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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I occasionally encounter complaints that Ruger mounts won't remain tight. Solutions ranging from torquing with a wrench to using permanent Loctite are all incorrect. Properly mounted as designed, Ruger rings will never shoot loose, even with a moderate tightening and a heavy recoiling rifle.

Ruger's design is particularly elegant in concept and function, because, if attached correctly, it will never fail to return to zero, time after time, because the scope base lugs will always seek the bottoms of the semicircular cuts in the Ruger receiver. Because of that feature, it is impossible for the scope mount lugs to be properly tightened unless they are positioned correctly from the start. There is no possible way to correct the problem once the rings are secured to the scope, and if the base cannot find its bottom because the span between the two is incorrect to the gun, no degree of tightening will correct the problem, resulting in a scope that will float on the receiver and come loose very quickly.

CAUTION: Ring halves are not interchangeable and cannot be turned around or mated to the other bottom without risking dents to the scope tube. A common cause of problems lately is the installation of scope ring cushions inside the rings. Never install any sort of tape or cushion. If you are concerned about denting the scope, lapping kits are available, but in all my years, I've never seen that this is justified with mated rings such as Ruger and other fine mounts. Most dents are caused by cheap rings and mismatched or reversed halves. As with all good systems, Ruger rings are drilled, tapped, ground and polished as paired sets and must always go together as packaged. With a pencil, mark scope rings with witness marks on top and bottom halves on one side so the sets will go together as packaged.

Clean scope rings and mounting surfaces with a good gun solvent such as Hoppes. Degreasers are counterproductive and serve no purpose. Instead, use the old machinists' trick of placing a drop of oil on the threads to ease tightening. Dry threads are impossible to tighten correctly. A thread is an inclined plane that is easier climbed with wheels than on skids. Don't worry that the oil will permit the screws to loosen. The pressure of tightening evacuates all excess oil. Also, Loctite will lubricate them during tightening, but will make removal in the field unnecessarily difficult. I've never used it and have never had a problem with loose mounts. Never under any circumstances use heavy strength Loctite, which is impossible to remove without risking damage to screws.

Use only close fitting screwdrivers and do NOT over tighten. Scope half screws should be tightened alternately snug, but never forcefully tight, or you can actually damage a scope tube. If you hunt in bad weather and have iron sights, your lug screws should permit removal in the field with commonly available tools, even the back of your hunting knife.


You may follow Ruger's method of installation that can be found in the manual that came with your gun. With this procedure, the rings are mounted LOOSELY on the scope and are then placed onto gun before bases are tightened. Positioning lugs underneath must be forwardly mounted toward muzzle. Tighten bases first, and be absolutely certain that the bases have bottomed onto receiver. It is extremely important to get the bases positioned and tightened properly before securing the ring tops! Not being captured correctly into the semicircular cuts and bottomed fully is the cause for ALL loose scopes. Only after the bases are tightened down are the scope screws secured.


With this procedure, bases are secured to the gun BEFORE scope is installed. The procedure is the same as above, except, do not place scope into rings. Mount rings to gun securely first, being certain that they are correctly positioned and that the lugs are fully mated to semicircular cuts in receiver. Be absolutely certain that the rings are square to the receiver, and that all lugs and bases are bottomed and centered. I like to take a short wooden dowel and wiggle each mount rotationally to be certain they are correctly bottomed and square. Now, mark and remove top halves and position scope as desired. As with first option, do NOT overtighten any screws.

If your scope shoots loose, remove the scope and begin anew. It's not the system. Re-read and repeat all steps carefully.

Happy shooting!

Retired Moderator & Gunsmith
16,415 Posts
GunBlue, Thanks for the detailed report. I agree with everything you said and have just one thing to add. Some rings and even the intregal gun bases occasionally have galls from machining .... especially stainless steel. Using a fine jeweler's file will clean up these galls and allow the rings to seat perfectly in the sockets. The same exact concepts apply to SAKO ring mount systems.
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