This is my first post and I wanted to take the oppurtunity to say hello to all. I'm from Juneau born and raised here and hunt southeast mostly. I want to congratulate you all on a knowledgeable informative and civil forum. Great to listen to all the people on here. The ? I have is does anyone know of any torque wrenches that can be used for action screws on rifles that are consistant in measurement and won't break the bank? I have worked contruction most of my life and have a heavy hand when setting torque buggering up threads and heads of screws and also would like to be more consistant for accuracy. thanx for any responses . Goldbelt.
Sears used to sell an inch-pound torque wrench that is pretty decent. Adjusts from about 15 ip to 250 ip. Cost for mine was about $70, but that was 8-9 years ago.
You get real repeatability if you torque everything to the same value everytime you put your gun back together.
I use 65 inch pounds for stock screws and fasteners for tactical rings,
scope base screws I tighten to 25 or 30 ip,
scope ring screws I tighten to 20 ip.
Also, it's a nice trick to use a collimator when securing your scope in its rings. tighten them in a opposing pattern like lug bolts on an 8 lug wheel.
The scope collimator is super-useful; you might record the grid marks once you've sighted in, for reference. You could make notes about where various loads register when sighted in. Also real nice for verifying the movements of your reticle adjustments.
thanx for the reply. I appreciate the settings for the scope rings and bases as these are usually stripped in short order by me. I've found a few torque wrenches on dogpile.com search such as the anshutz that look pretty good.
I use a pair of www.wiha.de for that reason: I have the same problem: donīt wnat to destroy the thread in the action when mounting some scopes... Price is about 80-100 $ - I donīt know if You will get them in the US, but if I should get some for You and send, let me know...
This specific one: http://www.wiha.de/0607//cat/index.c...ISCHE_MERKMALE
Thanks for the info Klaus,
But do they read in in/lbs also ? And are they adjustable. I clicked on the address you sent but couldn't read it as it is in German. lol
goldbelt, One help is to convert as many of the commonly torqued and unscrewed and re-torqued screws as possible with the hex head type. That includes the action screws and the scope mounting screws. That'll help with the slipping flat head screw drivers and bummed slots. Some of the inch/pound torque wrenches are very expensive. I know there is no one, set poundage for each screw even for the action screws. The key is to make sure that the main action screw (forward screw under the lug) is good and tight with the rest (one or two depending on the rifle) being firm tight. Using the hex head screws and a simple and small diameter driver handle should also help in not twisting off the smaller screws- like those for the scope mounting. A good glass bedding on both the action side and the trigger guard/floor plate side of the rifle will also help. If done right, you should "feel" a very solid, short pull-down of the action into the stock with very little creep... requiring a fraction of a turn of the screws to pull down to the "tight" poundage desired. An alternative to the torque wrench method each time the the action is taken out of the stock is to make sure the glass bedding is done right. Then tighten the screws down as described- more or less 40-60 lb inches on the front and about 20 on the rear. Then shoot some to make sure the rifle is acting right. If it acts right then make "witness" marks with a tiny dab of white paint or permanent marker (or black for stainless) on each screw lining up another mark on the adjoining surface of the trigger guard/floor plate. That way after taking the action out of the stock and putting it back, the screws are tightened down to the same torque. With proper bedding, I've found the torque to remain very constant after repeated disassemblies using the witness mark method. Anyways, good luck.
I got a great torque wrench from www.brownells.com they sell all kinds of gun/gunsmithing stuff. Great website and ask for a catalog when you order. It has tons of stuff in it. Literally, all kinds of gun parts and tools. The set I got is 1-60 inch/lbs I think. Perfect for scope mounting and action screws. You can contact the manufacturers and get exact specs on torque recommended for rings, bases, actions, etc... Great way to periodically verify that all the screws are as they should be.
@goldbelt: Sorry for my late reply: Yes, they are adjustable in a certain range. They donīt have a in/lbs convertation, so You must calculate it yourself. But You could get different inserts for Torx, hexagon, cross or sloted screw heads. They offer a wide range for that.
I have 2 on my own: One 0,8-2 Nm for mounting very small items or scopes on an aluminum action (1,8Nm maximum). For everything else the 2-8Nm works great: 2Nm to 2,25 Nm for normal scope mounts (6-48) ...
I second the recommendation for torx or allen head screw heads. Brownells sells replacement screws, but contact your base or ring mfr and ask them to send you some. Leupold and Burris will supply them for free.
