The Big Bend - Getting the Handle Out of the Way

After drilling and tapping for a scope, and installing a Lo-Swing or trigger mounted safety, the next problem is to "bend" the bolt handle. I am going to show three ways to do this, all of which require an acetylene torch and/or electric welder, and some jigs and stuff. I am assuming that you have at least a Dremel tool or better for two of the methods.

Before deciding to embark on doing this yourself, be aware that many gunsmiths will do this work for between $40 and $80.

At the top is an unmodified Turk bolt, and at the bottom is a commercial bolt used in a Mod 98 action sold under the Browning name. See how close the bend is to the bolt body on the commercial bolt.

Here are the same two bolts. See the swept back commercial handle, the bolt knob is just past the end of the bolt.

One way of bending the handle is to use a set of forging blocks. Brownells sells these for $46 and I think Midway and others do the same. You will need an acetylene outfit with a BIG welding tip, a good vise, a heavy ball peen or engineers hammer and some heat stop paste. This is about the easiest way, with the following drawbacks;

  1. The Mauser handle is a little short to start with, and is even shorter when bent,
  2. It is hard to get the bend as tight as is desired.

I have some pictures of the Forging Process.

The second way is to cut off the existing handle and either weld it, or a new handle, back on. Brownells and others sell replacement handles for just this purpose. It is nice to have a jig to hold the pieces in place while welding and Brownells sells a nice one for about $30.

Soon this will link you to some pictures of Welding a New Handle. (NOT READY)

The last way is to ALMOST cut off the handle, bend it, and fill in the gap left by bending. Since the handle is not cut off, no jig is needed, and since the old handle is reused, some money is saved.

Here is a link to Bend and Weld.

No matter which of the three methods you use, remember that it is VERY CRITICAL not to heat the locking lugs or the cocking cam to the point of loosing the hardness of these items. The locking lugs are easy, just wrap a cloth around them, tie tightly with a wire, and soak in water. Tie tightly and you can use the wet cloth to handle the hot bolt. The cocking cam is another story, you need some stuff to do the job safely.

In the container on the left is Brownells Heat Stop, some kind a magical paste that really works, and on the right is a Mauser Heat Sink, $17 from Brownells.