New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Proper items needed to mount scopes?
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Check GunBroker.com for SWFA's No Reserve and No Minimum bid firearm auctions.

Proper items needed to mount scopes?

 Post Reply Post Reply   Topic Search Topic Search  Topic Options Topic Options
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/11/2009 at 07:40
greywolf View Drop Down
Optics Journeyman
Optics Journeyman
Avatar

Joined: April/25/2005
Status: Offline
Points: 310
New to long-distance shooting.  Have always just "eye-balled" when I mounted scopes, but I get the feeling I should be more meticulous and use the proper equipment.

So, what do I need?  Bore-sighter?  Small torque-wrench (not the monster that I have that could be used as a hand-to-hand weapon)?  Some sort of cant/leveler, etc.?  Used to have one of those cheapies from Midway that supposedly was magnetic and went on the scope, but it kept falling off and didn't work well.  Plumb level?

If you wouldn't mind, provide recommended names and maybe even a link or two to where I can get them - thanks!

PS - why is it sometimes when I look through some of my scopes that it seems like I am dead-on with regards to the cross-hairs in regards to the reticle being perfectly level in all directions, but when I look at the turrets in relationship to the bore, some are "off" or canted?  Do some scopes just not match up exactly to their turrets?  Is it my eyes?  Or maybe I am the one who is canted?

Makes you wonder why scope manufacturers don't put a line on top of the scope where your rings would go to show "Hey, dummy - here is the PERFECT alignment point for your scope to get you vertical just right"?

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/11/2009 at 08:19
sakomato View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master
Avatar

Joined: February/28/2008
Location: Houston
Status: Offline
Points: 1085
Hey greywolf
 
There is usually more than one way to skin a cat but here is the way I skin mine.
 
Get an EXD device from Brownells 
 
 
It will align the centerline of your scope and the centerline of your barrel so that you can take all the cant out of your rifle.  There is some information on what it does on this website
 
 
What it does is show you when the rifle is uncanted but then you have to have a way to make sure the reticle is level at the same time as the rifle is uncanted.  I clamp my rifle in a padded vise on my work bench and aim it out the window at a 4' level sitting on a fence 25 yards out.  Then you can rotate the scope till the reticle is level, all the while making sure the rifle is uncanted with the EXD device. 
 
Another item that is optional is an anti cant device attached to your scope.  I like the one made by ScopLevel
 
 
It allows you to duplicate the uncanted rifle effect while shooting off the bench or in the field.  It also makes it easy to transfer the scope and mount it with the reticle level.
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/11/2009 at 08:25
8shots View Drop Down
Optics Jedi Knight
Optics Jedi Knight
Avatar
Lord Of The Flies

Joined: March/14/2007
Location: South Africa
Status: Offline
Points: 5754
Greywolf, I have also wished that scopes and rings have a proper factory alignment marks.
Having said that, one can be very high tech and use all kinds of leveling equipment. The biggest problem remains that it is difficult to get a level on the round shapes of actions and scopes.
One method I use is to level the rifle by using the flat surface of the action and a spirit level. Then carefully mount the scope bases and rings without overtightning stuff and thus moving the rifle. (Unless you have a proper rifle clamp off course.) Next, hang a plum line about 10yds or so in front of the scope and align the vertical reticule with this plum line by rotating the scope. Now separately put masking tape on the scope and the rings where they join. With a pen place  witness marks on the scope tape and the ring tape so that they align.
The scope can now be removed, the base screws etc tightened up. The scope is placed back in the rings, witness marks aligned and tightened up. Should be good to go.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/11/2009 at 08:46
Rancid Coolaid View Drop Down
Optics Jedi Master
Optics Jedi Master
Avatar

Joined: January/19/2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 7703
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00999007000P?keyword=feeler+gauage


Having mounted more than a few scopes, and owning almost every mounting tool possible (though I have never used the vertical reticle instrument), I'd say the simplest way to do it is with feeler gauges, no worry about the cant of the rifle or scope when performing the install.  Be advised, this only works if you are mounting the scope on a rail - as the squared bottom of the scope has to interface a squared surface on the rifle.

