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Old February 16, 2010, 06:41 PM   #1
RamOchoa
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Is it necessary to use scope mounting kit?

How do you mount your scope? Do you use a kit with a levels, torque screwdriver, alignment bars, etc? Is all of that necessary? Do you have any tips that would make some of these unnecessary?

Last edited by RamOchoa; February 16, 2010 at 07:00 PM.
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Old February 16, 2010, 07:03 PM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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I've never used a "kit" of any kind. I used to just mount the rings and scope, eye-ball it for level and call it good. I never had any problems. Nowadays, I get complicated. I mount the gun in a padded vise and level it. I install the mount (if applicable) and be sure that it's still level. I mount the rings or scope/ring combination depending on the type, and make sure that the scope is level.

Frankly, I've never noticed that it makes a difference but it's all of 5 minutes time, so why not.

I hear (on the internet) about all kinds of problems that can be encountered with scopes that are not mounted correctly and rings that aren't lapped and centered. Personally, I've never seen a problem and I've mounted scopes on everything from BB guns to 12ga shotguns. I've also never personally known of anyone who had scope related problems due to not using an install kit.

On the other hand, if you're trying to ring that last 1/10 MOA out of your gun and/or shooting 1000 yards then maybe it would have more effect. I don't know.
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Old February 16, 2010, 07:45 PM   #3
Dukezern
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I agree with peetzakilla. I think if you're a competition shooter, it may be worth while to do all that formal leveling stuff but I don't need all that.

I do this...first, I make sure my rifle is level in a rest. Then, I take a level (like a capenter's level) and make a veritical line on the wall (I did this in my garage, so the mark is there permenantly). Then, I look through the eyepiece and turn the scope until the vertical recticle lines up perfectly on the vertical line I made on the wall. Once I have that lined up, I start tightening the scope rings, stopping every once in awhile to make sure my rifle is still level, and that I'm still lined up on the vertical line on the wall. And that's it!! I tighten the rings down good and tight, bore sight the scope, shoot it in at the range, and I've never had a problem. Not ever. I see all kinds of scope levelers and gadgets out there that I've just never needed. But again, I am not competition shooter. I am a hunter, and what I've just described works perfectly for me.
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Old February 16, 2010, 07:46 PM   #4
Kreyzhorse
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Quote:
I used to just mount the rings and scope, eye-ball it for level and call it good. I never had any problems.
I'm with Peetza on this one. I've never used a kit of any kind and have never had any issues. Start with a good scope and good rings and you likely won't have issues either.

I think most of that stuff is a solution looking for a problem.
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Old February 16, 2010, 08:01 PM   #5
wogpotter
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The main thing is to have the scope secure, safe, unstressed & true.
All those things can be done with nothing more than practice, a good well-fitting set of screwdrivers & a bubble level of some type.

The kits make things easier to do well, not "better" than without. That's MHO, but it has worked well for me for many years & several mounts on different rifles.

Tricks to make it easier,sure, here's a few.

Don't try to tighten the mounts to the scope one screw at a time, it won't work out well.

Put a single layer of electrical tape, the regular black sticky stuff, on the inside of the rings before you start mounting the scope tube. press it in flat & wrinkle free & trim off the excess with a single edged razor blade.
Make the ends of this tape a fraction short of the curved section (about 1/8" is perfect.)

Now mount the mounts to the base or rifle, depending on what system you have. Tighten the screws almost tight, then go back & fort among them tightening no more than 1/4 turn till all are tight. If you want to use loctite, use the green.

Securely mount the rifle in some kind of holder, a cleaning stand, padded vice, anything that will keep it secure, let you make adjustments & clamp it without damage. Bungee cords are great to secure the rifle temporarily without marking it BTW.

Lay the scope tube in the bottom half of the rings, drop the tops on & snug up the screws evenly, fiddle with the screws till the gaps are even between the tops/bottoms, fronts/backs, & lefts/rights. Don't try to fix this later, do it right at the beginning. The scope tube should stay in place, but be slid-able with a little effort. Mess with the screw tensions 1/8th turn or less till you get exactly to this point.

Mount the rifle, just like you were going to fire it, now wiggle/slide the scope to get the right eye relief for YOU, no-one else. Don't worry if the reticule is a little off of vertical/horizontal at this point.

Once you have the eye relief set, twist gently to get the cross hairs square to & parallel with the rifle's sights. NOTE I do NOT say "level" you don't care if they are level you care that they are aligned with the axis of the rifle. If you have the rifle level, that's nice, but not essential. If you have a flat somewhere on the rifle use the bubble level to check for cant. Usually there is a flat somewhere, it sometimes takes a little effort to find though. The iron rear sight blade top is usually a good spot if nothing else works.

IF you go this way use the bubble level to check the scope on the range adjustment screw, the actual screw itself, not the cover for the turret.

