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 Post subject: Scope ring Lapping...the Kokopelli scope lapping bar..pics/i
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 11:45 am 
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Hi guys,

I recently completed another upgrade of the optics I have my on my rifles. This is something I have done each year for the past several years as I add new guns, new scope models become available, and my finances improve. Basically I started off several years ago with fairly basic scopes along the lines of the simple Leupold VX-II models and as I have accurized my guns, and increased the breathe of my hunting opportunities, and learned which optics features I value most, I have refined the scopes I have on each gun. In most cases this entails purchasing scopes capable of operating in lower light, (better glass and larger objective lenses), as well as purchasing scopes with dedicated ballistics reticles with accompanying ballistics software.

Along these lines, I do a fairly significant amount of buying and selling of scopes. Fortunately, I have become fairly adept at it and I rarely lose money on any of the optics I buy, use, and later sell. However, an important part of achieving this is maintaining the condition of these scopes in “like new” condition. While this is very easy to do with regard to the glass, maintaining the exterior condition of the scope is more difficult. In particular avoiding the dreaded “ring marks” that comes with low quality rings and mounts becomes particular difficult.

With this year’s upgrades, I found a few slight ring marks on some of my scopes. Determined to prevent, or at least minimize, this from occurring in the future with my new scopes, I resumed my search for a quality scope ring lapping tool. Traditionally, these tools are made for horizontal split , “turn in”, type rings and are of fairly low quality. Those types of bars are meant only to reduce the gross alignment errors that are regularly inherent in the cheaper turn in types of rings. However, since I almost exclusively use vertical QD split rings, specifically for these reasons, on my rifles finding the right tool has been a much more difficult task.

Fortunately, I am happy to say I have finally found the type of high quality ring lapping tool I was looking for. This is a tool that I feel confident in recommending for use even with higher dollar rings like the Warne QD rings and even the Talley screw lock QD rings.

Below are pictures of the ring lapping tool I am now using. The product is manufactured by John Were in his shop in Montana and sold directly through his company, Kokopelli Products. I have including below pictures of the scope lapping bar as well as pictures of its use while lightly lapping a set of Talley rings for mounting a scope recently.

If anyone would like any additional on using this product, I would be happy to answer to any questions.

JC

http://www.kokopelliproducts.com/

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Finished product…

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 Post subject: Re: Scope ring Lapping...the Kokopelli scope lapping bar..pics/i
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 11:52 am 
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Here is another picture of a set of Warne QD rings I recently lapped on another rifle. In this picture you can clearly see where the bottom seam benefited from lapping. Prior to lapping the edge of the seam sat high on both sides of the split. It is exactly this type of high "bite" that will lead to ring marks on high recoiling firearms like magnum rifles and rifled shotguns.

JC

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 Post subject: Re: Scope ring Lapping...the Kokopelli scope lapping bar..pics/i
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:06 pm 
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Here is the one I use

http://www.grafs.com/product/266473


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 Post subject: Re: Scope ring Lapping...the Kokopelli scope lapping bar..pics/i
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:26 pm 
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From AccurateShooter.com

JC

Quote:
December 31, 2009

Kokopelli Ring Lapping Tool and Scope Alignment Bars

Lapping your rings, when done properly, with the right tools, can improve the fit of the rings, reducing bending forces and stress on the scope. Properly-lapped rings are also less likely to leave prominent marks on your scope tubes.

Forum member Boyd Allen is a strong advocate of ring lapping for factory-produced ring sets. He’s tried various lapping tools and he believes that the Kokopelli system is one of the best available. Custom crafted in Kalispell, Montana by John Werre, the Kokopelli lapping system combines a specially-machined lapping rod with patented flat-ended scope alignment bars.

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Kokopelli Lapping Tool

John Werre, Kokopelli’s owner, explains why his lapping tool works better than most others: “No one was making a lapping bar that would lap anything more than the bottom half of the rings and they were made of rolled stock and only a very short stroke was possible, rapidly wearing out the bar due to the limited area of use. I did something entirely different. I designed the bar to be used with the top halves of the rings in place and utilizing a long stroke thereby distributing the wear over the entire 12″ length of the bar. Why just do half a job?”

