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#4415600 - 09/15/10 11:20 AM Does the nitrogen really leak out of scopes in about a year?
260Remguy Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 12/18/02
Posts: 15633
Loc: NE
Ray Atkinson recently posted the following:

"Also all the nitrogen goes out of any scope after about a year, even in todays best high dollar scopes or so the big boys have told me..the secret is in the seal. Just passing that on for what its worth, I suppose they should know.

But, if one takes one of these scopes apart then do it in a clean enviorment and keep the scope standing on its front lens at all time and don't let it tip..Nitrogen is heavier than air and will not come up and out or the scope unless you tip it..carefully slide on the ring, then the rubber collar, then ocular lens and presto you still have the nitrogen in it, at least for awhile and if it had any in it to start with, which isn't likely in the first place on an old Lyman...Anyway thats the process used back yonder by the best of gunsmiths."

I claim NO EXPERTISE in the area of optics, but I would be surprised/disappointed if the nitrogen leaked out of my Leupolds. Likewise, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised that the nitrogen, if there ever was any nitrogen, in my old steel-tube Weavers and Lyman Alaskans has leaked out over the years.

Jeff

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#4415647 - 09/15/10 11:43 AM Re: Does the nitrogen really leak out of scopes in about a year? [Re: 260Remguy]
RDFinn Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 01/02/06
Posts: 16799
Loc: Bernardsville, NJ
Well, first of all, Ray is kinda old fashioned in alot of what he believes but that is one of the more untrue statements he's made. If you open a scope by removing the ocular or objective end you will have moisture when you attempt to reseal it. Scopes, at least the good ones anyway, are purged several times to remove any moisture that might be present in the environment they are being sealed in to begin with.

To answer the other question about leaking, well that is mostly true and depending on how well the scope is sealed to begin with will mostly determine how long that process takes.

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#4415763 - 09/15/10 12:19 PM Re: Does the nitrogen really leak out of scopes in about a year? [Re: RDFinn]
Chesapeake Offline
Member

Registered: 02/28/08
Posts: 248
Loc: SW Washington
I work on vacuum systems, semi-conductor industry stuff.

Yeah the nitrogen will eventualy leak out. No such thing as a perfect seal. But a nitrogen atom is a bit bigger than say a helium atom, so it wont all leak out, mostly I would suspect it would leak to a point of neutral pressure with that of the surrounding air. 1 atmosphere I guess.

As an example: Helium balloons are made of mylar instead of rubber. Reason being helium atoms (molecules if you like) are so small they quickly leak out of the pores in the rubber. They also leak out of the pores in mylar, but not as fast. Thats why helium ballons only float for so long.

The O-rings in your oprics are likely viton. They wont make a perfect seal. Argon would make a better purge gas. Larger less reactive atoms/molecules I believe. Less reactive to chnages in temp ect aslo I think....

Bottom line. Nitrogen is much less reactive to heat ect.... than room air that has 20 some odd percent oxygen and other stuff. If the optics seal is good enough water molecules wont be able to get in. They are alot bigger than nitrogen molecules. And the leak rate will be so slow as to be not a concern.

No you cant open it and keep all the nitrogen. Gases occupy the space they are given.
_________________________
Rick

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#4416075 - 09/15/10 02:13 PM Re: Does the nitrogen really leak out of scopes in about a year? [Re: Chesapeake]
Chesapeake Offline
Member

Registered: 02/28/08
Posts: 248
Loc: SW Washington
Originally Posted By: Chesapeake
I work on vacuum systems, semi-conductor industry stuff.

Yeah the nitrogen will eventualy leak out. No such thing as a perfect seal. But a nitrogen atom is a bit bigger than say a helium atom, so it wont all leak out, mostly I would suspect it would leak to a point of neutral pressure with that of the surrounding air. 1 atmosphere I guess.

As an example: Helium balloons are made of mylar instead of rubber. Reason being helium atoms (molecules if you like) are so small they quickly leak out of the pores in the rubber. They also leak out of the pores in mylar, but not as fast. Thats why helium ballons only float for so long.

