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Aggravation! Frozen scope mount screw.

June 19 2017 at 4:12 PM
Barry Haugen  (Login Mr.BPH)

I was planing on trying a new scope this afternoon on my Cricket. I have a set of Burris Signature rings on it right now. I popped off the main picatinny screw on one ring no problem. But the second one is giving me fits. I'm not in the habit of using thread locking compound on my scope threads. I started out trying to loosen the screw with my torque wrench, it wouldn't budge. Then I got out my 20 watt soldering iron and heated up the screw end for several minutes. Tried it again, nothing doing. So I heated it up again and then chucked up a T15 in my cordless drill and set the torque setting at 4, (and went up to 8)--put it in reverse and snapped off the T15 when I got to the 8 setting. Luckily, there was enough sticking out, so I could grab the broken end out with a pair of needle nose pliers. Then I switched my soldering iron to a 40 watt wood burning tool. When thru the same steps and snapped off another bit. It won't budge. The I got out the big guns: Propane torch with a micro head. Heated up the screw end. It got pretty darn hot. The rail was even pretty hot. Got out the cordless and snapped off my third hardened bit. I'm about ready to drill out the screw.

Is there anything else I could try??

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(Login bf1956)

try steam...

June 19 2017, 5:35 PM 

I've got some pretty good results doing this, that steam will penetrate as good as oil and flame.

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Frank in Fairfield
(Login MRodDude)


June 19 2017, 5:41 PM 

Cut a slot in the exposed portion of the screw.
Insert screwdriver and tighten first, then reverse.
Should come out..

Good luck

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Bob in WV
(Login duhuh)

Got any Kroil?

June 19 2017, 5:54 PM 

Kroil soaked overnight has worked for me on some stubborn screws before. Or maybe some PB Blaster, it is pretty good too.

Good luck,
Bob in WV
Never get in a hurry, it only slows you down.

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C. Jones
(Login limbshaker)


June 19 2017, 6:23 PM 

Some sort of impact driver to shock the screw should get it out.

I have a hand held punch type impact driver that you hit with a hammer that works pretty well. You have a lot of control over the torque with this type, even though it sounds a bit barbaric.

But the best bet is a cordless impact driver. Start with the torque low and let it hammer a few times. If it doesn't move, up the torque till something gives.

Just a note, I've broken a whole bunch of "good" Torx bits. Then I bought a set of Snap On ones and I have broke very very few.

I deal with buggered up small bolts for a living, and an adjustable torque impact driver helps me sleep soundly at night, lol

Good luck buddy, hope you get it out with your sanity intact

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(Login desmobob)

+1 on the Kroil

June 19 2017, 6:28 PM 

If heat didn't work, try cold. You can use canned air... if you hold it upside down, sometimes the liquid propellent comes out and you can freeze --and slightly shrink-- the screw. Long shot though.

Do you have a small impact screwdriver? They usually work extremely well IF you have a bit that fits the fastener well. Maybe you could grind a screwdriver slot in yours.

Kroil is the best there is for a penetrant, in my experience. An overnight soak in Kroil is certainly worth a shot.

Best of luck to you,

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(Login bustachip)

I had this happen with my burris zee ring before...

June 19 2017, 6:50 PM 

the torx that goes thru the base and squeezes it together won't come out...
I broke two torx tips off...LOL, Geez I didn't tighten this thing that much!

Anyway, I got out the vise grips and clamped them very tight close to the
tip of the torx wrench, then holding steady pressure down into the screw head
the leverage of the vise grips backed it out easily...

Next time the threads will get a light coat of anti-seize for sure.


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(Login bustachip)

The burris zee rings I have are all steel......

June 20 2017, 4:44 PM 

there's no aluminum involved, only plastic offset inserts.


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michael wolfram
(Login marflow)

i think cold might be the way to go and where would i

June 19 2017, 7:08 PM 

get the cold co2 cartridge
steel screws and aluminum can be a problem and anti seize compound will help at the time of taking apart

will it work maybe but anti seize is your friend always

and a butterfly air wrench would be a big help, as mentioned impact is better then torque, your broken bits show that


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(Login Diamondback)

I've had very good luck

June 19 2017, 7:49 PM 

putting a drop of penetrating oil (like Mystery Oil) on screws or nuts, as close to the threads as possible, then tapping the screw or nut with something, so the vibrations help the oil follow the threads.