Slow & easy tighten each screw a little, then tighten the exact opposite one the same amount just keep going round & round, checking for no moment at each end of a cycle till all screws are tight & all gaps are even.

Last edited by wogpotter; February 16, 2010 at 08:02 PM. Reason: I kant spell fer shyte!
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Old February 17, 2010, 09:52 AM   #6
RamOchoa
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Excellent tips. Looks like I won't be "needing" that kit. Thanks for your advice.
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Old February 17, 2010, 10:10 AM   #7
fineredmist
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May I suggest that you go to http://www.varmintal.net/amode.htm before you decide that you don't need the "kit". If you are dealing with a .22 rf that is one thing, if you are dealing with a heavy recoiling rifle it is totally different.
Please take the time to read and study the link.
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Old February 17, 2010, 10:37 AM   #8
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
If you are dealing with a .22 rf that is one thing, if you are dealing with a heavy recoiling rifle it is totally different.
That's what I always here from people who insist on using a kit. However, I've hunted deer for my entire life with a scoped 12ga shotgun and so does everyone else I know. I have NEVER, not one single time, EVER heard of a scope coming loose, and there aren't a lot of guns with more recoil that a 12ga with deer slugs. NO ONE I know has ever used a mounting kit. I didn't even know that they existed until I was told (on the internet) that I "HAD" to use one on high recoil guns.

It's BS.
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Old February 17, 2010, 01:10 PM   #9
BruceM
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Well, I don't know if you need an entire "kit" to mount a scope properly but one tool you DEFINITELY need is a tool for checking ring alignment in all planes. I have a 1-piece tool which consists of a length on very thick walled 1" OD aircraft grade aluminum with slots machined into it for making screws accessible. The other type is 2 pieces with a point at one end of each piece.

Why do you need these? If the rings are not aligned correctly, the scope will actually flex when mounted. This leads to ring marks on the scope's tube, irregular operation of the scope's adjustment knobs and the loss of the scope's ability to hold zero.

Can you get the scope on the rifle without having the rings aligned correctly-yes. Will your scope work correctly and not be damaged-no.

There is a reason why Brownells and other gunsmithing supply houses sell base shim materials, ring lapping kits, etc. The reason is not just to increase revenue. Do you need a bunch of special tools-no. Do you need one or two-probably.



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Old February 17, 2010, 01:18 PM   #10
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceM
Will your scope work correctly and not be damaged-no.
Really?

Every scope that I've ever mounted on every gun from Crossman BB guns to 22LR, a 204ruger, 30-06 and all the way up to 12ga shotguns has been installed without ANY tools beyond a level and a screw/nut/torq driver.

Oddly, every one of them has been undamaged, held zero and not slipped out of place from the recoil. Every one of them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceM
The reason is not just to increase revenue.
The reason is to make money. Period. It has nothing to do with the actually usefulness or necessity of the product. They know people will buy it, it's available and they stock it. That's all. It is precisely to increase revenue.



Like I said, if you're looking to ring that last 1/10 MOA out of your gun or shooting 1000 yards, yeah, maybe. If you're hunting animals and shooting 300 yards and less, like 99.9% of everyone else in the world, no, it's a waste of time and money.
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Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; February 17, 2010 at 01:25 PM.
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Old February 17, 2010, 02:20 PM   #11
BruceM
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"Really?"

Actually, yes!!

Peetzakilla, you obviously can mount scopes any way you feel pleases you. For my part, I will do it the way the professionals and scope manufacturers recommend. Based on what I've seen in the way of do it yourself mounting on hundreds of scopes at rifle site-in clinics, yours is the reason we have on-site gunsmiths at the clinic. I'm glad your technique works for you.

Bruce

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmxUP...F7B989&index=2

Last edited by BruceM; February 17, 2010 at 02:45 PM.
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Old February 17, 2010, 02:58 PM   #12
Pahoo
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It all depends on what your meaning of kit, is? There are more than one operation on mounting a scope. We all have some dedicated tools that we use for these mounting steps. Some tools are just a plain waste of time and money. Personally, I feel that I have gone past the point of what is really needed and planning on cutting back. Yes, you need a "kit" but it's up to you to decide what is really needed. I have a set of alignment bars in 1" and 30MM that are of great assist and yes, most of the time, I encounter no problems but these bars still confirm that. One important step, is setting the "cant" and learned a simple trick that was posted on here, that makes it easier with no expense.

Frankly, I don't know how anyone can mount a scope without the use of "some" dedicated tools. It's your scope and your call. .....


Be Safe !!!
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Old February 18, 2010, 03:57 AM   #13
RamOchoa
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Back to square one, lol.
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Old February 18, 2010, 08:57 AM   #14
wogpotter
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FWIW I believe that "Kits" can compensate for a lack of experience, or skill.
So, based on that, if you've never mounted a scope & there is no-one close to you who could be there to help, then some kind of kit may help.

