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Thread: BP barrel, broken flash hole screw, what am I to do?

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold gearchecker's Avatar
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    Unhappy Black Powder barrel, broken flash hole screw, what am I to do?

    Yesterday while cleaning and trying to do some maintenance on my black powder rifle I accidentally snapped off 1/2 of the screw head of the cleanout plug trying to get it out so I could clean the breach, and flash hole. I'm really not sure how important having the screw out to clean the breach. I can't get a drill bit on it to take the rest of the screwhead off, and then bore out the rest of the screw. I know that the new screw will be larger than what's already there, so that won't bother me at all.

    I really don't think that I could get the angle correct to bore out the existing screw without messing up the barrel. And I don't have the capability to re-thread it correctly. It's an Investarms Black Powder rifle, that I got for practically nothing.

    Do I need to find a gunsmith to get this fixed, or can I just leave it alone?



    Regards,
    Gearchecker
    Last edited by gearchecker; 05-07-2020 at 09:56 AM.
    Teach them the truth, and let them sort thru the cobwebs of liberalism that have infested their minds.
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    Not all "gunsmiths" are the same. One with the proper equipment and knowledge is what you need. Better to find a small machine shop that would be willing to take on the job. I have never bothered with taking out said screw, just remove the nipple and flush the barrel out. Usually take the barrel off the stock and stick the breach end in a bucket of hot soapy water. Run patches up and down the bore until you can run a clean patch in and it comes out clean.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    Welcome aboard !

    What John said...…..

    Unless your BP gun is a valuable/antique specimen, I would suggest you just leave it be.

    There's no real need to remove that little screw to clean the breech, provided you flush the breech & ignition channel from the muzzle (hot H2O, BP powder solvent, T/C bore cleaner # 10, etc, etc).

    .
    Experience is a wonderful thing - It lets you recognize a mistake, when you make it again.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Moleman-'s Avatar
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    That happened to my buddies older cva 50 Hawkins when we got back from deer hunting one time about 25 years ago. He dropped it off for me to look at. His used a slotted button head screw where mine used a beveled machine screw. So I deepened the slot in the broken off head hit it with penetrating oil and regularly tapped the screw with a screwdriver and hammer over the course of a day, then just unscrewed it. Cva had a as screw kit that uses the nipple wrench at the time so I put them in his and mine.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master



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    That screw needs never to be removed. It was for a manufacturing method. It was cheaper to leave it visible. For less than a dollar it could have ben left with no head and filed smoot to the breech plug.

    What it truly is, a shortcut to the manufacturers. It is not needed to remove to clean the gun

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geezer in NH View Post
    That screw needs never to be removed. It was for a manufacturing method. It was cheaper to leave it visible. For less than a dollar it could have ben left with no head and filed smoot to the breech plug.

    What it truly is, a shortcut to the manufacturers. It is not needed to remove to clean the gun
    There ya go. Also, only remove the nipple once a year for inspection and lubing. You are destroying the thread fit by frequent removal, eventually resulting in nipple blow out, and possibly injuring yourself or others.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Some pictures would help.

  8. #8
    Boolit Mold gearchecker's Avatar
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    Photo of the broken screw head.Click image for larger version. 

Name:	broken breach cleanout screw.jpg 
Views:	32 
Size:	27.5 KB 
ID:	262024
    Teach them the truth, and let them sort thru the cobwebs of liberalism that have infested their minds.
    When the time comes that I don't want a new gun, call the undertaker!
    When they come for your guns, give them the ammo first!

  9. #9
    Boolit Master




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    The only time I ever removed that screw on the rifle was when I went to convert that percussion cap nozzle from its original to a Musket-sized primer cap (bigger flash hole for the flame and more flame from the Musket Cap and its been on there for 20 years. .

    If you are determined to replace the Breech Plug in your InvestArms caplock, you can buy a replacement breechplug at Numrich Corporation. Then you can just reuse your current nipple and purchase a new screw or fabricate it from another style of screw to hold the nipple in place. I can't tell if the flash hole is threaded for the nipple or its a slip fit with the breech plug screw holding it in place. If the flash hole is threaded, you may not need to replace that buggered screw at all.
    https://www.gunpartscorp.com/products/1787350

    Here is the link to nipple thread specs if you ever have to remove/replace the nipple also
    https://warrencustomoutdoor.com/mag-spark.html

    Good luck on the screw removal
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  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master

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    going to be tricky to drill out no matter what. If you van pull the breech plug out it will give a more manageable piece to clamp and work with. A solid set up and slow careful work on set up drilling and cleaning up the threads is going to be required.

    What might work is a very fine burr ( .060 preferably .030) and cut the slot deeper. align in drill press and with a fitted bit in the chuck lower in and work soak with kroil and work back and forth when removing. A few judicious heat cycles to break the corrosion bond, and warm when trying to remove.

  11. #11
    Moderator Emeritus / Trusted loob groove dealer

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    Quote Originally Posted by gearchecker View Post
    Photo of the broken screw head.Click image for larger version. 

Name:	broken breach cleanout screw.jpg 
Views:	32 
Size:	27.5 KB 
ID:	262024
    I wouldn't even worry about that, Go shoot it.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    If you just can't live with it, you'll have to establish a center point for a drill bit with a dremel tool and a center punch after carefully grinding off the rest of the screw head. This has to be done with care so you find the center of the broken screw and don't grind away metal that isn't. Then you fasten it to a drill press vice at just the right angle for the drill to go through the middle of the screw and drill it out. If you want to you can make a larger hole and tap it for the next size up screw. OR, you can shoot it and clean it through the nipple hole. If it were mine, I'd take the second choice. I've done it before and hardly ever take the new screw out anyway. When I do, I put never seize on the threads and the problem never returns.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I have repaired about 50 of those, over the past 36 years. Usually they are rusted in place, and a lot of folks remove them when cleaning, I never have. I usually center punch the bolt, drill it out the next size thread up, and use a common gunscrew thread, or std 8/32 or 10/32. Never had a problem with any I fixed that way.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master





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    Quote Originally Posted by koger View Post
    I have repaired about 50 of those, over the past 36 years. Usually they are rusted in place, and a lot of folks remove them when cleaning, I never have. I usually center punch the bolt, drill it out the next size thread up, and use a common gunscrew thread, or std 8/32 or 10/32. Never had a problem with any I fixed that way.
    Good advice.
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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check