Mongoose, I'm sure a few "peoples" will disagree with what I am going to say but...... Don't ever lap Badger's. If you use a quality one piece base (Badger, for example) they don't need it. If you use crappy two piece bases and your rings appear out of line, it's the holes in the action or the bases, not the rings. Badger rings are machined as a pair. As a matter of fact, lapping them voids any warranty they have. How do I know- I've said it once but I'll say it again. I am a smith for GA Precision and Badger Ordnance is in the same building. I stand 10' away from Marty Bordson all day. I have assembled 1000's of his rings and mounted hundred's of Leupold's, NightForce, Unertl's, US Optics and S&B's with Marty's rings and bases. Bottom line is mount 'em up and go shooting! Chris
MONGOOSE-- LAP the rings. I have Badgers and NF rings on every rifle I have and have yet to find a set of any rings that didn't align better with lapping, regardless of the base used(yes I have Badger and NF bases, too). No way in hell I'd drop a $1500 scope in any set up without lapping them in. I spoke with Marty the other day (bought about $2000 worth of rings for the dept) and mentioned that I'd be lapping them and he didn't say anything about the warranty. If you dont lap, you probably won't have adverse effect on your scope, but you WILL have ringmarks. If that doesn't bother you, you could probably get away with using them right from the box...
Here's the deal. Badger's are machined to very tight tolerances, will they leave marks, yes possibly. Lapping bars, like those from Brownells, are made from cold rolled steel (1" and 30mm stock) check those tolerances- from .950 to 1.050 approx. The **** things aren't even perfectly round. The human arm is made of hinges- they swing in an arc, not a straight line. When you use a lapping bar you get a slight rocking motion in your movement. THESE are straight from Marty's mouth. Chris- He might not have said anything to you directly about it because everybody can choose what they want, but I guarantee you won't return a set of rings that have been lapped.
Chris Please don't take my last post the wrong way, it's not an attack or ****ing contest. Like I said I spend 10 hours a day 6-7 days a week with Marty, he is a close personal friend and I am repeating what I hear from him. He actually takes all this stuff very personal, the man has a lot of pride in his products. Like I said everybody is free to do what they feel is best, but what I/Marty said are some facts easily verified. Food for thought...
Marks make no diff as I don't plan on removing the scope. My big concern is damaging the tube. The directions ( yes I actually read them) state torque to 1.2lbs. I would hope that S&B built a tube to take that much (LOL), but I did spend a very pretty penny and would rather error on caution.
Bedding a scope base is a current topic of discussion here too, so just wondering what both you and Marty recomend to do about the base part of the equasion, considering most commercial recievers are out of whack to begin with?
Chris J. does make a good point about lapping curing some imperfect alignment issues that can potentially damage the scope. Is there something that comes with the B.O. rings that states the warranty will be void if they are lapped and explains the reasoning to the buyer, and also does it make any referance to, or suggestion as to bedding the base?
I'm asking because Nightforce explicitly states if the rings are not lapped, the warranty on their scopes is void. Now I know NF and Badger are in direct competition with each other as far as rings and bases go but, here's the deal; What warranty is worth more, $150.00 or possibly a $1500.00 one, and which one is more likely to get the short end of the stick if something isn't aligned properly?
The lapping bars of Brownells being that far off is kind of a surprize, and something to look into. I do know the one at my dads isn't that much larger or smaller, or it would never have fit down in the rings, or made contact with the sides of them if that small, though I must admit to never even batting an eye at it and measuring the thing, tho I will. One would think they were turned down to the correct diameter before being sold, especially considering why they are sold to begin with.
Who has lapping bars that they can measure up and report back on?
I’m sure some will disagree, but I say absolutely lap all rings even badgers, except for those rubber inserted Burris rings. Badgers are the only rings my rifles wear, because they are the best. I have lapped every set I’ve owned. Most of them don’t take anytime at all to lap and clean up. GA percision builds a great set of rings and mounts. They are built to very tight tolerances, but that cannot make up for even a perfect scope bases mated to a not so perfect receiver. I had one pair that really needed lapping. Those rings are also notorious for leaving ring marks on scopes. If you lap them, they don’t mar the finish of the scope at all.
Brent, Marty's ring don't come with anything that says it voids the warranty, but I here the "lecture" about it everytime somebody says they are lapping the rings. A few little marks aren't going to hurt anything, a scope loses a lot of it's value the second it is mounted, marks or no marks. If a guy goes crazy with a lapping bar the rocking motion will grind the edges of the rings down creating a high spot in the middle. This will dig in and bust scopes. The ideal is to have as much contact across the ring to distribute the pressure evenly. I've seen Marty replace (for free) rings/parts when a guy was honest and admittted he screwed up and broke something (example 65 foot pounds instead of the proper 65 in pounds for the nut) but if you screw around and lie to him that's your tough luck cause you're a *******. I'm sure lapping would go the same way. As far as bedding bases goes we-me, George, Eric and Marty have never done it that I know of. Do it if it makes you feel better, lap the rings if it makes you feel better. The bottom line is we have mounted hundreds, maybe a thousand or more rings and bases and almost(I won't say never) never have any problems. Too many people are looking for magic combinations, snake charms or plain ol excuses as why they shot so crappy. Mount the **** things at the proper torque( given by Marty with the rings) and GO SHOOT!!!!!!! If your shooting sucks, quit looking for excuses, suck it up be a man and admit you suck and then get better by SHOOTING MORE!!! Lapping rings, bedding bases, turning necks, measuring runout will not make you a better shooter ONLY TRIGGER TIME WILL. This isn't aimed at anybody in particular, just comes from dealing with the general population on the phone day in and day out. Too many gray areas in shooting and gunsmithing- no wrongs or rights, just different ways of doing things. But like I said trigger time is the best and final answer.
Chris M., Most facts, reasons and experiences seem to be clear at this point, thanks for sharing your take on it too.
I'll agree that more practice is always benificial one way or another but, lapping and bedding isn't usually done to feel better, nor is facing a reciever, bolt, rucutting the threads or bedding the rifle. These are things that eliminate or reduce potential problems and help you focus on your shooting, and not wonder about the unit you're squeezing the trigger on.
Most guys here want a totally solid system and aren't looking for a cheap rifle so they can have cheap excuses because they can't shoot a decent group consistantly, quite the opposite, as I'm sure you know. I don't doubt you hear from complainers all the time because they just simply can't shoot, when you know they have a superb rifle that you've just built them yourself, and don't blame you for wishin some would get a clue, but I do believe you're comments on practice directed to this crowd may be not entirely, but somewhat, preaching to the quire so to speak. Hope ya don't take that the wrong way.
Brent, I agree with what your are saying. What I meant by making you feel better basically is if you feel you need to do it then do it. I do pretty much everything else you said except lapping and bedding the bases. My rifles shoot 1/2 MOA, most shoot 1/4 without lapping or bedding so I don't do it. As far as preaching to the choir, I'm glad we are all on the same side.