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Aluminum vs Steel

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/29/2009 at 20:55
Tarjan View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Joined: August/27/2009
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Gentlemen,
Long time lurker, first time poster.  An issue that I need help resolving is the practical differences between aluminum and steel mounting hardware.  On this forum, and others, I have seen threads responding to questions about mixing alu & steel regarding the possible effects of corrosion due to electrolytic corrosion, which appear to be neglegible if rig is prepared & maintained properly.  But I guess I am wondering if there are real differences between the two materials.  SWFA alone carries over 40 manufactureres of mounts & rings and most of them use both materials.  I have also seen titanium products.  It appears that the steel hardware is more expensive, but does the price necesarily equal better durability?  Aluminum is obviously lighter than steel, but is the weight advantage worth sacrificing that durability? 
Other than the cost vs weight difference, is there a substantial difference in strength?  ie hardness, tensile, compression, thermal expansion.
Or quite simply, some people like lightweight hardware and some like heavier?
This really may be more academic than practical as I am a civilian, I shoot for recreation and my gear realistically won't be put through the rigors as that of a professional.
 
I have a .308 Rem 700 VS w/26" bbl and an older model "Vari X III 4.5-14x50 Long Range Tactical" w/30mm tube.  Per Leup, this scope has 125 moa of adjustment (however I only count about +/-490 clicks)  I am pretty set on STEEL TPS TSR rings & XP 20 moa base (though I think I can get out to 1k with my scope flat) as TPS looks like the best bang for the buck in steel products.  However, if alu is only negligably weaker, I could save a few bucks and go with EGW or Millett bases & SS, Millett or Burris rings.
 
Wow!  I am sorry to be so garrulous.  And thanks for all of the insight I have pulled from your posts.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/03/2009 at 12:50
Tarjan View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Joined: August/27/2009
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Wow, crickets.....

I am sorry if my original post was too nebulous or far reaching.  I am not really looking for a Phd. dissertation on metalurgy.
Allow me to be more succint.  Are steel rings and bases more durable than aluminum rings and bases?
 
Thanks again,
Tarjan
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/03/2009 at 14:09
billyburl2 View Drop Down
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Tarjan, I have not tried steel rings yet. I do know that my Burris XTR rings, are not holding my S.S. 10x very well. I have this set-up on a Savage model 11 chambered in .300WSM, so I have a little bit of recoil. I have thought about trying some different stop-gap measures to rectify the situation but just haven't got around to it yet. SO, to be succinct if you are mounting on a weapon with some recoil,IMHO, I would use steel. And as soon as I can afford to switch, I too am going to use TPS TSR rings and bases.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/03/2009 at 14:34
cheaptrick View Drop Down
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Sorry for the slow response and welcome to Optics Talk.
 
I LOVE my TPS TSR steel rings on coincidentally, a 26" Remington VS .308. Wink
I've had a few pairs of steel TPS rings and they were perfect in every regard.
That said, I wouldn't hesitate to go with aluminum rings from a reputable manufacturer like TPS.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/07/2009 at 14:44
TPS_Phil View Drop Down
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I haven't had any problems with either Steel or 7075 TPS rings on my personal rifles.  My paper puncher has the steel and my hunting rifle has the 7075.  All my hunting buddies have the 7075 and have been quite hard on their rifles.  Leaning them up against trees and falling over and the still haven't lost their zero.  In fact I might just switch my paper puncher to the 7075 to see if they hold up over the long haul....

You will be happy with either pair and both will do the job that you are asking.....
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