I'd probably put the gun on its side, & then tap the screw head with the plastic handle of a screwdriver, or something similar, for several minutes.

Make sure not to get any oil on the screw head, as you don't want the bit slipping.

Then use a tight fitting driver to get it out.

I remove frozen rusted on lug nuts from saltwater trailers all the time like this.

Might take several tries to get it off.

This message has been edited by Diamondback on Jun 19, 2017 7:50 PM

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(Login FPoole)

Re: Aggravation! Frozen scope mount screw.

June 19 2017, 8:03 PM 

Is there any way to support the mount against something solid? If there is, you can use a screwdriver, or whatever fits the screw head, and try hitting the screw. Sort of like trying to drive a nail. This method works wonders on rusted bolts after using some "Blaster" or other oil.

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John in FL.
(Login gratewhitehuntr)

I'll 3rd for IMPACT! Not only does it seat your bit, but impossible stuff gets easy

June 19 2017, 8:17 PM 

I use something like these where a regular impact would only make a mess.
You would not believe the incredibly foul things they take out. Foul-buggered-rusted impossible stuff comes right out of 4x4 hubs from the 80s, clean screws are cake!
Set the gun aside (don't look at it!) and wait for your new impact screwdriver to come in the mail.
It might seem like a lot for one screw, but the NEXT time (oh yes there will be) you'll dance a jig while whooping that screw's tail!


The music sucks on this vid but you better believe those screws were destined for buggering with any other method!

And most important, set it aside before probability (Murphy) catches up with you.
Beer optional! (just remember not to look at it)

This message has been edited by gratewhitehuntr on Jun 19, 2017 9:04 PM

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michael wolfram
(Login marflow)

i'm think more like this inside, no hammer needed

June 20 2017, 12:22 AM 

This message has been edited by marflow on Jun 20, 2017 12:22 AM

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Tim in California
(Login TimandDenise)

I am kind of partial to the butterflies, works great for this. Lean on it so that the

June 20 2017, 3:29 AM 

bit stays in the screw and cycle back and forth from in and out, gently both ways. Don't hit it hard, turn the air pressure down a bunch, just let it rattle a couple of hits both ways, don't force it, let the impacts loosen it up.

I use an impact for tapping new holes, same technique, just slow and easy, a couple of hits in, a couple of hits out..

The momentary impact works way better than torque, if you go easy you won't bust anything. ..

Good luck. ..

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John in FL.
(Login gratewhitehuntr)

Till your bit breaks off and subtracts $100-$300 from the resale value of your work!

June 20 2017, 8:07 AM 

What is sharper that a freshly busted off bit?
The pain of having gouged the bejesus of your stock/scope/action with the tool you were leaning on trying to keep it in the hole!!

Power tool run amok 27,000X faster than hand tools, at least manual vs powered impacts.
Guarantee it'd have come out in 2-3 taps, and guarantee that if you use powered impact tools you'll eventually royally screw the pooch.

Glad OP got it fixed without incident!

This message has been edited by gratewhitehuntr on Jun 20, 2017 8:12 AM

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michael wolfram
(Login marflow)

John they are easy to use and the breaking of bit part

June 20 2017, 3:06 PM 

could happen if you are HAM HANDED but if you know what your doing it's a fine tool
also he has Torx screws in the rings, if they were Phillips or slotted screws maybe not
you use what you like and I'll use what I like
problems can be solve in many ways

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John in FL.
(Login gratewhitehuntr)

I speak fact. Carbide or other hardened bits are brittle or will become fatigued.

June 20 2017, 5:26 PM 

Butterfly impacts are OK, the problem is bits.

I've never damaged anything with the manual impact because the hammer provides all the downforce, and the duration is very short.
Most things come out with a couple mild whacks, yes I've broken tips but it was 100% uneventful. The tool seems to almost bounce away from the work, unlike a gun driven bit which walks across your work after shearing off.
How many times have you left chuck marks on the work when using a hand drill on metal? It's because you can't react fast enough!

Real impacts (which I also have) save your arms but tear stuff UP.

How do you think a customer feels when their machine is down because I hamfisted a fastner?
How do you think I feel having repair a mess on someone's showbike?
"Oh uh.. hey John what is this bolt that doesn't match the rest?"

