Scope Slipping in Rings - What to Do?


September 28, 2003, 11:51 AM
Hey all,

Well, here I am nearing the end of my oddessey of buying what will probably be my last hunting rifle to use the rest of my life. I have posted earlier threads on my selection of the Winchester model 70 Super Grade and a Kahles 4x36 scope.

I finally mounted the scope using Conetrol rings and bases and they appear to be nearly perfect for my particular setup. Yesterday I went to the range to sight the rifle in at 100 yards and I was flabbergasted when my first round went about 1-1/4" left and 3/8" low of the bullseye. My second round was right next to it. I figured everything would work out perfect. Wrong.

In my desire to finalize the setup I figured I would use blue Loctite (Permatex) to lock the ring screws down and finish sighting the rifle in. I loosened the screws put a small drop on all four and tightened everything back down. When I fired my next shot it was about 1 foot low, 1 foot left.

Now, I knew that the POI would change but I didn't figure it would change that dramatically. I realize this happened due to my tightening the screws down more tightly than they were at the initial firing. This final tightening really drew the entire unit down to the bases.

After retightening everthing I resumed firing and adjusting, but as I fired I noticed my shots appeared to drift from time to time. Strangely I'd get close to my desire zero then everything seemed to change. It was then I realized that the scope was actually sliding rearward in the rings!! Frankly, I didn't expect this to happen as the inside of the rings are pretty grippy due to the boring lines.

I spoke with the Range Master and he inquired as to whether I put any double sided tape in the ring halfs before mounting the scope, I hadn't. The Range Master said to pick up the tape Home Depot, remount and everything will work out just fine.

Now, I've heard of using double sided tape, rubber cement, Scotch Kote by 3M, and Loctite to secure the rings to the scope, but what do you people think?

I'm leaning towards the tape, but I'm not sure which kind? The double sided Scotch tape?

BTW, I think this scenario would not have occurred with some other scope brands, as I don't think many of them have as slick a finish on them as the Kahles. I was a little miffed upon noticing the slipping and the resultant white "scratch marks" on the scope. Upon dismounting the scope however, I found that the "scratch marks" simply rubbed off leaving the scope looking as though it had never been mounted.

This scope has one of the slickest black finishes I've ever seen. When your hands are sweaty, the finish on the scope is sort of like holding onto a wet ice cube. Also surprising were the insides of the rings were actually bright polished in the high spots from the whole ordeal. Kahles really needs to consider using their finish as a gun coating (if they can make it not so slick).

I appreciate any advice, and sorry for the long post.


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September 28, 2003, 12:10 PM
Besides the aforementioned tape, I've had good success cutting strips to size from target paper. My .338 Win Mag was causing my Leupold to slip as you described, and the paper solved it completely.

September 28, 2003, 01:33 PM
I've had the same problem with a 1" IOR Valdata 6X42. The main tube is just a tad undersized (as compared to other 1" scopes I have) and so the B-Square (I'm pretty sure they're BSs) rings bottom out before fully tightening on the scope.

What I use mainly to prevent the rings from marring the scope body but can be used as a filler between the ring and scope are return address stickers for envelopes. Some are just the right size for rings.

September 28, 2003, 01:58 PM
OK here a tip from those of us who mount scopes for a living on the heaviest recoiling firearms,,

1. Never locktite ring screws, ever.
2. Alwys loctite base screws, always.
3. Dont use tape or paper or anyhting else in the rings. Instead, go to home depot, buy that liquid rubber electrical tape stuff, the kind ya dip pliaer handles in, paint that on the rings and mount your scope. Let the excess run out and peel it off with a toothpick.


September 28, 2003, 02:55 PM
My first thought: "Lose the Conetrols, get some Burris Signature rings & do it right!":what: If your locked into the Conetrol thing, I've had good success cutting strips of 400 wet-or-dry to fit inside the rings, abrasive side toward the ring. Nowdays, my first, second, and last choice is the Burris ring, it works unreasonably well...:D


September 28, 2003, 05:37 PM
The scope was sliding *rearward* in the rings? Isn't that backwards? It should slide forward, due to the scope's inertia and the gun recoiling backwards.


Nando Aqui
September 28, 2003, 06:07 PM
I have had excellent results with GE's Silicone II Sealant (clear):

Wipe the inside of the rings with acetone, laquer thinner or something similar to remove any grease or oil, and do the same to the scope tube.

