Broke a Gas Block Screw from Accuracy Systems - Shooting Sports Forum


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

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Old 06-13-2019, 18:21   #1
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Broke a Gas Block Screw from Accuracy Systems

What the heck? (and I don't mean heck)

Bought ASI's stronger, thicker Alloy gas block top piece for the Mini-30. Got it today. It came with 4 new screws. I had my Inch-Pound torque wrench set to 20 inch-pounds just to get things even before I increased to 30 inch-pounds, but one of the screw heads twisted off with the wrench only set at 20, which is the lowest setting.

My Inch-Pound wrench is from Harbor Freight. I've only used it once before on some other gas block screws.

Bad Screws from ASI?
Bad wrench?

Not sure what to think. Thankfully the screw broke at a point where I had just enough to grip with a small pliers and remove the screw from the block. I can buy the right screws at Lowes or Home Depot among other places, so no big deal there either.

Wondering if anyone else has had screws from ASI fail like that, or problems with Harbor Freight torque wrenches.
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Old 06-13-2019, 18:53   #2
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Do you think ASI would send you one N/C? It’s odd that only 1 broke of the 4, I’d say it was a bad screw.
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Old 06-13-2019, 21:18   #3
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Upon further examination one of the other screws doesn't look so good. Two of the threads are slightly thicker near the top, shiny and flattened as though that screw was about to go too.

The screws are marked YFS. That's FANG SHENG SCREW Company... made in Taiwan. Seriously Accuracy Systems? As much as I paid for that thing I want good screws made in USA!



The good news is that Accuracy Systems uses #8-32 Socket Cap Screws, not #8-36 that Ruger uses. So I can buy them at low cost at local hardware stores.

I'm still wondering about this torque wrench. I have no way to test it but to break more screws. I can test it to see if it works at all on something more heavy duty like a bolt on the car or even a bicycle I suppose.

I guess I could go to a repair shop and ask them to test it for me against their $150.00 torque wrenches.

Frustrating that they sent screws made in China after I paid $45.00 including shipping for that gas block top. Not happy with that, but the piece itself looks good. I like it better than the factory Ruger top strap.


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Broke a Gas Block Screw from Accuracy Systems-screwed.jpg   Broke a Gas Block Screw from Accuracy Systems-block-top.gif  
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Old 06-13-2019, 22:01   #4
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That looks like some bum screws!

Are they longer than stock? Maybe try the stock ones? I recently put a Ultimak on which came with longer screws, but seen to have held up to a good torquing, although I haven't tested the actually inch/lbs yet (probably this weekend)
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Old 06-13-2019, 23:50   #5
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Can't use the original factory screws for a number of reasons. They have a different thread pitch... different threads per inch... 36 vs 32. plus the original Ruger screws are 3/8" long, while the screws for the thicker ASI top strap are 1/2" long. My original screws were staked, so I wouldn't even want to reuse those with a standard Ruger top strap. But the main thing is the thread difference. That's a deal breaker regardless. I'll just grab some good ones at a hardware store.

At this point I'm mostly wondering if anyone has had bad experiences with ASI screws that come with the adjustable or nonadjustable gas blocks they sell. I'll have my torque wrench tested before I contact ASI about the screws. I don't want more screws like the one that broke, but me thinks some compensation is in order for my trouble. A token partial refund or some percent off my next order coupon... customer satisfaction sort of thing, you know.

The screws were turning easy with the wrench... didn't feel anywhere near recommended torque. I did say the S-word when it snapped. It did not quite rise to the level of the F-word.
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Old 06-14-2019, 04:27   #6
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If you have a friend that has a in-lb torque wrench or a store nearby that has one it’s fairly simply to just connect them together at the socket end and check.
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Old 06-14-2019, 05:06   #7
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I prefer to use #8-36 screws on gun projects because they are considered fine thread. But, there is only one place in town I can get 36" threaded screws and they are always out. How many screws are threaded in America anymore ? I think we are stuck with Chinese crap.

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Old 06-14-2019, 16:16   #8
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Bummer about the broken screw.
Most likely bad metal in the screws. YSF markets itself as the VALUE leader in socket head screws, VALUE = cheap in my book.
I recommend Brighton Best for screws. Brighton Best used to, and maybe still does, make socket cap screws in SS that are made in the USA. The BB alloy screws that I have are marked Korea. Never had a problem with the hundreds of screws that I provided with the gas bushings I've made. The good thing about Brighton Best is that they are made to international & USA standards, ISO, ANSI, ASTM & DIN. The Brighton SS screws I have in #8-36 are also rated ISO 9002 and as I understand the Military has gone from the MIL-STD, MIL-SPEC standards to the ISO 9000 series standards.
Quick search on eBay shows boxes of 100 Brighton Best in #8-32 for @ $10 or less for 100 free shipping, probably find them on Amazon also.
A local bolt supply store should have them in stock or be able to get them in either #8-32 or #8-36.
Note: For those wishing to stock up on Ruger factory size replacement gas block screws the type & size is; socket head cap screw #8-36 by 3/8" long. Also be aware that the screw size for the Amega rail is longer than the factory gas block screw, not sure about the Ultimak rail.