Bits ALWAYS break with enough use, and sometimes right out of the box if approaching their limitations (or flawed)

Impact screwguns may be new among the general polulation, but n the roof we used impact guns like the DW267. This vid gives you and idea, it's basically the first gun with a cord. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGrwvkZGWMg
That is an impact driver, NOT a drywall gun clutch.

He runs too slow, always UP the roof never across.
Yes we had races UP THE ROOF with the gun! 127' panel with a screw every 12" GO!
I never shut my gun off, just lock the trigger, and have sent almost a dozen to the graveyard after replacing multpile sets of brushes.
At one point I actually had trouble moving up because I screwed so fast, that's all they'd let me do sad.gif so I bet myself into a new position winnning races.

700 square (square is 100ftx100ft) standing seam with continuous clip, 6" spacing within 4ft of edge and 12" spacing in the field, or short clips double screwed 24" on center.
The iso board got 5 screws per sheet 4x8.
The DensGlass got 8 screws per sheet 4x8.
The coping cap clip got screws at 24"
The dripedge got screwed, then the panel edges got screwed every 6"
The ridge cap clips got screwed on 24".

I worked the roof at the new Orange County Convention Center 10,000 square of Fibertite!
10,000 square!
We went though PALLETS of screws!

I busted more tips than most people have run screws in their life, and in one day run through a normal lifetime of screws!
Every day, for months and years.
All due respect, you can't tell me a thing about it.

Still don't believe me? Ask OP, he broke a couple too wink.gif
When I see someone doing the same thing which has caused me grief I try and give them the benefit of learning from my mistakes, and I have walked many a freshly busted bit across some expensive work!
Good judgement comes from experience, experience all too often comes from mistakes.

This message has been edited by gratewhitehuntr on Jun 21, 2017 4:35 AM

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Tim in California
(Login TimandDenise)

Man! That is a lot of screwing around. ..and up, over and sideways. Can't argue

June 20 2017, 6:58 PM 

with facts, experience provides us with facts.
I totally agree with your last sentence. ..

I've used the drivers that you mentioned, I have 2 of them in my garage now. .they work great.
I think when the hammer strikes it does more than just turn the bit, it actually compresses the section that is being held by the fasteners, allowing just that slightest amount of space to allow the fastener to turn.

That is my thoughts anyways, it may have no connection to reality. ..

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John in FL.
(Login gratewhitehuntr)

Wish I'd never had the job, you should certainly know about burned skin...

June 20 2017, 7:46 PM 

BUT WHAT REALLY BURNED ME UP was when we were running those dang Tek screws into the iron, they were SOOOOO stingy with them and they'd burn up like crazy or break off right as it went through! We were like men in a life raft sipping water LOL!
Drill a hole with one, then back it out and run a dull one in the hole. "How many we got left Jim?" sad.gif
Blew out a lot of nut drivers on those too.

Cant argue with metallurgy either, every impact to a bit is one impact closer to failure.

That is why the manual impact makes so much more sense, and the fact that they're bulletproof and dirt cheap.
I also use fresh BRAND NAME bits for important stuff, and relegate slightly used bits to dirty jobs.

To lend a little credibility (because I DO say a lot of stuff) I dug out my ID from the Convention Center ALL I COULD DO IS LOSE WEIGHT ON THAT ROOF!
10,000 square of white desert with a 10ft parapet all the way around! You couldn't jump if you wanted to! (which basically describes 2pm every day)

photo OCCC V id scan ed_zps7q7ncgle.jpg

Mods don't hate me, I'm trying to explain to people the danger of certain tools and got called a hamfist. No hard feelings against Mike, I just want to make that clear. My UTMOST goal when working on people's stuff is to not screw anything up!

This message has been edited by gratewhitehuntr on Jun 20, 2017 8:25 PM

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Tim in California
(Login TimandDenise)

I do know about burning flesh, do enough decking in the sun and your armpits get sunburn

June 21 2017, 3:59 AM 

from the reflection. ..that's not fun. Neither is the flashburn if you don't have sunglasses. ..

Have had the same experience with TEK screws, used the same techniques, drill with a sharp one...it's kind of an inside joke, my initials are TEK..

When I started blowing the heads off of them when they ran in I just let off of the trigger just as they broke thru, time it right and you get a tight screw just as the driver stops..if you do a couple thousand before lunch you get plenty of practice. ..

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