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April 21, 2008

Bases and Rings, and Other Bad Things

By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily

Here are two ways to cause trouble: Yell "Incoming" at a Hillary Clinton rally. This will be intensely funny to the people who watch it next day on You Tube, but after you are Tasered by the Secret Service and sentenced to 10 years in prison for being a Public Wiseass, it may not seem like such a good idea.

The other way is order a rifle from one of the top gun makers around the country and offer to mount the scope yourself. Probably he will just hang up. Or he may make a noise like a choking chicken, and you will hear a thump and his wife screaming his name in the background. These guys know that in all the realm of riflery, nothing causes so much sorrow, pain, and woe as the average shooter mounting his own scope.

Mostly this is the fault of the people who make scope mounts. They assume that the people who buy their stuff have a modicum of common sense and mechanical ability and write their directions accordingly. They are wrong on both counts. Often, people don't even read the instructions. I think it was scope-mount maker Maynard Beuhler who said, "When all else fails, read the directions." Beuhler's mounts, by the way, were handsome and very strong, and a real pain in the ass to get on a rifle properly.

Some mounts are perverse. The old Weaver mounts are cheesy and cheap looking, but they're very light, very strong, and put the scope very low over the receiver. The problem is that as you tighten the ring screws, they torque the scope clockwise. So before you tighten them, you have to guess how much out of whack the vertical crosshair is going to move, and position it slightly counterclockwise to compensate. It usually takes six or so tries before you get it right, and you are powerfully motivated not to swap scopes on that rifle.

Putting a heavy scope on a hard-kicking rifle is a prescription for trouble because of Newton's First Law of Motion, which states that an object at rest tends to stay at rest. (Newton, in addition to being one of the great geniuses of all time, was an odd duck. He once ran a knife blade around his eye socket to see what would happen. Nothing did.)

The heavy scope wants to sit where it is; the rifle insists on moving. So, if the scope weighs enough and the rifle kicks hard enough, the scope will either edge forward in its rings, or it can yank the rings out of the bases, or it can shear the base screws. (To Be Continued)

Comments (74)

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from Dick Gresock wrote 5 years 41 weeks ago

I have a Buehler 1-piece scope base marked "FM". Can you tell me what rifle it fits?

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 49 weeks ago

gunny,I had the same problem and it was the action screws had worked loose. If you have a ploastic trigger guard make sure the rear screw hasn't busted thru. Tighten screws 40 in.lbs. making sure you tighten front screw at forearm first.

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from gunny wrote 5 years 49 weeks ago

i got a m77 7mm mag and it uset to shoot in the same hole at 100yards easy now cant hit a can at 20 yards we figered it would be the scope but no we tride every scope in the world then we thank its the barrel wiep sqrews i need some one to take thers and see how many IN, LBS, theres is and i can go from ther

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from Del in KS wrote 5 years 50 weeks ago

OK guys here's a way to save yourself some dough. No need to have a collimater or pay someone to adjust your scope when you can boresight it yourself. Just take the bolt out and place the gun in a good solid rest. If you have no rest take a cardboard box, make 2 u-cuts in each end. Place the rest on a table or some other steady surface. Look thru the bore and adjust the rest until you can center a distant item (50-100 yards like a mailbox for instance) in the bore. Then without moving anything make your scope adjustments. Once you can look thru the scope and the bore and see the mailbox is centered in both you are ready for the range. This will get U on paper.At the range put up a target and carefully fire one shot. Without moving the gun move the crosshairs to the bullet hole or just above it. If you can't see the B-hole no problem. Go downrange and mark it with a black marker, piece of tape or something. Then place the gun back the way you had it for the shot and adjust. I like my crosshairs set 2" above point of aim at 100 yd with most rifles. At this point you should be ready for target practice.If you have an auto-loader and can't see thru the bore pay someone or buy the collimater but understand the collimater will most likely only get you close and you will need to shoot to actually verify zero. This is because the Collimater does not make allowances for imperfections that may affect bullet impact.

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from JAck Daniels Bottling Co. wrote 5 years 50 weeks ago

If you not going with Leupold set up, then try B-Square. Their rings have 4 screw holes as the old Weavess of long ago had. Looked today at some Tasco's and not bad,only no screw thru the rings to fit in the grove, kinda moe or less for 22s i believe. Angle Lock not bad, but I still prefer the Leupold Dual Dove Tails then not going to move period. Cost more $ but if shoting a trophy that extra 20 bucks you spent on a good mount job,will seem like Peanuts. Unless you have proper equiptment, by all means get a quality gun-smith (not a clerk at Wal-marts) to mount and bore sight your scpe. At least will save you Ammo by getting you on paper at 25 Yds, then its up to you to zero where you want to shoot. mine about l50 yds for here, further if go west. If the gun smith charges you 10-20-Bucks itsa bargin,but all likely hood , if you buy scope, set up from him,he will install free. i would.As many bases/rings needa little metal grinding now to fit proper and leave enough oening for rejected shell or even loading,.My last Rem, the Reveresable front base was too long by l/2' and he ground it down to fit flush with opening . Has been 3-4 ys, and rifle still on 0 and has flown all over the country on hunts. Never has had to be re-zeroed since the first time. I use 2 different Ammo's,a cheap for pratice, Core-lokt and Swift for hunting, both in l80 grs. 0 wish hunting season was opening in AM. When I start thinking of guns and Ammo,big game hunting steps in.Need to be on the horn lining up a hunt now, but found out better results to talk on phone, rather than the E-mail.Me, I hate the phone, rather use the Putter, as never get to talk to a living person, always a Menue voice.

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from Jack Ryan wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Well you can't say I'm not succint.Less than three lines and to acheive "the most...." of any thing is pretty darn good. Thanks for the compliment.Doesn't change the premise of the question any though, regardless of your attempt to rationalise ineptness at one of the most basic combinations of skill and concept required of a shooter.Do we even need to be capable of adjusting the sights to be considered competent any more, or does that require a specialist as well?Just where do you draw the line? I'm not saying they need a test or any thing. I'm just saying when I hear some one on a shooting line who say's they can't mount a scope or adjust it, I keep a little closer eye on 'em to see they know which way to keep the thing pointed.

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from Jack Daniels wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Never tried eBay, good idea, may give them a try. I have seen lots of STUFF on e Bay, but got burned once by buying use mdse sight un-seen,taught me a lesson. It's bad enough to buy new stuff un-seen as pictures and write-ups can paint a pretty picture. But e Bay may be my best chance to unload these swing aways as no smart hunter would buy them now with the many different set ups in bases and rings out there. Thanks for suggestion.

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from Del in KS wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Jack and Jim,My Knight inline muzzle loader has a Leupold quick release base and rings. It works great to just pop the 1.5-5X scope off so I can clean the gun without getting the mess on my VXIII. Never had a problem returning to zero and it holds the scope solid.BTW you might be able to sell those swing aways on Ebay.

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from Jack Daniels wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Jim: At the time all my guns had open sights, and living where many trees on property, sometimes not time to scope a deer. So thats why I put them on.But decided to go west one year, and changed scopes and rings and glad I did as got my Elk that year. Most guns now come with no sights,so the old swing-aways gone by way side.I got 3 sets, no market for them, so may try to trade to someone for what-ever he has I could use. I kinda feel the same about the quick det. type. I doubt if you remove a scope, then re-attach, it's not gonna be back on 0,regardless of what they say. Unless each screw or lever is turned the exact same, no way can it be lined up as before. I will just stick with Leupolds DDT's and know they on 0. Did you ever see the Swing a-ways see-thru? Man the scope was about 3-4" above bbl.Have you seen the new MArlin XL7? it;s a jewel and price is most reasonable. Not many good used guns available for 327.00. Mine just arrived, goes to gun smith for mounting the DDT this week with other guns for some adjustments.My Custom MAuser needs safety work. May decide to convert to a 2 position safety, as the orig action, the lever for the safety is kinda in the way with it scoped.If was having a new Custom made, would use a 700 action, rather than the Mauser. I just like the feel of the 700. But this new MArlin feels great, will know more once get a New scope mounted and shot a few roundsBack to the Dual Dove Tails, believe you could drop from 40K feet up and the scope would not move and still be 0 ,gun may be in pieces, but 0 still there. Take care,more later afterI get the scope added.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Jack Daniels,I remember years ago seeing those 'swing away weavers'. Glad I didn't buy cause it didn't make sense.

