newbie scope questions

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by rocknwell, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. rocknwell

    rocknwell Well-Known Member

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    i was reading an old thread in this section about scope mounting and they were talking a lot about "lapping" the rings when mounting scopes. can anybody tell me what it means to "lap" the rings? and all these different ideas on how to make scopes left and all that jazz confuses me. i understand the concept of vertically aligning the reticle, but leveling the scope make my head spin. are we leveling the scop in relation to the bore of the barrel, or are we leveling the scope in relation to, say water?
     
  2. WyoElk2Hunt

    WyoElk2Hunt Well-Known Member

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    Here is my inexperienced answer to your questions. Lapping means to smooth the rings out so the scope sets in the ring perfect no rough edges and no uneven contact points usually done with a proper sized rod and super fine sand paper. Leveling the scope is an advanced set to setting the reticle vertical. It levels the scope with the stock and barrel perfect. So when you aren't holding the rifle perfect the scope is canted in the same way as the rifle.
    Hope this is right information and if not we both learn something. I have learned a lot on this site, lets see if I retained any of it.
     

  3. ken snyder

    ken snyder Well-Known Member

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    Lapping rings is done by hand with a honeing bar after the rings are installed on the rifle to correct minor misalignments. Leveling the scope is a bit trickier, leveling to the rifle prevents the vertical component of the bullet trajectory from becoming part of the horizontal component. If the rifle is isn't level then the bullet trajectory will go in the direction that is the lowest (according to the horizontal crosshairs). Generally it is easy to tell if the scope is level to the rifle by adjusting the elevation knob all the way down and shooting a group and then adjusting the elevation knob all the way up and shooting a group. the two groups should be in vertical alignment with each other
     
  4. rocknwell

    rocknwell Well-Known Member

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    hey thanks guys! i appreciate it. hopefully i don't have to do that. but if i do, i suppose we'll find out how well i did! i should know in a few weeks when i get my gun and scope!
     
  5. diriel

    diriel Well-Known Member

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    To get a rough "Level", you can mount your bottom ring onto the base you chose, take a bubble level and set it across the base ring. Move the action until you show Level in the bubble. You then set your scope into the rings and mount it. Leave it slightly loose in the rings, and take that bubble level and set it on top of the Elevation Turret. If it shows level, great! You can also put the level on the windage (vertical) and check it that way as well.

    Then follow Kens advice to double check that it really IS level.

    Gary
     
  6. Snubbie

    Snubbie Well-Known Member

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    I never took lapping scope rings too seriously, you know, that's for the hard core paper punchers. But then I had an opportunity to get a lapping kit and the first rings I lapped were an eye opener.

    It was AMAZING how little contact my scope rings were making with the scope tube. When you lap, you remove the finish inside the rings so you can immediately see where the "high" spots are. Not only does lapping remove the high spots, but also any machining imperfections, pinch points and slight mis-alignment.

    Your rings marry the scope to the rifle making it one unit. One without the other is not much good. One half of the equation in top notch shape and the other only so-so will only give so-so performance. They have to be bound together as a single unit. The rings are the "glue" that binds them (scope and rifle) together causing them to work together as one.

    I have become 100% convinced that without lapping, with your rings only making semi-contact with the scope, that there is NO WAY you can realize the full potential of your rifle/scope combination as far as accuracy is concerned.

    Further, I believe that it is a simple matter for a minor bump or even recoil to shift point of impact without lapping.

    Lapping puts the rings in contact with the scope rather than a small portion of the rings in contact with the scope, which necessitates really torqueing down the rings to maintain your zero integrity, if that is even possible with just a tiny amount of the rings in contact with the tube. Further, it puts tremendous force on very small areas of the scope tube.

    Not terribly expensive and quite inexpensive when used with several rifles and considering cost of rifles and scopes. Here's a kit including torque driver for both 30mm and 1" tubes:
    Wheeler Engineering Scope Mounting Combo Kit 1" and 30mm - MidwayUSA
    This is just a cheapy kit but servicable.

