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February 24th, 2013

Innovative Borka Torque Setting Driver Belongs in Your Toolkit

Borka Torque DriverPh.D Engineer Boris Teper has invented a remarkably compact yet effective torque-setting tool that is ideal for tensioning scope ring fasteners and action screws on rifles. The Torque Settings Driver from Borka Tools is brilliant in its simplicity. The lightweight tool is basically a lever, with a series of hex slots through which a spindle is fitted. The slot position sets the effective lever arm length. How does the tool prevent over-torquing? That’s the magic of Teper’s invention. On one end of the tool is a handle with a spring-loaded ball detent. Once desired torque is reached, the handle overrides the detent, snapping forward so you can’t crank too hard (figure 2 below).

Borka Torque Driver

Borka Torque Driver

The Borka Driver is very easy to use, and despite its simplicity, it is very precise. Lab testing of the Borka driver show that the tool yields the correct torque setting within 4-6% of the true nominal torque measured with a calibration device. That means, for example, if you set the driver for 40 inch-lbs. it will torque the fastener within ± 2.5 lbs of your target setting. That’s as good as some full-size torque wrenches — pretty impressive for a tool that weighs only 4 ounces complete with spindle. And every Borka driver is calibrated to ensure accuracy before it ships.

Borka DriverBorka offers many versions of its tool, with torque ranges from 10 inch-lbs. up to 72 inch-pounds. The basic Borka driver, priced at $55.00, offers six (6) preset torque values. For $15.00 more Borka sells a driver that offers twelve (12) preset torque values. This 12-setting tool, which is not any bigger or heavier than the 6-setting model, is cleverly designed — you simply flip it over to switch from the first six torque settings to the second six. This works because the handle has variable “break” resistance depending on direction of travel. Smart.

Borka’s most popular torque tool is the 12-setting $75.00 “Military Grade” MG driver, model ATD-15×72-12FS-MG. This offers a dozen torque settings from 15- to 72-inch-pounds. We recommend the “Military Grade” model because it has torque settings laser-etched on the surface of the driver arm (see video). That way you’ll always know your torque values. The “Military Grade” model also comes with 1/4″ hex to 1/4″ square (M) and 1/4″ square (F) to 3/8″ square (M) adapters. The Military Grade Model, intended for use in the field by both DOD and LE personel, has already proved popular with “civilian” tactical shooters. You can store the tool in the supplied fabric carry pouch, or stash it (with needed bits) in your range kit.

Video Shows How to Use Borka Driver When Mounting Scope
We suspect many readers are still a bit confused as to how the Borka driver actually works. We could explain in greater detail but a video is worth a thousand words. In the YouTube video below, Frank Galli (aka “LowLight”) from Snipers’ Hide explains how to use the Borka torque driver. Frank demonstrates the $75.00 “Military Grade” Model, but all the Borka lever arm drivers share the same basic operation. Frank shows how to set the spindle position to your desired torque setting and hold to hold the unit properly. Watch carefully and you’ll see how the cylindrical handle at the end of the tool snaps forward or “breaks” when the desired torque setting is reached. Frank notes that: “there is no backlash when torquing. This is an excellent feature as it breaks clean at the desired weight.”

YouTube Preview Image

Where can you get a Borka torque setting driver? All models can be purchased directly from Borka Enterprises by emailing You can also purchase through Manson Precision Reamers, (810) 953-0732. (Dave Manson worked with Boris Teper to get this product to market.) In addition, four models are available from Brownells: ATD-20X4006FS (Brownells item #080-000-734), ATD25X5006FS (Brownells item #080-000-735), ATD-36X7206FS (Brownells item #080-000-736), and ATD-15X7212FS (Brownells item #080-000-737).

DOWNLOAD: Intro to Torque Setting Driver | Borka Torque Driver Users’ Manual | Tool Calibration

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing, New Product 4 Comments »
December 31st, 2012

Magna-Tip Torx Driver Set from Brownells

Here’s a cool Torx driver from Brownells that belongs in every shooter’s tool box. The Magna-Tip Tactical/LE Field Torx Kit features a driver with five (5) Torx bits to fit popular scope rings and bases. A storage compartment in the handle holds the bits when not in use. A built-in magnetic socket in the handle holds each bit securely in the shank. We think this is a great new product. When Eyeballing a Torx screw, it’s hard to tell which size bit is required, and the short, L-shaped Torx wrenches that come with ring sets get lost all too easily. The $17.99 Torx Driver Kit, (Brownells Item 080-000-757), will help shooters keep all their often-used Torx bits safely in one place.

