How to Lap Scope Rings – Easy Guide with Tips, FAQs & More

how to lap scope rings

Truing up the inside surface of your scope rings might be difficult for some.

If you are having trouble lapping your scope rings, you landed in the right place.

Let’s get started!

How to Lap Scope Rings?

How to Lap Scope Rings?

Before we start, let me tell you that there is no need to buy a new scope if it has been properly taken care of and still works fine. You can simply lap your existing scope or replace it with a new one.

Here is the lapping process.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Lap Scope Rings

  1. Remove the old scope from the gun.
  2. Clean the outside of the scope using an alcohol swab.
  3. Place the new scope body onto the barrel.
  4. Measure the distance between the two outermost edges of the scope and mark them out.
  5. Using a drill press with a 1/4″ bit, drill holes at each marked point.
  6. Use a 3M micro-tip file to smooth out any rough spots.
  7. Apply a drop of superglue to the backside of the scope and insert into the hole.
  8. Let dry overnight.
  9. Repeat steps 4 through 7 until all holes have been drilled.
  10. Once all holes have been drilled, apply another drop of superglue around the edge of the scope.
  11. Insert the scope into the gun.
  12. If everything looks good, then you’re done.
  13. If not, repeat steps 10 through 12 until you feel confident that the scope will fit well.
  14. When you’re ready to shoot, remove the scope and reassemble as normal.
  15. You may want to add a few drops of superglue to prevent the scope from coming loose again.
  16. Enjoy your new scope!
  17. Now go shoot something!
  18. And remember, don’t forget to clean your gun after every shot!

What Is Lapping?

Most scope rings have anywhere between half an inch to one inch of surface area contact. Manufacturing processes have imperfect tolerances, so there isn’t always a perfect match between the scope ring and the scope tube body. Scope rings do fit perfectly against the scope tube bodies.

Scope rings should be lapped to eliminate any imperfections. This is done by placing the scope ring over a piece of sandpaper and rubbing it down until the entire surface is smooth.

Lapping is grinding down the inside of the ring to make it smoother. This process is done by hand using a steel rod. Sanding is rougher than lapping because it uses sandpaper instead of a steel rod. Lapping is used to getting rid of any imperfections in the ring.

Why Lap The Rings?

Scope tubes and rings should mate perfectly because they’re both cylindrical shapes. Aquatic geniuses make submarines out of cylindrical shapes. Scope bodies can be damaged if mounted improperly. A poor mount can be unstable or off-center.

After zeroing your rifle, you should check the scope and make sure everything is tight. Don’t forget to tighten the rings on the barrel nut.

More on Scope Lapping

Alignment tool – Double-check to make sure the gun is unloaded before starting to sand and grind. Mount the gun in a vise or resting place so you can apply some pressure while doing the work. Check scope ring alignment by using Brownell’s Scope Ring Alignment Rod for perfect alignment.

A scope is an optical instrument used to view distant objects. Scope rings are attached to scopes to hold them onto rifles. Scope rings come in many sizes and shapes. Some are made out of metal while others are plastic. You can use a scope without any rings or with a single ring.

Laps should be done after the scope is zeroed. You need to align the rings first if there are any adjustments available. If you’re using adjustable rings, make sure they’re adjusted correctly before lapping. If you’re using fixed rings, swap them around or rotate them 180 degrees.

After dealing with any alignment issues, the ring should be firmly attached to the barrel. Then, the entire gun can be placed into a vise or supported by something else. Remove the top half of the scope ring, if you haven’t done so already. Lap the bottom half of the scope ring over the barrel.

You should apply a bit of pressure when using a lap joint. Aluminum oxide works better than silicon carbide because it doesn’t scratch or mar up the finish on your scope tube.

Use a soft lapping rod to lap over the ring surfaces. Rotate the rod as you go back and forth to get better surface area contact.

You should be able to see the finish on the scope ring after you’ve finished lapping it. You shouldn’t need to clean the inside of the ring again.

Lapping is an important part of finishing a ring. When you polish the ring, you remove metal and finish from the inside of the ring. You want to make sure you get rid of this material because if you leave it there, it will wear down your stone. This is why you should always use polishing cloth.

