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Thread: Repeated scope failure

  1. #1

    Default Repeated scope failure

    I purchased a stainless Ruger Mark II .338 new in 2006. It took about 3 years to fog the first scope (a nikon Buckmaster). Since this time I have fogged a scope almost every year including 4 leopold vxII's. I have talked to multiple people who know a lot about guns and most people will say it must be the scopes being faulty. Other thoughts have been that I am mounting the scopes incorrectly and crushing the tubes although everyone has said they look ok when they look at the failed scopes. This year I bought new scope rings and payed a professional to mount it for me. After 2 deer hunts and a goat hunt my leopold (with leopold scope rings) failed on a caribou hunt. I live in Southeast AK so of course it rains a lot and hunt I lot but something is not right. Anyone have any thoughts? Thanks.

    Olaf

  2. #2
    Member Ak-pilot's Avatar
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    Try a better scope?
    You aren't keeping it inside in a warm cabin then taking it outside in the cooler air?

  3. #3
    Member Sobie2's Avatar
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    I live in Southeast and use Bushnell Elite scopes and they work well (including my .338 win mag). I am using the Elite 3500s on mine but Bushnell says their Elite scopes are rated for 1,000 rounds of .375 H&H

    Sobie2

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    I believe if you use any scope hard enough, you can eventually get it to fail; the temperature swings and wet conditions of the coastal environment are the acid test, not to mention the .338WM knocks pretty hard. That said, I believe the odds are better with fixed power scopes of premium quality. I like Kahles and Swarovski. Opinions will differ.
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    Member theultrarider's Avatar
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    I'm almost afraid to ask this question. Are they fogging internally or just the outside of the lenses?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olaf View Post
    I purchased a stainless Ruger Mark II .338 new in 2006. It took about 3 years to fog the first scope (a nikon Buckmaster). Since this time I have fogged a scope almost every year including 4 leopold vxII's. I have talked to multiple people who know a lot about guns and most people will say it must be the scopes being faulty. Other thoughts have been that I am mounting the scopes incorrectly and crushing the tubes although everyone has said they look ok when they look at the failed scopes. This year I bought new scope rings and payed a professional to mount it for me. After 2 deer hunts and a goat hunt my leopold (with leopold scope rings) failed on a caribou hunt. I live in Southeast AK so of course it rains a lot and hunt I lot but something is not right. Anyone have any thoughts? Thanks.

    Olaf
    Is yew bangin them around?

    SOTN
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    Is yew bangin them around?

    SOTN
    Ya gotta wonder.......seems to have some pretty unusual bad luck with scopes.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  8. #8
    Member jdb3's Avatar
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    I've had a Tasco World Class scope on my Ruger 338 for years without any problems. Keep expecting it to let go so I can buy a really good scope for it, no luck there. Maybe bad luck. What did Leopold say?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olaf View Post
    ...This year I bought new scope rings and payed a professional to mount it for me....
    That sure knocked off my suggestion. The only time I've seen chronic scope failures such as you describe, the guy had scope rings of two different heights, crimping the scopes every time he clamped them down.

    You got a real puzzle on your hands.
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  10. #10

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    Yeah, I am puzzled. No, I am not banging my scopes, yes, they are fogging on the inside. Sobie 2-the bushnell elite 3200 is one of the scopes that I fogged in. I rarely use cabins to sleep in but I do bring the gun in the tent with me and a lot of times I notice in the morning that my scope is fogged. My brother, who I hunt with a lot, has a .338 ruler win mag with a Leupold VX I on it and doesn't have any problems. I guess I could leave the gun in the vestibule but it seems like a long ways away if a bear decides to come visit during the night. Leupold hasn't had any insight. I would spend more money on a scope if I thought it would make a difference but my understanding, at least with the Leupolds is the the higher VX numbers translate into better glass but not necessarily tougher. Maybe a fixed power is the way to go if they are tougher but my effective range is point blank down low in the rainforest to 350 yards in the alpine or tundra which sure make the adjustable power convenient.

