Scope Installation

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by tlk, May 15, 2009.

  1. tlk

    tlk Well-Known Member

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    Installing a new scope. What is the method you are using?

    I have seen instructions saying to lock the rings on the bases then put in the scope, attach the rings loosely to the scope and rings and then tighten, lap the rings after tightening to the bases, etc.

    Need a solid process. Thanks.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2009
  2. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Never lap the rings unless they wont set down on the scope.

    1=Check the rings on the scope before installing.
    2=Install the bases/base on the recever.
    3=Install the bottom half of the rings on the base.(If it a dovetail type use a anti seize on the
    dovetail to allow it to turn and not gauld .
    4=lay the scops in the bottom half of the rings and check for allignment.
    5=set the scope in the bottom half and place the top half of the rings on the scope and tighten
    slowly with out rotating the scope to prevent ring marks.

    Just the way I do it .

    J E CUSTOM
     

  3. 7mmSendaro

    7mmSendaro Well-Known Member

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    Just curious, why do you say never to lap rings unless they don't fit the scope? I have found very few occasions that the rings, once mounted on the rifle are actually in true alignment. I believe Nightforce actually has ring lapping in their manual. I don't have the manual in front of me at the moment but I'm pretty sure.

    Not argueing, just trying to understand your procedure. I lap (at least lightly) ALL my rings.
     
  4. fr3db3ar

    fr3db3ar Well-Known Member

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    And how to you ensure the scope reticle is perpendicular?
     
  5. jmason

    jmason Well-Known Member

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  6. 7mmSendaro

    7mmSendaro Well-Known Member

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    I was looking for that but hadn't gotten time, that is a great article.
     
  7. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    I find that if you buy quality rings and bases they do not need laping if you have perfict
    alignment before you place the scope in the rings and are carefull not to over tighten.

    If you cross tighten the ring screws to prevent rolling the rings on the scope they won't
    mark the scope.(I have never marked a scope using this method.)

    However, If you have a set of rings that will not line up then lapping will be nessary to
    keep from marking the scope.

    As to alignment , I made my own scope allignment tools because I was not happy with
    the ones available . All I did was take aluminum round stock and turn it to the proper
    dia. for each scope tube .(30mm=29.98 and 1''=.998 ) 12'' long) this allows me to tweek
    the rings or determine if they are good enough to use .

    If I can't get this tool to slip through both rings then they are rejected.

    My main concern with laping the rings is that you can easly over do it and then you will have
    trouble holding the scope.(I have heard of this on many occasions even on this web site.)

    Of corse if the person knows what he is doing this should not happen.

    The last time I used a set of rail mounts (A good brand name) They were so far off that they
    would have damaged the scope if used as they were and so bad they could not be saved
    even by lapping.( They were over $150.oo and were promptly sent back and the maker was
    very appreciative and called back later and told me what was wrong and how sorry he was
    for letting them get out of his shop.

    I may be to fussy but you should'nt have to lap rings to make them fit.

    I'm not against lapping it's just that if you have to lap a set of rings to keep them from
    damaging the scope I don't need them !!!!!

    An the other problem with lapping is that while you get the rings to fit the scope it may not help
    allign the scope causing an excessive amount of windage or elevation adjustment.

    You may disagree but I don't like fixing other peoples screw ups.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  8. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Brutal.........

    I find myself in a situation where I may have to do my own scope install on a very expensive rifle, for me. The rifle will be finished most probably long before the scope become available.

    Question is, what do I have to be aware of?

    Here's the deal: Two sets of NF light/alum rings and 30 mm scope. Would really like to get it right the first time
     
  9. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Sorry Roy but I did not mean to be "Brutal"

    But even the best ringes and bases can be off . I though about how they could be and the
    company I was talking about explained one way that it could happen (The problem I had with
    the rings I had purchased.)

    If the set is machined in the same batch they match ,But if they get mixed with another run
    there can be differances (My problem)I had rings from two different setups(Tooling changes).

    As to your question = If it is a rail type base you can install the bottom half of the rings
    to the rail and carefully lay the scope in the rings and check for fit and alignment or use a
    alignment tool if you have one and If it is a dual dovetail or a two piece base you will
    have to wait to mount it on the recever.

    The main thing is to be carefull during installation and make sure that every thing is as near
    to perfict as possible so you don't damage a high dollar scope.

    On the tactical type bases that are one machined piece there is not much chance that there
    is a problem with different hights of the rings but with two piece bases this can be a real
    problem and must be checked.

