Loctite on Scope Mounts and Free Floated Barrel Shims


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Waywatcher
December 7, 2006, 12:20 AM
I know what you're thinking... the title makes no sense but I figure I'd just kill two birds with one stone and combine my two questions in one thread.

PART I (FFB Shims)

My Tikka 30-06 has performed admirably, providing sub-moa groups from a bench, and 5 deer kills in only four years of ownership. It has a free floated barrel with the foregrip extending quite a ways in front of a receiver; the way any normal hunting rifle looks.

Two years ago, after particularily inclement weather, (wet snow, and lots of it) it got soaked. After drying again I noticed the barrel wasn't floating anymore, and that the wood had warped a bit up to meet the barrel. I realize it's entirely natural for this to happen, I just want to verify my solution.

Theres a metal block in the wooden stock on which the receiver rests. (I think this is typical, as my SKS has it too). I took it out and put some small thin cardboard shims cut to size underneath it. (Underneath the recoil lug, in between the wood and the lug.) I used a trial-and-error method first one shim, then two and so on. I ended up using 4 to float the barrel again, which is just shy of 1/16th of an inch, or less than 2mm. Does this sound alright?

PART II (Lock-Tite)

After firing my Tikka a bunch, I noticed the scope mount/ring bolts loosen up. Not too much, but enough that they needed to be tightened again. Is blue lock-tite a good cure for this?

Thanks for reading this long post!

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Zak Smith
December 7, 2006, 01:24 AM
I usually put a drop of removable loctitle on the heads of the cap screws when everything is tight. I have had a couple times when loctited threads render the screws not removable without destroying the screw head.

Waywatcher
December 7, 2006, 02:41 AM
How often would you say the loc-tited threads resulted in messed up screw heads, every time you tried to remove them? Half? What type of screw heads, Hex? Torx?

hoghunting
December 7, 2006, 09:55 AM
Take the shims out! That piece of metal in the stock is the recoil lug and it carries most of the force from recoil. If the barrel is touching the stock, open up the barrel channel, don't mess with the recoil lug.

noydb
December 7, 2006, 10:29 AM
Another vote for removing the shims and shaving down the foreend. Also the receiver lug probably was bedded.

Blue lock-tite on the threads is fine, but make sure you have the right tools for removing the screws. Gun screws are not always standard #1 or #2 sizes like regular hardware. That's why gunsmith screwdriver sets have as many as 72 pieces. A complete gunsmith screw driver set is nice to have around anyways.

High Planes Drifter
December 7, 2006, 10:36 AM
Another vote for blue loctite; I've also heard of using nail-polish for this application.

vesmcd
December 7, 2006, 02:51 PM
I also vote for taking out the shims and shaving the barrel chanel in the stock. Don't forget to reseal the chanel with some kind of finish to keep moisture out of the wood. As for Loc-tite on scope mount screw threads, use light duty blue. If you need to take them out, hold a pencil point soldering iron to the screw head till the Loc-tite softens up, then use the PROPER screwdriver or allen wrench to take them out.

Waywatcher
December 7, 2006, 02:57 PM
What kind of a tool is used to remove material from the stock?

Is under 2mm of added material underneath the recoil lug dangerous?

ArmedBear
December 7, 2006, 03:01 PM
How often would you say the loc-tited threads resulted in messed up screw heads, every time you tried to remove them? Half? What type of screw heads, Hex? Torx?

Blue Loc-Tite has given me no such problems, even on relatively fragile receivers like the 10/22.

Just don't use Red! Use Purple if you're paranoid, but Blue is fine.

Torx is good, of course. Don't skimp on scope mounts.

hoghunting
December 7, 2006, 03:19 PM
Waywatcher,

Here's is what you need to enlarge the barrel channel:

http://www.brownells.com/aspx/ns/store/ProductDetail.aspx?p=6797&title=BARREL+BEDDER+JR

You might be able to find these somewhere else, but this is what you're looking for.

Putting any spacer between the recoil lug and the receiver on a Tikka is not a wise idea.

Waywatcher
December 7, 2006, 03:22 PM
I'm using factory Tikka scope rings. The have hex (allen) head bolts. I went ahead and used a bit of blue loctite on the threads and wiped off the excess.

