How many times have you picked up an old Parker shotgun and looked at distorted or mangled screws after someone tried to dismantle the gun?  Anyone who has looked at even a few Parkers has seen them, it may be the biggest problem of all for Parkers.

There is one simple thing to know to avoid adding your Parker to the list of Parkers with "buggered" screws - use the proper screwdriver and take some time getting the best fit to completely fill the slot before trying to turn the screw.

The question of what screwdriver to use was asked on the PGCA forum and the recommendation was to hollow grind them to fit or to purchase a good hollow ground set.  The sets sold by Brownell's received favorable comments.

The Brownell sets will have a tip that fits, with the exception for the unhooking pin screw. That screw slot is so small that a set of jeweler's screw drivers is required.  The Brownell's tips don't need to be ground but you definitely need both the "thin set" as well as the "super set" screwdrivers.

The goal  when selecting a screwdriver is to completely fill the screw slot; side to side, depth and width. 

The very first thing to do is to clean the slot of any debris, rust, dried hard oil or whatever else might be in there. Toothpicks are a good start but if you need something more aggressive, a dental pick can be used. Once the slot is clear of foreign matter, find the tip that best fits the slot. The width of the slot may not be completely filled but it is best if it is, the closer the better.  It is critical that the fit of the depth and side to side spaces of the slot be completely filled by the tip, otherwise there is a good chance of burring the screw head. This is why the common wood shop or mechanic's screw drivers, with wedge tips, should never be used on your Parker screws.

One screw that is often seen damaged is the "joint pin screw". Unless there is a very good reason to remove this screw, like a severely damaged "joint roll", it is probably best to leave it alone. 

If a screw head was "buggered", it may be possible to repair it rather than replace it.  Don't file off the burrs but rather just peen it back into place. Filing removes the metal but a "buggered" screw head has all its metal intact, its just not where it should be.  With a little care, the metal can be persuaded back into its proper position.  Turn the screw back into place and very lightly strike it with a small peen hammer using various size brass punches. Tap it lightly and at an angle to work the medal in the direction you want it to move and the vast majority of the burr should be returned into its proper place, leaving a fairly decent slot - not perfect, but decent.

A link to Galazan's might be useful for those times when screws are so badly damaged they need to be replaced. They do sell a set of Parker action screws. They will need to be final fitted because the heads are extra long.

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