John adds: “Another problem was that the lapping compound would readily scrape off the bar, slide around and wear the bar out as fast as the rings. I added the spiral groove to stop the scraping off of the compound and later changed to a much softer steel and put a very rough, but carefully designed, finish to accept the lapping compound, actually allowing the grit to be driven into the surface of the bar. The nasty, scruffy rough finish is full of grooves and valleys of a depth designed to ‘catch’ the very sharp lapping compound, imbedding it into the bar. You then will wear out what you’re trying to lap rather than wear out the bar at the same time. The spiral grooves also cannot catch on the edge of the scope rings as can one which has annular grooves cut perpendicular to the axis of the bar in separate rings. I have very good reasons for every unique feature of my tools. Every aspect has a valid design behind it.”

http://accurateshooter.wordpress.com/20 ... ment-bars/


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 Post subject: Re: Scope ring Lapping...the Kokopelli scope lapping bar..pics/i
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:50 pm 
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I have never had the issue of only lapping half the rings with the possom hollow lapping tool that I use. If you don't want to invest the money, which I can understand because how many scopes rings is the average person going to need to lap in a lifetime, I have seen where guys just take a dowel rod and wrap it with sandpaper and lap the rings that way. It takes a little more elbow grease but it gets the job done. Its actually a very simple process which gunsmiths charge somewhere around $50 for which is way overpriced in my opinion seeing as you can buy a kit for less than half of that but they have to make money somehow.

I never thought about the ring marks when I started lapping my scope rings. I had always heard that an improperly aligned scope can actually cause stress to the scope tube and cause damage to the internal workings. It does make sense but unfortunately most of my scopes I bought used and already had the ring marks.

Of course, if you use those burris signature rings with the plastic inserts, lapping is probably ill advised.


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 Post subject: Re: Scope ring Lapping...the Kokopelli scope lapping bar..pics/i
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:43 pm 
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As I mentioned previously, while I don't usually use split rings unless I have to, (In some cases such as with my Kimber .22 split rings are the only good choice), Kokopelli makes an excellent product for aligning split rings prior to lapping as well. In fact all of these tools are generally sold together as one single scope "Accurizing kit" by the company.

I have provided additional info below.

JC

Quote:
Kokopelli Accurizing Kits.

Kokopelli Products recently introduced a new Accurizing Kit for scope installation and has now further improved its performance. The kit combines the popular, patented, Kokopelli Scope Alignment Bars, a Lapping Bar, pointer rod and lapping compound in a solid foam-lined Flambeau storage box. With the kit you can easily align your rifle scope rings to the barrel, align the rings to each other to obtain a perfect no-pressure fit on your rifle or handgun scope so that it will deliver the full accuracy it was designed to give. Detailed instructions are included for all phases of installing your scope and bases as well as suggestions on how to correct any problems you may discover. The Lapping Bar now has a special three-stage finish that really improves its ability to take and hold the lapping compound. And unlike other lapping bars, it is designed to lap with the top rings in place. This is a first class system for scope installation and obtaining ultimate accuracy for long-range shooting. Comes in 1", 27mm, 30mm, 34mm, and 35mm sizes. We will custom make Accurizing Kits in any desired size. Dirt simple to use and affordably priced.


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 Post subject: Re: Scope ring Lapping...the Kokopelli scope lapping bar..pics/i
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:51 pm 
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jcchartboy wrote:
As I mentioned previously, while I don't usually use split rings unless I have to...



JC, can you elaborate on this? You touched on your preference between horizontally and vertically split rings in the first post here. What I gathered was that you felt horizontally split rings tend to be of lower quality, and I could infer then that you feel vertically split rings tend to be of higher quality. I use horizontally split rings exclusively mostly because I find vertically split rings unattractive. Since my decision is based on something as trivial as appearance, a functional difference could easily change my mind on the matter. I did choose to go with what I perceived to be higher end horizontally split rings, though (Burris Sig Z and Burris XTR).


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 Post subject: Re: Scope ring Lapping...the Kokopelli scope lapping bar..pics/i
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 5:23 pm 
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Hey Quaid,

The construction of quality vertical split rings, Talley specifically, is more exact do to their 360 degree wrap around design and the construction processes required to make such a design. In the case of Talley's, not only are the rings cut from a single piece of steel with the identical two halves individually numbered and maintained as unique sets, the companies tolerances are also impeccable, (Warne uses similar but much less expensive and less exact manufacturing approaches). When you add this to the fact that the ring and base designs do not rotate independently of each other, as do they do in with a vertical split ring setup, you can see how the vertical rings would be an inherently more accurate design for the average scope installation. (With a kit such as the Kokepelli accuracy kit I have no doubt that the horizontal rings can be properly installed and would be comparable to verticle split rings...however very few individuals that own the horizontal rings are even aware such a kit exists, let alone know how to, or actually use such a kit.)

As for the appearance of such rings, clearly that is a personal opinion. However, I will say that the majority of custom guns owners seem to disagree with your view that the horizontal split rings are more attractive. While it is possible the preference for the use of verticle split rings on high end custom guns is solely due to the advantages I disuscussed above, I firmly believe that most custom gun owners would favor the use the horizontal split rings if they found them attactive...which they general do not.

