"Why Does My Epee Keep Losing Screws?"
Reason #1 - Overtightening of Tip Screws Overtime most epee screws will eventually work their way lose. The temptation is to retighten them extra tight so they don’t come lose again. While it may seem like a good idea, this unfortunately can strip the threads in the epee tip top and it will no longer hold any screw. If the threads in the epee tip top are stripped, you will most likely notice that the screw continues to spin as you turn the screwdriver, never actually becoming tight. If this is the case and the threads in the tip top are indeed stripped and you will need to purchase a new tip top and replace the old one. Another even more frustrating result of overtightening a tip screw is that you may actually break off part of the head of the tip screw - leaving you with no slot for your screwdriver and no easy way to remove the tip screw. It is possible to eventually remove the tip screw - but it is going to be easy.
Reason #2 - Mismatched Parts Another problem arises from using mismatched parts. All equipment we order has German parts unless you request otherwise. A screw from another manufacturer may seem to fit but be just ever too small so it won’t stay in or it could even be just a wee bit big so it strips the holes in the tip top.
Reason #3 - Improper Alignment of Tip Screws in the Epee Tip Top The third issue is when replacing tip screws if you don’t get the screws aligned correctly, the threads in the epee tip top can be stripped. Granted trying to put those little tip screws in is one of the more frustrating things in life but it must be done with care so that they are not at an angle. One way to help align the tip screw to the hole and threads in the tip top is to gently position the tip screw on top the hole in the tip top and then ever so gently, turn the tip screw about 1/2 a turn counter-clockwise, which will help 'seat' the screw properly on the threads - then you may tighten the tip screw by turning it clockwise. If the tip screw seems tight after only one turn, the tip screw is probably misaligned. When the tip screw is misaligned, it is not, in fact, properly tightened on the threads of the tip top and the tip screw will quickly become loose and fall out.
Recommendation: Once a tip top will no longer hold a screw it is time to replace it. You DO NOT need to rewire the weapon to replace the tip top.
You will simply need to get a new tip top, adjust the springs properly to pass weights and shims correctly put in the tip screws and you are good to go.
Again, DO NOT overtighten the epee tip screws!