Making an A4 Bolt in Six Easy Steps
Visits since 25 April 2012

Disclaimer The information below is for entertainment only and is not to be used in lieu of a qualified gunsmith. Please defer all firearms work to a qualified gunsmith. The author assumes no responsibility or liability for use of or misuse of this article. Please note that I am not a professional gunsmith, just a shooting enthusiast and hobbyist, as well as a tinkerer. This article explains work that I performed to my guns without the assistance of a qualified gunsmith. Some procedures described in these articles require special tools and cannot/should not be performed without them. I assume no responsibility for use or misuse of this article. Again, this article is for entertainment purposes only!

The seven steps outlined on this web page are:
1. Cut off the bolt handle
2. Prep the bolt body
3. Prep the bolt handle
4. Bend the handle
5. Weld handle and bolt body
6. Dress up the welds
7. Parkerize

Step One - Cut off the bolt handle

I use a thin 3" x 1/32" cutoff wheel in a hand grinder to cut off the bolt handle.

Do not cut the handle too close to the bolt body. Leaving 3/8" works best.
You need room there to close the bolt without hitting the receiver.
Make the cut as straight and square to the bolt body as possible.

Step Two - Prep the Bolt Body

Remove excess from rear of bolt handle lug on the bolt body.

Here is one finished and one yet to be done for comparison.

Step Three - Prep the bolt handle

The metal on the outside of the lines comes off. X marks the spot!

I grind the outside of the handle first.
The resulting surface should taper from close to the ball to the apex of the original surface angle.
Thin the inside of the bolt in a similar manner.

Thin the rear side of the handle stem to match the size of the lug on the bolt body.

Dress up your grinds with a belt sander.

Step Four - Bend the bolt handle

Grip the end of the handle in a vise and heat the stem red hot.

Bend the handle away from the weld face until it looks right.
If you have a finished bolt, use it for comparison.

Step Four - Weld the handle back onto the bolt body

Grind some vees for filler rod and clamp the two pieces together.
When you are satisfied with the alignment, tack weld, remove the clamp and finish welding.
TIG welding is the preferred method.

Step Five - Dress up the welds

File or grind the welds smooth.
Excessive weld in the front of the handle will strike the receiver.
Excessive weld at the rear of the handle will prevent cocking.
Always check the fit and function before going to the next step.

Step Six - Parkerize

Bead blast and parkerize!