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from Jack Daniels wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Had many rifles and scopes, rings.Most were Weavers until a few years back. Decided I needed a new scopes for a once in a lifetime hunt. So checked a few shops and decided on a Nikon Monarch 3 x 9 x 40. After checking all the bases, rings,decided to go with the Leupold Dual Dove Tails. Once they mounted correctly, they will stay on 0 forever. I also prefer steel bases and rings verses the Alum jobs. way to light of wt and easy to loose 0. Just bought a new rifle, it came with Weaves, did not fit the gun and came from the factory, So replaced them with Leupolds and will hit within 2" at 200 yds, providing I hold steady. Now just need a lot of pratice to SEASON the rifle and learn the scopes impact on sight line,. Most quality scopes will out-last us, but Wal-marts 29.95 jobs not for big game hunting. Again,a matter of choice. I once choose a Swing away Weaver, get zeroed, flip over the scope and rings to use the open sights, and swing scope back in a shooting position, never came back to 0, so got them off immediaely.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Clay; Still confused, eyeballs lie, levels don't.Dr. R. ; What you said is understandable. My rifle/scope is fine for me, when I do my sons', before I torque the screws down he always has me slant the scope. His view thru the scope must be different because of shoulder to stock, check on comb, who knows?P.S. I asked Dave a question the other day about proper torque on bases/rings. I figured somebody would chime in but haven't heard anything. Always told 40 in. lbs. on action screws, 'heard' 20 in.lb. on base screws and 10 in.lbs. on rings.Always figured theres a proper amount rather than grab a torx bit and give it hell.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Dr. RalphYou tilt your rifle and I don’t and that’s perfectly fine!! That is why when some gun maker thinks they can make a one size fits all, is an idiot! Some of the best shooters (High Masters even) I came across hold their rifle at a 45 degree angle and sight picture is at 4 o’clock on the target. What’s good for me, may not work for you!!!I rest my case!

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I always mount the rifle and look through the scope and adjust to my sight picture... everyone says my scopes lean to the left but not when I'm holding the gun.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Jim in Mo.Just because a gun is in a gun is level in a padded vice, still is not correct! The only way to check this without buying a gizmo tool is to remove the bolt and simultaneously look down both scope and bore and lineup the vertical crosshair with the bore.R U CORNFUZED YET?

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I suppose that should have been we overestimate the opening day only hunters... well, overestimate their experience and underestimate their lack of knowledge of firearms.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I have a lot of friends who try to make me figure out their guns because they can shoot mine but not theirs... inevitably it is either a scope that is not dialed in or cannot be because of poor mounting. I lock-tite the base, tighten the screws alternately on the rings just like changing a tire and dial it in and suddenly they have a gun that will hit!Being gun nuts I think we underestimate the opening day only hunters who buy the cheapest Wal-Mart special that is supposed to be bore sighted and hit the woods. I stand by my equation and it figures out to 33.75% of all misses... I may be low.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Clay,That looked like a nice settup from advance, never used an alignment tool so if the rear punch would not snap into the front would you alternately loosen/tighten lower ring screws?

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Clay CooperDitto's buddy.When helping friends mount decent scopes to replace the POS Wally World specials, most were shocked to see just how much out of alignment their bases and rings were.There are times to "get a bigger hammer", but scope mounting is not one of them!Best regards

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

ZUsing a single 1" rod will work, but not as well as the alignment tool since it is hard to tell if the rod is seated uniformly in the rings. I guess if the rod is perfectly straight, the lower rings will be torqued into alignment when the upper rings are tightened on the rod.Then, with your perfectly aligned rings, you can torque the crap out of your scope with the adjustable rear ring screws! I have those POS's on a couple of rifles yet. But when or if the scope or mount is changed, the adjustable rear rings will be replaced with Leupold dual dovetail, Warne, or Talley style rings like my other ones. The adjustable ones will be found on Ebay soon after....If a scope doesn't have enough adjustment range to get on target with true fixed rings, then one needs a better scope or correct the ring alignment with the bore/receiver.That said, I had to correct the misaligned receiver drilling on a Savage 110 my son bought a few years ago. It could not be sighted in because the scope did not have enough adjustment travel to compensate. Only after investigating the receiver drilling alignment with longer screws and a long machinist's scale as a straight edge, I used Leupold adjustable rear base and rings to get it back in line. But after it was aligned and lapped, the adjustment screws were tightened really tight and not used to adjust during bore sighting. BTW, it is a real shooter, or it too would have been sold off years ago.

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from Zermoid wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

"Checking both planes with an alignment tool and lapping the rings will correct or prevent that condition. It's too hard to just eyeball without an alignment aid of some sort."A 1 inch (or whatever diameter scope tube you have) steel rod about 2 foot long makes an excellent tool to get the rings lined up to each other, and is almost essential to turn those redfield (I believe that's the brand) twist in front mounts into the base.And as to the fool who used salt water, he really needs introduced to Loc-tite, the blue removable kind is best, if you use the permanent kind you might as well use Crazy Glue! They mean PERMANENT!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Peter, one more thing!Put on the shirt and coat that you will be shooting in. Make sure your rifle is unloaded and probably be best to go ahead and remove the bolt. Safely pick out something out at 75-100 yards and with proper stance aim at it. Now lower the rifle to your hip, close your eyes and shoulder your rifle to that point of aim. Now open your eyes, is the scope too close, too forward, rotated clockwise or counter clockwise, are the iron sights causing an optical problem? There is a lot of things that must be tweaked to you and you alone! I was called on frequently to mount scopes and tailor each rifle to the shooter at the shooting range at Eielson AFB Alaska. During off season 20 scope installations per month was the norm and peeked to 15-20 per week in July and first 2 weeks in August. I charged nothing for this and wouldn’t this make a Gun Smith sick $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

PeterMay I add to WA Mtnhunter and I got to say did a fine job explaining the problems of proper scope alignment. With everything perfect and you sight in say at 25 yards. Theoretically, this is supposed to put you in the neighborhood around 200 yards pending on the cartridge. Let’s say you tilt your rifle to the left like a lot of shooters do and you’re dead on at 25 yards. The bullet exits about quarter inch to the right of sight alignment at the muzzle then quarter of an inch at 50 yards , at 200 yards your one inch to the left and so on. If you sight in at 200 dead on, your only quarter of an inch to the left at 400 yards. The bottom line is this, if one of the top gun makers around the country and you offer to mount the scope yourself and he just hangs up on you? That gun maker is a flat out idiot! It must be tailored to you like a fine suit! Just because a piece of equipment feels great to them, like a nice pair of boots, most probability it’s not a perfect fit for you. What size boot fits perfectly for one person, will blister your feet and rub your leg raw at the top of the boot. I hate those boots with those padded rings at the top of the boot! I’ve seen High Masters cant their rifles as much as 45 degrees and even more.Hers a really nice scope alignment tool I found the other day.http://www.advancedoutdoors.net/SAT.htmAs one of our shooters would say Mr. PeterKeep the barrel hotAnd full of holes!I sayTARGETS>>>>>>>>>>>>>UP!PS.I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it Sir, if you can hit a pie plate at the maximum range of your ability, go for it!

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from Matt wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Well, I imagine that having the Secret Service shove a tasar up my a$$ would be less painful than screwing with a scope.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

PeterThe alignment and lapping tool from MidwayUSA will pay for itself in about 2 gun shop scope mounting fees or about one-tenth of a damaged scope. I think it was about $30.

