American Rifleman - October 2009 - (Page 88)

FEATURE RIGHT TURN Making The Right Turn Where metal meets metal; the beginning of disassembly or damage? When it comes to doubles and other fine guns, you often need an even finer screwdriver. The problem is trying to find one. Here a veteran custom gunmaker tells you what to look for in a “turnscrew,” and how to make it yourself. I BY STEVEN DODD HUGHES more frightening are the possibilities of gouged lockplates, furrowed stocks, or screw heads so badly damaged they must be drilled out to be replaced. I’ve seen all these things result from well-intentioned, but careless, disassembly. My desire to provide information about screwdrivers comes also from the number of loose screws I see in pride-and-joy shotguns and the limited access to competent gunsmiths to tighten them. I’ve also seen a few cracked stocks because the tang screws had loosened under recoil. Wouldn’t it be great if you could feel con dent about tightening loose screws? Most side-by-side shotguns have a number of screws in similar locations that fasten metal parts to each other and to the stock. Most screws have ne slots and should be installed tightly to prevent them from working loose. We use screwdrivers—or “turnscrews”—as some ’smiths refer to them, to install and remove screws. (A gunsmith’s joke: What’s the difference between a screwdriver and a turnscrew? About $45!) The screwdriver rack above my bench holds nearly two dozen mismatched tools, some of which I use every day. In Photos by author was torn between desire and hesitation when contemplating writing about gunsmithing screwdrivers. Desire, because I’m always interested in spreading knowledge about gunmaking, and screwdrivers have not gotten a lot of ink in the past. Hesitation, because of the prospect of encouraging friends like Ian, who freely admits “a screwdriver becomes a dangerous weapon in my hands.” Three of my friends have different skill levels with screwdrivers. Ian owns a set and is justi ably afraid of using them on his guns. Tim has a passable set, with blades I ground for him, and can mount a scope, remove a sidelock, or tighten a loose screw—though when I’m in his gun room he’s apt to say, “Here, you do it.” Ross, on the other hand, takes great pleasure in “raccooning” his shotguns. I’m thankful he doesn’t deform his screws, because he’ll bring a problem gun to my shop before messing it up. Regardless of your skill level or training, however, I’ll issue this warning: The surest way to screw up a perfectly good gun is to forcefully apply chisel-like instruments to its external surfaces. At the very least, those thin, crisp screw slots can get deformed. Much CTOBER 88 O 2009 WWW.AMERICANRIFLEMAN.ORG http://WWW.AMERICANRIFLEMAN.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - October 2009

American Rifleman - October 2009
From The Editor
Armed Citizen
Standing Guard
President’s Column
Welcome To NRACountry
Readers Write
News, Notes and Ephemera
Questions & Answers
Loading Bench
The Mayor vs. The People
Ruger’s SR-556: Ready To Run, Right Out Of The Box
The Colt U.S. M4 Carbine
The Truth About Gun Shows
Lincoln’s Rifles: “They Might Have Stayed To See The Shooting”
What Is A Purpose-Built Shotgun?
The ABCs Of Handgun Marksmanship
Making The Right Turn
Dope Bag: Data & Comment
Political Report
Trigger The Vote
NRA-ILA Report
Regional Report/Member Info & Benefits
Programs & Services
I Have This Old Gun

American Rifleman - October 2009