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Hey guy's I'm having an issue removing the rings from my Leupold MK4, I have a set of TPS 30mm TSR Picatinny-Style Steel Rings on there right now, the scope has a minor defect so I have to send it in for repair/replacement. Anyways when I first mounted it to the rifle several people suggested putting blue Loctite on the threads of the small bolts (not sure if they're called bolts) that thread through the top/bottom rings. It takes an extremely small hex and I have the proper one but I've wrenched on it pretty hard and I still haven't been able to break them loose so I was wondering if you guys might have any advice? I was thinking about going to the local hardware store to see if I could find the hex set for a socket wrench that way I would have a bit more leverage but I'm a bit worried about stripping them out. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

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several people suggested putting blue Loctite on the threads of the small bolts (not sure if they're called bolts) that thread through the top/bottom rings.
... and that's why you want to only take advice from experienced people. Not a one of my rings has loctite on the threads.

You have a couple options here. Try to find a very tight-fitting wrench to interface the screws. This will help make sure you don't strip the interface out. If that doesn't work, and you still strip one out, you may be able to get some larger wrenches and epoxy them to the top of the screws.

If that doesn't work, you might be forced to go in from the side of the rings with a cutting tool of some kind, like a dremel, and carefully grind away until the screws on either side are cut. This will take a steady hand, or your scope will pay the price. Mask off the scope as well as possible before going after it.
 

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you might be able to put it in a drill press vice and drill the heads off of the bolts. Rings would be ruined, but scope should be fine.

I have used a compound before that has diamond dust that goes in the head of the screw to keep it from stripping. It works well even on partially stripped screws. it is called "screw grab"

Or you can send it back to leupold like it is and see if they will fix it with the rings on...or get them off for you.
 

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Easy guys, no need to grab the hatchets yet.

1) In good light...and with some light gloves on, put the rifle in a vice.
2) Get the right size hex or torx. Check with the good light to make sure you aren't getting "wiggle".
3) Use a good, hot blow drier to heat the crap out of the side of the ring you want to start on, and leave the tool in the screw head while you heat.
4) Holding the torx/hex tool DOWN in the screw head with your weak hand, apply pressure with the strong hand until the screw breaks loose.
5) Repeat as needed.

6) In the future, clean off all the goo, and just use the correct torque settings on your bolts. The only thing I apply to my threads is white-grade anti-seize to prevent water intrusion, corrosion, and galling.

I take my scope mounting very seriously, and I've yet to have one come loose whose rings I was sure I had torqued down properly. Yes, this requires tools.


Protip: Once you've installed a given scope in a given set of rings, and torqued the screws properly, you can MARK THE SCREWS and RINGS with a scribe or paint marker, and the next time you have to remove it, you won't need a torque wrench. Same can be applied to action screws, if the rifle is well bedded.

-Nate
 

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Heat up the rings a little, that should soften the Loctite up a little bit. A heat gun from the hardware store on low with the scope protected will do the job.
 

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It is very important that you are torqueing to spec . ( some where around 15 inch pounds which is less than nothing ) if you are
using blue Loctite .If you over torque and use Loctite you got problems .
Get a que tip swap and some nail polish remover , acetone is what is used to neutralize red Loctite when this happens . It will neutralize
blue as well . Flip the scope rings upside down and dab the bottom of the hole with a q tip that is slightly wet with acetone .
Leave it sit repeat 20 minutes or so . Wipe excess . Get a hair dryer and heat until it is hot to the touch ( as in 1 to 2 seconds is what
 

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as in 1-2 seconds is what you can take ) you may not get that but try . The heat will loosen it further .
 

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Easy guys, no need to grab the hatchets yet.

1) In good light...and with some light gloves on, put the rifle in a vice.
2) Get the right size hex or torx. Check with the good light to make sure you aren't getting "wiggle".
3) Use a good, hot blow drier to heat the crap out of the side of the ring you want to start on, and leave the tool in the screw head while you heat.
4) Holding the torx/hex tool DOWN in the screw head with your weak hand, apply pressure with the strong hand until the screw breaks loose.
5) Repeat as needed.

6) In the future, clean off all the goo, and just use the correct torque settings on your bolts. The only thing I apply to my threads is white-grade anti-seize to prevent water intrusion, corrosion, and galling.

I take my scope mounting very seriously, and I've yet to have one come loose whose rings I was sure I had torqued down properly. Yes, this requires tools.


Protip: Once you've installed a given scope in a given set of rings, and torqued the screws properly, you can MARK THE SCREWS and RINGS with a scribe or paint marker, and the next time you have to remove it, you won't need a torque wrench. Same can be applied to action screws, if the rifle is well bedded.

-Nate
All of the above plus a little top on a very controllable heat source. You can use the tip of a soldering gun to apply heat directly to the screw head or if you prefer, more indirectly through the hex wrench body closest to the head. If Loctite has been used often some of it's grip can be loosened by applying a drop of Acetone to the screw socket and also any opening on the bottom ring where it might flow into the threads through capillary action. Acetone evaporates pretty quickly so you might do this several times before going to the "heat". I prefer the soldering gun method to any other that might spread the heat beyond the area I'm working, like the scope body itself. Heat guns can get hot enough to melt paint (which is what I use mine for).

