View Full Version : installing sling swivel studs

November 12, 2007, 09:00 PM
Looking for tips on how to get the studs properly centered without buying a special jig or installation kit.

Thanks for your replies

James K
November 13, 2007, 07:19 PM
The foreend is usually pretty easy. Use a caliper to measure the full width, then divide by 2 and use the caliper again, marking the midpoint.

On the buttstock, there can be more of a problem simply because stocks are finished by hand and they are very often not even. If you measure and put the stud in where the measurement says, it may appear to be off to the side. So what I usually did was to eyeball it, making sure the mark "looked right" no matter where it should have been by measurement. Brownells has a jig that is just a right angle piece of iron that you can put on the stock, but I don't think you will need it. (You can make one using cutout cardboard.)

BTW, you really need a special tool for that job. It has an end cutter through which the drill passes; the drill does the hole, and the end cutter cuts the flat or slight countersink so the stud sits flat rather than looking like it is balanced on a fence. Center punch and use a drill press, too; stocks are hard and it is very easy to let the drill wander when using a hand drill.

Needless to say, remove the barrelled action from the stock before drilling. For foreends, you will want to use a swivel with a machine screw and a ferrule inside in the barrel channel. It makes a better setup. (Swivel sets usually come that way, but there are some that just use wood screws for both swivels.)


November 14, 2007, 11:02 AM
Thanks for your reply Jim. Your post got me thinking about how I was trying to take a precise measurement on an imprecise piece of wood. What I ended up doing was taking a piece of string tied around the trigger guard and stretched taught across the action mounting screws and the tip of the stock. That gave me a good center. I did the same for the rear swivel centering the pistol grip cap, the toe end of the stock, and the recoil pad mounting screws in the back. I leveled the forearm in my vise and using my battery drill with the centering level on the back, drilled the hole. I did the same for the rear swivel. It actually worked out great. Got the Uncle Mikes swivel kit a Walmart for $9.97 so it ended up being a pretty inexpensive adventure. The step drills would have been nice to have, but I dug some old bits out of my "box of drill bits" to make the counter sinks I needed. Hope this might help some others out for a low cost installation.

November 14, 2007, 12:15 PM
I installed quite a few when i worked at a gun shop the way i found to do the rear without a jig is to line the buttstock up where it is on a level plane, and go about 2 inches to 3 inches up from the but pad and take a spring loaded punch looking down the plane of the stock, align the punch the best ya can in the center trying for equal space on each side and make a mark with the punch, then follow the stud instructions for the rear stud:)

James K
November 14, 2007, 12:34 PM
The string business sounds pretty good, I wish I had thought of it. As to "imprecise" wood, that is something of an understatement. Remember that the buttplate is put on big, then the factory guy sands the stock and buttplate down together on a big belt sander. I have seen the center line of the top of the buttstock off a half inch from the measured center of the buttstock. To line up with the "center", I would have had to put the stud almost on the side.


Harry Bonar
November 14, 2007, 09:57 PM
I've got one hanging next to my "sight pusher" that I've never used.:D
Harry B.


James K
November 15, 2007, 03:38 PM
Reid Coffield in the current Shotgun News is sporterizing a Mosin-Nagant. This week he covered magazine work and installing the recoil pad. Next issue he will deal with sling swivel installation. SGN is available on some news stands, and I suggest getting the next issue. Unlike some of the so-called "gunsmith" columns Coffield knows what he is doing.

Some gunsmith-writers tend to go to opposite directions on tools. One will insist that even a beginner needs a hundred grand worth of precision tooling, another describes how he gets by with a file, a screwdriver and a couple of twist drills (for chambering). Coffield sticks in the middle, using tools where needed, but also using common sense in place of super machinery.


November 26, 2007, 07:06 AM
Reid Coffield is good. I read every one of his articles. Common sense guy he is.