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DE-CLICKING UNERTL, J.W. FECKER &
LYMAN SCOPE MOUNTS

By Wayne McLerran
Posted 1/8/2019

NRA Black Powder Cartridge Rifle Silhouette (BPCRS) and .22BPCR
Association (BPCRA) mandates that external adjustable scope mounts
must not have click adjustments.  Although there are a few modern
manufacturers of new legal scopes with non-click mounts such as Hi-Lux
Leatherwood, Montana Vintage Arms and D. Z. Arms to name three,
vintage R.W. Fecker, Unertl and Lyman brand vintage scopes and mounts
are also used for BPCR competition, especially since they can be found
for several hundred dollars less than the modern brands.  The problem is
most of the vintage scope mount turrets are click adjustable.  Unertl and
Fecker mounts are very similar, but with some turret design differences.  
Unertl scope mounts are relatively easy to de-click.  Depending on the
technique chosen, the process to de-click a “Fecker” ranges from simple
to somewhat complicated, but it’s still pretty straight forward once you
understand how the turrets are designed.  Some Lyman turrets utilize a
more complicated design but can be de-clicked.

Unertl Mounts
First, allow me to make the following very clear.  I’m no expert on Unertl
scopes or mounts.  I don’t know if all Unertl turret mount adjustments are
similar, but the ones I have seen are easy to de-click.  See the photo
below of the disassembled ¾” mount.  By the way, the spring and plunger
pictured to the left of the mount reside in the lower left cavity of the
mount.  Together they apply the necessary force to hold the scope body
firmly against the two adjustable turrets.
A right-angle pin is installed into a hole in the bottom end of each turret
assembly.  When functioning as originally designed, as the knob and
threaded section of the turret is rotated during adjustments, the pin holds
the bottom end from turning while sliding up and down as necessary in a
slot in the turret housing.  Through the center of the threaded section, the
bottom end of the turret assembly is directly connected to a thin round
flat disk resting on top of the knob.  Since, due to the right-angle pin, the
bottom end of the turret assembly cannot rotate, the flat disk cannot
rotate.  The flat disk has a small detent dimple impressed close to the
edge.  When the knob is rotated under it the dimple snaps (clicks) over
notches formed in the top of the knob.  Removing the right angle pin de-
clicks the turret.  It’s that simple.  Just completely unscrew and remove
the turrets.  Then grab the right angle pin with a pair of pliers and pull it
out while gently rotating it back and forth.  The pin may be very easy or
quite tight to remove.  If it breaks off and you have no plans for using the
click feature, just file off any remaining rough edges.  Finally, to control
the tension on the now de-clicked mounts, tighten the screw in the upper
right hand corner between the two turrets.  Another method that
reportedly works to control tension is to clean the turret threads of oil
and apply a drop of linseed oil or some rosin.  I have not tried either so
can’t comment, but it sounds reasonable to me.

Fecker Mounts
As displayed in the photo above, some R.W. Fecker mounts were
produced by the factory without click adjustments, I have one, but the
majorities I’ve run across have click adjustable turrets which have a flat
U-shape piece of steel I refer to as a click flange.  One end of the click
flange rides in the turret housing slot.  The other end extends up the
center of the turret and is locked (peened) to a spring-steel ring in the top
of the turret which I call a click ring.  The hardened steel click ring has a
detent dimple impressed in the center of the thin edge.  As the turret is
rotated, the click flange keeps the click ring from rotating which forces
the detent to “click” over the radial ridges/grooves in the top of the turret
as the turret is rotated.  Refer to the photo of the disassembled parts
further on in this article.

Looking at the mount and turrets, the first thought might be that the
turrets should be easy to de-click.  Just unscrew each turret and, similar
to the Unertl modification, cut off the flange wing that rides in the turret
housing slot.  But take a closer look and you’ll note that if the flange
wing is removed there’s nothing stopping the bottom of the flange, the
section that rides on the scope body, from rotating, which would
effectively disable turret adjustments.

There are three techniques I’m aware of to de-click Fecker mounts.  One
is not permanent and, if successful, is easy to convert back to using the
click feature.  The 2nd and 3rd techniques result in permanently disabling
the click feature, the latter being the most complicated of the three.

First Technique:
The 1st, hopefully reversible technique, is from Brent Danielson on the
BPCR.net forum and is discussed in the following details and photo
provided by Brent.
“It involves snipping off a piece of a 0.030" LDPE wad (0.060" is too
thick) and then inserting it under the spring clip ring to block the detent
in it. The snipping should be shaped much like a fingernail clipping. You
will have to experiment for size and shape, but it doesn't seem super
critical.  Next use a very small "Eyeglasses screwdriver" or similar
(spring steel dissecting probes work really well too). Slide the tip of the
tool under the spring steel ring next to the detent and pry it upwards
gently while poking the sliver of LDPE under it. A second screwdriver
or probe works well for this. Then release the tension on the spring
lowering it onto the LDPE which now blocks the detent from engaging
the teeth of the cogwheel below it. The detent seems to do a fine job of
holding the plastic in place and you can dial to your heart's content
without clicks. So far, it seems to stay in place, though you may want to
experiment with shapes and sizes a little if it wants to move on you.”

