Sniper Country Duty Roster collective wisdom

Scope mounting:

3. Have read alot of discussions concerning scopes, bases and rings but nothing on the correct installation of same. I have always be worried that my screws are too loose or too tight, etc. Does anyone make a torque driver to properly torque mounting screws? Is there a mil spec on scope mounting? The same questions for action to stock screws.

Bolt <>
USA - Thursday, November 19, 1998 at 15:37:46 (EST) 


When I install scope mount bases I first snug them down and check to make sure they are the same height. I then remove them and de-grease the screws and the holes. Denatured 190 alcohol works well. I then re-install them using 242 blue Loctite on the threads. Using a Brownell screwdriver that fits the screw head, I then apply a twist with one hand while tapping on the top of the screwdriver with a small hammer. You'll get a little bit of movement and the screws won't back out later. Be careful if you're very strong or you'll twist off the screw. I use a 1" dowel to turn in the dovetail type rings. "DON"T use your scope for this!!!" Line up the rings using a piece of 1" tubing or Brownell's scope alignment rods. Once they are aligned, you can lap them or install the scope. I clean the ring screws and their holes; but I don't Loctite them. When you bore-sight the scope, use the rear ring mounting screws for initial windage adjustments, then snug them down and use the scopes internal adjustments to fine tune. I don't know of any torque wrenches for this, or any torque settings. Maybe the military guys can help out on this.

Doc <>
The Ozark boonies surrounded by Whitetails and Whitetail hunters, MO USA - Thursday, November 19, 1998 at 17:08:25 (EST) 

Another thing to check for when mounting a scope base: try to determine if the front of the bases is level with the rear. I am not talking fore and aft. I mean perpendicular to the bore of the rifle. This is important as you might find that your rings can not be brought into alignment as one may be canting to the right and the other to the left. Lapping can help this but not if the base is grossly twisted. You can often see this condition visually. You can also check it with a small level by noting to which side of center the bubble sets. Place the level over each ring position in turn. Note the difference. This is the weak link in one average piece base or any two piece base - If the receiver is not drilled square, you’ll have to consult a gunsmith or buy a base like the Badger one piece, where the mounting screw holes are slightly oversize and allow some adjustment.

I can not give a torque value on the scope screws. But a good way to tighten the screws (assuming two screws per ring) is to alternate as you tighten. Just like a lug pattern on a car. Tighten the front left, right rear, front right, left rear in sequence. Do not try to tighten all the way at once. I prefer to try to keep the gap between the ring top and bottom even all around. This may not be important. I just do not know. But I would think having equal pressure on the scope can not hurt and is worth the little extra effort. Hand tighten and go a little beyond. I can not imagine the actual mechanical value is more than 25 inch pounds or so, but this is guess at best.

The Army spec on the stock screws is 65 inch pounds, but a civilian rifle may be different depending on bedding method and stock material..

scott <>
USA - Friday, November 20, 1998 at 11:10:29 (EST) 

Help!!! Does anyone make tapered bases and rings for the Winchester Model 70? Mine "internal scope elevation" run out of elevation at 400 yards and I'm shooting 165gr ballistic tips at 3220 fps, not exacticly a huge drop or anything. Everything I find only works with remington or will not work with my 56mm objective"clearance of bell to barrel problems". please E=mail me with any help or addresses'
Jeff Cooper <>
memphis, tn USA - Thursday, December 10, 1998 at 00:02:57 (EST) 

To Jeff Cooper, re.scopemountingproblem on a M70LA.

Get a regular EAW QD-mount with the highest rear ring. The front ring pivotes for hight. No need for any shimming, etc. The QD-thing works great.

Oslo, Norway - Thursday, December 10, 1998 at 08:11:17 (EST) 

Jeff, if Torf's idea doesn't work, dump that 56mm scope for a 40 or 42mm. That will solve one problem. 56mm have some real disadvantages and clearence ain't the only one. Try to find a scope with 120 total MOa usable. Or try to find a tapered Shim. Maybe andy Webber can make one for you? Chances are his shim could be modified to fit.

