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Thread: Pistol Grip Screw Difficult to Screw Back In

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    Pistol Grip Screw Difficult to Screw Back In

    I removed a pistol grip from an AR I own and am replacing the grip with an Ergo grip. For the life of me, I can not get the pistol grip screw back in and frankly, I'm afraid I'm stripping out the threading in the receiver, if not in fact basically tapping a whole new threading! I stopped trying to get it in...but what do you recommend? I'm using the same screw that I had to remove to install the new pistol grip.

    Suggestions?

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    Remove the grip and screw and check for thread damage or debris. Run the screw in minus the grip after to check it. Some grips may alter the screw angle and cause your issue. I would place the screw into the grip, fit it onto the lower but do not seat it completely. Start the screw, making sure the alignment is correct turn in 2-3 turns then seat the grip and tighten while making sure the selector detent and spring are seated.
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    What's the worst case scenario if I have managed to screw up the threading in the aluminum receiver? I'm not saying I have, but...would I be able to return the receiver to the manufacturer and have them retap the threading or have I managed to royally F up the receiver to the point it is no longer usable? (Worst case scenario!).

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    Quote Originally Posted by JWill1776 View Post
    What's the worst case scenario if I have managed to screw up the threading in the aluminum receiver? I'm not saying I have, but...would I be able to return the receiver to the manufacturer and have them retap the threading or have I managed to royally F up the receiver to the point it is no longer usable? (Worst case scenario!).
    mark5pt56's advice has helped me in the past. The grip placement sometimes messes with the entry angle of the screw. Make sure your threads are clean from any thread lock residue, shavings, dirt, etc. then try hand threading the screw without the grip. Once you've chased the threads or verified there isn't any damage, try to get the same entry angle through the grip.

    Also, I don't think you can retap threads in aluminum without compromising the strength or going to a larger screw/bolt. The correct repair would be drill out the hole and insert a Helicoil. This is not something a manufacturer would do for you.

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    OK....thanks. Checking Google for "Helicoil" ... just in case.
    Last edited by JWill1776; 09-15-20 at 14:30.

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    Did you try some grease on the thread? It can make a big difference.

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    Follow the advice mark5pt56 gave above, it is the best way to install a grip.

    Quote Originally Posted by JWill1776 View Post
    OK....thanks. Checking Google for "Helicoil" ... just in case.
    I'll save you the time, it's not something you can do yourself.

    There is enough thread length that if it was cross threaded only a few turns the damaged threads could be drilled or countersunk out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JWill1776 View Post
    What's the worst case scenario if I have managed to screw up the threading in the aluminum receiver? I'm not saying I have, but...would I be able to return the receiver to the manufacturer and have them retap the threading or have I managed to royally F up the receiver to the point it is no longer usable? (Worst case scenario!).
    Some lowers have the grip screw hole drilled all the way through.
    -If your lower is drilled all the way through, remove the grip and the screw.
    -Visually check for debris in the hole. Clean out any debris by blowing it out with air or brake cleaner or something.
    -Put a light coat of grease on the end of the screw.
    -From the top, run the screw through the hole until it goes all the way through. This will chase the threads, cleaning up any that may have been damaged.
    -Remove the screw and clean the threads of the screw and hole.
    -Carefully start the screw in the bottom of the hole without the grip in place to check the fit. Note how the screw feels as you run it down. This will give you a way to gauge if the screw is cross threading or not when installing the grip.
    -Remove the screw and install as normal.
    -Be patient. If it doesn't feel right, take it apart and figure out what's going on. You don't want to cause anymore damage.

    Don't panic if the starter thread in the bottom of the hole is damaged. Just get it cleaned up enough to get the screw started. There is plenty of thread length to hold the screw in place. Don't use red Locktite! If you use Locktite, use blue. Apply only a little to the first couple of threads and, if possible, let it set before installing. The lock washer/star washer by itself will hold the screw in place just fine.

    Read Mark's post before starting. It's good advice.
    Last edited by MistWolf; 09-15-20 at 18:41.
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    If you have stripped some of the threads, drill out the damaged threads and get a longer screw.

    Assuming it is tapped all the way through.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Todd.K View Post
    Follow the advice mark5pt56 gave above, it is the best way to install a grip.



    I'll save you the time, it's not something you can do yourself.

    There is enough thread length that if it was cross threaded only a few turns the damaged threads could be drilled or countersunk out.
    A HeliCoil, or better yet a TimeSert, is absolutely doable at home. A vise/fixture and steady hand or drill press will suffice. Did it to my aluminum brake calipers well known for for their galvanic corrosion because the OEM didn’t spec steel threaded inserts.

    Is it better off getting done on a Bridgeport? Yeah, but a $50–150 AR lower probably isn’t worth trying buy someone’s machine time.
    Last edited by OrbitalE; 09-16-20 at 00:08.

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