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Uncle Tater

Hex head screws for EMF Colt 1873

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I have exhausted my Google-foo skills at searching for hex head screws to replace the backstrap/trigger guard screws for my EMF GWII Alchemista revolvers. Due to shooting black powder I have to disassemble them often which wears down the soft factory screws.  I had a malfunction last week and had to quickly tear down/fix/reassemble one between stages and the screws didn’t receive the TLC they deserved during the heat of battle. I could order new slotted ones but these being working guns (not museum pieces) I would prefer something more durable. Any ideas for sources for hex head screws?

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I've had pretty good luck finding screws that work at Ace Hardware.  I take the part in with the screw hole and find my "helpful hardware man" to let him know what I'm up to and then go hunting.  

 

One problem in your application is finding a hex head cap screw with a head small enough to go into the countersink.  

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I'd be working to minimize the "teardown" you are doing to your pistols in mid-match.   That will never be fun, even with hex-head screws.

 

First, don't go to matches unless you have your guns tuned up and ready to run 6 stages.  Many newer shooters really haven't worked out the glitches in their new guns on the range at their leisure, and then matches cause them grief.    

 

Second, make sure your gunsmith screwdrivers exactly fit the screw head notches.   If you are not using gunsmith bits or drivers  (having parallel tip sections rather than tapered tips like mechanics/household drivers), you need to.  If you are not matching the screw's slot width and thickness (this is very important), you need to.  I recommend a set from Brownells of the MagnaTip handle(s) and replaceable driver bits that fit.

 

There aren't many sources of hex head fillister screws for Pietta revolvers, because most folks don't take grip frame screws out but maybe once a year.  And when they bugger up a screw head, they just get another slotted screw head.   What required you to take off the grip frames?  

 

Third, resolve that problem.   Then you can leave the guns alone and shoot the match like everyone else.   You will have a lot more fun.

 

Good luck, GJ

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BTW.  A couple of years back I asked the same question and got tired and feathered.  Something about illegal mod. <_<

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OP-Just what is the gun do'n, that makes you have to tear the gun apart? :huh:

OLG

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On 3/15/2019 at 1:27 PM, Warden Callaway said:

BTW.  A couple of years back I asked the same question and got tired and feathered.  Something about illegal mod. <_<

 ... on page 37 of the current rule book ... (Version 23.2 - January 2019) ... 

SCREWS - Factory screws may be replaced with socket head cap or other type screws.

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McMaster-Carr

 

 Fastenall

 

Quick search shows that Torx head screws are becoming more common.   

 

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3 hours ago, Uncle Tater said:

which wears down the soft factory screws.  

 

I'm wondering if stainless steel screws from a stainless model would be harder and hold up better?

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Thanks to all of you for all your replies. The reason for the emergency tear down was one revolver just stopped making noise and smoke. Light primer strikes indicated a loose mainspring screw or crud slowing the hammer. Moose milk and re-tightening the mainspring screw fixed the issue.  Fortunately i had my Brownells Magna screwdrivers with me so I could finish the match. Easy to find slotted replacement screws and infrequent tear downs should solve most of my issues. I’ve only shot two matches and I’m also a newbie to black powder revolvers. I haven’t been finding anything inside the action to warrant frequent disassembly, but was concerned about crud and corrosion. It seems as I have been overly worried about a non issue, but I did gain the knowledge of how to quickly repair a stoppage.

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X2 on going to Torx over Allen.

WG-When run'n SS fasteners on SS. Use anti-seize.

OLG

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6 hours ago, Warden Callaway said:

I'm wondering if stainless steel screws from a stainless model would be harder and hold up better?

 

Almost always, stainless fasteners, even made of 416 stainless, are quite a bit softer than heat treated carbon/chrome/vanadium steel (the 4140 and 4130 types often used in firearms).   However, I've not see Pietta disclose what alloy they use for various parts of their revolvers.   Knowing how soft Uberti's (factory) screws are on blued guns, I would not be surprised to learn that Pietta uses about the same alloys for carbon steel firearms.

 

Good luck, GJ

 

 

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33 minutes ago, Nate Kiowa Jones #6765 said:

The EMF PIETTA's use 2nd gen screw sizes.

 

These will work

Socket cap, Alloy steel black oxide finish, #8-36

 

but will require fitting.

 

Kuhnhausen Colt single action book lists the Pietta grip screw thread as 4mm x 0.7 but that may be a bit dated. 

 

"But will require fitting".   Head size?   Other?

 

I think there may be an issue using a socket head cap screw on the bottom of the butt and ahead of the trigger bow as the heads will likely be too tall. 

 

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Does the grip frame mounting holes have a tapered/angled bottom on the screw holes?

If it does-I would not use any Allen/Torx head screw that does not match the taper.

OLG

 

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1 hour ago, Warden Callaway said:

 

Kuhnhausen Colt single action book lists the Pietta grip screw thread as 4mm x 0.7 but that may be a bit dated. 

 

"But will require fitting".   Head size?   Other?

 

I think there may be an issue using a socket head cap screw on the bottom of the butt and ahead of the trigger bow as the heads will likely be too tall. 

 

Think it has to do with the OD of the screw head.

OLG

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Last year I had a Uberti screw cam out and it turned into a nightmare to get repaired.   I had another Uberti screw to use.  But on speculation,  I bought 25 8-36 cap screws off eBay for $7, as I remember.  

 

1434936816_8x36stockheadscrewsMar2019.jpg.9668b66525e67aeb90a3934f160f197e.jpg

 

I can see right off the heads are too big. I'm not sure if they can be turned down to size and still have enough material for the hex socket. I may give it a try and see what I come up with. 

 

 

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On 3/15/2019 at 3:50 PM, Sedalia Dave said:

Quick search shows that Torx head screws are becoming more common.   

I changed my '73 lifter screws to Torx & they were suddenly much easier to work with. They have gobs of metrics on on fleaBay.

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On 3/15/2019 at 2:55 PM, Warden Callaway said:

I've had pretty good luck finding screws that work at Ace Hardware.  I take the part in with the screw hole and find my "helpful hardware man" to let him know what I'm up to and then go hunting.  

 

One problem in your application is finding a hex head cap screw with a head small enough to go into the countersink.  

Great place to browse.  I found a cheap ($2.50) gun screw gage which makes finding the right screw a lot similar sometimes.     GW

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Thanks again for the info. I figured that any normal hex head screw would not work due to the head diameter and height of the socket. It would have to be a custom after market part designed fit this application. I will probably just go with the available slotted screws found at EMF and most of the parts suppliers found on the inter-webs.  I will check with the suppliers you guys gave me and if anything usable comes up I’ll let everyone know.  Both revolvers ran flawlessly today so i only cleaned the barrels and cylinders this evening leaving the interals alone.

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727493417_ColtgripfinalJan2019.jpg.2fe2445d5f4c40f556e697ecda47e7aa.jpg

 

I changed the grips on my Colt SAA and the screw from the other set was short by about 1/10".   Colt screws on eBay were expensive and rediculious shipping charges.   I took the grip panel to Ace Hardware and went through their gun screw collection.  I found the exact screw I needed for $1.38.  I did have to reduce the head size a bit. 

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Tah-Dah!

 

1666289866_PiettasocketheadscrewsMarch2019.jpg.74916b486305f74be58805786616ae40.jpg

 

I may make a DIY video. 

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