Over Torqued Scope Rings [Read This To Avoid Mistakes]

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Do you know over torquing scope rings is even a thing? In this quick guide explain how it can cause damages to the scope, and mistakes to MUST avoid when mounting an optic.

What Happens If You Over Tighten Scope Rings?

When scope rings are over tighten or over torqued. It can deform the scope tube, which lead to erratic movement in the erecter system, misaligned components and inaccurate shot.

Over torqued scope ring will dent or crease in the outer tube of the scope.

Does Crushing The Outer Tube Affect The Inside?

Over torqued rings and uneven scope surface-to-ring contact can damage the internal without you knowing. It's the stuff you can't see with your naked eye.

Long-range-rifle-scope-tube

Errors can affect:

  • Parallax adjustment
  • Turret tracking
  • Reticle subtension accuracy
  • Fine MOA/MIL adjustment click accuracy
  • Light bending angle

Whether it's a 1", 30mm, 34mm or 35mm scope, the outer body provides the surface area for the rings to secure the scope to the rifle, and right underneath are all the critical components that are precision made & precision assembled inside the erecter system.


How Much Should You Tighten Scope Rings?

tighting scope rings with torque wrench to secure rifle scope

Scope manufacturers always recommend torque specs for the most rock solid mount on rifles to hold zero.

On top of that aluminum scopes are much more precise optics with higher degrees of concentricity, and they do flex during sharp recoil. 

So too much ring torque on fixed spots on the tube can create some impingement on the scope components.

Aluminum Rings 

vortex optics pro series scope rings

15 - 18 In Lb is recommended for ring screws

Use a torque wrench that gives audible clicks when reaching a specific set torque value to have the perfect mount without guessing or overshoot.

Steel Rings 

18 - 25 In Lb for 8 or 10 size machine screws 

It doesn't take too much pressure to adequately tighten the rings.

Tips on securing scope rings:

For horizontal split rings - Always work all of the screws in a cross pattern gradually until all screws have the same torque value.

For vertical split rings - Always tighten top screws (~20 in lb) then bottom screws (16 in lb)

We recommend using the REAL AVID Smart Torq wrench with super precise 1 in lb adjustment dial. Check out more pics and reviews here.


Is Scope Lapping Required Before Applying Ring Torque?

Lapping Scope rings Mismatch
scope-ring-lapping-sandpaper

It's important to properly lap 2 piece scope rings even if they're the highest grade products available because there will be misalignment that you can't see with naked eye.

Scope lapping process helps center everything.

Does Ring Gap Matter?

Ring gap is normal. It's the tolerance accounted for different scopes made with slightly different specs.

Before applying torque to the rings, please make sure there is no large gaps on the sides of the rings, then the rings may need to lapped first.

Having a little gap doesn't mean the ring is the wrong size, and just make sure the gap is even from both sides.

Does Scope Ring Locations Around The Tube Matter?

34mm-scope-rings-header-image

The scope ring location on the tube matters in the context of not applying ring pressure around important erector component.

Keep the rings away from major component assemblies such as turret, objective bell, magnification ring, parallax to relive the pressure points.

Should You Use Loctite On Scope Rings?

You should NOT use loctite on scope rings due to the following engineering reasons:

Loctite is a luburcant, which can lead to over torque further than the value set on your torque wrench.

High quality and tight tolerance screws actually applies tension to the scope rings without loctite.  So the quality of the screws and rings really matters, and you can check out these products here on our site. Best 34mm Scope Rings