Dovetail base & ring wear?

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by hopperdamage, Dec 18, 2004.

  1. hopperdamage

    hopperdamage Member

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    Dec 10, 2004
    I have a bad habit of swapping scopes from one rifle to another, or buying a new scope and putting it on a rifle that has a different size of scope. I'm wondering how often I can turn out the dove tail on redfield type of bases before I have problems with wear or slop. What tends to wear, the base or the dovetail ring? Most of my rifles have weaver type rings, but I do have 2 that use standard turn-in type dove tail in the front and the twin windage screws in the back. I have noticed that after swapping out the rings several times that turning them in seems all most too eazy. Is this a problem?? Seems to me like it could be. I'd like to know how other shooters deal with this. I suppose the answer is to stay away from dovetail bases unless you know what your going with and don't change it?? Thanks for any info.
     
  2. Ian M

    Ian M Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    May 3, 2001
    You are describing one of the weaknesses of that scope mount system. Less removal of the dovetail the better since metal is going to be displaced each time, regardless of lubing. Much better to leave the bottom parts of the rings in place, remove the top cap and drop on a different scope, replace top cap only.
    What many guys do not realize is that there really is not much metal left at the narrowest part of the dovetail, a blow to the side of the scope will bend at that narrow portion. Also if the opposing screws loosen the dovetail has to take all of the recoil forces and it will break off. Dual dovetails - twice as many weakpoints.
    Bottom line is that the Redfield design mounts work since most guys do not subject their rifles and scopes to much abuse - they do the job.
    The Weaver design is far stronger and it is the basis of all of the popular tactical mounts being used by the military and LE.
     

  3. brian b

    brian b Well-Known Member

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    Aug 15, 2004
    IAN,
    The last thing I want is to get into a scrap with an ADMINISTRATOR but I must disagree the dual dove tail is a fairly strong design as long as it is only used one time,the weak link of the "redfield" design is the windage screw rear,the only thing worse than a windage screw rear mount would involve my X-in laws or my daughters boy friends.(or mabey exotic animal feces)

    B
    I do agree that the weaver system is stronger as long as aluminum bases are not involved
     
  4. Ian M

    Ian M Well-Known Member

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    Brian,
    I happened to have an opportunity to tour the old Redfield factory a year or so before they went TU and naively asked if they ever had any problems with the scope mounts. That is where I first heard about the potential for the dovetail to break-off, reason being the opposing bolts loosening. Then I fell on a rifle and scope and bent the damn dovetail ring sideways - missed a good buck on Anticosti Island and caused a french Canadian guide to get a dandy case of the hydrofobia or something similar. Sort of a cross between choking and crying, turned all red when I missed that sucker at 125 yards three times.
    Then was told by guys from Swarovski that they have seen the same thing, then Marty Bordson from Badger told me about the same stuff.

    Hell, you can argue with us all you want, probably teach me a few things but we must be civil to each other - or else. I have no clue how to delete anything with this new program of Len's, could be nasty if I ever start trying judging from past performance. (nuked a great topic on the .308 WIn once, but the nukee took it really well).
     
  5. Pete Lincoln

    Pete Lincoln Well-Known Member

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    Mar 17, 2004
    This type of set up is prone to failure, the US military used to weld the things in place to prevent them coming appart. The EAW (appel) swing off mounts use a scimilar front end design but the base is adjustable to take up the wear if any occurs, and the EAW mounts are precision fitted, the old redfield style are designed to be an interfearance fit, removing and replacing them will rapidly cause wear and tear. The EAW type are very popular here in germ,any and are ok for a light scope and ligfht use, they however are certainly not my choice, the very best and most strongest is the weaver (better yet, picatinny) type cross slot one piece base and a good set of rings to match, there are many to choose from depending on your budget, but Badger Ord probably makes the best of the bunch. I routinely swap a Schmidt & Bender 3-12x50 PMII between 3 rifles, it has 34mm Badger rings and i know the deviation for each rifle from dedicated zero and can adjust the scope and the rifles are bang on the money each and every time, all you need is a torque wrench to swap the scope.
    Pete