Long Range Hunting Online Magazine


Go Back   Long Range Hunting Online Magazine > Rifles, Reloading, Optics, Equipment > Long Range Scopes and Other Optics

Long Range Scopes and Other Optics Nightforce Optics


Reply

Steel vs Aluminum scope bases.

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #8  
Old 01-23-2012, 09:39 PM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: 4422′44″N 1082′35″W
Posts: 4,045
Re: Steel vs Aluminum scope bases.

I got my tps from midway. I put Burris xtreme rings on it and have had no problems.
__________________
Mike

Get a JOB! I already feed the bears, I dont need to feed you too!

" Real elk guns start with the number 3 or bigger and blow two holes, one in and one out." - My Dad
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-23-2012, 10:13 PM
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 38
Re: Steel vs Aluminum scope bases.

Quote:
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
I have read about bedding the base to the action, jb weld is sufficient bedding compound? or would i be better off just screwing it down on the action as is?
I'm ordering the TPS from midway, thanks for the help guys.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-23-2012, 10:19 PM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: 4422′44″N 1082′35″W
Posts: 4,045
Re: Steel vs Aluminum scope bases.

I don't have The nerve to jb weld a base to my action.... but I can see how it would work... just seems very permanent.
__________________
Mike

Get a JOB! I already feed the bears, I dont need to feed you too!

" Real elk guns start with the number 3 or bigger and blow two holes, one in and one out." - My Dad
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 01-23-2012, 10:33 PM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Townsend, Montana.
Posts: 7,940
Re: Steel vs Aluminum scope bases.

I bed all of them on with JB Weld Quick. The trick is to get a thin coat on the base, but not in the screw holes or on the threads. Use a release agent on the threads ( I use johnsons paste floor wax) Then snug t down just enough to get the excess to squish out all around. Clean p the excess with Q-tips but Don't tighten it yet. Let sit over night to dry. Then remove the screws, clean them, apply blue locktite and torque them down evenly. The whole purpose here is to get a perfect fit between the base and receiver with out flexing the top of the rail and pulling it out of square on top. If you just bolt it on many times the top of the rail is not true. Check it with a good straight edge.

If you ever want it off just apply a little heat from a propane torch. Or, if you can't get past gluing it to your receiver, simply apply a coat of release agent to the top of the action before you bed the base on. This will allow removal and a clean receiver top. But you will still have a perfect fit between the rail and action.

I feel this is important guys. Any rail that is not true on top will result in transfering that degree of misalignment directly into your scope tube. Plus, your rings will not be on a true plane either.. Not good!!

Jeff
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01-23-2012, 10:34 PM
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 969
Re: Steel vs Aluminum scope bases.

There are some very high quality bases made from each material. Seekins, for example, makes extremely high quality mounts out of 7000 series aluminum alloy. Seekins mounts are regarded as top notch by most shooters. Talley and TPS also have a reasonably priced quality aluminum alloy bases. The main differences between high quality aluminum bases and steel bases is weight and cost. Both materials are more than adequate for what we're using them for.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01-23-2012, 11:10 PM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: S.E. Michigan
Posts: 3,464
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.
Not necessarily.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by LouBoyd View Post
The main properties of aluminum relative to steel are:
Aluminum has 2-3 times the thermal expansion.
Not always. It will depend on the location Rails aren't subject to thermal expansion unless it's a full auto action where the heat from ignition heats the receiver....
Aluminum has about 1/2 the weight.
Fair Statement
Aluminum usually has less strength.
Not always true. Aluminum comes in many alloys and many are inherently stronger and less corrosion resistant than steel counterparts.
Aluminum can corrode, steel can rust.
Fair Statement, however both can be treated, aluminun anodized and steel parkerized
Both can be cast or machined.
99% of aluminum that's used in intrinsic assemblies (like a rail) is extruded, never cast. The steel starts out (in this case) as flat rolled sheet, the only casting is the slab prior to rolling
Both can be high or low quality.
Yes and no. Machineable steel and aluminum must exhibit certain qualities to be machineable and a picatinny rail made to MIL Spec must be a predetermined alloy.

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.
Aluminum rails, unless specifically stated will be anodized black or clear anodized silver (aluminum color). Steel will be parkerized or hot mineral bath etched. Without getting into the mechanics of anodizing, it's basically a controlled oxidation of the porus surface of the aluminum and the addition of a coloring die impregnated into that surface through electrolysis.

Rail choice is predicated on weight and cost considerations at least in my case. All picatinny rails, if made to the Mil Spec will be within the tolerance that spec spells out. Weaver rails are another story.

Interestingly, I've shimmed backends (of scopes) as well. Never used tin foil. Used thin brass shim stock form rolled to the inner radius of the ring. 0.010 on a 6-7" rail yields about 10-12 MOA. I've also considered shimming the back rail to receiver mounting foot bit haven't done that as of yet.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01-23-2012, 11:58 PM
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 969
Re: Steel vs Aluminum scope bases.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Broz View Post
I bed all of them on with JB Weld Quick. The trick is to get a thin coat on the base, but not in the screw holes or on the threads. Use a release agent on the threads ( I use johnsons paste floor wax) Then snug t down just enough to get the excess to squish out all around. Clean p the excess with Q-tips but Don't tighten it yet. Let sit over night to dry. Then remove the screws, clean them, apply blue locktite and torque them down evenly. The whole purpose here is to get a perfect fit between the base and receiver with out flexing the top of the rail and pulling it out of square on top. If you just bolt it on many times the top of the rail is not true. Check it with a good straight edge.

If you ever want it off just apply a little heat from a propane torch. Or, if you can't get past gluing it to your receiver, simply apply a coat of release agent to the top of the action before you bed the base on. This will allow removal and a clean receiver top. But you will still have a perfect fit between the rail and action.

I feel this is important guys. Any rail that is not true on top will result in transfering that degree of misalignment directly into your scope tube. Plus, your rings will not be on a true plane either.. Not good!!

Jeff
Jeff, did you find the need to bed the bases on your custom actions?
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads for: Steel vs Aluminum scope bases.
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Scope rings: steel vs aluminum vs alloy klee Long Range Scopes and Other Optics 24 03-20-2010 12:07 AM
Rings and bases aluminum or steel ? locotrician Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics 7 01-13-2010 09:35 AM
Aluminum or steel bull barrel on my 10/22? SteAlthunter Long Range Hunting & Shooting 7 01-06-2010 11:22 PM
steel vs aluminum in temp swings 338ojf Long Range Scopes and Other Optics 4 11-10-2008 10:27 PM
aluminum or steel rings destroyer The Basics, Starting Out 4 05-23-2005 09:26 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:55 PM.


Powered by vBulletin ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Management Powered by vBadvanced CMPS
All content ©2010-2014 Long Range Hunting, LLC