Mounting rifle scope and other accessories to a rifle are fun, and you need some tools to do it right.
The best torque wrench for gunsmithing on the market now is the Wheeler firearm accurizing torque wrench ,which is affordable, simple to use and effective getting the job done.
In this article, I will share with you this buying guide of the best firearms accurizing wrenches on the market for gun parts including scope and accessories mounting.
Read more: Proper Scope Ring Torque Spec Guide
Torque Wrenches Comparison Chart
Instead of paying someone at Bass Pro Shop to mount your scope you should do it yourself with a good quality digital firearm accurizing torque wrench or a manual scope mounting kit.
What to Look for In A Gunsmith Torque Wrench Set
In my opinion, these are the most important things to look for:
- Torque range up to 25 In-lbs or 40 In-lbs is common torque range for ring mounted optics and accessories mounted on the Picatinny rail
- Digital readout or manual are both ok.
- It allows you to use a large variety of bits such as Allen, Torx, flathead…etc
- The wrench makes an audible sound when the torque value is reached to signal the user to stop torquing to prevent damage.
- Easy to read value indicator.
- Look for a firearm wrench that measures in In-Lbs, and NOT Ft-Lbs because most gun parts do not need Ft-lbs torque. Ft-Lbs wrench is usually used for heavy-duty things such as car wheel bolts. You only need an Ft-Lb wrench when tightening items such as barrel nuts, Castle nuts and flash hider.
Best Inch Pound Torque Wrench for Gunsmith
Many people love the Wheeler FAT Wrench for scope mounts and scope rings.
It has a maximum torque range up to 65 In-lbs, which gives a wide range of torque value for a lot of applications.
Such as rail pieces, one-piece scope mount, grip, iron sights, and other parts
Best Foot Pound Torque Wrench for Gunsmith
Next, you need an all-purpose wrench such as the TEKTON 24335 Drive Click Torque wrench for Foot pound torque.
Those are usually used for flashing hider and barrel nut.
WARNING! Torque In-lbs and Ft-lbs are two different unit values!
Be sure to look up the torque value before applying the torque to prevent damage.
Digital VS. Manual Torque Wrench
Not all torque wrenches are equal. Some are made for car maintenance and other heavy-duty equipment. Some are made for small-sized mechanical parts.
For precision gun-related maintenance tasks, you need a gunsmith torque wrench set. The difference between digital and manual is precise number readout.
I lean toward the digital torque wrench because you can be exact. It has a nice, clear, very precise readout, so you don’t have to guess or eyeball it.
The manual torque wrenches require the user to adjust the torque setting to a ballpark number.
Why Torque To Exact Specification On Gun Parts?
There are many rifle parts that need screws. so getting in a firearm torque wrench set makes a huge difference.
The purpose is to mount parts to the exact tightness to prevent things from getting loose.
When you shoot a gun, it is experiencing recoil and vibration back and forth, and those screws can, in fact, get loose over time.
In all manufacturing industries such as aerospace and automobile, they all use various types of torque wrenches and torque screwdriver to precisely and safely install parts.
It’s a must for long-range scopes and other precision related accessories.
For Scope Mounting
You can get a complete Wheeler wrench kit that comes with everything including the scope ring lapping tool, but it’s not required.
Installing rifle optic on and off the rifle affects accuracy. No matter which expensive scope you have, make sure the mount that is holding the scope is mounted properly.
For Parts Accessories
Another thing you need to pay attention to is for those who build custom rifles. The way you install the barrel and other parts to the gun needs to be tight.
Sometimes hand tight gives those parts inconsistent tightness depended on who is doing it, and it’s not an accurate way to maintain a piece of equipment that involves precision.
The level of precision on the torque on your mounted accessories is important, so please get a torque wrench for that.
Read More: Please check out this article about how recoil forces could affect accuracy here
Common Gun Parts Torque Setting Guidelines
I recommend the Wheeler wrench since the whole package comes with various bits for mounting a scope and other accessories.
- Scope Base To Rifle Torque Setting 22 – 25 Inch-Pound
- Scope Mount to Rail 45 – 65 Inch-Pound
- Scope Ring 19 – 25 Inch-Pound
- Rifle Stock and Bedding 50 – 65 Inch-Pound
List of Popular Gun Parts Require In-Lb Torque
- SCAR16/17 Barrel Retention Screws – 63 Inch-Pound/Each
- Sig MCX Barrel Retention Screws – 60 Inch-Pound/Each
- Sig MPX Barrel Screw Torque – 40 Inch-Pound
- Handguard Rail Section – 12-15 Inch-Pound
- M-LOK (Metal) – 35 Inch-Pound
- M-LOK (Polymer) – 15 Inch-Pound
- Gun barrel assemblies, generally around 70-80 Ft-Lbs
- Castle nuts, 40 Ft-Lbs
- Flash hider, 30 Ft-Lbs
Firearm Torque Wrench Features to Consider
There are different types on the market. Each of them has different pros and cons.
- Drive Click Wrench – This type of wrench allows the user to set the torque setting and once the torque is reached, it will start to slip to prevent over-tightening. The user will hear the clicking sound as an indication.
- Deflecting Beam Wrench – The torque is applied to a deflecting beam instead of to a coil spring. The torque setting can be easily selected via a sliding scale. It’s used for any serious mechanic.
- Plumber’s Wrench – Slips when the right torque is reached but has a T-shaped handle. This will not be used on firearm parts at all.
- Hydraulic Torque Wrench – This is a motorized wrench used mostly for automotive. You will not need to worry about using this tool at all for guns.
- Beam and Pointer Torque Wrenches – These are the cheapest out there. They have a little scale and a pointer like an old-school bathroom scale. The problem with these is that they can easily get bent and show inaccurate readings.
5 Tips – Torque Wrench How To Use Properly
- Torque wrench calibration should be done periodically for maintaining accuracy.
- DO NOT drop or bang it on things or else it can become inaccurate.
- Store it in its box to protect it.
- Never use it to loosen a bolt or screw. Use it only for tightening and only when you need an accurate torque setting. Otherwise, use a regular wrench.
- When you’re done using the wrench, make sure to dial down the value back to zero to relieve the tension on the spring so it wouldn’t wear out over time.
Other Torque Wrench Recommendations
For gun-related tasks, be sure you get a good quality torque wrench, and we recommend the Wheeler engineering FAT Wrench.
Over-tightening bolts and screws on firearm parts will result in parts damage.
This also helps mounting red dot sights and other accessories.
Every time you need to tighten a bolt on your scope or rifle parts, make sure you look up the manufacturer’s recommended torque value before you tighten it to the correct amount.
Eventually, you’ll start to remember the most common numbers.