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#5874815 - 08/12/15 08:16 AM Soldering Scope Base to Action?
Wildhorse Offline
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Registered: 05/08/12
Posts: 664
Loc: Cleburne, TX
Has anyone ever soldered their picatinney rail, or any other scope base, to their rifle action? If so, what method did you use and who did it? What all is required?

The reason I ask is that someone on here was discussing producing a new action with the action and rail made separately and later permanently attached by welding or soldering. I thought that sounded like a fall-down-the-mountain proof way of attaching a base so the idea appealed to me.

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#5874850 - 08/12/15 08:38 AM Re: Soldering Scope Base to Action? [Re: Wildhorse]
FiremanJG Offline
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Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
I belive TIG welding is what is required, soldering is not strong enough. I wouldn't be scared to TIG weld them together. Some fine actions used to be put together this way, but now the action and pic rail are machined from one piece of steel.
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#5874857 - 08/12/15 08:43 AM Re: Soldering Scope Base to Action? [Re: Wildhorse]
REALKILLER Offline
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Registered: 02/19/15
Posts: 912
You cant drill and tap it. seems like if you solder it or weld it, it may be your baby after that. May even be hard to sell if you wanted to do so in the future. I think the recoil would break solder loose.
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#5874887 - 08/12/15 08:57 AM Re: Soldering Scope Base to Action? [Re: Wildhorse]
Precision_Shooter Online   content


Registered: 02/18/09
Posts: 814
Loc: Crossroads, TX
Remington has been brazing (soldering) their bolt handles on forever. And there have been many instances where the solder has broken free when cycling the bolt. If you get a good strong bond between the 2, you may be ok, but for me, you are pretty much assured a strong bond when it's welded. TIG welding would be the way to go...
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#5874918 - 08/12/15 09:21 AM Re: Soldering Scope Base to Action? [Re: Wildhorse]
SingleShot85 Offline


Registered: 05/27/09
Posts: 1749
Loc: S.A. and Kinney Co.
seem like a lot more unnecessary work to produce an action with a built-in rail only to go back and permanently attach it, will be more costly in the end..... you have choice or flexibility w/ a detached rail, you have less "moving parts" with a built in rail all personal preference neither is better....

kt
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#5875077 - 08/12/15 10:35 AM Re: Soldering Scope Base to Action? [Re: Precision_Shooter]
Wildhorse Offline
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Registered: 05/08/12
Posts: 664
Loc: Cleburne, TX
Originally Posted By: Precision_Shooter
Remington has been brazing (soldering) their bolt handles on forever. And there have been many instances where the solder has broken free when cycling the bolt.


True. I've had a Remington 700 bolt handle come off in my hands before, so it sounds like TIG would be better.

Originally Posted By: FiremanJG
I belive TIG welding is what is required, soldering is not strong enough. I wouldn't be scared to TIG weld them together. Some fine actions used to be put together this way, but now the action and pic rail are machined from one piece of steel.


I wonder if TIG welding the base would cause issues with the temper of the receiver and, if so, whether heat sinking the action could avoid the need to re-heat-treat the receiver after the action is complete.

Originally Posted By: REALKILLER
You cant drill and tap it. seems like if you solder it or weld it, it may be your baby after that. May even be hard to sell if you wanted to do so in the future. I think the recoil would break solder loose.


You're probably right about the solder coming off with recoil. The reason I though soldering might work was because many rifles have their iron sights soldered onto the barrel. But, on second thought, those sights don't have to hold a heavy scope to the firearm under recoil, they just have to hold their own mass.

Not to worry about the non-cost-effective nature of this idea, I'm just posing it as an academic question, not that I'm about to bite it off as a real project. If I feel like my base is too weakly attached I'd probably start out by drilling and tapping the action to accept a larger screw, which would provide more bearing surface to ensure that the base is securely attached.

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#5875084 - 08/12/15 10:40 AM Re: Soldering Scope Base to Action? [Re: FiremanJG]
TDK Offline
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Registered: 09/05/07
Posts: 2530
Loc: Newark, TX
I have a ton of experience with soldering and its applications to gun making. Strength is no issue when done correctly using a Hugh tensile solder like sold by Brownells.