Scott <>
USA - Thursday, December 10, 1998 at 15:57:22 (EST) 

On a tactical rifle, such as the M40A1 or the M24 SWS, the scope rings (Leupold MK4 rings, for example) are usually torqued to 65 in-lbs. Are the hex head screws that clamp the scope rings together also torqued down? If so, what is the desired torque for those?

Bach Melick <>
New Orleans, LA, USA - Tuesday, January 19, 1999 at 16:02:32 (ZULU) 

Bach Melick...
"Are the hex head screws that clamp the scope rings together also torqued down?"

Don't torque "Hex head" screws, they will strip... they are very soft. Replace them with "TORX"® screws, they will take 65 in-lbs... Leupold rings and bases come with the "TORX"® screws, and if you have your rings/bases from before they started using them, call Leupold, and they will send you a set of replacement screws. Put some "CLP" on the threads, or you won't be able to get them out in a few years.

Pablito <>
USA - Tuesday, January 19, 1999 at 16:26:07 (ZULU) 

Pablito: I'm not sure I'd want the Teflon from CLP on my scope ring screws, they might work loose, or the stuff might migrate inbetween the rings and scope and allow it to rotate. You can get anti-seize compound that will keep metals from sticking together if that is a problem for you. I usually use blue Locktite on the screws and haven't had a problem getting them out again, maybe the adhesive prevents the parts from corroding.
Grasshopper <>
Richmond, CA, USA - Tuesday, January 19, 1999 at 20:53:28 (ZULU) 
Grasshopper... If you don't trust CLP on your mounts, then don't use it. It will not migrate anywhere, (unless you soak the gun in the stuff), and if you worked out the load in PSI on a 6-48 screw torqued to 65 in-lbs... it works out to some eleventy seven thousand PSI... Properly installed bases and rings DON"T "work" loose, whether you use hex or any other decent screw... if the are positioned so they can't move under load or recoil, they can't "work" their way loose.
However, there have been slews of rifles that have been ruined because the screws have broken off when removing a scope... a very expensive proposition... and Loctite is one of the main culprits.

Paul "Pablito" Coburn <>
USA - Wednesday, January 20, 1999 at 01:36:15 (ZULU) 

OK we all know that things,action screws, bases, rings etc, etc need to be tightened properly with a INCH/POUND torque wrench. Now just answer one little itty, bitty question for poor old Sarge - WHERE CAN I FIND ONE!! Unless I'm getting TOO old I haven't seen one in Sinclairs, Midway etc, etc! How about everyday ordinary Sears?? Anyone ever seen one there??
Thanks guys!!!

Sarge <>
Area 51, NM, USA - Wednesday, January 20, 1999 at 01:03:21 (ZULU) 


Go to one of the industrial tool websites such as:

Order their 4000 page catalog (free), and then you can order online.

Ron N.
Ron N. <>
USA - Wednesday, January 20, 1999 at 01:39:07 (ZULU) 

Sarge... 65 in-lbs "T" handled torque wrenches are available from Premier Reticles, for $65... and they torque in both directions.
The Leupold wrenches only tighten, you need another wrench to remove... and they are $130.
They use the standard 1/2" ratchet wrench socket stuff available from Sears, and every tool source in America... and adapters for 5/32" hex bolts on PSS's will fit also. I thought it might be a limited use tool, but now have hex bolts on all of my tac rifles... and two torque wrenches.

USA - Wednesday, January 20, 1999 at 01:46:49 (ZULU) 

from the excelent instructions MWG provides with their rings:

The (4) small #8 screws on the top of the 30mm ring can be torqued to 20 inch pounds and the (4) small #6 screws on the top of the 1" ring can be torqued to 10 inch pounds. If the base uses four #6 screws they can be torqued to 15 inch pounds These inch pounds settings are not large numbers. Do not tighten any more then necessary as it could damage your scope. PLEASE CHECK YOUR TORQUE WRENCH TO MAKE SURE IT IS INCH POUNDS AND NOT FOOT POUNDS!

