How To Properly Lap Scope Rings?

Lapping on a scope ring is the process of truing up the inside surface of your scope ring to protect your scope from scratches. It also makes sure the ring isn’t applying an extra amount of force which can later affect the tube of your scope.

That’s why you must lap the rings so they don’t damage your scope. Sure, you can buy true scope rings but that will cost a ton of money as well. So, let’s properly lap the rings ourselves.

What Tools Do You Need For The Process?

Assuming you are not a gunsmith, it’s normal to ask what kind of tools you may need for the process. While you can go the gunsmith route and buy every single item separately, you can get the Wheeler Scope Ring Alignment and Lapping Kit Combo.

Alignment – First Thing First

Center the scope base ring on the vise. Now take out the tool that you bought for this process. Enter the cylinders which are also known as lapping rods. Make sure that the tip of each cylinder is perfectly straight and they are aligned with each other.

Any deviation from this alignment will let you know that the scope base is mounted off-center. In most cases, this happens due to the base holes in the receiver ring and the rear receiver not aligning correctly.

Polishing – Time to The Next Step

Implies you have aligned the rings correctly, it’s time for you to move on to the next step. The next step is polishing the top rings and bottom rings with a special compound. This compound wears off coming in contact with any raised surface. Giving you a perfectly smooth set of rings.

For this, you will need a lapping tool. The lapping tool looks a lot like a rifle bolt but it’s one or two inches more in the size department. If you bought the kit I mentioned earlier, then you will find this tool included in that package.

Place the lapping tool on top of both lower ring assemblies. Now place the other half of the rings and start screwing them down. But don’t screw them too tight. Leave enough room for the cylinder-shaped tool to move back and forth across both rings.

Using the lapping bar and a layer of silicon carbide, move the tool back and forth. But take it slow and gentle. Don’t be too harsh. You don’t want to take off the coating from the rings.

The back-and-forth action will cause the lapping compound to wear away. It will also take any extra metals that may interfere with the scope. Leaving you with an empty but smooth surface.

After the process of lapping and adjustment, apply the polishing compound and tighten down the settings on the lapping cylinder again. Don’t forget to leave enough space for the tool to move freely.

Do that a couple of times and you should be good to go. But do keep in mind to not use too much polishing. In this matter, less is more. If you follow this philosophy, you will end up with a perfectly lapped scope ring.

Does It Make Any Difference At All?

Yes, it does. I’m not trying to sell you snake oil here. We all despise that in this line of business. In most cases, you can just use some scotch tape and prevent un-lapped scopes from scratching your surface. That works just fine.

But with added lapping, not only does your scope ring look better, but it will also perform slightly better. You will remove any artificial gaps and harmful material from the ring. But, it’s something you should only do if you are too concerned about scratching your beautiful scope.


And there you have it. Hopefully, this guide was easy enough for you to follow. While I’m certain a lot of you won’t lap your rings ever, some of you might. Either way, neither of you guys is wrong so don’t feel bad about doing it or not doing it at all. It’s subjective mostly.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading and I hope to see you on the next one as well. Till then, take care and have fun.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *