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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