Q. After reading Airgun Shooter, I see you’ve been using a torque driver. A mate of mine reckons they’re a waste of money. Do you think I should get one anyway?
A. I own two torque drivers, which, between them, cover all the screw-tightening needs my gun collection will ever call out for. If you don’t have a torque driver, you’ll have to judge the required torque by hand – and that’s a skill that can be learned with experience.
Unfortunately, It’s all too easy to apply too much torque. I’ve seen more than my fair share of scope tubes that have been left with ring marks due to over-tightening, and a few cases where the mounts have been tightened so much the tubes have actually been crimped. To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, use only the small end of your Allen key when you tighten delicate parts like scope mounts. You’ll still have more than enough leverage, but will minimise the risk of damage.
If you do have the cash, a torque driver or wrench is still a good investment. My drivers are made by Felo. One covers a torque range from 1.5 Newton metres to 3.0Nm, while the other serves 3.0Nm to 5.4Nm. The lower-torque driver is perfectly adequate for airgun use. I’ve owned mine for several years; they’re a bit more expensive now at around £58 – but you’d be buying peace of mind for your airguns.