Wheeler Fat Wrench question

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by left handed gun, Jan 11, 2014.

  1. left handed gun

    left handed gun Active Member

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    Anyone have experience with the Wheeler Fat Wrench, who could tell me, from a perceived effort scale, what 55 inch pounds feels like? For me, it is every bit as much torque as the crews and the driver bits want to take without threatening to strip or deform.

    I have been checking my guard screw with a Wheeler Fat wrench torque driver.

    I see torque values as high as 55-65 inch pounds for guard screws. For one of my rifles, 55 ## was what the factory rep recommended over the phone. On guard screw was noticeably loose, so they did definitely need tightening. But , I was a little surprised at the amount of force that 55 # # involved. I'm not Hulk Hogan, but I'll put it this way, when I tried 55 ## setting on a hose clamp, just to test it, my Makita drill would not reverse it unless I set the clutch on no-slip. The screw heads were having about enough of it at 50-55 in lbs, and wanted to deform no matter which bit I used.

    I was a little surprised also at the degree of elbow grease it took, considering 60 inch pounds supposedly translates to 5 foot pounds.



    I am more used to 3/8 in or larger drive torque wrenchs in an automotive or non-firearm usage, where the handle is 15-18" long and provides a lot of leverage. Maybe that makes all the difference.

    The Fat wrench was supposedly factory calibrated (came with a little calibration certificate from the factory). Just curious if other people have had good experiences with them, and found them to be more or less well calibrated from the factory.

    While I should not be surprised, I was not too thrilled to see the Wheeler is Chinese made. Not trying to offend anyone but I am no fan of Chinese manufacturing, having had to return a non-working floor jack, and any number of other PRC tools that failed under normal usage. When any major gun makers start farming stuff over there, I'm through with them until and unless I just can't find a domestic, Euro or Japanese source.

    Final Q: does anyone know of an American made inch-lb torque wrench?

    Snap On? California Torque?
     
  2. Barrelnut

    Barrelnut Well-Known Member

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    Mine behaves about the same as yours.
     

  3. left handed gun

    left handed gun Active Member

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    That gives me more confidence in it. Thanks. Inch lb torque wrenchs were tough to find around here. It was that or get on the internet.
     
  4. Doublezranch

    Doublezranch Well-Known Member

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    I love mine. Very accurate and wonderfully easy to use. 55 lbs is pretty heavy. Go to your local sporting goods store and pick up a 55 lbs bum-bell. It takes a bit to get it off the floor. I'm sure your wrench is working properly. As far as finding another wrench, they are crazy hard to find....but they are out there.
     
  5. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    I like mine, there are the type that are wrench style you may like more.Saw a nice set posted before.The more current and tactical style have torx,allen and 1/2 '' socket such as on NF rings, these alone give a good purchase for the higher settings. Much easier to torque on large allen or 1/2 nut than slotted.
     
  6. Wyofax

    Wyofax Well-Known Member

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    My fat wrench takes some horse power when it's turned up also. I can tell you that real cheap ring screws can not withstand the 20-30 that are recommended. I was setting some up to break in a barrel and was waiting for the NF rings to arrive so I just stuck some cheap rings on and twisted half of them off. Inch pounds from a screw driver type handle was definitely heavier than I thought.
     
  7. Dosh

    Dosh Well-Known Member

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    Lefty, I have a fairly expensive 1/4 drive inch pound torque wrench that I checked against the Fat Wrench readings. The Fat Wrench was never farther than 2 inch pounds difference. I use the Fat Wrench cause it's easier to read and set.
     
  8. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    It feels like you are exerting a lot of effort because unlike your socket, and other wrenches there's no handle.

    As for torquing the actions screws that tight, it depends on the stock. If it's a factory composite stock I'd not use quite so much unless there are pillars installed.

    With regular wood or composites you can create a good bit of stress on the action by compressing the stock with too much torque.

    I've been guilty of over torquing them myself. What matters most is getting them evenly torqued to a setting high enough to prevent them from working loose. If the rifle is properly bedded it really doesn't take much to keep it secure.
     
  9. blacknzr1

    blacknzr1 Well-Known Member

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    they should be about right.

    I can tell you, I have a bit of a feel for these things, but one day I got cleaver and decided to follow the manual specs for my motorbike sump plug. I was thinking this seems a bit tight, but the book says, so carry on! (it stripped)
    never again, I now work up to specs using my feel as common sense, and I stop when I think its enough. if using loc-tight it will be fine not so tight anyway. and as long as your consistant. I wright the settings down for each action or whatever, and just repeat.
    that's the othere thing, often torque specs are lubricated specs, as in loc-tight or whatever on the threads, not dry.
     
  10. AZShooter

    AZShooter Well-Known Member

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    I use my Fat wrench often. Very useful for repeatability when a rifle is disassembled/reassembled.

    55 in/lb is getting up there for an action screw and it is difficult to twist with one hand. It is just about impossible to hold a slotted tip in the screw's slot with that much torque but with a hex head it is easy. IMO 55 in/lb is just about the max I'd use.

    I like to start with 40 front 35 rear and fine tune from there. (I don't have any pillar bedded actions) Some rifles will actually tighten up group size with some modifications to action screw torque! After using 35 rear/40 front I will increase both by 5 in/lb and observe group size for improvement. I rarely go past 45 rear/50 front.

    FYI Leupold recommends 22 in/lb for their scope ring cap screws.
     
  11. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    I dearly hate to think of how many screws I broke off or holes I stripped out mounting scopes before getting a torque wrench.
     
  12. The Oregonian

    The Oregonian Well-Known Member

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    I have one and broke off a screw in a Leupold base using the prescribed torque. I was surprised how much effort it took to finish it off until it broke the screw off.

    I was concern that the wrench was off, but after reading this thread I think I will back off the poundage next time. Blue locktite and something that gets it fairly tight is probably fine.
     
  13. dragman

    dragman Well-Known Member

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    I love my fat wrench! I quickly found out that I used to put way to much torque on screws!!!! Great tool.
     
  14. Nimrod

    Nimrod Well-Known Member

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    I use a Snap-On, works for me and made in the U.S.