Only the large cross bolt that attaches the ring to the base should be torqued to 65 inch pounds.
Rich <>
WA, USA - Wednesday, January 20, 1999 at 01:53:48 (ZULU) 

Sarge: In regards to the torque wrench you were asking about I just picked one up last week at Sears. For wrench and socket to fit allen screw on Rem. 700 it was $81.00. No lifetime guarantee though, only 90 days.
S. Barrier <>
Chandler, OK., USA - Wednesday, January 20, 1999 at 01:54:06 (ZULU) 
I know, I know. Every smoking barrel here at the Roster has told you where to find your torque wrench, so I want to add one more to the pile.
Check out AWC Tech. You can reach them in the "Hot Links" section here at this wonderful web-site, SNIPER COUNTRY!!!
It's the T-handle type pre-set at 65 inch-pounds and costs around $65.

D. West <>
USA - Wednesday, January 20, 1999 at 09:11:27 (ZULU) 

I got a Sears inch pounder #44593, never could stand the idea of spending a lot of money for a fixed tool that may not give a desired or found "sweet" setting. Tee handles jobs are good for the field pack though. Ron N's got the idea, "Lets Go Net-Surfin Now" DUUUUUUUDE.

Smokin' Barrel City, bY-gAwD, USA - Wednesday, January 20, 1999 at 12:31:40 (ZULU) 

Just started poking around at this site a few days ago, and it's very interesting. I'll freely admit I know _nothing_ about sniping or long range shooting, but I did want to throw my two cents in on one issue: torquing the scope base using CLP or some other lubricant. Based on my work with motorcycles, I believe that there are two types of torque measurements, "wet" and "dry". Most manufacturers provide "dry" torque values, i.e., sans lubrication. However, if you lubricate ("wet") the fasteners and torque to the "dry" settings, you can dramatically overtorque the fastener, potentially causing premature stress failure. I don't know how strong Leupold's screws are, but I know my scope base will be installed dry when it arrives next week.

Just something to think about.
USA - Thursday, January 21, 1999 at 23:34:54 (ZULU) 

Davin... Leupold "Strongly recomends" that a good grade of gun oil be put on the screws, before installing, and "Strongly recomends" not using Loctite... you wanna' put 'em in dry... be my guest.
You wanna' argue it, call Leupold... they make the stuff, I don't!
This armchair crap keeps going 'round and 'round...

Pablito <>
USA - Friday, January 22, 1999 at 18:19:05 (ZULU) 

I have a set of dual dove tail mounts and rings(Med) on my heavy barrel 260. I put the ATI shim under the mounts and I still can not get enough come ups out of my M3 LR to get to 1000yds. It stops at about 750. My question is will I be able to go to the low rings and still clear my barrel and will this then cure my problem?? I have about one eigth of an inch maybe a little more now for clearence. Any ideas??

Bill R,
Didn't you say you had a Savage or two?? I have a guy who works with me who can't get his on paper at 100yds with a 6.5X20 Leupold. He has run out of windage adj. on the scope and he doesn't want to go the the Leupold mounts with the windage screw. Any ideas on what his problem might be and how he can correct it with out changing bases??
Pat <>
USA - Wednesday, January 27, 1999 at 15:23:20 (ZULU) 

Pat; I have had a few Savages and usually they aren't too bad as to having the screws tapped badly but it has happened before. I would suggest it is probably a combination of a scope with a small range and maybe a mount or... it could be hole trouble. I would try another scope if one's available and see if it is still off in the same direction. If so... maybe different bases if that's practical but... probably none of this is going to fix it There is a lot of sentiment against the standard twist on Leupold mount I know. But if you boresight and lock tight the right hand screw (either one for that matter) the other one won't move in my experience . The front twist in thing also is suspect but I can't say I've ever had a problem with one. I suspect the front one has been blamed where the rear one was actually moving. I've seen and used the popular M-series mounts and they are probably the best for sure and I've also used the ones you can take off and put back on. I did note those were a bit prone to reset about 1/2 minute off so I won't brag on them but the standard Leupold's are really quite good unless we're talking real serious as in life or death I would not want to advise a person but if you're alive by only the amount they will drift you're too close to the grim reaper anyway. Those other mounts could be the reason and I'd try a cheapie mount on there and see if it cures the problem before you give up on the holes. That is just to find out what the problem is not to fix it... That is most unfortunate to find yourself in that gig! I know that's not much help and the pro's would take exception to the use of a mount that is not optimum and I wouldn't argue the point but it would be a better alternative than using a scope that is all the way to one side on adjustments if that is what it boils down too. If you have a bore sighter this can all be done without having to shoot by noting where you are now and where you want to go. It may appear to be going backwards though be sure to note the clicks R/L other than the movement on the screen as it is backwards to what you will probably expect. You might switch the front mount with the back one I believe that will work on a savage if my alziemers serves me right if it's a 2piece base of course.

