Lubricating your Savage Bolt

First let’s cover the three types of lubrication you should or can use. They are CLP by Break Free, Corrosion X and Aeroshell 64. The first two are purely for rust protections. CLP is great for getting down into hard to reach places and foams and expands on contact. It is also quite thin and so can get into a lot of hard to reach places. Corrosion X, by the way I think that is a terrible name, is probably the best rust preventer out there but it’s quite thick. It does however have the benefit of being very sticky so it holds on to a metal longer. Because it is thick though it may be hard to get into small places. The last one Aeroshell 64 is purely a lubricant. This stuff is the best and it is incredibly temperature stable and rated to work way bellow freezing. Like -20c which is quite cold in F too. Colder than just about anyone will ever hunt in. Its temperature stability is the main reason I recommend it. Aeroshell 64 is also sticky and provided a great surface for friction reduction.

Now let’s take our save bolt apart. There are two main types so we will start with the older multi piece style first. Remove the BAS then remove the cocking sear button and pull out the firing pin. Then remove the pin that holds the bolt head on and you are 90% there. If you want to doo mild lubrication to a new gun this is usually far enough.

For those that want to go father you will need at least a 1/16in punch, a hammer, slotted screw driver and something with a small hole in it. You need the 1/16in punch to remove the retaining pin, which is aluminum by the way, and then you can remove the ejector plunger. These are often very dirty. I hold the spring with pliers and use compressed air to blast the gunk off it. There is also the ejector claw. That you use the slotted screw driver to push into the face of the bolt. Be careful there is a ball inside here. The spring inside here is also usually packed with gunk. Clean all springs and parts. Wipe off the gunk and then apply either CLP or Corrosion X to each then reassemble. These parts only need protection from rust.

Now the that head is done let us take the firing pin apart. Just rotate the rear captive nut until it comes apart. Hole onto all parts so nothing goes flying. Under neath the rear capture nut and washer are some threads and two flat spots on the firing pin shaft. This should be heavily greased with Aeroshell 64. Reason is that captive washer gets pushed along this part of the firing pin and this is often a section with a lot of drag. Using the grease minimizes this. Then coat all other parts with either CLP or Corrosion X with a thin coat for rust protection. Firing pin tip should be wiped off so minimal lubricant is on it. That area you do not want any thick greases because it could interrupt the firing pins moment through the bolt head. From here we can put it back together.

The bolt body is hardened steel however I have seen these rust so a complete coating of CLP or CrX works here both inside and out. Keep the inside clean the often get a powdery residue inside them that can make the sliding o internal components ruff.

For the bolt head I put Aeroshell 64 around the rotating glass black that is right behind the bolt head. Both sides of it and inside of it too. A little inside the through hole that the pin goes through to hold the head on the bolt body too, but not a lot.

We can start putting the rest of it together now. Last thing you should have to put Aeroshell 64 on is the sear button. I insert the firing pin and then the cocking sleeve then the sear. The cocking sleeve can get some great on its outside and inside too as it is a sliding and rotating component. If you are adding a bolt lift kit the bearings only need rust protection from either CLP or CrX. One the firing pin is inserted and the sleeve and sear button are in place I put a healthy amount of Aeroshell 64 on the cocking ramp of the bolt body. Work it back and forth a few times to make sure it get everywhere here.

Last item to grease with Aeroshell 64 is the inside of the rear glass block. It’s that C shaped thing that is right in front of the bolt handle and behind the cocking sear button. This part has to spin on the bolt body with every cycle so its inside needs to be slick. Also check for burs on the inside. The small ramp on the grass black can also get a little greasy because the bolt handle does run into this to make the primary extraction force.

With that you are done. If there are any parts that I did not mention just assume they get a coating of CLP or CrX which you should then wipe down to make sure it thin enough to not build up gunk.

Another Way to Make Savage Bolt Lift Easier

Rear Gass Baffle. What is that? Well its part number 28 on the chart bellow and I absolutely hate this thing. This article is why I hate it and how to at least minimize the problems it creates.

