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Aluminum vs. Steel scope rings

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/23/2015 at 15:35
GuitarDude View Drop Down
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I just bought these Remington scope mounts that are made out of Z2 alloy. I should have done more research. Because after I ordered them I was reading in the Ultimate Sniper book and it states " Soft alloys have a different hardness and density than a rifle receiver's steel, they'll expand and contract at different rate, leading to your scope ever so slightly twist away from zero.

Should I just send them back? Why do they even make them in anything other than steel?

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/23/2015 at 15:51
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I have aluminum and steel.

I'm an advocate for Talley light weight mounts. Aluminum but tough as nails, look good, and are ridiculously inexpensive.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/23/2015 at 16:48
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Competition Benchrest shooters tend to explore every advantage, no matter how extreme to give themselves what they perceive as a slight advantage. This would include everything from scientific to occult obsessions Loco   It's tough to argue with success, but I tend to take it all with a grain of salt. You will quickly learn in this hobby that 10 different experts will generate 7 different opinions on what is best. If you were putting 10,000 rounds a year down range, maybe it would make a difference. In the end it's the Indian; not the arrow that makes the shot. The guy that puts 10k rounds/year down range will beat you because he practices.

I use both aluminum and steel, and I think both work fine (IMHO).

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/23/2015 at 17:33
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Originally posted by Skytrash Skytrash wrote:

In the end it's the Indian; not the arrow that makes the shot.


Or in Guitardude's case, "it's the musician, not the song".  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/23/2015 at 17:34
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Originally posted by GuitarDude GuitarDude wrote:

I just bought these Remington scope mounts that are made out of Z2 alloy. I should have done more research. Because after I ordered them I was reading in the Ultimate Sniper book and it states " Soft alloys have a different hardness and density than a rifle receiver's steel, they'll expand and contract at different rate, leading to your scope ever so slightly twist away from zero.

Should I just send them back? Why do they even make them in anything other than steel?


I am not sure I would read too much into that.

Thermal coefficient expansion of aluminum alloys is indeed higher than that of steel, but considering the dimensions and temperatures involved, it makes no difference whatsoever for a riflescope.

Besides, the body of a riflescope is also made out of aluminum.

You can do the math yourself if you'd like.  Typical thermal expansion coefficient for 6061 aluminum alloy is 23.6 microns for each meter of length per degree C.  For mild steel, it is around 13 microns for each meter of length per degree C.

All you have to do is figure out the dimension of the components you think will be expanding and calculate the requisite expanded dimensions for whatever temperature range you think your mounts will be subjected to.

ILya

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/23/2015 at 18:46
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Unless you are making major climate swings the issue is mute anyway. The receiver simply isn't going to heat up like the barrel. I've seen M-249 barrels start to glow a dual cherry and the receiver wasn't near that hot. You don't need to be too concerned about a bolt action or semi-auto for that matter. The main thing whether aluminum or steel is the quality and attention to detail of the manufacturer. I've seen some low end aluminum bases be pretty far from spec (and some steel, just not as often). Be sure to use blue lock tight and proper torque on the rings and base screws and you should be fine. You can now find it a Lowe's if you don't have any.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/24/2015 at 03:45
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Thanks everybody! that makes me feel better about it.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/24/2015 at 10:07
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The design and how well the rings are made have much greater impact on their performance than materials do. The only exception to this is I have seen aluminum fail on big recoil rifles.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/24/2015 at 10:59
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+1

Another thing I have seen is on "cheap" bases the screw holes can be much larger than the screws. This allows the manufacturer to be less precise with their alignment. But also allows the base to be seated off center and or move under heavy recoil. A quality set of bases will have fairly tight tolerances with their alignment and screw sets. Just something to consider when shoppin  ring and bases.

A belated Welcome to the OT!!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/24/2015 at 11:21
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Also keep in mind that book is very dated.  The math still works, but the technology is 30 years old.  Look at the list of optics in the book, and compare that to the best of the best today.

There is MUCH more to sweat than differences in metal expansion/contraction.
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