How to Lap Scope Rings? Details on Lapping Scope Rings!

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Lapping scope rings is a process that involves smoothing out the inside surface of the rings and it helps to protect the scope tube from damage and eliminates any stress that could affect the scope’s internal moving parts. 

Many people don’t know what lapping scope rings and I am pretty much sure that if you’re a newbie, you won’t have any information. In this guide, I will go into the details, and give you all the details including how you can lap the scope rings.  So, let’s get started.

Related Article: How to Measure Scope Ring Height?

What Are Lapping Scope Rings?

As I mentioned earlier, Lapping scope rings is the process of making the interior surface of the scope rings smoothly and precisely shaped. When you lap the scope rings, it enhances your accuracy while using riffle scope.

Due to different reasons, the high spots start producing inside the scope rings putting some extra stress and affecting your riffle shot by reducing the accuracy. So, to remove these spots, the lapping process is used.

In simplest words, the aim of lapping the scope rings is to ensure that the scope is securely fitted onto the rifle and that it is aligned with the barrel. I hope that now, the lapping scope rings are clear to you. Isn’t it? If not, ask your questions in the comment section, and I will be quick to respond.

Why Laping of Scope Rings is Important? 

It is time to go into more detail as I aim to give you all the insight. So it is important for you to know why people lap the scope rings and what benefits they get by doing so. In the section below, I will mention all the possible reasons behind the lapping of scope rings.

  • Scope users do lapping because it ensures that the scope is securely and properly mounted on the rifle. 
  • Another reason why lapping is done is it reduces the stress on the scope tube. The stress on the scope tube can affect the integrity of the scope’s internal moving parts. Lapping the scope rings eliminates this stress and ensures that the scope is aligned with the barrel, which is crucial for accuracy.
  • It protects the outside of the scope tube from damage. Secondly, it eliminates stress on the tube that could affect the integrity of the scope’s internal moving parts. 
  • Another important reason that I consider more valid it that the lapping of scope rings increases the holding power of the scope rings. So the scope remains securely mounted on the rifle during use.

How to Lap Scope Rings?

So, you’ve got all the basic introduction to lapping. It is now time to go into details and give an exact easy-to-follow step-by-step method for lapping the scope rings. I highly recommend you to pay special heed to the section as a small mistake can leave you with regrets.

Tools Required for Lapping

Look, lapping is not a very easy process to do, and without having the proper tools, it is impossible for you to do it successfully. So, I highly recommend you arrange the below-mentioned tools to avoid any delay or even failure in lapping. 

  • Scope rings
  • Lapping bar
  • Torque wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Lapping compound (Considered a must-have for lapping)

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Lap Scope Rings?

The wait is over. The main part of this article has come. I know you’ve been waiting for this portion to come. 

Keep in mind that I always make sure those people who are relatively new to optics also have the basic information and don’t feel confused while reading the guide.

If you’re not a newbie, I appreciate your wait. So, let’s get into the step-by-step process of lapping the scope ring.

1- Clean the scope rings

Scopes are usually used in outdoor conditions so chances are high that there will be some dust and debris. So first of all, you’ll have to remove all the dust and clean the scope rings and scope base.

Keep in mind if some dirt, debris, stranded particle, or even smaller oil drop is left on the scope then it will surely interfere with the lapping process. A clean surface is essential to ensure that the lapping compound is evenly distributed.

2-   Apply lapping compound

Once you’ve cleaned the scope rin, now it is time to apply the lapping compound.  Are you getting confused about the lapping compound? Don’t be as I am going to define the lapping compound.

A lapping compound also known as lapping paste or lapping grit, is an abrasive substance used in the process of lapping or smoothing. It is used to improve the smoothness and alignment of the scope ring. This page is applied to the interior of the rings.

Apply lapping compound to the inside of the lower scope ring. Apply the compound evenly and thinly to ensure that it is distributed evenly over the surface. Don’t use your hand directly for applying the paste. You can use anything else except your hands as it can cause irritations on your hands.

