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special tools. The
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professional gunsmith, just a shooting enthusiast and hobbyist, as well
as a tinkerer. This
article explains work that I performed to my guns without the
assistance of a qualified gunsmith.
Some procedures described in this
article require special tools and cannot/should not be performed
and tinkering with your firearm may void the warranty.
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Many firearms have problems with screws coming loose, especially magnum rifles
and handguns. Marlin rifles are
notorious for having screws come loose, especially under heavy use like Cowboy
Action Shooting. The Internet is
full of stories of screws coming loose after only a couple hundred rounds.
above photo shows the Loctite® products I use most.
242, commonly known as Loctite® Blue, I use on screws.
It prevents the screws from coming loose, but the screws can be removed
with common hand tools.
almost never use 271, commonly known as Loctite® Red, because it is permanent.
I have used it on screws that I know I will never remove, or don’t want
to remove, such as a sling swivel stud screwed into a metal front barrel band on
a rifle. 271 requires heat to break
the bond and remove the screw. 242 and
271 can both be purchased at hardware and automotive stores.
Loctite® 609 is green in color and is used in press-fit applications such as
bearings. You can find it at
specialty stores online. I use it on
the base and dovetails of sights if the sight is loose in the dovetail.
The bond is semi-permanent; I use a punch to break the bond to remove the
small drop of Loctite® is all that is required for most applications.
I have had the above Loctite® products for years; I just don’t need to
use very much. “A little dab’ll do
ya!” as the old commercial said.
Loctite® Blue on screws, first I clean the thread on the screw and screw hole
with acetone and a cotton swab. This
removes any grease or oil to make a good bond.
You would be surprised how black the swab becomes after cleaning.
For screws that have no shank, only threads like the trigger guard plate
screw above, I apply a drop of Loctite® Blue directly to the threads.
If I get too much on the threads, I touch the drop with the tip of a
cotton swab to remove the excess, then install and tighten the screw.
I remove any excess Loctite® that squeezes out of the hole if I can get
screws that have a shank, like the hammer screw above, I clean the threads on
the screw and screw hole with acetone as before.
I put a drop of oil on the shank and remove the excess.
The hammer pivots on the shank so it needs to be oiled.
I put a drop of Loctite® Blue on a toothpick and apply that drop to the
threaded hole, NOT the screw. I
don’t want any Loctite® to get on the shaft or rotating parts; it could cause
the part to bind or not work at all.
After tightening the screw, I remove any excess Loctite® that squeezes out of
discovered that Loctite® thread locker products remove cold bluing, so I try to
avoid having excess squeeze out of the hole on cold blue surfaces.
If this happens, I make sure to immediately remove the excess.
installing scope mounts on receivers I first install the mounts to ensure the
screws are not too long; I don’t want them to touch and jam the bolt.
I clean the screws and screw holes with acetone and use Loctite® Blue to
install the screws. If I can remove
the bolt, I wipe away any excess Loctite® to prevent the bolt from sticking.
If I can’t remove the bolt, I am careful not to apply too much Loctite.
I once applied too much Loctite® to scope mount screws and it bound up
the bolt on a .22 semi-auto rifle.
Once I was able to disassemble the rifle, I used acetone and a brush to remove
the excess Loctite® from the bolt and receiver.
You would think a person would be smart enough to think this through and
not apply too much Loctite, but when you’re young and inexperienced this becomes
a hard-learned lesson!