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Aluminum vs. Steel Bases

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 13:15
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I was looking for a Steel One Piece Picatinny base for a Rem 7400, but have been unable to locate such a thing.
 
I've found a 1 peice Aluminium Weaver type base.
 
I was wondering about the pros and cons.
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 13:23
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 Aluminum bases are lighter and are perfecly adequate in strength for most purposes. They will leave a slight surface degradation on the steel of your rifle's receiver, after several years. This is due to an electrochemical  process known as galvanic corrosion, which occurs when some types of dissimilar metals remain in contact with one another over long periods of time. It is generally nothing more than a cosmetic issue. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 13:58
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X = 180 Y = 90 (X+Pyro)+(Y-Pyro) = ?

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I coat the bottom of mine with blue Loc-Tite. I don't know if it helps with this or not, but it seems to keep water from getting under the bases and causing rust. I just traded in a rifle that had Talley Lightweights on it, and after brushing off the Loc-Tite, the rifle looked like it never had anything on it.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 14:13
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  How many years were the Bases and rifle  together? Do you recall if you allowed the Loc-Tite to dry completely before assembly? (If so, you probably completely prevented actual contact between the steel and the aluminum parts.)

The galvanic corrosion can take place regardless of whether or not water is able to get at the parts or not, if the base actually contacts the steel directly. I think it may also have a lot to do with whether the scope tube itself is aluminum or steel as well, as to the way electrical ions flow through the entire rig. Not really sure; just speculation...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 17:25
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X = 180 Y = 90 (X+Pyro)+(Y-Pyro) = ?

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Bases were on there about 2 years, but the rifle was stainless also, I don't know if that makes a difference or not. Loc-Tite was not dry at time of assembly.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 18:02
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 Stainless probably is a lot more resistant to such damage, depending on the specific alloy, I'm sure.
 In all truth, I haven't personally seen any significant pitting on a rig that had been together for less than maybe ten years. Apparently it is a long-term ongoing process...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 18:50
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I have had Weaver aluminum bases sitting on Remington steel receivers for over twenty years with no problems. The bases are anodized.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 18:54
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A995M Warne Maxima 1 Piece Base                                                                                               Warne Maxima 1 Piece Base
  • Remington 7400
  • Remington 7600
  • Matte
SWFA: $14.95
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 18:55
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Optics GrassHopper
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Thanks for all the info.
I order out a couple of Weavers today. Will mill some extra Picatinny slots in them.
Also plan to install them with Loctite 609.
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 20:46
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I can only guess that the "degradation" problem is more prevalent in other climates than the one I live in (Montana). I have not only had aluminum Weaver bases on rifles for over 20 years with no problem, but have purchased used rifles that obviously had Weaver bases on them for much longer. The screws were slightly rusted, but the action under the bases was fine.
 
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 21:09
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 Well, perhaps it occurs less than my experiences would indicate. I don't believe that the rifles I've seen it on had ever seen salt air or anything like that, so who knows?

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 22:01
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Where do you live?
 
I have seen problems with aluminum bases on steel actions, but only when I hunted in miserably wet weather and neglected to check underneath the bases afterward. I tend to get neglectful of that because I grew up and live in a dry climate. But over the decades I have learned to either use car paste-wax under the bases, or more recently a lot of blue Loc-Tite. Either seems to prevent any problem between bases and action.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 22:23
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 I live in Wisconsin, but have done a lot of Western hunting, including Colorado, South Dakota, Idaho and Southwestern Montana, so my rifles have seen a bunch of different weather conditions. Maybe I should just oil them a little more often!  I do use paste wax on the steel when hunting wet weather, and I agree with you that it is an excellent protective coating against rust. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/06/2009 at 16:45
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D. Overton

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the major problem with aluminum bases, whether one piece or two, is if you use QD rings.  over time the aluminum bases will wear, where as the steel bases will not.  otherwise the aluminum bases are fine and strong.  i use all steel bases so i cannot say i have ever seen a problem with galvanic corrosion.
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