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What's a Good Torque Wrench for Rifles?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Kestrel, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. Kestrel

    Kestrel Well-Known Member

    I'm looking for a torque wrench for rifle stock screws and scope mount screws.

    Can anyone give some advice?

  2. NotSoFast

    NotSoFast Well-Known Member

  3. CB900F

    CB900F Well-Known Member


    The answer to your question depends upon the degree of precison you desire. The Midway F.A.T. is a low cost torque indicating screwdriver quite likely made in China. I know other Wheeler products are made in China, but I don't happen to have that particular one.

    However, a good 2% accurate torque wrench/driver is going to cost several hundreds of percent more through Snap-on or other distributor of quality tools. Unfortunately, I haven't heard of a middle ground option either.

    Haunt the pawn shops, you might find a decent inch/pound wrench there. And usually at a good price as they aren't terribly popular with the average mechanic.


    CRITGIT member

  5. wayne in boca

    wayne in boca Well-Known Member

    I bought a Snap-on from Ebay for around 35 bucks,top of the line 1/4" drive,goes to 75 inch-pounds.
  6. MCMXI

    MCMXI Well-Known Member

    I have two Wiha torque screwdrivers. One is a 7.5 - 20 in-lb and the other is a 20 - 70 in-lb. When choosing a torque wrench/screwdriver, keep in mind that they're more accurate near their upper limits.

    Wiha torque screwdrivers


    DRYHUMOR Well-Known Member

    If you want to get more specialized visit Seekonk Mfg. They have a T handle line to suit most any requirement.
  8. xd45gaper

    xd45gaper Well-Known Member

    what would be the purpose of a torque wrench if you dont know what the torque on the screw/bolt or nut is?

    you may have more informationo on your rifle than I do but ive never seen a torque value on any screw, nut or bolt on any of my rifles in the manuals!
  9. Kestrel

    Kestrel Well-Known Member

    The torque specifications are published. The action screws for a Remington PSS, scope mount screws for Badger, Leupold, etc. are available.
  10. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

    Kestrel, I've been using the wrench from post #2 for a few months. the markings aren't right on, but they are consistent. i.e. 60 ft-lb setting on mine is 59ft lbs. I checked it every couple of weeks, and the torque tester at work always came out the same. It's a good low cost option.

    I don't think its necessary to have a metrology grade torque wrench for a rifle, as long as the torque from the wrench is consistent and repeatable.
  11. hksw

    hksw Well-Known Member

    Wiha FTW
  12. Aaryq

    Aaryq Well-Known Member

    Remember that old torque wrenches will loose their proper ability to torque correctly. One of the nuts and bolts of my job is torque wrenches. After about 2-3 years they'll be beyond adjustments to get back into to tolerance...and if they're dropped...done. Granted it's aviation tolerances so it's a little tighter but still pawn shop torque wrenches make me cringe whenever I see one. I can't recomend a brand but I can strongly advise you not to buy used.
  13. xd45gaper

    xd45gaper Well-Known Member

    +1 i also work aviation same thing ours go into calibration ever 6 months i beleve or if they are drop checked lol. we use Snap On digital and clicker style along with CDI(brand) Dial indicators my favorites are the clickers because i dont have to physically see the torque value i just have to set it lol.
  14. CB900F

    CB900F Well-Known Member


    When bedding actions, the object isn't so much to repeat a known factory setting as it is to allow either repeatability or to introduce a known change factor. For instance, some guns will shoot more accurately with the front action screw having twice as much torque on it than the rear screw. Having an accurate torque device allows the smith to make known changes on the action screws to possibly achieve his goals.

    Owen, are you sure you meant to post the values on the F.A.T. in foot pounds? I thought the thing was calibrated in inch pounds. My experience leads me to believe that a foot pound rated torque device would have a very limited use for the average home gunsmith.

  15. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

    yes, its inch-pounds
  16. dmazur

    dmazur Well-Known Member

    Kestrel -

    I got a standard 1/4" drive torque wrench, and I use it with a 1/4" hex adapter and the various bits from a Brownell's screwdriver set.

    This provides torque settings up to 200 inch-lbs (I believe), which is adequate for most action screws.

    I looked at the screwdriver types and couldn't find one that would handle 90 inch-lbs, which is what I needed.
  17. NotSoFast

    NotSoFast Well-Known Member

    xd45gaper - I don't know your familiarity with hardware and mechanical parts values, but if you are willing to look, torque values are available for every standard size screw in every standard material.

    On my Mini-14 I torque the Gas Port screws to 30 in-lbs, and my scope mount screws to 35 in-lbs.

    Here is just one such table.


    DRYHUMOR Well-Known Member

    Keep in mind ya got to know the grade of the screw or bolt you will torque.

    Not all are created the same, if overtorqued, the threads will stretch and bind. Or, worse case, the fastener will snap.

    The mfr's of the rifle, pistol, rings, mounts, etc should have all of the info available.

    Be aware of steel fasteners into aluminum rings or mounts.
  19. JNewell

    JNewell Well-Known Member

    Brownells has fixed torque wrenches in several different settings (like 40 and 65 inch pounds, IIRC) for action screws. I don't think you need a torque wrench on scope mounts unless you're removing them frequently and looking for repeatability. Typically, they get installed and then they stay; if they get removed, you re-zero, no? Action screws are different because over- or under-torquing can change not just the zero but actual performance.
  20. dagger dog

    dagger dog Well-Known Member

    Going to put on my flak vest, Harbor Freight has 1/4" drive inch pounds torque wrenches for 20 bucks, they carry ISO certification papers for calibration in the box with the wrench.
    Poster 16 has the dope on how to use them with the hex bit adaptor.

    Then all you have to do is build a spec manual, I believe the Caldwell Midway do it yourself commercials on the Wednesday night at the Range gives out verbal specs on several items (stock bolts, scope rings, bases).

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