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Hey fellas I need some advice. My question is how important is it to go through all the extra steps involoved in mounting a scope (the right way)to my new Socom 16, such as (precise torque for scope ring screws, lapping of the inside of the rings etc.) Up until a few years ago I never knew there were any other steps besides making'er level and tigthing it down. That method has served me well with my deer rifles but with the extreme shock of the M1a action opening and closing it has me concerned. Here's my set up. I bought a Sadlak steel mount with TPS steel rings and a Leupold V-X2 1-4 scope. Any suggestions from the M14 guru's out there?
 

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I've never lapped the rings but I do torque all of the bolts and screws as well as try to follow the order of tightening sequence, but I do that for every rifle and didn't do anything special for the M1A.
 

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Here's how I mount scope on bolt actions......use the parts that are pertinent.

LAPPING:

There is a bit of disagreement as to whether or not you need to lap the top halves of the rings as well as the bottoms. Personally, I lap the tops and bottoms. My theory is that if there is a flaw in the top halves, it could still cause problems when I tighten the scope up in my freshly lapped bottoms. Plus, if done correctly, it won't hurt anything, so why not do it.

1. Apply the lapping compound to the lap and the bottom halves of the rings.

2. Install the top halves of the rings. I make sure that I have an even gap on both sides between the tops and bottoms of the rings. I want to snug the tops down enough that I can just work the lap.

You'll want to mark the top halves of the rings so that if you ever take them off, you can get them back on exactly as they were. You'll want to keep them not only as front and rear, but also keep them oriented in the same manner (i.e., the front of the front, the front of the back). I do this by filing 1 small nick in the front of the top half of the front ring and 2 small nicks in the front of the top half of the rear ring. Now, if I take them off at a later date I can easily keep them oriented properly when I re-install.

3. Work the lap back and forth, and in a twisting motion. Only work it for about 30 seconds on the first go 'round. Remove the lap and wipe all the lapping compound of the rings (I use denatured alcohol) so that you can check for contact. Don't try to get 100% contact. Every time I've seen someone get 100% contact they end up removing too much metal from the rings, ruining them, and good rings ain't cheap. I usually go for about 75 to 90% contact.

If you haven't achieved the proper contact on the first cycle, start again at Step 1 and repeat until you do.

4. Once you get proper contact, remove the top halves and insure that you get all the lapping compound off your rings, you don't want to grind it into your scope. If they're steel rings, I'll hit the freshly lapped surfaces with some OxphoBlue from Brownell's.

5. Go to the scope mounting instructions and mount your scope. Viola!

MOUNTING:

1. Degrease all the mounting holes in the receiver. I use denatured alcohol

2. I wipe a little oil on the receiver and the bottom of the base. This is to help prevent rust between the receiver and the base, Don't get the oil in the mounting holes that you already degreased.

3. Degrease the mounting screws and mount the base to the receiver. I use a little blue Loctite. Tighten the base to the rifle @ 15 inch/pounds. If you don't have a 15 in/lb torque wrench, then use the L-shaped wrench that comes with the mount. Insert the long end of the L into the mounting screws and grasp the short end with your thumb and index finger. Tighten as much as you comfortably can, that'll be roughly 15 in/lbs.

4. Figure out where you want the rings placed and mount the bottom halves to the base. I apply pressure to the rear of the bottom halves, pushing them so that the crossbolt is bearing against the front of the cross slot in the base. Torque to 65 in/lbs (this is what most of the "tactical" rings with the large mounting nut call for, check the directions that come with yours). You'll have to constantly check your eye relief with the scope sitting in the bottom halves to figure out where you want the rings. I like them spaced as far apart as possible. Also, I place the rings so the mounting bolts are on the opposite side of the ejection port. Keeps stuff out of the way of the port, where you will be working when you shoot.

(Right here is where you would lap the scope rings, if that's your plan)

5. Place the scope in the bottom halves, at your proper eye relief, place the top halves on and screw down loosely. You need to be able to rotate the scope. Also, I lay in the prone position when I obtain my eye relief.

6. Level the scope. I use a combination of eyeball and a Wheeler Level-Level-Level kit. When you eyeball it, just throw it to your shoulder naturally, look at it for a few seconds and take it down. If you look at it too long, it will always look crooked. The levels helps, but another tip that I have used before is to use a plump line. I made one from orange weedeater string with a weight on the end.

7. When you have the proper eye relief, and the reticle is level, start to tighten the screws that hold the ring halves together. You want to start out with an even gap on each side of the ring. I'm talking about the gap between the ring halves.

I start with the front ring. Looking at the top of the rings, with the rifle pointing away from you, I tighten the top right screw a 1/4 to 1/2 turn, then do the same for the bottom left screw. I repeat this over and over until they start to snug. Then I stop and check to see if the reticle is still level. If it isn't, loosen the screws and start back at step 6.

Once those 2 screws are finger tight, and the reticle is level, I then tighten the bottom right and top left screws on the same ring. Once they are snug, I torque all 4 to 15 in/lbs. Now check the reticle for levelness again. If it isn't level, go back to step 6.

If you have all 4 torqued and the reticle is still level, go to the back ring and start with step 7.

