Wilson Combat grip screws


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mattw
August 5, 2005, 08:46 PM
So today I got a set of hex-head gripscrews from Wilson Combat. The first screw I tightened down snapped in half and now I have the screw's shaft hoplessly stuck in the hole. Here is the letter I sent to Chalona@wilsoncombat.com:

Chalona,

Since you are the one that e-mailed me about my order form and were very prompt in your reply I would like to continue to e-mail you as opposed to sending something to info@wilsoncombat.com. The problem I have is with the grip screws I recieved in the mail today. They looked nice, but when I tried to install them on my pistol the head of the very first screw I tightened snapped off. I put my old screws back on except for one, which will not work because the shaft of the Wilson Combat screw is stuck in the screw-hole. I am sure you can understand how disappointed and p.o.ed I was when this happened. I read the Wilson Combat defective product policy and have decided that I would like to send these grip screws back to you (Wilson Combat) and get a refund so that I can buy some Ed Brown grip screws. Please advise me on how I can get a pre-paid shipping lable for the return of your screws and wether or not Wilson Combat will pay to have the screw shaft removed by a gunsmith in my area.

Nobody buy girpscrews from wilson combat, they will break on you! :fire:

What do you guys think?

http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b243/mdw1016/MVC-092F.jpg

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tc300mag1
August 5, 2005, 08:59 PM
Guess someone else is having bad luck today ..

I had a new set of Ed brown hex head screws today and second oen snapped just like yours did there luckly i was able to spin it out with a flat bladed screwdriver

mattw
August 5, 2005, 09:02 PM
ok well i guess that means i won't get any ed brown screws either.. damnit! where am I supposed to find decent grip screws?! :banghead:

tc300mag1
August 5, 2005, 09:04 PM
The Torx ones in my springfield are pretty nice but not sure if you can get them sepratly or not

mattw
August 5, 2005, 09:26 PM
Does anyone know if the slotted head grip screws would be stronger than the hex head grip screws for any reason? would one widthstand more torque than the other? I twisted off that screw head pretty easily and i've never had that problem with my slotted head screws, no matter how much of a gorilla grip I get on the screw driver and no matter how hard i wrench down on them.

Freeze N
August 5, 2005, 09:32 PM
Might try the stainless grip screws from Hogue. Ive had real good luck with them. Midway may have them or order direct from Hogue.

mattw
August 5, 2005, 09:34 PM
do they come in blue steel? i would like them to match the finish of my 1911

Freeze N
August 5, 2005, 10:56 PM
Ive used several sets and never had anything like that happen. That is sad, especially from Wilson!
They should have pics on their website. They have the Hex head in Black.

http://www.hogueinc.com/getgrip/merchant.ihtml?id=94&step=2

mattw
August 5, 2005, 10:58 PM
That is sad, especially from Wilson!

"enfuriating" would be a better word for what i feel

HighVelocity
August 5, 2005, 10:59 PM
I have used the Hogue hex head grip screws in several pistols and never had a problem.

mattw
August 5, 2005, 11:02 PM
thanks guys, looks like i'm going with houge once i get my money back from wilson and send them back their junk they call grip screws.

edit: on second thought, i think i'll get a set from www.woodgrips.com i've been talking to Pat from their customer service and these seem to be good screws

MICHAEL T
August 6, 2005, 11:36 AM
Another reason to leave it like it came from factory. Regular old screws have worked for years. What is this new and improved look going to end up costing in time and money.

mattw
August 6, 2005, 01:32 PM
actually i just wanted some hex-head screws so that i wouldn't have to worry about tearing up screw slots and/or grips.. i had no idea that just because you change from having a screw head cut for an allen wrench instead of a standard screwdriver that it the screw would become weak and brittle and junky.

JohnBT
August 6, 2005, 01:58 PM
FWIW, YMMV, etc., years ago somebody, and I honestly can't remember who, told me to use the long end of the wrench in the screw and grip the short end - less torque that way.

I'm looking forward to finding out if there's an easy way to remove the broken screw because I can break almost anything sooner or later.

