Suggestions for removing stripped scope screws

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by wpshooter, Dec 19, 2010.

  1. wpshooter

    wpshooter Member

    Jul 21, 2009
    I am in the process of doing a complete cleaning a gun for my nieces' husband and then going to zero/sight in the gun for him after cleaning.

    In the process of removing the scope from the gun, I discovered that on the 2 front screws on the front ring of the scope that the hex fittings have been stripped/smoothed out (it is the hex head that is stripped - not the actual screw or ring threads) by whoever installed the scope on the rifle, I would guess by attempting to over tighten. The back 2 screws were fine and thus I got them out.

    I have so far not been able to figure out how to get those 2 front screws out of the ring.

    I tried putting some paper and also a thin piece of cloth into the hex slots before inserting the allen wrench but this did not work - still could not turn them.

    I got the scope off of the gun by removing the rings from the base but I still need to get those front 2 screws off of the front ring so I can get the ring off of the scope, then I can attempt to order some new screws for the rings to replace the stripped ones.

    Any suggestions on how to get those 2 stripped screws out would be appreciated.

    Last edited: Dec 19, 2010
  2. Gabob

    Gabob Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2005
    With a needle file or dremel tool. Cut a screwdriver slot in the hex head. I have also cut the slot with a hacksaw
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2010

  3. Zane71464

    Zane71464 Well-Known Member

    Aug 1, 2009
    Ohio NRA Member thing too you might try, is to try a torx bit in the hex head as they sometimes will grab in as with different sizes.
  4. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

    Apr 28, 2008
    take an allen wrench that is just a tad too big and file each of the six sides so that they are at a light taper. cut off the bent end. then take the tapered end and drive it into the screw head with a hammer. it should cut into the hole and get a bite allowing you to turn it out with a pair of vice grips
  5. so far you have been given good advise.i only have one suggestion,sears makes a set of screw removers that may work.they cost about 20.00 if i remember right and you can use them over and over.the eonly other thing you may try and you must be very careful,is to heat the screw with a pencil type torch to help loosen. old semperfi
  6. gunplumber

    gunplumber New Member

    Apr 14, 2010
    If the scws are locked with a chemical, I use a soldering iron placed on the head to heat it and melt the substance holding the scw. If no chemical is present on the ones you got out, heat should not be used. The center of the scw can be drilled out to ease pressure on the threads and a slot can be cut into the head with a Dremel and very small diamond cutter or carbide bit. If rust is seen, place a driver bit onn the scw and "tap" it 30 or 40 times; do not hit it hard but set up a vibratation. I do this a lot on stuck scws before I drill the center out). Be sure the driver fits the slot and when you go to turn it, "snap" it around and don't dink with it. Other than that, it can be drilled out and retapped which is a pain in the buttocks.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2010
  7. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    Drill out the screw's head with successively bigger drill bits until the head comes off. You can they lift the ring off what remains of the screws. If the remainder of the screws won't come out easily (hacksaw a slot or use a vise grip on the protruding remains of the screw.... if LocTited use the heat from a soldering iron to loosen the LocTite's grip) then just get a new set of rings.

    I am just repeating what gunplumber said, actually.

  8. wpshooter

    wpshooter Member

    Jul 21, 2009
    Everyone keeps mentioning using a dremel tool to cut slots in the screws' hex head so that a regular flat edge screw driver might possibly be used to turn the screw, but what type of attachment on a dremel tool would allow you to cut 2 slots one opposite each other on the hex head, so that you could insert a flat edge screw driver in it.

    All of the bits that I have with the dremel drill that I have are for basically drilling round holes not straight/line slots or am I supposed to be so good & STEADY that I can drill a straight line across the edge of the hex head and then another slot on the opposite side (without drilling a bunch of holes in the scope itself) ? Am I missing something here ?

  9. grcsat

    grcsat Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2010
    What you need is the dremel " cut off tool" this consists of a mandrel and a cut off wheel. They are actuly quite cheap and one of the best tools that dremel has.
    What you do next is just cut a slot straight across the head of the screw .
    Then use a thin bladed screw driver to un screw the messed up screw.
  10. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    Unless the screw head protrudes above the surface of the ring there is no way to make a slot for a screw driver.

    If it is the rings you want to save (the screws are already toast) just drill out the screw head until it sticks on the drill and breaks off the screw body. With the heads gone you only have to pull the top ring off. The screw bodies will be left protruding above the rings mating surface where you can attempt to slot them. The screw bodies may just come out by grasping the screw body with pliers.

  11. Brer Rabbit

    Brer Rabbit New Member

    Sep 17, 2010
    Tucson, AZ
    Put some 5 Min epoxy on the end of a allen wrench and put it into the screw. after it dries it should be strong enough to remove the screw.

    Brer Rabbit
  12. BETH

    BETH Well-Known Member

    Jul 10, 2009
    sounds like someone used loc tight
  13. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    It sounds like the problem is in scope ring screws, which means that if all else fails, there is an easy (if somewhat expensive) fix. Simply cut off the ring and buy a new set.

    And do NOT use Allen screws, ever, on anything. If you can't get TORX screws, plain old slot heads are better than Allens. Same goes for grip screws.

  14. wpshooter

    wpshooter Member

    Jul 21, 2009

    Yes you are correct. The screw head is NOT above the flat surface of the top of the ring. So, I see no way a slot could be cut into the hex head unless someone had a microscope to work with and a surgeon's hands.

    First, I am about the try what the other poster suggested by putting some super glue in the hex opening and then sick an allen wrench in it and see what it might do after it dries.

    If that does not work then maybe I will try your suggestion regarding drilling on the screw head.

  15. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    You can also try drilling the head then using a easy-out. I hate the guy who decided to use Allen screws on those. I used to throw them away and replace them with slot heads (that was before Torx, or at least before I knew about them).

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