Also, you might cant when you shoot (I do) and you can purchase a rail-mounted level.  It isn't needed for close-up but can really help on the long shots.

Scope mounting is a pain in the ass, but if you don't do it right, it is infuriating later.  Better to do it right (the first time) than fast.  Be certain you know the torque specs for the base and rings and have a decent torque wrench on hand - and lok tite.  I use a Wheeler adjustable torque wrench (store at 0 in/lbs), it ain't high-dollar but it has never let me down.

There are many ways to mount a scope, levels, leveling bore sighter, feel gauges, plumb lines, more levels: use the method that gets your rifle and scope working for you.  The feeler guage method is almost idiot-proof (almost) and has done great for me.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/11/2009 at 09:00
greywolf View Drop Down
Optics Journeyman
Optics Journeyman
Avatar

Joined: April/25/2005
Status: Offline
Points: 310
Rancid - just how does the feeler gauge work?  I'm not sure I understand the concept and how it relates to scope cant/reticles being off?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/11/2009 at 09:45
Dale Clifford View Drop Down
Optics Jedi Knight
Optics Jedi Knight


Joined: July/04/2004
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 5087
Feeler gauge method takes advantage of the flat spot at the bottom of the scope saddle and the two flats on the top of the receiver (if its that type of receiver) and the fact the feeler gauge can be adjusted to thickness. Place the scope in the rings semi-tight insert the feeler gauge with all the tangs between the scope and reciever and remove thickness until it fits, the square of the top of the receiver will carry over to the base of the scope etc. canted reticles are a seperate problem and the scope needs to be sent back. easy to determine , just put the scope on square , run up the elevation against a known plum, there it is. some long range shooters like a slight top left cant to compensate for spin drift.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/11/2009 at 09:59
sholling View Drop Down
Optics Professional
Optics Professional
Avatar

Joined: May/24/2008
Location: Hemet CA
Status: Offline
Points: 892
I just use a few basics:
  • A decent rifle vice to hold the rifle level while I get the scope where I want it.
  • A ring lap
  • A pair of small levels to level the scope to the rifle. I don't care for the "Level-Level-Level". Because of their cheap construction they aren't always level to each other. I use a pair of $1 mini levels from Harbor Freight that I checked for level. Still there are a few rifles that for no good reason have no flat surfaces to level from and so can be a challenge. 
  • An inch-pound toque screwdriver. My favorite is the Utica TS35 which you can often find used on fleabay for around $30-60.  These are actual professional grade torque drivers.
  • Good quality bits. Just bear in mind that the good ones are hard enough that they can chip so be prepared to replaces some of the more popular sizes now and then.
  • A boresighter. I personally like the magic Leupold pocket boresighter the best but I double check with a laser. I've found my Leupold to be consistent at putting the 1st shot high and to the left but it gets me on paper quickly and easily.
I also have a scope mounted level installed on my varmint/target rifle.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/11/2009 at 10:06
8shots View Drop Down
Optics Jedi Knight
Optics Jedi Knight
Avatar
Lord Of The Flies

Joined: March/14/2007
Location: South Africa
Status: Offline
Points: 5754
As a matter of interest, I marked my scope and mountings using masking tape and a pen to draw corresponding witness marks, before removing everything and sending the rifle for a barrel replacement.
On return of said rifle I re-aligned everything as marked. My first shot was 1 inch low. 4 clicks up and I was dead on. Two bullets was all it took.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/11/2009 at 10:59
Sparky View Drop Down
Optics Master Extraordinaire
Optics Master Extraordinaire


Joined: July/15/2007
Status: Offline
Points: 3194
Tagged for interest.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/12/2009 at 06:23
jetwrnch View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice
Avatar

Joined: July/03/2006
Location: Knoxville, TN
Status: Offline
Points: 294
If you wear glasses as I do the reticle may never look level. Astigmatism I believe? Anyway, I doubt it really matters much so long as the scope is level with the ground when you shoot. A rail or scope mounted permanent level would help on the really long shots. If you cant the rifle naturally when you shoulder it you may not want the reticle square to the receiver because you will always have to adjust before the shot. JMHO
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/12/2009 at 06:26
jetwrnch View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice
Avatar

Joined: July/03/2006
Location: Knoxville, TN
Status: Offline
Points: 294
P.S. As for tools I highly recommend something for aligning the rings to prevent torquing the tube.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/12/2009 at 06:47
sakomato View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master
Avatar

Joined: February/28/2008
Location: Houston
Status: Offline
Points: 1085
Originally posted by jetwrnch jetwrnch wrote:

P.S. As for tools I highly recommend something for aligning the rings to prevent torquing the tube.
 