I'd also add that the OP should make absolutely sure that the screw heads are hex, not torqx or vice versa. Using the right tool is always better and sometimes is a solution in itself.
 

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Careful with hair dryers around leupold scopes. ;)

Had a guy have his leupold take a **** on him because of that. The heat loosened up some epoxy on the inside of the scope, and ended up with some parts flopping around in there.

Who said hatchet? lol

That had me laughing. :D
 

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Forgot to mention it earlier but if anyone is trying to remove a scope ring screw and has stripped out the socket head, be it hex or torqx, there is a solution that works well if you're patient.

First scratch up the inside of the socket with a sharp pointed awl or such. Get as much rough metal exposed as possible inside the socket head. Then take the allen or torqx wrench that originally fit the head. Mix up some J-B Weld and put a very small amount on the end of the wrench. Insert it in the socket head and if there isn't a small amount squishing out around the wrench then add a small amount more. Once you have the end of the wrench firmly bedded in the screw head socket then let it cure until it's reached full strength. Usually 24 hours but I go a whole 2 days to really make sure. More often than not the wrench will now remove the screw without striping out he head again. The J-B Weld "makes them one". Of course you'll need as many wrenches as you have stuck screws with this method.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm not trying to start a grudge match by any means, but a couple of those that suggested applying blue Loctite after they were torqued down are quite experienced which is the only reason I did it, otherwise I would've just torqued them down and been done with it. They actually are torqued to spec but they're still not willing to budge at all.
 

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Shoot, I used to myself. Being a mechanic in my spare time, and as one of many ex-professions, in any good shop, I see a need for multiple grades of threadlocker and Rockset, and I also see a need for at least 1 grade of anti-seize lubricant (I use ceramic grade because, though expensive, I use very little at a time and it is flat-out excellent insurance that I won't ever gall a bolt...I'm not working with NASA).

Then I had to use a slitting saw to cut rings off a guy's scope, and I said to myself..."There's a better way, somehow."

I did some research on steel, aluminum, expansion coefficients, torque values, thread distortion, thread classifications, and more drivel, and came up with this:

If you have enough clamping area in the rings and enough and big enough machine screws for the application, even if they are all acetone-clean, if the fasteners are torqued to correct specification, it will hold up.


-Nate
 

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I'm not trying to start a grudge match by any means, but a couple of those that suggested applying blue Loctite after they were torqued down are quite experienced which is the only reason I did it,
How's that advice from those "experienced" guys workin out for ya? ;)

I kid, I kid.
 

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What brand and model of scope ring ? I know you said TPS I mean the exact model n how much ?
 

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I'm not trying to start a grudge match by any means, but a couple of those that suggested applying blue Loctite after they were torqued down are quite experienced which is the only reason I did it, otherwise I would've just torqued them down and been done with it. They actually are torqued to spec but they're still not willing to budge at all.
If the loctite was applied AFTER the screws were torqued chances are you've only "glued" the ends of he fasteners. Loctite can "wick" it's way into an assembly but my guess is that you have loctite that's basically glued the screw head in the recess. I'd continue with some acetone soaking and patience. Even some direct heat like the soldering iron would break a loctite bond.

You may also have another issue that often occurs when metals get wet. Corrosion welding. You have a steel screw in most likely an aluminum ring body. Water and dissimilar metals create electrolysis and with a small screw it doesn't take much to "weld" the two pieces together.

Acetone, point heating, and a heaping dose of patience.


As for the loctite, no loctite question? There are several types of loctite. Most people have a tube of "Blue" which is intended for 1/4" fasteners or larger. IF one were to use any loctite on a scope ring they should only use the 222 "Purple" which is designed to allow hand tools for removal. It's designed for instrument adjustment screws.
It has the added benefit of sealing the threads so if they get wet you don't have the possible issue of corrosion.

You have to look beyond the word "Loctite" and use the right color. Heaven forbid one should use "Red". For all practical purposes that loctite is a permanent bond.
 

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Acetone, point heating, and a heaping dose of patience.
I think this is your best route, before having to cut them off. Point heating is definitely more desirable than a hair dryer. Do NOT trust your leupold to survive the hair dryer.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I see that I left that bit out, I did use blue locktite because I know red locktite is permanent, I actually applied the locktite directly to the threads before I torqued them down.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hey guy’s good news! I got the bolts out, I was worried I was going to need to use a tap and die set, but I TOTALLY forgot I had purchased a S&W gunsmithing set a couple of years ago and it had a complete set of star bits, so I used a power drill and it popped them out without any resistance whatsoever which surprised me to be completely honest. Anyways so a new question now that they’re out, is there anything I can use on the bolts in addition to the threads to remove the excess locktite? There’s still quite a bit caked on the threads of the rings as well as the screws which is a clear sign I used a bit too much but that’s already been established lol.. I figured something like acetone would break it down but I’m not sure if that would eat through the finish or not, so I figured it would be best to ask before I try anything too terribly extreme.
 

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You might try getting a paper towel , tearing off sections and twisting them into long thin pieces . Dip them into nail polish remover
and run it thru , twist it thru the threaded holes . You will probably have to do this several times to clean them up . As for hurting the
finish , take one of your top rings and try a small test spot on the bottom side of the mounting flange ( the flat portion that the screw goes
thru ) . They should be powder coated , pretty tough stuff .
 
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