This being said why not drill and tap it?
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#5875089 - 08/12/15 10:44 AM Re: Soldering Scope Base to Action? [Re: Wildhorse]
Cast Offline
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Registered: 12/14/08
Posts: 14901
Loc: North Texas - God's Country
Silver solder like the A/C guys use and a torch will be strong enough. Brazing will be stronger. Make some sort of alignment jig to hold it in place while soldering and cooling. Interesting thread.
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#5875111 - 08/12/15 11:08 AM Re: Soldering Scope Base to Action? [Re: TDK]
Wildhorse Offline
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Registered: 05/08/12
Posts: 664
Loc: Cleburne, TX
Originally Posted By: TDK

This being said why not drill and tap it?


I'm actually conceptualizing this idea as a supplement to also attaching with screws. So screw, AND weld/solder/braze, kind of like a belt AND suspenders.

My interest in this idea comes from my experience elk hunting. I've had buddy's fall on a boulder on top of their rifle. Horses could also fall or lay down on a rifle in the scabbard. Thinking about all the potential things that could happen to a rifle miles into the back country where no repair or replacement is possible leads me to be interested in ideas for eliminating as many potential points for failure as possible. Four little screws holding a scope on has just never inspired a whole lot of confidence that they might not end up being the weakest link.

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#5875115 - 08/12/15 11:09 AM Re: Soldering Scope Base to Action? [Re: Cast]
Wildhorse Offline
Tracker

Registered: 05/08/12
Posts: 664
Loc: Cleburne, TX
Originally Posted By: Cast
Silver solder like the A/C guys use and a torch will be strong enough. Brazing will be stronger. Make some sort of alignment jig to hold it in place while soldering and cooling. Interesting thread.


What is the difference between brazing and soldering?


Edited by Wildhorse (08/12/15 11:14 AM)

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#5875139 - 08/12/15 11:24 AM Re: Soldering Scope Base to Action? [Re: Wildhorse]
Cast Offline
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Registered: 12/14/08
Posts: 14901
Loc: North Texas - God's Country
Originally Posted By: Wildhorse
Originally Posted By: Cast
Silver solder like the A/C guys use and a torch will be strong enough. Brazing will be stronger. Make some sort of alignment jig to hold it in place while soldering and cooling. Interesting thread.


What is the difference between brazing and soldering?


Silver solder vs a brazing rod. Solder for aluminum receiver, brazing rod for steel. Everything else is pretty much the same.
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#5875222 - 08/12/15 12:31 PM Re: Soldering Scope Base to Action? [Re: Wildhorse]
REALKILLER Offline
Tracker

Registered: 02/19/15
Posts: 912
Im pretty sure once you screw it down your weakest link after that is going to be your scope itself. I hunt year round off the ground only. Needless to say that during my thousands of miles of walking there will be a few bangs and bumps along the way. A high quality scope will help you hold zero, but there isn't a scope out there that cant be knocked off zero. Ive always wanted to build a light protective cage around a scope. Now that's something you could build. kinda like a roll cage for a car. up
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#5875337 - 08/12/15 01:35 PM Re: Soldering Scope Base to Action? [Re: Wildhorse]
TDK Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 09/05/07
Posts: 2530
Loc: Newark, TX
There is soft soldering, silver solder, and brazing. Silver soldering and brazing are considered the same thing, just depends upon which part of the globe you're on. Soft soldering is done at anywhere from 250°-600°. Brazing is usually done at around 900-1300°+. I'd recommend a higher temp soft solder in the 450-600° area.

If you're located in dfw I can give you a quick in person crash course on soldering.
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Newark, TX
Michael08TDK@yahoo.com
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#5875341 - 08/12/15 01:36 PM Re: Soldering Scope Base to Action? [Re: Wildhorse]
Korean Redneck Online   content


Registered: 06/24/09
Posts: 2274
Loc: Houston
I too am very skeptical of brazing or soldering. I'd imagine it ain't the strength of the braze and/or solder but adhesion to the steel that will ultimately be the problem. Even when u weld, if your temps are hot enough, then I thought that's were you'll have problems of the slag bonding to the surface of the parent metal.

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#5875345 - 08/12/15 01:38 PM Re: Soldering Scope Base to Action? [Re: Wildhorse]
Cast Offline
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Registered: 12/14/08
Posts: 14901
Loc: North Texas - God's Country
I'm more worried about the heat warping the receiver. I think I would drill and tap it.
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