Surefire Z41 Tailcap - Switch Removal Tip

Oct 26, 2009
Columbus, Ohio
Many of the old Z41 Tailcap switches are held in place using a Delrin or ABS retaining screw plate. These retention plates were installed without benefit of thread lubricant. Over time these screw plates become stuck, adhering tenaciously to the inside screw threads; some have even been found to have been glued in place.

Forum members have regularly resorted to sealing the tailcap assembly inside a plastic freezer bag, then gently boiling it for five minutes (more or less) in order to loosen the adhesion between the Delrin retaining screw and the tailcap. I may have found a less aggressive method for loosening this unwanted binding, and offer it here for your consideration.

I recently acquired two older, round-headed 6P lights, both with stock Z41 tailcaps. I wanted to install Saint Don's McClickie switches, but didn't want to mess with the boil-in-bag approach to stock switch removal. It occurred to me that penetrating oil might work to release the too-tight bond between the switch retaining plate and the screw threads. I placed a few drops of the penetrating oil onto the threads, then waited five minutes. Result: The retaining plate unscrewed easily, without damage to either the tailcap or the Delrin switch plate.

Something to keep in mind if you're thinking of installing a McClickie in your vintage Z41 tailcaps.
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