Is tapping scope turrets still relevant?

Discussion in 'Long Gun Accessories and Optics' started by Scout21, Jul 4, 2022.

  1. Hugger-4641

    Hugger-4641 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2021
    Messages:
    1,849
    Location:
    West TN
    The tapping, or recoil, only assists the erector in moving to the new adjusted position. Once "settled" it should stay there, but I think most people are aware that a severe enough "bump" can knock any scope off of zero.
     
    LoonWulf likes this.
  2. The Glockodile

    The Glockodile Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2020
    Messages:
    1,463
    Thanks!

    Really was unaware of this.
     
    LoonWulf likes this.
  3. skfullen

    skfullen Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
    Messages:
    202
    Location:
    Deep East Texas
    I still do it. Force of habit is hard to break.

    But, I also still blow the smoke back down the barrel of my revolvers after I shoot. JK!
     
    Shooterbob, sparkyv and LoonWulf like this.
  4. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
    Messages:
    8,225
    Location:
    Fl panhandle
    I do it with RDS sights- even quality ones like aimpoints and eo techs. Sometimes the insides stick a little bit, but the recoil of the first round fired after adjustment "fixes" it. As a result, the first round ends up being a flyer outside the group. I know one thing- tapping after an adjustment can't hurt.
     
    LoonWulf likes this.
  5. taliv

    taliv Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2004
    Messages:
    28,592
    We’re only talking a small amount. The lash or whatever it’s called in the screws inside. Like half or quarter MOA off.
     
    LoonWulf likes this.
  6. dh1633pm
    • Contributing Member

    dh1633pm Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Messages:
    4,256
    Location:
    Central New York
    Who doesn’t tap the torrents? Has a good feeling about it that exudes confidence.

    And who doesn’t like to blow the smoke?
     
  7. Laphroaig

    Laphroaig Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2013
    Messages:
    2,303
    Location:
    W. PA
    I don't think that thread backlash is why people had do it. Older scopes didn't have as precise adjustment internals as todays do. I have heard the "right" "left" directions but could never remember them when I was at the bench. Adjustments when working against the erector springs often would stick and not move. Remember, back in the day a hunting rifle was sighted in once a year, if that often, and turret cranking was a rare event. Some dirt, hardened grease or oil, or general lack of use sometimes resulted in sporadic POI response. Tapping was just a way to help insure the mechanism didn't stick. Scopes are better today in many ways, that is just one of them.
     
  8. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,412
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    I suspect that tapping is a thing of the past for most if not all modern equipment. Though I must admit I still do it. I'm an old fart.

    Now this one does require it. Although the crosshair adjusting mechanism is accessible and the tube is not nitrogen filled, I'm not willing to risk damaging the crosshairs to freshen up the 80 year old lubrication.

    20220414_184035.jpg

    It now resides on an age appropriate Mossberg 146B.
     
  9. jmorris

    jmorris Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    20,808
    Makes more sense than kissing the bullet before you send it…

    If it’s part of your mental game, I say keep doing it. As long as your not tapping them with a ball peen hammer, what’s the harm?
     
  10. Rockrivr1

    Rockrivr1 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    1,779
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Seen my Dad do this many times with his old Wilson scope he had on a Savage 99. When I got my first scoped gun I did it as well. I stopped as it didn't seem to make any difference with newer scopes and I didn't want to mess up an expensive scope.
     
    LoonWulf and sparkyv like this.
  11. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    12,108
    Mechanically, if 1) a scope’s erector tube is prone to sticking, and 2) it has sufficient room to move during an energetic impulse, and 3) does move so, then it seems naive to think 1) the erector tube will only move favorably, or 2) the tube will not stick in the unfavorable position during energetic impulse, and 3) the tube won’t move under recoil but will under light taps.

    Equally, as @taliv mentions, the lash can really only be fractionally proportionate to the adjustment, else we’d see much more significant “gain” (error) in the adjustment.

    So I don’t really buy it. I was told young to tap on my turrets, then I was told that it wasn’t pertinent while I was still young - and understood later why it shouldn’t be pertinent. Pretty simple, show me a scope which benefits from it, and I’ll show you a busted scope.
     
