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I too use powdered rosin on ring to scope tube mating surfaces. A third advantage is it tends to prevent ring marks.


Originally Posted by 16penny
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Originally Posted by TxJW
I would like to add the idea of using electrical tape as a laid as friction tape to the inside of the rings. I have used his for a long time and the scope stays in place with a side benefit being no ring marks on the scope.


I don't recommend using electrical tape in there. It (or any other plastic + adhesive film) actually lubricates the joint under pressure, the opposite of increasing friction. You may not have had issues, but that's because there was still plenty of clamping friction for your use, not because electrical tape was a good idea.

I say that from the perspective of a fastener test engineer for a large company. One of the worst things I see in bolted joints is when someone forgets to remove tape or plastic film before bolting parts together.

If you feel the need to increase friction in the joint, use rosin or even Loctite, but not electrical tape.

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In my experience the biggest issue with maintaining zero is the bedding of ones action. If bedded properly in a stable stock, there is no flexing of ones action with disassembly and reassembly for a thorough cleaning. Anything short of perfection in that realm and one will need a very scientific approach when it comes to torqueing action screws. If not so, then it's another session of chasing zero at the range when things are reassembled.

Do agree that proper scope installation is important too. Had a couple days of frustration years back when a windage screw in a Leupold mount came loose. Had me chasing a horizontal spread for about 15 rounds.

Not a tape advocate either, but I have used silicon seal with a heavy scope attached to a heavy kicker (30-378).


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Last edited by 1minute; 01/18/18.

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Originally Posted by Jeff_O


Question: see any rust issues in the screws/holes after some months/years in the field?


I've been doing what Formidilosis listed, with the exception of nail polish on top of screws, for a long time. I think all of my rings have rusted screw heads. I'm assuming that it's accelerated by de-greasing everything but I'm hoping using nail polish as a final coat on top will minimize this rust......as is, I think the rust works well to help "lock" them ring screws in place so they don't loosen.

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Originally Posted by TxJW
I would like to add the idea of using electrical tape as a laid as friction tape to the inside of the rings. I have used his for a long time and the scope stays in place with a side benefit being no ring marks on the scope.


I used to do this but it left a big dent on one of my scopes, used 2 layers as a shim.


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Use rubber cement on the inside of rings, if you want extra holding power.

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Good info, learned a lot. Will be trying some of these methods. Thanks!

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For 20 years I have used a film of clear GE silicone seal, applied with the index finger, between in the rings. The scope will absolutely not slip, even with minimum torque on the ring screws. after tightening the ring screws, and the silicone seal dries for a few minutes, you can clean any off the scope and edge of the rings with a rag without any residue remaining, it just rolls right off. When you remove the scope, you can remove the silicone seal from rings and scope with your finger. It minimizes any scratching of the scope tube due to misaligned rings. before using silicone seal, I used powdered rosin, but it is far too messy. That powder gets every where.Try silicone seal and you won't ever use anything else. RJ

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Rubber cement works very much the same.

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Originally Posted by seven_miller
Form, how's that Mini Grendel working out for you? Which model(barrel) is it? What are you using it for? What load(s) are you shooting in it?



It did really well. A buddy shot his first mule deer with it and now he has it. Was the light/standard 20" barrel. Factory Hornady Black 123gr ELD-M is what I used. Elk, deer, bear, etc. there isn't anything in NA that I wouldn't use it on.



Originally Posted by Jeff_O


Question: see any rust issues in the screws/holes after some months/years in the field?



Yes. I like rust. Worlds best thread lock.

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Bump for technical question:

If one chooses not to use loctite on their ring screws, is it best to install the screws dry or with a light coat of oil on them? Reason I ask is the torque values with dry screws vs loctite/oil will be different. If torquing dry screws, do you add a certain number of in/lbs to the wrench?

Thanks.


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The scope-ring-base-receiver junctions are the greatest reasons for loss of zero IMO. Thorough Degreasing and Loc-tite are a priority all the way around and one can go even further with the bigger magnums by tapping the receiver for the bigger 8x40 screws and epoxying the bases and screws to the receiver.

In regard to fingernail polish, another way I use it (in a bright color) is to dab all the primers of my hunting loads with it, wiping off the excess with a cloth leaving a colored seal around the primer edges. It’s another barrier to moisture for cartridges dropped in the snow or even water and stuck back into a pocket or carrier.

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Originally Posted by Brad
I'd assumed everyone knew to degrease new machined parts...

My own method:

a). De-grease everything, screws, holes, bases, scope.
b). Mount bases with JB Weld... While likely overkill, I think it's better than Blue Loctite, and provides a monolithic mount. (25 in lbs)
c). Lap Rings.
d). Mount scope in a thin layer of rubber cement.
e). Secure ring halves with Blue Loctite on screws. (20 in lbs)


I do like the idea of nail polish on the ring screws... that's a great idea and a new one to me, though I can't say I've ever found a need for it, it sure can't hurt. I think I'll pass the pink and go clear smile

I use clear polish.


