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Modifying a Bolt handel on a Bolt action Rifle

gap1916gap1916 Member Posts: 4,977
edited July 2007 in Ask the Experts
How hard is it to modify a bolt handel? I have a military rifle that has the bolt handel at a 90 degree angle from the action. Thus i can not mount a scope. I want to cut the bolt handel and bend it down to accomodate a scope. Has anyone done this and do you recomend it? Thanks for the input. The rifle is an FR-8


  • rufe-snowrufe-snow Member Posts: 18,649 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    There are (2) way of reworking bolt handles, for scope mounting purposes.

    1, Heating the handle till it's red hot, then using a "Forging Jig" to shape it to the correct dimensions, for scope clearance.

    2, Cutting off the old bolt handle, then welding on a replacement with the proper shape and dimensions to clear the scope.

    Both of the above take skill/knowledge and the proper tools.

    There are folks who specialize in just reworking bolts, i.e. you just send them the bolt, they then rework the handle for proper scope clearance. Unless you have the correct tools and knowledge? I would recommend you go this route.
  • JKJK Member Posts: 223 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    This can be done in a number of ways. I take it that you're doing the work yourself. If you want to retain the original bolt you can either employ bolt bending blocks. These are specific to the bolt that you are bending only. For the one job it's expensive and it shortens the length of the bolt to some degree. ASnother way is to make a bolt handle on a lathe to your specs and weld (or silver solder) it where you cut off the original bolt. You can sweep it back and literally do anything you want. (Drill a hole in the bottom and knurl the ball.)Thirdly, using the original bolt, grind or radiac a "V" in the top of the handle close to the base of the handle. Then bend it down to where you want it and sweep it back. having the proper contour and inside radius where you want it, fill the V in with soft weld and grind and polish your heart out. The V will open up to about 180 degrees after it's bent, so you have a lot of filling to do. The V method is about the cheapest. But no matter what procedure you use KEEP THE LUGS COOL. These are basically the ways to do this job. I'm sure you'll get some more help from others too.
  • nononsensenononsense Member Posts: 10,933 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1

    It depends on your skill level or your desire to pay for the expertise. I don't care for bending the bolt since it usually leave the length of the handle itself a little short and it looks stupid. There are a couple of little things that you can try to optimize the bent bolt handle length but they still look wrong to me. I cut off the handle and weld a new one on that is the right length and shape.

    This is Brownells .pdf which explains the entire bending process:

    These are the answers from your previous question about scoping the FR-8:

    The only reason I bring this up is to reinforce my comments about having to grind off that wonderful rear sight apparatus in order to use a standard scope mount set up. I would avoid this at all costs. My suggestions are two-fold:

    Use a side mount as illustrated in the previous thread.

    Trade your FR-8 for a standard Mauser without the rear sight set up and mount away. There are even mounts that don't require you to grind the stripper clip hump off in order to get the mount to fit.

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