Real Avid Smart-Torq

by Mary and Dr. Jim Clary

Prior to 2010, I would have probably said that this tool was not necessary for the average shooter. After all, I had been mounting scopes, tightening the screws and floor plates in my firearms for over forty years without a problem. However, on a chilly morning in the Floridas Mountains of New Mexico on my once-in-a-lifetime hunt for the Persian Ibex, I changed my mind.

My outfitter had placed me in a makeshift blind along a well-traveled game trail to wait for a herd of Ibex that he knew would be passing by on their way to a meadow for their morning fare. My blind was perched on a ledge above the two-hundred foot canyon floor below. Now, despite my airborne training, I do not like heights, so I kept myself glued against the back of my blind as I waited for the Ibex. Around nine o'clock, right on cue, a herd came off the ridge to my left and angled their way towards my blind. I calculated that they would pass right under me... as they approached, I moved to the edge to take what would have been an easy shot and tripped. I fell on the rocks around my blind and knocked my scope loose. As I shouldered my gun, the scope flopped around like a Russian wobbly doll. As the herd passed beneath me, I wanted to cry, there was a huge billy in the 45" - 48" class walking slowly behind his nannies, and me with a floppy scope. Obviously, I did not take the shot. IF I had owned a Real Avid Smart-Torq™ Wrench and properly torqued the scope and rings down, it would not have come loose and I would have been able to put that Billy on the wall.

Under most conditions, when we tighten the screws down, we do it by "feel", and it is adequate Most Of The Time. Well, "most of the time" cost me a world class Billy. I did manage to get a Billy three days later, but it was not near as nice as the one that I "missed" due to my wobbly scope.

The Smart-Torq's design is unique in the industry. It is very ergonomic. The Force Assist handle/driver allows one to tighten screws and fasteners to the precise torque settings established by manufacturers. “The Force Assists provides the ability to securely seat the main driver and bit (with the free spinning cap) into the screw vertically while applying torque leverage from the perpendicular plane. This not only provides an easier way to manipulate the tool but allows the user to keep the bit properly seated to prevent slipping and stripping. I know Howard Tripp, Chief Innovation Officer at Real Avid, having chatted with him at length on the phone. His comments below also represent our experiences with the Smart-Torq and adequately sum up what this amazing wrench does:

“Building and upgrading guns and mounting scopes have become the bedrock of Gun DIY. Providing DIY installers the ability to confidently match those specifications has become more important than ever. Smart-Torq provides discrete one in-lb. increment settings to precisely match manufacturer’s torque specifications. Another great feature of the Smart-Torq is the well thought out ergonomics. With a driver handle that can be easily gripped with even smaller hands, driving fasteners and applying torque is very comfortable and easy and with the addition of Force-Assist, an extra leverage point is provided which allows the user to maintain alignment and vertical downward force while turning the tool along the horizontal axis.”

The Smart-Torq possesses a unidirectional toothed clutch which permits the user to back out screws, without tripping the torque clutch. A very real benefit of the toothed clutch is that it extends the life of the tool (probably forever) when compared to the ball-bearing setups in other torque wrenches. In addition, the ridges on the rubber grip and the jeweler's spin top permits the user to easily apply the required amount of torque while at the same time maintaining downward pressure. As Dave Steiner of Real Avid has said, this is “the first Master Grade tool in this category designed especially and exclusively for optics mounting and Gun DIY” And we happen to agree.

The Real Avid Smart-Torq Specifications are:
Smart-Torque with a 10 – 70 in-lb range
Ergonomic rubberized grip
Force Assist handle/driver
High-density foam core fabric storage case
Included bits: T10, T15, T20, T25, 3mm Hex, 5/32 Hex, 3/16 Hex,
7/64 Hex, 90-6 Flat, 38-4 Flat, 60-5 Flat

With an MSRP of $79.99, this tool is priced right. We hope you pick one up so that you will not miss a trophy like Jim, due to a loose scope.