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from Peter wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

To Wa MtnHunter,Thanks. that did answer my question.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

PeterRings can be aligned or misaligned in 2 axises. Looking down on the rifle from above the receiver with it mounted in a gun vise, the front and rear rings can be cocked and not in perfect alignment with each other parallel to the bore, which will impart torque on the tube and the innards.Looking at the rifle in the vise from the side, they might also not be in alignment in the up and down direction with the same result.Checking both planes with an alignment tool and lapping the rings will correct or prevent that condition. It's too hard to just eyeball without an alignment aid of some sort.JMHO

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from Gman wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I never thought of mounting a scope. My LGS guy has always done it as a matter of course.And Dr. Ralph, thanks for the mathematical brainteaser up hi in the thread. I'm gonna figure that out and get back to you on the overall percentage of misses you have stated!

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from Peter wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

bubbaahhhh. Lol wow. ya I don't think ill be using that method anytime soon.thanks.

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from Visitor wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Peter,It's taken me a bit to get back, but the "result" was a real mess.According to the gentleman, he used 1 tsp table salt in 1/2 pint water. What he "didn't" account for was "volume"! Salt water squished out as he tightened the screws. Unfortunately, he didn't see the "leakage" and when the gunsmith finally got the base broken loose, the entire top of the receiver, under the base, of a pristine pre-'64 .257 Rbts looked like the surface of the moon!He had to resort to a custom gunsmith in Turner Town, Texas. Don't know what they did, but it cost him a pretty penny!Bubba

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from Peter wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Mitch,u-huh, right on. and something else as a point of praise to the people on this blog. I think this group has a lot of common sense. Ive read someother blogs..non-outdoors ones. and i tell ya "common sense" really isn't that common. On YouTube most comments about videos are just people cussing other people out. And when people do have a conversation, its usually also idiotic. I remember some idiot saying he didn't see what was really so bad about Stalin and his regime. Another. either a communist that needs to be shot or just another idiot. In that particular discussion that was going on He was like "Viva la Stalin" u huh whatever buddy. I trust you get mental help soon.I know that off the subject but I thought Id just throw that in.

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from Mitch wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Gosh, has our entire society become a bunch of lame-brained idiots that they can't read instructions and invest in a couple of tools. Most scope mounts I've installed don't require rocket-science - a little common sense goes a long way. But you know, I think common sense isn't very common anymore. It is refreshing to see a few individuals out there that don't have to depend on someone else to screw their light-bulbs in.

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from teakmtn wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Burris signature bases and rings with the inserts seem to help in the scope alignment problems. I have mounted tikka t3 in 270 and 300wsm, rem 7mm, and ruger 338. purfect alignment and over 100 rounds through each and no problems. A great mounting system.

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from Zermoid wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I always mount my own scopes as well as do alot of minor gunsmithing, also repair cars, trucks, computers, electrical and plumbing problems, can do masonry work as well as carpentry work. Never liked to having to depend on others to fix my problems so I learned how to do it myself.I have a Swedish Mauser with a Redfield one piece base that is both screwed and silver soldered onto the rifle, that base is never moving!As to scopes I prefer 3x9x40mm, plenty of light gathering and when moving it's set on 3x, if I see something long way off then I'll turn it up to 9x. If you run into something at 50 to 100 yards you don't need anymore than 3, mabey 4x tops.JMO folks.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Clay,Thanks for bringing that subject up about the bubble on top of receiver and scope. I've thought of doing it. Now, why won't it work? This is a question not a challenge. After all, if a gun is level in a padded vice...

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

NH PhilosopherKnow your rifle and know it well!AMEN BROTHER!

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from mr.b wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Thanks Dave. I just mounted two scopes, by myself, with no formal training. I feel like the other shoe is about to drop..........

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from JasonB wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

With correct torx bits, the screws aren't bad. I've never stripped the head of a torx screw, but I have on a phillips head.

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from Michael wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I have mounted all of the scopes used on my rifles. The only problem has been with Ruger Rings and those ##@#@!!!! torx screws they use. Today, when I get a new Ruger no 1, I buy Warne rings. No problem. Most real rifle looneys know how to properly mount bases, rings, scopes, AND sight in their own rifles. I don't want anyone,(unless I am present) to mount a scope on my rifle that is set to their eye.

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from Peter wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

""One fella had a sure fire cure for a base that shot loose. One drop of salt water into each screw hole. Once rusted in place, "...it ain't never comin' loose!" He was correct, but you should have seen the result!"""Hey what was the result man?!?!..LOL

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from Peter wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Whats vertical Axis allignment, or bore axis allignment. Im in the dark on that one. Can someone shed some light on that for me?

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from Lyn wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Mounting a scope on a Ruger or Sako/Tikka T3(yeah, the rings are made of aluminum or some other light alloy) are not that diffucult as long as you take your time, get them straight, and alternate tightening the ring screws. I've put 100 rounds through my Tikka T3 .270 (Leupold VXII 3-9 X 40) without a glitch. Shoots sub MOA with 2 brands of factory 130 grain ammo.I've had a Sightron SII 3-9 X 42 on my Browning A-bolt .7mm-08 for seven seasons now. Great scope, never a problem. For most of my hunting, the .7mm-08 is my "go to" rifle of choice.

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from NH Philosopher wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Mounting your own scope is part of the learning process in the sport of riflery.How does one mount a scope incorrectly - go to the range - sight it in - and not realize that the scope is out of alignment before actually going afield? Procedurally - the last step is a culmination of the three.I'd respond to Dr. Ralph, hello Sir, that "poor marksmanship" is the reason for 90% of the misses, 50% of the time, by 75% of hunters.Know your rifle and know it well.

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from Carney wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Speaking of scopes and rings... Saw the new Browning X-Bolt yesterday. (IMHO, it looks better in pictures thn in real life.) It requires a mount with 4 screws per end! who even makes such a thing?

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from Bill (not MAHER) wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I too like Weaver rings and bases. I also hate the torque problem. I think Weaver now makes rings with screws on both sides so that should solve the problem. Thanks...Bill.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Del in KSI hear you on the Leupold's. Never failed me either, but I am trying out a Sightron S-II on a Ruger 77 .257 Roberts just for grins. I have Leupold scopes on 5 rifles with never a problem either.I just have to log on to the Shiloh website about twice a week to listen to the soundtrack! No. 1 Sporter - 34 in. barrel, 45-70.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Ruger rings are not as foolproof as you might assume. While the bore axis alignment may be easy, vertical axis alignment is not guaranteed. It might take a heavy lapping to get the front and rear rings in perfect alignment so as not to impart undue torque on the scope tube. The Wheeler scope alignment and lapping tool kit from Midway USA is a bargain compared to a damaged scope.Clay - I got my Sightron 3-9x mounted on my Ruger 77. Hope to get out shooting this weekend. I like the sharpness and low light visibility of the SII. It compares favorably with the VX-II's and III's I have. I took a couple of rifles out on the deck at nearly dark and I liked what I saw. Can't wait to shoot with it.

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from Peter wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

To Clay Cooper,With ya on Quigley Down Under, awesome movie.

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from JasonB wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Dave,If I remember correctly, you commented on this blog, or in F&S, that a shotgun scope with a 50 yard parallax worked well for rimfire rifles. I had never mounted a scope before, but using the dovetail rings that came with my Ruger 77/.22, I didn't have any trouble mounting a 1x-4x Bushnell shotgun scope. That Ruger system made it easy. If a squirrel is close enough to see with the naked eye, that rifle will drop them. So I'm pretty happy with the results.