I made extra sure that all the screws were equally tight and that no uneven pressure exists.

Now I just need to figure out the free-floated-barrel issue.

Waywatcher
December 7, 2006, 03:25 PM
Waywatcher,

Putting any spacer between the recoil lug and the receiver on a Tikka is not a wise idea

Oh heavens no! I wouldn't even think of doing that. The recoil lug is about an inch tall and removable from the stock (the stock has a slot approximately 3/4" deep). I put the 1.9mm of shim in between the wood and the aluminum recoil lug. Not touching the receiver. (I clarified the original post to reflect this.) I tightened down the front receiver screw well, to make sure it's good and tight. So compressed it may even be a bit less thick.

P.S. Thanks for the link to the tool!

redneckdan
December 7, 2006, 03:53 PM
i use loctite 277 on my scope mounts, I like to be sure they aren't going anywhere. A soldering iron will loosen it right up if need be.

Waywatcher
December 8, 2006, 03:45 AM
So, to clarify a bit, is it alright to put about 1.9mm of shim underneath the recoil lug, in between the wood and the lug? (NOT in between the receiver and lug.)

Or is it still recommended to grind the wood?

noydb
December 8, 2006, 11:07 AM
In general I prefer to do things the proper way over creative-engineering. If you clean up the barrel channel you'll know it's right.

You don't need a special tool, fine grit sand paper will do. Slow and steady will do the job.

YodaVader
December 8, 2006, 11:29 AM
As the others mentioned - Blue Loctite and relieving the barrel channel is the way I have done it. I have used the Blue Loctite on every scope base I have mounted and have no problems when the time comes to remove the screws. And NEVER had a base come loose.

Extremely frustrating to be at the range or on a hunt and find your scope base is loose. A friend of mine started to get these weird fliers one day shooting his 22-250 and discovered the scope base on his 700 had become loose. He now uses Loctite.

For floating the barrel you might try to find a socket that is close to the diameter of your barrel channel and wrap sand paper around it. The channel will then remain uniform , round and will look as good (or better) than it did from with the factory.

Vern Humphrey
December 8, 2006, 11:43 AM
I've free-floated many a barrel with a wooden dowel rod wrapped with coarse sandpaper. There are, of course, tools designed especially for the job, as someone else has pointed out.

The trick is to keep putting the rifle back in the stock and checking -- only remove wood from where it's touching the barrel. When finished, put on a thick coat of Johnson's Paste Wax and rub it in -- that will help prevent the stock from absorbing moisture again.

Waywatcher
December 8, 2006, 05:31 PM
The thing is, I'll probably have to remove almost 1/16 of wood from the front of the handguard, which kind of a lot. Out of the realm of 'fine' sandpaper I'm sure. Either the above linked tool or coarse sandpaper will be necesary.

nplant
December 8, 2006, 07:20 PM
WRT the scope base screws (and heck, the scope ring screws, too, for that matter) :
It can't hurt to apply the proper amount of torque for the rifle/mount/rings you're using. I'm not too familiar with Tikkas per se, but a good rule of thumb for precision rifles sets the torque for action, base and ring screws right around 65 inch-pounds. You can use any torque wrench you want that will apply that amount of torque.

I bought the Leupold torque handle from Midway USA for this purpose. It will be a dedicated tool for my precision rifle gear bag, and it comes pre-set at exactly 65 in-lbs. for about $70.

Oh, and also, from idiotic first-hand experience: while it's not impossible to remove screws that were threaded in with Red Loctite, it's no picnic, and it's hard to clean up without some sort of heat tool. Go Blue or Purple at most.

Art Eatman
December 8, 2006, 08:29 PM
Another vote to take out the shims and clean out the barrel-channel.

Art

Vern Humphrey
December 8, 2006, 08:47 PM
The thing is, I'll probably have to remove almost 1/16 of wood from the front of the handguard, which kind of a lot. Out of the realm of 'fine' sandpaper I'm sure. Either the above linked tool or coarse sandpaper will be necesary.

Coarse sandpaper is fine. You aren't aiming at an egg-shell finish. Just seal the channel with paste wax when you finish.

If you enjoyed reading about "Loctite on Scope Mounts and Free Floated Barrel Shims" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!