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View Full Version : Any warnings and/or advice about using Leupold standard 2 piece base and rings?



VaniB
01-16-2008, 12:20 AM
I'm going to be mounting a new 6x-24x 50 Bushnell Elite 30mm scope onto my yet unfired Tac20 heavy bareled varmint rig. This is my first custom smithed rifle, and I want to be sure I'm not making any mistakes during my scoping it.

From checking the search here, it seems like I'm going to be the odd man out for using the 2 piece standard Leupold base and rings, when most of you guys are using all that top end stuff. (Kelby, Jewell, Davidson, Talley, etc.)

I prefer the base and rings in silver color, and Leupold is the one manufacturer to offer it in silver in 30mm. I also like the idea of the standard rear base offering easilly adjusted windage. But, the Leupold rings are steel, and not aluminum. (the latter which confoms easier to a scope tube)



1) Will those Leupold 2 piece bases and steel rings be plenty good enough?

2) I bought a set of pointed solid aluminum 30mm alignment bars. Are they really a good indicator of true alignment? I haven't tried them yet, but are those points supposed to line up perfectly within a few thousandths?

3) Can I use my 1" aluminum bar in the 30mm rings with wet-dry grit paper to lap the rings ?....or, do I need to spend another $35 and purchase a 30mm aluminum bar and lapping compound?

drover
01-16-2008, 08:26 AM
Just my two cents but I use Warne steel weaver style base bases and Burris Signature Zee rings, the Burris Zee rings have a synthetic insert in them which allows the scope to center itself in the rings, this eliminates any need for alignment and lapping. The other up side to them is that inserts are available so that if you are short of elevation or windage you can use the inserts to optically center your scope on the rifle.

Dennis Sorensen
01-16-2008, 08:29 AM
You can't lap 30mm with a 1 inch lap...

I would also recommend you simply use Burris Signature rings.

lsguns
01-16-2008, 08:29 AM
I use the QRW Bases. The first thing I do after mounting them to a snug fit is to place a level on them to check for parallel. Then I place a straight edge on the front base a move it toward the rear base to see if they are on the same plane. If they are not on plane and parallel with each other then I either use shim stock or bedding compond to bring them in. I have started to glass bed them all now. While most of them are fairly close, I've not found any of them to be perfect. I would also recomend that you lap the rings.
Free advice for what it's worth.:o

VaniB
01-16-2008, 09:47 AM
Ok guys. It seems the Buris signiture rings are the way to go, and I'll just have to settle for the rings in blue or black, since they don't make them in Silver.

As far as elevation shims or inserts as an option; I won't need them since I'm sure the Elite scope will have enough adjustment for the 400-500 max range I'm planning on shooting. (plus;I also prefer to use hold-over vs clicking-in)

I would have preferred those Leupold rings as I already knew the height would work with the large front objective of the scope, and that it comes in an attracitve silver for my stainless 700 action. But, it seems I'll end up needing to order a 30mm lapping bar if I chose the Leupolds, and the time fussing to lap the rings. (as if I really knew what I was doing :D )

LAST QUESTION:
Should I go for the standard Burris Signiture rings.....or go with weaver style Signiture rings and weaver bases? If I should go with the weaver style signiture rings, which weaver brand bases? ....Burris, Weaver, Leupold? Those flat little pieces of metal (weaver bases), no matter who makes them, almost seem too inexpensive and too simple to work properly. I've never used a Weaver set-up except on a simple low recoiling 22 magnum rifle.

chino69
01-16-2008, 09:47 AM
Yep, they'll be plenty good enough. The operative words used were 'varmint rig', not benchrest.

Here's my two cents with how my varmint rigs are set up. I have the two piece Leupold Quick Release (little lever) bases and 30mm Leupold rings. The bases were lightly lapped to the receiver radius by wrapping a piece of emery cloth around the receiver. You just want to knock off the high spots of the base and obtain a closer fit to the receiver; don't overdo it or you'll change the radius. I mounted the bases and lapped the rings in with each other for a stress free situation. This scope along with the rings have been off several times and remounted with maybe a click or two to get it back; no big deal.

I also have the Leupold Quick Release Weaver bases with Leupold QRW rings, set up the same way with no problems. Again, this scope has been off several times and remounted with one or two clicks, at most, to get 'er back dead nuts on.

I've also had excellent results using the Burris Signature Series rings with the inserts that fit onto a Weaver base. As mentioned by another poster, the Burris rings have inserts that self center with no need for lapping. Another benefit, as previously mentioned, is that offset insert combinations can be used to gain additional 'come uppance' for elevation.

These combinations are used on live varmint switch barrel rigs and have worked very well for me. Hope this helps.
Chino69

Sighter
01-16-2008, 12:33 PM
Using screw heads to dig into a shallow slot in a ring is not what I would call a well designed scope base/ring setup. I think the "standard" windage rear base is the biggest piece of junk ever devised to put on a nice rifle. If you adjust the screws after lapping them they are worthless. If you use them without lapping you are likely to put a ring mark on a scope.

