Originally Posted by bjb
First, I want to say that the Accu-Strut is a great product. I have the AS2 on my series 580 mini 14 ranch rifle (with heavier barrel) and I really like it. With good handloads, I have averaged 1.35" 5 shot groups at 100 yards with scope and sandbag. One time I even managed a 7/8" 5 shot group with handloads at 100 yards. I also really like the way it makes my mini look.
I installed my AS without the locktite and without drilling dimples in the gas block for the set screws. During my last shooting session I noticed that the screws clamoing the strut to the barrel became slightly loosened, but the strut did not slide because the set screws remained tight. This made me think that I should put the supplied locktite on the mating surface between the clamps and the barrels for extra security. My questions:
How much locktite do you put on the clamps?
Since any oil has to be removed with rubbing alcohol prior to applying the locktite, will the locktite provide adequate rust protection for the barrel surface and clamps? My barrel is blued and so is my strut/clamps. Once the locktite is used I don't think the strut will be frequently removed (if ever), so I worry about the condition of the barrel under the clamps.
Do you know if the strut performs better when locktite is used? It seems that it would be a more rigid system because you are not relying on friction between the clamps and the barrel. I have noticed that oil tends to accumulate between the clamp and barrel, which would lower the available friction force.
Thanks for your help and for bringing a great product to market.
Glad you're getting such great results! You bring up a lot of good questions. Let me try to answer as best as I can...
The supplied Loctite is intended for the clamp/barrel interface. While it can be applied to the screws, it is one of the strongest compounds available and will require heat for removal. So I suggest if the screws are loosening to use the removeable type Blue Loctite instead, available from any hardware store.
When used on the clamp surfaces, very little is needed- just a drop or two inside the clamp half. While it won't really hurt to use more, any excess tends to drip off and is just messy.
Good question about degreasing the barrel. Unfortunately, it's hard to give a definitive answer. In theory, you would be exposing the metal to more corrosion by removing the oil layer. I don't really know if the Loctite itself compensates for this. It is an anaerobically-cured compound, so by definition you're providing an oxygen barrier that should discourage corrosion. But does it work as well as oil (which is in itself no guarantee against rust)? Wish I knew! In practice, I always degrease the inside clamp surfaces, but leave the barrel alone. If is see slipping, I tend to jump right to the security procedure (dimples).
It's also difficult to assess whether the Loctite itself contributes to a more rigid mechanical structure. I've seen a huge detrimental affect of even a minimal amount of slipping. But I don't know if Loctiting the clamps has a beneficial effect over just securing the strut with the set-screws.
CEO NEST Engineering
MINI-14 SHOOTING CHAMP
2003: Iron Class: Dec and 3rd Overall
2004: Iron Class: Series 1; Scope Class: Series 1