Tag Archives: Vortex

The Vortex Torque Wrench Optics Mounting Kit is Wicked!!

I’m to the point with rifles that when I want to maintain accuracy, I know I need an accurate torquing driver.  For years I have used the Wheeler Firearms Accurizing Torque (FAT) Wrench and it was good enough.  For about $40 I got the base unit that included a few bits and a case.  The FAT wrench had a range from 10-65 in/lbs and good enough accuracy (+/- 2 in/lbs up to 40 pounds and +/- 5% over 40 in/lbs).  My only beef with it was that the mechanical scale that shows you the torque settings was in 5 pound increments.  To get close to 18 in/lbs, for example, required going close to the middle between 15 and 20 in/lbs and calling it even.

I used the FAT wrench pretty much exclusively from October 2014 to May 2018.  It was good enough at the time – way better than going for ballpark feel “farmer tight” settings but in the back of my head though, I wanted better.

By the way, in case you are wondering why a person would get one of these torque wrenches or drivers, it’s because many torque wrenches aren’t calibrated in inch/pounds (they are often foot pounds in the US) and they may not go down as low as 10 inch/pounds (in/lbs).

My interests span many types of firearms from AKs to precision rifles.  With the latter, I own a number of sub-MOA rifles and they demand precision tools if you want repeatability and reliability.  These rifles also have very good Vortex scopes and rings as well.  If you want consistency and the rings to not shoot loose, the value of a torque wrench becomes apparent fast.

I’m a Vortex fan – there’s no two ways about.  Their optics are superb and they have an absolute “we will stand behind it no matter what with no nonsense” warranty.  Once in a while I will see guys troll the brand on Facebook but I honestly question whether they have ever actually even owned one.

Folks, I’ve owned probably 7-8 superb Vortex scopes and a ton of red dots.  I really don’t know how many red dots of various types – probably approaching a dozen.  The glass is good, the scopes are durable and do you know how many times I have used the warranty? — None.  In talking with guys that have, Vortex took care of them.

So, let me get to the point.  Vortex came out with a torque driver called the “Vortex Optics Torque Wrench Mounting Kit” that goes from 10-50 in pounds in calibrated 1 in/lbs increments that you set like a micrometer.

When it arrived, the first thing I noticed was the heft.  This is a solidly built metal tool that screams quality.  It comes with a few bits.  You pull the copper colored locking ring down and turn the handle to get the torque you want.  I did find that you have to push the bits in very firmly.  There is a detent ball that holds the driver bits in and it is surprisingly stout.

A nice touch is that the end of the handle has a 1/4″ socket if you want to use a ratchet wrench for higher torque applications.  For example, Vortex precision rings can go up to 50 in/lbs.  I can do that by hand most of the time but a ratchet makes it much easier.

On the topic of bits, it is a standard 1/4″ drive so you can get a large collection of bits and pair it up with this unit.  For example, I had a Home Depot Husky brand driver with a ton of bits that I picked up on sale at some point and just had sitting on the shelf.  I put it with the Vortex and its few included driver bits.  Additionally, when I am working on a firearm, I typically have my Weaver deluxe toolkit open as well.  It contains a great selection of bits that you tend to find on firearms.

There is one thing I changed though – the Vortex unit comes in a round plastic case that is nice and strong but I don’t have the patience to try and put it all back together for storage.  So, I hopped down to Ace hardware and bought a case to hold the Vortex torque driver, the Husky driver and all the bits plus I have room for more storage.  I also used some of my spare pluckable foam left over from cases to pad the bottom of the case.

In case you are wondering, here are photos of my FAT and Vortex torque drivers side by side:

In this next photo, you can see what I mean about precisely setting the torque on the wrenches.  My Vortex Precision Scope Rings specify a torque of 18 in/lbs.  With the Vortex wrench, you can precisely set it for 18 pounds.  With the FAT, it’s somewhere around 17-19 pounds plus we already know the wrench’s accuracy is limited to +/- 2 in/lbs as well.

On the topic of accuracy, the Vortex driver comes with a certificate of calibration to testing standard DIN-ISO-6789 by a gentleman named Tom on Feb 27, 2018.  You can see my specific wrench nails the accuracy – no more guesswork and no more ballpark torque setting.

In summary, I am very happy with my Vortex wrench and would recommend it to anyone doing precision firearms work, notably optics.  You can pick one up at a very reasonable price from Amazon and you ought to do it.


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Vortex Optics Torque Wrench Mounting Kit (Misc.)