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from Visitor wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Stranger things have happened, Del in KS!Without laser calibrated rangefinders, you HAD to know your "bidness", AND, some of them oldtimers had "methods" for figgerin' range even "afore the was range finders"!Scopes!? I've had folks with "experience" tell me that as far as "hunting" goes (whitetail), 4X was the perfect power! Another swore by 6X. In the E. Texas thickets where I grew up hunting, 4X or iron sights were the ticket. I've never seen or heard of a fixed 5X, but who knows, it might be "just the ticket"!I shoot a Leupold VXII. I keep the scope set to 4X in the blind. If something shows out where I need magnification, it probably won't see me twisting around in the blind. The 4X setting also gives me enough magnification to pick out shooting zones, little patches of hair without the shakes!I might just try 5X next year!Bubba

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from Del in KS wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Clay Cooper,Sightron looks like good stuff but Leupold has never failed me and there is no Sightron dealers in KC. Quigley is one of my all time favorites and I have a beautiful 45-70 Shiloh Sharps rifle with Montana vintage arms Vernier tang sight with spirit level bubble (not the Quigley but a No 2 sporter w/30" barrel) What I don't believe is that any human without a rangefinder could look at a bucket 7-800 yd out, adjust sights and make a first shot hit with a BP cartridge gun. Offhand or otherwise. The trajectory on even a 45-110 Sharps is so steep if he is off only 10 yds he will almost certainly miss even with a perfect sight picture. The guy in the buggy was a tough one to believe too but the ending was the best. "Said I have no use for handguns never said I didn't know how to use one" haha.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

By the way Mr. PetzalAny competent Gun Smith or anyone else with true experience mounting a scope knows that you must have the person present to fit and adjust the scope and other equipment to their own personal specifications

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Winning is one thingSitting your personal ambition to win asideYou teach those how to winIs something you’ll never knowUnless you done it yourselfNothing is more gratifying than thisClay CooperCrusty Ol’NCO

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Del in KSLeupold VXIII ? Check out the Sightron line, you’ll find that dollar per dollar they are a better scope. I’m no Natty Bumpo or Matthew Quigley, but I have competed on the same firing line with those like Davis Tubbs. Never learned anything from him though, keeps to himself down on target #2 at all the matches. Match organizers like to put us the Air Force High Power Team that is made up mainly of NRA instructors, on target #16 to help with the new shooters. I grew up in the southwest, being trained by my Father and his Friends shooting Big Bore with an endless supply of 30-06, unlike those raised with BB guns.By the way, Quigley down Under, the first part of the movie is hilarious! I tried to pick that movie apart on the timing of the pull of the trigger to the impact of the bullet and they mastered it perfectly in recreation of the real thing.

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from Del in KS wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Clay Cooper,Are you sure your name isn't really Natty Bumpo or Matthew Quigley?My scoped guns all have Leupold VXIII scopes and Leupold rings and bases mounted by me for me. Never had any problems regardless of size scope or caliber of rifle.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Jack RyanAll due respect Sir,That is the most ignorant rant from a Sportsman I’ve ever heard!Some of the best Sportsmen I’ve hunted and fished with are better than anyone I’ve ever witnessed. Just because they can’t turn a wrench, does not make them a lesser of a Sportsmen than you or anyone else.

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from Jack Ryan wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Does a person who isn't competent to even mount scope on a rifle have any business being in charge of the trigger?

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

PSPutting bubble on top of the receiver and scope does not work as some may think when mounting a scope!!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

As having someone mount my scope? NO THANKS! I’ll mount my own thank you!! Even if I had the world greatest gun smith, I’ll mount my own.I like my vertical crosshair to be exactly vertically in line with the bore. I don’t tilt my rifle like some shooters do. When you’re shooting variances of ranges from point blank to as far as 700 yards like I do, having your rifle and scope perfectly plumbed does makes a difference!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Dave, I’ll bail you out on this one.PbHeadI have never seen a 5x, perhaps it makes as much since as a three dollar bill. There are some 1.25-5x and a couple 5-20x scopes out there and other variations of variable scopes starting at 5x-?x power but not a fixed 5 power scope.

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from Visitor wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I've seen guys come in with all sorts of ideas on DIY mount jobs.One guy used Lok-tite, another, nail polish. One fella had a sure fire cure for a base that shot loose. One drop of salt water into each screw hole. Once rusted in place, "...it ain't never comin' loose!" He was correct, but you should have seen the result!As far as the old Weaver rings, simple, if you have a collimnator!Set the scope vertical with the bore sighter, then tighten the scope, completely! Note the position on the bore sighter, loosen scope, adjust scope counter clockwise the same amount and retighten! Wah-lah! Vertical!Try it!Bubba

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from PbHead wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Dave, how do you feel about "rail" mounts? Also, what happened to the good old 3,4 and 6X scopes? Did anybody ever make a fixed 5X?

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Dave P.,There is another thing about rings & bases that has never been addressed with instruction manuels, and that is proper torque. I've been told often enough in gun mags to tighten action screws at least 40 inch lbs. but what about bases and rings?

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from Bernie Kuntz wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I haven't mounted a scope in many years, but did manage to mount a number of them without misshap.Those Buehler ("Buehler"--not "Beuhler", Dave) mounts and rings were attractive and strong, but like you say, a real ass-pain to mount. I my gunsmith do both of mine--one on a 7 X 57, the other on a 7mm Weatherby. Buehler rings came with thin, steel shims that had to be installed and then the overall ring was "miked." Just watching a gunsmith go through the motions gave me a headache!Too many riflemen put too large a scope on too light a rifle. Then the scope is bound to "shoot loose" or suffer other indignities.I haven't used Weaver rings in more than 40 years because I too got tired of guessing how much the dratted scope was going to move while I tightened the rings. They were as rugged as they were ugly though.

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from Regolith wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I bought my first rifle a couple of months ago. I've been shooting most of my life (using mostly my father's guns) so I've had some experience with this stuff, but prior to that I'd never mounted a scope before.So when the guy I bought the rifle from offered to mount the scope for me, I said yes, and then clarified that I wanted to watch someone else do it so I could learn how to do it myself. That really made the guy's day. Now I kind of understand why. He gave me quite a few good pointers.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

HERE WE GO AGAIN!

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from Peter wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Hey if ya buy a Ruger M77 its a no brainer. They do all the work for ya. However, I don't own one and Im personally a M70 Featherweight fan(I don't own one of those yet either lol.)

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from Tay wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Never found mounting scopes and rings to be all that difficult been doing it since I got my first rifle at 12

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Amen on the Weaver rings rolling the scope... it was always a Kentucky windage kinda thing. Guess where the screw stops so your horizontal reticle lines up with the horizon.

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from Mark-1 wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I may be missing something, but I consider putting rings and bases on a rifle to be a no-brainer.I think some Mauser actions have weird receiver’s heights, front and back, and need split bases and maybe schims. However I never thought this was high-tech stuff.Rings???? I’m glad I’m not the only poor sob that has to play around fiddling with the scope to have the crosshairs not canted when I was tightening the ring screws.ps: I really like the old Redfield one-piece mounts.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

A poorly mounted scope is responsible for 90% of the misses 50% of the time by 75% of all hunters... Leupold one piece steel base and rings work even for those among us who are less than mechanically aptituded.

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from ishawooa wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I forgot, check the eye relief a dozen times before you fully tighten the screws. Even then you can convince yourself that it is not right. If all else fails just have your smith install the scope the way he wants it. I have always had to readjust any scope installed by the local gunsmiths because I am too particular.

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from ishawooa wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

By and large the fewer parts involved in mounting a scope the better off you are in the long run.Hence I like the Ruger or Sako type systems by eliminating bases (except for old Redfield/Sako type) if the scope happens to fit. Lapping the rings might help. I have some that are lapped and some not and can't really swear that one way is preferable to another. From the pure esthetic point of view the old Redfield rings with the screws inserted from the bottom are hard to beat. Generally the wider rings seem to hold the scope better and stay away from aluminum, I don't care who makes them. Maybe some of the newer alloys are superior to the older steel rings but I have not tried them. Are custom or semi-custom rings worth the extra cost? For the most part I figure they are not but know people who prefer them from various makers. I also have not been fully persuaded that larger screws hold better than standard sized ones. I have had more screw failures in large magnum pistols than on scope rings.With twist-on scope rings like some Redfield and Leupold mounts DO NOT use the scope as a pipe to install the rings. Wheeler makes a nice kit. A 1 inch or 30 mm, depending on ring size, round piece of wood will work (dowel or broom handle). Properly torque the screws alternating the pattern of tightening. Use a Level-level-level to be sure the crosshairs are absolutely in line with the bore. Redo this about 6 times per scope installation and you most likely will get it right.

