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Thread: how to remove a broken off screw

  1. #21
    Boolit Grand Master
    Mk42gunner's Avatar
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    Square easyouts have seldom worked well for me on tiny screws, they seem to expand the whole screw before they get enough bite to work.

    The Allen wrench can work, I've used it.

    The even better option is a small torx bit, they seem to bite better for me.

    These days it seems every tool kit comes with small torx bits that are never used, so pick one that is small enough to fit and that you have a drill bit that is a skosh smaller and give it a try.

    Robert

  2. #22
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by pworley1 View Post
    I have removed them by using a left handed bit smaller than the hole.
    That is what I've done. I have the HF set and with liberal penetrating oil it has worked better than expected.

    If you have a socket set you can often use straight screwdriver end of the right size and after soaking in kroil or similar tap it in with a hammer and then use a socket and ratchet to get it out. I think it's 6 or 8mm for the bit?
    Last edited by jonp; 05-24-2023 at 07:44 PM.
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  3. #23
    Boolit Master



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    Lags....I was thinking the same thing about the allen wrench
    thanks
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  4. #24
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by LAGS View Post
    The left hand drills work great.
    But finding them and spending that money for something that you probably only use once in a great moon isn't that good for the average guys.
    But if you are a full time gunsmith they are well worth the cost.
    And you brought up a good point.
    Lots of drills or presses do not have a reverseable option.
    Hand drills do.
    But drilling in the center of the small screw is a little more difficult than with a drill press.
    I try to provide options that the average guy can do if needed.
    If an average guy can't afford 8.50$-13$ they don't need a gun. That's how much left bit sets cost.. I looked up a few suppliers..that was the range for starter sets from 1/16 thru 1/4.

    As for centering.. That's easy.. Prick punch as a start or a diamond bur to grind a dimple as a center.

    Any average guy can do those.. If not..they have -0- place being around a firearm...period.

  5. #25
    Boolit Buddy
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    As country gent said, A small drift prick would be my first try. If that doesnt work my next choice would be a small ball end mill bit. I know that most of you dont have a mill to use; but find a friendly machine shop or gun smith, that will save you a lot of headaches.
    BD

  6. #26
    Boolit Grand Master

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    My picks were ground up on drill blanks, they actually work best after they have been used a few times and are a little dull. Once you find the right angles to tap at it goes pretty good, if they havent been locktited even blue makes this much rougher.

    with your punch put a dimple off center close to the edge. Angle your punch so that it pushes at the angle the thread turns and still bites into the dimple. Use a small hammer and tap the punch Use light bows and watch. I you can see a spot watch it to see the start of rotation. usually when it starts it goes fast. After 1/4 to 1/2 turn you can usually set the punch straight in the dimple and spin it out. My hammer is nothing special just a 4 ounce ball peen. This isnt a brute force process but one of finesse.

  7. #27
    Boolit Master
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    i like what soundguy said

  8. #28
    Boolit Buddy
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    All this pickin and drilling will go Ok if the screw itself isn't a hardened one.
    Many of the scope mount base screws are hardened and will resist regular drills and a center punch.

    Check first to see if it is and if the broken off stud is a hardened one,,then anneal it first before spending time setting up in a mill or drill press only to have
    the bits dulled over as soon as they make contact.

    If soft or you have annealed/softened up the broken screw, carefully centerpunch the stud.
    Then drill out w/ progressively larger bits till there is very little left of the screw w/o touching the recv'r threads.
    Choke up on the drill bits so they have max strength and won't wander.

    By then the broken off stud will be weak enough to be collapsed in the hole & dug out with a wire pick, even if you are off center by a small amt.
    Just don't keep drilling a larger dia hole if you start to get any of it into the recv'r thread.

  9. #29
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have removed a good number of broken taps using a ball end carbide mill bit. if the screw is hardened use carbide.
    BD

  10. #30
    Boolit Master


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    Agreed.. Hardened bolts and studs aren't magic..just have to attack them different. I've drilled out plenty of broken hard bolts with carbide. Takes patience...but can be done. Ball end burns are extremely helpfully here.

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BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
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