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After multiple requests for an explanation of how to mount a scope in order to have the lowest possible chance of loss in zero, I took some pics of what I do with a rifle when I get it and how I mount scopes (or anything with screws).

To start- a bit of background of why I say what I say.

I am a backpack hunter. What I write below is tailored to hunting.

Having sid that, I work at a place that fires a lot of ammo. I see over half a million rounds a year on average get fired. 90% of those rounds are tracked. Weapon zeros are checked nearly daily, scopes, mounts, rifles, ammo, etc, are being tested constantly. If a rifle has even a .5 MOA shift in zero we will see it almost immediately. My thoughts are this- scopes are an aiming device. They are a container to hold my reticle so that I can hit targets. I do not care about scratches, dings, or ring marks. I do care that the bullets go where the crosshairs are pointed. My first requirment is that the rifle stays zeroed through use. To do that the mounts, rings, and action screws can not come loose.

The #1 reason that we see for loss of zero is failure to mount optics correctly. The #2 reason is the optics themselves failing. This applies to hunting rifles as well. #2 has been discussed several times so I will leave that one alone.


Here we go....


Some principles:

1) Things don't shoot "tight", they shoot "loose".

2) Oil and greas helps things move/keeps things from sticking together (this includes oil from fingers)

3) Under torquing screws helps them shoot loose. Over torquing breaks things.

4) Manufacturers apply oil to every metal component to keep it from rusting. Every screw, every base, ever ring has oil on out of the box.

5) Manufactures generally offer info that keeps customer service calls down. When it comes to scope mounting- Ring manufactures generally get calls for rings and mounts "marking" scope tubes. Scope manufactures generally get calls for crimped scope tube causing erector issues. The first is a bit of improper alignment and over torquing, the second is overtightening and fragile scope tubes.

6) The farther apart the rings are, the better support for the scope tube. Ring spacing is a thing.



All the parts for those that will ask-

Howa 6.5 Grendel
SWFA SS 3-9x42mm
Seekins Pic Rings
Burris XTR Bases
Hand tools
Acetone or break cleaner
Blue Loctite, paint pen, or finger nail polish
Napkins and Q-Tips
Scale because someone will ask....


[Linked Image]






Take the rifle apart. Brand new out of the box. That is oil on the screw. Aka- it will come loose Aka- loss of zero.

[Linked Image]





Spray brake cleaner or dip the action screws in acetone. Wipe with a clean rag.
[Linked Image]





Next is the action base holes. Spray/wipe down the action and inside the screw holes to remove oil.

[Linked Image]





This is oil on tbe Q-tip. Aka- loss of zero.
[Linked Image]






Next is to wipe down the bases. Oil here too.
[Linked Image]







Cont....

BP-B2

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Next the base screws. Oil here.
[Linked Image]





After cleaning, apply thread locker to both screw and screw hole
[Linked Image]





Tighten to whatever you deem appropriate. The small end of the wrench works fine, with the long end for a finish.

[Linked Image]






When tightened...
[Linked Image]







Next the rings...
[Linked Image]





Take apart apart me wipe the caps, and clean screws and screw holes.
[Linked Image]







Cont....

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[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Cont.....

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Degrease base.
[Linked Image]



Thread lock base screw and holes
[Linked Image]





Tighten appropriately and if using Picatinney or Weaver rings push rings forward into the lug.
[Linked Image]




Degrease scope tube, ring cap screws, and apply thread locker to screws and screw holes

[Linked Image]




Cont....

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[Linked Image]


[Linked Image]





Just get the rings screw not quite snug and set eye reload and align the reticle. Whatever way you do not is fine if it works. I mount a lot of scopes and can eyeball the vertical posts with the butt stock very close.
[Linked Image]



Then ensuring that the scope doesn't twist, tighten the ring screws. 18in-lbs is what I generally do. Any less than about 16in-lbs and you sometimes see slippage. The little end of the wrench is good for this.
[Linked Image]







Once that is complete spin the power ring and parralax knob if it has one and spin the turrets up and down. You're just looking for binding or anything weird. If it's good, you're done.
[Linked Image]










. Cont......

IC B2

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I’m seeing a common theme here smile

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Now I really don't like things to move. So I go a step further and seal around the screws with a paint pen or nail polish. This is another layer to keep oil out, and allows at a glance to see if a screw has loosened.
[Linked Image]






Just a dab around the screw heads will do.
[Linked Image]



[Linked Image]




Cont......

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This how I do it, and why. Every single problem we have with optics moving, or screws coming loose is due to not degreasing, not using thread locker, and not torquing correctly. What most miss, is that the rifle is a system- bedding, action screws, bases, rings, and scope all matter if your goal is a static zero.

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Just to be clear... no lapping, not rubber cement in the rings, no bandaids, etc????

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Originally Posted by Mjduct
Just to be clear... no lapping, not rubber cement in the rings, no bandaids, etc????



No. Not unless the action is milled/tapped incorrectly. Even then, scopes with tube walls as thick as SWFA/NF/Bushy LRHS/etc, don't tend to suffer the same issues as most scope do when stressed.

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Excellent write up!

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Nice tutorial, thank you.

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Thanks

I’ll keep this in mind.

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Great stuff.


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Should have a permanent sticky. Thanks.


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Thanks for the thread, Form.

Looks like I'm close with my mounting procedure but not close enough.
More cleaning and more Locktite is needed.

Should put this thread into sticky format for later reference.


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This should be a sticky. Great write up. Thanks for posting,


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Good stuff. Thanks for taking the time.


[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

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Thanks for the post....I'll have to admit, I never knew degreasing was so important.

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Thanks, need to stock up on acetone smile


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