B.Rogers <>
USA - Wednesday, January 27, 1999 at 20:59:07 (ZULU) 

Sorry to butt in but a 1" (straight) dowel or broom handle will quickly tell you if your mounts are off-center. Better yet if
you have old 28" AR barrels that diameter. Stuff them in the rings, plumb the rifle, and check were the top rod is in relationship to the barrel. From there it is time to move or trash something.

Been out "working" all afternoon.
Bill Wylde <>
Warm - SE, IL, USA - Wednesday, January 27, 1999 at 22:26:47 (ZULU) 

Mr.Wylde; That's really good! It's amazing what you've learned by doing this stuff all your long life! What's really amazing is that my super brain never thought of it! That would sure save changing a scope and all that stuff I said.
B.Rogers <>
USA - Wednesday, January 27, 1999 at 22:46:16 (ZULU) 
Bill R,
I agree with you on the Std. Leupold mounts I used them for years and never had any trouble. I have now switched over to the dual dove tail with my newer rifles though. I liked being able to "Center" the scope so I could use my windage in both directions with the same number of turns. I know some people have had problems shearing the rear mount off but even when I was shooting the 300WM I never had any problems with them. I think a lot of it is poor installation or not checking to make sure they stay tight.

Pat <>
USA - Thursday, January 28, 1999 at 14:56:41 (ZULU) 

There has been several posts concerning the Leupold/Redfield type rings and bases and thought would add my 2 cents worth. I use these and have never had any problem with them, but there are some problems if they aren't properly installed/aligned. I had a machinist friend make 2 bushings for me, the OD is 1" on one end and 30mm on the other so can use the same bushing with either size ring. The bushings have a 1/2" hole in the center, I install the bushings in the rings. Have 2 rods 1/2" which slip thru the rings, 1 is 6" long the other 12" long and both are pointed on one end. The 12" rod is sliped in the front bushing extended along the barrel and visually aligned with the barrel. The 6" rod is slipped in the back bushing point forward, the front rod point back is extended to meet the back rod. Back ring is centered using rod points as an indicator. At this time you can also check for any vertical alignment problems caused by reciver or bases. Aligning in this manner should prevent any scope tube stress problems, and prevent having to use any of the scopes internal windage adjustment to make up ring misalignment.

Dave in OK
Dave Martin <>
Ok, USA - Thursday, January 28, 1999 at 21:59:54 (ZULU) 

I still need some info on my question about my scope mount on the 260. I have the ATI shim and Dual Dove Tail rings (MED) and the LR M3 and I run out of clicks at about 750yds. Would going to the lower ring s help and will I have enough barrel clearence with the low rings?? I have about one eigth of an inch now. I also have only about one to one and a half minuets of windage adj left on the scope too. Come on guys I know someone has the answer out there.
Pat <>
USA - Thursday, February 04, 1999 at 14:37:24 (ZULU) 
Pat, if you get the scope mount centered up to where the windage is close to the middle of it's adjustment you will gain a little more elevation...
Rich <>
WA, USA - Thursday, February 04, 1999 at 15:16:47 (ZULU) 
This is a shot in the dark; but it might help. I checked out Leupold's mount fit info. on their web site for a combination of a 700 VS and a LR M3. They show a new one piece STD LR(Long range) base, number 51734 as well as the normal bases. It also has a 15 minute taper like the AT shims. They say that all you need are low rings when using them with the M3. Wonder if you could get by with medium rings if you added the AT shims to that mount combo? You wouldn't be able to use your Dual Dovtail rings however.
Doc <>
The Ozark boonies, MO, USA - Thursday, February 04, 1999 at 15:42:05 (ZULU) 
Rich; Thanks for your tip. I hope everybody got that one. I never thought of it not knowing that much about internals in a scope but it makes sense. I justs keeps learnin and learnin here.

