View Full Version : Bolt bending tool

April 3, 2002, 01:24 PM
I have been toying with scoping a Yugo M48 but know that the way the bolt is bent it won't clear a normally mounted scope. I saw a clamp in the Midway catalog that was designed to hold the bolt so that it could be heated with a torch and bent. I just wanted to know if anyone has used this tool, how well it works, and if there is a better method. Any help from those that have scoped a non sporter mouser would be much appreciated.

April 3, 2002, 03:56 PM
I have one it is made by wheeler. But you need more things that just the clamp to bend a bolt. You need a heat sink and heat control paste. Also a dremmel and sandpaper for shaping and polishing. A total of about 20 hrs of work for a very nice final product.

to bend the bolt

Strip the bolt all the way down. Take off the extractor and extractor collar.

Put heat control paste on the heat sink and screw it in.

Put the bolt in the bending block and put that in a vise.

Heat the bolt root untill cherry red. Then hammer on it with a ball peen hammer. Here is the trick hammer as high on the arm as possible. If you only hammer on the ball part of the bolt you risk cracks. Also if you hit the ball part you will loose too much distance when the bend is done OAL.

After bending then sweep the bolt back by hammering it to the side.

Now here comes the tedious part.

The bolt is gonna look horrible at the point. Like out of the stone age(or early iron take you pick). You need to used the dremmel with sanding drums to shape the bolt into the rough outline you want. You use the dremmel to round the arm and take out dents.

Then with sandpaper wrapped around a dowel you begin to polish the bolt. Start with 60 and work up to 1500.

April 6, 2002, 03:43 PM

Thanks for the help. It is good to hear a fellow TFLer that has some experience with this. I plan to do the project this summer so time shouldn't be a problem. Also, did you scope the Mauser and what did you put on it? I think there are some Weaver bases designed for the Mauser that I will use. I will top it with a Bushnell 3-9 scope or something comparable.

If you have some pictures of your project I would really appreciated it. I should pick up the project Yugo soon and begin early May. Wish me luck!

James K
April 6, 2002, 10:56 PM
The bending block is a fairly expensive item, as would be the torch unless you have or can rent one. And you need a heavy duty vise, not the Harry Homeowner special. You will also have to cut away a bit of the receiver to get a good bolt handle seat. You will also need a jig for the drilling and tapping, plus the taps for 6-48, 8-40 or whatever size screws you use. By the time you add up the cost of the tools, plus the chance of messing up, I would recommend you not try to DIY on this for a one-off.

I recommend taking it to a gunsmith, but insist he bend the bolt, not cut off the handle and weld a new one on. (Yes, I know welding is always OK, and there can't be any problems. And there won't be, except when the handle comes off just as you are trying another shot at that 10 point buck.)


April 7, 2002, 05:41 PM
Now, Jim, how do you really feel?

I like welded bolt handles. The secret is to set the job up yourself, cutting off the old handle, setting the new one up in the jig, applying the heat stop paste and inserting the heat sink, and carring the thing to a WELDER -- not a gunsmith. Take your own rods and insist that the welder use them. I use the Hi Nickle rods from Brownells. Get the welder to TIG weld the new handle on, then take the works home after it cools off, and spend the rest of the afternoon grinding and polishing the works until it is correctly shaped. If the grinding detects any weld porosity, take it back for a redo.;)

April 8, 2002, 04:18 PM
Clemson and Jim Keenan,

Well that adds some more options to think about. Have either one of you actually done a project like this or this exact thing? I have been counting on getting it drilled and tapped by a gunsmith so that is no supprise. The bolt bending operation I was going to do at liesure this summer. If I go with either of your suggestions I will need to do a bit of looking around to find a competant gunsmith or welding shop. It sounds like I will need to get the heat paste and sink whether the bolt is cut or bent.

I have been wanting to do this for experience, amusement, and cost savings in that order. Considering I just bought the Hand Select M48 in Excelent condition for $126 out the door I really don't want to pay more than that to get the bolt bent and scope mounted. I really love the Mauser and this project will happen regardless of the difficulty but I need to make sure I do it right.

I will keep searching out the options. Any additional help for the project is always welcome. Thanks for showing me the options. I will have to post a picture of the results this summer.

Thanks again.

April 8, 2002, 04:22 PM

Do you still have the bolt bending block and paste and do you still want it? I might make you an offer. I hope you are here on the CONUS because I am here in Arizona. Anyway, reply if you can and thanks for the help.

April 8, 2002, 09:10 PM
I need all my stuff sorry. Midwayusa.com sells everything you need. You may want to get the gun rebarreld a you can really build a nice gun. If you have a drill press you may also want to do the drilling and tapping yourself. Just a suggestion, get a practice bolt first brefore you do the work. The only part of my mausers I dont do myself is the rebarreling as I dont have a lathe.
Now to get all the tools to build it yourself means that you will be buildig more than one gun.

James K
April 9, 2002, 12:20 AM
Hi, Clemson,

I agree that welded on bolt handles are OK, most of the time, and agree that the competence of the welder is important. But I have seen some come off, though I was kidding about the big buck. All things being equal, I would really prefer to bend the bolt, and yes, I have done a lot of them that way. I have also done quite a few of the weld on type and AFAIK, none of mine ever came off.

The advantages of welding on are that you can get a nice looking bolt (band of knurling, or pear shape) with less work, and get a longer handle for better leverage. There is also less grinding and finishing work.

Of course, protecting the heat treatment of the bolt is a necessity in any case. You need not only the paste, which only prevents scaling), but also a heat sink, like a copper rod (a piece of ground rod works), inside the bolt body. Wet rags around the bolt head are good too, but in bending, the blocks usually provide enough heat sink to protect the head. You need to protect not only the locking lugs but also the cocking cam and on a Mauser 98 or M48, the safety lug.

I sure agree about getting an old bolt for practice.


April 9, 2002, 08:45 AM
Yep, I have done bolt handles both ways. I have not had a handle come off yet, but I have had one rewelded when I ground down the weld and found porosity that did not show on the outside. One of the nicest looking jobs I have had was a bent bolt. The shape was just really well done. If you are not careful, you can end up with a handle that is just too short when you bend, however, so it pays to have someone who knows what he is doing to do the bending work. Also, I would not bend a handle with an ugly knob on it. Some of the straight-handled Turks in particular seem to have an oblong shaped knob that may be practical but is just plain butt-ugly. These would be a candidate for a welded-on handle for me.

Flyboy, the sporterization process is the best way I know of to learn how a rifle really operates and what its sensitivities are. You can end up with a piece that is a joy to behold and to shoot. You will not, under any normal circumstances, end up with a rifle that is less expensive than a factory gun. I figure that my Mauser sporters cost me around $1200-1500 each. That does not include the cost of machinery and training. The satisfaction that comes from the final product, however, is, as they say, "priceless." :)

April 10, 2002, 12:31 AM
wheres George? the cut and bend and weld .with heat sink, heat paste, and I wrap the front part of bolt in a wet rag, I only have
Mig, but weld ay middle and both corners,let cool and weld a beed
.take alot of time outs to keep heat treatment , add paste. I've cut handles and heated with torch, smash round ball with serated
hammer, alot of nice ways to do handles.:D