3- Use the lapping bar

Now the actual process begins that will help you in smoothing the interior of the scope rings. Place the lapping bar into the scope ring and begin to rotate it back and forth. Keep in mind to rotate the lapping bar gently and don’t commit to a harsh approach.

Keep rotating the lapping bar and feel the smoothness. Keep doing this until you don’t feel that the compound is evenly distributed over the surface of the ring. This rotation of lapping will help in distributing the lapping compound evenly.

After a few minutes, remove the lapping bar from the scope ring and inspect the inside of the ring. If the compound is evenly distributed, repeat the process with the upper scope ring and make sure that lapping also gets equally or evenly distributed in the upper ring as well.

4- Tighten the screws 

Once you are sure that the compound is evenly spread in the scope ring, now it is time to place the scope into the rings and tighten the screws. You will have to make sure that you always remain calm and do gently while putting the scope into those circles. 

Once you have placed the scope in the ring, now it is time to tighten the screws so that the scope does not remain loose. For this, you can use a special tool like a screwdriver and tighten the screws. 

When the screws are tightened properly, it means the scope is held firmly in place on the rifle. This is important because when we look through the scope, we want to see things clearly and accurately. If the scope is not perfectly fit, it won’t give you perfect stability in the visuals.

5-  Check the ring and remove the scope

So, you have now placed the scope into the ring, it is time to check for any bumps or high, or low spots in the ring that could affect your accuracy. If you believe that everything is perfect and you’re able to see and aim the target perfectly, it means that the lapping process is completed.

So, you will have to remove the scope from the rings and clean the lapping compound from the inside of the rings. I recommend you use any cleaning cloth to remove the lapping compound or remaining residue that you initially applied.

6- Reinstall the scope

Congratulations, you have completed the whole lapping process. It is time to reinstall the scope and start using it on riffle and hit the target with accuracy. Place the scope into the rings and tighten the screws to the manufacturer’s recommended torque setting. The scope rings will now be lapped and aligned correctly.

Disclaimer: Lapping scope rings should only be done when necessary – and don’t do it if your scope rings don’t need it. Overlapping can cause damage to the scope and rifle, so it should be done sparingly. Lapping should only be done if the scope is not mounting correctly or if it is not aligned correctly with the rifle.

Does Every Scope Need Lapping?

Not every scope needs lapping. However, it is a good idea to lap your scope rings if you want to achieve the best possible accuracy from your rifle. Or if you feel that your scope is not mounting and fitting perfectly, then you can do lapping of the scope ring by following the method that I have given in the above section.

Don’t you know when to lap the scope ring? Don’t be confused. In the section below, I am going to list the indications if you find anyone in your scope, then you should do lapping other you don’t need to do it.

  • Misaligned crosshairs
  • Inconsistent shot groups
  • Difficulty zeroing your rifle
  • Scope sliding forward or backward on the rifle

If you experience any of these issues, lapping your scope rings will surely help to solve them. That being said, if your scope rings are already properly aligned and your rifle is shooting accurately, lapping may not be necessary and I don’t recommend doing it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why lap scope rings?

Lapping scope rings is done to ensure that the scope is properly aligned with the rifle. Lapping helps in protecting the interior of rings and ensures that the scope is fit and mounted perfectly.

Is lapping scope rings necessary?

Lapping is not necessary however if your scope is not mounting accurately or you are having issues with accuracy, then you should consider lapping the scope rings.

What is the purpose of lapping scope rings?

The purpose of lapping scope rings is to create a more secure and stable base for the scope. Lapping helps in removing any high spots or burrs on the inside of the scope rings, which can cause the scope to be misaligned.

Can scope rings be lapped at home?

Yes, scope rings can be lapped at home. In this guide, I have given you easy-to-follow steps that will help you in lapping the scope rings.

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