Wayne’s comment: I tried Brent’s procedure and it worked on one
turret but the detent spring broke while attempting to insert the LDPE
material under the 2nd turret, hence the “…hopefully reversible
technique…” comment above.  If successful this is the only reversible
method I know of to de-click Fecker turrets.  If the detent spring does
break refer to the 2nd or 3rd method.

Second Technique:
The 2nd and nonreversible but easy method is to wedge a thin flat
screwdriver tip under the thin section of the click ring near the detent
and lift it up with the help of needle-nose pliers until the thin section
breaks off.  It’s the easiest nonreversible method but results in an
unattractive turret top.  Since, during adjustments, the top of the turret
continues to rotate under the remaining portions of the click ring,
filling/covering the top with epoxy or similar adhesive is not an option.  
I have not tried it but epoxying or silver soldering an appropriate size
washer or cap over the top of the remaining click ring may work.
Third Technique:
The 3rd procedure also permanently disables the click feature and
results in a nice looking top to the turrets.

To partially disassemble the turret and disable the click feature:
•        Remove the turret assembly from the rear mount.
•        The click flange must be separated from the click ring.  First try
wedging a flat screwdriver blade under the center section of the flange
and pry it up.  It should pop off, but if not use a Dremel or similar tool
and a small grinding wheel, grind down the peened center joint
sufficiently to remove the flared portion.
•        After grinding insert a flat screwdriver blade under the click ring
and pop it off the top of the turret.  If it won’t easily separate from the
click flange grind some more.  The ring may break in the process but it’s
no longer needed.
•        With the two pieces separated, discard the click ring and remove
the click flange from the turret.
•        Grind off the top end of the section of the click flange that
extended up the middle of the turret.  Remove enough so that it no
longer extends out the top of the turret.  About 1/8” should be sufficient.
The following photo displays the parts of the turret after partial
disassembly.
At this point you may think you’re finished, which is usually not the
case.  Since the click flange is no longer connected to and pulled up and
down by the click ring the flange wing must be thinned sufficiently so it
easily slides in the turret housing slot when the screw between the
turrets is tightened sufficiently to apply correct tension on the turrets
threads.  The additional tension is required since the turret position is no
longer being held in place by the now removed click ring.  Unless the
thickness of the wing is reduced it will likely be “pinched” by the turret
housing slot.  A couple of techniques that work include clamping the
flange in a vice and use a Dremel-type tool or holding the flange with
vice grips and gently thin the wing using a bench grinder.

Once all is working properly, although not necessary for functionality, to
make the top of the turrets attractive, after cleaning the top with solvent
and brush to remove all the remaining oil and crud, cover the center hole
with a small piece of tape and fill the top with epoxy to give it a finished
look.  J-B Weld epoxy works great and results in a very hard nice gray
finish as seen in the following photo.
Lyman Mounts:
Lyman utilized several turret designs.  Some came with the nylon or
delrin-type pads contacting the scope tube as in the photo below.  Others
have metal pads and still others used a flat U-shaped flange like the
Fecker’s.  The design I’m somewhat familiar with is pictured below and
is from a Lyman Super Targetspot (STS) scope.  I’ve never had the
opportunity to de-click a Lyman turret but have researched the subject
and discussed it with others.
There are two ways to de-click the Lyman turret pictured.  The easiest
method, without disassembling the turret is to cut or grind off the flange
wing from part #3 which will permanently de-click the turret.  Removing
the flange wing does not disable the turret functions as it would with
Fecker mounts.  The 2nd method, assuming the turret can be fully
disassembled, is to remove the detent spring (part 7) and the detent
plunger (part 8).  Since the 2nd method does not modify any parts, the
click function can be enabled at a later date.  The potential problem with
the 2nd method is the turret may be very hard to disassemble due to age,
corrosion and/or hardened lube.  I understand that part 1 slides out of
part 3 and part 6 screws into part 2, which has internal threads, holding
the assembly together.  Even after soaking the turret in various “break
free” solutions and using localized heating some have refused to come
apart.

I hope this article has been informative and enables you to modify your
vintage scope mounts to meet the NRA BPCRS and .22BPCRA
requirements for silhouette competition.

Wishing you great shooting,
Wayne