How can I accurately lap scope rings to add elevation when rifle shooting? That’s not the best idea, advises Chris Parkin!

credit: Archant

Q: Can I lap scope rings accurately to add elevation when rifle shooting?

CHRIS PARKIN replies: In simple terms, no. Although lapping (removing material to accommodate misalignment) was once common, it is less so now as manufacturing tolerances (of both rings and rifles) have improved.

Rings may become better axially aligned, but that 30 or 34mm hole through them is no longer anywhere near its specification. Lapping rings to deliberately add elevation looks like a bad idea from the start, difficult to do, inaccurate, non-adjustable, non-returnable and I’m almost certain a complete waste of time.

The old trick of adding a bit of 35mm film or foil to a set of rings to add a bit of elevation did work but goes strongly against the grain these days for the precision rifles we all aspire to. Separate rings like Burris Signature or Sako Optilock models allow differential height while retaining alignment using rose joints. You can use an inclined Picatinny rail and/or inclined scope mount such as the Tier-One Unimount.

These rings are all made to exacting specifications. Even if you set the correct angle in separate rings, don’t ignore the fact they need to remain at a fixed distance apart to retain alignment, so don’t ever remove them from the rifle! Buy the correct product – it will save you time and money in the long run, with much better performance along the way.