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from KJ wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Brownell's scope ring alignment tool (http://www.brownells.com/aspx/ns/store/ProductDetail.aspx?p=833&title=SC...) is a real help with Redfield-style rings.Dave, in your opinion, how much magnification does a hunter need in a scope? I've found that with my 2.5 x 8 power Leupold I never crank it up past 4x. I remember reading an article by G. Sitton advocating fixed power scopes of around 4x, and part of his argument was weight. I know varmit hunters and target shooters have different needs than big game hunters, but by and large they aren't shooting hard-kicking rifles, either.

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from Dick Gresock wrote 5 years 41 weeks ago

I have a Buehler 1-piece scope base marked "FM". Can you tell me what rifle it fits?

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 49 weeks ago

gunny,I had the same problem and it was the action screws had worked loose. If you have a ploastic trigger guard make sure the rear screw hasn't busted thru. Tighten screws 40 in.lbs. making sure you tighten front screw at forearm first.

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from gunny wrote 5 years 49 weeks ago

i got a m77 7mm mag and it uset to shoot in the same hole at 100yards easy now cant hit a can at 20 yards we figered it would be the scope but no we tride every scope in the world then we thank its the barrel wiep sqrews i need some one to take thers and see how many IN, LBS, theres is and i can go from ther

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from Del in KS wrote 5 years 50 weeks ago

OK guys here's a way to save yourself some dough. No need to have a collimater or pay someone to adjust your scope when you can boresight it yourself. Just take the bolt out and place the gun in a good solid rest. If you have no rest take a cardboard box, make 2 u-cuts in each end. Place the rest on a table or some other steady surface. Look thru the bore and adjust the rest until you can center a distant item (50-100 yards like a mailbox for instance) in the bore. Then without moving anything make your scope adjustments. Once you can look thru the scope and the bore and see the mailbox is centered in both you are ready for the range. This will get U on paper.At the range put up a target and carefully fire one shot. Without moving the gun move the crosshairs to the bullet hole or just above it. If you can't see the B-hole no problem. Go downrange and mark it with a black marker, piece of tape or something. Then place the gun back the way you had it for the shot and adjust. I like my crosshairs set 2" above point of aim at 100 yd with most rifles. At this point you should be ready for target practice.If you have an auto-loader and can't see thru the bore pay someone or buy the collimater but understand the collimater will most likely only get you close and you will need to shoot to actually verify zero. This is because the Collimater does not make allowances for imperfections that may affect bullet impact.

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from JAck Daniels Bottling Co. wrote 5 years 50 weeks ago

If you not going with Leupold set up, then try B-Square. Their rings have 4 screw holes as the old Weavess of long ago had. Looked today at some Tasco's and not bad,only no screw thru the rings to fit in the grove, kinda moe or less for 22s i believe. Angle Lock not bad, but I still prefer the Leupold Dual Dove Tails then not going to move period. Cost more $ but if shoting a trophy that extra 20 bucks you spent on a good mount job,will seem like Peanuts. Unless you have proper equiptment, by all means get a quality gun-smith (not a clerk at Wal-marts) to mount and bore sight your scpe. At least will save you Ammo by getting you on paper at 25 Yds, then its up to you to zero where you want to shoot. mine about l50 yds for here, further if go west. If the gun smith charges you 10-20-Bucks itsa bargin,but all likely hood , if you buy scope, set up from him,he will install free. i would.As many bases/rings needa little metal grinding now to fit proper and leave enough oening for rejected shell or even loading,.My last Rem, the Reveresable front base was too long by l/2' and he ground it down to fit flush with opening . Has been 3-4 ys, and rifle still on 0 and has flown all over the country on hunts. Never has had to be re-zeroed since the first time. I use 2 different Ammo's,a cheap for pratice, Core-lokt and Swift for hunting, both in l80 grs. 0 wish hunting season was opening in AM. When I start thinking of guns and Ammo,big game hunting steps in.Need to be on the horn lining up a hunt now, but found out better results to talk on phone, rather than the E-mail.Me, I hate the phone, rather use the Putter, as never get to talk to a living person, always a Menue voice.

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from Jack Ryan wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Well you can't say I'm not succint.Less than three lines and to acheive "the most...." of any thing is pretty darn good. Thanks for the compliment.Doesn't change the premise of the question any though, regardless of your attempt to rationalise ineptness at one of the most basic combinations of skill and concept required of a shooter.Do we even need to be capable of adjusting the sights to be considered competent any more, or does that require a specialist as well?Just where do you draw the line? I'm not saying they need a test or any thing. I'm just saying when I hear some one on a shooting line who say's they can't mount a scope or adjust it, I keep a little closer eye on 'em to see they know which way to keep the thing pointed.

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from Jack Daniels wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Never tried eBay, good idea, may give them a try. I have seen lots of STUFF on e Bay, but got burned once by buying use mdse sight un-seen,taught me a lesson. It's bad enough to buy new stuff un-seen as pictures and write-ups can paint a pretty picture. But e Bay may be my best chance to unload these swing aways as no smart hunter would buy them now with the many different set ups in bases and rings out there. Thanks for suggestion.

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from Del in KS wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Jack and Jim,My Knight inline muzzle loader has a Leupold quick release base and rings. It works great to just pop the 1.5-5X scope off so I can clean the gun without getting the mess on my VXIII. Never had a problem returning to zero and it holds the scope solid.BTW you might be able to sell those swing aways on Ebay.

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from Jack Daniels wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Jim: At the time all my guns had open sights, and living where many trees on property, sometimes not time to scope a deer. So thats why I put them on.But decided to go west one year, and changed scopes and rings and glad I did as got my Elk that year. Most guns now come with no sights,so the old swing-aways gone by way side.I got 3 sets, no market for them, so may try to trade to someone for what-ever he has I could use. I kinda feel the same about the quick det. type. I doubt if you remove a scope, then re-attach, it's not gonna be back on 0,regardless of what they say. Unless each screw or lever is turned the exact same, no way can it be lined up as before. I will just stick with Leupolds DDT's and know they on 0. Did you ever see the Swing a-ways see-thru? Man the scope was about 3-4" above bbl.Have you seen the new MArlin XL7? it;s a jewel and price is most reasonable. Not many good used guns available for 327.00. Mine just arrived, goes to gun smith for mounting the DDT this week with other guns for some adjustments.My Custom MAuser needs safety work. May decide to convert to a 2 position safety, as the orig action, the lever for the safety is kinda in the way with it scoped.If was having a new Custom made, would use a 700 action, rather than the Mauser. I just like the feel of the 700. But this new MArlin feels great, will know more once get a New scope mounted and shot a few roundsBack to the Dual Dove Tails, believe you could drop from 40K feet up and the scope would not move and still be 0 ,gun may be in pieces, but 0 still there. Take care,more later afterI get the scope added.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Jack Daniels,I remember years ago seeing those 'swing away weavers'. Glad I didn't buy cause it didn't make sense.

