View Full Version : Cant budge a stubborn screw!

January 26, 2002, 07:05 PM
I have a slotted,blued , takedown screw on a 241 Rem Speedmaster, that I cant break loose. Any "tricks of the trade" that you can share with me, on how to remove stubborn screws? I tried heating it with a torch, no luck. Any help would be appreciated, Thanks- Fatelvis

January 26, 2002, 08:12 PM
First, try liberal amounts of "Break Free" and let it set over night. If that don't work, put the assembly in the freezer over night or at least 12 hours. The next day, get it out and have your torch ready. Use a screw driver that fits the slot as much as possiable, and that has a good handle so as to get a good firm hand grip on the screw driver. Heat up the screw and apply the torque while the assemble is still cold.

This worked for me in getting a screw out of my 1894 Winchester 12 ga.

Good luck.
USMC Retired

January 26, 2002, 08:45 PM
Maybe a couple.

#1. Get a hollow ground screwdriver that EXACTLY fits the screw. This is perhaps the most important point!

#2. If heat doesn't work, refrigerant spray sometimes works. Note that certain finishes may be damaged by the refrigerant spray, so test in a hidden spot first. Blueing shouldn't be harmed, but some painted finishes may suffer.

#3 An impact wrench sometimes works, but only with the proper sized screwdriver, and don't get carried away with the force.

James K
January 26, 2002, 10:31 PM
If you have access to a drill press, put a stub screwdriver in the chuck, place the gun on the press table with some padding under it, and bring the screwdriver bit down with the drill press handle until is fits into the screw slot. Then lock the press or hold the handle and (with other hand) use the chuck as a big screwdriver handle, working it back and forth. Very few screws will resist this treatment.


January 26, 2002, 11:55 PM
just a thought about the "freezing thing"

Why not place the whole assembly in the freezer. After things have really cooled down, torch the part the screw is set in, but apply the heat far from the screw itself. It seems to me that the heated part will expand, while the faraway screw will remain in its cold contracted state, therefore smaller in relation to the expanding heated part (a receiver? hasn't been made clear...) So turning the cold screw in a hot receiver should be a cinch...

Just thinking out loud here

January 27, 2002, 12:03 AM
In case you break it and have to use a broken screw extractor on it:

Is this takedown screw anywhere where varnish could have washed into it if the past owner could have been careless? Or could it have had Loctite applied in the past? In those contingencies just 12 hours of breakfree might not be sufficient to loosen the crud. Might be helpful to give the breakfree a while longer, try WD40, try mineral spirits et cetera.

slick slidestop
January 27, 2002, 07:21 PM
Cant budge a stubborn screw!

Oh... am I showing restraint here:D

January 27, 2002, 11:03 PM
How about some Kroil? Also, I saw a commercial on tv about a new stripped screw extractor from Craftsman/Sears. Would be a handy item.

James K
January 29, 2002, 12:03 AM
Broken screw extractors are usually about useless on gun screws. They are OK on 1/2 inch engine bolts, but when you get to small screws that are rusted or very tight, extractors will usually break before they extract anything. This then leaves you with no option but to drill out the screw and try that with a super hard screw extractor stuck in the hole.


January 30, 2002, 01:25 PM
Use an impact driver. Grind the bit to exactly fit the slot. Smack the driver with suitable hammer. If you don't want to buy one, check with a biker, they usually have one for removing old side cover screws.
I've used this tool many times with 100% success.

Kirk Keller
January 30, 2002, 01:50 PM
An impact driver wielded very carefully is the best solution for what ails you. The key is the fit of the blade to the screw, and making sure you have the weapon firmly locked down to prevent movement.

January 30, 2002, 05:00 PM
For anyone doing any significant work on guns, I highly recommend the Brownells master screwdriver kit, and the thin blade add-on kit. It really is nice to have the truly proper hollow ground screwdriver for virtually every screw that I come across. :)

February 1, 2002, 11:46 PM
As crazy as this might sound, it's actually an old watchmakers trick to get a stuck watch movement going again. With a minor mod, it might work for this situation.

Get as much Kroil in/on the offending screw, wrap it in plastic (to keep the Kroil from evaporating), and then put the assembly directly on top of your refrigerator. Hey, I said it was crazy didn't I!

Let it stay up there for a day or two, and the VIBRATION of the compressor/motor in the fridge will work the Kroil much further down into the offending stuck parts then soaking alone can do.

It can't hurt, and it's much less potential damage than hammering or heating might cause.


February 3, 2002, 12:02 AM
I totally butchered a stuck scope base screw on one of my guns, and a gunsmith on one of these forums recommended an "easy out" screw remover. With nothing more than a set of the easy outs, a center punch and a proper drill bit, I easily removed the screw. Basically, you center punch the screw, drill the appropriate size hole, then tap in the reverse threaded "easy out" bit and turn the screw out. I think the entire process of tapping, drilling and screwing helps to loosen the screw so it comes out easy. Good luck, Weagle

February 3, 2002, 10:05 AM
The easy-out was mentioned earlier, and I've actually seen a small one break off in a screw, then you have an even bigger problem! I think the trick here is not to bugger up the screw head in the first place, so such extreme measures aren't required.

October 19, 2002, 10:14 PM
Sometimes you have no choice because of circumstances beyond your control. Last night I picked up my Remington 700 from the store. And in the heat of the excitement of my new toy, I forgot to lube the receiver plug screws before getting them out. Now why did they have to be so tight from the factory since these are only “plug” screws in the first place? And of course one of screw head broke in half. I could have taken it to the gunsmith and get warranty service. Since Remington’s screw should not have a broken head that easily and I was using the proper sized hollow-ground flat blade. I resolved to drilling a small hole using a 1/16” drill bit and using a #1 screw extractor and carefully using a power screwdriver (not the big powerful drill/driver kind, but the smaller screwdriver only) I got the broken screw out. Internet was great I found this excellent article http://www.motorcycle.com/mo/mcnuts/stuckscrews.html among many others. Just search for “extract broken screw”. :D

October 21, 2002, 09:49 PM
If you think that rust is the problem, a product like Kroil [since you've already tried heating the screw] is the best bet. It doesn't take much...a drop or two...but be sure to let it sit long enough to work. A judicious rap or two will likely help.

How damaged is the screw head? From years of motocross racing and solutions for stubborn screwheads with an impact wrench, I'd suggest it as the next best step before trying an 'EZ-Out'...

October 21, 2002, 10:03 PM
"I think the trick here is not to bugger up the screw head in the first place, so such extreme measures aren't required."
Johnwill has a good point here. Kroil, and patience, should get you out of this "bind".