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Old 07-30-2017, 02:48 PM
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Default Screws Loosening during shooting-Use Loctite?

I just got a new 325 Thunder Ranch. After shooting about 200 rns I noticed 3 screws were becoming loose. These were:
-Cylinder release screw
-Forward Screw on the rear sight (holds rear sight onto the frame)
-Strain Screw

In fact the strain screw loosened up so much that I got light primer strikes. After I tightened the screw the gun shot fine.

Should I put "blue" loctite on the threads of each of these screws? If not, which ones should I?

Thanks!
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Old 07-30-2017, 02:50 PM
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Good hollow ground screwdriver set, tighten 'em down tight. No Loctite. Ever . . .
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Old 07-30-2017, 03:13 PM
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All my new S&W revolvers come from the factory with this red thread locker on the screws.

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Old 07-30-2017, 04:06 PM
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Purple Loctite provides a light locking effect which can be easily overcome with a screwdriver. If you use any Loctite, it should be purple. Red Loctite has the highest strength.
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Old 07-30-2017, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWalt View Post
Purple Loctite provides a light locking effect which can be easily overcome with a screwdriver. If you use any Loctite, it should be purple. Red Loctite has the highest strength.
Must be a different brand than Loctite that they use at the factory. Their red thread locker is not even noticeable as you turn the screw. Looking at the Loctite brand description page, the purple does match what the factory red does.

Purple Threadlocker | LOCTITE - Henkel Adhesives North America

I notice Wiki shows a second red locker that's for high temperatures but medium strength. Even medium seems too much though. Maybe it's a custom blend.

Thread-locking fluid - Wikipedia

Last edited by bigwheelzip; 07-30-2017 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 07-30-2017, 04:36 PM
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For the screws you mentioned I think blue Loctite is fine, but purple would be better.

The key is that a little goes a long way. I put one drop on a piece of paper, paper towel, index card, whatever you have like that and don't mind throwing away. Then I dip the end of a toothpick into the drop and apply that to the threads. I've used this method with a couple of screws that tend to loosen on my 642 (cylinder release latch nut and a sideplate screw). For extra precaution, when applying Loctite to the cylinder release latch nut I lay the gun on its side, latch down, to keep any Loctite from potentially making its way into the action, as unlikely as that would be.

I've never had any problems with this method using blue Loctite. YMMV.
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Old 07-30-2017, 05:21 PM
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Putting Loc-Tite on gun screws is for people who are afraid to tighten the screws properly! It is never necessary, or the preferred method of retaining screws.

First, revolver screws will always loosen when firing the gun for an extended period without checking the screws for tightness, it is a function of vibration. Loose screws will loosen faster than tight screws. Sometimes it doesn't matter, ask anyone who shoots single action revolvers, especially the Colt Single Action Army.

If your screws loosen after firing just a relatively few rounds then next time tighten them just a bit tighter than last time. If it takes hundreds of rounds then this is normal. Tighten the screws and proceed!

DON'T be afraid to tighten screws. Loose screws generally will break from the stress of shooting faster than properly tightened screws. If you are going shooting you should always have a proper screwdriver for each different gun you take out that day. This is the reason (besides advertising) that S&W, Colt and other makers have distributed key-chain screwdrivers to fit the screws on their guns!
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Old 07-30-2017, 05:47 PM
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I can shoot thousands and thousands of rounds through my semi auto handguns and never have to tighten any screws. So much for the theory about revolvers being more reliable I guess.
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Old 07-30-2017, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigwheelzip View Post
Must be a different brand than Loctite that they use at the factory. Their red thread locker is not even noticeable as you turn the screw. Looking at the Loctite brand description page, the purple does match what the factory red does.
The red substance on the S&W screw is not red LocTite. It's something else that S&W developed. If it was LocTite, that screw would require a fairly high level of heat to break the screw loose.
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Old 07-30-2017, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigwheelzip View Post
All my new S&W revolvers come from the factory with this red thread locker on the screws
My understanding is that is RTV, a silicone gasket type material which expands a little and helps hold screws tight in holes. Nowhere near Loctite . . .
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Old 07-30-2017, 07:43 PM
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Alot of good advice. Thanks!