John

mattw
August 6, 2005, 11:43 PM
that is correct, i used the long end so that i could get the most torque. it should have bent the wrench before twisting off the head of the screw

campbellcj
August 7, 2005, 12:22 AM
Definitely not trying to be negative/derogatory by any means, but all fasteners have proper torque specs (whether the supplier actually tells you the specs is another story!) and WILL break if used in inappropriate applications and/or over-torqued.

It's possible that either (a) grip screws of unsuitable material or construction are being sold and/or (b) the screws are being overtightened. Again, not trying to criticize; just an observation as I've worked on race cars etc. a fair amount over the years and fastener issues come up all the time. (I actually had to modify/fab a special tool today to get an old Weber carb needle valve out.)

Skunkabilly
August 7, 2005, 12:36 AM
Did it with my Beretta once. Not sure what make the screws were. Either Beretta or Hogue.

mattw
August 7, 2005, 01:10 AM
i'm getting really pissed here.. i sent that e-mail at noon on the 5th and still no reply. those screws suck, i've never broken the head off a screw before, on anything. i seriously doubt i twisted it off, once it was not turning from the weight of my index finger on the wrench i went one quarter turn to make it snug and it snapped off. further inspection of the screw shaft reveals that the top 1/8 inch or so from the head of the screw down is hollow.. is it supposed to be like that?

lunde
August 7, 2005, 01:17 AM
The same thing happened with a set of the same hex grips screws, and I was installing them on a Wilson Combat pistol. In my case, two of the four hex grip screws snapped in the same way. They were replaced with blackened or blued Torx grip screws.

hifi
August 7, 2005, 03:45 AM
Would somebody please explain to me why you would want to have grips screws that you can only tighten with a certain sized hex wrench? Makes no sense to me...like the whole 9mm AR thing I guess.. :D

mattw
August 7, 2005, 04:54 AM
well its not that big of a deal to me.. i just keep the wrench with the pistol or in the gun-cleaning box. when else would you need to remove the grips? can't think of one jam or mess that could be solved by removing the grips.

hifi
August 7, 2005, 08:06 AM
Who said anything about removing the grips? Not that I would want to give up that option either. You just never know.. But that's why WC makes the big bucks...they market the high tech tactical stuff...grip screws for $14... that they buy for $.50 per 1,000..

Tman
August 7, 2005, 08:11 AM
Mattw:
Have you been able to get the screw shaft out?

JohnBT
August 7, 2005, 08:45 AM
"Would somebody please explain to me why you would want to have grips screws that you can only tighten with a certain sized hex wrench?"

Because tight enough is tight enough. Why overtighten fasteners? I don't use an electric screwdriver to tighten the slotted grip screws, and scope ring screws, on my guns because I don't want to twist the heads off of them.

John

KMKeller
August 7, 2005, 09:37 AM
I just snapped off a Hogue hex head screw in my P226. Granted they've been in there a year, but I snapped the head of it clean off.

45Badger
August 7, 2005, 09:49 AM
I've had several sets, never a problem.

To remove hopelessly stuck or broken grip screws- use a SMALL diameter bit and drill them out. Go slow, works like a charm. The stuck part will spin right out.

hifi
August 7, 2005, 07:15 PM
Because tight enough is tight enough. Why overtighten fasteners?

Well, now I think both you guys missed my point. What I was saying was that I like to be able to work on my guns in the field. If a grip screw loosens or I need to remove the grips. I know you'll think it's silly and say that I'd never need to do that, but I have before. And that's just how I am. Boyscout all the way..

Skyviking
August 7, 2005, 09:26 PM
Although my CQB has a set of the Wilson s/s torx-head screws on it, they were there when I got the gun (used, but LNIP). I prefer the standard slotted screws and I've been procrastinating buying a set. I can't decide whether to get the green or black A/T'd screws since it has a set of the WC ebony grips on it. (The gun's black over green A-T.)

