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Author Topic: scope mounting (updated 5/25)  (Read 877 times)

Offline yari

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scope mounting (updated 5/25)
« on: April 07, 2018, 10:15:48 AM »
i'll be mounting a couple scopes this year. i've never done it, but it seems pretty straight forward. i'm not to worried about my skill set for this install @--0--0105

here's my question. how critical is it to have a torque screwdriver? unlike several guys here, i normally mount a scope and leave it on that rifle. i don't switch back and forth.

if i need a torque screwdriver, is wheeler the main brand? is there a cheaper option. i'll probably only use it for these 2 scopes. i don't see any more scopes in my future as i most bowhunt these days

also, why use locktite only on the bases and not on the rings? i would think both places would be beneficial. none of the threads suggest using locktite on the rings. i thought that was odd 

thoughts
« Last Edit: May 25, 2018, 02:53:19 PM by yari »
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Offline Skip Bilson

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Re: scope mounting
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2018, 10:40:49 AM »
I am not a gunsmith but.....have mounted numerous scopes on various rifles. I've never used a torque screwdriver. Just take care not to mess up the heads of the screws but tighten FIRMLY. About the loctite. It was a suggested method long ago and I used to use it on my scopes, but after long battles with getting those screws loose when I changed my mind about the rifle/scope combo, I discontinued the use of loctite. Nowadays most gunsmiths don't recommend its use.

Offline yari

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Re: scope mounting
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2018, 12:09:44 PM »
thx skip and welcome from WI to TH

where are you located?
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Offline MichiganLouie

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Re: scope mounting
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2018, 12:15:52 PM »
I have used blue locktite on the bases, and only the bases. I do not use locktite on the ring screws.  NEVER use the red locktite on the base screws, as it is almost a permanent installation once the locktite sets up.  I don't use a torque wrench, but I can see the value, to insure a secure installation amd prevent stripping the threads. 
BTW, Skip, welcome to TH.  Don't be shy and share your hunting stories and pics. 
« Last Edit: April 07, 2018, 12:18:21 PM by MichiganLouie »
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Offline Madgomer

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Re: scope mounting
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2018, 06:51:57 PM »
Yari, I've been all over the map in terms of what I've done over the years, but currently use blue Loctite on both bases and rings, and just last year bought one of the Wheeler scope mounting kits which included the torque wrench, lapping rod, levels, etc.  Have only mounted one scope so far with it, and it seems like that wrench is clicking at less torque than I would have applied when I was doing it strictly by feel (if so the Loctite is more important).  I have not had a need to take anything back apart yet where I used the blue Loctite on the rings, so can't tell you if I'm going to be happy or sorry when the time comes.  Be careful to keep your ring caps matched to the same base and same orientation as you received them in and pull everything down gradually & evenly of course to minimize any distortion or misalignment of the tube.

As Louie states - Do not use Red Loctite - that is not formulated for removing fasteners later, and on something small like a base or ring screw you'll either snap it off or strip the head.  I use the blue variety.  They used to make a green variety too which was even easier to remove than the blue but I haven't seen it in recent years.

Skip - welcome aboard!
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Offline Skip Bilson

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Re: scope mounting
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2018, 10:34:35 AM »
I live in NW Colorado near a small town called Meeker. Thanks for the welcome.

Offline yari

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Re: scope mounting
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2018, 10:39:24 AM »
I live in NW Colorado near a small town called Meeker. Thanks for the welcome.

nice area. still plenty of elk up there or have the wolves moved in?
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Offline sundowner

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Re: scope mounting
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2018, 12:25:04 PM »
I live in NW Colorado near a small town called Meeker. Thanks for the welcome.
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Offline MI_Bowhunter

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Re: scope mounting
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2018, 01:23:50 PM »
I bought a Wheeler torque wench last year.  I had never used one prior to that and realized at that point that I have been severely over torquing screws my whole life.  Any by over torquing I mean probably double or more what they needed to be.    I cannot say I have suffered any adverse effects from this but I'm sure it has put some of my gear under some undue stress that may cause issues over time.

I bought the Wheeler kit that comes with the lapping tool and alignment tools for 1" and 30mm tubes a couple of magnetic levels, the torque wrench and some bits for the wrench.

It's easy to use and would recommend it if you several you want to mount in the future.

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Offline dave 1211

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Re: scope mounting
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2018, 04:34:48 PM »
I use bow wax on the screw to help hold them welcome to the area Skip
turkey season near you sooning come on may 1




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Offline Madgomer

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Re: scope mounting
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2018, 05:37:41 PM »
I bought a Wheeler torque wench last year.  I had never used one prior to that and realized at that point that I have been severely over torquing screws my whole life.  Any by over torquing I mean probably double or more what they needed to be.    I cannot say I have suffered any adverse effects from this but I'm sure it has put some of my gear under some undue stress that may cause issues over time.

