Want to properly mount firearm and scope accessories with factory recommended torque value without guessing or over tightening?
In this guide, we show you the best torque wrench for gunsmithing and scope mounting.
Getting a good one can last you a long time, and you can also use it for other things.
Check them out:
Top Torque Wrenches
Instead of overpaying 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.
Best Inch Pound Torque Wrench for Gunsmith
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
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
Foot Pound Torque Wrench
WARNING! Torque In-lbs and Ft-lbs are two different unit values!
Foot Lbs torque value is typically used on heavy duty parts such as cars, mounting structures, and in this case, a gun barrel.
Be sure to look up the torque value before applying the torque to prevent damage.
Next, you need an all-purpose wrench such as the TEKTON 24335 Drive Click Torque wrench for Foot pound torque.
Attach this to an extension piece to torque a specific gun part.
What to Look for In A Gunsmith Torque Wrench Set
Get This Complete Real Avid Tool Set Here
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.
Digital VS. Manual Torque Wrench
The difference between digital and manual torque wrench is precise number readout.
The digital torque wrench can give you exact value
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.
Installing rifle optic on and off the rifle affects accuracy. No matter how expensive scope you have, make sure the mount holds the scope tight to prevent loss of zero.
Sometimes hand tight is all you needed for non precision accessories such as QD mount, foregrips...etc
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
Check out the complete guide for most scope rings and mounts here
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.
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.