Dispense a small bead of the Silicone to the inside of the rings, and tighten. Wipe of any excess that may ooze out. Let dry for 24-hr.

I have removed scopes that I installed this way, and they do stick securely so as not to slide, but can be removed without to much problem. No damage to rings or scope, by the way.

My $0.02


September 28, 2003, 08:03 PM
I have used the GE clear silicon before, to hold a scope in place on a .458 Winchester Model 70. I never had another problem with the scope slipping in the rings.

I would be leary of using paper, which can hold moisture.

September 28, 2003, 09:21 PM
Some paper has acid residue in it and I don't think that would be good long term as the paper could draw moisture and pit your scope tube and rings; maybe even fuse them together?

Nero Steptoe
September 28, 2003, 11:48 PM
More than likely, since you shot immediately after using the Loctite, not giving it time to cure, the Loctite migrated from the screws to the rings, making for a slippery substance.

I use Torx screws and don't use Loctite on the ring screws. Leupold recommends using a SMALL smear of oil on the Torx screw threads. (IF you use the least bit too much oil, it'll migrate like that Loctite probably did.)

September 29, 2003, 11:25 AM
Hey, thanks for all the replies. I think I may just try that GE Silicone II sealant or the "liquid electrical tape stuff." :D

I'm more comfortable using a liquid, as I believe it will likely more accurately adhere to the shape of the rings and scope. Tape sounds o.k., but I believe something that starts out as a liquid will allow me to work on leveling and positioning the scope much easier.

I'll report back on my findings by next weekend. Thanks again for all the help.

One final note, I don't believe that the loctite (blue) migrated to the surface of the rings and scope for three reasons. Good point, but it doesn't apply in this case: ;)

I) I threads on Conetrol rings are below the ring itself and actually screw into the base. These screws dont even penetrate the ring halves. I don't think the recoil would move the loctite upwards, around the edge of the ring halves and in between the rings and tube.

2) I put only one drop on each screw and then pretty much wiped them of any excess with my bare fingers. I left just enough on them to allow the loctite to do its job. They were still quite sticky to remove.

3) The scope was dry as a bone with no evidence of any loctite on the rings, nor the tube.


September 29, 2003, 12:14 PM
Well, many of these suggestions appear sound, in that they've been tried and worked for the users.

But, before you do that, something puzzles me. You mentioned that the scope finish is so slick that it actually feels slippery, like ice. This could indicate the presence of an oil or some other material that has not been completely removed from the surface. Typically, really shiny surfaces, regardless of treatment, are absolutely non-slippery. I'd try cleaning the scope and rings with alcohol and/or acetone real well. Then try one more time at the range and see if the problem persists. Good luck! Here's a good article on the subject. This guy uses 3M Scotch Coat on the rings. Note that he too recommends cleaning and degreasing.

September 29, 2003, 12:16 PM
Sliding REARWARD?:scrutiny:

September 29, 2003, 01:22 PM
Thanks for the article on the Scotch Kote. I could not locate Scotch Kote at Home Depot; however, I did find the GE Silicone II. I think I'll give this a try.

As for the slick finish, yes I already completely degreased the tube AND rings with rubbing alcohol during the INITIAL mounting. The Kahles finish is honest to goodness that slick (keep in mind my hands were sweaty). The temp here in Phoenix is still hovering around 104-106 F daily. Check a Kahles out for yourself, they have an interesting coating.

Yes, the scope was sliding REARWARD. I know this becase at the initial mounting I put two rings of regular tan masking tape butted up just behind rear edge of each of the rings so that I could keep tabs on any movement of the scope in the rings. The scope moved rearward so much that it started pushing the forward tape edge enough to cause it to bunch up on itself.

I should have photographed the scope as it looked before dismounting it. While I'm no engineer, nor physicist the rearward movement makes perfect sense (to me) as the scope is a mass that obviously is not perfectly bound to the gun which is recoiling upwards thereby causing the "loose" mass to move at the different rate rearward.

September 29, 2003, 03:54 PM
The way you described the tape, the scope is sliding forward, toward the muzzle.

That's like the only way a riflescope would shift in the rings from recoil.

September 29, 2003, 04:05 PM
O.K., let me rephrase and correct myself. You are correct the scope itself is moving forward, as though the rings are moving rearward. That is what I meant but didn't think before engaging my mouth or fingers in this case. :D
Thanks again.


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