ASI recommends 40 in lbs for their screws.
The torque specs for the 8-32 screws is right at 20 in lbs for that size in SS and 18 in lbs for Alloy.
The #8-36 factory screw size max torque specs are @ 22 in lbs for SS and 20 in lbs for alloy.
Torque standards are generally around 70% of failure/breaking point. So mini owners are pushing the limit with 30-36 in lbs on factory thread size screws. I have tested torque to 100 in lbs with no failure either in the gas block threads or screws with Brighton Best screws (good metal), not recommended to try.

Federal Screw Products - Torque Chart

Brighton Best

Interestingly Ruger does not have torque spec for the gas block screws. The Ruger Armorers School manual for the Mini rifles says; to tighten in an alternating X pattern (keeping gap even on both sides) hand tight and stake the screws in position to prevent loosening of the screws. In my experience the screws WILL loosen if not staked or using a thread-locker compound on them.
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Old 06-14-2019, 20:04   #9
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Thanks for all that good info and the heads up on the BB screws, Walkenbear. I would prefer to use stainless if I can, and put a little matte black paint on them once installed.

I had another product from ASI that I've used for years. It's a scout scope rail that replaces the gas block top. It came with better screws made in USA by KLI, 8-32 x 1/2". I suppose I could reuse those. ASI uses that size for all their gas block products rather than the Ruger factory 8-36 x 3/8".

I had a brief conversation with a guy at ASI today. He said they only recently started using the YFS screws made in Taiwan. He concurred with what you said, that they cinch those down to 40 inch-pounds. Looking at that torque chart you attached almost makes a guy want to drill and tap this top strap for 10-32.

I also had my inch-pound torque wrench checked today and it's right on the money. It's made in China too. Isn't everything?

I went to Lowe's and Home Depot today and bought 4 spare screws from each store. Lowe's screws (Hillman Brand) are made in China as well.

At Home Depot they had stainless steel, so I grabbed 4 of those (Everbilt Brand). I almost laughed out loud when I read the package to see where those are made. It says, and I quote...

"Made In USA, China, Taiwan, Germany, or Thailand."

The screws themselves aren't marked, so it's anyone's guess which of the 5 countries these are from.

We have a Fastenal Shop in town. I ran out of time before I could check there, but their website says they carry them, made in USA by EcoGuard. I'll drop by there tomorrow.

Since you can vouch for the BB stainless I'll try to find a small quantity of those first. I only have one Mini-30, so I'm not wanting to pay a lot for a large quantity. This ASI top strap is really nice, but it's ending up costing me considerably more than I anticipated.

Thanks again!
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Old 06-16-2019, 18:51   #10
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Originally Posted by Walkenbear View Post
...Also be aware that the screw size for the Amega rail is longer than the factory gas block screw, not sure about the Ultimak rail....
I can confirm that it is indeed also the case for the Ultimak. Just got mine and installed it last week, the 8-36 thread measures .475 by my calipers. Side note, the screws for both the gas block mount and barrel bands are both supplied by YFS for Ultimak.
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Old 06-17-2019, 15:28   #11
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nice to know the Harbor Freight torque wrench is on the money. So I would guess the broken screw is most likely just a bad batch of metal.

Thanks Shuey for the info on the length of the ultimak screws, same length for the Amega scout rail #8-36 x 1/2".
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Old 06-25-2019, 00:57   #12
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Update:

After talking to Carl at Accuracy Systems, they sent me four new gas block screws for free and they work. Apparently I just got a couple defective screws. The new ones are the same type, but they work just fine.

Carl said he recommends lubrication for gas block screws, which makes perfect sense. He also said he's never seen the screws fail like they did for me. Lubrication can be Loctite when you're at the point of final install. I was not at that point, so I tightened the screws dry with no oil or Loctite.

I was prepared to send ASI a picture of the defective screws, but they didn't require it. They responded favorably based on my word alone. Kudos to Accuracy Systems for good customer service.

In other news, I bought an inexpensive beam type Inch-lb torque wrench that has a good online review rep, as a second opinion to my click-type Harbor Freight Inch-pound socket wrench . The two types of torque wrenches don't exactly agree on what 40 Inch-pounds is, but they're very close.

Anyway... problem solved.
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Old 06-26-2019, 13:35   #13
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Anything that acts as a thread lubricant, like oil or Loctite, will increase the loading on a fastener at a given torque value.
Normally, fastener torque is specified for dry threads unless mentioned otherwise. Adding some kind of thread lube will result in over-torqueing to some degree. Depending on the metal(s) used and thread lube used, I've heard the increase can be 20%-50% or more. So I'd do some checking before use.

I'm familiar with one guy who sprayed the lug nuts on his car with WD40 before installing them, specified torque was 100 ft-lb. He actually broke the first two studs before ever getting to 100.
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Old 06-28-2019, 22:41   #14
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Yeah good avice, but it's a tricky thing. I broke the gas block screw with no lubrication... no Loctite, or anything. Yet many report their Mini gas block screws working loose if they don't use Loctite or similar product.

Ruger stakes the factory screws or at least they used to. Not to keep us from messing with the gas block, but to keep the screws from working loose over time.

30 inch-lbs isn't much. Accuracy Systems cinches their gas block screws down at 40 inch-pounds and recommends Loctite. Since I'm using one of their top straps for the gas block I'm tempted to go with a higher torque, but using high heat Loctite I may decide on a happy compromise of 35 inch-lbs.

I've had this gas block apart a handful of times over the years, and this is the first time I broke a screw. Hopefully the last (Knock on wood)
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:01   #15
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Get the fat wrench
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