Steel vs Al rings and bases

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by Iclimb, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. Iclimb

    Iclimb Well-Known Member

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    I am sure this has been discussed to some extent. The search feature doesn't seem to work for me. Just wondering what you guys thought of steel versus aluminum rings and bases. I am looking at TPS rings and bases. I would like aluminum for the weight savings but I do use this rifle in quite a variety of temperatures. Base will be bedded to action.

    Opinions?
     
  2. jpd676

    jpd676 Well-Known Member

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    Different metals expand and contract at different temperatures. In theory, it is always best to use steel on steel bases so they react the same. That being said, I have a lot of aluminum rings on steel bases and I have never had a problem here in Wyoming. If I were competing I would have all steel just to give myself the mental competitive advantage of thinking I had done everything I could for accuracy.
     

  3. bill123

    bill123 Well-Known Member

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    I read about people buying aluminum to save weight but how much are you really saving as a % of the entire rifle? If you pick up 2 identical guns,one with Al. and one w/ steel rings can you really tell the difference in weight?
     
  4. varmintH8R

    varmintH8R Well-Known Member

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    I always go steel. They seem to lap up nicely, and I have a comfort level with them. I don't believe there is anything wrong with Aluminum - just know and like steel.

    I have multiple sets of TPS steel rings and could not be happier with them.

    I'll bet that whichever you choose, you will probably never second guess them once they are mounted.

    "Man, this 3 oz is killing me. I should have gone aluminum" - NOPE.

    "These aluminum rings are crap, I need steel or I'm selling this rig" - NAH.

    "BANG!!!" "This is fun. Let's fiddle with the seating depth" - YESSIR

    Buy good rings, steel or alluminum, and you will never think about them again. Buy crappy rings and you may think about them a lot!
     
  5. Sully2

    Sully2 Well-Known Member

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    Lot said right there!
     
  6. IdahoJoe

    IdahoJoe Well-Known Member

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    Coefficent of thermal expansion as mentioned earlier could be a problem
    but if you look at the numbers aluminum is around 22E-6/degree c and steel is around
    14E-6/degree C but steel varies from 9 to 17 based on type.
    So that means ??? in one inch with a 90 degree f 50 c you would expand 0.00011 inches with aluminum and around 0.000065 with steel.
    I don't know your scope tube is aluminum and your receiver is steel so your wrong either way.

    how much do rings weight?
    Aluminum will save you about 2/3 of the total ring weight.
     
  7. Iclimb

    Iclimb Well-Known Member

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    Well I got a good deal on som NF Steel 10moa bases so that made my mind up right there. I'm going quality over budget this time, as stated, all I do is worry about the cheaper stuff... Even though it's probably fine (egw,warne) setup always has me thinking....
     
  8. brentc

    brentc Well-Known Member

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    There is usually a steel/aluminum transition somewhere whether it's from a steel base to aluminum rings, a steel action to an aluminum base, or steel rings to an aluminum scope tube. It doesn't matter where the transition is, the biggest difference will come in quality of components. Buy quality components and you won't have a problem.
     
  9. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    I have friends shooting aluminum actions in bench with success and the NF ultralights are alum. alloy and titanium cross bolts and jaws. I havent had any fail
     
  10. newmexkid

    newmexkid Well-Known Member

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    went with the TPS steel base and rings. I like them and if you want something that feels, 'solid' (read...heavy) steel is the way to go. Aluminum and steel are both good. Guess it mostly depends on what a guy wants.