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  #1  
Old 05-20-2018, 10:13 PM
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Default How to fix a stripped pistol grip screw hole?

So the last time I had my rifle out at the range (AR15), the grip felt just a little loose, so I pulled out my Allen wrench and not even thinking about it as I work on cars a lot, I just cranked it down. I know I gave it too much torque when the grip screw kind of squeaked and felt like I maybe stripped something, Had a brain fart and forgot I was dealing with aluminum here. but it feels solid and has remained so. I think it is ok. But I was wondering if You did strip the hole, how difficult a fix is it?

I am assuming I would just need to retap the hole with a slightly larger tap and then use a proper size screw for the new tapped hole and all would be good.

Has anyone stripped this before? How did you fix it? Should be pretty cheap to have a gun shop do it I think if you do not have the right tools.

And yes, I am going to invest in a torque tool for the screws for now on and do it propper.

Also, I am assuming this is a part I should be using lock tight on? But now I am afraid to try removing the screw, it might not go back in tight again if I did any damage.
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Last edited by CaliforniaCowboy; 05-20-2018 at 10:15 PM..
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  #2  
Old 05-20-2018, 10:26 PM
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It depends on the length of the screw and how far in it stripped out.
Often times, you can simply re-tap what's left of the stripped hole and run in a longer screw that reaches up into the un-damaged threads.

Another solution is to repair the hole with a helicoil insert.

I have fixed many of these and never had the need to go to a larger screw size.

On your lower, put some wd-40 down the grip screw hole from inside the fire control pocket and work the screw back and forth as you remove it.
This will minimize the additional damage you do while taking it apart.

No Loctite.
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Last edited by ar15barrels; 05-20-2018 at 10:29 PM..
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Old 05-20-2018, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ar15barrels View Post
It depends on the length of the screw and how far in it stripped out.
Often times, you can simply re-tap what's left of the stripped hole and run in a longer screw that reaches up into the un-damaged threads.

Another solution is to repair the hole with a helicoil insert.

I have fixed many of these and never had the need to go to a larger screw size.

On your lower, put some wd-40 down the grip screw hole from inside the fire control pocket and work the screw back and forth as you remove it.
This will minimize the additional damage you do while taking it apart.

No Loctite.
Thanks
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  #4  
Old 05-21-2018, 10:30 PM
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Locktite has a product to repair bad or stripped threads.
http://www.na.henkel-adhesives.com/p...=8797876355073. Hope this will help.

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  #5  
Old 05-22-2018, 8:37 PM
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Originally Posted by CaliforniaCowboy View Post
But I was wondering if You did strip the hole, how difficult a fix is it?
Not at all difficult if you have a little experience with hand tools. I would use a lathe and it would look like a factory part, but it wouldn't take much longer to do it by hand, and it would still look pretty good.

If your threads are jacked, they're jacked. My repair would be to make a bushing to repair the threads. The bushing would be a stumpy screw, a little larger in diameter than the original, and then a hold through the middle with the correct thread pitch.

The quick and easy method is to find an existing fine-thread bolt that is just a hair bigger than the hole that was stripped. Make sure the threads go all the way to the head of the bolt.

On a bench grinder, start grinding down the head until it's fairly thin. Make it even and pretty. You might even want to finish your grind with a file, so it's really pretty. When grinding, frequently cool your work in a cup of water. Your callused fingers will thank you.

Now grind down the threaded side so that it's short enough. Dress the threads so they won't bind when you screw it into a nut.

Drill a hole straight down the middle of your bushing. Thread it to whatever the pitch of the grip screw is supposed to be. Now drill and tap the buggered threads on your lower to match your insert.

Boom! You're done. Or more accurately, you're ready to test-assemble your work to make sure it's all good. Maybe the hex head needs to be thinner, maybe something interferes, I don't know. Test it all out.

Perhaps you'll just want to tighten your bushing, assemble the gun, and call it good. After confirming all is well, I would use Loctite Retaining Compound on the bushing.

You might need to modify my idea, but you should understand the basics well enough to make it work in your application.

Another thing to thing about is how to keep this from happening again. Aluminum likes to gall. So does stainless. Titanium, too. Actually, everything does, but aluminum is really susceptible. When assembling threaded parts, there's rarely a good argument against using anti-seize. But yourself a jar and use it frequently.
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Old 05-23-2018, 4:07 AM
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Helicoil is way simpler than a bushing for this repair...
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Old 05-23-2018, 5:26 AM
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Or, just use common sense when tightening something and not be an Orangutan.