The oil in step 2 and the Loctite in step 3 are both optional. I have heard arguments both ways on these uses. It's always worked for me, so I still do it.

That's it.

You can start with the front or rear ring, and start with whatever side, top or bottom, that you want. I do it exactly the same every time, and have for nearly 20 years. Then I know that I don't leave out a step or something. Consistency.
 

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.

This would make an excellent sticky for the Optics Forum.


Here's how I mount scope on bolt actions......use the parts that are pertinent.

LAPPING:

There is a bit of disagreement as to whether or not you need to lap the top halves of the rings as well as the bottoms. Personally, I lap the tops and bottoms. My theory is that if there is a flaw in the top halves, it could still cause problems when I tighten the scope up in my freshly lapped bottoms. Plus, if done correctly, it won't hurt anything, so why not do it.

1. Apply the lapping compound to the lap and the bottom halves of the rings.

2. Install the top halves of the rings. I make sure that I have an even gap on both sides between the tops and bottoms of the rings. I want to snug the tops down enough that I can just work the lap.

You'll want to mark the top halves of the rings so that if you ever take them off, you can get them back on exactly as they were. You'll want to keep them not only as front and rear, but also keep them oriented in the same manner (i.e., the front of the front, the front of the back). I do this by filing 1 small nick in the front of the top half of the front ring and 2 small nicks in the front of the top half of the rear ring. Now, if I take them off at a later date I can easily keep them oriented properly when I re-install.

3. Work the lap back and forth, and in a twisting motion. Only work it for about 30 seconds on the first go 'round. Remove the lap and wipe all the lapping compound of the rings (I use denatured alcohol) so that you can check for contact. Don't try to get 100% contact. Every time I've seen someone get 100% contact they end up removing too much metal from the rings, ruining them, and good rings ain't cheap. I usually go for about 75 to 90% contact.

If you haven't achieved the proper contact on the first cycle, start again at Step 1 and repeat until you do.

4. Once you get proper contact, remove the top halves and insure that you get all the lapping compound off your rings, you don't want to grind it into your scope. If they're steel rings, I'll hit the freshly lapped surfaces with some OxphoBlue from Brownell's.

5. Go to the scope mounting instructions and mount your scope. Viola!

MOUNTING:

1. Degrease all the mounting holes in the receiver. I use denatured alcohol

2. I wipe a little oil on the receiver and the bottom of the base. This is to help prevent rust between the receiver and the base, Don't get the oil in the mounting holes that you already degreased.

3. Degrease the mounting screws and mount the base to the receiver. I use a little blue Loctite. Tighten the base to the rifle @ 15 inch/pounds. If you don't have a 15 in/lb torque wrench, then use the L-shaped wrench that comes with the mount. Insert the long end of the L into the mounting screws and grasp the short end with your thumb and index finger. Tighten as much as you comfortably can, that'll be roughly 15 in/lbs.

4. Figure out where you want the rings placed and mount the bottom halves to the base. I apply pressure to the rear of the bottom halves, pushing them so that the crossbolt is bearing against the front of the cross slot in the base. Torque to 65 in/lbs (this is what most of the "tactical" rings with the large mounting nut call for, check the directions that come with yours). You'll have to constantly check your eye relief with the scope sitting in the bottom halves to figure out where you want the rings. I like them spaced as far apart as possible. Also, I place the rings so the mounting bolts are on the opposite side of the ejection port. Keeps stuff out of the way of the port, where you will be working when you shoot.

(Right here is where you would lap the scope rings, if that's your plan)

5. Place the scope in the bottom halves, at your proper eye relief, place the top halves on and screw down loosely. You need to be able to rotate the scope. Also, I lay in the prone position when I obtain my eye relief.

6. Level the scope. I use a combination of eyeball and a Wheeler Level-Level-Level kit. When you eyeball it, just throw it to your shoulder naturally, look at it for a few seconds and take it down. If you look at it too long, it will always look crooked. The levels helps, but another tip that I have used before is to use a plump line. I made one from orange weedeater string with a weight on the end.

7. When you have the proper eye relief, and the reticle is level, start to tighten the screws that hold the ring halves together. You want to start out with an even gap on each side of the ring. I'm talking about the gap between the ring halves.

I start with the front ring. Looking at the top of the rings, with the rifle pointing away from you, I tighten the top right screw a 1/4 to 1/2 turn, then do the same for the bottom left screw. I repeat this over and over until they start to snug. Then I stop and check to see if the reticle is still level. If it isn't, loosen the screws and start back at step 6.

Once those 2 screws are finger tight, and the reticle is level, I then tighten the bottom right and top left screws on the same ring. Once they are snug, I torque all 4 to 15 in/lbs. Now check the reticle for levelness again. If it isn't level, go back to step 6.

If you have all 4 torqued and the reticle is still level, go to the back ring and start with step 7.

The oil in step 2 and the Loctite in step 3 are both optional. I have heard arguments both ways on these uses. It's always worked for me, so I still do it.

That's it.

You can start with the front or rear ring, and start with whatever side, top or bottom, that you want. I do it exactly the same every time, and have for nearly 20 years. Then I know that I don't leave out a step or something. Consistency.
Thanks for the great writeup Shep!

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