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Originally Posted by Mule Deer
I usually use a layer of blue Loctite between scope bases and the action, and it usually works pretty well.


That is because it seals out oil.


With less than 1.0 to 1.5 times the minor diameter [root] of the threads engaging the failure with too much torque will be the female threads stripping out. With more than 1.0 to 1.5 times the minor diameter of engagement, the screw will snap off. What causes the screw to snap off is mostly tension and very little torque stress. The amount of torque to snap a screw dry, must be derated to 75% with oil or grease and 50% with wax. Less friction means more tension with the same torque, and it is tension, remember, that causes the snap off. There is very little change tension in scope base screws in recoil. It is all in the pre load, operator error. Name brand US made screws are much stronger than Chinese no name.

Scope base screws are not stressed in shear, but in tension.
If my 142 gr bullet maximum acceleration is from 500 fps to 2000 fps in 0.4 ms then an 8 pound rifle will try to accelerate from 1.27 fps to 5.07 fps in 0.4 ms. This is an acceleration of 9500 ft/sec squared.
If a 2 pound scope were part of that 8 pound rifle during that acceleration the force between the rifle and the scope would be
f = m a = 2 pounds 9500 f/ss = [9500 f/ss] [2 pounds / [Gc = 32 f/ss]]= 594 pounds.

If there were 4 screws in shear that would be 148 pounds force / screw.
That screw has a 0.12" minor diameter
A = pi r r = .011 sq in
Grade 5 bolt [American cap screws] has a shear strength of 72,000 psi
Each screw would have a shear strength of 814 pounds.

But they are not in shear.
They are in tension.
Grade 5 bolts are good for 127,000 psi in tension.
Each screw is good for 1436 pounds force in tension.
They are pre loaded to about half that, making a clamping force of 700 pounds.
The coefficient of static friction between the steel scope base and the receiver is ~ 0.6
So each screw provides a static state up to 420 pounds recoil force.
4 screws 1680 pounds.
But the hard kicking lightweight rifle and heavy scope only have 594 pounds peak force between them.
1680 pounds friction is greater than 420 pounds recoil, therefor the bases stay put.
If they were to slip, the screws might see shear forces, but that would require operator error in tightening the screws.

Half the time the problem with poor groups is loose base screws. Never the ring caps or cross bolts. Why do just the base screws get loose?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friction
Scroll down to steel on steel coefficient of static friction.
Clean and dry: 0.76 - 0.80
Lubricated: 0.16

Putting oil on a gun could cause a scope mounting failure in recoil.


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Thanks for the great write-up. Now I'll think I have to re-mount all my scopes. crazy


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Originally Posted by mathman
Won't the tip of a soldering iron in little screw heads help when breaking Loctite adhesion?

Yep...It only takes about 15 to 20 seconds holding the hot tip of a soldering iron to the screw head to melt the LocTite. All the adhesives, including the bedding epoxies are plastics and can be melted, or softened, so you can move a screw or another part held in place by the adhesive/epoxy. When it cools back down it regains its hold on whatever part you are moving/unscrewing/shifting.

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I'm going to give my guns a ''going over'' and re-do all my bases/rings .
I have a CZ 452 American 17 hmr that should be shooting a lot better than it is . Curious to see what all is out of torgue spec. .

Also will be tuning some triggers -heavier- yes -heavier- I realise some are way too light .

Thanks for taking the time Formidilosus !

How do you like the Howa Grendel ?

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Originally Posted by driftless
I never use Loctite on the ring screws there seems to be enough spring in the rings. When I shoot the rifle the first time, I will check the ring screws after A number of rounds. Then snug them up, they stay tight after that. The bases I will degrease and Loctite.


I'd say this was the post that deserved to be made into a sticky.

If you are going to put Lok-Tite on your ring screws at least don't do it at first. Read what Driftless said about needing to tighten after shooting a while. That happens more often than not and is NOT because the screws start backing out -- it is because of other things moving around, which can have the effect of loosening the screws even though they did not turn. If you Blue Lok-Tited them you can't snug them up.

But, as Drift says, once you do that follow-up snug up, you can forget about it.

If I was going to Lok-Title ring screws I would use Purple, designed for fine threads, and permits snugging up later. Putting blue on them is totally unnecessary, and will probably be counter-productive.

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I have never used any locktite on scope mounting. I simply wipe things dry and properly evenly torque the rings and base screws. I have no doubt the described method by op is ideal.
I have not had any instance of finding anything loose ever or I probably would be doing it all. A. Number of myrifles get used hard and have maintained zero for 20 years. Heating and freezing cycles can also loosen fasteners . Also dissimilar metals have different rates of expansion and when fastened to one another can relieve the fastener. Aluminum to ferrous attachments most likely in scope mounting
I do not shoot but a couple heavy recoiling rifles so my experience of that effect is limited. In those I use large rings so there is more surface area mates to the scope tube.
I have removed scope bases that have rust under them a few times. So that is a drawback of thorough degreasing surfaces.
To me the most important of all is proper and even torquing of the whole system.

I will definitely reconsider my method after reading these posts. Thanks


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