First it is an extra part that can break. This would not be a problem but it could really be eliminated entirely. Since its two claimed tasks can easily be performed in other ways and with simpler components I think it should have never been put in the design in the first place.

My second big biff with it is that it adds resistance to the rotation of the bolt. Making bolt lift more difficult. At the end of the article. I will talk about how to fix some of these, or at least minimize it.

Now Savage calls it a rear gas baffle. Another-words if the rifle were to have a catastrophic failure such as a ruptured case or blown primer it would block gas coming out of the receiver. This is stupid though. Gas escaping the rifle is always going to take the shortest rout. The shortest one being the loading and ejecting port of the rifle. I am sure there was some engineer that thought they were really smart when they put the Rear Gas Baffle in there. By the way I do not think they were at all neuron saturated.

The second thing it does is so provide a ramp that the bolt handle rides on and is forced backwards to eject a round. This is called Primary Extraction for short. Again why they did not simply build the ramp into the action itself is beyond me. I know the Savage Axis does have its Primary Extraction ramp built into the receiver. Perhaps they learned. By the way building the ramp into the gun would have made it easier to manufacture too.

Now this Rear Gas Baffle is held to the bolt body by a bearing. In some of the older designs they actually used an Allen screw to press the ball against the bolt body. This is what lead to this article. I was working on a customers bolt that had terrible bolt lift. It was well over 12lbs and even with my bolt lift kit in it it was still well over 10lbs. Re-liftng the bolt while it was still cocked was a hard experience requiring more than 3lbs of effort. I knew something was not right.

Here is what I found. The only thing preventing the rotation of the bolt was the Rear Gas Baffle. Trying to spin it on the bolt body was itself very difficult. I took an Allen wrench to the retaining screw and loosened it ever so slightly. Instantly the bolt was better. Bolt lift was down to just 4lbs. A huge improvement over the 12lbs that it once was.

Only older Savages have this Allen screw in the Rear Gas Baffle. The newer ones have a dual bearing design with a spring inside. Most of them are ok but really it should just hold the baffle in place. I put a video down bellow of the bolt after the work. Before this I had to really grip the bolt handle hard and even brace the rifle to cock it before.

Another issue that sometimes harms the performance of your bolt and make bolt lift a wrestling match, would be a bur on the inside edges of the Rear Gas Baffle. I mainly find this on newer models but it is pretty constant. It is a pretty easy fix. I nearly clamp it up in soft jaws. With a file I simply remove the bur. One side is usually worst than the other but do both sides. This has sometimes help alleviate the issue and in almost all cases takes a few ounces off the bolt lift. Considering how easy it is to do I now do it to ever one that comes through my shop.

One last treatment for the Gas Baffle is to take both ball bearings out and shorten the spring. This though is tricky and I do not recommend it. First time I tried I lost all the parts and had to source some new ones. It is something though that I am going to add on to the entire process soon.

M10/110 Bolt knob upgrades

They are here. This I spent a lot of time on. Mostly because making a handle that would not spin was a challenge. Well long story short I am including E6000 glue with this because that is the only way to get it to stay from. The Bolt handle is round all the way around and that makes griping it almost impossible. But the glue solves the issues completely.

The knob looks great too I was able to create a more pleasing shape because of the round bolt knob. With the previous version I made for the Axis I had to make it rather stubby so it was thick and strong enough. All of that was due to the egg shaped knob on the Axis.

Clamp On Bolt Handles

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.

Bolt Lift Kits

For some time now I have seen an occasional odd duck as far as savage bolts go. It is a new single piece firing pin and it is here to stay. According to Savage all savages from 2019 and on will be using this type of uni firing pin with a cocking indicator.

The cocking indicator is how most people have separated them however there are older savages that do in fact have a cocking indicator with the older style multi piece firing pin. So I prefer to call the new one a single piece firing pin with cocking indicator.

Now I believe that it is in an improvement. A BIG improvement. Sure, it is not as adjustable as the old one but a competent gunsmith or machinist can modify these new ones too. It just requires some time on the lathe cutting things instead of turning the wacky washers that they used to have. The crown washers that retain the spring will not be missed by me. They often brake and that would sometimes cause shooters issues with heavy bolt lift and they would never know it unless they fully disassembled the bolt. Something very few shooters ever do.

