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Can you drill a receiver for a scope with a handheld dill?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by mookiie, Feb 22, 2012.

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  1. mookiie

    mookiie Member

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    My question is to instal a scope mount have you ever used a handheld drill, or is a drill press always required for this type of work?

    I have a scope mount for an SKS receiver I am thinking about drilling and tapping. I am wondering if a vse and a handheld drill will work or if I should just hold off on that project until I can get a drill press?

    Also any helpful info for drilling and taping a newbie should know.
     
  2. kd7nqb

    kd7nqb Member

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    You CAN but I would not suggest it not only do you need the hole straight but depth is important. I have the same issue with my Mosin gun smiths want $75 per hole to drill and tap it I only paid 69 for the gun so its been tempting. But as of yet I have not.

    Ask around im willing to bet a buddy of yours has a press you can use.
     
  3. BBBBill

    BBBBill Member

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    Use a mill when available. They are better than a drill press. Never try it with a drill. There is no way to control your depth. Really good way to put a "pressure relief port" right into the chamber. :uhoh: :scrutiny:
     
  4. KW84

    KW84 Member

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    If you are going to try it start small. Use a punch and a small bit first, because it is easier to get started with a small bit and then follow with increasing sizes after. Measure twice drill once.
     
  5. Zeke/PA

    Zeke/PA Member

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    NOT a good idea!
    The risk is fowling up a rifle beyond repair.
    $75.00/hole is a bit steep though.
    If you have a Machinist/Toolmaker friend the task is a relitively easy one.
    Wish you lived closer, I'd do the job at no charge and if the timing was right you'd go home with a carload of fresh vegetables to boot.
     
  6. MrDig

    MrDig Member

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    NO

    Don't do it. Either shop around for a less expensive smith or go spend the money you would have spent on the smith for table top drill press.
    I have tried it with stocks and know from experience that you will ultimately be unhappy with the results. The wood can be more forgiving and you can always replace it.
    The Metal on a receiver once compromised make the gun junk.
     
  7. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    Only if your eye is laser accurate and your muscle control is rock solid.
     
  8. earplug

    earplug Member

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    Used drill press

    I bought a decent drill press at a pawn shop about six years ago.
    Easy to rig up a depth stop and decent vices are available.
    A bench size drill press and a decent vice will pay for itself in one or two projects.
     
  9. mookiie

    mookiie Member

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    Thanks for the input I will have to start putting away funds to get the Drill press and press clamps I am going to need to do the job correctly.
     
  10. sugarmaker

    sugarmaker Member

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    Short answer - NO. Bubba may disagree but I've seem some awful butcher jobs with crooked bases, screws, JB weld, and what have you from poor setups and not knowing what to expect drilling a non-flat hard steel surface. A secure, non jury-rigged way to mount the gun and true it up to the drill, a way to ensure the holes go in square (either a drill bushing fixture for free hand or a carbide stub on a vertical mill) and a way to stop the hole in a controlled way (like a DRO on a vertical mill or a stop bushing with a hand drill. Just doing it free hand using the base as a drill guide is likely to make a mess.
     
  11. mookiie

    mookiie Member

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    what other equipment besides a drill press would I need?
    Sugarmaker - why do you need bushings to ensure the whole is square - is that if you do not use a drill press or do you still need bushings even if you are using a drill press?
     
  12. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    My D&T set up.

    Absolutely YES! Here is my set-up. A Forester jig with the proper bushing for the various drill bit and tap sizes.
     

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  13. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Be sure and practice on something besides a rifle when you do it.

    Those little thread taps are brittle as glass and harder then woodpecker lips.
    And when you break one off in a rifle receiver, which you will with no experiance?

    You will think the gunsmith charge for doing it right was cheap enough, for sure!

    rc
     
  14. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    RC,my one experience with a broken tap (back in the late 1970s) was enough for a lifetime! As many receivers as I have D&Ted,I haven't broken a tap since because of that one experience. Do it once and you'll NEVER hurry a tap job again!
     
  15. T Bran

    T Bran Member

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    RC
    You truly have a way with words and are spot on as usual.
    T
     
  16. somoss

    somoss Member

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    from the couple of SKS's i have seen there is no problem with over penetration. i guess depends on where you are mounting the scope base. if it is on the side (just left of the spring cover) then why cant he drill thru all the way? with a drill press should be do-able, and doing the tap is hard but with practice also doable.
    On a $100 - $200 SKS i would go for it. on a Nagant even a free one, no way. too easy to make a vent hole.
     
  17. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

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    Sure, you can drill it with a handheld. You can also jaywalk in front of a cement truck. Both are possible, neither is a good idea.

    For the cost of a machine and fixturing, I'd pay a gunsmith to do it. I admit to doing my own and some for friends, but I happen to be a machinist who spends between ten and twelve hours a day in a machine shop.

    If you're going to get a tabletop machine, I'd seriously recommend a mill rather than a drill. You can do milling, drill and tapping with the mill, but drilling only with a drill. The spindle on most inexpensive drills is hardly free of runout. A mill will have much less. Usually within .0005 for a home model. A drill? Youd be lucky to get within .002. Runout in a tap that small will shatter them VERY easily.
     
  18. mookiie

    mookiie Member

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    1911 guy, a mill would be nice, however, a drill press is like a 100 bucks mills seem to run in the thousands, so if I want to complete this project in my lifetime I am probably going to use a drill press.
     
  19. JRH6856

    JRH6856 Member

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    There's always Harbor Freight.
     
  20. Zeke/PA

    Zeke/PA Member

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    mookie,
    Be certain of your mount installation.
    Is a bolt alteration needed ?
    There are SEVERAL options available that do not require drilling and tapping.
    I would do some online research before drillling any holes.
    Check out S&K Mounts website.
     
  21. hogrdr

    hogrdr Member

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    i have tried such things before and they NEVER turn out good.
     
  22. Zeke/PA

    Zeke/PA Member

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    WHOOPS!
    The rifle in question is an SKS !
    My Bad!
    BUT, S&K's website shows a mount for an SKS.
     
  23. sugarmaker

    sugarmaker Member

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    "Sugarmaker - why do you need bushings to ensure the whole is square - is that if you do not use a drill press or do you still need bushings even if you are using a drill press?"

    Yes, the drill will wander and it may (in fact it almost is gauranteed to with a small drill) start the hole offset from the spindle axis. When that happens at the very least the hole will be angled and not in the right location (maybe only a little, maybe not) and at the very worst the drill can break (though that's not likely as you're not drilling very deeply). The bushing supports the drill, keeps the drill where you want it and does not allow it to wander. I'm spoiled by a very well equipped machine shop, lots of tooling, raw stock, and a supportive employer so i haven't used the fixtures others have posted but they look like a pretty effective way of getting reasonable results from a regular drill press. Also tapping steel using small taps without support (either a bushing or using a machine spindle manually turned) is tricky, easy to get started crooked or snap the tap.
     
  24. mookiie

    mookiie Member

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    Sugar maker- I was asking if bushings are necassary if you are using a drill press?
     
  25. mookiie

    mookiie Member

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    Zeke - I ordered the s k scope mount for the sks I will try that for now. But I am still considering trying to drill and tap for the other mount I purchased.
     
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