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Chasing SCAR Screws

SCAR 16 field strip.

“Chasing function” is an old phrase from my 1911 days: The more you shoot, the more you know. The more you know, the more opinionated you become. Note: not necessarily right. Just opinionated. That last distinction is important. My way isn’t the only way. It’s only a way.

Scout Light was loose.
Scout Light was loose.

Any weapon that I shoot or use a lot will receive this treatment. I proactively look for issues. Potential failure. Cracks. Wear. Lost zero. Damaged lugs. Weak springs. Worn seals. Etc. Etc. Etc. Every make of firearm is different. So you need to think deliberately.

I can’t say how often I do this process since I don’t have a plan. 500 rounds through a pistol is nothing. 500 rounds through a belted magnum bolt-gun might be something different. Maybe before and after a long shooting season with a match gun? Maybe it’s before you spend big money on some training class? Maybe it’s before a big hunt?

2 Barrel mounting screws on each side. SCAR also has 2 more up front. Torque all to 62 inch pounds
2 Barrel mounting screws on each side. SCAR also has 2 more up front. Torque all to 62 inch pounds

Just imagine someone going on some big, expensive hunt for some lifetime achievement animal and NOT checking torque on his action screws. Guess what? It happens more often than you might think.

The SCAR 16 has reached one of these invisible points. So a complete breakdown was called for. And surprise, surprise, I DID find a major issue. The red-dot QD scope mounting screw had backed out and was loose! I never knew. The QD lever was enough tension to hold it place. For now! I never detected any zero issues. Or more likely, I hadn’t driven the gun hard enough at extended ranges since the issue developed. But better to find it now, when I’m looking. Than have it show up to the party uninvited!!!

The Aimpoint QD screw had started to walk loose.
The Aimpoint QD screw had started to walk loose.

So here is summary of things that needed addressing great and small:

  • Tightened the scout light and put a new zip-tie on it. Check.
  • Torque the barrel mounting screws to 62 inch-pounds. Check.
  • Cleaned / scraped the gas system. Check.
  • The pistol grip screw had backed off just a few turns. Check.
  • The Aimpoint Micro QD mounting screw. Check.
  • Check your guns. Chase function. Test EVERY screw. Don’t be a victim of circumstance. Make your own luck.

P.S. Very often you will NEED to re-confirm your weapon’s zero after this. But your dope should remain the same.


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