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Thread: Mounting a scope

  1. #1
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    Mounting a scope

    Hey everyone...

    I've never mounted a scope before, but would like to give it a try. I will be attempting to mount a Leupold VX-II on a Tikka using the Tikka-supplied scope rings. This rifle will be used for hunting.

    Looking around, I think I have a pretty good handle on what I'm supposed to do, but I have two questions:

    1) Is lapping necessary? If I were to take it to a shop to be mounted, do they usually lap it? Judging by the amount of time it normally takes to mount a scope, my guess is no.

    2) Are the scope ring alignment bars necessary, or can I do without?

    As with most things, there are good and bad resources out there on the internet. Does anyone have any good resources to share??

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    the closest thing ive ever used to a special tool was an allen wrench.

    when u mount the scope in the rings go ahead and start each screw and go little by little so you tighten the rings evenly. make then snug but not too snug. u dont have to crush the tube to mount a scope.
    "It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds." --Sam Adams
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  3. #3
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    The alignment bars are to see it you need lapping.

    I use Burris Signature Zee rings.They have inserts that eliminate the need for the bars and lapping... The ring inserts also eliminate the need for 20 MOA bases if one was thinking on using them.
    Still searching for a pro 2nd Amendment site...Win_94's YouTube; (short shooting videos.)

  4. #4
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    The instruction manual that came with my Tikka spoke of inserts with the supplied rings, but they didn't appear to have them (and neither do the rings on my other Tikka), so i'm guessing they've changed the rings and not the instruction manual.

    It didn't speak of lapping, so I just went ahead and mounted the scope. Everything seemed to go ok, although there was no torque recommendation for the scope ring screws, so it was a bit of a guess. The levels designed for mounting a scope would've also been a help, but I managed using a couple of table-top levelers and a long, non-tapered kitchen knife. I couldn't fit the levels under the scope to check the balance of the rifle, so I had to put the knife under the scope and set the level on that.

    It wasn't perfect and it probably would've been a lot easier with some more appropriate tools. I'll be anxious to see if it holds up under recoil.

  5. #5
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    You have to understand what "things" are supposed to look like in the first place. Many, too many scope "failures" are because the rings are crap and not mounted correctly.

    The rings need to be round and a true one inch (or 30mm) when tightened. Most are not, that is why there is a gap in the rings when the scope is mounted.

    Start with some calipers. Measure the rings. Make sure they are round. Many are sorta round until tightened, they they are not even close.

    Even in the good scopes the inside are delicate. The cheap ones are nasty. Crush fitting is not a good idea!

  6. #6
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    1) With a throw-away scope, lapping is not necessary (or if you use Burris Zee rings as Win94 said). Otherwise, it is; there is just too much tolerance in the various interfaces, and you can't guarantee the receiver holes are in the right place either. A lapping kit from Brownells is not expensive. Do it right.

    I only lap the bottom rings. Tops might be worth doing if they are very rigid steel rings.

    Once you start lapping scope rings, you will never go back to just slapping a scope in without lapping. You will have seen how far off things can get.

    I don't believe gunshops lap, although they probably would at a higher cost if you asked them. It does take more time.

    I think the scope ring alignment bars are for redfield-type rings, where the one has to be rotated. I never use them, and I don't like redfield rings either. After lapping you are good.

    I think there is supposed to be a gap between the ring halves after they are tightened up. May depend on the rings though.

    Before putting the scope in you should put something sticky in the bottom ring so the scope doesn't move under recoil. I have used both rosin, sold by Brownells for the purpose (I think), and liquid electrical insulating compound that comes in a can, some 3M thing that I can't remember the name for. Could go down and look if you are interested.

  7. #7
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    1) With high quality scope rings, lapping is not necessary (or if you use Burris Zee rings as Win94 said).
    There. Fixed it for ya. I recommend Warne rings.
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    So you've convinced me. Am I correct in saying these are the ones I need to order though? 1" diameter, and medium height (I have a 40mm objective). Following is a link to my scope and a link to the rings.

    http://www.leupold.com/hunting-and-s...x-ii-3-9x40mm/

    http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct...tnumber=416175

    Those will mount to a Tikka, right?

  9. #9
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    If you can, check out the December 2008 American Rifleman article on mounting scopes. The Leupold manual is good, too.
    Gee, I'd love to see your data!

  10. #10
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    There. Fixed it for ya.
    No, you didn't. There is tolerance in the receiver screw hole location, receiver top surface, base screw holes and surfaces, and even in high quality rings.

    It is easy to test. Take a good rifle, put good quality rings and bases on them. Now lap the rings. If the bluing comes off evenly, you win. If it doesn't, I win. In fact I suggest everyone take this test to convince themselves.

    But then, any scope is able to take some amount of denting and torque in the mount, and still work. So go ahead and mount that $1200 Leupold without lapping anything.

    BTW you should also be putting some Locktite 609 down when you mount the bases, too. According to Mic McPherson, but then, what does he know?

  11. #11
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    Then, I guess I win. I would recommend not using "bases" but rather a base. I imagine where you get into trouble is two piece bases. The stacking tolerances can be a little problematic with two piece bases.

    I never lap my high quality rings, and my scopes are ALL working just fine.

    And I have been using Loctite on bases since before McPherson started writing his books.
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  12. #12
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    I use Burris Signature Zee rings.They have inserts that eliminate the need for the bars and lapping... The ring inserts also eliminate the need for 20 MOA bases if one was thinking on using them.
    Another vote for the Burris Signature Zee rings.

    Use them! You won't have to worry about lapping in the scope--ever. These rings have tight-fitting synthetic inserts.

    Here are the advantages:

    1. Even if the bases are not perfectly aligned and centered, the inserts will pivot when tightened, assuring a perfectly aligned scope that is mounted close to optical zero.

    2. They will not mark your scope--ever.
    3. Your scope will NOT slip under recoil--ever.
    4. You can even buy elliptical inserts to bring your scope close to zero without touching the adjustments.
    5. Easily mounted, easily removed and reused.

    The Burris rings are machined from a solid piece of steel, and properly finished. They run about $45-60 dollars a set, and are worth every penny.
    Hiding in plain sight....

  13. #13
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    Then, I guess I win. I would recommend not using "bases" but rather a base.
    Take that base, and tighten up the front screws, leaving the rears out. Verify there is no gap at the back. Now do the reverse, verifying there is no gap in the front. Did it all verify? You're lucky.

    Anyway, if lapping means I get to use 2-piece bases, then it is worth it. But I would lap even with a 1-piece base.

    It's a half-hour of work with an inexpensive tool. Seems a very small investment to get things right, to me. Especially considering the price of some hunts...

  14. #14
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    It's a half-hour of work with an inexpensive tool. Seems a very small investment to get things right, to me. Especially considering the price of some hunts...
    And, the price of good quality optics.
    Hiding in plain sight....

  15. #15
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    The reason Burris sends out the inserts is that the rings are not right in the first place and they know it. That's how they are getting around it now. I've spent most a Saturday lapping Zee rings before.

  16. #16
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    So will the Signature Zee's mount directly to the integral rail on the Tikka, or do I need to buy a base to drill into the receiver?

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