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Do Scope Rings Need To Be Lapped?

Do Scope Rings Need To Be Lapped?

Accuracy is essential when firing a gun, especially if your life depends upon it, that’s why it is so important to have a good quality scope that is properly mounted to your firearm. You may be wondering if all scope rings need to be lapped in order for them to be accurate. Some people have differing opinions on this subject.

Although scope rings are machine-made, there are often still minor discrepancies on the inside of the rings that can damage the scope or cause it to be inaccurate. Different factors during the manufacturing process can contribute to why scope rings may need to be lapped.

If you would like to know more about scope ring lapping continue reading for information that will help you land your target more accurately.

What is Scope Ring Lapping and Is It Always Necessary?

The term scope lapping is just another way of saying to gently sand the inside of the scope rings using a special lapping compound and tool kit made especially for this task.

Lapping your scope rings:

  • Can make your scope fit more snuggly
  • Give you more accurate results when aiming at your target
  • Prevents your scope from being scratched in the mounting rings
  • Removes any rough debris left behind as a result of the manufacturing process

As mentioned above, different factors of the manufacturing process can affect the outcome of the scope rings. For example, one machine may have a bit that is slightly worn more than another which causes some roughness or metal shavings.

Scope ring lapping may not always be necessary; however, oftentimes it is needed due to imperfections caused by the manufacturing process. The best way to know for sure is to do a simple test to see if lapping is needed. The next section will discuss more on that topic.

How Do I Know If My Scope Rings Need to Be Lapped?

It is very simple to determine if your scope rings need to be lapped. The scope should drop into mount easily without pushing down on the tube. You should not be able to see any light between the scope and edges of the ring.

If you can see light then you need to have your scope rings lapped. Another way to know if your scope rings need lapping is to simply feel the inside of the rings with your fingers. If you feel any roughness or uneven edges you also need to lap your rings so they don’t scratch your scope.

How Are Scope Rings Lapped?

Scope rings are lapped by putting the firearm in a vice. A special tool is used to measure how precise the rings are. Once the preciseness of the scope rings has been checked a special compound is applied to the inside of the rings.

This compound is then “sanded” off with another tool designed specifically for lapping scope rings. Once the inside surface is smooth the scope can be tested to see how it fits.

Do Scope Rings Need to be Lapped by a Professional?

Scope ring lapping can be done by anyone who feels comfortable with attempting the process. It is not a difficult process and can be a handy bit of knowledge to have for future firearm and scope purchases.

Scope ring lapping kits can be purchased online or at your local firearm dealer. If you are not comfortable with attempting this process most dealers or sporting goods stores offer scope lapping services.

Here is an example of a simple Scope Ring Lapping Kit available for purchase online. This is just one of many, but it gives you an idea of what to look for.

Continue reading for more helpful information on scope ring lapping.

The Right Equipment Makes All the Difference

Any firearm enthusiast will tell you that it doesn’t matter if you have the highest quality scope rings on the market; if the rail or mount is not precisely mounted on the firearm itself it can throw everything off.

Having said that, if you are confident that your firearm is solid and you wish to avoid lapping, try investing in a one-piece precision-machine-made scope mount. It is very rare that you will have to do any lapping with these mounts as they are extremely high quality. It is unlikely that you will find rough patches or metal burrs on a precision-machine-made scope mount.

Lapping Scope Rings Case By Case Situation

When it comes to lapping scope rings you may get different answers from different enthusiasts, so be your own judge. Oftentimes scope rings will need some lapping, so if you are a frequent firearm user it may behoove you to invest in a ring lapping kit so you can be sure all of your sights are right on target.