I like the slotted screws, since JMB designed the 1911 to be completely disassembled (detail-stripped) with only the hands, the firing pin, and a .45 ball cartridge (case). The rim of the .45acp can be used to turn out/tighten the grip screws, while the firing pin can be used to push out any of the other pins in the pistol. Oh, and you can use the bottom of the slide or other hard object (covered with a piece of cloth to preclude marring the part/finish) to pound out any stubborn pins.

TaxPhd
August 7, 2005, 09:52 PM
Hey Skyviking,

I am a little "Bourbonized" this evening, so forgive me if if this is a stupid question.

How do you remove the firing pin using hands and case only??




Scott

taliv
August 7, 2005, 10:12 PM
Nobody buy girpscrews from wilson combat, they will break on you!

What do you guys think?


i think it's poor form to badmouth a company before you give them a chance to make it right.

i also think you'd be much better off using the phone than email.

and i think complaining about slow response when you emailed a specific person (who may be out sick or on vaca or picking up her kids from school in the afternoon) instead of a common address, which a company can use to make sure somebody is always checking, is unfair.

mattw
August 7, 2005, 11:54 PM
Tman, I have not been able to get the screw shaft out yet, its stuck in there flush with the screw bushing.. i'd have to use a chisle or a dremel tool to cut a slot in the top and the remove it with a standard screwdriver..

To remove hopelessly stuck or broken grip screws- use a SMALL diameter bit and drill them out. Go slow, works like a charm. The stuck part will spin right out.

I might try this, thanks for the suggestion.

i think it's poor form to badmouth a company before you give them a chance to make it right.

Maybe that is true, but for a $14 set of screws i expect them to be quality and not break so easily. And there are 3 or 4 other replys about Wilson screws breaking, I think it is fair to tell people my opinion of these screws and warn them against purchasing.

instead of a common address, which a company can use to make sure somebody is always checking, is unfair.

you're right about that, i admit my mistake.

IZinterrogator
August 8, 2005, 01:53 AM
for a $14 set of screws i expect them to be quality and not break so easily.When it comes to hex head screws, the problem is that most people don't understand the torque they generate when using the long end of an Allen wrench to screw it in. Grip screws and other small hex screws should only be tightened using the small end to turn it. Otherwise, you generate too much torque on the screw and end up with a broken screw like you did. The fact that it broke flush with the bushing indicates you over-torqued it. Slotted screws rarely have this problem because screwdrivers are not made in a way that it is possible to over-torque the screws by any other means than brute strength.

mattw
August 8, 2005, 01:56 AM
Aparently so.. maybe Wilson should include an idiot warning in the little plastic bag that the screws came in. I really don't think it would've broken without that hollow portion in the top of the shaft, though.

IZinterrogator
August 8, 2005, 01:59 AM
My M5 RAS for my AR had the idiot warning. I took it to heart and used that method for gun screws ever since. Big old Allen bolts, on the other hand...

1911Tuner
August 8, 2005, 09:07 AM
Before anybody gets the idea that Wilson, or any other gun manufacturer or builder is supplying sub-standard parts, please bear in mind that they didn't make the screws in question. Those parts were supplied by a vendor whose manufacturing process is subject to the same nuances of any other mass-produced part. Some lots turn out fine...Others don't. The next batch of screws may well be stronger than Superman's cape...and the one after that as brittle as glass, followed by another that's as soft as butter. Since wilson Combat, or any other maker/builder can't afford to take the time to test each part that they have in their inventory...sometimes a bad part gets passed along. Luck of the draw.

No current manufacturer that I'm aware of makes their own grip screws or sears or disconnects or springs or pins or....Well, you see my point. Those parts are supplied by the lowest bidder, with all that is implied. Welcome to the 21st century.

If you can get a small drill bit to bite into the screw shaft without buggering up the bushing, it'll probably spin it out, since it doesn't thread into a blind hole and bottom out, it's probably not very tight. You may be able to turn it through and out with an ice pick. Might take some time...Put on a pot of coffee and enjoy fixin' it yourself.