I tightened the screws as tight as I could. I'll see what happens during the next range trip.
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Old 07-31-2017, 07:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ContinentalOp View Post
For the screws you mentioned I think blue Loctite is fine, but purple would be better.

The key is that a little goes a long way. I put one drop on a piece of paper, paper towel, index card, whatever you have like that and don't mind throwing away. Then I dip the end of a toothpick into the drop and apply that to the threads. I've used this method with a couple of screws that tend to loosen on my 642 (cylinder release latch nut and a sideplate screw). For extra precaution, when applying Loctite to the cylinder release latch nut I lay the gun on its side, latch down, to keep any Loctite from potentially making its way into the action, as unlikely as that would be.

I've never had any problems with this method using blue Loctite. YMMV.
Yes: It has never been a problem with me ( blue or purple Loctite). I agree that a good tightening with a proper screw driver is required (essential), but with a tiny bit of Loctite, those screws will not loosen. What's wrong with a little insurance ?
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Old 07-31-2017, 08:49 AM
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the auto parts store sells a blue loc-tite that is a creme. I will use a little bit applied with a toothpick. Does the job and really lets you control where the loc-tite goes.
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Old 07-31-2017, 09:40 AM
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Like Muss Muggins said I used to have that red stuff, also comes in beige. I used it on farm equipment, It isn't Loctite, it's some sort of rubber type stuff you put in the threads and let dry, than you screw it in and torque it. It makes the bolts/screws torque smoother, stay in much better, and also keeps it from corroding and you are able to back them out easier. I say there has to be a better way to hold a gun together than loctite.
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Old 07-31-2017, 10:03 AM
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Gun owners and shooters NEED TO LEARN what a properly tightened screw feels like. I can not tell you how many gun owners leave screws way too loose. Just yesterday while shooting my friends Colt 1911 his grips were sliding all over the place because of loose screws - he just doesn't know how tight to make them. NOT GORILLA TIGHHT, but tight enough! I pulled a screwdriver out and tightened it for him -problem solved.

IMHO Loctite should NEVER be used on S&W Revolver. That is my opinion because I have NEVER EVER had a screw loosen up on me unintentionally - NEVER.

The ONLY TYPE of gun that I have ever had a screw loosen up is on my Colt SAA's after many rounds. As they rumor goes...... If you carry a SAA, carry a screwdriver! The reason is that on SAA's you can not tighten up screws to much because they will actually squeeze the Frame tight enough to impede smooth operation.

But back to Smiths....... I've NEVER seen the need to use Loctite and have mentioned this here on the forum since I've been a member. Still, others have to do what they have to do. YMMV!

I save the Loctite for the Harley

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Old 07-31-2017, 10:23 AM
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Never had a problem with lose screws on my P&R S&W's...
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Old 07-31-2017, 10:34 AM
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Too busy to count, but I've owned about sixty revolvers, maybe a few more. I believe that I have had three or four that needed Loctite. Not many, but they do exist. IIRC, one each yoke screw, cylinder latch screw, front screw on rear sight assembly. Possibly one other.

Didn't have that problem on my Broomhandle. OTOH, I've only owned one of those.

Using Loctite beats the heck out of having the rear sight assembly loosen up or stripping threads in the frame with a good screwdriver and too much torque.

Never say never.
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Old 07-31-2017, 10:53 AM
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Just use blue loctite sparingly. Some guns just have a problem loosening screws. I have shot many revolvers since 1984 and my 929 is the first that will loosen every screw.
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Old 07-31-2017, 12:45 PM
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Often screws loosen up because of lubrication on the threads. Make sure the screw AND the screw hole are DRY, then when properly tightened they stay tight.
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Old 07-31-2017, 01:08 PM
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I honestly think the screw loosening issues are more prevalent in modern guns, S&Ws. As it sure seems it's all the newer ones that people are asking this question about.