Brownells Magna tip torx driver

Permalink Gunsmithing No Comments »
June 29th, 2010

New Generation Tactical Rings Offer Innovative Clamping Designs Chimera Titanium RingsWe recently had a chance to test the new Chimera Titanium Rings from The Chimera Rings are “ultra-premium” items designed to compete with the very best tactical rings on the market. As you’d expect, they’re expensive. The 30mm Chimera Rings retail for $224.00 per matched set, including Torx driver. Though these fat boys are beefy in size, offering 7.5 square inches of clamping area per set (way more than most rings), they are very light weight. A medium-height, 30mm Chimera ring weighs just 84 grams (2.96 ounces).

The Chimera rings are precision-machined to exacting tolerances. We had our Mark, our in-house machinist, check them out and he was very impressed: “These rings exhibit beautiful fit and finish and are extremely tough. The fit of the ring bases on a Picatinny rail is perfect. I liked the radius shapes given to most of the surfaces. The front and back faces of each ring are standard flat planes, and the ring caps have a flat disc in their centers, but the remainder of the cap and the sides of the bodies are gently curved. This design requires sophisticated machining processes to pull off, but it looks good. The larger-than-standard heads on the cap hardware, 8-32 X #25 Torx, are another departure that looks well thought out. One danger this increased head size would present if the fasteners were threading into typical 6061 aluminum bodies would be the potential to over-torque and strip the threads with the larger #25 Torx wrench. However, since the titanium bodies have approximately double the tensile strength of 6061 aluminum this is not a problem.” Chimera Titanium RingsAssymetrical Tensioning by Design
The Chimera Titanium Rings employ an assymetrical clamping design. This should allow the rings to provide stronger clamping force with less chance of ring distortion. Here’s how they work. After placing the scope in the lower halves of the rings, you screw down the top halves on one side only (opposite the bolt head that clamps to the Picatinny rail). After the three Torx screws are tightened fully on one side, so that the top Ring half butts firmly on the bottom half, there will still be a small gap on the opposite side of the ring (see photo). Don’t worry — that is by design. Final torque is applied to the side with the gap. With the final tensioning done on one side only, the scope is less prone to twist. Furthermore, the manufacturer claims this design puts less stress on the scope tube during mounting. Chimera Titanium Rings

We did fit the Chimera rings to a Leupold LRT 8-25x50mm scope with 30mm tube. Fit was excellent with no high or low points. With the rings installed as instructed, with one side first clamped flush and the opposite side then torqued to spec, the scope was very secure. On removal the Chimera rings left no visible marks on the tube. I can’t say that it would be a waste of time to lap these rings, but on our Leupold scope the fit was perfect, and the “grip” was uniform over the entire clamping surface. Chimera Titanium Rings

Tactical Precision System TSR™ Rings
TSR™ rings made by Tactical Precision Systems (TPS) have a clamping design very similar to the Chimera Titanium Rings. After placing the scope in the TSR ring set, you clamp down one side (of the ring tops) until metal meets metal. This then leaves a gap of 0.020″ on the other side. The TSR Picatinny 30mm 7075 Aluminum Medium Rings cost $82 in aluminum or $94.00 in alloy steel. The TSR rings are narrower than the Chimeras, and have two Torx bolts per side, rather than the three on the Chimeras.

TSR Rings Tactical Precision

M3 Hinged Scope Rings from American Rifle Company
An even more radical clamping system is employed by the new, patent-pending M3 Scope Rings from The American Rifle Company. The top section of the M3 rings is attached with a hinge on one side. After placing the scope in the bottom section of the M3 rings, you swing the upper ring half into place over the scope tube. Then the clamping is done with two inverted (head-down) machine screws that actually pull the hinged ring section downwards. This is designed to put less stress on the scope than conventional rings. The axis of the screws is tangential to the scope tube. Sophisticated finite element analysis (FEA) was used to develop the “over the top”, tangential-clamping ring design. According to the manufacturer, this design evenly distributes clamping forces over the tube and “eliminates the damaging effects of [scope] bending”. The manufacturer claims that, with its rings, “no significant stress concentrations are present on the scope tube”. American Rifle Co. backs up these claims with a series of 3D stress analyses published on its website.

TSR Rings Tactical Precision

Credit The Firearm Blog for reporting on the M3 ring design.
Disclosure: loaned a pair of Chimera Titanium Rings for testing and evaluation.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product, Optics 2 Comments »