Tikka T3 rail slot headed screws stuck, how to get them out without stripping?

razzle

Private
Belligerents
Dec 5, 2007
147
23
22
35
Norway
Tried to remove the slot head screws on the picatinny rail with a screwdriver and ratchet with bit, but they just slip out of the slot because the screws are really stuck. What is the deal, glue? And how can I get them out safely?
 

MarinePMI

Ban Cat Handler
Staff member
Commercial Supporter
Online Training Access
Belligerents
Jun 3, 2010
6,218
6,407
219
San Diego, Ca
Is this the CTR or a T-3 with a standard rail (no slots)?
 

razzle

Private
Belligerents
Dec 5, 2007
147
23
22
35
Norway
T3 Tactical (First version) so I guess it's the same as the CTR. Picatinny rail.
 

MarinePMI

Ban Cat Handler
Staff member
Commercial Supporter
Online Training Access
Belligerents
Jun 3, 2010
6,218
6,407
219
San Diego, Ca
Shouldn't be glued, though I have heard some of the rails were epoxied into place (never seen it first hand on the two I have; Varmint & CTR).

Do you have a manual impact driver? That usually helps get stuck screws loose without beating them up too badly. Applying some Kroils also helps (just don't get that stuff anywhere near your scope rings).

https://www.zoro.com/proto-driver-h...hoTzv-G1Pxa7T7Wdk6oaAnNREALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

BTW, I asked the question because the Varmint had plastic threaded plugs that looked like screws, but it sounds like you just have some stuck screws.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: shoobe01

jimmymcnulty

AKA Bushy Top
Hessian
Belligerents
Minuteman
Jan 15, 2018
371
49
34
Kansas
Getting the Rail off my CTR was a pain in the ass. Almost stripped all of the screws. I did not use heat, which was my mistake initially. I applied heat half way through and i was just barely able to get the screws out without stipping them all. I had to use an Extractor Set on one of the screws.
So, use heat before messing with screws. They have loctite on them and need the heat to loosen. The picatinny rail was epoxied to the action, again, heat helped remove the rail.
Good news is I learned alot, bad news is, I'm getting ready to remove another one. GOOD LUCK! Heat and Patience!
 
  • Like
Reactions: MinnesotaMulisha

razzle

Private
Belligerents
Dec 5, 2007
147
23
22
35
Norway
Tried with a heatgun on one of the screws for a while and gave it another try, but I ended up stripping it :mad::rolleyes: Not sure this actually is Loctite as it is clear, both on the rail and the screws. Wouldn't be surprised if they applied epoxy to both the rail and the screws. So I gave up, will drop off the rifle at the local gunsmith today and will get it back tomorrow. Who uses slotted screws in the 21st century??
 

Lunchbox27

Professional whisky drinker
Belligerents
Mar 23, 2017
1,210
1,217
219
Mine was a PITA, too! Same issue, stripped them out. Heat gun helped with the epoxy.

Tikka really needs to start shipping these with 20moa rails.
 
  • Like
Reactions: kimberyote

flatland1

Sergeant
Belligerents
Jul 7, 2005
1,279
541
219
68
Western Kansas
EGW says to run a 6-48 tap into the holes if you're having problems getting their supplied screws to start - that's if your rifle was made after 2004; ones prior to then had metric threads for the scope rail. They say that it's common for the plastic plugs to leave some material behind in the threads when they're removed, and a proper size tap will easily remove it. My problem is in getting the factory plastic plugs out of the holes so I can mount the EGW 20 MOA rail on a brand new T3x Lite that I just ordered in from Lipsey's last week. FedEx delivered several scope rails I'd ordered from EGW late last evening, so I was trying to back those sorry plastic plugs out, and not one of them will unscrew out far enough to be removed. About ready to pull the bbl'd action out of the stock and put it in the vise on my vertical mill so I can drill the sorry little SOBs out...
 

OG10

SME
Belligerents
Sep 24, 2012
284
71
34
48
Texas
@flaland1 if you do indeed have the plastic plugs t3, t3x just use a small punch and drive the plugs into the receiver.This works well with the plastic plugs, the run the appropriate tap and clean the threads.Any questions let me know.
 

flatland1

Sergeant
Belligerents
Jul 7, 2005
1,279
541
219
68
Western Kansas
@flaland1 if you do indeed have the plastic plugs t3, t3x just use a small punch and drive the plugs into the receiver.This works well with the plastic plugs, the run the appropriate tap and clean the threads.Any questions let me know.
OG10 - I was in a hurry to attach an EGW 20 MOA sloped rail on the new 223 T3x this morning; was wanting to get a 6-24x50 Midas TAC mounted so I could zero it this evening, and was needing to get out of the shop & onto the sprayer. So didn't get a flashlight to look at the underside of the rear receiver ring to see if the tapped holes went clear through. But that's a whole lot safer way to deal with these wimpy plastic plugs than trying to drill them out. Kind of an odd thing to do at the factory, especially since the machine work & finish on the metal parts of this T3x Lite are impressive. Next time I have time to work on it, I'll get the Starrett punch set & a 6-48 tap out and deal with the plastic plugs. Thanks for the suggestion.
 

