Scope base and ring installation
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  1. #1
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    Red face Scope base and ring installation

    I mounted a set of Leupold dual dovetail rings on my 700 Varmint Synthetic a dozen years ago per their directions. Cleaned the bases, cleaned the screw holes with alcohol. Applied oil to the screws and installed them according to their site. Same with the scope rings-cleaned and applied a very light coat of grease to the male dovetail and twisted them to alignment. Approximately 20 inch pounds of torque to the base screws. Never did have an issue with them until recently when I noticed my groups were really bad with known reloads which in the past proved to be good.

    Thought it was my form, kept trying to adjust my position behind the rifle and then noticed one of my ring screws was loose. Fool that I am, I decided to try and fix the thing at the range. Removed the scope so that I could get at the base screws to check them-ended up snapping a base screw off at the head! The rifle is at the smith's shop right now getting it removed and I am getting new screws for the base and rings just to make sure.

    In a conversation with the smith, he states that the screws should be installed dry-cleaning with an evaporating solvent and torqued to spec? Never heard of such a thing.

    What is the general opinion here-dry, oiled, loctite?

  2. #2
    Senior Member pikeman's Avatar
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    I would use blue loctite on them and torque to spec.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by pikeman View Post
    I would use blue loctite on them and torque to spec.
    I was thinking maybe at least oil or Loctite-bare threads have a tendency to give false torque readings.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member Winxp_Man's Avatar
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    I use blue loctite. I have seen quite a few screws some lose without loctite.
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  6. #5
    Senior Member Doom's Avatar
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    Blue Loctite. It serves as lubricant and sealer.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dobbie View Post
    I mounted a set of Leupold dual dovetail rings on my 700 Varmint Synthetic a dozen years ago per their directions. Cleaned the bases, cleaned the screw holes with alcohol. Applied oil to the screws and installed them according to their site. Same with the scope rings-cleaned and applied a very light coat of grease to the male dovetail and twisted them to alignment. Approximately 20 inch pounds of torque to the base screws. Never did have an issue with them until recently when I noticed my groups were really bad with known reloads which in the past proved to be good.

    Thought it was my form, kept trying to adjust my position behind the rifle and then noticed one of my ring screws was loose. Fool that I am, I decided to try and fix the thing at the range. Removed the scope so that I could get at the base screws to check them-ended up snapping a base screw off at the head! The rifle is at the smith's shop right now getting it removed and I am getting new screws for the base and rings just to make sure.

    In a conversation with the smith, he states that the screws should be installed dry-cleaning with an evaporating solvent and torqued to spec? Never heard of such a thing.

    What is the general opinion here-dry, oiled, loctite?
    My Weller Engineering scope mounting kit came with blue loctite. Instructions say use that for all mounts.

  8. #7
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    Thank you all for your advice and experience. Headed off for some blue Loctite!

  9. #8
    Senior Member Deadshot2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dobbie View Post
    Thank you all for your advice and experience. Headed off for some blue Loctite!
    Just a tip, don't use it on the screws that hold the ring caps on and grip the scope. Not needed and if you do use it, you'll have nothing but trouble if you ever decide to change the scope. Base? Definitely, but not on the small screws on the rings themselves.

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadshot2 View Post
    Just a tip, don't use it on the screws that hold the ring caps on and grip the scope. Not needed and if you do use it, you'll have nothing but trouble if you ever decide to change the scope. Base? Definitely, but not on the small screws on the rings themselves.
    Use any sort of anti-seize on your scope rings? I would think that would be a good idea, rather than running them completely dry.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Deadshot2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dobbie View Post
    Use any sort of anti-seize on your scope rings? I would think that would be a good idea, rather than running them completely dry.
    I run mine totally dry. The scope rings compress enough to provide tension which keeps the screws tight. They're so small that any thread locker on them may cause the heads to strip or the fastener to even break when removed at a later date. It's not necessary on the actual ring screws and can be a major problem in some instances. With that in mind, best to avoid. Just use the thread locker on the base mounting screws and then put the tube away.


 

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