Loctite and shelf life:

HARPERC

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The subject of Loctite appeared in another thread, and I'm curious as to more experienced users experience.

Recently the ATACR on my .338 RUM worked loose. My new F1 had arrived and was changing anyway, being kind of a menace with tools I went to the smith that had installed it to begin with. Disassembly indicated 4 loose base screws, 2 bent, and 2 loose ring screws (six hole Nightforce). Everything had been properly torqued, and Loctite applied.

It's a heavy scope, rides on the front of an ATV, and has been exposed to fairly wide range of temperatures.

One of the smiths thoughts was a component of the issue was the loc tite he applied not properly "setting up".

I found some discussion on the net, but nothing specific to firearms.

Any thought/experiences?
 

Ridgerunner665

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Sort of the opposite of what you have going on...but still a Loctite "gone wrong" kinda thing...

A while back I used blue Locitite (medium strength) on some Warne 2 piece bases...the stuff seized up as if the bases/screws were welded on there, everything was torqued to recommended specs...I have no idea why, and YES I used blue and not red (didn't even have any red)...the bases had to be drilled, gunsmith mucked it up and drilled the front one all the way through the barrel tenon and into the chamber...ruined a perfectly good model 70 30-06!!!

I used blue for a lot of years and scopes, without issue but after that I have since decided to use the Purple (low strength) Loctite on anything pertaining to firearms...so far so good.

Relevancy to your question...I believe it is entirely possible to get a bad batch of Loctite, and I recommend testing it on something before applying any flavor to an expensive firearm...the blue that I used was a brand new bottle.
 

J E Custom

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Heavy scopes are always hard to hold on heavy recoiling rifles and I recommend 6 or more #8 screws, Bedding the base to the receiver, and the use of non hardening Loctite and proper torque.

Sometimes 3 or 4 rings are necessary also.

(The Loctite does have a shelf life and when it begins to separate it is time to replace it).

J E CUSTOM
 

Ridgerunner665

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Heavy scopes are always hard to hold on heavy recoiling rifles and I recommend 6 or more #8 screws, Bedding the base to the receiver, and the use of non hardening Loctite and proper torque.

Sometimes 3 or 4 rings are necessary also.

(The Loctite does have a shelf life and when it begins to separate it is time to replace it).

J E CUSTOM
What exactly are you referring to when you say "non hardening" Loctite?

I read somewhere that the Purple (222, low strength) doesn't harden...but there are also versions of Loctite that say non-hardening on them....which flavor do you recommend?
 

Ridgerunner665

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That's just painful to read.....
Believe me...I know, I literally felt like my best horse had died...the rifle it wrecked, pictured below...$2,100 worth of parts and labor and 3 years to complete, shot to $h!t by one incompetent "gunsmith" in about 5 minutes.

 

Trickymissfit

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per the Loctite rep; if you store the stuff in a fridge, it will last for years and years. Some do last longer, and some have a shorter shelf life. Black Max seems to be shorter than purple or blue. Once it's cured, it should stay in that state till the threads are broken loose again.

Now why did the thread locker not cure? Virtually all thread lockers anaerobic, or the setup on a loss of air. If the threads are very loose, they might not cure. I've seen some pretty loose threads setup though. If the male or female threads are not clean, you might see a problem. I used to buy Loctite and Vibratite by the case, and never had a problem with it, but on the journey I did learn a few ins and outs about it. It likes to be fit fairly tight (about .005" clearance). Wants to be oil free. Dose not cure as well with stainless screws or brass screws as it does with standard steel. Why? I don't know, but same data came from the Loctite rep. I would use Loctite primer as this makes a better cure. Just have to work a little quicker. Also DO NOT let any idiot talk you into using 242 blue on the threads. Us 222 purple, as that's what it was made for. Vibratite works even better for very fine threads, but works a little different. Never ever put the threads together wet when using Vibratite!
gary
 

Trickymissfit

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What exactly are you referring to when you say "non hardening" Loctite?

I read somewhere that the Purple (222, low strength) doesn't harden...but there are also versions of Loctite that say non-hardening on them....which flavor do you recommend?
most incorrect! It works just like red and blue, but is not quite as strong. Made for screws smaller than .188" or 5mm.
gary
 

engineer40

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The subject of Loctite appeared in another thread, and I'm curious as to more experienced users experience.

