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Do I Need my Scope Rings Lapped?

This is a discussion on Do I Need my Scope Rings Lapped? within the Optics forums, part of the Gun Forum category; I was installing my Trijicon Accupoint on new TPS rings that I bought and I noticed it seem to be a little tight. I mounted ...

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Old December 6th, 2012, 09:53 AM   #1
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Do I Need my Scope Rings Lapped?

I was installing my Trijicon Accupoint on new TPS rings that I bought and I noticed it seem to be a little tight. I mounted the rings to the base following the instructions, but they said there should a 20 thousandths gap one side when finished. I noticed I had about a 1/16" gap. So do guys think I should get lapping kit or is okay like it is?
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Old December 6th, 2012, 10:09 AM   #2
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There really isn't much of an argument against lapping, except for the cost. Unlapped rings can potentially affect the performance of your scope, or in the worst case damage it.

If you don't want to spend the money on a lapping kit, you could take it to a gunsmith, but if you want to do it yourself, I recommend the Kokopelli lapping kit.

For the record, I lapped my TPS rings and corrected roughly 1/32" of discrepancy. It's important to note that perfectly machined rings won't necessarily eliminate the need for lapping, since the scope base also influences ring alignment.

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Old December 6th, 2012, 10:48 AM   #3
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I would lap them. There's no better feeling that knowing your rings are in perfect alignment when mounting that expensive piece of glass on it. I did it on my Zeiss and I'm glad I did.


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Old December 6th, 2012, 10:57 AM   #4
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I lap all my scope rings, and have for 50 + years. Until recently on this forum, I did not know anyone mounted a scope without lapping. I have been told that I am behind the times and that new stuff doesn't need it. I totally disagree. No such thing as just close enough in my book.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 03:37 PM   #5
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For the long-term benefit of that expensive scope, either lap or use rings with the neoprene inserts. What lapping does for you is spread the smooth clamping surface enough to let you secure your optic without farmer tightening it, which is bad on the innards.

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Old December 7th, 2012, 05:06 AM   #6
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I think lapping is a good idea (although others my have their opinions) Expecting a receiver, base, rings and scope (possibly made by 3-4 different manufacturers) to all be perfectly trued up together and make the rings perfectly concentric is asking a lot. Lapping will help ensure that the inside of the rings make 100% uniform contact and pressure around the scope tube, which is a good thing. I've used the Wheeler Engineering lapping kit with good results.

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