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Steel vs Aluminum scope bases.

 
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  #1  
Old 01-23-2012, 03:04 PM
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Steel vs Aluminum scope bases.

Looking for a good one piece scope base for my rem 700 in 300rum. I have leupold steel rings and vortex viper scope on some cheap 2pc weaver base from cabelas. Now im gunna make you laugh, I put some aluminum foil under the scope in the rear ring to give me some more elevation adjustment. It has actually worked fine for about 250rnds but now zero is off and im ready to buy a 20moa one piece base. They got some inexpensive ones on optics planet, a weaver for like $40, then there's night force for a lot more. Is it worth the price difference? And are steel bases going to be any better than aluminum? I assume that is the main difference between the cheap bases and expensive ones. Thanks for any help.
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Old 01-23-2012, 05:31 PM
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Re: Steel vs Aluminum scope bases.

The main properties of aluminum relative to steel are:
Aluminum has 2-3 times the thermal expansion.
Aluminum has about 1/2 the weight.
Aluminum usually has less strength.
Aluminum can corrode, steel can rust.
Both can be cast or machined.
Both can be high or low quality.

I usually choose whichever material the base attaches to. That is, I put steel bases on a steel receiver and aluminum bases on an aluminum receiver, such as an AR-15 if they have a large area of contact. If the rail bridges a large gap over the ejection port and won't be as hot as the receiver I may use an aluminum base on a steel receiver if the scope also has an aluminum tube. That can reduce bending from thermal expansion. In any case the most important feature is whether the base is accurately machined and fits both the receiver and the rings.

I do use some of the aluminum optics planet rails, the one made by EGW. They are well machined.

As with many shooting related decisions one parameter gets traded for another. It's not a matter of best, only what's appropriate for a given use.
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Old 01-23-2012, 05:35 PM
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Re: Steel vs Aluminum scope bases.

I have tried all kinds of rails and on a 700 if you dont want to spend the money on NF or badger buy a TPS, they have an intregal recoil lug and are steel. those would be my choices
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Old 01-23-2012, 06:01 PM
436 436 is offline
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Re: Steel vs Aluminum scope bases.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajridgedell View Post
Looking for a good one piece scope base for my rem 700 in 300rum. I have leupold steel rings and vortex viper scope on some cheap 2pc weaver base from cabelas. Now im gunna make you laugh, I put some aluminum foil under the scope in the rear ring to give me some more elevation adjustment. It has actually worked fine for about 250rnds but now zero is off and im ready to buy a 20moa one piece base. They got some inexpensive ones on optics planet, a weaver for like $40, then there's night force for a lot more. Is it worth the price difference? And are steel bases going to be any better than aluminum? I assume that is the main difference between the cheap bases and expensive ones. Thanks for any help.

From what I've found; "if" everything is in alignment and properly milled, I go with steel to steel and aluminum to aluminum; action to base to rings to scope. I use more {near all} of the aluminum products on the AR type rifles, and the bolt guns get steel from the receiver to the scope
This works for me.
436
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Old 01-23-2012, 06:53 PM
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Re: Steel vs Aluminum scope bases.

Are TPS products only available from their web site? Says out of stock for my application. I do like the idea of using steel base with steel rings.
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Old 01-23-2012, 09:11 PM
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Re: Steel vs Aluminum scope bases.

the main advantage of using a steel base is it can help with the rigidity of the receiver. 700's have quite a bit of metal removed, especially a repeater. epoxy the base to the receiver and it will be stiffer across the top where it is needed the most.
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Old 01-23-2012, 09:23 PM
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Re: Steel vs Aluminum scope bases.

Ditto above, and on my larger mags steel. I have used the weaver w/ lug on smaller calibers, alum. without issue. I jb weld them on
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