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Bending bolt question (with pictures!!!)

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by greyling22, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. greyling22

    greyling22 Well-Known Member

    So I have a mini mauser with a tiny bolt handle has been giving me fits for years. I have some time these days so I though I might try and do something about it. It came from the factory contoured like it should wrap about the bell, but it doesn't. I had to use extra high rings to get the scope to clear, and I still don't get much room.

    I know to bend the bolt of an original mauser you need bending blocks, heat sinks, etc to do it right, but all I really want to do is is bend the bolt about 15 degrees about half way down the handle, then relieve the notch in the stock so the new angle still works, and clean it all up nice. Could I get away with just heating the bolt in a vice with a narrow torch, then gently tapping it to the new desired angle without damaging the heat treating of rest of the bolt or the structural strength of the handle steel? There are no rear locking lugs.

    (yes, I did grind the top of the bolt off flatter, then cold blued it. Blueing is rubbing off and looks really bad under a flash, no so bad in person. And yes, the gun is backwards, don't judge me, I was born this way.)

    Attached Files:

  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    I have done such with a dripping wet shop towel wrapped around the bolt body and cocking cam portion of the bolt. Roll one corner and screw it inside the bolt body too.
    Then dip it in water again just before heating.

    Then use a medium acetylene torch tip to heat it fast.
    A propane torch isn't fast enough.

    Then cool it slow but keep the rag dripping wet.

    DO NOT quench it in water to cool it faster as it will be harder then woodpecker lips and break off.

    As long as you keep the rag wet and do it fast you should be O.K.

    There is also this, which is probably better then a wet rag.

  3. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    We used a rosebud tip along with a heat sink that each one made. The bolt was placed into a die and hammered it down after it was heated. We kept an eye on the bolt body and stopped if the heat approached the cut out for the extractor retainer
  4. BBBBill

    BBBBill Well-Known Member

    When welding on a new handle, I like to pack the inside of the body with LA-CO heat control paste and screw in a heat sink. Also cover the outside with it leaving only the bolt handle stub exposed. Does an excellent job of stopping the heat from migrating. Should work just as well for a bending operation, too. Be sure that you consider and allow for any interference with the receiver from the underside of the bolt handle. You may have to notch the receiver a bit to clear it.
  5. greyling22

    greyling22 Well-Known Member

    ok, so I bent the bolt no problem. RC, your advice was about the wet rag was great. Here is my last question: Solid bolt body, handle welded on. Most of the bolt is polished bare metal, while the back of the bolt and the handle was blued. (or painted, I'm not 100% sure) Never had any issues with rust on the polished bolt body. Could I polish up the whole handle and leave it bare metal and it should be ok, or do I NEED to reblue it? I don't have a hot dip tank so cold blue will never really match the rest of the gun. I was never too pleased with the col blue touchup on top of the bolt handle....

    the picture is pretty bad, but the daylight has left me.

    Attached Files:

  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Polishing it is the best option.

    A hot blue job of the whole bolt is the only thing that will last and look halfway decent.
    But it will wear from use on the bolt body.

    Polishing will look good from now on.

  7. greyling22

    greyling22 Well-Known Member

    great. That's how I spent my evening. (watching RED as well) Tomorrow I'll dig out the dremel and the flitz and bring it up to mirror polish. My thumbs wore out tonight at 600 grit.
  8. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    Agree. Polish and wax it (to prevent rust).
  9. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    A quite good heat sink can be made from a length of copper ground rod with one end turned down to fit inside the bolt. The copper conducts heat very well and its other end can be wrapped in wet rags for even more of a heat sink.

  10. greyling22

    greyling22 Well-Known Member

    Well, got the bolt bent, recontoured just a bit, polished up to mirror, stock re-inlet, and bolt reinstalled. I'm very pleased. Now I just need to buy new rings to lower that puppy down. Thanks for all the advice.

    PS: now if only my photography could improve........

    Attached Files:

  11. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Looks like it should work now.

    Glad it came out good for you.


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