A lot of people still use threadlock on their mounting fasteners. Leupold recommends only a drop of oil on the threads. 6-48's hold pretty good. I have not had any shoot loose on me and I quit using threadlock in `91.
The B-Square hex head action screws are worth the money if you take your action out of the stock once in a while. If you have your stock pillar bedded and use a consistent torque value you should keep your zero or be very close to it.
Leupold and some of the tactical suppliers make 65 inch pound pre-set torque wrenches. These work for the 1/4" bolts with 1/2" nuts that the tactical ring makers use in their scope rings, and the stock action screws. In the field, reasoning goes, there is no need to dismount a scope from its rings, only maybe to replace it with another Picatinny mounted accessory; or maybe to remove the action to clean mud out of the stock channels.
If you have a scope collimator, try using it when you torque your scope rings. You might really see a difference in alignment.
I've had one for several years, and don't recall the brand, but it is a 1/4" drive screwdriver type the reads in inch/pounds and I believe was about $100.
While I agree that going to hex head or torque screws is a good plan for scope bases and rings, I'd hesitate to do that on action screws. There are times in the woods when you need to pull the action out of the stock, and odds are you won't be carrying the proper torx or allen wrench, but will have a screwdriver. The key to not buggering screw heads is using the proper sized screwdriver bits. Brownells has a huge selection, and a quick measurement of your screws based on sloth width and screw dia will get you exactly what you need for a few bucks.
The torque I've seen listed for bolt action action screws is 60 in/# for the forward screw (in or by the recoil lug), 40# for the rear screw, and if your action has a middle screw, as little torque as possible to keep it from coming out, as overtorquing the middle screw can bind the action.
General comments on torque
There is never a one size fits all for torque settings on a firearm. You really need to contact the manufacturer to get the design torque. The hardness of the fastener, diameter, thread pitch, thread engagement depth, and base material all affect the desired torque. Some examples: a standard flat head screw is usually softer (lower grade) than a socket head cap screw, which is generally softer than a standard star type screw. Finer pitch is designed for higher torque. An action screw going into a soft wood stock is torqued much less than a pillar bedded synthetic stock. A screw going through a metal plate cannot withstand the same torque as one going into a deep recess.
Wiha mentioned above in another post makes very fine instruments. I think www.wiha.com and "USA" will get you to the english language and inch tools. There are a lot of good other manufacturers; snap-on, mac, craftsman, utica, mountz. Most or all come certified so probably any would suffice. Personally I dislike any of the beam types, unfortunately they are the cheap ones.
Some guidelines for best use:
Select a tool based on using it in the 50-70% of its usable range.
ALWAYS store a torque wrench at its lowest setting or the calibration will be invalid. If you do store it at a higher setting relax it for at least one hour before using it again.
Always keep the handle perpendicular to the screw and parallel to the base material. Tilting the handle will cause the setting to be grossly inaccurate. If it is a driver type then of course keep the handle in line with the screw. NO tilting!
NEVER use a torque wrench like a regular wrench, as in loosening screws. Virtually all of them are only calibrated in the clockwise direction, going in reverse over and over is just not good practice. The loosening torque tells you almost nothing about the original torque. Way too many factors involved. At this point it is a used screw and all bets are off.
Related to the above for precision assembly, if you are a stickler for details it is a good idea to replace any critical screw (tactical/scope mounting) that has been torqued and removed. The threads are further weakened everytime it is torqued. If you do it enough times the threads will reach a failure point and not even reach the torque or they will later loosen under any additional stress (recoil or vibration).
Consider using a medium strength adhesive threadlocker like Loctite 242 on all critical assemblies. This ensures your torque stays. With removable threadlocker and fastened to the design torque the fastener is removable with the same tool that put it in, assuming no external factors like corrosion.
Unless the directions explicitly state it, NEVER lubricate a screw with oil or grease and then torque. With the extra lubrication you are greatly over stressing the threads even when you only go to the desired torque. Torque settings are almost always given for clean dry fasteners. Usually you can ignore the effect of an adhesive threadlocker. It does have an affect but for most applications it is minimal.
If you get/have a metric version here are some conversions:
Kilogram force centimeter (kgfcm) x .87 = in.lb.
Newton Meter (nm) is about 1/10 of kgfcm, so nm X 10 X .87 = in.lb.