JC


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 Post subject: Re: Scope ring Lapping...the Kokopelli scope lapping bar..pics/i
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 5:30 pm 
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I should also note, since this might be a potential point of confusion, when I am discussing "horizontal split rings", I am referring to original "turn in" type designs. I am not discussing the Weaver cross slot type designs which have characteristics half way between the horizontal turn in rings and the vertical split designs such as the Warne's and the Talley's I was discussing. In hindsight I should have made that clear earlier.

JC


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 Post subject: Re: Scope ring Lapping...the Kokopelli scope lapping bar..pics/i
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:17 pm 
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jcchartboy wrote:
I should also note, since this might be a potential point of confusion, when I am discussing "horizontal split rings", I am referring to original "turn in" type designs. I am not discussing the Weaver cross slot type designs which have characteristics half way between the horizontal turn in rings and the vertical split designs such as the Warne's and the Talley's I was discussing. In hindsight I should have made that clear earlier.

JC


Thanks. I have zero familiarity with "turn in" split rings, so I will have to read up on what I should be avoiding there.


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 Post subject: Re: Scope ring Lapping...the Kokopelli scope lapping bar..pics/i
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:37 pm 
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Quaid wrote:
Thanks. I have zero familiarity with "turn in" split rings, so I will have to read up on what I should be avoiding there.


My apolgies Quiad, this was one of those instances where after I read your question, it made me wonder what I failed to explained...then as soon as I reread what I typed I realized that I was discussing only one specific type of horizontal split rings but never specified that clearly.

Below is the type of rings I was specifically discusing, (however, fact is, I do still avoid the horizontal weaver types as well, mainly because I do feel many are poorly made, and the better ones cost just as much as the verticle QD design I prefer.)

JC

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 Post subject: Re: Scope ring Lapping...the Kokopelli scope lapping bar..pics/i
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:55 pm 
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For reference, here is the one scope I am using the turn in rings on. In this case the manufacturer offers semi-custom basis for this "mini" bolt action that I found rather attractive and therefore worthy of using on this particular rifle.

JC

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 Post subject: Re: Scope ring Lapping...the Kokopelli scope lapping bar..pics/i
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:41 am 
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JC - Nice Post on the Kokopelli Products Scope Lapping Bar and the details you provided!!! - Might I add that Kokopelli Products is the only source (that I'm aware of) (other than having one custom machined) that offers a 34, 35 & 40 mm lapping bar. - I recently mounted a 40mm main tube IOR-Valdada scope & wanted to insure that it was mounted absolutly correct (as the scope is quite an investment) & found the same source (Kokopelli Products) that you've hi-lighted here.
Regards RM


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 Post subject: Re: Scope ring Lapping...the Kokopelli scope lapping bar..pics/i
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:00 am 
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Very nice coverage. Introducing the name to the guys out there is a real service.
I tried their product a few years ago and was quite impressed. You will not go wrong
to follow JC's prompting and invest in this rig. Good optics are not getting cheaper.
The ability of passing a cleaning rod through the allignment bars really demonstrates
any misalignment of the relationship of mounts,receiver and barrel. It is sometimes really
tellling when you do it on a cantilevered base slug barrel that is mounted in a pump shotgun (like a Mossberg).

As for the dowel with the abrasives wrap on it ? I will pass.

You usually get what you pay for. Quality does come at a price.


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 Post subject: Re: Scope ring Lapping...the Kokopelli scope lapping bar..pics/i
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:06 am 
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Thanks La!

It is relatively rare that I will put my name behind a product, however, this product is clearly worthy of greater attention amongst shooters. As I mentioned earlier I had been looking for a quality lapping tool for years, and always passed on the cheapo versions seen elsewhere concerned that were likely to do more harm than good after a few uses.

Fortunately, Mr. Were clearly considered, and specifically addressed, each of the shortcomings found in most of the lapping tools made by other previous run of the mill operations.

His product really features all you can ask for!

JC


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 Post subject: Re: Scope ring Lapping...the Kokopelli scope lapping bar..pics/i
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:45 am 
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neophyte wrote:
As for the dowel with the abrasives wrap on it ? I will pass.

You usually get what you pay for. Quality does come at a price.


Isn't that really all a lapping tool really is? All you need to do is find a metal pipe the right diameter and get some lapping compound from your local autoparts store and you have a lapping kit.


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 Post subject: Re: Scope ring Lapping...the Kokopelli scope lapping bar..pics/i
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:53 am 
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jcchartboy wrote:
Thanks La!

As I mentioned earlier I had been looking for a quality lapping tool for years

JC



Come on Jeff, enough is enough. You only recently discovered the need for lapping rings after never expressing the need in the past. This is not new science to anyone here or on any other gun forum.