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from Jack Daniels wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Had many rifles and scopes, rings.Most were Weavers until a few years back. Decided I needed a new scopes for a once in a lifetime hunt. So checked a few shops and decided on a Nikon Monarch 3 x 9 x 40. After checking all the bases, rings,decided to go with the Leupold Dual Dove Tails. Once they mounted correctly, they will stay on 0 forever. I also prefer steel bases and rings verses the Alum jobs. way to light of wt and easy to loose 0. Just bought a new rifle, it came with Weaves, did not fit the gun and came from the factory, So replaced them with Leupolds and will hit within 2" at 200 yds, providing I hold steady. Now just need a lot of pratice to SEASON the rifle and learn the scopes impact on sight line,. Most quality scopes will out-last us, but Wal-marts 29.95 jobs not for big game hunting. Again,a matter of choice. I once choose a Swing away Weaver, get zeroed, flip over the scope and rings to use the open sights, and swing scope back in a shooting position, never came back to 0, so got them off immediaely.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Clay; Still confused, eyeballs lie, levels don't.Dr. R. ; What you said is understandable. My rifle/scope is fine for me, when I do my sons', before I torque the screws down he always has me slant the scope. His view thru the scope must be different because of shoulder to stock, check on comb, who knows?P.S. I asked Dave a question the other day about proper torque on bases/rings. I figured somebody would chime in but haven't heard anything. Always told 40 in. lbs. on action screws, 'heard' 20 in.lb. on base screws and 10 in.lbs. on rings.Always figured theres a proper amount rather than grab a torx bit and give it hell.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Dr. RalphYou tilt your rifle and I don’t and that’s perfectly fine!! That is why when some gun maker thinks they can make a one size fits all, is an idiot! Some of the best shooters (High Masters even) I came across hold their rifle at a 45 degree angle and sight picture is at 4 o’clock on the target. What’s good for me, may not work for you!!!I rest my case!

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I always mount the rifle and look through the scope and adjust to my sight picture... everyone says my scopes lean to the left but not when I'm holding the gun.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Jim in Mo.Just because a gun is in a gun is level in a padded vice, still is not correct! The only way to check this without buying a gizmo tool is to remove the bolt and simultaneously look down both scope and bore and lineup the vertical crosshair with the bore.R U CORNFUZED YET?

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I suppose that should have been we overestimate the opening day only hunters... well, overestimate their experience and underestimate their lack of knowledge of firearms.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I have a lot of friends who try to make me figure out their guns because they can shoot mine but not theirs... inevitably it is either a scope that is not dialed in or cannot be because of poor mounting. I lock-tite the base, tighten the screws alternately on the rings just like changing a tire and dial it in and suddenly they have a gun that will hit!Being gun nuts I think we underestimate the opening day only hunters who buy the cheapest Wal-Mart special that is supposed to be bore sighted and hit the woods. I stand by my equation and it figures out to 33.75% of all misses... I may be low.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Clay,That looked like a nice settup from advance, never used an alignment tool so if the rear punch would not snap into the front would you alternately loosen/tighten lower ring screws?

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Clay CooperDitto's buddy.When helping friends mount decent scopes to replace the POS Wally World specials, most were shocked to see just how much out of alignment their bases and rings were.There are times to "get a bigger hammer", but scope mounting is not one of them!Best regards

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

ZUsing a single 1" rod will work, but not as well as the alignment tool since it is hard to tell if the rod is seated uniformly in the rings. I guess if the rod is perfectly straight, the lower rings will be torqued into alignment when the upper rings are tightened on the rod.Then, with your perfectly aligned rings, you can torque the crap out of your scope with the adjustable rear ring screws! I have those POS's on a couple of rifles yet. But when or if the scope or mount is changed, the adjustable rear rings will be replaced with Leupold dual dovetail, Warne, or Talley style rings like my other ones. The adjustable ones will be found on Ebay soon after....If a scope doesn't have enough adjustment range to get on target with true fixed rings, then one needs a better scope or correct the ring alignment with the bore/receiver.That said, I had to correct the misaligned receiver drilling on a Savage 110 my son bought a few years ago. It could not be sighted in because the scope did not have enough adjustment travel to compensate. Only after investigating the receiver drilling alignment with longer screws and a long machinist's scale as a straight edge, I used Leupold adjustable rear base and rings to get it back in line. But after it was aligned and lapped, the adjustment screws were tightened really tight and not used to adjust during bore sighting. BTW, it is a real shooter, or it too would have been sold off years ago.

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from Zermoid wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

"Checking both planes with an alignment tool and lapping the rings will correct or prevent that condition. It's too hard to just eyeball without an alignment aid of some sort."A 1 inch (or whatever diameter scope tube you have) steel rod about 2 foot long makes an excellent tool to get the rings lined up to each other, and is almost essential to turn those redfield (I believe that's the brand) twist in front mounts into the base.And as to the fool who used salt water, he really needs introduced to Loc-tite, the blue removable kind is best, if you use the permanent kind you might as well use Crazy Glue! They mean PERMANENT!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Peter, one more thing!Put on the shirt and coat that you will be shooting in. Make sure your rifle is unloaded and probably be best to go ahead and remove the bolt. Safely pick out something out at 75-100 yards and with proper stance aim at it. Now lower the rifle to your hip, close your eyes and shoulder your rifle to that point of aim. Now open your eyes, is the scope too close, too forward, rotated clockwise or counter clockwise, are the iron sights causing an optical problem? There is a lot of things that must be tweaked to you and you alone! I was called on frequently to mount scopes and tailor each rifle to the shooter at the shooting range at Eielson AFB Alaska. During off season 20 scope installations per month was the norm and peeked to 15-20 per week in July and first 2 weeks in August. I charged nothing for this and wouldn’t this make a Gun Smith sick $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

PeterMay I add to WA Mtnhunter and I got to say did a fine job explaining the problems of proper scope alignment. With everything perfect and you sight in say at 25 yards. Theoretically, this is supposed to put you in the neighborhood around 200 yards pending on the cartridge. Let’s say you tilt your rifle to the left like a lot of shooters do and you’re dead on at 25 yards. The bullet exits about quarter inch to the right of sight alignment at the muzzle then quarter of an inch at 50 yards , at 200 yards your one inch to the left and so on. If you sight in at 200 dead on, your only quarter of an inch to the left at 400 yards. The bottom line is this, if one of the top gun makers around the country and you offer to mount the scope yourself and he just hangs up on you? That gun maker is a flat out idiot! It must be tailored to you like a fine suit! Just because a piece of equipment feels great to them, like a nice pair of boots, most probability it’s not a perfect fit for you. What size boot fits perfectly for one person, will blister your feet and rub your leg raw at the top of the boot. I hate those boots with those padded rings at the top of the boot! I’ve seen High Masters cant their rifles as much as 45 degrees and even more.Hers a really nice scope alignment tool I found the other day.http://www.advancedoutdoors.net/SAT.htmAs one of our shooters would say Mr. PeterKeep the barrel hotAnd full of holes!I sayTARGETS>>>>>>>>>>>>>UP!PS.I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it Sir, if you can hit a pie plate at the maximum range of your ability, go for it!

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from Matt wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Well, I imagine that having the Secret Service shove a tasar up my a$$ would be less painful than screwing with a scope.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

PeterThe alignment and lapping tool from MidwayUSA will pay for itself in about 2 gun shop scope mounting fees or about one-tenth of a damaged scope. I think it was about $30.

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from Peter wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

To Wa MtnHunter,Thanks. that did answer my question.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

PeterRings can be aligned or misaligned in 2 axises. Looking down on the rifle from above the receiver with it mounted in a gun vise, the front and rear rings can be cocked and not in perfect alignment with each other parallel to the bore, which will impart torque on the tube and the innards.Looking at the rifle in the vise from the side, they might also not be in alignment in the up and down direction with the same result.Checking both planes with an alignment tool and lapping the rings will correct or prevent that condition. It's too hard to just eyeball without an alignment aid of some sort.JMHO

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from Gman wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I never thought of mounting a scope. My LGS guy has always done it as a matter of course.And Dr. Ralph, thanks for the mathematical brainteaser up hi in the thread. I'm gonna figure that out and get back to you on the overall percentage of misses you have stated!

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from Peter wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

bubbaahhhh. Lol wow. ya I don't think ill be using that method anytime soon.thanks.