    Anyways, thanks for the thoughts. If I didn't like my gun so much I would just get a new one. Maybe I'll buy a more expensive scope.

  11. #11
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    That seems like a lot of scopes to go through.

    I've had a couple failures but they're infrequent. I ruptured a gas seal in a 4x33 several years back and fogged it, but I also ruptured a disk in the same fall down a scree chute- root cause of that was definitely known, no mystery.... Leupold fixed it and had it back in just a couple weeks. Are you buying new or sending them in for repair?

    That said- I'd start completely over... new Ruger rings, lapped and trued, new scope- something like a 4x33 or 6x42 Leupold or a Zeiss Conquest 3-9x are just about as tough as scopes come. You might invest in a torque wrench- don't know if you're over torquing or not but it is a common practice than can cause issues.

    I know the .338 belts pretty hard, but I've had those scopes on stuff that kicks a fair bit harder without issues.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

  12. #12

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    long story short...i had a lot of scope troubles initially with my .338wm...i ditched the vortex (will never look back) and got a zeiss and have had zero problems since.

  13. #13
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    I'm thinking "gun", now, after what others have said.

    It's a Ruger, so the bases are machined on the receiver. Could it be that there is something Cattywampus, there, causing stress on the scope??

    I'm grasping at straws, because the problem seems to be more than coincidence.

    Smitty of the North
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    I have both scopes that you have had problems with to the extent of even dropping in the water and have never had anything like your. Have you sent the scopes back to Leopold for repair and what caused the problem.

    Sweepint
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    I'm thinking "gun", now, after what others have said.

    It's a Ruger, so the bases are machined on the receiver. Could it be that there is something Cattywampus, there, causing stress on the scope??

    I'm grasping at straws, because the problem seems to be more than coincidence.
    See if the rings need to be lapped to fix issues like Smitty is talking about. Test the rings with a length of pipe or a bar of metal of known straightness or something, like they do when lapping rings. Like here: http://warnescopemounts.com/is-lapping-needed/ (I'm not sure I buy the company line about their rings, but it has nice pictures of the issues involved.)

    Are the VX-2 scopes from Leupold and actually VX-2 with the gold ring and lifetime warranty? Or are they some cheaper version? Are you buying the scopes from known good dealers, so you know they are real?

  16. #16
    Member Sobie2's Avatar
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    Olaf, I may have an extra set of Ruger stainless medium scope rings laying around. If I find them I'll call you.

    Sobie2

  17. #17

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    Sobie 2, I got brand new ruger rings this year when I had them professionally mounted so hopefully they are ok. I have bought several scope rings over the life of the gun all with the same results. Tod13-thanks for the link. The scope looks like it rest in the rings fine but I guess I should buy a lapping kit. My Leupolds have been "real" leupolds from cabellas and when I have sent them back the company has repaired them but has not had any other additional comments. Interesting that bushnell and nikon just send you a new scope but Leopold repairs theirs. Smitty, I have talked to Ruger in the past and although they are doubtful that the bases were machined out of alignment they said it is not impossible and are willing to take a look at it so I think I will send the gun to them at the end of the season to rule that out. Maybe I will buy a zeiss scope since there have been a couple recommendations for them as being a very tough scope. Again, thanks for all your thoughts.

    Olaf

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    Olaf, if you're in AK, or probably anywhere else, it is probably cheaper (than shipping) to find a smith to check the alignment or even buy an alignment kit yourself.

    Are you using a torque wrench on the rings and bases? (I saw this asked above but did not see an answer.) That's something to check and a torque wrench is always useful. I like the Wheeler FAT Torque Wrench.

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    Maybe try Burris Zee Rings?

  20. #20
    Member Sobie2's Avatar
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    Here is a Ziess Terra scope review on a .338 WM: http://ontargetmagazine.com/2015/04/...-or-top-value/

    The Terra and some Conquest models are the only Ziess rifle scopes under the $1k level.

    Sobie2

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