Lapping Vertical Scope Rings

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by sendero72, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. sendero72

    sendero72 Well-Known Member

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    I have a set of Tally Vertical rings. I've seen videos on youtube but they were on standard horizonal rings. How do I lap these types rings? There are 30mm diameter.

    Thanks
     
  2. MTBULLET

    MTBULLET Well-Known Member

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    first, are you sure you need to lap them?
    It's been my experience that good rings seldom need lapping.
    second, the same way, with a lapping bar, carefully.
     

  3. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    I was going to reply when you first posted but I didn't want to look like a fool or sound like a fool. My wife calls me worse, but we've been married 30+ years so I'm used to her.....

    I tend to use Warne Maxima rings, I like Warne rings, for one, they are rigid and 2, made here in the states....

    The Maxima's are vertical split and I agree with the previous post, good rings don't need to be lapped...most times, sometimes they do.....

    It all depends on how the rings align on the rail. I lap all of them as a consideration because I want to see if there are any high spots and if they are parallel to the tube in relationship to the rail....

    You need a length of centerless ground drill rod in the appropriate diameter, some Clover, grease based fine lapping compound and some patience.

    Set your half ring set on the rail (in the locations where they will mount to the scope) (that's important because there may be deviations in parallelism and height if the rings aren't set in the final position).....

    .....With the half ring in position on the rail, take the drill rod (coated with a small amount of Clover compound and lay it into the ring half and attach the other half (like you were putting on the scope. Then torque the lower (rail mount bolts to the specified torque the ring mfg, specifies (or 35 inch pounds) if no spec. Take the top mount bolts and snug them so the rod in the rings is still able to move both laterally and rotationally and spin it a few times while moving back and forth, just a few times and then remove the top bolts and the side bolts, pull the half off the rail (making note where the rings are (I use a fine paint marker to mark the spots). Remove the opposite side as well but keeping in mind which side goes on the right and which is on the left (I mark them, again with a paint marker) and clean the lapping compound from the inside of the rings. If there are any high spots or misalignment, you'll see it right away. No high spots and no misalignment will result in nothing removed.

    It takes (usually a few times) to correct any high spots or alignment issues (if any).

    It's important to record the exact mounting spot (on the rail) and the respective positions of each half of the ring....

    It's also important to have the base bolts torqued to spec when lapping...

    The rings have to be secure to the rail but loose in relationship to the drill rod.

    That's how I do mine. You don't remove much material, it's more of a gage as to the parallelism of the rings in relationship to the optic and rail and to a lesser extent, if there are any high spots present.

    When done you mount the scope (with the rings in correct relationship and exact placement on the rail as when they were lapped and torque the lower and upper mounting bolts to manufacturers spec, For Warne it's 35 inch pound top and bottom....

    Again that's how I do it and I may be FOS but it works for me.

    Finally, don't guess at the torque values. Use a inch pound torque wrench or a FAT wrench. I use a dial type Snap-On inch pound wrench and the correct drive socket... Too much torque will deform the mounts and cause misalignment and too little will to plus allow the scope to move when the firearms recoils.

    Hope that's not too confusing.....:)
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  4. sendero72

    sendero72 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info. The Tallys have different torque settings for each set of screws and I do have the Fat Wrench. In the Midway video, he was removing 85 to 95% outer layer of metal. I know I word that correctly, but all the bluing was down to the bare metal. The same thing with Aaron on Longrange Pursuit. It is slightly confusing as to how much lapping should be done.
     
  5. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    I can see bluing if the rings are silver. It's actually Dykem and it comes in blue or red.... if silver bluing could be employed and would show the high spots or offset more readily, on black rings, the coating will be removed (by lapping) so the base metal will show.... no Dykem needed. Actually, unless half blind (like me) you really don't need Dykem on silver rings either. Lapped high spots and misalignment will show as a different texture from the parent ring material...

    I think lapping is personal preference as to how much. I lap to remove misalignment and high spots and when I have a satisfactory bed, I quit.

    Lapping is a slow and tedious process and it don't remove a large amount of ring material. Theoretically, you could lap the rings until there was no gap in the upper split (on vertically split rings) or no side gap (on horizontally split rings) but that would take probably hours and hours of lapping with a bar and compound and it's not necessary. You just want a nice even fit.....

    Misalignment in rings will produce marring on the tube of an optic and severe misalignment can cause issues with mechanics of a scope though I've never had one that bad on any firearm I own that I've mounted a scope on.

    Keep in mind that the bar you lap with also wears from the compound so after a protracted time you'll want to replace the bar itself.