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from Visitor wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Peter,It's taken me a bit to get back, but the "result" was a real mess.According to the gentleman, he used 1 tsp table salt in 1/2 pint water. What he "didn't" account for was "volume"! Salt water squished out as he tightened the screws. Unfortunately, he didn't see the "leakage" and when the gunsmith finally got the base broken loose, the entire top of the receiver, under the base, of a pristine pre-'64 .257 Rbts looked like the surface of the moon!He had to resort to a custom gunsmith in Turner Town, Texas. Don't know what they did, but it cost him a pretty penny!Bubba

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from Peter wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Mitch,u-huh, right on. and something else as a point of praise to the people on this blog. I think this group has a lot of common sense. Ive read someother blogs..non-outdoors ones. and i tell ya "common sense" really isn't that common. On YouTube most comments about videos are just people cussing other people out. And when people do have a conversation, its usually also idiotic. I remember some idiot saying he didn't see what was really so bad about Stalin and his regime. Another. either a communist that needs to be shot or just another idiot. In that particular discussion that was going on He was like "Viva la Stalin" u huh whatever buddy. I trust you get mental help soon.I know that off the subject but I thought Id just throw that in.

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from Mitch wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Gosh, has our entire society become a bunch of lame-brained idiots that they can't read instructions and invest in a couple of tools. Most scope mounts I've installed don't require rocket-science - a little common sense goes a long way. But you know, I think common sense isn't very common anymore. It is refreshing to see a few individuals out there that don't have to depend on someone else to screw their light-bulbs in.

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from teakmtn wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Burris signature bases and rings with the inserts seem to help in the scope alignment problems. I have mounted tikka t3 in 270 and 300wsm, rem 7mm, and ruger 338. purfect alignment and over 100 rounds through each and no problems. A great mounting system.

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from Zermoid wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I always mount my own scopes as well as do alot of minor gunsmithing, also repair cars, trucks, computers, electrical and plumbing problems, can do masonry work as well as carpentry work. Never liked to having to depend on others to fix my problems so I learned how to do it myself.I have a Swedish Mauser with a Redfield one piece base that is both screwed and silver soldered onto the rifle, that base is never moving!As to scopes I prefer 3x9x40mm, plenty of light gathering and when moving it's set on 3x, if I see something long way off then I'll turn it up to 9x. If you run into something at 50 to 100 yards you don't need anymore than 3, mabey 4x tops.JMO folks.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Clay,Thanks for bringing that subject up about the bubble on top of receiver and scope. I've thought of doing it. Now, why won't it work? This is a question not a challenge. After all, if a gun is level in a padded vice...

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

NH PhilosopherKnow your rifle and know it well!AMEN BROTHER!

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from mr.b wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Thanks Dave. I just mounted two scopes, by myself, with no formal training. I feel like the other shoe is about to drop..........

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from JasonB wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

With correct torx bits, the screws aren't bad. I've never stripped the head of a torx screw, but I have on a phillips head.

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from Michael wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I have mounted all of the scopes used on my rifles. The only problem has been with Ruger Rings and those ##@#@!!!! torx screws they use. Today, when I get a new Ruger no 1, I buy Warne rings. No problem. Most real rifle looneys know how to properly mount bases, rings, scopes, AND sight in their own rifles. I don't want anyone,(unless I am present) to mount a scope on my rifle that is set to their eye.

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from Peter wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

""One fella had a sure fire cure for a base that shot loose. One drop of salt water into each screw hole. Once rusted in place, "...it ain't never comin' loose!" He was correct, but you should have seen the result!"""Hey what was the result man?!?!..LOL

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from Peter wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Whats vertical Axis allignment, or bore axis allignment. Im in the dark on that one. Can someone shed some light on that for me?

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from Lyn wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Mounting a scope on a Ruger or Sako/Tikka T3(yeah, the rings are made of aluminum or some other light alloy) are not that diffucult as long as you take your time, get them straight, and alternate tightening the ring screws. I've put 100 rounds through my Tikka T3 .270 (Leupold VXII 3-9 X 40) without a glitch. Shoots sub MOA with 2 brands of factory 130 grain ammo.I've had a Sightron SII 3-9 X 42 on my Browning A-bolt .7mm-08 for seven seasons now. Great scope, never a problem. For most of my hunting, the .7mm-08 is my "go to" rifle of choice.

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from NH Philosopher wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Mounting your own scope is part of the learning process in the sport of riflery.How does one mount a scope incorrectly - go to the range - sight it in - and not realize that the scope is out of alignment before actually going afield? Procedurally - the last step is a culmination of the three.I'd respond to Dr. Ralph, hello Sir, that "poor marksmanship" is the reason for 90% of the misses, 50% of the time, by 75% of hunters.Know your rifle and know it well.

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from Carney wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Speaking of scopes and rings... Saw the new Browning X-Bolt yesterday. (IMHO, it looks better in pictures thn in real life.) It requires a mount with 4 screws per end! who even makes such a thing?

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from Bill (not MAHER) wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I too like Weaver rings and bases. I also hate the torque problem. I think Weaver now makes rings with screws on both sides so that should solve the problem. Thanks...Bill.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Del in KSI hear you on the Leupold's. Never failed me either, but I am trying out a Sightron S-II on a Ruger 77 .257 Roberts just for grins. I have Leupold scopes on 5 rifles with never a problem either.I just have to log on to the Shiloh website about twice a week to listen to the soundtrack! No. 1 Sporter - 34 in. barrel, 45-70.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Ruger rings are not as foolproof as you might assume. While the bore axis alignment may be easy, vertical axis alignment is not guaranteed. It might take a heavy lapping to get the front and rear rings in perfect alignment so as not to impart undue torque on the scope tube. The Wheeler scope alignment and lapping tool kit from Midway USA is a bargain compared to a damaged scope.Clay - I got my Sightron 3-9x mounted on my Ruger 77. Hope to get out shooting this weekend. I like the sharpness and low light visibility of the SII. It compares favorably with the VX-II's and III's I have. I took a couple of rifles out on the deck at nearly dark and I liked what I saw. Can't wait to shoot with it.

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from Peter wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

To Clay Cooper,With ya on Quigley Down Under, awesome movie.

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from JasonB wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Dave,If I remember correctly, you commented on this blog, or in F&S, that a shotgun scope with a 50 yard parallax worked well for rimfire rifles. I had never mounted a scope before, but using the dovetail rings that came with my Ruger 77/.22, I didn't have any trouble mounting a 1x-4x Bushnell shotgun scope. That Ruger system made it easy. If a squirrel is close enough to see with the naked eye, that rifle will drop them. So I'm pretty happy with the results.

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from Visitor wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Stranger things have happened, Del in KS!Without laser calibrated rangefinders, you HAD to know your "bidness", AND, some of them oldtimers had "methods" for figgerin' range even "afore the was range finders"!Scopes!? I've had folks with "experience" tell me that as far as "hunting" goes (whitetail), 4X was the perfect power! Another swore by 6X. In the E. Texas thickets where I grew up hunting, 4X or iron sights were the ticket. I've never seen or heard of a fixed 5X, but who knows, it might be "just the ticket"!I shoot a Leupold VXII. I keep the scope set to 4X in the blind. If something shows out where I need magnification, it probably won't see me twisting around in the blind. The 4X setting also gives me enough magnification to pick out shooting zones, little patches of hair without the shakes!I might just try 5X next year!Bubba

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from Del in KS wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Clay Cooper,Sightron looks like good stuff but Leupold has never failed me and there is no Sightron dealers in KC. Quigley is one of my all time favorites and I have a beautiful 45-70 Shiloh Sharps rifle with Montana vintage arms Vernier tang sight with spirit level bubble (not the Quigley but a No 2 sporter w/30" barrel) What I don't believe is that any human without a rangefinder could look at a bucket 7-800 yd out, adjust sights and make a first shot hit with a BP cartridge gun. Offhand or otherwise. The trajectory on even a 45-110 Sharps is so steep if he is off only 10 yds he will almost certainly miss even with a perfect sight picture. The guy in the buggy was a tough one to believe too but the ending was the best. "Said I have no use for handguns never said I didn't know how to use one" haha.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