How tight do you have to tighten the screw that holds on a grip?
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Old 05-23-2018, 7:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliforniaCowboy View Post
So the last time I had my rifle out at the range (AR15), the grip felt just a little loose, so I pulled out my Allen wrench and not even thinking about it as I work on cars a lot, I just cranked it down. I know I gave it too much torque when the grip screw kind of squeaked and felt like I maybe stripped something, Had a brain fart and forgot I was dealing with aluminum here. but it feels solid and has remained so. I think it is ok. But I was wondering if You did strip the hole, how difficult a fix is it?

I am assuming I would just need to retap the hole with a slightly larger tap and then use a proper size screw for the new tapped hole and all would be good.

Has anyone stripped this before? How did you fix it? Should be pretty cheap to have a gun shop do it I think if you do not have the right tools.

And yes, I am going to invest in a torque tool for the screws for now on and do it propper.

Also, I am assuming this is a part I should be using lock tight on? But now I am afraid to try removing the screw, it might not go back in tight again if I did any damage.

Use a Helicoil insert or a generic equivelant.

https://www.stanleyengineeredfasteni...ands/heli-coil

I have used them to fix stripped aluminum engine parts.



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  #9  
Old 05-23-2018, 8:29 AM
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Originally Posted by RustyIron View Post
Not at all difficult if you have a little experience with hand tools. I would use a lathe and it would look like a factory part, but it wouldn't take much longer to do it by hand, and it would still look pretty good.

If your threads are jacked, they're jacked. My repair would be to make a bushing to repair the threads. The bushing would be a stumpy screw, a little larger in diameter than the original, and then a hold through the middle with the correct thread pitch.

The quick and easy method is to find an existing fine-thread bolt that is just a hair bigger than the hole that was stripped. Make sure the threads go all the way to the head of the bolt.

On a bench grinder, start grinding down the head until it's fairly thin. Make it even and pretty. You might even want to finish your grind with a file, so it's really pretty. When grinding, frequently cool your work in a cup of water. Your callused fingers will thank you.

Now grind down the threaded side so that it's short enough. Dress the threads so they won't bind when you screw it into a nut.

Drill a hole straight down the middle of your bushing. Thread it to whatever the pitch of the grip screw is supposed to be. Now drill and tap the buggered threads on your lower to match your insert.

Boom! You're done.
Have you ever heard of Helicoils or Timeserts?
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  #10  
Old 05-23-2018, 8:30 AM
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Originally Posted by 67Cuda View Post
Or, just use common sense when tightening something and not be an Orangutan.

How tight do you have to tighten the screw that holds on a grip?
35 inch pounds is fine.
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  #11  
Old 05-23-2018, 10:59 AM
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Have you ever heard of Helicoils or Timeserts?


Never heard of it and what is it?


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  #12  
Old 05-23-2018, 12:09 PM
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First off it may not be damaged bad enough to need repair ,try removing (wd40 as previously advised is a good idea ) the screw and grip and inspect the screw for pieces of threads if clean screw all the way in with fingers if it goes all the way in easy the threads are not stretched and it's fine also see if screw hole is tapped all the way through if not tap it all the way . Dry threads squeak so put a drop of oil on the screw .

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  #13  
Old 05-23-2018, 3:51 PM
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Originally Posted by ar15barrels View Post
Have you ever heard of Helicoils or Timeserts?
Actually, I look at a Helicoil as a half-assed solution for a hack-artist who is trying to save time at the expense of artistry and workmanship.

The OP can throw down some cash and wait for a Helicoil kit to arrive. In the end, he'll still have a lower with a Helicoil. Ugh.

Or, he can use common material and tools to create a solution that he can look upon with pride when he's finished. He'll also learn skills that will serve him well in the future.

If I pick up an old gun and it had a Helicoil, I'd see a damaged gun where somebody took the most expedient route to cover up the flaw. If I picked up a gun that had a well-executed bushing, I might be impressed by the effort and workmanship required to make the gun as nice as possible.

It's not that I never do quick and sloppy work, but when the situation allows, I much prefer to do nicer work. Try not to "settle."
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Old 05-23-2018, 5:01 PM
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Really?
All the flight hardware in space with helicoil inserts?
Speced out but aerospace engineers?
Hack?
FFS
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Old 05-23-2018, 5:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyIron View Post
Actually, I look at a Helicoil as a half-assed solution for a hack-artist who is trying to save time at the expense of artistry and workmanship.