    Good luck !!
    J E CUSTOM
     
  10. fr3db3ar

    fr3db3ar Well-Known Member

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    How accurate do you find it to be....( if you even use this method ) to set a level on your rail top ( if you have a rail ) then place a level on your top turret??
     
  11. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Again .I am no expert (Just fussy) but to me a level is just not precise enough to measure in
    thousanths.and thats what it takes for proper allignment.

    If your talking about scope canting the best way to make sure it is virtical with the bore is to
    shoot it at 100yrds and then at 600yrds with the same windage hold. If both groups are not
    on the same virtical line then adjustments must be made.(I use a piece of tape on the scope
    tube aganst one of the rings and place a pencil mark on the tape that aligns with one of the
    ring seams for refernce.

    This will be trial and error untill you can get both groups on the same virtical plane. This is very important when shooting long range. and just because it looks level doesen't mean it is.
    because of the way you hold the rifle you can unwillingly cant it.

    A lot of times installing a scope is not a priority. (Like having the guy at Wal-Mart mount it)
    and it comes back to haunt you because you damage a scope or spend your life chaseing
    a good zero every time you change elevation.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  12. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    T'was tongue in cheek. I was thinking of the chick dressed in the white outfit in the insurance commercial. :) Come to think of it, I wonder if she messes around.:rolleyes: Or maybe is into LRH:)

    Am I assuming correctly that you make the elevation adjustment on the scope when shooting at 600?

    Sounds like a dumb question but when ya don't know what ya don't know ya just gotta ask.

    Thanks
     
  13. Coyboy

    Coyboy Well-Known Member

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    Here's how I set up a new gun in the shop.

    90% of the rifles get a picatinny rail. They are epoxy bedded to the reciever and shimmed if necessary so that the rail does not "bend" to conform to a reciever that is not dimensionally accurate, during the bedding process the screws are waxed but the rail and reciever are clean so the epoxy bonds them but the screws can be removed degreased and lock tited the next day. You must first find a front and back screw that will hold the base in the proper positon to equal out the tolerance differences and use those 2 screws when setting the epoxy, tighten them down so you get metal to metal contact. Do not overtighten or you will twist the rail. The goal is to keep the rail FLAT so that the two rings when mounted are in the same axial plane. The epoxy acts as a shim so after it sets and the screws are reinstalled it tourques up without twisting or putting stress into the system. If the base twist that offset will be magnified into the rings when they are set. If you don't think the reciever to base fit can possibly be ascew set a rail on a remmy and tourqe down the far rear base screw with no others installed. The front of the rail will lift off the reciever and point skyward around .005-.015"

    The Tac rings are then set on the base in the proper position for the scope/eye relief that will be needed. The rings are torqued to the rail, while paying attention to their alignment. The ring tops stay off for now. The easiest way to tell if the rings are truelly aligned is to take your lapping bar charge it and do a quick lapping, clean off the paste and check the rings. If everything was done properly up to this point and your rings are of high quality it should take very little lapping.
    Once the rings are lapped true, I determine weather the ring tops need to be lapped, Usually I do not lap the tops, unless there was a serious alignment problem with the bottoms,(ussually the cheaper the ring base set up the more lapping is sometimes required)

    The only time I lost clamp on a set of rings was on some POS ruger factory rings that were seriously f'ed. After lapping I milled off a little material on the ring bottoms where the screw tappings are, to give it clearance to clamp.

    Leveling the scope is the easy part. I drew 2 lines with a 4' level on the far wall of the shop. Level the gun in a clamp with a level acrost the bolt race way, where the bolt handle cutout is or on the rear lang flat. Then rotate the scope until the hairs line up with your plumb line on the wall. double check and tourqe, double check after tourqing tight, attention to detail gets it right. Putting a anti-cant level on the tube in this set-up works well also.

    You can confirm by placing a target at 100 yards draw a perfectly verticle line on the target. Aim at the bottom of the target on the line, holding your cross wire perfictly verticle with your line, shoot a group. Put 20 minutes of ellevation on the scope and shoot again, your second group should be straight above the first (20"), if you held your cross wire perfectly verticle. If not Rotate the scope until it does.
     
  14. tlk

    tlk Well-Known Member

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    Question: I have Burris XTR rings, and they will need lapping. When I place my scope in them and tighten them, I have a large gap between the top and bottom pieces. Do I go for the regular 80% or a 100% lap. Seems that if I have gotten to 80% and still have a gap then 100% should be better since it would be a better grip and room to torque.

    I dont understand how 80% is better than a whole 100% lap in this case. Can someone explain this to me?