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Old 10-05-2009, 04:44 PM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 26
How to tighten action screws

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I have a question for all of you knowledgeable guys.
I have just had the action out of the stock of my Winchester mod 70 Westerner .243.
I have just adjusted the trigger and free floated the barrel.
Now it is time to reassemble the rifle.
Is there a correct way to tighten up the action screws ( the order in which you tighten them and how tight) I don't own a tension wrench but is there a correct pressure to crank these screws up to ( just nipped up tight , or as tight as I can get them)

Thankyou for your time

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Old 10-05-2009, 05:08 PM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Alberta
Posts: 434
I've always taken up the slack in each action screw a little at a time and then, on the M70, the front action screw has to be as tight as you can get it by hand. I can't remember who but I remember one gun writer (either Jack O'Connor or Jim Carmichael) said to use the biggest, fattest handled screwdriver you could find and give it all you have. The sometimes heard advice to give the screwdriver a whack with a hammer "to tighten the threads" now isn't as recommended as it once was.

Once the front action screw is tight, be certain the center and rear action screws aren't so tight that the action is bent and makes the bolt bind in the action. Also, make certain the trigger guard is positioned (there is usually a bit of leeway) such that the floorplate can close and latch securely before you start tightening things up (other than the front action screw) too much.

I hope that helps.

Last edited by Kanuck; 10-05-2009 at 05:09 PM. Reason: grammar correction
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Old 10-05-2009, 05:16 PM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 490
What Kanuck said...front screw tightest and center screw loosest (is "loosest" a real word?)

If you tighten the center screw too much you can torque the action and accuracy goes out the window.
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Old 10-05-2009, 05:36 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Posts: 920
If you have a torque driver, 65 inch-pounds (not foot-pounds) is the typical recommendation for the action screws.
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Old 10-05-2009, 06:02 PM
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Location: Idaho
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You might want to check out the threads here:

A bit more information to consider. Good luck.
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Old 10-05-2009, 06:29 PM
The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Mesa, Arizona
Posts: 21,838
My sequence for 3-screw actions is:

1: Front screw to slight resistance

2: Rear screw to slight resistance

3: Middle screw to just off resistance

4: Front screw tightened to snug

5: Rear screw tightened to snug

6: Bump the butt of rifle on carpeted floor (firmly, but not excessive)

7: Tighten front screw to hand tight

8: Tighten rear screw to firm, but not hand tight

9: Run middle screw in to just feeling resistance, or until floor plate will latch properly.

Now - my Fat Wrench has the following instructions:


Wood, fiberglass or synthetic stock without bedding pillars - 40 inch-lbs

Wood, figerblass or synthetic stock with bedding pillars - up to 65 inch-lbs

Hard-use service-type rifles in synthetic stocks with pillars - up to 65 inch-lbs

Current specifications for law enforcement & military rifles are 65 inch-lbs on each of the guard screws.

Note that the middle screw in a guard that has three screws should only be slightly tightened.
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NRA Certified Range Safety Officer

"Firearms only have two enemies - rust and politicans" author unknown
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Old 10-06-2009, 07:02 AM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 702
I've always found the front screw to be the most fickle and important for good accuracy. I always heard and lived by : Snug...Then half-a-turn on the front guard screw for Winchester, Mauser, Enfield style rifles. Too much torque on the front screw always made my groups string high. Good luck !! HD1
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Old 10-06-2009, 07:44 AM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: albemarle nc
Posts: 2,380
i know my cz 452,calls for 35 lbs torque on the action screws ... this according to my gunsmith..slim

Last edited by slim 60; 10-07-2009 at 04:14 AM.
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