The OP can throw down some cash and wait for a Helicoil kit to arrive. In the end, he'll still have a lower with a Helicoil. Ugh.

Or, he can use common material and tools to create a solution that he can look upon with pride when he's finished. He'll also learn skills that will serve him well in the future.

If I pick up an old gun and it had a Helicoil, I'd see a damaged gun where somebody took the most expedient route to cover up the flaw. If I picked up a gun that had a well-executed bushing, I might be impressed by the effort and workmanship required to make the gun as nice as possible.

It's not that I never do quick and sloppy work, but when the situation allows, I much prefer to do nicer work. Try not to "settle."
If I'm not badly mistaken you just reinvented the helicoil and then called it a half assed solution . There are several ways to fix the problem assuming there is one but a simple CK and then tap threads out would be the correct one 90% of the time a stud could be JB welded in and use a nut or a bolt with head ground down installed from the top and a nut or the half-*** helicoil .

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Last edited by ozarkpugs@gmail.com; 05-23-2018 at 5:50 PM..
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Old 05-23-2018, 7:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Greg B View Post
Really?
All the flight hardware in space with helicoil inserts?
Speced out but aerospace engineers?
Hack?
FFS

That is what I was thinking.

Thread inserts have been used for years to make threaded connections stronger. One of my first jobs was standing at a gang drill press putting heli-coils in aluminum hard drive housings. 8-32's I think. That was a loooong time ago....

Last edited by kendog4570; 05-23-2018 at 7:45 PM..
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Old 05-23-2018, 9:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyIron View Post
Actually, I look at a Helicoil as a half-assed solution for a hack-artist who is trying to save time at the expense of artistry and workmanship.

The OP can throw down some cash and wait for a Helicoil kit to arrive. In the end, he'll still have a lower with a Helicoil. Ugh.

Or, he can use common material and tools to create a solution that he can look upon with pride when he's finished. He'll also learn skills that will serve him well in the future.

If I pick up an old gun and it had a Helicoil, I'd see a damaged gun where somebody took the most expedient route to cover up the flaw. If I picked up a gun that had a well-executed bushing, I might be impressed by the effort and workmanship required to make the gun as nice as possible.

It's not that I never do quick and sloppy work, but when the situation allows, I much prefer to do nicer work. Try not to "settle."
Helicoiled threads are stronger than a normal tapped hole as the diameter is larger in the host material and the stainless insert is stronger than the aluminum without an insert.

You would probably look down on the practice then, but it's quite common to use helicoils in brand new aluminum parts, simply to make the threads stronger,
I have installed hundreds of Helicoils into brand new anodized aluminum parts because the prints call for it.
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Old 05-23-2018, 9:45 PM
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If I'm not badly mistaken you just reinvented the helicoil and then called it a half assed solution .
He actually explained a timesert unless it was made bigger where timing of the threads is not required.



A helicoil is NOT a solid material.
It's an insert made from a diamond shaped wire that is wound in such a way that it has inside and outside threads.

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Old 05-24-2018, 3:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyIron View Post
Actually, I look at a Helicoil as a half-assed solution for a hack-artist who is trying to save time at the expense of artistry and workmanship.

The OP can throw down some cash and wait for a Helicoil kit to arrive. In the end, he'll still have a lower with a Helicoil. Ugh.

Or, he can use common material and tools to create a solution that he can look upon with pride when he's finished. He'll also learn skills that will serve him well in the future.

If I pick up an old gun and it had a Helicoil, I'd see a damaged gun where somebody took the most expedient route to cover up the flaw. If I picked up a gun that had a well-executed bushing, I might be impressed by the effort and workmanship required to make the gun as nice as possible.

It's not that I never do quick and sloppy work, but when the situation allows, I much prefer to do nicer work. Try not to "settle."


As you have seen from a few previous posts, Helicoils are not only used to fix a foul up but they are sometimes spected from the get go. As with Ken My first job in industry was the drilling and tapping of a CNC router's 4' x 8' table. Then installing helicoils in over 200 holes per table. 5/16" - 18

Now the other thing is if you think a helicoil is half arsed way to fix a stripped thread, Then show me the specs on your engineered bushing you guessed at being good enough to get the job done made from (most likely) scrap that you have no clue what it used to be. Yeah thats a better fix you can be proud of.

