And not just for the Savage. Though that project was the hardest one. I am actually working on versions for many rifles. Howa 1500, Savage M10 and Axis rifles, along with Rem 700 bolts will be supported, eventually….
I actually saw one of these clamp on bolt handles on a Howa. Thought to myself that was clever. At the same time though it seamed chincey to me. It was not until I looked at the price of these clamp on bolt handle that I knew there was a need. So I set out to make something that cost half as much but did the same thing. I am not going to lie. This was harder than I though it would be. The fitting part was not difficult. It was production.
Af first I made them compact. This proved to be an issue though. Lot of them broke. Probably 10% of them didi. That was not acceptable of course. So I made them a lot thicker. That actually slowed just about all of the issues but I still was not happy with it. I found a better Philips screw that had a larger head and so was better to the plastic. That helped too. Then there was my printing.
Let me tell you something about 3D printing. It is not as easy as they say it is. I have actually been doing a lot of it for work. Really for the last 6 months it’s been my full time job. About 2 months into it I though I knew about half of what there was to know about 3D printing. Four months later I knew about four times as much but I still feel like I only knew about half of what there is to know in 3D printing. Here I am now and even though I probably know twice what I didi at four months and I still feel like I only know about half of what I need to know. Ya it is not easy.
Ok rant aside, a lot about the strength of the product comes from how you slice it. How many layers it has and also the internal supports. I was able to make sections of the handles stronger then other areas so that weight did not go up but as the same time it was stronger. I think I am still learning a lot too. Oh ya and then there are the temperatures that it is all made at. Well the list just goes on and on.
However I am getting really good prints now. I have often seen 3D printed items that others were selling and thought to myself that they looked horrible. Compared to machined aluminum they still do but mine are getting a lot better all the time. Will 3D printing replace CNC machines. Absolutely NOT! They will always be around. I would actually even say that they are getting better faster then 3D printers are. Just the same though 3D printing these allows me to do one that that I cannot do with machining them. That is make them affordable. And I mean really affordable.
Needless to say I am hard at work making many more options and versions of these clamp on bolt handles. I have even started packing them with E6000 glue now because I think that it gives you the option to make it feel much more solid. Plus the E6000 glue will come off the bolt handle quite easily.
Developing the clamp on for the Savage Axis was rather stress free. Mainly because all Savage Axis rifles come with the same horrible bolt handle. And with the exception of Glades Armory there are no really affordable options. Getting the fit right was easy. Shockingly though many people still try to put them on other bolt handles that are not compatible.
So I knew I had to make more variations for other rifles. I already had a M10 Savage so I quickly made one for that however its round shape made it impossible to make a clamp on device that would never slip. So I am going to have to start selling that with glue in the package.
I had some requests to for the Howa 1500 bolts. There is really no aftermarket options for them either outside of aluminum and much more expensive options. So this is one I am developing too. The Rem700 I want to do next and that will role out soon but I think I might have to test it on a few more Rem 700 bolt handles before I launch it.