I bought the Wheeler kit that comes with the lapping tool and alignment tools for 1" and 30mm tubes a couple of magnetic levels, the torque wrench and some bits for the wrench.

It's easy to use and would recommend it if you several you want to mount in the future.
MIB - I bought the same kit except mine only has the lapping bars for 1" tubes.  Wouldn't you know it, a few months later I bought a 1X4 with a 30mm tube for an AR build.  Haven't gathered all of my parts yet for the build, but will probably go ahead & buy the 30mm bars & do it right.  I do like the kit.
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Offline BoBallistic

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Re: scope mounting
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2018, 12:48:05 PM »
Yari - Mounting a scope is fairly easy, but you got to be patient when you mount a scope...

Step One - First you have to clean the surface with a good metal cleaner...wipe it clean or let it dry, just make sure they are no particles on the metal bases....make sure you have some of the blue Locktite...not the red Locktite....go ahead and mount the bases or one piece base or Picatinny rail to the receiver or action...using a torque wrench on it...I always torque my bases down to 45 inch pounds.....let it sit over night....the next day come back with the torque wrench and check the torque to make sure the screws stay at 45 inch lbs or your preset value which you have chosen.....some of the screws will back out just a bit, this has happen to me on a number of occasions, using the torque wrench, re-tighten the base screws and let it set again over night....the second time should be the charm and with the second tightening down along with the Blue Locktite. Check the torque again and if the screws are torque properly, if they are tight then proceed to step two....

Step Two - The scope rings....first of all, go ahead and mount the scope rings..do not tighten them and do not use any Locktite, you are through with the Locktite, so you can put away for another year...LOL...All you are trying to do here is to check your clearances. At this point, don't even put the top of the rings on, just the bottom half. Again all you are trying to do is to check your clearances, for the bolt feed, back and forth, your eye relief, your scope cover/caps will clear also. You might have to put the ring tops on and use one screw on each of them to do the checking.....If everything is OK, then go ahead and mount the rings screws to the scope bases....now I alway tighten my rings to 20 to 25 inch pounds, depending on the caliber...if something like a 6.5 or 260 Rem or less will torque it down to 20 inch pounds but if you are shooting a magnum, then torque down to 25 inch pounds or go to the Scope Manufacturer website or call to see what torque values to use.....after torquing down the ring scopes to the scope base, again let it set over night and do the same thing...be patient.....

Step Three - If the rings are tighten to the base, and you have check the right torque value. You are ready to go ahead and mount the scope....so you have the base torqued and tighten to the receiver or the bolt action itself.....you also have the proper rings and ring height set and they too are torqued and tighten...now you are ready to mount your scope...

Step Three A - Scope mounting - the easy way....put your rifle up to your shoulder, eye ball your reticule and make sure it is close to vertical/horizontal as possible...make sure that your scope has the max scope fill as possible. This can be done by either pulling the scope to you or pushing it away....after "setting" the scope you are now ready to torque down the scope. Once you have done this you are ready to go to the range....

Step Three B - Scope mounting - the hard way....this is the way I mount scopes, believe me there is nothing wrong with Step Three A at all...if it works for you, so be it...but I like to go the extra mile...long before I mount a scope I look at the cant level that needs to go on it...I have several types and manufacturers that I chose from...I mount the cant level on the scope before I mount the scope on the rifle...get yourself a V-notch box and a long orange color skiers rope and a bottom weight. Next take the weighted rope and hang it in a tree 20 or 30 yards out, let it sway until it stops perfectly vertically with mother earth....Next get yourself several small levels. Mount the Cant Level on the scope and align it best as your old eyes balls can. Next set the scope in that V-Notch box (short fat one (like yours truly) works just fine. Look through the scope and place those small block levels on the top of the scope (one the Horizontal scope cap, that is the one on the top of the scope....most of these Cant Levels works with a Allen Wrench so it is best to keep it handy....What you are tying to do it to true up the Cant Level with the vertical cross-hair...it will take you several tries to do this so be patient with your efforts....Once you start tightening down the cant level, it will move just every so slightly...then you will have to start over all over again....getting the vertical cross-hair parallel with the orange rope you hung out in a tree several steps ago will be a pain...so start over and allow some tweaking for the tightening onto the scope body itself....