Be sure to clean the rings carefully. You may need to use a degree or other solvent to remove the lapping compound. Apply a very thin layer of metal protectant. Don’t forget to clean the rings after applying the protectant.

Now that the scope is mounted correctly, you can see how much more accurate it is than your old rifle. This scope is made out of durable materials and will last longer than any other scope. Your rifle will stay cleaner and safer because this scope doesn’t scratch or damage your gun.

Why Is It Important?

When you lap your scope, you should use very fine emery cloth or sandpaper to smooth out any rough spots. This will help prevent any scratches on the lens.

When tightening the rings, make sure to use even pressure across the entire surface of the scope. This will prevent any potential problems later on.

What You’ll Need

You need a basic lapping kit. A basic tool is used to lap the front end of a scope onto the receiver of a firearm. This process is done before the scope is mounted to the firearm.

Lap scoping is done by using a ring gauge.


Gauge is used to measure the diameter of a barrel. You then use this measurement to determine what size bullet fits into the chamber. This process is called lapping.


A scope base ring centering tool kit is recommended. These units are made of machined parts that come together to form an alignment device. The cylinders are screwed slightly forward towards each other.

Assuming you have made this ring alignment check and everything is aligned. You are ready to proceed. The Next Step is to polish the top Rings and Bottom Rings with an abrasive compound that wears away any slightly raised surfaces. Leaving you with a perfectly smooth Set of Rings.

A lapping bar should be used to remove any excess material from the inside of the rings. When using this method, the lapping compound must be moved back and forth over the rings.

After the first adjustment and lapping of the rings, apply an additional polishing compound and tighten up the settings on the lapping cylinder once again. Just let enough space so as to permit the tool to continue moving over the rings, as the notion is to take yet another layer off the ring’s surface with gentle friction.

Avoid using too many polishing compounds as it gets messy and it’s better to use a few touch-ups if necessary. Lap rings should be taken slowly.

Check when you clean your rifle, make sure you do it right! You should always take care of your gun before shooting it. Cleaning the barrel is very important because it helps prevent rust and other problems. After you shoot your gun, you should also clean it. This is called lapping. Lapping is when you use a piece of sandpaper to rub-down the inside of the barrel. This makes the barrel smoother and easier to hold onto.

You should always be careful about tightening the ring screws too much. If you do this, you may damage the scope. Make sure you check the scope carefully before you install it.

How Much Difference Does it Make?

He doesn’t make things up, but he does write about shooting rifles. He says he shoots them regularly. He also runs 10,000 words a month. He says he has never lapped a scope.

In most cases, you should use a turn of Scotch tape to fix your scope. You shouldn’t have any problems with your scope if you do this.

Benchrest shooters should learn how to lap scope rings because they can improve accuracy by doing so. A long-range shooter who wants to shoot groups miles away needs to be accurate enough to do so. Lapping scope mounts can help them achieve this goal.

Important Terminologies

Rifle Receiver

A rifle receiver is the part of a firearm that holds the barrel and bolt assembly.  

Alignment Bars

Used for alignment while lapping.

Piece Rings

Lapping is the act of rubbing two surfaces together to remove material from them. This can be done manually or mechanically. In this case, the term piece ring refers to the small amount of material that remains on the surface after lapping.  

Brownell’s Scope Ring

It is an accessory that allows you to mount your optic on any AR15 rifle. This will allow you to use your optic in any AR15 platform.  

Brownell’s Scope Ring Alignment

The scope ring alignment tool aligns the front sight post on your rifle to the receiver extension tube. This allows you to properly zero your rifle for accuracy. Done to get rid of misaligned rings.

Bayonet Base

Bayonet Base is a non-toxic, biodegradable, natural product that can be used in place of petroleum-based products. It is composed of naturally occurring ingredients including corn starch, soybean oil, glycerin, sodium hydroxide, and potassium hydroxide.  

Torque Wrench 

You should always use a torque wrench or a screwdriver to tighten your base rings.


Lapping is not easy but we hope that you know how to lap scope rings. If not, read this guide to find out the best way to do it.

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