The "super" kits with things like torque-limiting screwdrivers are utter overkill as far as I'm concerned though. A reticule levelling jig, proper fitting screwdrivers & you should be fine as long as you chose quality components. If you buy cheap components all the jigs in the world won't help.

Personally I've been mounting a variety of scopes on several different center-fire rifles & have yet to have an issue with care & a slow & easy does it approach.
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Old February 18, 2010, 11:11 AM   #15
Brian Pfleuger
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If a person can't mount a scope without damaging it WITHOUT a kit, you're not going to mount it without damaging it WITH a kit.

Let's see, someone can't do step A and step B with competence, but they're going to do Steps A, B, C, D, E, F and G because they've got a kit?

Like I said, if you're wringing out that last bit of accuracy or shooting 1000 yards, fine. If you're hunting and shooting relatively short distances then it's NOT going to matter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RamOchoa
Back to square one, lol.
One thing about the internet..... DON'T expect a consensus. You're almost always going to get a near 50/50 split on a two sided question. Take what you think is right from what people say here, and your other research, and do it. Don't lose sleep over it.

If you want to spend money on a kit and you think it will help, do it. If you don't, then don't. I'm willing to bet that neither you nor your scope will ever know the difference one way or the other, so long as you use reasonable care and common sense.
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Old February 18, 2010, 12:25 PM   #16
wogpotter
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I wasn't speaking of damage, at least not immediately.

Kits & tools that those of us gifted with mechanical ability don't see a need for frequently are an attempt to provide a mechanical solution for those who can't hammer screws in strait.

Sometimes they help, sometimes not.
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Old February 18, 2010, 01:05 PM   #17
RamOchoa
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There is a lot of truth to the 50/50 thing. You wind up getting informed then going with your gut based on that info.
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Old February 18, 2010, 04:58 PM   #18
mr.matt
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This is a great resource for scope mounting: http://www.snipershide.com/forum/ubb...e=62#Post86421
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Old February 20, 2010, 12:24 PM   #19
James R. Burke
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Same as Peetzakiller on this one. I have never used one, and never had a problem, and I mounted a ton of scopes. I am not saying it cant hurt, but like I said I never used one or new anyone who has.
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Old February 20, 2010, 02:07 PM   #20
bejay
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I have never used a kit either and never had a problem if you do decide to go without a kit and mount it as mentioned above and use a vertical level line on the wall, or structure, pole etc for refrence works fine. it is a good idea to use blue loctite on bases and rings to prevent the screws from loosening but you dont need to buy a kit for some threadlocker.
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Old February 20, 2010, 05:29 PM   #21
output
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Here is a good video with lots of good information. http://www.youtube.com/user/Battenfe.../0/L4oF_07X1qU

Lets be realistic…you don’t need the kit BUT using one will make things much easier and ensure the best possible mount. In my opinion it is worth every penny! More so if you are going to mount an expensive scope on a quality rifle.
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Old April 14, 2014, 03:10 PM   #22
Jms920
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How much peace of mind do you want? Some will screw one down, align by eye, some use blue LocTite, some don't. The most basic methods work for many without problem. Others want to know they did it exactly right. It's less about what is really necessary or more abut what seems right to you.
Myself, I use a Wheeler kit and spend twice as long as most and prolly get nothing more for it than the guy that just screws it down. But I like my way.
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Old April 14, 2014, 03:18 PM   #23
pete2
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99% will mount right up. The only one I had that wouldn't was on a BAR and a high priced German scope didn't have enough adjustment, had to put on a Leupold scope. It ain't rocket science. Any problems I saw wouldn't have been solved with a kit. Just based on my experience.
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Old April 14, 2014, 05:29 PM   #24
Sierra280
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I in the 'no kit needed' camp. Save yourself some money, go to lowes or Home Depot buy a 1" dowel and a cheap level: done. I've been using the ol' piece of plastic baling twine (easy to see) with a weight on the end to check cant (with a level on the rifle). If you haven't turned many bolts and can't tell when one is tight enough or going to strip; buy a torque wrench (in/lb).

It's also very dependent on your set up, with a 1piece base it's pretty difficult to misalign the rings. The last scope I mounted had a bubble level in it (konus M30). What about the old leupold standard bases with windage adjustment? Aren't those stressing the tube? I can't think of a single modern scope that won't have enough internal adjustment for any slight errors you may make!

The people who say you must mount them the 'professional way' with a kit must be way better shooters than I am.

My shooting buddy always takes his guns to a local store to get his scopes professionally mounted and laser bore sighted (I just look down the bore); last time we both went out to sight in new setups he was way further off initially than I was.
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Old April 14, 2014, 06:59 PM   #25
603Country
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If you think you need a kit, then you probably do.

I don't
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