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Help! I can't get a screw to loosen in a shotgun that needs some work. The screw in the trigger tang of my Weatherby Athena won't come loose. I have tried penetrating oil and heating by a solder gun to no effect. The tang is silver nitrate plated and I don't want to damage or discolor that. It may have been overtightened by the manufacturer, or possibly some form of "locktite" was applied. I don't want to break off the screw head by applying too much force. Sending it in for repair to SKB would take 6-8 months. Not a good option. The fix should be a matter of cleaning and deburring. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 

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Use a little hit from a propane torch. If it's perm.loc-tite, you'll need this type of heat. It shouldn't discolor getting up to 250 degrees.

Also, if you can mount the receiver in a drill pressor mill vise, place a screwdriver bit into the chuck and turn the chuck. This prevents the screwdriver from wanting to slip out of the slot.
 

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An update: I have a hollow ground screwdriver that I modified to fit the screw head exactly. No luck in just trying to unscrew the screw with all my power.

If I use a propane torch, would it help to make a "guard" out of metal with a small hole to let the flame through, thereby avoiding the possibility of discoloring the silver nitrite tang?

The tapping idea has some merit also.

The "take it to a gunsmith" suggestion is a last resort: he will keep it two weeks minimum and charge me a bunch just to loosen a screw so I can do the rest myself. Sometimes, the gun comes back with scratches and dings. Not until I have given up.

Keep the ideas coming; they are most appreciated.

Part of enjoying guns is being able to work on them when they need it. I've been doing this for over 25 years.
 

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If you do get a little discoloration...no big deal. Using some Flitz on a soft cloth will polish it back out.

The nitrided receiver is a similar process as case-hardening. Once the heat-treating has been completed, the metal is polished bright. It comes out of the oven with a kind of brownish dusty color. There's nothing applied to the surface.

You could probably heat the part to 400 degrees without any problem.
 

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heat the screw with a small butane torch style lighter. They offer high heat and a small easy to control flame. while still hot drip liquid wax onto the area from a burning candle. the wax will wick into the threads and you should be able to get it out no problem.
Jimmy
 

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I've had some luck with stubborn screws using a Weller soldering gun. The tip gets orange hot and I hold it on the screw for 10 - 20 seconds and they usually come out. Hope this helps. Bob
 

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2 things to try:

1. Using a GUNSMITH screw driver, smack the top of the screwdriver handle, not too hard to help break the galvanic attraction between the screw and threaded hole, then try to back it out.

2. Using a non-gunsmith screw driver (one that is expendable), dold in tightly in the screw's slot and apply head from a torch, preferably MAP and let the screw driver transfer the head to the screw.

Don't unscrew it yet - it's not bigger from heat expansion, but when it's cooled down, hopefully the head has loosened it up enough to back out.

Hope this helps.

My above assumptions are based on the thought that this screw is near some of the gun's wood.

Whiz
 

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The few times one needs an impact driver makes it worth the money.

Lacking the impact driver,,,,,

Assuming you are going to remove the stock to service or repair the firearm, you might take the action and put it in the freezer. This will cause parts to contract, maybe enough to remove screw. Inserting the driver into the screw, tapping it with a hammer while turning the driver has worked many times for me.

Putting a little candle wax on the screw when re installing it will help the next time.

If working on a rear tang screw that goes into wood, it may be rusted.

Obviously, if you leave it in the fridge overnight, when it warms up, it is going to sweat. The stock is going to have to come off.

If you are going to service the arm, if it is a newer model, make sure you have the firing pin tool to remove and retighten the firing pin retainers.

If the gun has been in service for several years, get mainsprings as well. It may need hammer cocking foot springs as well.

These guns can require numerous small parts. It might be a good idea to call Don at SKB at 800-752-2767.

The SKB/Weatherby is a good design, with VERY quick lock time, and is actually superior to many more expensive shotguns. Like the Perazzi, it likes attention, but is more difficult to work on.
 

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Just some random thoughts about difficult screw extraction. Most of my past problems have begun with me, or someone else, using the wrong screwdriver and messing up the slot. Kerosene is a good penetrating oil, but clean all lubricant from the head of the screw before trying to get the screw out. Get the thing about waist level so you can lean over the screw, push down, straight down, hard and twist the screwdriver just a little. Heat sometimes helps. Tapping the screw can help. Several lighter taps are better than one hard tap (sometimes). Be very careful and do not damage the slot, or damage it anymore.

Screws can cause problems. They can use much of our time and can get expensive.

I dislike Loctite. A dab of caulk will do the same thing.

Pat Ireland
 

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If you resort to some type of open flame heating , go by an electronics repair shop and try to get some heat sink material . Put that on and around the tang .

Brownell's has a suitable product but you indicate that you may not want to wait that long for deliery .

What size is that screw ? Probably near a #10 or so . If you have access to a drill press , you might get some relief by drilling into or through the stuck screw and then use a #1 extractor .

Unless you are "really good" don't even think of using anything but a drill press and do a bit of practicing before the real event . The unit price on some small drill bits and extractors is rather inexpensive - - - an
"AW SHIrT ! ! " can ruin a day, a trigger guard , and mar a pistol grip in a heart beat .

That level of work is more demanding , by far , than a carpenter's "measure twice ; cut once " rule of thumb .

Good Luck - - - in Spades ! ! !

Charlie
 

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I had good success using an impact driver once on a front sight screw. That is, one of those drivers you hit with a hammer. Had to switch it from right to left hand a couple of times also. I preheated the screw with one of those small butane torches and did as someone else mentioned earlier using an expendable screw driver to transfer the heat to the screw. Bill
 

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Don't try it by hand the screw head will get buggered up for sure. Lock it into a drill press like Gun Doc advised. Use a parallel sided bit. Put a wrench on the screwdriver bit and smack the end of it with a hammer. Works like a torque wrench but won't slip with a sturdy drill press. Using a milling machine would be better. It has likely been assembled with a torque wrench. You probably already need a new screw.
 

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use the candle trick. some heat from a soldering gun or flame and then melt a candle into the hole. it will wick down the threads and hopefully the screw will com eout. does not take a bunch of heat but the scred has to melt the wax not the candle flame.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Finally got the screw unstuck!!

An exact fitting hollow ground screwdriver, penetrating oil, and tapping over several days did the trick. Didn't have to go to heating the screw. Glad for that. It did appear to have some type of brown colored tightener on the threads.

Thanks to all for your suggestions.

I have made some notes on disassembly in case anyone ever needs to know how to do so. The gun is a Weatherby Athena III with the beautiful engraved side plates and gold inlaid birds. No longer made since Weatherby switched from SKB to an italian gun maker.

Happy shooting!
 
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