up stripping both allen screw heads - anybody got a good backup plan before I resort to drilling them out and ruining the Leupold rings to get the scope free?
    Gonna leave them soaking for now - they may have had lock tite used when installed ???
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    You need a nail set, hammer, good hot soldering iron, and an easy-out that fits well. Heat the head good and hot with the iron, use hammer and set to whack it a couple times while itís hot . . . this should shock the threads loose. Let it cool (or chill bolt with dry ice) and use the east-out by putting a tad of pressure on it then tapping the end lightly . . . DONíT TWIST hard on the ease-out, just hold a bit of pressure and tap lightly or you will snap it off. May need to repeat the heating a couple times but it will work, take your time and be cool headed so you donít snap off the easy-out which leave no other way than to cut the mount. Be happy they are allen head not flat head and take it real slow.
    Andy
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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    Alright, went to pull a scope off a Browning rifle that had been mounted for 20 plus years - got front screws out and split ring off but back screws would not budge.
    Soaked screws for about an hour with loosen-er solvents - ended up stripping both allen screw heads - anybody got a good backup plan before I resort to drilling them out and ruining the Leupold rings to get the scope free?
    Gonna leave them soaking for now - they may have had lock tite used when installed ???

    Being an aircraft mechanic I have drilled out hundreds of stripped screws. Start with a small drill bit and drill down into the screw, make sure to keep the drill square and work up to a larger bit. If you have one of the removed screws you will have a good reference for what size to use and how deep to drill to get beyond the head. Once you have it drilled, remove the drill bit and used the end that fits into the drill and stick it in the hole and bend it side to side to snap off the head of the screw. Keep the hole round and step up to a larger bit if required. Once the heads snap off the remainder can be removed with vise grips, a soldering iron can be used to heat them and help break them free.

    Other ways, are use a torxs head one size larger and use a hammer to GENTLY tap it into the screw and try that.

    If there is enough gap between the the top ring and base a dremel with cut off wheel might fit to cut the screw.

    Good luck.

    Steve
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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    Other ways, are use a torxs head one size larger and use a hammer to GENTLY tap it into the screw and try that.

    If there is enough gap between the the top ring and base a dremel with cut off wheel might fit to cut the screw.

    Good luck.

    Steve
    BTDT. stid is smothering you in good advice. Torx first, and then the Dremel as it is easier to remove the ring without meaningful damage using a cutoff wheel IMO. I've cut several screws with a cutoff wheel and if you stay near the upper half of the ring there should be enough screw to grasp with vise grips after the top of the ring is removed. Even if you cut into the upper half of the ring a bit, a little cold bluing will have it back like new in no time.
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  5. #5

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    I think either of the suggestions will work. So try what ever you think you will do best and go slow. I use blue Locktite on my bases and nothing on the scope ring screws. If you didn't put the rings on it's hard telling whats holding them. Could be rust, nail polish or who knows what. Scope ring and base mount screws are usually to soft and to delicate in my opinion. None of my scope ring or base screws are of the screw driver type any more. Let us know how it went and good luck.

  6. #6
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    A couple more tricks we used to use was, take your tool of choice and wet the end. Dip it into an abrasive cleaner, we used comet. The kind you clean with. The grit in it help grip the striped screw. Can also use a dab of glue and tap an oversized arm wrench or torx into it and let the glue harden and then try, just a dab, not enough to spread and further add to your trouble.

    One size larger allen wrench can be filed on the edges it get it starter.

    I also used easy outs and have a couple sets of those on hand. Every one was a little different and I always started easy and moved up from there.

    I know people love those leupold rings, but I have had horrible luck with them, a dremel could be used to cut were you won't damage your scope and move on if it comes to that.

    Let us know what worked.

    Steve
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    Default Xacto razor saw

    I used a Xacto razor saw in the slight gap between the ring halves recently to cut off a screw with a stripped head. Got a good deal on the Leupold 2x7 because of the stripped screw and was able to use both the scope and rings with no damage to either.

    I've been using the razor saws for many years - one of the essential tools on my work and reloading benches. Saws are great for cutting off cases also in trim dies.
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    Usually I just grab the offending ring in the drill/mill vise, chuck up a fresh #28 bit, which is the correct bit for an 8-40 threaded hole, and carefully drill down into the screw head just until it pops the head off. Then the ring is free, and still useable with a new screw. If the size or configuration of the scope prevents being clamped in the mill, then I'll take a carbide dental burr and cut a screwdriver slot in the screw head and go at it that way.
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

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    Usually our customers just bring them in here where most (but not all) of the time we can do it for free.

    Call your local gun wrench.

  10. #10
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Gunbugs is right on the money. Drill the head off and the leftover screw will spin right out 99% of the time. Another great tool for this is called a Grabbit screw extractor. I use them all the time on stuck allen screws on archery equipment. I think that the smallest Grabbit will fit the Leupold screws. You don't use the drill end, just the extractor end and use the messed up allen hole.

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    Got it apart boyz!
    Was running short on time ( and maybe patience tonight ) so grabbed 2 new EZ outs today ( very small size ) and found the smallest high quality new drill bit that I had - a 3/32 ( 5/64 would have been better if'n I had one ) and commenced to drilling.
    I don't have a drill press, so was "eyeballing" the bit using the trusty DeWalt 14.4 cordless. After three or four drilling's I had a nice hole down and tried the reverse EZ out - unfortunately it was "too" tiny for the hole the 3/32 bit made, so using the void between my ears I decided to snap off about 1/3rd of the tip of the EZ out and presto, it grabbed beautifully and I had the screw head pop out leaving most of the screw. The pressure relief allowed me to extract all of the opposite screw that had been stuck and then I easily removed the balance of the headless screw with a pair of needle nose pliers!
    So, all is well, no damage to anything other than 2 ruined screws - a good trade in my books! Now tomorrow I can take the rifle with the mounts and do some horse trading!
    Thanks for all the inputs guys - first time I had to go to these extremes for sure...
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    Got it apart boyz!
    Thanks for all the inputs guys - first time I had to go to these extremes for sure...
    Glad it worked out. I used to do that rodeo all the time with big buck aerospace parts in another life . . . feels great when a plan comes together.
    Andy
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    Email= Andy@C-lazy-F.co
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