B.Rogers <>
USA - Thursday, February 04, 1999 at 16:06:36 (ZULU) 

Rich, Doc,
Thanks for the comeback on the scope problem, but I want to stay with the Dual Dove Tail if possible. I ususlly do center my knobs on the windage but this one needs to go over that far to get on target, thats where I miss the rear screw everyone hates.

Pat <>
USA - Thursday, February 04, 1999 at 17:11:25 (ZULU) 

If you only have 1 1/2 minutes windage adjustment left on your scope
THAT IS the biggest part of your problem. Dont take my word for it, Go to the Leupold website and read it for yourself. You obviously have some serious misalignment problems. either with your drilled holes in your rifle or a defective base, or possibly even a crooked barrel. You really need to center up that windage to get maximum elevation range.

Steve <>
S.C.D.H., Ohio, USA - Thursday, February 04, 1999 at 22:25:06 (ZULU) 

That is a thought and one I don't want to think about. I will try another set of mounts. As I recall I don't believe I had the windage problem with my 30MM rings only the 1" rings but the M3 is the one I had the elevation question on. I now have taken the M3 off and put the 4.5X14 on to do some load work. When I get a good load worked up then I will start back with the M3 and my long range work. Thanks for the thoughts.

Pat <>
USA - Friday, February 05, 1999 at 14:23:30 (ZULU) 

Pat, I forgot earlier, the last Leupold I bought (also the most recent leupold I bought) had a problem with the elevation adjustment in that it would go all the way up but only come down about two clicks below center. Leupold did agree to fix the scope after some arguement. It is possible that you scope is just broke or not put together correctly. BTW- the scope I had trouble with was new in a sealed box and never fired a shot because it wouldn't bore sight in my rifle. one thing I have noticed is that Leupolds tend to jump if you try to make fine adjustments, what I mean is that you dial a click and nothing happens to the POI, after three or four clicks it will pop loose and give you everything at once. I finally started adjusting them like a manual lathe or mill, dial past by an inch or two then come back and go past again which ever way to take out the back lash, then to the final desired setting. These problems are all with scopes purchased within the last year (five of mine and three of friends), older ones don't seem to do this as much.

Bruce, Pat ect. what I said about the scopes didn't come across very clear. The reason is that the reticle sits inside a tube. The adjustment knobs and the return spring move the inner tube around inside the outer scope tube, therefore maximum elevation requires a zero windage setting (actually is just needs to be close)

Rich <>
WA, USA - Saturday, February 06, 1999 at 00:27:52 (ZULU) 

Scope mount and Zero Question.

My .308 PSS with a Leupold Vari x 3.5 x 10 40mm Tactical with Mil dots on Mark 4 Med. rings and bases with AT 15MOA tapered base shims still is approx. 22 MOA dialed up to zero at 100 yds with Fed match 168. Is this normal? I would like the elevation turret to bottom out a few MOA under zero, or at least have less than 15 MOA so I can easly rezero to 100 yds by cranking it all the way down, then back up to 0. My caculation would say I need the bases to be tapered 30-35 moa which sounds like alot. Comments?
mike S <>
Southern, CA, USA - Saturday, February 27, 1999 at 06:16:56 (ZULU) 

Mike S.,

On your zero questions, what is the Mechanical Zero of this scope? How much total elevation is available with this scope. Half of that would be the mechanical zero. I made a shime to use with my Mk4 M1 scope and the Brookfield Precision Tool Co. scope mount I use on my supermatch M1A. It gives me 15 additional moa of elevation. I guess you are trying to do the same thing. I am not familiar with this scope, but guess you probably got enough elevation to shoot to about 1000yds.
Check out the ballistics calculation page linked here to Sniper Country. I use the JBM site. Works very well with my setup. It will give you an idea of how much elevation you need.

Bill Bledsoe <>
Shelby County, KY, USA - Saturday, February 27, 1999 at 16:59:29 (ZULU) 

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