Another reason why I like the new firing pin is that they are actually straight. The older ones were terminally crooked. Probably 97% of the old ones I have come across are crooked.

Lastly the new bolt has a lighter bolt lift even from the factory. BUT I have been able to improve the bolt lift even more. Installing the new bolt lift kit is quite simple. I put together a quick video on how to install it bellow.

My bolt lift kit is simple. Savage puts a wire washer inside the bolt to provide a slipping point. However this sometimes hangs up and it is still a lot of friction. The kit I designed replaces the wire washer inside the bolt with a thrust bearing that fits over the shaft of the cocking indicator. Making a thrust bearing that would fit over the cocking indicator and also still fit inside the bolt body was a tuff one but special tooling makes it a reality. To compensate for the extra space taken up by the bearing, a washer is put on the BAS screw to move it further back and thus keep the spring tension the same. The washer is key to making the entire kit work as the thrust bearing will not permit the bolt to cock without the added internal clearance.

I have both black and stainless steel washers to match your rifle. I write this article during some rather troubling times. Keep calm and keep reloading.

“I ordered one of your lift kits a few days ago. I received it today and installed it in about 5 minutes. A VERY worthwhile improvement! Thank you for a terrific product.

All the best to you and yours,

Jose” JLT on

Savage Bolt Lift Kit

Its here. I have experimented with many types of bolt lift kits and found most of them poor if not totally unsatisfactory. Then I found these bearings and modified them to work. its actually a little challenging to modify them in my lathe because they are hardened and my tooling does not last very long but its worth it. This kit is really great.

I made a video on how to install it. It is quite easy and really only requires a single 1/4in Allen wrench. The spacer ring compensates for the thickness of the bearing and the bearing eliminates just about all the rotational friction. Most users see a 20-30% improvement and a few get as much as %40.

If you want the most improvement or you do not want the spacer ring, you should send your bolt to me a combination bolt lift kit and bushing job. By bushing your bolt the firing pin is made smaller and the spring tension can be reduced. This gives you the greatest amount of bolt lift improvement and eliminates all cratering of primers. Also a very large number of my customers tell me that they had improved ES and smaller groups after my bushing and tuneup.

The kit works on any model 10 or 110 Savage rifles. I also have a separate kit for Savages with the cocking indicator. Yes this is the only kit out there that works with the savages with cocking indicators.

New Bolt Bushing Jig

For a while I have wanted to make a good fixture to bush Rem style bolts. I did have one but it was terribly inadequate. Flexed to much too and I had to use it in the 4 jaw chuck. A customer that has done business with me a few times now sent me his Howa bolt and I decided it was time to make a proper fixture. It was worth it. Supper stiff, and because I can adjust the runout in the bolt I do long need the 4jaw chuck. He wrote me a very kind post and recommendation on which is probably my favorite website.


Last year I built a target rifle in 6BR using a Howa 1500 action that PT&G had on sale for $250. (I use it for a 300 yard egg shoot at the local club) The gun has always shoot pretty good, but not great. The bolt had a huge hole for the firing pin and left moon-sized craters in the primers. Well, @Grimstod said he could do a bushing for me so I sent it off to him. It turned out to be a real pain in the rear to do because it would not fit in his 700 bolt fixture. So he went the extra mile and made a fixture just for the Howa bolt and did his usual magic on it. The gun shoots night and day better now! So if you are in need of bolt bushing and need it done right and with a reasonable turn around time, I can highly recommend @Grimstod for the work. (He is famous for his Savage bolt work, but he now does others too)
Thanks again Grimstod


Mag Catches Now in Black

I have been busy. Boyds rifle stocks had a booth at the Great American Outdoor show. I was able to demonstrate my product to them and they were immediately interested. The did however want the ear on them so I modified the design for them. They are now anodized too. They should match much more nicely to your rifle now.


I have also been putting a lot of new products on my ebay store so be sure to check there often for new things. I have many new products planned. You can see in my photo I am including them with a set of bedding pillars. I believe that the bedding pillars are necessary to get the distances between the receiver.



