Which Scope Ring Lapping Tool?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by Buano, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. Buano

    Buano Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    805
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Hi,

    Which is the best buy (works well for a reasonable price) in ring lapping tools for both 1" & 30MM scope rings? This is not for a shop but will be used for at least a dozen rifles.

    Thanks!
     
  2. NesikaChad

    NesikaChad Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    753
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    All I did was was take a stick of material and turned it to the diameters I wanted.

    Then cut a few grooves in it to hold the lapping compound better.

    If you have access to a lathe its about 15 minutes of work and they'll last you forever. I used 15-5ph SS as its what I had laying around at the time.

    Good luck.

    C
     

  3. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,072
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    I've made about a dozen of them thru the years, and the best I found was made from precision grade Thompson Rod (it comes in two or three grade levels). The stuff is harder than your exwife's breath in court! Comes with .100" case on it, and will usually be about 62RC, and is dead strait right out of the tube. Once you break thru the crust it machines very well. I used to use lapping compound (5a & 7a) till some folks up in Michigan turned me onto a powder that is called "non-charging lapping compound." Who makes it? I don't know, and it's just a yellow colored powder you mix with very light weight spindle oil. It will not imbed in the scope rings, so it won't attack the scope tube later on. I gotta find a new source for the stuff as I'm about out of it.
    gary
     
  4. Buano

    Buano Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    805
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    I would love to make my own, but it's been 30+ years since I had access to a machine shop.

    If I have some rods cut from drill rod or something similar, do I have them cut exactly 1" & 30MM or do I make them slightly undersized to allow for the lapping compound? If I make them undersized, what dimensions do I specify?

    Thanks!
     
  5. NesikaChad

    NesikaChad Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    753
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Everything I've seen is on size. Mine are and they work fine.

    Rather than go through all that, Brownells is probably the best answer.

    C
     
  6. Buano

    Buano Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    805
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Thank you on the size question, and yes, I will likely go with a commercial set as they are simpler to get my hands on & I have enough other projects for my spare time.

    Hope Santa was generous at your house!
     
  7. Dr. Vette

    Dr. Vette Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,033
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    I use the 1 inch version as I have no 30mm scopes, but Midway sells a nice combo if you want both sizes:

    Wheeler Engineering Scope Ring Alignment and Lapping Combo Kit 1" and 30mm - MidwayUSA

    Easy to use, no problems at all. Used it a few months ago to properly lap some rings on a Savage 110FP when I re-mounted the scope included with it.



    I rarely my lapping tool it as I go almost exclusively with Burris Signature rings, but that's a different topic.
     
  8. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,072
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    most places that sell ball bearings (not your hardware store) also can get Thompson rod. It usually can be had in different lengths as well. You just need to know what diameter you need (it comes in both English & metric diameters). It's strait and has a ground mirror finish on it.
    gary
     
  9. specweldtom

    specweldtom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,066
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    It is sort of off topic, but I use the Burris Signature Zee rings also. I like the dual turn-ins, but I prefer to be able to tip the scope off without having to take it out of the rings, so I normally get the Zee rings and Weaver Grand Slam bases. In my opinion, it's an excellent alternative to lapping rings.

    Tom
     
  10. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,072
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    I've used that setup several times over. Find that the scope often cames back within an inch at 100 yards, but never have had one come back to the same zero. Perhaps others have had better results than I have?
    gary
     
  11. specweldtom

    specweldtom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,066
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Gary, good point. With the Signature rings, I've had return to impact as much as 1 moa off, but never worse. My .220 Swift returned to poa as close as I can shoot, but a 6 BR was off poa 1" at 100 yds.. With Weaver Grand Slam (rigid) rings, and Grand Slam bases, it appears that they can return to impact within 1/2 moa pretty consistently. The Signature rings have 1" scopes, and the straight Grand Slam combo's have 30mm tubes. I don't know if that's a factor. Also, the 6 BR has aluminum bases, not the steel Grand Slams.

    I think somebody mentioned it, but a big feature of the Signature rings is that they WILL NOT mark a fine scope. I put a set on a friends custom lightweight .300 Wby (a fair kicker) with an older glossy Leupold scope that I absolutely did not want to mark. I've got another set ordered for a 30mm Swarovski that I also do not want to risk marking. Easy call.

    Tom
     
  12. Buano

    Buano Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    805
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Thanks everyone for the responses!!

    I ordered the Wheeler Engineering Scope Ring Alignment & Lapping Combo Kit. Even though I could likely come up with something nicer from scratch, it didn't seem to be worth the time. I've got other projects, some would say too many projects, to spend my time on.

    Thanks again!
     
  13. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,072
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    avoid using lapping compound like they sell in the automotive parts store (Clover compound is the trade name). It works just fine, but imbeds in the softer rings, and will then etch the scope body. As I said the best stuff I've used is Thompson Rod, but have also used plain old drill rod as well. Just get a better job with the Thompson Rod.
    gary
     
  14. Dr. Vette

    Dr. Vette Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,033
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    You'll like it.

    Maybe you know this already but a couple of thoughts....

    I put "drop rags" over my action and other parts when lapping to avoid getting any compound down into the action or anywhere else. I also mark the rings with a Dremel at the mating surface by one of the ring screws so I know which ring is front and which one is back, and which side is then left and right. A very tiny dot for the front left, and 2 dots for rear left, with the dots on both the upper and lower halves and I can identify any part if I ever take it apart again without having to worry about ring alignment or lapping.

    The rings will have compound on them after the process. Be sure to clean them off thoroughly.

    Have fun!