    ColtPythonElite and jmorris like this.
  12. taliv

    taliv Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2004
    Messages:
    28,592
    Again I think it was for minor adjustments. Take a 90s era leupold with 1/2min clicks and a big sheet of paper. Dial up 10 min and oops I went a click too far dial back down one. shoot a 5 round group. Usually you can put them in a tight group but sometimes, the first round will be 10.5 MOA and then the recoil settles the screw and the next 4 go into your tight group at 10 moa

    I don’t think it happens every time but often enough for most trainers back in tha day to recommend a couple taps to settle the threads


    Edit to add I think it’s prob even more common for people trying to fine tune their zero. Shoot and adjust up a click. (But reticle doesn’t move because you’re in the lash). So you Shoot again and round goes same elevation. Dang let me adjust up another click. Now reticle goes up two clicks worth and Next shot goes high. Dang let me adjust down a click. (Reticle doesn’t move cause it’s in the lash) etc. etc then you’re cussing your rifle or Ammo because it couldn’t be that expensive leupold glass.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2022
    Hugger-4641 likes this.
  13. sparkyv

    sparkyv Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2014
    Messages:
    3,251
    Location:
    Deepinnaheartta, Texas
    I too, still do it. Old habits are hard to break.
     
    Shooterbob likes this.
  14. olgeorge

    olgeorge Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2011
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Ardmore, AL, USA
    I can't see any harm in it if you don't overdo it. I have an old Japanese-made Simmons Gold Medal Presidential series scope which hadn't been used in several years and wouldn't respond to the adjustments. A little light tapping with a small rubber mallet got it working again. I think the lube had hardened a little and stuck it in place. These were pretty good scopes, in their day. Later on, Simmons decided to go cheap and sold Chinese-made scopes which aren't that good, or at least not consistent. I had a 44MAG 6-24X which would move zero through the power range by several feet at about 400 yds. and by about half as much by running the parallax through it's range. I returned it and they said it was unrepairable. They sent a new Pro-Target which works OK if you don't get much off center of the glass. I guess it might be OK on a .22 rimfire or maybe a .223 bolt rifle, but what reviews I've found say it's not good for long range. Any new scopes will be a better grade.
     
  15. Driftertank

    Driftertank Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Messages:
    844
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    I don't tap on scopes, but it's sort of become muscle memory for me to go 1 click past my intended adjustment and then back.
    Does it help? Probably makes no difference.
    I've never opened up a scope and examined the erector assembly, but if the springs used are leaf springs or otherwise have any allowance for parts moving against each other, I feel like there's a capacity for striction or other tension to be stored in the movement that can be relieved by shock or vibration. As minute as the possible movements are, I figure just going back one click should alleviate any "preload" remaining in the assembly.

    Never NOTICED any issues with POI changing from the first shot after an adjustment, but then every rifle I own that's accurate enough to show such a small shift, doesn't have a cheap enough optic that I'm worried about it. But then muscle memory is what it is, and while it may not help anything, I'm sure it doesn't hurt either.
     
  16. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    19,457
    Location:
    Northern Indiana
    I was told by a guy I feel was extremely knowledgeable that there is some type of lubricant on the internals. The adjustment mechanism on the reticule has springs that pull it into position. The lubricant may be thick enough that the reticule hangs up and doesn’t move fully until jarred, either by tapping or by recoil

    Back a few lifetimes ago I worked at the LGS. And yes, when we mounted a scope we tapped it with a screwdriver handle, and yes, on a cheap scope they do hang up. Or at least did then.
     
    Shooterbob likes this.
  17. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Messages:
    18,555
    Location:
    DFW Area
    Scope adjustments are typically driven only in one direction. That is, in one direction, the adjustment of the turret actually drives the internal mechanism physically. In the return direction, the adjustment simply backs off pressure and the return movement is driven by a spring. For a number of reasons, the spring may not be strong enough to force the mechanism to move against static friction and tapping the turret can jiggle things enough to let the spring drive the adjustment to the proper position. Once it's in place, the spring will hold it there with enough force to keep it from moving, but the actual movement process can need a little help if it's the spring doing all the work.

    Below are some links that show diagrams of the internal adjustment mechanism.

    https://precisionrifleblog.com/2014/08/22/tactical-scopes-mechanical-performance-part-2/how-a-rifle-scope-works-png/

    https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/H05df70e1ebde4c9eb76bc91f2f1997f9Y.jpg From https://www.aliexpress.com/item/2255800868148697.html?gatewayAdapt=4itemAdapt
     
  18. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Messages:
    6,307
    Location:
    Yakutsk, Sakha Republic
    I go past my adjustment and back.

    Some go past adjustment and back in one direction. But adjusting the other direction, they go past, bring it back too much, then advance it to correct setting.

    Long range shenanigans hurt my head.
     
  19. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    72,897
    Location:
    Alabama
    Love that second pic, saved it.
     
  20. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    72,897
    Location:
    Alabama
    They don't have to. :)
     
    Varminterror and Zerodefect like this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice