Questions about crushing a scope tube?


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hometheaterman
March 22, 2010, 11:51 PM
So I keep reading about how people over tighten the rings and crush scope tubes on cheaper scopes. Now is this something you notice as it crushes the outside of the tube? Or does it just affect the insides? I ask because I mounted a scope on my 10/22. Well, remounted it and the first time I tightened it way too tight as it actually broke the ring. The scope appeared fine though. I replaced the rings and re tightened them. I put them fairly tight until I couldn't turn them anymore unless I put a lot of pressure on it. The scope looks fine and it shoots fine. Does this mean I'm okay or is it not obvious if you crush a scope?

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Zak Smith
March 23, 2010, 12:47 AM
You would probably see a dent or crease in the outer tube of the scope.

Kentucky_Rifleman
March 23, 2010, 01:27 AM
You can see a dent in the tube. I've seen some aluminum tubes squashed flatter'n a dead coon and still work. Mostly people crush a tube with misaligned rings or a shim wedged into the ring to level the scope. That said, it doesn't take too much pressure to adequately tighten the rings onto the scope. Work all of the screws in rotation, gradually applying more pressure as you work your way around.

KR

madcratebuilder
March 23, 2010, 05:54 AM
the first time I tightened it way too tight as it actually broke the ring.

WOW! That's tight. If you didn't dent to tube you're properly OK. The scope rings screws should be tightened to 18-22 INCH-POUNDS, that's not very much force.

Sav .250
March 23, 2010, 08:12 AM
It seems to me if you don`t know what your doing( anybody) it`s pudent to get some information on the subject. Plenty of it to be had on the inter-net.
Not trying to be nasty just stating the obvious. :)

PT1911
March 23, 2010, 08:22 AM
never understood how people overtighten the scope rings... there is just no reason for it... Tighten them in sequence until they are "snug"... perhaps another half turn and you are done.. no need to TORQUE on them to the point of stripping screws, stripping holes, bending scopes, or breaking rings...



as to your question... sounds like you are safe.... but once again.. it is not necessary to torque the hell out of the ring screws...

Maverick223
March 23, 2010, 12:20 PM
As others have said, very little force is required. After all, the rings' job is simply to retain the position of the scope during firing. Even with a heavy recoiling rifle, it doesn't take much to achieve this. A good simple way to proceed (without using a torque wrench) is to tighten in sequence (like lug nuts) using one finger on a allen key...that is more than sufficient IME. That said, I would say your scope will be just fine.

:)

hometheaterman
March 24, 2010, 12:05 AM
So when I finally got it right and tightened it down I didn't put my fingers on the very end of the allen wrench but I held it closer to the bent part of it and got it tightened until I could no longer turn the screws like that. I'm sure I could have turned them if I put my fingers on the end of the allen wrench to get more leverage though.
Since this sounds like I have it too tight should I loosen it? I've shot the gun and it shoots great. I just didn't know if I should leave it alone or loosen them?

Maverick223
March 24, 2010, 12:18 AM
Since this sounds like I have it too tight should I loosen it? I've shot the gun and it shoots great. I just didn't know if I should leave it alone or loosen them?Leave it be; "If it ain't broke don't fix it". I was under the impression that you had removed it to inspect it a second time.

:)

Uncle Mike
March 24, 2010, 12:19 AM
If you over torqued the screws, or bent, dented or kinked the tube by doing such, loosening it will not reverse the damage.

Leave it well enough alone now!

Most damaged tubes are a result of misaligned rings, out of round rings, or just plain ol' crap components, also out of spec. scope tubes in regards to outside diameter and symmetry will result in damage, not so much the torque, or over torque.

Most scope rings do well enough with 18 to 25 inch pounds of torque applied to new, lightly oiled threads. Aluminum rings will require the lower torque values while steel rings, especially units that utilize number 8 or 10 size machine screws, will require the higher torque values.

It does not take much to hold the scope, if everything is made correctly and working right... loc-tite and gorilla torque is not necessary! lol
A top quality set of rings will bottom out before damage can happen to the scope tube.

Zerodefect
March 24, 2010, 03:52 PM
Don't have to tighten them much if you use good locktite. When your screw bottoms out, usually its less than a half turn to lock it down.

I use the included blue with my Larue mounts. But It wouldn't be too bad to use red. My mount is aluminum, so a lighter or heatgun loosens up the locktight fast.

Maverick223
March 24, 2010, 04:02 PM
Don't have to tighten them much if you use good locktite.I would never use locktite (even blue) for rings. It isn't necessary and can damage the screw or ring threads upon removal. For mounts blue locktite is a welcome addition, because they are seldom (if ever) removed, and access is limited after mounting, but keep it off the rings.

:)

briansmithwins
March 24, 2010, 05:21 PM
You must not have had loose rings like I have then.

Blue (weak) loktite ain't going to damage any kind of thread or screw. Red on the other hand...

BSW

Zerodefect
March 24, 2010, 05:55 PM
Red won't hurt anything as long as you don'y mind heating it up. Hot threadlock becomes no-lock (which tastes like jellybeans!).

Probally a good idea to heat up blu before bolt removal as well. Especially in Aluminum.

taliv
March 24, 2010, 06:02 PM
i always use blue loctite on scope rings.

larue rings actually ship with a little vial of blue loctite

twofifty
March 24, 2010, 06:08 PM
When installing a ring set, it helps to lap them with one of those tubular ring lappers & lapping compound sold by Brownells. Lapping perfectly aligns the rings, and makes them absolutely circular. Much less chance to crush or ding a scope tube then, and easier for the rings to evenly clamp down on the tube.

A gunsmith told me most hunting grade rings are not quite circular.

Kentucky_Rifleman
March 24, 2010, 07:51 PM
I've never used Loctite of any flavor on rings nor mounts, and I've never had a scope come loose. Well, okay, one Leupold 8x that had been on my Enfield for over 10 years loosened up, but that was probably getting jostled in the safe. Anyway, that's the only issue I ever had with rings.

As a footnote, I don't buy cheap mounts or rings; life's too short for Wally World's Mickey Mouse Mounts. I use either Weaver steel (bases and rings) or the newer Leupold-style turn-in bases and steel rings. Those bases are best as one-piece units, BTW.

JustMHO,
KR

Al LaVodka
March 24, 2010, 08:31 PM
never understood how people overtighten the scope rings... there is just no reason for it... Tighten them in sequence until they are "snug"... perhaps another half turn and you are done.. no need to TORQUE on them to the point of stripping screws, stripping holes, bending scopes, or breaking rings...



as to your question... sounds like you are safe.... but once again.. it is not necessary to torque the hell out of the ring screws...
+1
It's like tightening a 5-lug tire -- remember those!?
Al

Uncle Mike
March 24, 2010, 08:35 PM
A gunsmith told me most hunting grade rings are not quite circular.

Noen, and I mean none, are absolutely concentric, except for the rings that are 'machined' in some form.

Ken Farrell does a good machined ring set, I have never ran into a problem with his matched, serial numbered and machined rings and bases.

Even his standard rings and bases are far superior to most manufacturers stuff.

Loc-tite and rings....just wrong!

squinty
September 29, 2010, 01:56 PM
I had a similar experience. I took a mini-14 (non-adjustable rings) to my gun range to ask for advice about mounting and sighting the scope. I was a complete beginner wrt rifles and firearms. One of the employees offered to do it for me while I watched. This range offers some gunsmithing services I assumed they knew what they were doing, at least more than I did.

When putting the top halves of the rings on, instead of alternating the guy tightened down the left screws on the front ring, then the left screws on the back ring, then all the right side screws. He actually broke the tip of his wrench doing so.

I didn't know any better. I want to take the scope off and try to remount it with a bit more care. I bought a Wheeler mounting kit that includes a level and a fatwrench and lapping tools, and rods to check ring alignment.