    You can get Clover fine lapping compound at Midway I believe however, it will be less expensive at an industrial machine tool supplier like MSC or Enco plus they will have the ground drill rod in metric and SAE diameters. It usually comes in 3 foot lengths, plenty enough for all your lapping needs.
     
  6. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    On the FAT wrench, I've read elsewhere that people have a hard time with the indicator bar and how the indicator line itself relates to the actual torque value.

    I decided a while back to get one myself (because it was on sale at my friendly next door (literally) Cabelas.

    I found that checking the wrench (really a glorified screwdriver...) with my Snap-On dial torque wrench, that when the pointer indicator bar is centered on the graduation scale, that is the torque applied to the bit. However, mine fluctuates a bit across the range of torque values, not more than 5 inch pounds and I don't believe it's critical to it's function.
     
  7. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    Like post number 2 states... Be sure they actually need lapped in the first place. That's easy to do too, either by using Dykem and the lapping bar without lapping compound or the optic itself if it's a keeper because you'll rotate the optic in the rings to remove the bluing and observe if, any high spots or misalignment is present and using the optic may mar the tube.

    Mount the rings in their respective locations as related to eye relief and rail position and snug the mounts (even torque again) until the optic tube or lap bar moves (rotationally) with slight resistance and rotate the bar or optic a revolution or 2 and remove. That will impart the reference marks.
     
  8. sendero72

    sendero72 Well-Known Member

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    A key item I forgot to mention and it hit me while in bed last night. The rear mount is a 20 MOA base. Even though that is only a few thousandths higher, wouldn't that create pressure points on the scope tube on that ever so slightly downward angle of the ring alignment?
     
  9. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    It might but it might not.

    It will all depend on how the 20 MOA cant was achieved. If the rings have a distinct front and rear relationship, that is, they are marked for placement as such, then the bore in the rings is angled to achieve the 20 MOA can't and will be parallel when installed correctly. So not much, if any lapping needed.....

    However.....

    If not, there could be an issue. If it was me (in that scenario and they weren't marked for specific mounting (front and rear), I'd fixture them, gage them for parallel bore and, if necessary, bore them lightly, saimesed together.... just me.

    I don't believe you have an issue, however.
     
  10. Tikkamike

    Tikkamike Well-Known Member

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    In my opinion all rings need to be lapped to take out any imperfections and ensure good contact. maybe they line up well with the alignment bars, but that doesnt eant they have good contact. the ring may have a concave surface and you would never know it till you lapped them. Not to mention it ensures you absolutly have a stress free alignment. I dont care for the vertically split rings because once you lap them then take them apart and put your scope in you cant be certain they went back together exactly the same as they were when you lapped them. I dont like unknowns, so I tend to stick to things I can control if possible.
     
  11. sendero72

    sendero72 Well-Known Member

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    Well what do you guys think of the Burris Zee Rings?
     
  12. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    So do I actually. Vertically split rings, so long as they are of quality manufacture (like Warne) should (I say should) go back together the same as when taken apart so long as you don't interchange the half segments front to rear or rear to front. The cross slot insert aligns the segments and even torque assures even seating. I've never had an issue. Not to say I won't, but so far, no. Besides, I like being different.....:)

    Soon as ypu put the alignment/lapping bar in the rings and rotate it once or twice (with compound on it of course) and remove it, you'll know if the inner bore(s) are aligned or if there are high/low spots. The the 'fun' begins....

    In the trades we call the take apart put back together 'repeatability' I tend to put witness marks on everything anyway, to insure repeatability, in the case of rings, paint marks. No center punching allowed....:D
     
  13. MNbogboy

    MNbogboy Well-Known Member

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    I have three sets of the Burris Signature Zee.....For me they are great...at least for the calibers I shoot (.260, 25-06, 30-06).....I have read others say they won't hold for the larger magnums..

    After about 1000 rounds in one of my 260s I switched scopes...No ring marks whatsoever and they didn't move.....Some of my Savage and Stevens actions are not "perfect" as far as base screw alignment left to right....With the inserts you can get almost any configuration you need to keep the scope internals centered at bore sight...Plus you can add 20 vertical or so minutes pretty easy to boot...

    The inserts self align with the tube and the other mount eliminating the need for any lapping and the insert material will not mar the finish on the tube...

    I have not used any of my Burris mounts in temps much below 0 degrees F so I can't say for sure if temps any colder than that will have problems with the inserts allowing movement....

    I currently have another set of 30mm on a back-order and going to mount a Viper 6.5-20 on yet another Stevens...This scope is fairly heavy but I don't expect it to move...One BSA I have with a 30mm tube is heavier and has stayed put on a varmint barreled 25-06.....

    My .02,
    randy