    I believe, at the very least, lapping removes one variable that can effect accuracy when chasing after the best from your rifle/scope combo.
     
  7. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    Use Burris signature zee rings with inserts ([ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcRAX5OLtJE"]The Burris Signature Ring Mounting System - YouTube[/ame]) to eliminate the need for lapping. The tremendous gripping power of the ingenious design anchors the scope at zero round after round. Additionally, a synthetic self-aligning insert inside the steel ring cradles the scope and insures proper alignment and guarantees scope-to-ring contact is virtually 100%.

    I use the older Wheeler Engineering level-level-level ([ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8A2jczcKHU"]Wheeler Engineering® Level Level Level - YouTube[/ame]) to level my scopes with the rifle and then torque it with Wheeler's FAT torque wrench ([ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0qF1eoXDk0"]Wheeler® Engineering F.A.T. Wrench® - YouTube[/ame]).

    But if you really want to lap your existing rings, check this out ... [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWv7SiBheV0"]Gunsmithing - How to Lap Riflescope Rings to Improve Holding Power - YouTube[/ame]


    Good luck!

    Ed
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011
  8. rocknwell

    rocknwell Well-Known Member

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    thanks guys! will definitely do what i can!
     
  9. ken snyder

    ken snyder Well-Known Member

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    One of the amazing things about lapping is "the hone bar". for example a 1 inch tube scope, between manufacturers ranges from .096 inches to well above 1.001 - use a correct diameter hone bar for your scope and here is why: if the bottom ring half is a larger diameter than your scope, pressure from the top half being tightened down will only permit contact at one point without deforming the scope tube. It is better to have a ring diameter that is slightly smaller ( .0002 - .0003 which allows 2 points of contact instead of 1, this always yields less scope tube deformation and better grip than same diameter tube and rings. The top half of the rings need to be slightly larger than the scope diameter to allow them to move inwards towards the scope without pinching the top of the scope once again creating a 1 point of contact without deformation occuring to the tube. The only thing a hand hone can do is remove enough material to correct center plane alignment at the average misalignment between the 2 rings. - Kind of makes me understand why so many people choose insert rings instead of paying a ton and a half for custom ( corrected rings that put zero where its wanted without having to use up scope adjustment )
     
  10. rocknwell

    rocknwell Well-Known Member

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    will places like Cabela's lap your rings for you on the spot, or would this be something to take to a gun smith for? i've never done it and i'm not sure i want to spend $150 for a lapping tool set that i don't know how to use correctly.
     
  11. ken snyder

    ken snyder Well-Known Member

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    If you are not sure, take it to a gunsmith! While you are there he might talk to you about other things, such as larger mount bolts and bedding the rings or base. Unfortuanately to get full use of your scope at yardages you wish to shoot might require a tapered base as well as some sort of corrective surgery ( machining ). But in general most times but not all times you can get away without it if things like using up your scope adjustment is good enough for you. I dont think my local cabelas offers any on site services.
     
  12. rocknwell

    rocknwell Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Ken. i'll definitely find somebody to show me the ropes. hopefully i can watch whoever it is who does it-assuming i need the lapping. i'm hoping to get the best rings possible, but i guess we'll see. a lot of that other precision "surgery" will have to wait till i can save up more money though. but i do plan to get that stuff done!
     
  13. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    I thought Mr. Potterfield made the video simple enough. Anyways, if I were you, I'd go with Burris Signature zee rings with inserts - no lapping required. You can get for around $40 depends on height or if it's 1" or 30MM since you are not willing to spend $150. If you take it to a gunsmith, there is going to be a minimum charge ... probably 1 hour of labor at their rate - ~ $50-$75/hour.
     

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  14. rocknwell

    rocknwell Well-Known Member

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    sorry, i didn't see that there was a video link. these govt computers out here are pretty lame-they block SO MUCH-even from unlocked websites such as this one. I'll be sure to look into these things as soon as i get home. 1 week baby!