"I'll completely ignore a pre engineered proven and tested product that has traceability and recognized standards, and just install a "bushing" that i have no engineering calcs on for the press fit and probably used a dull tap that cut an oversize thread" Yeah sure convince me with your vast experience

9 out a 10 the OP need to chase the threads with a tap. if he was really ham handed he'll need a longer screw. Going up a size will not work well as the wall is getting thin. a helicoil or a timesert is the way to fix it if he really buggered it up.
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Old 05-24-2018, 3:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ar15barrels View Post
He actually explained a timesert unless it was made bigger where timing of the threads is not required.



A helicoil is NOT a solid material.
It's an insert made from a diamond shaped wire that is wound in such a way that it has inside and outside threads.

I stand corrected ,I still feel there is a chance no problem exists and if one does tapping and as long of screw as possible is most likely all that is needed and if severe damage Helicoil is the best solution. KISS is the best Moto

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Old 05-24-2018, 4:46 AM
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I'd consider the Helicoil an upgrade in this case. Some real fail in a couple of posts here...
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Old 05-24-2018, 5:34 AM
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Not at all difficult if you have a little experience with hand tools. I would use a lathe and it would look like a factory part, but it wouldn't take much longer to do it by hand, and it would still look pretty good.
How exactly would you chuck a reveiver in a lathe?
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Old 05-24-2018, 5:39 AM
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So the last time I had my rifle out at the range (AR15), the grip felt just a little loose, so I pulled out my Allen wrench and not even thinking about it as I work on cars a lot, I just cranked it down. I know I gave it too much torque
I bet your grip gave way. You must be a beast to strip that in 7075 Al holding the short leg of a 3/16 Allen wrench in your hand.

Who here has?
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Old 05-24-2018, 7:18 AM
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How exactly would you chuck a reveiver in a lathe?
Four jaw with lots of shim blocks
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Old 05-24-2018, 7:52 AM
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Four jaw with lots of shim blocks
That receiver needs to be at a 45 degree angle to the chuck. Would you tap from above ot below? If tapping from below, as I imagine, that receiver will require some fixturing as it would be a several inches from the chuck face.

Maybe there is an easier way.
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Old 05-24-2018, 8:31 AM
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Four jaw with lots of shim blocks



Don't forget lots of monkey sh*t. The stiffer the better.
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Old 05-24-2018, 8:32 AM
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That receiver needs to be at a 45 degree angle to the chuck. Would you tap from above ot below? If tapping from below, as I imagine, that receiver will require some fixturing as it would be a several inches from the chuck face.

Maybe there is an easier way.

I think the half-fast (say it real fast) guy, when referring to using a lathe, it was about making the threaded bushing.
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Old 05-24-2018, 9:09 AM
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That receiver needs to be at a 45 degree angle to the chuck. Would you tap from above ot below? If tapping from below, as I imagine, that receiver will require some fixturing as it would be a several inches from the chuck face.

Maybe there is an easier way.
You asked how, you said nothing about it being easy. And itís not 45 degrees itís 60 or 30 degrees depending on where you start from.
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Old 05-24-2018, 9:54 AM
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Originally Posted by kcstott View Post
You asked how, you said nothing about it being easy. And itís not 45 degrees itís 60 or 30 degrees depending on where you start from.



Like we used to say in the iron pile... "If it was easy, they'd have the women and kids doin' it".
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Old 05-24-2018, 11:37 AM
kcstott kcstott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kendog4570 View Post
Like we used to say in the iron pile... "If it was easy, they'd have the women and kids doin' it".
Hell im half tempted to set one up this weekend just to show it can be done. But then again itís only Calguns and I have better things to do.
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Old 05-24-2018, 5:09 PM
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kendog4570 kendog4570 is offline
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Originally Posted by kcstott View Post
Hell im half tempted to set one up this weekend just to show it can be done. But then again itís only Calguns and I have better things to do.

I have visions (nightmares) of a $1000+ fixture for a half hour labor charge fix.
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Old 05-25-2018, 3:00 AM
kcstott kcstott is offline
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Originally Posted by kendog4570 View Post
I have visions (nightmares) of a $1000+ fixture for a half hour labor charge fix.
Exactly. and like you I have better things to do with my time then prove it can be done.
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Old 06-03-2018, 1:28 PM
drmjf drmjf is offline
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I have used timesheets in the automotive industry. Toyota had a problem with studs pulling out of the aluminum head. Tried helicoils but they pulled out. I found timeserts worked better with less problems & far stronger .
Just my 2 cents .
Quote:
Originally Posted by ar15barrels View Post
He actually explained a timesert unless it was made bigger where timing of the threads is not required.



A helicoil is NOT a solid material.
It's an insert made from a diamond shaped wire that is wound in such a way that it has inside and outside threads.

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