Fitting new action screws

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Fitting new action screws

Postby Fox20obsessed » Wed Mar 25, 2020 10:40 pm

I had a little time before bed this evening and decided I needed a break from stock work. With that in mind I decided to pull out the bargain gun I just picked up with the bent top lever and decided to fit a new floor plate/trigger plate screw. I will need to replace the hand pin/rear tang screw as well but may post on that later...anyway. I picked up most of what I needed from Mr. Barden and got the floor plate screw fitted to the gun tonight. Using my drill, a small file, masking tape, and some 400 grit I got it done. Making new screws using a drill is covered elsewhere on the net so I won’t bore you with it’s simplicity, but basically you use masking tape to protect the threads and chuck the screw into the drill to use it as a makeshift lathe. This technique works very well removing a little at a time and keeping things round. I fit the outside diameter of the head first, then timed the screw by taking some off the underside of the head, and then finally brought the overall height down flush with the floorplate. I initially began filing the head down with it snugged up in the action but quickly opted to use the drill to bring it down flush as I do not intend on doing any refinishing of the action as in polishing and re-casing. This is strictly a mechanical/shooter build gun. Anyway I attached before and after pics and also a pic of the screw chucked in the drill. The head of the screw isn’t perfect as far as being flush with the action, but seeing as how these were all hand-fitted at the fox factory I think most of the surfaces on these guns are less than “true”. I’m really pleased with the results. The slot was already cut in this screw when I got it. Quite possibly a tad bit too wide on the slot, but hey it’s NOS, laser straight, and less likely to snap your favorite hollow ground bit than one of the the real thin boys.
Now to extend a question on here. Should I faux-age the screw head to match the frame? If so, how do you guys do it? Also, does the screw need to be hardened or is it fine as it came from pumpkin mountain?
Thanks,
Matt


PS - Turkey are gobbling in PA every morning. Had one strutting in our front yard today.
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Re: Fitting new action screws

Postby jolly bill » Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:09 pm

Gee Matt,

That looks pretty dam good.
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Re: Fitting new action screws

Postby fox-admin » Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:43 am

Thanks for the post, interesting. I age with cold blue, wipe on and off quickly. The guy who makes hammer screws for Parkers suggest vinegar soak of the head only.
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Re: Fitting new action screws

Postby Sporrns » Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:24 am

Nice post and very nice work. I have "aged" action screw heads by heating them with a torch until a "burnt umber" color hue is achieved, then dunking them VERY quickly in used motor oil. Kevin
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Re: Fitting new action screws

Postby Jim Cloninger » Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:19 pm

Nice job!
Goodbye Mandy, once in a life time hunting dog. I miss you every day.
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Re: Fitting new action screws

Postby Fox20obsessed » Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:56 pm

Thanks for the compliments guys! I appreciate the suggestions for faux aging the metal as well. I will do that after the screw head is engraved. Was thinking about using white vinegar as well... may go that route, but will post pics of the finished screw and some detail into the methods used. I’m definitely thinking about cold blue to “black out” the screw slot and then probably vinegar post engraving. Starting to become pretty fond of this “budget build”gun. Now that the floor plate screw is repaired it looks a lot better already. Hoping to tear the action down this evening and fit the new rear tang screw. Other than that I have new sear and hammer pins for this already, but may just replace the one. You can see in the photos that someone ground the heads off the sear pin some years ago...not cool. The semi-inlet stock came in the other day and it looks pretty decent as well, should finish out pretty good. Anyone know of a good source for legitimate repro buttplates and the philly type sterly grip caps? Seems the ones they make nowadays are mostly junk and basically just throwing $20 away. I ordered some NOS savage buttplates the other day that seem like they will fit up very nice... we’ll see.
-Matt
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Re: Fitting new action screws

Postby Brian Dudley » Fri Mar 27, 2020 11:48 am

For "aging" the screw to make it cosmetically blend in with the rest of the frame there are a lot of different things you can play with.

The screws should be case hardened first as to ensure that it is protected from any future damage to it.

White Vinegar is a method that can be used to dull the finish and lightly frost the surface. You can play with cold bluing in quick applications combined with carding off to darken it some. Or you can add heat to it to introduce some color which can also be carded back. A little trick that works to introduce micro pitting on the surface and accelerate the looks some is to use paper matches from a book. strike a few matches up right by the screw head so that the flair up on the head and leave deposits from the match head on the surface of the metal. This can be done a few times. Let it sit with that coating on it for a week or so and card it off and see what it looks like. You can repeat this again if you want. Or can g=can go back in and burnish the screw head down to change the look.

It is all really just playing with it until it looks the way you want it to.

Best of luck.
,Brian Dudley
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Re: Fitting new action screws

Postby MARSHFELLOW » Sat Mar 28, 2020 8:29 am

Nice tips fellas. Thanks.
tjw
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Re: Fitting new action screws

Postby Jim Cloninger » Sat Mar 28, 2020 1:45 pm

Question: will the vinager treatment change a screw that has been blued to the silver color that exists after the case colors have worn off?
Jim
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Re: Fitting new action screws

Postby Brian Dudley » Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:56 am

Yes. Vinegar will remove bluing. And it will rust the metal if left in too long.
,Brian Dudley
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Re: Fitting new action screws

Postby Fox20obsessed » Wed Apr 01, 2020 8:28 pm

Hey guys thanks for all the tips!!! Had some time tonight to fit a new rear tang screw to the bargain 16. Looks and feels perfect. In addition to the bend in the top lever I also discovered that this gun had a slight bend in the trigger guard as well.
Hopefully by the time I hang it up for the evening I will have the lever and the guard straightened out.
-Matt
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