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Old 06-28-2020, 12:04 PM
Colt1927

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Murphy's Law & Tikka Bolt Handle (long read)



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Being an avid firearms up-grader I figured I would swap out the stock bolt handle with a Mtn Tac knurled handle. Should be a simple swap, right? The new bolt handle which is awesome arrived, I removed the bolt from my brand new Tikka T1x, found the proper allen wrench finding that the screw wouldn't budge. So I slipped a shaft on the wrench and proceeded to turn the allen wrench into a neat spiral affair.
I figured some tech at the factory put permanent loctite on the screw. I proceeded to my workshop and heated the bolt handle with a torch and retrieved a hardened allen wrench, started to twist and "snap!", the tip of the wrench sheared off flush with the head of the screw.

I thought that maybe if I bang the bolt handle on a block of wood the tip of the wrench might come out. No such luck!

So while I'm tapping away and obviously not paying much attention the shroud pin slipped out, now I have a bunch of parts to deal with. Wow, what a chore, tried punches as guides to maintain hole alignment, to no avail the retention pin would always cant on the opposite side preventing it from entering the hole.

I thought I might drill off the head of the screw inside the bolt handle which now contained a piece of hardened tool steel. Yeah right! Needless to say I have an original Tikka T1x bolt handle which at this point might as well be a solid machined part of the bolt and a cool Tac knurled paper weight.

After failing to up-grade the bolt handle I figured I would swap out the factory plastic mag release with an extended aluminum part. Unfortunately Murphy was still looking over my shoulder. As I removed the mag catch retention pin from the plastic mag well the factory catch and spring launched. I found the plastic catch, but the spring eluded me. I went through my parts box and found a spare spring for my Thompson sub and removed a few coils allowing with some effort to get the parts in place. I searched high and low both in the gun room as well as the internet trying to find a OEM spring to no avail. Brownells is the listed parts supplier but nada..

The next day I spent a few hours crawling around the floor carefully moving everything that might be capable of hiding a small spring. Luckily Murphy had left and went to hamper someone else and I found the little spring and put it back where it belonged.
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Old 06-28-2020, 02:19 PM
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As a scale model builder, I have become an expert at finding small parts on the floor and even carpet.

Glad you found the spring.
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Old 06-28-2020, 04:04 PM
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Wow! I could only picture myself as I read your whole story. Sounds like something that would happen to me. So, where you are with the bolt is that you still have the stock bold handle on, but the part of the allen wrench is still stuck in the bolt?
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Old 06-28-2020, 04:35 PM
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Stock Bolt

The allen wrench is still in the bolt and its going to take a good smith to fix this mess. I even thought of taking a saw and cutting the handle off. but if the bolt and screw are threaded all the way through it would be a real mess. Replacement is out of the question. Parts are through the roof, I could almost buy a new rifle. Once I get the pleasure of a range test and perhaps in the winter I'll send it to a smith to make the swap and hopefully save the original bolt handle.
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Old 06-28-2020, 05:21 PM
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I'm a huge fan of Sako and Tikka rifles, but parts pricing and availability is definitely a down side.
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Old 06-28-2020, 08:45 PM
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turn the lights out and slowly "sweep" the floor with a powerful flash light... usually turns up the missing part
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:02 AM
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That's pretty much how I found it. Looks like about a third of a ball point pen spring.
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Old 07-01-2020, 01:37 PM
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Oh boy. I'm waiting on my bolt handle. Perhaps I should introduce some penetrating oil in the mean time. I'll have to be really careful with this swap. And I heard don't try swap the barrel either. Nightmare !
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Old 07-01-2020, 02:19 PM
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For the other side of bolt changes...

I took the bolt out of the receiver, and making sure I wasn't putting any pressure on the plastic shroud, I took my "L" shaped Allen wrench and grabbed the short leg with a channel lock plier, and gently applied torque. It resisted a little, but then came right out.

I've heard of others with super tight bolt, bolts - but I think most are easy to remove.

OP - sorry you found a tight one.

Happy Independence Day to all.
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Old 07-01-2020, 09:40 PM
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Yeah...if it does not pop easy, back off and apply some heat. Waiting on my Sterk bolt handle, but that is my plan.
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Old 07-02-2020, 04:52 PM
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I put some Sili Kroil on there about 5 minutes, stuck a 3mm in there, leaned on it, and was successful. I want to thank you for giving folks fair warning. Best wishes for your endeavor.
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Old 07-06-2020, 09:04 PM
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Replaced my bolt handle with a DIP. should have read this thread first. Still looking for my spring. Did the same and had to trim a few coils of of a spring from unknown source but seems to work. Still looking for the original but I think your murphy dude stopped by my place and took my spring with him.

Sure love this tikka. I have both 22 and 17 but I shoot the 22 way more fun. Might even get rid of the 17 and build another 22 for the heck of it.
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Old 07-07-2020, 09:02 AM
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I use large ziplock bags when there is concern about small springs, plungers, etc launching themselves across the room. Simply place the bag over the part you are working on and drive your punch right through the plastic. If something launches, it will stay inside the bag.
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Old Today, 05:44 PM
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My bolt handle screw was impossibley tight....

When I tried to remove my bolt handle, the screw was not budging. Let it soak with Kroil for a week. I had a high quality T handle allen wrench twisted more than 90 degrees, and even tapped on the wrench with a hammer.... No go... I tried applying heat to the bolt handle thinking that maybe they used a thread locking compound, and again nothing... I finally found a 3mm allen bit that would fit my cordless impact wrench with just enough sticking above the bolt handle to get the impact wrench on it (barely). After hitting it for a few seconds with the impact wrench, it finally broke loose.... Inspecting the screw, it had been tightened so tight that it actually deformed the threads on the end of the allen screw, but luckily didn't damage the threads in the hole in the bolt body that the allen screw threads into...

Please note that there was no thread locker of any kind evident on the threads of this fastener, it had just been grossly over-tightened by the factory.....
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Old Today, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JD2 View Post
When I tried to remove my bolt handle, the screw was not budging. Let it soak with Kroil for a week. I had a high quality T handle allen wrench twisted more than 90 degrees, and even tapped on the wrench with a hammer.... No go... I tried applying heat to the bolt handle thinking that maybe they used a thread locking compound, and again nothing... I finally found a 3mm allen bit that would fit my cordless impact wrench with just enough sticking above the bolt handle to get the impact wrench on it (barely). After hitting it for a few seconds with the impact wrench, it finally broke loose.... Inspecting the screw, it had been tightened so tight that it actually deformed the threads on the end of the allen screw, but luckily didn't damage the threads in the hole in the bolt body that the allen screw threads into...

Please note that there was no thread locker of any kind evident on the threads of this fastener, it had just been grossly over-tightened by the factory.....
Good intel. I've got a Sterk handle coming. I hope Thor was not working at the Tikka factory the day my T1x was made.
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