Once you have completed this task you are now ready to mount the scope onto the rifle...do touch that rope you hung out there is an old tree and your neighbors wonder what it that crazy man doing??...LOL....now you are going to have to use those Block Levels to true up your butt stock and your rifled action to mother earth....the shims you use for plants, appliances, can and should be used here. I keep a bunch of them handy to make sure the stock and rifle are trued up in my rifle rest....once this is accomplished, next go back and check it, over and over again. The slightest bump or jar can throw off your work....once you have your rifle level then it is time to mount that scope onto the rifle....this is the simple but stressful part....place the scope onto the rifle, don't mess with those already well place block scope on your rifle. They serve a purpose. Once you line up your rifle with that ugly orange rope you hung up in the tree, line up your rifle with it and then place your scope in the bottom portion of the mounted scope rings. These should be already mounted! Gently place the scope on the inside bottom portion of the rings.....slowly and gingerly look through it...a line the vertical cross-hair with that orange colored rope hanging in the tree. Once you have made sure the block levels on the rifle match up with the cant level already mounted on the scope, you are getting close to completing you task...The same thing happens when you start mounting the scope, it will torque to the right every so slightly as you screw down the scope housing  (30mm or 1") so you are going to have to be patient on this process....once you complete this process, the cant level should be on the same level as the cant level is it?? Got this down, you can remove those block level from the rifle....and torque down the screws after you get one of two screws on the scope rings screwed down far enough to hold the scope....one quick observation, it that the can't level on the scope be perfect perpendicular to the vertical cross-hair....does it feel right?? Is your eye relief good?? Is the action clear, can you cycle the bolt??....if so congratulations....now you are ready to finish the job....

Once you do this now you can torque down the scope rings to 20 to 25 inch lbs.....let it sit over night and check it again the next day and if the screws have not back off any, then you are ready for bore scope (shot saver) just to get it on paper at 100 yards....so far so good?

These steps will help any person. These are the steps I follow in mounting my scopes...LL...hope they help....
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Offline yari

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Re: scope mounting
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2018, 02:57:05 PM »
thx bo. I just got my new scope today. waiting on the levels, then good to go
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Offline BoBallistic

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Re: scope mounting
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2018, 05:25:30 PM »
Yari - The biggest problem I have is not mounting the right scope on the rifle the first time...LOL...for example, my Remington LTR in 308 has had probably 5 or 6 scope on it in the last 10 or so years....currently it has a Leupold VX-R 3-9X x 40mm....but had to go a long way to get there from here...when I first bought the LTR, used (Remington had put out a letter to all dealers stating that if you are not in law enforcement, then you cannot buy the rifle!!) from Knob Creek in KY, it had on it Tasco 16X x 44 mm Mill Dot scope on it...I left the scope on it for a year or so, the put a Leupold Fix (FX3), 6X cx 36mm scope on it and had the other FX3 on a Ruger No.1 in 7x57mm...well after a disastrous season using the FX3, 6X x 36mm scopes, had two monster whitetails walk behind me and could not get either one in focus enough to pull the trigger, the deer were that quiet and that close....my ladder stand was facing the wrong way....daaa....

So I took off and sold the FX3 6X x 36mm Leupold scopes, both of them!! The only two Leupold scopes that I sold off, I now own 37 Leupold's...LOL...the years wise you up....so I went and started studying scopes...came to the fact that Nikon made a 1.5-6X x 42mm, with a 30mm tube, called a Monarch Gold Plus scope...I was so impressed with the scope that I started buying them. The first two went on the rifles with the fixed power Leupold's. The for some reason, Nikon decided to quit making them, so I bought 4 more off of ebay, gunbroker, etc....I found a Meopta 1.5-6X that was made of steel and had the same specs as the Nikon does, so I bought two of them, before Meopta went to Aluminum bodies.....then for some reason, I took the Leupold VX-R off my CVA Accura 2 Muzzle loader and mounted it on the LTR.....have a Vortex Crossfire  II on the CVA now....good scope for the money....

I prefer Picatinny rail scope mount, the mounts using 4 screws..Lord knows how many Leupold One Piece steel base I have, the kind with 3 screws...and prefer the 8-40's beefy screws....the 6-48's are OK but if I had my druthers would make the scope base screws 8-40's......

So if you decide that the scope is not the right one for the rifle, then you have to start the scope mounting all over again...this is not an easy swap.....get yourself some good block levels from Amazon, and the big fat yellow torque wrench or the Green one from Midway USA....and I replace me Locktite bottle of adhesive every three years or so....its time to replace it this year or next.....

Skip Bison - Have been though Meeker a few times in the past...great elk country up there....the first 8 years used 4 different outfitters near Craig/Hayden area...then we started hunting outside of Durango near Hesperus.....

Thanks to both of you guys......just trying to help out.....Bo
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Offline Madgomer

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Re: scope mounting
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2018, 06:54:00 PM »
Yari - one reminder popped in my head when reading Bo's instructions above:  When you're loctiting the base screws, only apply the blue liquid to the male thread, not down in the hole.  If you have liquid in the hole machined for the base (it's going to be a blind hole in most cases, or closed at the bottom), you'll create a hydraulic lock as you install the screw.  You'll get a false indication of torque, but then as things rest the small leakage around the screws relieves the pressure in the hole and basically you have a loose screw/loose base at that point.  I'd wipe the screw down after dipping it in rubbing alcohol to get the oil off the threads, then apply a small amount of Loctite to it - doesn't take much, as there's not much clearance in there once the threads mate up.
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