The O-rings in your oprics are likely viton. They wont make a perfect seal. Argon would make a better purge gas. Larger less reactive atoms/molecules I believe. Less reactive to chnages in temp ect aslo I think....

Bottom line. Nitrogen is much less reactive to heat ect.... than room air that has 20 some odd percent oxygen and other stuff. If the optics seal is good enough water molecules wont be able to get in. They are alot bigger than nitrogen molecules. And the leak rate will be so slow as to be not a concern.

No you cant open it and keep all the nitrogen. Gases occupy the space they are given.




To simplify all that nonsense I wrote above: Dont open your scope. Dont worry about whats inside your scope so long as its not water or doesnt affect function. If you get water in your scope send it back to be purged and resealed. Follow that and you'll be A OK.
_________________________
Rick

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#4416108 - 09/15/10 02:28 PM Re: Does the nitrogen really leak out of scopes in about a year? [Re: Chesapeake]
260Remguy Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 12/18/02
Posts: 15633
Loc: NE
Ray's comment was made in the context of removing the occualar assembly to use a Stith mount on a Remington 722 that was not factory d&t in the rear receiver bridge. The early 722s were factory d&t for on the left of the rear receiver ring for receiver/peep sights, so the Stith and early B&L Bal-Var rear bases mounted via those factory provided d&t holes.

Jeff

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#4416259 - 09/15/10 03:22 PM Re: Does the nitrogen really leak out of scopes in about a year? [Re: Chesapeake]
SAKO75 Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 12/25/03
Posts: 4153
Loc: GEORGIA
Originally Posted By: Chesapeake
I work on vacuum systems, semi-conductor industry stuff.

Yeah the nitrogen will eventualy leak out. No such thing as a perfect seal. But a nitrogen atom is a bit bigger than say a helium atom, so it wont all leak out, mostly I would suspect it would leak to a point of neutral pressure with that of the surrounding air. 1 atmosphere I guess.

As an example: Helium balloons are made of mylar instead of rubber. Reason being helium atoms (molecules if you like) are so small they quickly leak out of the pores in the rubber. They also leak out of the pores in mylar, but not as fast. Thats why helium ballons only float for so long.

The O-rings in your oprics are likely viton. They wont make a perfect seal. Argon would make a better purge gas. Larger less reactive atoms/molecules I believe. Less reactive to chnages in temp ect aslo I think....

Bottom line. Nitrogen is much less reactive to heat ect.... than room air that has 20 some odd percent oxygen and other stuff. If the optics seal is good enough water molecules wont be able to get in. They are alot bigger than nitrogen molecules. And the leak rate will be so slow as to be not a concern.

No you cant open it and keep all the nitrogen. Gases occupy the space they are given.

so is argon/krypton even better than nitrogen? i hear the molecule is bigger


Edited by SAKO75 (09/15/10 03:22 PM)

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#4416284 - 09/15/10 03:32 PM Re: Does the nitrogen really leak out of scopes in about a year? [Re: SAKO75]
RDFinn Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 01/02/06
Posts: 16799
Loc: Bernardsville, NJ
Better for what? Slowing the leak process ?

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#4416364 - 09/15/10 04:03 PM Re: Does the nitrogen really leak out of scopes in about a year? [Re: RDFinn]
KPRO Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 03/16/09
Posts: 269
it is not that bad at all. Worst case scenario, if you crack the seal fully open, you still have 80% of nitrogen remaining no matter how you shake it. smile

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#4416377 - 09/15/10 04:07 PM Re: Does the nitrogen really leak out of scopes in about a year? [Re: KPRO]
Magnumdood Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 08/08/02
Posts: 9090
Loc: Working my way back to Texas
Originally Posted By: KPRO
it is not that bad at all. Worst case scenario, if you crack the seal fully open, you still have 80% of nitrogen remaining no matter how you shake it. smile

lol
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PROUD NRA Lifetime Member


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#4416404 - 09/15/10 04:16 PM Re: Does the nitrogen really leak out of scopes in about a year? [Re: Magnumdood]
RDFinn Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 01/02/06
Posts: 16799
Loc: Bernardsville, NJ
Think we need Steelhead to clear this up.....

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