NONE of my vintage revolvers have ever had the screws loosen up during shooting. They aren't gorilla tightened either. In fact, on my more valuable guns, I put less torque on the screws as to not bugger them or even risk it. They stay tight and still don't back out.

So while screws loosening can be from not properly tightening them, I believe newer production techniques and materials play a factor in this issue too.
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Old 07-31-2017, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iPac View Post
I honestly think the screw loosening issues are more prevalent in modern guns, S&Ws. As it sure seems it's all the newer ones that people are asking this question about.

NONE of my vintage revolvers have ever had the screws loosen up during shooting. They aren't gorilla tightened either. In fact, on my more valuable guns, I put less torque on the screws as to not bugger them or even risk it. They stay tight and still don't back out.

So while screws loosening can be from not properly tightening them, I believe newer production techniques and materials play a factor in this issue too.
I don't. If it seems to you that it's the newer ones that folks are asking about, maybe it's because the newer ones are bought by newer owners. Older owners don't have to ask; they have already had whatever experience they have had, and deal with it.

To be specific, a few of my vintage revolvers HAVE had the screws loosen up during shooting. I, too, am careful not to overtorque them. Very few have had problems - a few out of a few hundred. That's a long way from none, or from "never use Loctite."

I think I had one on a recent revolver.

My experience has been that screws that need Loctite are rare, but exist, and that's on both old and new revolvers.

YMMV.
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Old 07-31-2017, 05:52 PM
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I checked my other SWs to see which had loose screws.

-My new Model 60 had the sight screw and the cylinder release screw nice and tight. However I had tightened the sight screw awhile back. I need to keep an eye on it.

-All 3 screws on my 5 year old 686 were nice and tight. I don't recall ever having to tighten them.

-The screws on the used 29-3 I got in Jan were tight but I recall having to tighten the sight screw and the cylinder latch screw a month ago.

So the screws are tight right now on the 325TR. I will be going to the range this week and will shoot 100 rnds. I plan to check the sight and cylinder latch screws every 20 rnds. After I shoot all 100 rnds, I will check the strain screw. If any are loose, I probably will put some purple loctite on them
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Old 07-31-2017, 09:08 PM
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I use blue Loc tite 242 only after a screw becomes loose after being properly tightened. You can get them tight with a proper screwdriver.
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Old 08-04-2017, 04:42 PM
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So I took the 325 TR and also Model 60 to the range yesterday. I put 100 rnds thru the 325 TR and 50 rnds thru the Model 60.

The 325 TR strain screw and the cylinder latch screw both held tight. However the screw on the front of the rear sight loosened up.

On the Model 60, the cylinder latch screw held tight but the screw on the front of the rear sight loosened up.

So I put some purple loctite on the 325 TR sight screw. I am holding off putting any on the Model 60 until I go to the range and confirm the sight screw on the 325 TR is not loosening.

BTW-On the back of the purple loctite pkg it indicates the difference in recommended usage of the purple and the blue loctite. The purple (222) is used for screws less then 1/4" and break/prevails torque are 62/27 in-lbs. The blue (242) is used for screws 1/4" to 3/4" and and break/prevails torque are 110/43 in-lbs.

I'll give an update after my next range session with the 325 TR.
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Old 08-04-2017, 10:02 PM
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i have used just a dab of clear finger nail polish on such screws.......During long shooting sessions with my 29-2's the front screw on the rear sight assembly will back out some.....I just tighten it down and continue on...last year I "lost" the thumb piece and screw on my 625.....When I replaced that one it got the finger nail polish treatment......
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Old 08-05-2017, 03:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alk8944 View Post
DON'T be afraid to tighten screws.
Not me!

