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How hard to tighten scope rings?

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marcp View Drop Down
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    Posted: January/25/2009 at 18:08
I just got a new scope mounted on my rifle. I made the comment to crank her down tight so she dont slip. The smith responded with you just want to snug them up and not strip the screws. Is that correct or do you want to bear down. It just casted a shadow of doubt. How tight do you need the screws to be?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/25/2009 at 18:29
Ring screws should ordinarily be tightened to 15 INCH pounds with a torque driver.  No more than 18 INCH pounds. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote silver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/25/2009 at 18:35
Rings do not need to be "Farm handed."  If you have large gaps on the sides of the rings, then the rings may need to lapped.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote marcp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/25/2009 at 20:37
What is a large gap? I would say you could probably fit two pieces of paper in between them.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rifle looney Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/25/2009 at 20:43
good to go!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Terry Lamb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2009 at 11:54
Some of the comments are right on point. For a detailed look at what over-tightening ring screws can do, consult last month's (December 2008) American Rifleman. The article by John Barsness "Advanced Scope Mounting" brings up things I had never thought about previously, but especially addresses "farmer tight" mount screws and the goofy things that can result.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pyro6999 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2009 at 11:57
yeah like having to cut the rings off of your .280 rem in a ruger m77mkII with a dremelShocked the guy that installed my rings bases and scope got carried away
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Barsness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/27/2009 at 09:14
All but the biggest, heaviest, steel-tube scopes have some spring in the tube. This means that when the rings are torqued down to 15-20 inch-pounds, the tube is actually pressing back against the rings, and it won't slip. There's no need to crush the tube itself to keep the scope from slipping, particularly if the scope and rings have matte finishes.
 
I just got done test-shooting a .416 Remington Magnum with a 3x Leupold mounted in Talley rings. The scope has a gloss finish, and stayed right where it was supposed to with 18 inch-pounds of torque. This is about as much as an average guy can generate by holding the screwdriver with his thumb and first two fingers--or by using the tiny wrenches that come with most scope rings these days.
 
If you really crunch the rings around the scope, you can crunch the insides of the scope, and it won't work right. Generally the adjustments will be screwy, and it may not even hold zero. Sometimes it will go back to normal if the rings are loosened, but sometimes it will need to be repaired.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sakomato Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/27/2009 at 20:49
Welcome to the OT, JB
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BeltFed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/27/2009 at 21:45
A friend of mine just got a Savage 12 and is going to mount a Zeiss 6.5-20x50 and was asking me how much torque he needs on the base screws and rings. It has been long enough since I mounted a scope that I had forgot (at my age that's about, (what was I talking about) 15 minutes). So here's my question: what is the torque for the bases, ring to base screws, and I already know the ring screw torque?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Barsness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/27/2009 at 21:53

The best way to find out is ask the maker of the mounts. Each has different recommendations, but in general they run from 25-40 pounds on base screws (mostly depending on whether they are 6-48 or 8-40) and 15-20 for ring screws.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tip69 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/27/2009 at 23:12
this is exactly why I have switched to "Warne" brand mounts and rings.  They have a wrench that is pre-set to their specs you can get for like $20-25!  No more quess work!
I just mounted up my Kahles 2-7X36 and it was a breeze!
take em!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BlackDiamond Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2009 at 15:56
A torque wrench is something expensive but probably very useful to install optics.

But it's possible to build a precise torque wrench with just few $$.

I used 2 ball bearings and two 1/4" bit holders.

In my wrench lever length is 6 inches, if you put 2.5lbs of water in the bottle you get 15in lbs of torque when lever is horizontal.

How to use this wrench ? Hold the lever horizontal and insert the hex bit in the screw head. If lever rotates (clockwise) it means wanted torque value wasn't reached.
Remove the bit from the screw, put the lever horizonal and start again.
When lever remain level it means you have reached wanted torque value.

Otherway you can leave the lever vertical (zero torque)insert the hex bit in the screwhead and rotate your gun counterclockwise till the lever will go horizontal (just mount this wrench on a table so that you can freely rotate your gun)

I used ball bearings to hold the bit holder but you could use a bicycle freewheel instead. So you could easily bring the lever back horizontal without removing the bit from the screw head.

   

   

   

 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2009 at 16:36
That is a very unique and innovative/creative use of existing tools, but the Wheeler Firearm Accurizing Torque (FAT) wrench can be had for approximately $40.00 at numerous places on the Internet.  Simpler, consistent, and not that expensive.  
Great innovation, though.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Terry Lamb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2009 at 16:59
I love the kind of genius that can interpret concepts into action. Besides being inventive, that includes the clearest description of torque I have ever seen!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Terry Lamb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2009 at 19:07
Not to be nitpicky, but wouldn't it then take 30lbs of weight on the 6" lever to produce 15 ft/lbs of torque?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2009 at 22:00
inch pounds
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BlackDiamond Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/02/2009 at 02:34
Originally posted by Kickboxer Kickboxer wrote:

That is a very unique and innovative/creative use of existing tools, but the Wheeler Firearm Accurizing Torque (FAT) wrench can be had for approximately $40.00 at numerous places on the Internet.  Simpler, consistent, and not that expensive.  
Great innovation, though.  


I live in Italy and we don't have the Wheeler Firearm Accurizing Torque (FAT) for $40.

Here competitor sells it for $82 +shipping and you have to wait more than 2 weeks to have it.

If you go for a professional tool you can't find any torque wrench/screwdriver below $100
and they usually have a small range of use.

Here in Italy we have good deals on clothes and shoes here but every technology related thing is priced much higher than there. For instance a Leupold Mark IV scope that you pay about $1500 there is being sold for $2900 here !



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tip69 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/02/2009 at 13:00
Can you get the Warne wrench?  It only sells here for @$25.00
take em!
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