Recently the ATACR on my .338 RUM worked loose. My new F1 had arrived and was changing anyway, being kind of a menace with tools I went to the smith that had installed it to begin with. Disassembly indicated 4 loose base screws, 2 bent, and 2 loose ring screws (six hole Nightforce). Everything had been properly torqued, and Loctite applied.

It's a heavy scope, rides on the front of an ATV, and has been exposed to fairly wide range of temperatures.

One of the smiths thoughts was a component of the issue was the loc tite he applied not properly "setting up".

I found some discussion on the net, but nothing specific to firearms.

Any thought/experiences?

I had some scope ring screws not set up before. After looking at the setup for a while, the only thing I could figure out was possibly the screws had a coating or painting on them like many screws do. I figure maybe it was blocking the loctite from actually contacting the metal? I steel wool'ed the screw threads lightly and it seemed to set up fine that time.

I think you are referring to the other thread I posted in. Where I also talked about applying heat to the screw/allen heads from a soldering iron to remove the screws that had been loctite'd. That works so easily and quickly I would have to think if you use a rifle a lot if hot direct sunlight, the loctite wouldn't last as long. I mean, just look at how hot black metal gets if you leave it in the sun...

I have a gun that really only goes outside in November in Michigan. That loctite was probably 7 years old and was still very tight. I know because I just tried switched 2 scopes around a couple months ago.

And I also agree with Trickymissfit. There needs to be no air for it to set up.

Another thing just because we are on the subject, try to never get loctite on any plastic parts. It will start to deteriorate plastics after a while.

Hope this helps.
 

engineer40

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I would like to be enlightened however on why not to use blue loctite on components relating to rifles/guns?

I am often wrong, so this wouldn't be the first time. I believe many people including many gunsmiths use blue loctite...

What does the blue do that's so detrimental that the purple does not? I am asking in the most humble mindset possible. I really do want to know. I appreciate it. Thanks.
 

Ridgerunner665

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I would like to be enlightened however on why not to use blue loctite on components relating to rifles/guns?

I am often wrong, so this wouldn't be the first time. I believe many people including many gunsmiths use blue loctite...

What does the blue do that's so detrimental that the purple does not? I am asking in the most humble mindset possible. I really do want to know. I appreciate it. Thanks.
Purple (222) is designed for fasteners 1/4" and smaller...it breaks loose at about 55 in. lbs....and will not strip the heads on small screws.

Blue (242) is designed for fasteners 1/4" - 3/4"...which are way stronger than the #6 and #8 screws we are discussing here...blue (242) is MUCH harder to break loose, which increases the risk of stripping the heads off.

Just read the description of them from online sellers...they both state the types of fasteners they should be used on.

Threadlocking Adhesive - low strength. Easy disassembly. Suitable for all metal threaded assemblies.

LOCTITE 222 is a low-strength threadlocker that allows the adjustment of screws including countersunk head screws and set screws. Good on low-strength metals which could fracture during disassembly, e.g. aluminium or brass. The product works on all metals, including passive substrates such as stainless steel, aluminium and plated surfaces. t is proven to be tolerant of minor contamination due to industrial oils, e.g. engine oils, corrosion prevention oils and cutting fluids.

Your benefits

Ideal for low-strength threadlocking of adjusting screws, countersunk head screws and set screws
Prevents loosening on vibrating assemblies, e.g. pumps, gear boxes or presses
Permits disassembly with hand tools
Especially suited to small thread sizes
http://www.henkelna.com/us/content_data/166733_LT4985_Threadlocking_Guide_032010_Web.pdf
 

HARPERC

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I think you are referring to the other thread I posted in.
Hope this helps.
Yes to both.

I was curious to see the discussion expanded, and didn't wish to hijack the other thread.

I bought one new scope, and by ripple, effected almost the entire safe.

The idea of loctite being temperature sensitive is new to me, and thinking of the low and high temperature we hunt in being outside that range is new to me.

I'm using the bigger base screws, but did not think I was up in the realm of needing 6, or a 3rd ring. I'm changing my mind slowly about that.
 

Trickymissfit

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I always use red # 272 on bases only. Still able to disassemble when needed. Clean with alcohol first and it sets up in a few hours.
Loctite applied properly starts to cure in thirty minutes, and is usually setup fully in less than three hours. With Loctite primer, the time frame is literally cut in half. I'd guess you've been pretty lucky using red Loctite on any threads. Loctite regards it's use as permanent.
gary
 

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