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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.

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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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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.



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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.


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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.

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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

Last edited by SAKO75; 09/15/10.

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Better for what? Slowing the leak process ?

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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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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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Think we need Steelhead to clear this up.....

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

Honestly I didnt go look at the molecular weight of each and compare. But from the hip I'd say yes. Argon is less reactive than Nitrogen. It is suposedly less reactive to temp change also. Maybe it plays different with light also.......

Its all meaningless to the shooter. But Costco will put Nitrogen in your tires of your car if you want. For alot of the same reasons they use it in scopes.



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The triple paine windows that we had installed claim to have argon between the panes for insulation purposes. Don't know if it is true, but it sounds good.

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Originally Posted by 260Remguy
The triple paine windows that we had installed claim to have argon between the panes for insulation purposes. Don't know if it is true, but it sounds good.

Jeff

Triple pane??? And here I thought we were uptown with double pane windows.


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I did my due diligence and determined that the cost/benefit of going triple pane vs. double pane was worth the small incrimental difference, IF they REALLY provided the improved insulating value claimed. Kind of like buying full synthetic motor oil in lieu of dinosaur oil, is it REALLY worth the difference in price?

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That's very close to what I've been led to believe. Argon is better than Nitrogen because the molecules are larger. My 6.5X32IF Minox binocular is purged with Argon. A Krypton/Argon mixture should be even better.
The important thing is if the scope actually leaks. The big difference is between the gases passing through an effective seal by osmosis (sp ?) and a seal that no longer works. That's why it's a good idea to test scopes by submerging them in warm, 140 degree water and seeing if they leak. If they leak, after 5 mins or so, then everytime the air pressure changes, air will enter or leave the scope, along with moisture. Something you don't want in a scope. E

Last edited by Eremicus; 09/16/10.
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I think we should start taping our scopes. Blue of course.

Last edited by battue; 09/16/10.

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Is your test covered under Leupold's warranty ?

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Yes it is. Found one that leaked that way. They fixed it w/o charge. E

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Do you tell them that you purposely broke it or do you just send it in and hope they do ?

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I do not "purposely break" the scope's seals.
I have told them under what circumstances it leaked. They fixed it w/o comment.
All the 140 degree water does is expand the gases in the scope and put some pressure on the seals. A recommended test procedure in "Optics for the Hunter" by JB. E

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