(That was a first.)

.

69 Combat Magnum - broken yoke screw

(-015a)

.
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Old 08-05-2017, 09:12 AM
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I ALWAYS check the frame screws on my revolvers after a range trip and found the cylinder release screw lose on most of my J frames. Sometimes the yoke screw, above the trigger guard, is loosened somewhat but checking during the cleaning process, during which the grips are removed, is a good idea.
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Old 08-05-2017, 09:20 AM
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Been having issues with the Thread protector on my M&P .22 compact......works lose every couple of magazines.
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Old 08-13-2017, 02:10 PM
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Another range session with the 325 TR after I put purple loctite on the sight screw. The screw did become loose after about 20 rnds. I am next going to try either clear nail polish or blue loctite.
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Old 08-13-2017, 03:05 PM
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Like people, no two guns are exactly alike. I've got two in my collection that consistently suffered from screws backing out. Threadlocker finally solved the problem. A third gun (new-in-the-box .357 revolver) had a grip frame screw that constantly loosened and finally fell out. A new factory screw has never loosened in the 30 years since.

If you shoot enough with enough guns, you too will have a screw that cannot be tightened "enough".
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Old 08-13-2017, 03:20 PM
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BTW, it is sometimes convenient to use a bit of [red?] nail polish, just a touch someplace on the circumference of the screw head and its adjacent frame location, so that you can see whether there is movement. Better than repeatedly checking tightness with a screwdriver.
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Old 08-13-2017, 05:34 PM
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My 629-2 has this problem, the cylinder release screw keeps loosening after a trip to the range. My only revolver that has done this.
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Old 08-13-2017, 11:21 PM
2152hq 2152hq is offline
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Screws Loosening during shooting-Use Loctite?  
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The problem child screw that keeps loosening under use/recoil is usually one that is less than a good fit in the threads. Either the threads in the frame or the screw threads are loose,,maybe both and though you can tighten it, a small amt of recoil and flexing of the frame will loosen it right up again.

I'm not completely opposed to using a thread locker in these instances, but I'd rather use something less resistant to removing the screw if I need to.. Plain old shellac applied to the screw thread and replaced will hold just fine in most instances. Same idea as nail polish (lacquer).

One way to tighten a loose screw /threaded hole setup is to carefully hammer the shank end of the screw itself a couple taps. The screw setting on a lead block so as not to damage the head.
What you are doing is very slightly by a couple .000 expanding the dia
of the shank as well as ever so slightly reducing the tpi dimension. (you are squashing it!). Don't over do it!,,or the screw will not rethread into the hole.

Done right, the screw will tighten with a much better fit into the same hole.
Takes some finesse and experience before you go hammering on the finished screws of a firearm,,but that's one way it's done.
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Old 08-18-2017, 08:31 PM
MR.G MR.G is offline
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Screws Loosening during shooting-Use Loctite?  
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I have used Loctite on the ejector rod threads of several guns. Kept unscrewing when shooting and preventing the cylinder from opening.
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Old 08-19-2017, 05:02 PM
Kenneth07ex Kenneth07ex is offline
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Maybe it's the plumber background talking, but I'd probably try Teflon tape before I'd use loctite.
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Old Today, 07:20 PM
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Took the 325 TR to the range today and put 130 rnds thru it. I had put blue loctite on the rear sight screw that had come loose even with purple loctite on it. The screw stayed tight.

To summarize, 3 screws were loose (strain screw, cylinder release screw, and screw holding the rear sight to the frame). Two have kept tight just by screwing them down firmly (strain screw and cylinder release screw). Just the screw holding the rear sight to the frame needed loctite.

Now when I install a red dot sight in a few months we will if I have any issues removing that sight screw.
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Old Today, 08:50 PM
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I keep a set of screw drivers in my range bag b/c my J frames are prone to lose frame screws after about 50 rounds. K frames not so much.
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