Riflescope mounting accessory set 10-50 lb adjustable torque – 1 in/lb increments Versatile set – Variety of bits included Convenient, twist lock storage packaging

Features:

  • This tool is easy to operate, simple to set, and offers fast, accurate tension wherever and whenever you need it.
  • The easy to read inch-pound increments ensure you tighten in 1in/lb increments to the specified torque, and not a bit more, ranging from 10 in/lbs to 50 in/lbs.
  • Bits included in kit: 3/16″ Hex bit – fits Vortex Bobro mounts, 2.5mm Hex bit – Fits Razor Red Dot, 3mm HEx bit – Fits Hunter rings, CM-202 and CM-203, T15 Torx bit – Fits Viper rings and Tactical rings
  • Bits included in kit: T25 Torx bit – Fits PMR rings, 1/2″ Socket – Fits Tactical rings, 10mm Wide Screwdriver bit – Fits Hunter and Viper clamp bolt, 1/4″ Socket adaptor

List Price: $69.00 USD
New From: $69.00 USD In Stock

Adding a Vortex 1-6×24 Strike Eagle Scope to the PTR PDWR

I really prefer an optic on my firearms at this point.  The PTR PDWR is a relative short range pistol so I figure post of my shots will be within 100 yards.  It could certainly shoot further but, based on what I have read so far, the accuracy goes down hill fast.

While some might consider a red dot, I opted for a true 1-6×24 Vortex Strike Eagle scope that has a 30mm tube.  Now, I have to admit that I have become a bit of a scope snob over the years.  I’ve destroyed cheap scopes, suffered with dark images, short eye relief and what not.  About four to five years ago I happened upon Vortex and they have been my go to brand ever since – not only is the quality there but they back it up with a no-nonsense warranty.

Folks, I’ve owned probably at least a dozen Vortex scopes and red dots.  I still have six that are on firearms that I plan to keep.  I have had zero problems – not one.  Not out of the box and not over time.   I probably will some day – stuff happens.  I’ve talked to other guys who broke their scopes (literally) or had problems and sent them in with Vortex taking care of them no questions asked.  That says a lot.

So, that brings us to the scope.  The Strike Eagle is a decent entry-level AR scope with an illuminated reticle.  I bought this scope about a year ago for a project that didn’t happen and it has been sitting on the shelf.  The good news is that Vortex now also has a 1-8×24 model.

Mounting the Scope

I used to use cheap import cantilever scope mounts but have since stopped due to screws stripping out and easily scratched finishes.  I now use Vortex mounts pretty much exclusively now as well.  I know I sound like a salesman but I really like their stuff.

You’ll notice the quality of the finish and that the parts are beefy.  You can go 18 inch/pounds on the rings and 65 inch/pounds on the rail attachment nuts.  You’ll notice that cheap scope mounts don’t publish torque specs usually because they can’t handle much consistently.

The ring caps are secured by screws that have heads for #8 Torx bits.  They go into steel threaded inserts for added strength – you will not find steel inserts in cheap mounts by the way.  At any rate, lets begin.

Safety First:  Make sure your weapon is unloaded!

As you can see in the above photo, I located the mount on the PDWR’s Picatinny optics rail a few grooves forward of the rear sight.  It was a bit of an arbitrary point.  I know I usually am near the rear plus on my past HK-style weapons I knew I might have to work around the rear sight.

I removed the ring caps using a #8 Torx bit from my Weaver screw driver set and put them in a magnetic parts tray.  I have lost little parts in the past so I am a bit paranoid now.  I use my DeWalt cordless screwdriver to do the removal work as the twisting motion of a screw driver really messes with my carpal tunnel.

Next, I place the scope on the rings and the very first thing I check is the clearance over the rear sight.  In this case you can see the scope clears it.  Years ago with my first rifle, a GSG-522, I scratched a scope by not checking that before I started screwing down the rings.

Next, I install the ring caps back on.  A time saver I do is to use the Dremel to run the screws in but there’s a trick.  Hold the screw driver lightly so it can run the screws in but the screw driver turns in your hand the second it bottoms out.  You don’t want to apply torque – just run the screws in.  I then back them off just a bit so I adjust the scope in the mount.  I also adjust them in or out slightly so I can get any gap between the ring cap and the base equal all the way around.

I then shoulder the rifle and move the scope forward and backward until I get the proper eye relief.  You want to be able to pull the weapon up quickly and see through the whole scope vs. having to move your head around to get a good sight picture.