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 Post subject: Re: Scope ring Lapping...the Kokopelli scope lapping bar..pics/i
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:42 am 
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mako1 wrote:
Come on Jeff, enough is enough. You only recently discovered the need for lapping rings after never expressing the need in the past. This is not new science to anyone here or on any other gun forum.


Mako you have absolutely no idea whatsoever what you are talking about!?

Despite not even knowing me...you are claiming that since I have not specifically written on a website that I was looking for a lapping tool...that I was not in fact looking for one? Your claim is ridiculous!

If you would like to know when I started looking for scope lapping tools I can tell you exactly! It was the spring of 2005 when I was introduced to the Bellm scope ring reamer http://bellmtcs.com/store/item.php?pid=101&mark=lapping by an individual that was later to become my hunting partner on trips for Hogs in Tennesee, pheasant/skeet and trap shooting in Ohio, and pheasant and striper fishing here in NJ…Nugbuk Boukavar..aka “Nug”. The particular discussion that was occurring related to the led sled being a scope killer and the fact that Nug had several scopes fail on him in a short period of time while using it. In the meantime I have considered tools by “Wheeler” http://www.battenfeldtechnologies.com/d ... ctions.pdf those that have been available on GB for years… http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewIt ... =159007157 …possum hollow as owned by Jim above http://www.possumhollowproducts.com/sco ... -tool.html etc etc...

Now….If you had actually read what I typed here…you would know why I just recently bought this particular tool now after years of passing on others. While I have confidently used both Warne and Talley rings without incurring any ring marks at all for several years. This year when I went to upgrade several scopes I found ring marks on scopes from both brands of rings. (If you would like to confirm this feel free to call Gary Turner at Talley Manufacturing (803) 854-5700 to discuss my recent phone calls with him.)

After finding the scope marks and in light of the fact that I just received almost $4000 worth of new optics in the house…..AND AS I STATED CLEARLY ABOVE…AFTER YEARS OF LOOKING AT THESE TOOLS, IN AN ATTEMPT TO ENSURE I DON’T DAMAGE ANY THESE NEW SCOPES WITH RINGS MARKS, I RENEWED MY SEARCH FOR ONE THAT WOULD MEET MY EXPECTATIONS…AND FOUND THE KOKOPELLI!

I can go on…However, it is pretty clear that you need to think twice before making any similar comments again concerning a claim you had absolutely factual basis to make in the first place.

JC

(If anyone would like the links to the other scopes I have sold with disclosures about ring marks in the last month let me know and I will be happy to provide them…)

Sold here on ebay with a specific disclosure concerning the ring marks
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 0368551646
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 Post subject: Re: Scope ring Lapping...the Kokopelli scope lapping bar..pics/i
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:54 am 
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Perhaps you should do back to a conversation we had on NJHUNTER where you expressed no need to lap quality components: BTW, this was only less than a year ago.

Quote:
Do you lap your new rings?


Never lap my rings at all. The whole idea of buying quality components is that you shouldn't have to alter them greatly before installing them in the first place. To make my case I have removed three scopes from my high recoiling shotguns and MZ's this year and not a single one of them had any ring marks whatsoever. Each scope I have sold for more than I originally paid for it a few years back.

JC



http://www.newjerseyhunter.com/article59483.htm



You then discover a ring mark after removing a scope and decide to buy lapping kit to prevent this, This is fine, but when you discover the need to lap rings and discover a kit that many have already to do the job, you all of a sudden become an authority on the subject and find the need to post it all over the net. Shimming is also part of the process


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 Post subject: Re: Scope ring Lapping...the Kokopelli scope lapping bar..pics/i
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 10:15 am 
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mako1 wrote:
I have removed three scopes from my high recoiling shotguns and MZ's this year and not a single one of them had any ring marks whatsoever.


Mako,

Thanks for providing further proof of exactly what I said previously!

I have never had ring marks on any of my scope...and accordingly had no reason to actually lap my rings, despite as I have stated, considering it at great length.

Now....immediately after experiencing ring marks...I went directly ahead and purchased a scope lapping tool as soon as I experienced a need for it.

As for suggestion that I am holding myself as an authority on scope lapping, that is just untrue. I am however holding Mr. Were out as an authority on scope lapping..and stated unequivocally based on the research I have done on this subject that I am therefore willing to support his product.

Finally, concerning you claim that I have a "need to post it all over the net"....Apparently you failed to notice that I write here and on NJH on average...every single day! In fact, on average it more is several times a day. More importantly, when I do so…I do so to share the knowledge I have gained based on my actual experiences with products to help educate others….If you have a problem with that you are spending your time in the wrong place!

I gain experience from years of mounting scopes, learn from prior mistakes, adapt my approach, find a great product that few people are aware of, and take my time to share the products and my results with others freely…Meanwhile, you are trying to belittle me for doing so?….And you think you are making a positive contribution to this discussion how?

JC


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