Savage Bolt Lift Kit and other Methods

NOTE: I have since this article come up with a much better bolt lift kit system. You can read about it here.

The opening of the bolt is an important factor mainly for the competitive shooter. He needs to cycle his bolt fast and shoot again if the conditions are good to shoot a tight group. This is called running the gun. If your bolt lift is vary hard, not because of pressure, but due to the faulty mechanics in the bolt, it will disturb the bags and make the gun run different from shot to shot. It also makes reacquiring your target harder. For the hunter its just a luxury. It is very gratifying though when your muscles are cold that you can cycle the bolt fast and with ease in case you need a fallow up shot.

There are three ways to lighten bolt lift. One is grease. Then there is lightening the firing pin and finally a bolt lift kit.

Lets talk about grease quick. Now you do not want to go over board with grease here. Especially if you hunt with this rifle. In cold conditions grease gets stiff and it can ruin the hunt of a life time. My mentor, Bill Goad told me of one time he was hunting and a monster buck was in the perfect spot for great and clean kill but his rifle just would not hit the primer hard enough to detonate it. Why? because he had to much grease in his rifle. It was cold and stiff, thus preventing the firing pin from falling hard enough to fire the rifle. So watch the grease.

Next is lightning the firing pin spring. Most factory rifles have to much spring force. Many over 35lbs. That is overkill. 25lbs is plenty and once you have your bolt bushed and firing pin head shaped correctly a 25lbs spring will produce the same hitting force on a primer as a 35lbs but without the hard bolt lift. Its another great reason to get your bolt bushed.


Now to get to the point of this article. In a savage bolt there is a slotted sleeve that goes around the rear of the firing pin. This sleeve is what the sear button preses the firing pin spring against when you open your bolt. It also rotates against the BAS. That is the bolt that holds all the guts of your bolt inside the bolt body. That rotation has a lot of surface areas and drag induced in the action of lifting the bolt causes a hard bolt lift irrespective of how hot your load was.

The bolt lift kit solves this by isolating the friction to a single point that is very small. Literally a pin point. First a new cap is made for the rear of the slotted sleeve and the sleeve is cut to match it. I do this to keep it all nice and straight. Most people just Shorten the BAS and I think this is the wrong way to do it as it does not allow you to make sure they are perfectly parallel. Sorta like when we true up an action.

Next I ream a hole through the center of the bolt and thread it. Then an Allen screw is put in with lock tight and set to the correct depth. Really very little in the way of space is added here. IMG_1784-1.JPG

Lastly we put it all together again. I use minimal grease by the way. The result is very surprising. Before a bolt lift kit is installed you must use your thumb or the edge of a table to cock the sear button again. Once this kit is installed you can cock it with your index finger.



As a final word. You can get a Bolt Lift kit from PTG for $35 and a stainless steel one for $45. If you want me to modify your existing bolt I do these for $20 regardless of weather or not its stainless or blued steel. If you have multiple bolts you want the lift kit installed in contact me and we can work out a discounted deal.

Fluting my Rifles Bolts

You know how it is. You get online and look at all those high end rifles with fluted bolts and just want one. But for a 125$ thats a steep price to pay. So I decided to do my own. First one I did was my model 12FV. It was quite easy. Made a few minor mistakes and wish I had made the flutes longer but it still looks good. Set up is quite involved though.

The hexagonal flutes were quick and easy to do. I think now that I have done two of them, the next one will also be a hexagonal flat flute. It seams to take of the most material. May even try a 5 sided flute. This one above was 6 sided.

Next was a long action bolt from my Savage Axis. Decided to use a ball end mill and did much longer flutes. Turned out really good. I am getting better.

If you want me to flute your bolt contact me. I would charge $50 for a short action and $60 for a long action. That gets you a size sides straight flute.

For the rounded ball type flutes I would charge $60 for a short action and $70 for a long action. That is also a size sided flute. If your have multiple bolts I can work out a discounted deal for you. Doing one bolt after another saves me time on setup so I will work out a discount for you.