Disclaimer:

I have no interest...financial or otherwise... with Wilson Combat. Nor do I have any sort of personal relationship with Bill Wilson.

moredes
August 8, 2005, 10:47 AM
MattW,

Don't feel bad; it's okay to feel like an idiot, :D but this is gonna be a real cheap fix. Don't ask me how I know... :rolleyes: :)

Instead of messing with drilling out the screw shaft, remove the grips and grab the screw bushing (the threaded tube that the hex screw screwed into) with a set of good, squared, vise-grips, and unscrew the entire bushing/shaft assembly from the frame. And from now on, remember, the short lever is for your hand. (Anything can be broken if you put enough torque to it.)

Then go to http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/store/ProductDetail.aspx?p=9585&title=1911+AUTO+HEX+HEAD+GRIP+SCREWS+%26+BUSHINGS

and spend ~$20 including shipping for a set of bushings and screws. The bushings are only $5--don't waste your time trying to save it. Hell, you'll be REAL po'd if you slip and walk your drill across the frame.

Hey it coulda been worse...you coulda broke two :what: .... THAT'S idiocy.

pauli
August 8, 2005, 11:03 AM
another thing that may work is to put a dull dremel bit of some sort against the screw from the other side, and shake it out that way.

Before anybody gets the idea that Wilson, or any other gun manufacturer or builder is supplying sub-standard parts, please bear in mind that they didn't make the screws in question.

if they put their name on them (or the package), they're still directly answerable for the quality of their product.

1911Tuner
August 8, 2005, 12:22 PM
Pauli said:

If they put their name on them (or the package), they're still directly answerable for the quality of their product.
*************************

No argument there, Pauli. They should, and no doubt would...but saying that nobody should buy a Wilson pistol because of one broken screw is...a little over the top. That's like sayin' that we shouldn't buy a Ford truck because a new one blew a tire.

Also have to advise against ripping out the screw bushing. It's staked in, and removing it without restaking it will result in the screw and bushing coming out together the next time the grip is removed. Not a major issue, but avoidable with a little patience.

ruger357
August 8, 2005, 01:27 PM
Same thing happened to my stainless Wilson screw. Ended up replacing the bushing. Used lock tight on the new bushing. Called Wilson and they sent me another set of screws.

1911Tuner
August 8, 2005, 01:54 PM
JB Weld lasts longer and holds better than loc-tite.

Tip:

Whenever the screws are out, before reinstalling them, put a tiny drop of oil on the end and let it trickle down onto the threads...About enough to cover the first three should do. Run the screws down 'til they stop and snug lightly...Maybe 1/16th of a turn. No need to torque'em down like a main bearing cap.

ruger357
August 8, 2005, 02:31 PM
Nice tip, thanks Tuner.

Skyviking
August 8, 2005, 03:26 PM
After field-stripping the pistol, use the slide stop pin to depress the firing pin and slide out the firing pin stop, keeping the (spring-loaded) firing pin under control w/your thumb. You can use the firing pin tip to punch put the mainspring housing retaining pin...

mattw
August 8, 2005, 03:41 PM
saying that nobody should buy a Wilson pistol because of one broken screw is...a little over the top.

I never said that.

After field-stripping the pistol, use the slide stop pin to depress the firing pin and slide out the firing pin stop, keeping the (spring-loaded) firing pin under control w/your thumb. You can use the firing pin tip to punch put the mainspring housing retaining pin...

I love THR! :D

Skyviking
August 8, 2005, 03:55 PM
Matt, I would strongly encourage you to take your pistol down to a good gunsmith and have him tap the screw and spin it out of the bushing. Well-staked grip screw bushings are a good thing to have, and it is easy to strip the bushing's threads in the frame, which complicates things.

mattw
August 8, 2005, 03:56 PM
good advice, i need to talk to him about frontstrap checkering anyway :D

1911Tuner
August 8, 2005, 05:19 PM
Matt...Lookin'back, I see that you didn't say that. My bad. These meds I'm tryin' (steroids) have got me to the point that sometimes I can't remember what day it is...much less exactly what I've read. Hope to be off of'em soon.

Even so...Wilson will warranty it, even though they didn't make it.

mattw
August 8, 2005, 05:23 PM
Tuner, be careful not to go into a roid-rage and bash in your monitor or something :p (i'm sure they aren't those kinds of steriods... or are they... :D ). Hope whatever problem you need them for clears up soon..