Shootin Stuff

Sergeant of the Hide
Belligerents
Minuteman
Feb 11, 2020
107
72
34
Australia
An impact driver (the kind you tap with a hammer and slowly rotate) can work wonders on overly tight screws. A bit of heat will help to soften the epoxy if it is stuck in the threads too.
 
  • Like
Reactions: iceng and OG10

Steel head

Feral kitten
Belligerents
Aug 3, 2014
8,564
13,105
219
Washington
Make sure you are using a correctly sized hollow ground gun smiths screwdriver for starters. You can really crank on a flathead if you have the correct size for the job. Most of the time when I see buggered up screws it's because someone went at it with a standard screwdriver
This
Parallel sides on the gunsmith bits make a huge difference
 
  • Like
Reactions: iceng and shoobe01

shoobe01

Private
Hessian
Belligerents
Feb 15, 2005
390
190
49
Mission, KS
www.donttouchme.com
Assuming the screws are metal (I am a little lost with the talk of plastic plugs?) and there's no other super fragile substrate (plastic or wood rails, frame) then the best way to get heat into a small area like a screw is a soldering iron. Even a tiny one (as small as 15w) will heat up the screw, thus any threadlocker or gummed up assembly grease, improperly applied WD40, etc. and should give you a minute to get it out. Let the iron get full heat, use a pointy tip, and just place it right on the head for 10-15 seconds.

Also make sure the workpiece is well secured, and make sure you have a hollow ground driver of the right size. You want as little movement between the bit and screw head as possible, and as much width as possible without going outside it and buggering up what is beyond it.

 
  • Like
Reactions: iceng

flatland1

Sergeant
Belligerents
Jul 7, 2005
1,279
541
219
68
Western Kansas
My brand new Tikka T3x Lite (got it last week from Lipsey's) came with black plastic plugs in the scope base tapped holes. Maybe older rifles came with steel plugs, but I'm here to tell you, the newest rifles come with these plastic plugs. Using a hollow ground screwdriver has nothing to do with getting them out - the plastic threads aren't strong enough to last long enough to allow me to back them out - and it's not the screwdriver slot that fails, it's the plug threads themselves. I simply got a pin punch & light machinist's hammer and drove them down into the action until they fell out. It took only a few light taps on the punch to drive them through the receiver rings. Afterwards, I set the rail in place, put a dab of #242 blue loctite on each screw, and tightened them. It's sitting in the safe overnight, and should be ready to mount a scope & zero tomorrow or Sunday.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: shoobe01 and OG10

OG10

SME
Belligerents
Sep 24, 2012
284
71
34
48
Texas
If your tikka came from the factory with a rail, ctr varmit it has metal screws.If your tikka came witha dovetail /flat top receiver aka t3 lite, t3x lite or superlight either t3 or t3x it will have plastic screws/ plugg in the top.This should clear up the plastic vs steel issue.
 

flatland1

Sergeant
Belligerents
Jul 7, 2005
1,279
541
219
68
Western Kansas
The T3x Lite I bought is my first Tikka. Have been reading so many positive reviews over the past few years that I'd been thinking about buying one of these rifles to find out what all the hub-bub is about for some time. A couple of months ago, while at B&C to pick out a stock for a Howa Mini, Brandon showed me a T3x CTR that they use to check the fitting of inlets. I was flat amazed at how slick the CTR's bolt ran, and it was handling this rifle that convinced me to buy a T3x. I picked the least expensive model in 223, thinking it'd make a great truck gun.

The one thing I don't care for on this rifle is the magazine - pretty short for any of the loads with longer bullets that the 1-8tw bbl would handle well, and only 4rd capacity. That'd be no sweat if there were reasonably priced 10rd mags with room for longer rounds available somewhere. I've done some searching, but haven't seen anything yet. What am I missing?
 

spife7980

Luchador
Belligerents
Feb 10, 2017
8,030
6,062
219
Central TX
The one thing I don't care for on this rifle is the magazine - pretty short for any of the loads with longer bullets that the 1-8tw bbl would handle well, and only 4rd capacity. That'd be no sweat if there were reasonably priced 10rd mags with room for longer rounds available somewhere. I've done some searching, but haven't seen anything yet. What am I missing?
That you’re trying to do non lite stuff with a lite purposed rifle. Put it in a chassis or stock with some bottom metal and run the aics mags.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Matt_KJ

Shootin Stuff

Sergeant of the Hide
Belligerents
Minuteman
Feb 11, 2020
107
72
34
Australia
The one thing I don't care for on this rifle is the magazine - pretty short for any of the loads with longer bullets that the 1-8tw bbl would handle well, and only 4rd capacity. That'd be no sweat if there were reasonably priced 10rd mags with room for longer rounds available somewhere. I've done some searching, but haven't seen anything yet. What am I missing?
Depending on how handy you are I am almost positive the rear block is removeable/modifiable to allow a longer coal. You might need to do a bit of work to the follower as well though depending on how long you really want to go.