Ruger Mini-14 and Mini-30 Ruger Mini-14 and Mini-30 family of rifles

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Old 01-28-2009, 22:20   #1
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Question Gas Block screw sizes, torque specs, etc.?

Hey all,
After taking one of my two new mini's to the range, I decided to spend a few bucks and do some minimal accurizing.

Here is what I've done so far:
1. Trigger is in a box ready to be shipped out to get reworked.
2. I've got the new set of 3 gas port bushings
3. I've got 2 1911 buffers

Here is what I'm GOING to do:
1. Purchase an INCH POUND torque wrench from Harbor Freight.
2. Purchase a new 9/32 hex socket to use in the torque wrench.
3. Purchase a DIE for the gas block screws. I read a few posts about running a die over them before re-using them...that is why I need to know what size the screws are (see #1 below).
4. Remove gas block screws as per the post in the tips and tricks section...

Here is what I need to KNOW:
1. What size are the gas block screws? From what I can gather, they are size 8-32?
2. What is the latest consensus on gas block screw TORQUE? I have read anywhere from 15 to 36 inch pounds, with some specific posts recommending 18.5, 30 and 36 inch pounds.

My rifle is a new 580 series, tapered barrel, stainless model.

Thanks in advance!
Takes longer to gather up all the crap that it will to actually do the mods!

Randy
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Old 01-29-2009, 00:16   #2
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Don't Forget The Gap's On the Gas Block......

Randy,

1) If you buy an inexpensive die set, you'll find the 8-32 you'll need. Just remember to lube them up when you chase the treads.

2) There is no "specific" torque setting number I could find when I went searching. But the number most frequently sited is 30 to 35 inch pounds (steel screws to steel base connection).

That said, the gap's on either side of the gas block should be equal. I've got a 581, the top half and bottom half of my gas block were not machined parallel to each other when I took it apart. (The corners were rounded off.) So when I reassembled the weapon I took my measurements at each of the 4 screw points, and matched them within 1 or 2 thousandths. (While your at HF you might invest in a digital caliper, too.)

Hope this helps!
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Old 01-29-2009, 17:07   #3
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Hi Randy & welcome to the forum!
Well you aren't going to get very far going with 8-32 dies, because the thread size is 8-36 x 3/8".
The hex head wrench size is 9/64".
Blued are relatively easy to find, stainless is another matter mostly special order.
Gas block screws are running between $1 & $2 depending where you get them + shipping.
I have purchased a mass quantity and have them available for our members for minimal cost. I wouldn't try to chase the threads on a Stainless screw, because of "galling" they may still be rough.
I have already done the leg work on this, much cheaper than buying dies. Also ain't an easy size die to find. Save you some work & $.
link to the for sale parts Gas Block Screws

I also have a harbor freight 1/4" drive inch lb torque wrench & it does OK, but I had a hard time finding a 9/64" hex end socket to fit. The ones I found were to short to reach the back two screws. So I took an old 1/4" drive, 1/4" socket, cut off the long part of a 9/64" hex wrench and used JB weld to make my own, works good.

Here is some "canned" info about the gas block screws.


One of the biggest reasons to use new screws when taking apart the gas block is that Ruger “stakes” the screws at the factory to keep them in place. They do that by taking a sharp punch and putting an indent into both the threads, in the gas block screw, and in the top of the gas block, this locks the screw to the block. When removing the screw it will have a sharp spot, or burr, on it from the staking that will impact and damage the threads slightly as it's taken out. If you continually remove and replace staked gas block screws, without removing the burr from staking, the burr on the screw can damage the threads in the upper part of the gas block. Worse yet, if you replace the upper gas block with an aluminum scout mount, such as an Amega or Ultimak, and reuse a staked screw the sharp part of the staked screw can destroy the threads. If you do have to reuse a previously staked screw I would suggest trying to get the burr from the staking off the threads of the gas block screw before reusing. Also be aware that on a stainless steel mini there is an added reason to use new screws, stainless steel has a tendency towards something called "galling". That is when two pieces of stainless steel molecularly bond to each other by being in contact with each other, when the two pieces are separated they have a rough surface, reusing stainless steel screws can damage the threads if rough from galling. The mini gas block is a factory replacement item only, which means sending the mini back to Ruger to repair it or replace it, so you really don't want to mess up the threads in the gas block, especially if testing gas bushings and taking apart your gas block repeatedly. For testing no need to stake the screw until you decide on a size. You can use locktite if you want to lock the gas block screws down without staking. If you do have to reuse a previously staked screw I would suggest trying to get the burr from the staking off the threads of the gas block screw before reusing, if at all possible.

The engineering torque spec for that size screw in Stainless steel is 22 inch lbs, I have done mine to 30 inch lbs, others have gone higher. I have seen one mini with a cracked & broken upper gas block so I don't subscribe to the "gorilla" tight, more is better method. I saw that mini after the fact & have no idea how it got broken.
PM me if your interested & I'll send you the rest of the "canned" info & contact info.
Best O' Luck,
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Old 01-29-2009, 19:52   #4
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Red face I Defer To Walkenbear On The Screw Size

So much for looking at a thread gage at "O Dark 30" (magnifier or not.......)

Thanks, Walkenbear, for checking my 6 on this one. (Now I gotta go and recheck my spare screw's, albeit much earlier in the evening)
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Old 01-29-2009, 21:43   #5
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Thanks for the replies guys, EXACTLY the info I needed! I took it all apart tonight, but didn't put it back together yet. A little easier than I thought and not quite as scary. The 1911 buffers look like they will fit perfectly. I think that I'm going to get the regular mini-14 buffers and put the regular buffer in the FRONT and put the 1911 in the REAR, as it appears that the bolt stays open easily with an empty clip, with room to spare with that buffer in place. Now I can't wait for my trigger to get back! Going to wait for the new screws before I locktite it together again!

Walkenbear, I sent you a pm for 2 sets of screws!
Randy
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Old 01-30-2009, 17:54   #6
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I purchased the Fat Wrench in-lb torque wrench for this task. I then found a 9/64" Allen insert for it in a set from Sears (Part #26494) that made setting the torque values easy.

Idoono

Last edited by Idoono; 01-31-2009 at 15:10.
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