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Do you lap your scope rings?


Way2slow

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If you ever did, and saw how bad a lot of them need it, you would probably never put another scope without doing it.  Now, I will say, I've never bought any of these $200 - $300 rings, with the fancy precision title on them, so can't speak for those.  I have bought a ton of those in the $50 to $150 price range and don't know of a set I've owned that didn't need lapped to make and even or full contact.  I've had some so bad, they would probably damage the scope tube if torqued down as they were out of the box.  Pacific Tool and Gauge actually makes a reamer for them, but that's more for the professional that hasn't got the time it takes to sit there lapping a set steel rings.

I thought about this while sitting lapping a new set of 34mm rings to go on my M700 I've built.  They were one of the worst I've come across, and this was a not so cheap, popular brand rings.  They were bad enough, I took them off to double check and redo the alignment with the ring alignment tool set but didn't help.

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I use a lot of burris signiture Z rings with inserts so haven't had problem's, they also come in offsets to keep adjustments near the center and they don't slip or mar the scope. Do have a set of talleys on one gun but no problems.    Dave

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I've seen those but never used a ring that has any kind of insert.  I guess I'm too old school and want the solid contact.  I want to be absolutely sure there is nothing that might move or shift slightly when fired.  I even use Devcon to bed my rails/bases when I mount and locktite them.  Just like when bedding an action to help relieve any stresses that might be caused by poor contact surfaces.  Things just get very violent when that 60k pounds of pressure hits them and I'm extremely critical about my rifles setup.

Not saying they are not good, and are probably great if you don't want to spend the time and effort to lap them.  It's just I have never used rings like that, like the old chocolate, vanilla ice cream saying, everybody has there own likings.

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Yeah they don't move and work perfect, gunsmith buddy has them on a 366DGW and a 416 rigby no hint of movement or slippage. I just mounted 4 scopes and did load work for last two days........ready for hunting season, bonus permits announced tomorrow online.

 

Think I need to go fishing for a couple days next week and unwind :) Load ladder's for OAL and powder charge tuning wear me out for multiple cartridges but its over now. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I don't lap rings routinely, and $150 would be an expensive set of mounts for me.  I think that if I had a hard-recoiling gun or an issue, I would probably have it done or possibly do it myself.  I asked around with the more-seasoned benchrest guys when I used to compete about lapping, and they asked "Are you trying to save weight, because there's easier ways to go about it?".  I do have what looks like a couple of thick dowels with pointed ends that I use to make sure the rings are reasonably well aligned.

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The pointed things are for ring alignment when you are using rings like the Leupold Dove Tail rings.  If using a rail, not much can be done for alignment.  Lapping gives better contact for the holding of the scope to keep it from moving but more importantly it's to keep the rings from actually damaging the scope.  Several years ago, a friend ask me to check his rifle when he was trying to zero it.  it was acting erratic and he could not get it to zero. This was a brand new, $700 scope.  I used a pencil and marked the tube at the front and back of the rings and shot it a couple of times to see if it was moving, it wasn't.  I had to take the scope out of the rings to check the base and see if it was tight.  He had it pulled back to where the back ring was almost to the center section with the Turrets.  The base was tight so he decided to leave it off and take it back.  The place he bought it told him he would have to send it back to the manufacture for warranty repair.  His "Warranty" repair cost him almost $300. They said the scope tube was damaged where the rear ring was next to the adjustment system and damaged the insides of the scope, and they would not warranty it, the damage was too extensive.  They sent him a replacement at what they called, their cost.  He brought the rifle and rings to me and we checked alignment, that was good.  I lapped them a little to see if they were any pressure points and where the pressure points were.  The back ring was only touching the tube at very front, right next to the Turrets the way he had it mounted.  After almost thirty minutes of lapping, we finally had it where both rings made full, even contact.  His $700 scope ended up costing over $1,000

You can bet you won't never see him put another scope on without lapping the rings first.

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1 hour ago, Way2slow said:

"The pointed things are for ring alignment when you are using rings like the Leupold Dove Tail rings.  If using a rail, not much can be done for alignment.  Lapping gives better contact for the holding of the scope to keep it from moving but more importantly it's to keep the rings from actually damaging the scope. "

100%

 

Having an expensive scope damaged from tightening the rings is a no go. 

 

I like using Leupold dovetail bases and a ring lapping kit from brownells is cheap and reusable. Absolutely the most rock solid setup if I do say so.

Square those rings, lap them, mount scope, free float that barrel, never have to re-sight ( with a quality scope), rock and roll time!!! Punch em' out!!!

 

 

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I understand what lapping is for, and I don't believe that it could hurt anything (I guess you make steel rings more subject to oxidation).  I have heard stories of misaligned mounts damaging the optics, I just haven't personally.  Lapping scope rings is one more thing to do that probably won't get to, unless life changes a bunch.

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18 hours ago, CountryboyinDC said:

I understand what lapping is for, and I don't believe that it could hurt anything (I guess you make steel rings more subject to oxidation).  I have heard stories of misaligned mounts damaging the optics, I just haven't personally.  Lapping scope rings is one more thing to do that probably won't get to, unless life changes a bunch.

Thats about sums up how I feel as well, never have had a problem and never have damaged any optics. Don't have any scope slipping or moving issues either, Burris sig z rings and talleys have served me well :) Understand the lapping process but haven't needed it in more birthdays than I care to admit.  Good Shooting 

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  • Super User

my gunsmith did my last two rifle setups.  he did lap the rings.  

 

cheap insurance for me.  i dont even own the correct screwdrivers. 

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I have and I haven't.

It's not necessary unless it is.

Has no effect on accuracy.

Sometimes the right size rings are a smidge off.

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I think i was 14.  30.06.  I had an old weaver scope.  I took a Craftsman screwdriver and installed the thing.  I kinda beer canned the scope tube.  DUH.  my mom drove me to the weaver shop.  we lived in El Paso, and that so happened to be the Weaver location.  the dude at the shop looked at what I did, and silently removed the scope from my rifle.  he told my mom and I he would fix it.  I think he found an old tube and swapped it out.  he told me to take it to Chuy, a gunsmith. they already talked.  

 

Chuy showed me what I did wrong.  he lined up the mounts and lapped it a tiny bit and installed everything and asked me if I wanted it bore sighted.  and explained what that even meant.  I told him I would remove the bolt and stare down the barrel and line it up myself.  he grinned and sent me home.  I dont know what my mom paid him.  but Chuy taught me stuff.  

 

that weaver was the dullest darkest scope I have ever seen.  even with young eyes.  but dang if wasn't a jackrabbit long range sniper.  I bet I still have that scope somewhere.  it was JANKY.

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