When I was reviewing Primary Arms’ version of the Holosun 507c (with its much-improved reticle), I realized pretty quickly that I needed to step up my tool game a bit. I know that for parts that move fast, over and over again, sometimes getting the torque on the screws and bolts just right can be critical.
For many other applications, you can just turn a bolt or screw as hard as you can, or try to get the torque on something right by feel. But not getting things just right for rifle scope or a slide-mounted optic is a recipe for problems.
Too much torque and you risk overstressing the screws, which can lead to shearing and your nice pistol optic flying off to whoknowswhere. Or hitting you in the face.
Too little torque and the screws are more likely to back out during shooting, leading once again to the optic not staying on the gun.
Or course, you need to use thread locker and witness marks help to watch out for this, but getting the torque right keeps problems from happening in the first place.
So, I needed to get a torque wrench that could measure in inch-pounds rather than foot-pounds, and it also needed to accept screwdriver or drill bits. Also, I couldn’t wait for Amazon’s 2022 version of “two-day” shipping. So, I checked out Sportsman’s Warehouse and found the Wheeler FAT Wrench.
Yes, the FAT Wrench really is fat. It’s like a ratcheting screwdriver, only fatter. But, the extra size isn’t to make big hands comfortable. It’s to accommodate the mechanical and electronic wizardry inside that helps you get things just right when working on firearms. And, it couldn’t be easier to use.
Once I installed the battery inside the grip, I figured out that what I needed for this job is the “Live” mode. Basically, the Live mode shows you what torque you’re applying to the screwdriver in real time. That way, you’ll know when you’re approaching the right amount of torque, and know you’ll soon need to stop.
But, that’s not all. As you get close to your desired level of torque-age, the FAT wrench starts to beeps like the medical machinery in an episode of ER. But, unlike a much younger version of George Clooney and a much older version of Goose from ‘Top Gun’, your goal is to hear a solid tone.
As you get close to the right torque (that you select with those +/- buttons), it starts beeping slowly. As you get a little closer, it beeps more quickly. When the patient’s heart stops (BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP), it’s time to stop.
I guess technically that sound guidance function makes this a sonic screwdriver, but you don’t need two hearts and a police box that’s smaller on the outside to operate it.
The F.A.T. Wrench doesn’t come with every bit you’ll ever need for every amateur gunsmithing (or other) job you’ll ever do, but it takes standard hex bits like a drill or a screwdriver, so you can always buy whatever bits you need, locally even, so it’s got the versatility of The Doctor’s favorite tool, too. Wheeler also sells a 21-piece add-on bit set that gives you pretty much everything you’ll need.
It’s not the fanciest tool for this job, but for around $60, you can’t beat it. It’s definitely going to live in my toolbox going forward.