I finally decided on which scope to get for my Model 70 .300 Win Mag. I went with the Nikon Monarch 5-20x44SF BDC and had it mounted with Leupold Dovetail Rings. The things is when I went to the gun store I had it mounted the first time they sold me some Weaver style rings. I asked if he had Leupold rings but he said Weaver Steel were good enough. I took them home and attempted to do the mounting myself but when I got to the part where the two bars with the points are supposed to line up, they didn't. There were no windage screws on Weaver bases so I did my best by loosening the screws and tightening down them again. That helped but I knew I was facing lapping and I had never done that before. So I was didn't want to go any further. In the meantime, I had ordered some Leupold online and they showed up. I figured I would just bring everything in to get mounted and save the hassle.
The clerk takes my rifle, scope, and rings and brings it back to the gunsmith and 10-15 minutes later hands it back to me all mounted. The clerk even said it was boresighted. Now how in the heck could the gunsmith done all the things I watched in the proper way to mount a scope in that amount of time? Should I be concerned that there is some tension on my new scope, and if so how can I tell?
It will be a week or so before I can test it at a range, bad cold that is messing with my breathing.
I don't believe your scope was properly mounted by a gunsmith. A gunsmith would have checked the bases for alignment to each other and the rifle bore. Many gunsmiths don't lap the rings, but prefer instead to align the rings by shimming the bases. 15 min is not enough time to thoroughly check alignment, much less correct alignment problems.
I've mounted lots of scopes using lots of different base and ring designs. I shim or bed the base(s) so that the rings are within 15 MOA of the centerline between the rings, and the centerline is within 15 MOA of the rifle bore. I use Kokopelli alignment bars for initial alignment, followed by alignment check using a boresight collimator and test scope in which the reticle is optically centered.
I also lap the rings. Then I cover the lapped surfaces with 1 mil tape to prevent corrosion and protect the scope tube. All screws a tightened using a torque wrench. This process takes a lot of time but results in a stress-free scope that is boresight aligned to the rifle bore.
You should ask the gunsmith what process he used on your rifle.
Thanks for the welcome and advice Feenix & Bruce,
I've actually been reading this board for a bit longer than when I first joined. Whenever I would type a question, this site would come up in many of my searches, so I bookmarked it, would look in for a while, and decided to join. It is by far one of the most helpful forums around. I read too many other sites where big egos get in the way instead of discussion. Anyway, I joined
I just read my post again and I wasn't clear. The Leupold rings that I purchased and the gunsmith eventually used were Dovetail, does that make it easier and faster? I have a friend who thinks that dovetail rings alleviate alignment problems and that they can only line up one way. I'm not totally convinced because I believe since there are two parts there is some room for error.
I apologize for the ignorance here, I've only purchased hunting rifles before that had a scope already mounted, so this was never an issue, nor have I ever spent any money on a "hunting" scope. I guess I should have stuck with picatinny system and called it a day but that would have looked a bit odd probably.
That's how I read your post. I assume you have standard dovetail rings rather than dual dovetail. The standard rings allow adjustment for windage errors between the bore and the centerline between the rings. If the bases are installed correctly, that reduces the internal adjustment in your scope just to get to zero. The rifle bore is usually not parallel to the centerline between the rings, so this is a nice feature.
Both ring types allow horizontal alignment of the rings to each other. Neither type allows vertical alignment of the rings. That's where stress can originate in the scope.
That's why I shim/bed the bases to get good vertical alignment, and then lap the rings to remove any stress.