Good reminder, jetwrnch.  I also have a set of Wheeler Engineering Alignment Kit in 1" and 30mm
 
 
which are very useful on dovetail rings or windage adjustable rings.  With the rings where they are not useable they will at least tell you if you have a problem and how far the rings are off.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/12/2009 at 09:24
greywolf View Drop Down
Optics Journeyman
Optics Journeyman
Avatar

Joined: April/25/2005
Status: Offline
Points: 310
Originally posted by sholling sholling wrote:

I just use a few basics:
  • A decent rifle vice to hold the rifle level while I get the scope where I want it.
  • A ring lap
  • A pair of small levels to level the scope to the rifle. I don't care for the "Level-Level-Level". Because of their cheap construction they aren't always level to each other. I use a pair of $1 mini levels from Harbor Freight that I checked for level. Still there are a few rifles that for no good reason have no flat surfaces to level from and so can be a challenge. 
  • An inch-pound toque screwdriver. My favorite is the Utica TS35 which you can often find used on fleabay for around $30-60.  These are actual professional grade torque drivers.
  • Good quality bits. Just bear in mind that the good ones are hard enough that they can chip so be prepared to replaces some of the more popular sizes now and then.
  • A boresighter. I personally like the magic Leupold pocket boresighter the best but I double check with a laser. I've found my Leupold to be consistent at putting the 1st shot high and to the left but it gets me on paper quickly and easily.
I also have a scope mounted level installed on my varmint/target rifle.
 
So I need an inch-pound vs. an inch-ounce torque screwdriver, correct?
 
What is a good range to look for (min-max adjustment)?
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/12/2009 at 09:24
sholling View Drop Down
Optics Professional
Optics Professional
Avatar

Joined: May/24/2008
Location: Hemet CA
Status: Offline
Points: 892
Originally posted by jetwrnch jetwrnch wrote:

Anyway, I doubt it really matters much so long as the scope is level with the ground when you shoot. A rail or scope mounted permanent level would help on the really long shots. If you cant the rifle naturally when you shoulder it you may not want the reticle square to the receiver because you will always have to adjust before the shot. JMHO

Actually at really long shots it does make a difference. When the scope is out of level in relation to the bore axis one of two things becomes an issue. A) Either you shoot with the rifle level but the crosshairs out of level generating an error as you adjust for range with the elevation knob.

Or B) you shoot with the cross hairs level and accept that the windage will be off at every distance except where you're zeroed and that the amount will increase with range. For the hunter this is all academic - minute of Bambi is close enough. But for a precision target shooter shooting at varying distances it can be significant. Let's say you are out of level by 2 degrees and the centerline of the scope is 2" above the centerline of the bore. That shifts the barrel roughly .070" to the side. You can leave that error when you zero the rifle and mentally correct 1/16" at all distances, or you can dial it out while zeroing at 100m except then you'll be off 5/8" at 1000m.

At this point some would say "hey wait a minute at 1000m a 1/2 MOA rifle is going to give you a 5" group anyway. True, but shift that 5" group off to the side by 5/8" and it can hurt scores. Now I'm not a good enough shot that it makes any difference but for some it does make a difference.

 


Edited by sholling - May/12/2009 at 09:25
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/12/2009 at 09:31
Rancid Coolaid View Drop Down
Optics Jedi Master
Optics Jedi Master
Avatar

Joined: January/19/2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 7703
Originally posted by jetwrnch jetwrnch wrote:

Anyway, I doubt it really matters much so long as the scope is level with the ground when you shoot. A rail or scope mounted permanent level would help on the really long shots. If you cant the rifle naturally when you shoulder it you may not want the reticle square to the receiver because you will always have to adjust before the shot. JMHO



You completely lost me on that one.