By the way Mr. PetzalAny competent Gun Smith or anyone else with true experience mounting a scope knows that you must have the person present to fit and adjust the scope and other equipment to their own personal specifications

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Winning is one thingSitting your personal ambition to win asideYou teach those how to winIs something you’ll never knowUnless you done it yourselfNothing is more gratifying than thisClay CooperCrusty Ol’NCO

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Del in KSLeupold VXIII ? Check out the Sightron line, you’ll find that dollar per dollar they are a better scope. I’m no Natty Bumpo or Matthew Quigley, but I have competed on the same firing line with those like Davis Tubbs. Never learned anything from him though, keeps to himself down on target #2 at all the matches. Match organizers like to put us the Air Force High Power Team that is made up mainly of NRA instructors, on target #16 to help with the new shooters. I grew up in the southwest, being trained by my Father and his Friends shooting Big Bore with an endless supply of 30-06, unlike those raised with BB guns.By the way, Quigley down Under, the first part of the movie is hilarious! I tried to pick that movie apart on the timing of the pull of the trigger to the impact of the bullet and they mastered it perfectly in recreation of the real thing.

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from Del in KS wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Clay Cooper,Are you sure your name isn't really Natty Bumpo or Matthew Quigley?My scoped guns all have Leupold VXIII scopes and Leupold rings and bases mounted by me for me. Never had any problems regardless of size scope or caliber of rifle.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Jack RyanAll due respect Sir,That is the most ignorant rant from a Sportsman I’ve ever heard!Some of the best Sportsmen I’ve hunted and fished with are better than anyone I’ve ever witnessed. Just because they can’t turn a wrench, does not make them a lesser of a Sportsmen than you or anyone else.

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from Jack Ryan wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Does a person who isn't competent to even mount scope on a rifle have any business being in charge of the trigger?

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

PSPutting bubble on top of the receiver and scope does not work as some may think when mounting a scope!!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

As having someone mount my scope? NO THANKS! I’ll mount my own thank you!! Even if I had the world greatest gun smith, I’ll mount my own.I like my vertical crosshair to be exactly vertically in line with the bore. I don’t tilt my rifle like some shooters do. When you’re shooting variances of ranges from point blank to as far as 700 yards like I do, having your rifle and scope perfectly plumbed does makes a difference!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Dave, I’ll bail you out on this one.PbHeadI have never seen a 5x, perhaps it makes as much since as a three dollar bill. There are some 1.25-5x and a couple 5-20x scopes out there and other variations of variable scopes starting at 5x-?x power but not a fixed 5 power scope.

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from Visitor wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I've seen guys come in with all sorts of ideas on DIY mount jobs.One guy used Lok-tite, another, nail polish. One fella had a sure fire cure for a base that shot loose. One drop of salt water into each screw hole. Once rusted in place, "...it ain't never comin' loose!" He was correct, but you should have seen the result!As far as the old Weaver rings, simple, if you have a collimnator!Set the scope vertical with the bore sighter, then tighten the scope, completely! Note the position on the bore sighter, loosen scope, adjust scope counter clockwise the same amount and retighten! Wah-lah! Vertical!Try it!Bubba

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from PbHead wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Dave, how do you feel about "rail" mounts? Also, what happened to the good old 3,4 and 6X scopes? Did anybody ever make a fixed 5X?

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Dave P.,There is another thing about rings & bases that has never been addressed with instruction manuels, and that is proper torque. I've been told often enough in gun mags to tighten action screws at least 40 inch lbs. but what about bases and rings?

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from Bernie Kuntz wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I haven't mounted a scope in many years, but did manage to mount a number of them without misshap.Those Buehler ("Buehler"--not "Beuhler", Dave) mounts and rings were attractive and strong, but like you say, a real ass-pain to mount. I my gunsmith do both of mine--one on a 7 X 57, the other on a 7mm Weatherby. Buehler rings came with thin, steel shims that had to be installed and then the overall ring was "miked." Just watching a gunsmith go through the motions gave me a headache!Too many riflemen put too large a scope on too light a rifle. Then the scope is bound to "shoot loose" or suffer other indignities.I haven't used Weaver rings in more than 40 years because I too got tired of guessing how much the dratted scope was going to move while I tightened the rings. They were as rugged as they were ugly though.

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from Regolith wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I bought my first rifle a couple of months ago. I've been shooting most of my life (using mostly my father's guns) so I've had some experience with this stuff, but prior to that I'd never mounted a scope before.So when the guy I bought the rifle from offered to mount the scope for me, I said yes, and then clarified that I wanted to watch someone else do it so I could learn how to do it myself. That really made the guy's day. Now I kind of understand why. He gave me quite a few good pointers.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

HERE WE GO AGAIN!

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from Peter wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Hey if ya buy a Ruger M77 its a no brainer. They do all the work for ya. However, I don't own one and Im personally a M70 Featherweight fan(I don't own one of those yet either lol.)

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from Tay wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Never found mounting scopes and rings to be all that difficult been doing it since I got my first rifle at 12

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Amen on the Weaver rings rolling the scope... it was always a Kentucky windage kinda thing. Guess where the screw stops so your horizontal reticle lines up with the horizon.

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from Mark-1 wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I may be missing something, but I consider putting rings and bases on a rifle to be a no-brainer.I think some Mauser actions have weird receiver’s heights, front and back, and need split bases and maybe schims. However I never thought this was high-tech stuff.Rings???? I’m glad I’m not the only poor sob that has to play around fiddling with the scope to have the crosshairs not canted when I was tightening the ring screws.ps: I really like the old Redfield one-piece mounts.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

A poorly mounted scope is responsible for 90% of the misses 50% of the time by 75% of all hunters... Leupold one piece steel base and rings work even for those among us who are less than mechanically aptituded.

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from ishawooa wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I forgot, check the eye relief a dozen times before you fully tighten the screws. Even then you can convince yourself that it is not right. If all else fails just have your smith install the scope the way he wants it. I have always had to readjust any scope installed by the local gunsmiths because I am too particular.

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from ishawooa wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

By and large the fewer parts involved in mounting a scope the better off you are in the long run.Hence I like the Ruger or Sako type systems by eliminating bases (except for old Redfield/Sako type) if the scope happens to fit. Lapping the rings might help. I have some that are lapped and some not and can't really swear that one way is preferable to another. From the pure esthetic point of view the old Redfield rings with the screws inserted from the bottom are hard to beat. Generally the wider rings seem to hold the scope better and stay away from aluminum, I don't care who makes them. Maybe some of the newer alloys are superior to the older steel rings but I have not tried them. Are custom or semi-custom rings worth the extra cost? For the most part I figure they are not but know people who prefer them from various makers. I also have not been fully persuaded that larger screws hold better than standard sized ones. I have had more screw failures in large magnum pistols than on scope rings.With twist-on scope rings like some Redfield and Leupold mounts DO NOT use the scope as a pipe to install the rings. Wheeler makes a nice kit. A 1 inch or 30 mm, depending on ring size, round piece of wood will work (dowel or broom handle). Properly torque the screws alternating the pattern of tightening. Use a Level-level-level to be sure the crosshairs are absolutely in line with the bore. Redo this about 6 times per scope installation and you most likely will get it right.

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from KJ wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Brownell's scope ring alignment tool (http://www.brownells.com/aspx/ns/store/ProductDetail.aspx?p=833&title=SC...) is a real help with Redfield-style rings.Dave, in your opinion, how much magnification does a hunter need in a scope? I've found that with my 2.5 x 8 power Leupold I never crank it up past 4x. I remember reading an article by G. Sitton advocating fixed power scopes of around 4x, and part of his argument was weight. I know varmit hunters and target shooters have different needs than big game hunters, but by and large they aren't shooting hard-kicking rifles, either.

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