The Art of Torquing Action Screws: A Guide for Precision Shooters

Proper maintenance of your rifle involves paying close attention to each detail - down to the precise torque applied to your action screws. Action screws that are tightened to the correct torque can improve the accuracy and reliability of your rifle. Let's delve into the importance of accurate torque, recommended settings for popular models, and a step-by-step guide to doing it right.

Action screws that are either too loose or too tight can affect the rifle's accuracy. Loose screws can allow the action to move in the stock under recoil, while overtightened screws can potentially warp or stress the action. Thus, applying the correct torque to your action screws is essential to maintaining optimal performance and preventing damage to your firearm.

General Torque Recommendations

The correct torque varies by the rifle model and can even depend on the specifics of your setup. Below is a table with general torque recommendations in inch-pounds for some popular rifles. Remember, always consult your rifle's manual or a professional gunsmith for specific instructions.

Rifle Torque (inch-pounds)
Remington 700 Front: 65, Rear: 45-55
Remington 700 Clones Front: 65, Rear: 45-55
Ruger 10/22 20-25
Ruger American 55-65
Tikka T3/t3x 55-65
Bergara B14 55-65
Savage 110 30-35
CZ 457 20-25
Sauer 100 35-45
Howa 1500 35-45
Weatherby Vanguard 35-45

How to Torque Action Screws

Once you have the recommended torque values, it's time to get to work. Here is a step-by-step guide:

Tools Needed:

- Torque wrench (in-lbs)
- Correct size bit or socket for the action screws
- Thread locker (optional)

Remember to use a reliable torque wrench to accurately apply these settings, as incorrect torque can cause shooting inconsistencies or even damage to your rifle. For those new to gun maintenance, it's important to note that inch-pounds (in-lbs) are different from foot-pounds (ft-lbs), which is a more common measurement for automotive work. 1 foot-pound is equal to 12 inch-pounds, so ensure you're using the correct settings on your torque wrench.


(1) Unload the Rifle: Safety first! Always ensure the rifle is completely unloaded before beginning any maintenance tasks.

(2) Prepare the Rifle: Place the rifle on a sturdy, clean work surface with good lighting. If available, use a gun vise to hold the rifle steady.

(3) Remove the Action Screws: Using your bit or socket, unscrew the action screws. Typically, there are two screws - one near the front (fore-end) and one near the trigger guard.

(4)  Clean the Screws and Holes: Use a suitable cleaning solution to remove any grit, old thread locker, or oil.

(5)  Apply Thread Locker: This step is optional. If using, apply a small amount to the threads of the screws.

(6)  Insert and Hand-Tighten Screws: Insert the action screws back into the rifle and hand tighten them until snug, without forcing them.

(7) Set Torque Wrench for Initial Torque: Set your torque wrench to a value less than half of the final inch-pounds setting for your specific rifle model.

(8) Apply Initial Torque to Action Screws: Using the torque wrench, tighten both the front and rear action screws to this initial torque setting, starting with the front screw.

(9) Adjust Torque Wrench for Final Torque and Tighten Screws: Adjust your torque wrench to the final torque setting for each screw. Torque the front screw to the final setting, followed by the rear action screw.

(10) Double Check: Once you've torqued both screws, it's a good idea to check them again in the same order.

(11)  Let Thread Locker Cure: If you applied thread locker, let it cure for the recommended time before using the rifle.

This two-step process of torquing ensures an even amount of pressure is applied to both the front and rear of the action, contributing to more consistent accuracy.

In conclusion, properly torquing your action screws is a simple yet vital part of rifle maintenance. By following these guidelines and torque recommendations, you can optimize your rifle's performance and precision.

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