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Scopes, Rings and Torque values

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  • Scopes, Rings and Torque values

    OKLHUNTER brought up a good point about not over torquing scope rings in another thread.

    I have a Vortex scope coming my way that I'm going to mount with Warne rings.
    Vortex says to torque rings to 18 in/ lbs. max
    Warne says to torque there rings to 25 in/lbs max

    Do you guys use scope Mfg specs or ring Mfg specs for torque values? This question never crossed my mind before. I've never owned a scope that cost over $180. This will be a significant investment in glass for me and I don't want to screw it up from over torquing or have it moving from recoil.

    Also, Warne claims there is no need to lap their rings. This doesn't make sense to me. Their rings may be Mfg to a zero tolerance but what if there is a slight difference somewhere in the action or the mount?

    To lap or not to lap?

    I'm thinking lap them anyway.
    Not as Lean, Not as Mean, but still a Marine!

    If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. -- Thomas Paine

  • #2

    I use a wheeler torque driver and anything under 25# just feels "not tight" to me so, I usually go 25# for the rings with a touch of blue thread gripper.

    BUT that is just the 'how we did it back then' in me.
    Here is an article at Brownells on the subject...

    What they mention is that it depends on the size of the screw and how many threads are holding it. So I would probably go with the ring manuf. and not the scope.

    I have several Vortex and tighten mine to 25#

    Lapping is up to you - try it unlapped first then if it needs it try that then.
    You can check it with a set of pointy alignment sticks and see if they match up.
    That's my opinion and I'm stick'n to it...
    ...till I change my mind.


    • #3

      Besides using the torque driver and the blue glue I use a level also to set bases and then rings use apx 20 -25 in/lbs. Do lap also even if its just a few strokes does work and don't use the scope to set the rings.
      Tight Lines / Shoot Often
      NRA Life Member / Certified Instructor
      Friends of the FORTY FIVE



      • #4

        Thanks Guys!

        I have and use the Wheeler scope mounting/Lapping kit. It has the alignment pins and torque driver.
        Not as Lean, Not as Mean, but still a Marine!

        If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. -- Thomas Paine


        • #5

          Do it like a load work up. Start with the lower torque setting and see if it's enough, then work up to the higher if needed :wink:.

          FWIW I like the Burris signature rings with the aligning inserts.

          If it weren't for double standards, liberals would have no standards at all.

          "Ammo and really good friends are hard to find in a gunfight so I bring them with me" E. J. Owens


          • #6

            Snuffy, I appreciate your trying to get a recommended torque level.

            I tried this about 6 years ago. contacted the scope/base manufacturers, and even went to SAE and other societies.

            My list made no sense...they all varied with no real direction.

            I have two torque wrenches and found my torque levels were higher...and I continue to do so. I only use 'dry' screws, never any thread locker.

            But all my research said that if you oil or thread locker you must go about 25% lower torque to get the same holding as dry threads without stripping. This maybe why I find so many 'floating' screws in scope mounts of others. The thread locker acts as a lubricant when wet, but cures without enough dry purchase, ust a wild guess.


            • #7

              I do lap my rings. In doing so, I find that the manufacturing process Isn't exact enough to properly seat the scope in the rings. I also use a Fat Wrench to torque them. Now that I have damaged a scope, using someone else's torque values, I have learned to use the scope manufacturers torque recommendation. So far, I haven't had any issues with the scope staying on point.
              "There\'s no such thing as a good gun. There\'s no such thing as a bad gun. A gun in the hands of a bad man is a very dangerous thing. A gun in the hands of a good person is no danger to anyone except the bad guys."

              -Charlton Heston


              • #8

                I'm with Ozark Ed start low and work up.


                • #9

                  since the conversation is about torque, I have my wrenches calibration checked every year or so. My cheaper ones vary by 10% on occasion
                  My biggest fear: Upon my death my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them.


                  • #10

                    To answer the original question. If the scope is 18 in lbs and rings are 25in lbs, you would use scope spec. The scope tube would be the weakest link.
                    Why would you put 25in lbs on something that says not over 18 ?IMO



                    • #11

                      Just to update a bit.
                      I got the scope and torqued it to 18 in/lbs. All worked fine, scope didn't move and the rifle shoots straight.

                      Thanks for all the input fellas
                      Not as Lean, Not as Mean, but still a Marine!

                      If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. -- Thomas Paine


                      • #12

                        Lap, always. But when you do those rings are dedicated to that position on that rifle. I torque 20 inch pounds on all my rings and never had a problem. Remember you big strong guys, about 95% of those scopes are thin walled aluminum tubes. It takes very little to crush the tube.
                        NRA Endowment member
                        NRA Range Technical Team Advisor
                        TSRA member
                        NRA certified pistol coach-Retired
                        NRA classified Master, F-Class mid-range
                        Velocity is like a new car, always losing value
                        BC is like diamonds, maintaining value forever


                        • #13

                          25 on bases 17 on rings.Always lap the rings.
                          He who wants by the yard ,but tries by the inch ,should be kicked by the foot