If the outside of the scope isn't visibly gouged or dented, should I assume it's ok? Or is there a way to check for more subtle damage or bending?

If the rings are misaligned, they can't be adjusted since this is a mini and I'm just using the cuts in the receiver...would lapping help with any subtle misalignment?

Jeff H
September 29, 2010, 07:37 PM
Locktite didn't get so popular by damaging threads. Blue is removable, red is permanent and requires a little heat to remove and green is penetrating that is used on already assembled parts. The only damage Locktite can cause is to teh screw head if you haven't heated up red locktite.

Scope rings may or may not need Locktite, but using the correct one won't hurt anything and may help.

Maverick223
September 29, 2010, 08:56 PM
squinty, if the scope is in good functional condition I would assume the best and simply loosen the rings and re-tighten them in sequence using the proper torque. Lapping generally won't take out misalignment (just give a better bearing surface) nor is it necessary (but won't hurt anything) unless you are seeking the absolute most stable platform (for precision target shooting or high recoil applications), and that shouldn't be the case with your Mini.

:)

Z-Michigan
September 29, 2010, 10:02 PM
I bought a torque-wrench screwdriver to use before mounting my first nice scope (using Warne steel rings, not some wimpy Chinese aluminum-foil rings) and stopped worrying. See what the ring manufacturer recommends for torque, but typically between 15 and 25 inch-lbs (definitely not foot-lbs!). This is fairly snug but far from gorilla tight.

I have never seen a scope damaged from overtightening, and I know I've wrenched down on some pretty hard before going the torque-wrench route. I suspect most people who crank too hard are using thin, weak rings with their scope. I suspect crushed tubes will only happen if you use stout, high quality rings with a lower quality scope; but I'm only speculating.

taliv
September 29, 2010, 10:21 PM
granted, i don't have any first-hand experience here because i have never crushed a scope tube...

but my understanding is that if you're crushing scopes, you're doing something very, very wrong. less obviously, you can have cheap rings that aren't completely round or concentric or aligned, and/or screwed together a bit too tight... that will cause binding and wear as the turrets are cranked.

generally i think it's worth it to save up a bit until i can afford quality rings, and then do not lap them. I believe lapping rings with the traditional lapping tool will probably improve most cheaper rings, but will likely just wallow out higher-quality rings.

Zak Smith
September 29, 2010, 10:30 PM
I did it once, on a Leupold Vari-X III 1.5-5, using Leupold rings... Scope still worked just had a little "tear" in the anodizing.

Onmilo
September 29, 2010, 10:57 PM
15 to 20 inch pounds on the torque wrench is usually plenty.
Some heavy duty rings require up to 35 inch pounds when used on heavy recoiling rifles such as the elephant guns and Browning .50 rifles.

DBR
September 29, 2010, 11:37 PM
IMHO Loctite is a good idea on a scope you expect to leave mounted for a while.

FYI:

Blue Loctite is the recommended grade for things like scope mounts. Degrease the threads, the Loctite acts as a lubricant for torque readings.

If you are really paranoid regarding Loctite, use the Purple Grade. It is weaker than Blue and is usually used for instrument adjustment screws.

Red Loctite (271 and 272) is intended for things you are not planning to take apart. 271 is normal temperature grade and releases at about 300*F. 272 is high temperature grade and releases at about 500*F. IMO neither is appropriate for scope mounts.

Loctite 290 (green) is wicking grade and is intended to be used after the screws are tightened. It is nominally the same strength as Blue but because it is wicking it can cover more threads on the engaged surfaces and be harder to break free.

DBR
September 29, 2010, 11:46 PM
I have found "Liquid Wrench" to be useful in releasing Loctited fasteners.

Particularly with the wicking grade Loctite 290 it tends to get on the out side end of the fastener so the internal threaded part has to ride over the cured Loctite on the fastener threads. The "Liquid Wrench seems to soften the Loctite and lubricate the threads to make removal easier.

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