Whether the scope is level to the ground or not is irrelevant, all that matters is the bore axis and the scope axis and gravitational axis.

If your reticle is canted, any shot at any distance other than zero will be off the mark simply because elevation and windage adjustments aren't "pure" on-axis adjustments.  A clockwise cant will throw rounds low and right; a counter-clock cant will throw rounds low and left. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/12/2009 at 09:34
Rancid Coolaid View Drop Down
Optics Jedi Master
Optics Jedi Master
Avatar

Joined: January/19/2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 7703
Originally posted by greywolf greywolf wrote:

Originally posted by sholling sholling wrote:

I just use a few basics:
  • A decent rifle vice to hold the rifle level while I get the scope where I want it.
  • A ring lap
  • A pair of small levels to level the scope to the rifle. I don't care for the "Level-Level-Level". Because of their cheap construction they aren't always level to each other. I use a pair of $1 mini levels from Harbor Freight that I checked for level. Still there are a few rifles that for no good reason have no flat surfaces to level from and so can be a challenge. 
  • An inch-pound toque screwdriver. My favorite is the Utica TS35 which you can often find used on fleabay for around $30-60.  These are actual professional grade torque drivers.
  • Good quality bits. Just bear in mind that the good ones are hard enough that they can chip so be prepared to replaces some of the more popular sizes now and then.
  • A boresighter. I personally like the magic Leupold pocket boresighter the best but I double check with a laser. I've found my Leupold to be consistent at putting the 1st shot high and to the left but it gets me on paper quickly and easily.
I also have a scope mounted level installed on my varmint/target rifle.
 
So I need an inch-pound vs. an inch-ounce torque screwdriver, correct?
 
What is a good range to look for (min-max adjustment)?
 



Yes, you need inch/pounds, not inch/ounces (since you will quickly be out or range) and NOT foot/pounds.

You will need something that goes as low as about 15 (for the ring screws) and as high as about 65 (for the bolts/screws that hold the ring to the rail.)  And always store your torque wrench at its lowest setting or zero.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/12/2009 at 09:41
greywolf View Drop Down
Optics Journeyman
Optics Journeyman
Avatar

Joined: April/25/2005
Status: Offline
Points: 310
Thanks, guys.
 
OK, another equipment question:
 
What sort of rest do you use?  I've seen many different models of Lead Sled rests, as well as some other brands.  I'd like something that allows for precise vertical (elevation) as well as horizontal (windage) movement without having to lift and move the rest for horizontal (most seem like this) - suggestions?
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/12/2009 at 09:53
Rancid Coolaid View Drop Down
Optics Jedi Master
Optics Jedi Master
Avatar

Joined: January/19/2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 7703



I also have one of these but find that using a too well supported rest makes me a sloppy shooter, maybe you will have other experiences.




I prefer a good bipod or tripod up front with a manipulatable rest in the back like a sock filled with sand or the like.


Edited by Rancid Coolaid - May/12/2009 at 09:55
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/12/2009 at 11:13
sholling View Drop Down
Optics Professional
Optics Professional
Avatar

Joined: May/24/2008
Location: Hemet CA
Status: Offline
Points: 892
Originally posted by greywolf greywolf wrote:

So I need an inch-pound vs. an inch-ounce torque screwdriver, correct?
 
What is a good range to look for (min-max adjustment)?
 

Inch-pounds

I've never torqued a mounting screw tighter than 35in-lbs or lighter than 15, so a 0-36in-lb TS35 does it for me, but I do own a TS100 just in case I ever need it.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/12/2009 at 12:06
Rancid Coolaid View Drop Down
Optics Jedi Master
Optics Jedi Master
Avatar

Joined: January/19/2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 7703
If you run Badger, Seekins, Nightforce, USO, TPS, or IOR rings; you will need 55-65in/lbs to mount the rings to the rail.  True, putting the ring halves together usually requires 15-20 in/lbs, but the rings should be mounted well too!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/13/2009 at 16:23
jetwrnch View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice
Avatar

Joined: July/03/2006
Location: Knoxville, TN
Status: Offline
Points: 294
I moved my erroneous comment to another thread to be clarified by the experts. Carry on...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/17/2009 at 08:21
Urimaginaryfrnd View Drop Down
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
Avatar
Resident Redneck

