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Thread: Getting a screw out?

  1. #1
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    Getting a screw out?

    I bought an 1881 trapdoor Springfield .45-70 earlier this year.

    Not the slickest old rifle, but servicable. The old long rifle came apart well with the exception of the screw that holds the firingpin in. I've tried about everything I know to remove the screw, no good.

    I have tried soaking in penetrating oil, heat, impact driver, heat and ice on screw head, heat on screw head and ice on breech block, combinations of the above, everything short of drilling it out.

    I still have a screw slot, but do want to remove the screw.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks, Stevie.

  2. #2
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    Put a lump of dry ice in a bucket throw in the part and cover with alcohol. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes then fish it out with tongs (it'll freeze your hand solid) throw it in a bucket of water. then lay on teh screwdriver and remove, works with rusted in barrels too and a great way to install press in bearings when you don't have press.
    I won't be back till Oleg owns his board again.

  3. #3
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    Just a thought, but have you tried treating it as possibly a left hand thread? It's been so long since I worked on a trapdoor that I can't recall but 19th century firearms rather commonly used lefties in odd places.

    First thing I'd suggest before getting to wound up with strange processes would be trying it as a lefty. Even if it is a right hand thread, a couple of judicious bumps the other direction with that impact driver will often break the "set" on otherwise impossibly stubborn screws.



    Tiger

  4. #4
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    Yes, Tried the left hand screw thing too. Tried the impact driver both directions as well. I've ruined several screwdriver bits working on this one particular screw.

    Giving thought to the dry ice method. I had tried leaving it in the freezer overnight, and heating the screw, but that too was a wasted effort.

  5. #5
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    Stupid question... is the screw staked in?
    EFI, LLC - 07 FFL / C2 SOT in Inwood, WV - Custom Firearms & Gunsmithing

    Tank Vest - PALS Gear for Your Motorcycle Gas Tank

  6. #6
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    Just personal opinion/preference, but my last ditch "just before drilling it out" option was always to heat the piece clear through to a temp of 300 degrees and then immediately plunge it into a bath of Marvel Mystery Oil. Those small stubborn screws seldom have an airtight seal at the head and by pre-heating a quantity of the air in the thread gaps will by expelled by expansion, then when dunked in the MMO and cooled the stuff will be drawn into the voids. Give it 8 to 24 hours to do it's rust busting and then have at the screw again.

    The MMO is still my gun lube of choice despite all the overhyped super lubes that continue to come out. The stuff can be had at any decent auto parts store in up to gallon quantities for quite reasonable price. It has a combination of penetrating oil qualities that I haven't found in any other lube, and those qualities make it an ideal gun lube, imo.



    Tiger

  7. #7
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    Did you try a ratchet slotted screw? What a std slotted screw driver can't handle, the ratcheted slotted screw driver will. The added torque of a ratchet is about 4 times greater than a screw driver by hand...

    The Chapman Mfg. Co. makes a great set.

  8. #8
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    It would ruin the screw; however I weld nuts to fasteners that are broken off or seized. If they are big enough I use a MIG but for the small stuff a TIG is the only way to go. The smallest screw I’ve removed using this method was a rounded out #5 setscrew recessed in a Novak sight (the guy used red locktite).
    "My right to swing my arm ends at the tip of your nose." Joe S.

  9. #9
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    Do you need to remove it?
    JoeO

  10. #10
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    2 suggestions

    Penetrant of choice in the old days was beeswax on a heated part.
    That stuff has been known to work miracles on frozen fasteners.

    Gunsmith trick for frozen screws.
    Use a milling machine (or a rigid drill press) to apply pressure straight down on the screw while you turn the spindle by hand.
    Basically, support or mount the part on the mill table. Chuck a screwdriver tip into the drill chuck or collet, using an adapter. Of course the bit needs to match the slot perfectly, you may have to modify one. Get everything lined up, then apply down pressure on the quill while you turn the spindle/chuck by hand with a tommy bar in the chuck key holes.

  11. #11
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    Soak with a LST (low surface tension penetrant/lubricant) for a few days, give it a couple of good sharp hits with a drift and small (less than 8oz) hammer every day to break free any rust, then work the proper bit back and forth (cw/ccw) until it comes loose. I also think you have the freeze the breech block, heat the screw backwards.

  12. #12
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    As a retired GS I have used the Drill Press or my Mill for the job as Rex described it.

    Otherwise, I just stuck an old screwdriver blade in the slot & held it down tight with the press and heated it a bit with my torch. The screwdriver that is. After some cooling the most difficult screw came out.

    Good Luck

    EdH

  13. #13
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    I get "frozen" screws at least 3x/month.

    I have a big set of 'easy outs" all the way down to .030 dia and of course tiny center drills and drills.

    If all else fails, you have to drill a hole into the center of the screw smaller than the screw.

    The easy outs are *carefully* tapped into the drilled hole then because they are left hand helix, back it out with a small wrench that fits the square of the easy out.

    99.5% of the time, I have to retap the hole.
    Be sure to determine what thread configuration you have before you start.
    It's not what is said, it's who says it..

  14. #14
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    Try PB Blaster. It freed up exhaust manifold bolts on a 1950 Dodge, a ’67 Cadillac and a ’62 Plymouth. I just sprayed it on 1-2 times a day for a few days and out they came. They sell the stuff in auto parts stores. I’m 48 and have probably tried every possible penetrant on the planet sometime in my life and this stuff outclasses them all.
    A Makarov? Simple, easy and works perfectly every time. íVale!

  15. #15
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    Two votes from me, both from personal experience:

    Use a milling machine (or a rigid drill press) to apply pressure straight down on the screw while you turn the spindle by hand.
    Try PB Blaster.
    "If I said it, I must have meant it; so I owe him an apology, or nothing at all." -HST

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