Help! Can't get my screw loose!

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by Woodsman22, Nov 17, 2004.

  1. Woodsman22

    Woodsman22 New Member

    Nov 17, 2004
    Hello everyone. I'm new to this forum and I have a problem with my new Browning Buckmark .22 pistol, and I would be grateful for the input of a knowledgable person regarding this problem. Specifically, I took the pistol apart as far as the instructions say to do so, but I can't get the barrel lock screw off. The instructions say NOT to do so, but this, I feel, is not the most practical advise because if you don't take the barrel off, then you have to clean it FROM THE MUZZLE, which I would rather not do. Besides, why put the takedown screw there in the first place if you are not to take the barrel off? The barrel screw (which can be seen from the front of the pistol's frame under the barrel) appears to be locked in place with some sort of white compound like locktite. When I tried the (correct size) hex wrench on it, I could tell the wrench would snap before the screw came loose, so I stopped trying to turn the screw out. I thought that MAYBE some (careful) application of heat from a small flame might help to break it loose, but I am a liittle apprehensive about doing this because the frame is aluminum. I also would like to put a different, heavier barrel (made by Browning for this gun) and need to get the screw out for that reason too. Has anyone on this forum got experience with this pistol and tried taking the barrel off of theirs? If so, I would appreciate hearing from you and anyone else who can offer some advise. By the way, if it matters, it is a Buckmark "Challenge" model. I apologize for the length of this post, but couldn't make it much shorter. Thanks in advance.

  2. inplanotx

    inplanotx Active Member

    Jan 28, 2002
    Welcome to TFF, Woodsman22. I cannot be entirely sure, but I think if you take the barrel off, you may need to take it to a gunsmith to have it headspaced in order to put it back together.

    I'm sure CountryGunsmith will be along shortly to tell you exactly.

  3. No, the Browning Buckmark barrels will come off and go back on without headspace issues.

    I havent had this problem replacing Buckmark barrels, but then I dont use standard L-shaped Allen wrenches. Try applying a gentle heat to the frame around the screw while keeping pressure on the Allen wrench. You might also try nail polish remover in the threads (test on a small inconspicuous area of the frame to make sure it doesnt discolor the anodizing first).
  4. Woodsman22

    Woodsman22 New Member

    Nov 17, 2004
    Country Gunsmith,

    Thank you for your input and suggestion. I thought heating the frame around the affected screw might be the thing to try, but I was unsure of myself and as I said, a little anxious about not wanting to harm the pistol. One final question if you don't mind: do you think that there is any chance that the screw might have left-handed threads? I know it sounds a little far fetched, but then I don't see why they would want to make it so hard to remove the barrel in the first place. Thanks very much for your consideration and thank you for the "welcome to the group".

  5. Pistolsmith

    Pistolsmith New Member

    Feb 14, 2004
    Woodsman: An open flame is overkill. Apply heat with your soldering gun. I use a set of allen wrenches in a Law Enforcement clip style screwdriver handle, from Brownells. It is very difficult to apply too much torque with that rig. You will not have to renew the loc tite when you re-fasten the screw the first couple of times. Before you do renew it, clip the screw onto the wrench and brush the powdered loc tite residue from the threads with a brass brush or a bronze bore brush. Blow residue out of the threaded hole with an air jet nozzle attached to a small compressor or by lung power.
    Note that even if you have a torch with a tiny flame, such as one that uses butane gas, the hotter, more localized flame can melt aluminum alloys in a heartbeat. Some gunsmiths advocate putting a drop of solt solder on the screw head to better conduct heat to the threads, but I've never needed to resort to that. My soldering gun is a Weller.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2004
  6. Woodsman22

    Woodsman22 New Member

    Nov 17, 2004
    Thanks for the tip. I've got a soldering iron somewhere in my stack of stuff in the basement and I'll try that first. Incidentally, about 10 years or so ago I would have cursed Browning for making the gun's frame out of aluminum alloy. but now that I have arthritis in both of my shoulder joints, I no longer feel that way. Actually, this pistol has THE MOST comfortable feeling grip I've ever handled on any pistol (that includes my 3rd series Woodsman 22) and it is not a "pain in the shoulder" to hold the pistol at arms length for a reasonable period of time. )As I've said above, it is a Buckmark Challenge model, and the grip is different from the other Buckmark pistols, in case anyone is interested. Thanks again, fellas.
  7. Pistolsmith

    Pistolsmith New Member

    Feb 14, 2004
    Woodsman. two Aleve tablets in the morning will help on the days you go to the range. I couldn't shoot without it.
  8. stash247

    stash247 New Member

    Oct 18, 2003
    Central Texas
    Cyanoaclylate, as in locktite, et al, goes to he** at about 340 degrees F.
    A heat gun, available thru harbor freight for about $12,US, will do that, and do no other damage.
    Hope this helps....
  9. Pistolsmith

    Pistolsmith New Member

    Feb 14, 2004
    Been there, done that. A heat gun doesn't work as fast as holding the gun under a heat lamp in the bathroom, although it may be a long run from the bathroom to the shop.
    A heat gun, or a heat lamp, warms up the major part of the surface you are aiming it toward; the object is to get localized heat directly to the screw threads in the shortest possible time by the shortest possible route.
    A gunsmith, writing to Brownell's newsletter, stated that spilling Coca Cola over a stuck screw would loosen it. (I've often wondered how much Jack Daniels he added to the Coke.)
    There are many ways to loosen a tight screw; many of them have been delineated above. I marvel that nobody mentioned setting the screw driver in the slot and pounding the handle with a hammer. (That was once advocated in a GUNsport article by a writer named Les Bowman.) He also mentioned that he "set" his scope ring screws that way. I never saw his rifles, so I just can't comment, but my imagination flashes ugly pictures of tortured screw heads and deep, slurring cuts on the rings and bases.
  10. rmrdaddy

    rmrdaddy New Member

    Feb 22, 2003
    southern NJ
    I hate to beat a dead horse, so I won't. ;)

    If you are trying to take off the barrel in order to effectively clean it, why not clean it another way. I use an Otis cleaning kit, and have used it with much success on my fathers Buckmark .22 pistol. The Otis sytem is specifically designed for military and police applications in mind, but is a breech-to-muzzle cleaning kit, and the particluar one I have cleans ALL my guns, .45, 9MM, 12GA, and the aforementioned .22. It comes in a neat little round zippered nylon pack, you can wear it on your belt, ALICE pack, or toss it in your range bag. Best $25? bucks I ever spent! The Daddy :)
  11. TRAP55

    TRAP55 Active Member

    All that headache for a screw? Use a hoppes boresnake!
  12. searcher5

    searcher5 New Member

    Apr 14, 2004
    S.E. Kansas
    Haven't tried it, but I wonder if heating the screwdriver up instead of the screw (and gun) might work.
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