As said before, I think that since Wilson puts his name on it he should be held accountable for quality and it is expected that he/they give it a warrantey. (I hope that statment isn't too "John Wayne." People still do care about their word and their name, right?)

JoeHatley
August 8, 2005, 05:29 PM
I've replaced several sets of grip screws with Wilson hex head.

http://www.iowatelecom.net/~hatley/alumagrips_r.jpg

Never had a problem. But then I always remenber the screws only need to be tight enough not to unscrew under recoil .

Joe

1911Tuner
August 8, 2005, 05:29 PM
Skyviking, et al...Here's the procedure.

Thumb safety pushes out mainspring housing. (That's why the old ones had the flat area...so you could use the front end of the slide to tap straight down on it) It'll remove the hammer pin too. So will the mainspring housing pin.

Hammer strut removes the firing pin and sear pin. Sear spring turns the mag catch lock. Use the front lip of the mag base to remove the grip screws. (But the slots have to be to original spec. Most these days aren't.)
A cartridge rim can also be used, but may not offer enough leverage on some screws

Going back together...Either the firing pin or the right ear of the barrel bushing can be used to depress the plunger assembly to replace the thumb safety. Don't push the firing pin straight into it from the rear. That's the hard way. Instead, use the side of the pin, approach from the top. Fiddle with the bushing a little...it'll come to ya.

Here endeth the lesson.

taliv
August 8, 2005, 06:04 PM
that's almost cool enough to make me want to trade in my +pimp wilson compact for one of those classics

mattw
August 8, 2005, 06:17 PM
I always liked the non-tacticool old-style thumb safties.. now i have a reason!

larry starling
August 8, 2005, 07:18 PM
I have had some blue hex screws brake on me, I haven't had any issues with there SS ones. :fire:

mattw
August 8, 2005, 07:56 PM
Besides my using the long end of the wrench to put undue torque on the screw I also believe that the cut for the wrench extends too deep and weakens the screw, making it easier to twist off.

1911Tuner
August 8, 2005, 08:23 PM
Matt said:

Tuner, be careful not to go into a roid-rage and bash in your monitor or something (i'm sure they aren't those kinds of steriods... or are they... ). Hope whatever problem you need them for clears up soon..
*******************

Yep..Those are the ones. Can't focus on nothin' and even my skin is gettin' on my nerves. Some progress, but not as much as I hoped. This is my second and last trip down Steroid Boulevard though.
******************
And:

As said before, I think that since Wilson puts his name on it he should be held accountable for quality and it is expected that he/they give it a warrantey. (I hope that statment isn't too "John Wayne." People still do care about their word and their name, right?)

Not at all! Part of the problem today is that nobody wants to accept responsibility. Wilson, or anybody else passes along a bad run of parts, they should make it right, drop the vendor and find one that'll deliver...and John Wayne is/was one of my role models...on and off the screen.

Thanks for not floggin' me too bad, matt...Yer a class act, lad. :o

mattw
August 8, 2005, 10:17 PM
We're cool as long as you don't get loaded up on them 'roids and come beat me into the ground ;)

Tecolote
August 9, 2005, 11:11 AM
My friend had the same thing happen with a set of blued Hogue hex head screws. :cuss: The head snapped off just as he was about to torq the screw into place.

moredes
August 9, 2005, 11:35 AM
Hmm. Looks like I dodged a possible self-induced problem when I R/R'd the screw bushing. I haven't have any further problems though I've R/R'd the grips several times since then. But then again, since I know what it takes now to break off a hex head, I don't torque only tight enough to stay under recoil.

So the jist of my post here is to ignore my previous advice about replacing the entire "assembly". I'm sure not gonna argue with 'Tuner about what's good for a 1911.

1911Tuner
August 9, 2005, 12:48 PM
Matt:

"We're cool as long as you don't get loaded up on them 'roids and come beat me into the ground."
*********************

No worries, lad...Right now I couldn't whip a 9 year-old double amputee. :D

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