Joined: June/20/2005
Location: Iowa
Status: Offline
Points: 13882
Do any of you guys have a list of recommended   in/ lbs   of pressure for different brand rings and bases?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/17/2009 at 11:54
Oldtrader3 View Drop Down
Optics Journeyman
Optics Journeyman
Avatar

Joined: May/16/2009
Location: WA (state)
Status: Offline
Points: 445
1. I use Leupold standard rings and bases.  I sometimes have used Conetrol or other systems.
2. I use just a Leupold plastic handled Torx #15 screw driver for 8-40 screws.  This screw driver does not precisely set inch-pounds at 25 in lbs but, because of it's small diameter, is close with my wrist strength.  I have never broken (by overtorque) a 8-40 ring or base screw.  However, 6-48 screws are another matter and I have broken them and pulled threads because of a soft screw steel or poor tap-thread percentage (under 75% thread=poor workmanship) on rifle actions.  Be advised and very careful with torqueing 6-48 screws, even to 25 foot pounds. 
3. I also use a Leupold ring wrench to set the front ring (or both rings) parallel to each other so that the scope slips easily into and bottom seats in the rings.  The rear ring is left slightly loose with some wiggle, to compensate for any front rings misalignment.  I set windage initially with the windage adjustment screws on the base.  I used to use a piece of 1" turned aluminum bar stock to align rings but it did not do any better job than my present method.
4. I use a small spirit level on base and on the turret or scope cap to level the scope to the rifle.  For most of us, a 1-2 degree level error is not significant enough to lose sleep over.
5. I use Loctite fomula 222 on all screws, including windage mount screws to hold zero.  This 222 Loctite is for small screws and non-permanent installation.  It is noncuring and takes many years to get hard.  If needed, a soldering iron touched to the screw will immediately soften the Loctite enough to easily remove the screw.
5. I use the Leupold magnetic bore sighter for initial adjustment of the windage screws on the mounts.  Then after tightening all the mount and ring screws, I use a muzzle mounted, Laser bore sighter with a target set at 25 feet to set final windage and elevation adjustments.
6. Use professional grade, properly fitted screw drivers for any slotted screw heads.  Fortunately, slot head and hex head 6-48 and 8-40 screws are being replaced by Torx heads which can actually be used more than once.
 
I leave scopes on rifles for many years sometimes and do not keep moving scopes around to different rifles. 
 
This is especially true of a Mark X Mauser custom rifle that I have.  The Mark X action is about as hard as cheddar cheese and holds threads about as well as cheese does.  This action, being a standard Mauser threading job, has 6-48 screws or some facsimile thereof.  Actually, these screws are about a #7-48 or #7.5-48.  Whoever tapped this action, drilled the tap hole with an pneumatic impact drill on a 30% angle, I believe.  The threads are about 15% threaded on a good day.  I don't even have to drill the action to make them 8-40 threads.  They nearly are now except for thread pitch!  All I have to do is drill the scope mounts to clear the 8-40 threads and remove the threads from the cheesy action with small hand drill.  Good gunsmithing job, somebody!!!!!!


Edited by Oldtrader3 - July/17/2009 at 12:21
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Similar Threads: "Proper items needed to mount scopes?"
Subject Author Forum Replies Last Post
Proper way to mount a scope? Plumbergeek Rifle Scopes 26 10/14/2007 8:21:34 PM
How to select proper rings, mounts? pass-thru Rifle Scopes 11
Need some Help on Mounting this scope Fotis Rings and bases 6
Need Help On Scope Mount Selection Twiles Rings and bases 1
Need scope mount and rings help txgolfer52 Tactical Scopes 2
need help finding red dot mounts for remington 597 CaliShootin Tactical Scopes 6
tools and equip needed for scope mounting? pass-thru Rifle Scopes 19
Scope Mount help needed dkevinbarnes Rings and bases 1
Scope mounted but still high, Need Help ldlo1 Rifle Scopes 13
Need advice on mounting scope whompuss Rifle Scopes 0 7/15/2007 3:54:09 PM


This page was generated in 1.215 seconds.