Scope installation - Screw Torque sequence.

Discussion in 'Scopes, Optics, LRFs, Spotters, BoreScopes' started by Shaggy357, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. Shaggy357


    Dec 21, 2015
    I have installed many scopes in my life. Some install easy and are good on first try. Some are canted and become a pain in the rear to get level. I always place the base on the gun and test screw length for each screw and it's specific hole. When I am sure screw will tighten base without bottoming out, I designate it for that hole. After installing the base and torquing/locking the screws in place, I set the ring bases in place loosely and ensure correct spacing with the scope. Then I use a stainless rod to ensure the rings are straight on the base and aligned for the scope. Then I tighten and torque the ring bases to the scope base. Scope sets straight every time as I start to screw the ring caps down. I use several scope alignment techniques that work great, until I start torquing the ring caps. About 50% of the time when I finish torquing the caps, I check alignment and the reticle is off 1 or 2 degrees. I end up loosening and tightening the screws several times trying to get the reticle aligned straight. I mounted two scopes the other day. One took 15 minutes, the other over an hour, and the reticle still looks off.

    I checked this forum, but did not find any thread regarding sequence of tightening and torquing the screws when installing a scope. Is there a secret technique or torque sequence for tightening the ring caps that keep the scope from losing reticle alignment?
  2. hillbill


    Dec 7, 2012
    I tighten both sides at the same time by feel, I use two wrenches and run the screws down til they are just starting to snug, check and make sure everything is still level then tighten equally at the same time, works pretty well for me.
    boltfluter likes this.
  3. T-shooter


    Mar 30, 2017
    I tighten them diagonally and try to leave the same gap between the cap and base. Some may cringe at this but I use a drop of JB Weld on the rear cap. It sets up overnight and glues the cap to the scope. It's easily knocked off with the butt of a small screwdriver if necessary and the epoxy can be scratched off with your fingernail without damaging the scope. I've have done this on SWFA, Simmons, Weaver, Bushnell, and BSA scopes and never damaged the finish on any.

    The purpose of the epoxy is first to eliminate the scope sliding in the rings under recoil. The second is that since you have the scope close to level and an even gap on each side, you can rotate it a little by using the screws, loosen one side, tighten the other, maybe a 1/2 turn to a turn each. I also use a little epoxy under the rail when mounting one. It cannot move or wiggle even if the screws loosen a bit. And they can be removed too without too much effort. If you get any epoxy that squishes out it can be removed with an alcohol pad. scope2-1.jpg
    misfire likes this.
  4. jepp2

    jepp2 Gold $$ Contributor

    Aug 11, 2011
    I haven't noticed any movement in the scope when I tighten the top rings, BUT how are you checking to see 1-2 degree from plumb? There was another thread about how to level the scope reticle when mounting the scope that T-Shooter contributed to.
    T-shooter likes this.

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