How to secure your scope to your rifle? Our guru advises
D ear Guru I’ve got and new scope and mounts and I’m a bit worried about fitting them to my new rifle. I’ve been told that if you don’t do the screws up tightly enough, the scope will slip and get scratched, but if you do them up too tightly, you’ll damage the scope by crushing it. How am I supposed to know what is tight enough? JAMIE Hello Jamie You’re not alone with this worry because making a mistake with equipment like this can be expensive. A good rule is to follow any manufacturer’s instructions that come with your products. Next, ensure that any tools, such as the Allen keys you’ll need, are in good condition. Badly worn or rounded tips could damage the bolt heads, so replace them before you start.
I was always taught that an ‘ L’ shaped Allen key was designed cleverly because if you use the long end in the socket head and short end as the lever, you’ll almost certainly apply the right amount of torque to the screw. It’s almost impossible to over- tighten a screw this way. It surprises many people that the screws don’t need to be any tighter than this, even on recoiling rifles.
I’ve used this technique for over 30 years and I’ve never had a problem. However, I have seen scope body tubes crushed and creased by people who have massively over- tightened mount rings, in the past. The scopes still worked, but if you ever wanted to sell one, I doubt anybody would buy it from you with that kind of physical damage.
“It surprises many people that the screws don’t need to be any tighter than this, even on recoiling rifles”
Using the Allen key this way gives you all the leverage you need