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Old November 8, 2012, 09:33 PM   #1
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Grip frame screw stuck tight!

Got a new Pietta 1860 Army from Cabela's yesterday. Pretty pistol. In attempting to strip it down for cleaning I find the bottom grip frame screw is so tight I broke off a Brownell's bit.

I applied some heat with a soldering iron but it didn't help. I figured the mass of the frame was too much of a heat sink. Trying a mini torch was starting the wood to char.

Soaked it in penetrating oil and I will try again tomorrow. Next step will be to cover the wood with aluminum foil and try the mini torch again.

Any other ideas?
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Old November 8, 2012, 09:45 PM   #2
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Impact driver.
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Old November 8, 2012, 11:26 PM   #3
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What Hawg said. Harbor Frieght has a mini impact driver that is a gunsmith godsend for stuck screws. You don't beat on it just moderate taps repeatedly and the screw will come loose. Works good on stuck nipples also with a modified socket and an adapter.
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Old November 9, 2012, 01:09 AM   #4
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Put a brass punch against the head and give it a few raps with a hammer to warm up the threads then try to back it out. If the oil doesn't work that is.
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Old November 9, 2012, 10:04 AM   #5
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Do the top two screws come loose?

I have found that the pietta grip frames are kind of compressed like a spring once all three screws are tightened and that spring tension can bind any of the three screws.

Try loosening the top two screws first if you haven't already.

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Old November 9, 2012, 01:56 PM   #6
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I got the Harbor Freight impact driver and that and an application of heat finally broke it loose.

To protect the wood grip I wrapped the entire grip in five layers of aluminum foil. I took a knife and carefully removed the foil from over the screw. Heated the screw with the mini torch then used a tight fitting bit in the impact driver.

Once out I could see no reason why it was tight. The left back strap screw also need some heat to loosen it. Again no reason. Maybe Mario or Luigi put some extra muscle into it.

Thanks again. Other than those two screws this is one of the best fitted Pietta's I've owned. Bolt was only .001 wider than the smallest cylinder slot. The bore is really bright. Can't wait to get to the range on Sunday.

Thanks again for all the help!
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Old November 9, 2012, 07:17 PM   #7
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The problem

The problem turned out to be badly fitted wood that put the screws in a bind.
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