Also, I true the scope left to right.  If I were doing a precision rifle, I would do it differently but with the PDWR, I eyeballed the reticle relative to the position of the rifle to level the scope and then tightened down the ring caps.  I like to carefully take them down snug all the way around and then set the torque at 18 inch pounds with a Wheeler Fat Wrench – note that Fat Wrench does not have a clear 18 in/lbs setting so I try to get it close.

Once you are set, you also need to torque down the mount’s rail attachment screws to 65 inch pounds.

I was taught to never store a torque wrench under load so once I was done, I then adjusted the Fat Wrench back to zero.

At that point you are done.  While setting up the optic and installing the brace, I noticed some tuning was needed and that will be the next blog post.

Click here for the post about installing the SOB arm brace

Click here for the post about selecting and purchasing the PDWR


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Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-6×24 Second Focal Plane Riflescope – AR-BDC Reticle (MOA) (Sports)

You can achieve a huge range of versatility using the Vortex Strike Eagle Rifle Scope 1-6×24 AR-BDC Reticle since it works brilliantly for hunting uses as well as tactical shooting uses. From 1x to 6x, from point blank range to extended ranges, these by the trusted experts at Vortex will give you crisp, clear optics during a variety of tasks. The key is its true one-power low end view and how it can easily transition up to 6x magnification for quick target acquisition at long distance. This transition can be made that much faster with the addition of the optional Vortex Switchview SV-4 Throw Lever. The high quality, fully multi-coated lenses of the Vortex Strike Eagle Tactical Scope ensure a crystal clear image and the single piece, aircraft grade aluminum tube is waterproof and fogproof for top performance in all weather conditions.

Features:

  • The Strike Eagle 1-6×24 is defined by speed and versatility. A true one power provides quick target acquisition in close quarter scenarios. Adjust to six power when you need to engage targets at a distance.
  • High quality, fully multi-coated lenses deliver a clear, crisp sight picture and optimal low light performance.
  • The illuminated, glass-etched BDC reticle features 11 illumination settings to accomodate for changing light conditions. An extra battery can be stored in the windage cap and easily released.
  • The fast focus dial on the eyepiece ensures that your reticle is always sharp.
  • Waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof ensures reliability in all weather conditions.

List Price: Price Not Listed
New From: $299.00 USD In Stock

Installing the CNC Warrior Picatinny Rail Scope Mount for the M92 PAP Pistol

Another great accessory for the Yugo M92 or M85 PAP is the slick picatinny rail kit that CNC Warrior sells.  This thing is a breeze to install and is the best means I have seen for adding an optic to the M92. Because the screws are inserted from the rail side, it is superior to other products that require the screws to come in from underneath the dust cover and risk being hit by the bolt carrier.

All you need is the pistol, a drill and some cutting oil to do the installation.

SAFETY STEP – MAKE SURE THE WEAPON IS UNLOADED.  NEVER ASSUME THAT IT IS – VERIFY IT IS UNLOADED BEFORE YOU BEGIN WORK.

1.  This is the top thick hinge of the M85/M92 dust cover.  See the faint circles?  Those are the spot welds and they are very hard!  Do not drill into them!  The new CNC Warrior mount has four holes and you only need to use two of them.  The reason there is four is so you can pick the best two that get you around/away from the spot welds.  Please note that my rail is only silver because it was a brand new design and they hadn’t applied a finish yet.  If you order one, you will get a black rail!

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2.  Here you can see my fancy high tech tools.  My Ryobi drill, Tap Magic cutting oil to lubricate the drills and the taps.  Note, you will need to buy a tap handle if you do not have one.  Do not take the short cut of trying to start the tap with a regular socket or open end wrench.  You really want the tap to be firmly held so you can tap the threads at a right angle to the surface of the hinge.  Also, see that little black cylinder?  That is a drill guide that you put into the hole you select to guide the drill bit to the right place on the hinge.  Be sure to use the cutting oil!

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3.  As an aside, I blasted the mount and then sprayed on flat black Molyresin and baked it.  You’d never know it came to me unfinished.

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4.  After you clean up the chips and are ready to do the final screwing of the mount, be sure to apply Blue Loctite so it does not come loose.

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That’s it!  The mount is solid and it holds my Vortex Sparc red dot just great.  Note our quick takedown pin to make it easy to remove the cover and get the optic out of the way.

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If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon or click one of the AdNow advertisements. EBay and Amazon you need to buy something, AdNow pays for each link you visit – no purchase needed.   With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated.  Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


Ronin’s Grips Quick Takedown pin for the M92 dust cover