03 Oct Why a Fix-It Sticks Toolkit Is a Must-Have for Shooters
Our rifles are full of locking lugs and threaded fasteners. From the scope rings to the action screws, there’s a whole lot of hardware that holds it all together.
And, interestingly, just like breathing discipline, how hard you grip the rifle, and how hot the barrel is (among other factors) fastener torque can theoretically affect accuracy.
This is why some shooters carry a special toolkit that will enable them to apply a precise and consistent amount of torque to all of the fasteners that hold their rifles together.
Fix-It Sticks toolkits, especially those with torque limiters, are among the best of these. Here’s just about everything you need to know.
Wait, What Is Torque?
First, we need a short explanation of what torque is and how it can possibly affect rifle accuracy.
Torque is a measure of rotational force, given in inch-pounds. As it applies to screws, it refers to how much “twisting” force is applied to the screw when driving it.
The threaded fasteners (screws) that hold firearms together accomplish three things, chiefly. In addition to outwardly “holding the gun together,” the application of torque keeps the screw where it’s supposed to be and resists two key forces, tensile (pulling apart) and sheer (sliding) forces.
Torque must be set appropriately, and both over- and under-tightening screws can have substantial negative consequences.
How Torque Influences Accuracy/Performance
To illustrate the importance of setting torque properly, let’s look at a common issue that affects gun screws: over tightening scope base screws.
Many scope bases affix using fairly small screws. A common size is 6-48 (6mm wide, 48 TPI). It doesn’t take much explanation as to why under tightening would be a problem.
If the scope base screws aren’t torqued tightly enough, the screw will walk back out under vibration while shooting, and either the zero will be thrown off or the screw will work loose entirely and the scope rings will fall off.
So the natural (but erroneous) conclusion is to torque down hard on the screw. Well, this is just as big of a problem as if you didn’t torque down enough.
As stated, these are small, fairly fragile screws. Overtightening them can damage the screw, actually twisting off the head. If this happens, you need to replace the screw entirely, and if you’re particularly unlucky, you might even damage the rail to which the scope rings are attached, or the receiver.
Setting torque on the action screws that secure the action to the stock is another concern. If the screws are too loose, there won’t be a good fit between the action and stock and accuracy will suffer. Too tight, and you could crush the stock material, which can also adversely impact accuracy.
Moreover, whatever the setting is, you should maintain it, so re-applying torque to the fasteners after a session of shooting can help ensure that everything is set consistently, every time, which should benefit accuracy.
In the instance of bedding the action to the stock, setting the right torque isn’t just critical, but setting torque consistently.
In a perfect world, the fore and rear action screws should be set to the exact same amount of torque. The reason for this is that if the torque is set evenly, the stresses will be distributed evenly from front to back. What you don’t want is a situation in which one action screw works loose at a rate faster or slower than the other. Setting the torque as evenly as possible between them can positively impact accuracy.
Once more, setting the action screws too tightly can damage the screws, potentially damage the stock, and can adversely impact accuracy.
But these are only two things on the gun that might need to be torqued. You should also keep a set of drivers close at hand for tightening bipods, scope rings, rail adapters, and anything else affixed to the rifle via fasteners.
So, the simple solution is to set the torque properly. Just be aware of what the manufacturer recommendations are (they should be in your owner’s manual). “Good and tight,” is not good enough. You want to be sure you’re setting the torque for each screw exactly as the manufacturer recommends, to ensure consistent accuracy and prevent damage to the screws.
What a Fix-It Sticks Toolkit Offers
Anarchy Outdoors offers a custom-curated solution for delivering the perfect torque settings to scope base screws, action screws, and the other fasteners in your rifle: Fix-It Sticks toolkits.
We offer several different Fix-It Sticks toolkits, but for the purpose of illustration take a look at the toolkit via the previous link.
It is a modular toolkit that has been exclusively configured for Anarchy Outdoors and has a 65 inch-lb torque limiter (for action screws), a 49 inch-lb torque limiter (for MPA/WTO switch lugs), and two torque limiters for scope mount cap rings, 25 and 15 inch-lbs, respectively.
The kit in question also contains a T-way T-Handle wrench which is highly ergonomic, along with 16 different bits, a ½” socket and ¼” adapter set, and a deluxe carrying case.
This is only one of the Fix-It Sticks sets we carry here. We also carry all-in-one kits, a pistol kit that’s perfect for Glock pistols, and a “Duo” kit that contains torque limiters as well as field maintenance essentials.
The latter option contains a bolt carrier group scraper, a castle nut wrench, a metal pin punch, a bronze scraper, a steel pick, a cleaning brush kit, a front sight adjustment tool, a set of brass cleaning rods (compatible with 8-32 attachments), bit adapters, and 24 chrome-plated ¼” bits.
It’s the perfect tool set for field stripping, maintenance, and cleaning, especially for owners of modern sporting rifles like AR-15 rifles.
Get Your Next Fix-It Sticks Toolkit Here
Do you have questions about our Fix-It Sticks toolkits or the tools they contain? Get in touch with us before you buy. You can reach us at 833-980-0333. Let us know how we can help and we’ll help you find what you need.