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Sling swivel studs loosening

04 Mar 2023
@ 10:50 am (GMT)

Paul Townlian

Hello, as the title states, Im have an issue with my sling swivel studs on my rifles loosening. Initially they were good, then through use and sling tension have loosened to the point of no longer being reliably tight. If I tighten them further, they would be misaligned, and I don't want to potentially damage the stock with too much torque.

How would you suggest reliably securing these renegade, free-wheeling sling swivels?

The materials on the three stocks are different, so Im sure they would warrant different adhesives if that is the solution.

One stock is an HS precision (fiberglass and foam) that comes on the Remington 5r (the black with green webbing version if it makes a difference). One swivel in the back, two in the front. I assume I would need something that bonds to fiber glass/foam; however the front studs may attach to the aluminum bedding block in the front? Not sure, Im trying to avoid disassembling the stock from the action at the moment.

I did talk with a representative from HS precision, and they recommended blue loctite. However I wanted to cross check here. My experience with blue loctite 242 has been far from impressive. Even with a thorough cleaning of the threads before application, it frequently comes loose overtime. Leaving a gunk that's difficult to reclean. Suggesting to me, the more you reapply the less less clean the material surfaces will be and thus the less reliable the bond becomes... But this could be overestimating the potential for loosening on my part. I just know those studs are put under a good deal of tension when slung up to take a shot.

The other 2 stocks are plastic. One is a Ruger scout rifle with the factory polymer furniture. The other a Tikka T3x, also with the factory plastic-fantastic furniture. Im nearly positive loctite wouldn't work for these because if memory serves I don't believe red or blue loctite bonds with plastic unless specified.

For an HS precision Fiberglass stock and two Tupperware stocks of doom, what sort of adhesive would give me the most reliable results? Epoxy, JB weld, Red or Blue loctite (242 or 248)?

Does anyone actually just run the swivels loose? I've read some hethens do this. They are long enough that Im sure they wouldn't come out, and the free rotation would help with sling binding when tightening up for a shot. I wouldn't think its the most secure option, and I don't know... just seems vulgar and wrong to my OCD, but what the hell do I know. That's why Im here asking you fine gents for your advice.

Finally, since the subject has been breeched and the studs are already loose, does anyone recommend QD flush cups as a substitute? They seem like they'd be a versatile solution, having the ability to detach the sling and have a completely flush and flat fore end when desired. As well as provide a swivel point so that the sling will not bind under lateral tension. I love them on ARs. Ive noticed more and more high end stock manufacturers are moving to this option, and it seems to be a cheap and easy enough replacement. Even for a mouth breather like myself. I would assume without a doubt that they should be JB welded or epoxied in place...

Thank you for any help and advise that may be given. I appreciate your time.


05 Mar 2023
@ 07:25 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Sling swivel studs loosening
Hi Paul, regarding the rifles you have described, the modern sling studs are machine screws (i.e. bolts), not tapered wood screws. Likely you became used to tight fitting wood screws years ago. The modern screw arrangement is designed to remain loose. They are fitted to an internal streel or brass thread which provides sufficient strength to keep the bolts in place but allows them to rotate to whatever angle the sling is pulled to.

Loctite won't work as sling tension simply pulls the bolt undone. A super strength epoxy could work, but I would not do this, just use them as designed.

Yes, you could fit flush cups into the glass stocks. Drill the stock shell to the same diameter as the stud, remove a little extra foam within the stock but without damaging your shell / drill hole diameter, apply a very generous amount of strong epoxy, fit the stud using a hex key to rotate it into the stock, then clean away the surplus epoxy that seeped through the hex key hole. When fitting the rear stud, make sure it is not drilled / set in the stock too far back toward the butt, otherwise the sling will cut across the throat when shooting. set this rear stud at least 4" forward of the recoil pad and below center. Do not under any circumstances copy commercial rifle stud positioning.

There are two types of cup, one which allows the swivel to rotate, the other with a limited range of rotation / set positioning. You'll be wanting the latter.

Otherwise, I believe I have covered much of this in the latest edition of Rifles.

The Tikka stock is too weak to take flush cups. The forend can be stabilized for a flush cup at the front but the rear requires a bulky fill.

OK, hope that helps a bit.

05 Mar 2023
@ 08:08 am (GMT)

Paul Townlian

Re: Sling swivel studs loosening
Excellent! Thank you for the response. I will be adding the new addition to my reading list, I guess I missed its release. After reading that ill make a final judgement on the fate of my HS precision stock.

One final clarification, and I believe this issue will be all stitched up...

So these modern studs/bolt when loose are functioning as intended? If I understand correctly, the modern studs can in fact be backed out completely like they can on traditional wood stocks. I see this when I rotate them, they swivel but not like a QD would swivel. They do in fact back in and out like the wood screw studs depending on the direction turned to facilitate the swivel. However, you're saying the design of these bolts are interfacing with a metallic bolt threading of enough depth it allows them to rotate in and out of their seating depth to initiate a swivel without causing harm or becoming a future problem? Provided I don't let them spin ridiculously far out out of course.

Is this still true with the rear swivel on the cheaper ruger and tikka polymer stocks? I figured there was a bolt that interfaced through the forend of the front screw, but wasn't sure if the rear stud was tapered screw similar to those used in a wood stock to cut costs for the manufacturer.

Thank you for your time on this matter.


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