Do yourself a favor and set up with dual dovetails or a weaver mount.

You won't need the windage adjustment with decent rifle and scope setup.

I have 3 or 4 of the standard bases in my junk drawer right now I have taken of rifles I purchased or traded into.

If that is the only mount you had or simply could not afford another, at least use Signature rings to keep them aligned.

Dual dovetail mounts with Burris Signature rings are on my target guns. They are awesome and keep scopes looking new after several mount / remounts.

308 shooter
01-16-2008, 04:03 PM
Dual dovetail mounts with Burris Signature rings are on my target guns. They are awesome and keep scopes looking new after several mount / remounts.

That is the combo I have on my favorite centerfire rifle - actually Leupold dual dovetail bases with Burris signature rings.

On one of my rimfire guns I have the Weaver style base with Burris Signature (Zee) rings I think they call it. Again very satisfied!

drover
01-16-2008, 05:15 PM
VaniB
Registered User Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Houston
Posts: 392

Ok guys. It seems the Buris signiture rings are the way to go, and I'll just have to settle for the rings in blue or black, since they don't make them in Silver.

Question - Are you sure about this? I have two pair currently mounted and they are silver, I believe that they are nickel plated - not stainless, but they certainly look like stainless. You may want to do some double checking on whether or not they are available - they certainly were in the past.

Drover

Sighter
01-16-2008, 10:08 PM
The nickel finish does match the stainless, here is a listing of what they make:

http://www.opticsplanet.net/burris-zee-signature-30mm-rifle-scope-mount-rings-for-weaver-bases.html

VaniB
01-16-2008, 11:32 PM
Chino,
I'd prefer something more solid then QD rings, as I will never need that feature anyway. But, I do really like that nifty tip you mentioned about applying grit-paper-on-the-receiver top.

Sighter,

Thanks for that input. I found someone else on Midway feedback to state the same thing as you about standard rings being less then desirable. So I have pretty much decided against them.

Gotta go with my heart as I'm really desiring a finish other then blue/black. It doesn't matter if the rings are silver, nickle or aluminum, as long as they aren't blue/black. The problem is that Burris is only available in blue/black for the high rings for which I will need to clear the large 50mm objective.

So, I think I'll take your advice and go with the DUAL DOVETAIL high Leupolds in silver.

It looks like I am going to have to go another $45 ($35 plus shipping) for a Sinclair 30mm lapping bar. But, I might as well get the look that I want and be happy.

Do any of you guys think I'm asking for trouble trying my hand at lapping rings for the first time? I'm needing your blessings and encouragement. :)

Stan Pollak
01-17-2008, 07:26 AM
Just another endorsment here for the Burris Signature zee rings. They also offer "offset" inserts that eliminate the need for the adjustable bases-Stan-Share your sport:)

crb
01-17-2008, 07:49 AM
How about the Davidson dovetail bases and Kelbly 30mm rings?

Sighter
01-17-2008, 08:49 AM
Do any of you guys think I'm asking for trouble trying my hand at lapping rings for the first time? I'm needing your blessings and encouragement. :)


Lapping is easy. Start by installing the rings in the dovetail bases and eyball them in as straight as you can. Pull the ring top off the back ring. Loosen the front ring. Slide the lapping tool loose into the front ring and pull it back towards the rear ring bottom, does it line up? If yes lap, if not align some more.

Remove both ring tops and lay the tool in the bottom of the rings, does it appear to make even contact?

Apply lapping compound in the ring bottoms, keep even pressure in between the rings, lap a few strokes, pull the lap tool out and see where you are removing metal. If the rings are not aligned, you will see metal being removed from an area on the extreme front or rear side of the ring, you still can adjust the ring a bit more straight into the base. Continue to lap, you should have uniform areas on both rings form and make sure you remove all compound prior to scope mounting.

They make some alignment pins that help to set the rings up, once again, a one time payment but you can spend a fortune setting up to do one set of rings!

High Leupold dual dovetails will work just fine, you just need to spend about 15 minutes getting them set up and lapped.

drover
01-17-2008, 08:50 AM
I don't understand your comment about having to get a 30mm lapping bar - if you purchase the Burris Zee rings they have the synthetic inserts and you do not need to lap them. They work like a pillow block bearing, in that they are self centering which eliminates the need for lapping.

VaniB
01-17-2008, 07:00 PM
Drover,

I know that I post too much, and not everybody wants to read it all. You might have skipped over what I said in my last post #11, about ultimately desiring silver, nickel, or aluminum aesthetics. The Burris high rings only come in blue/black.

I sure do appreciate your trying to help.

CRB,

Unless there's some advantage I'm over looking as to why I ought to choose Davidsons-Kelby's over Leupold....I'd just as soon go with the good Leupold name, good looks, and familiarity, while saving some cash too.

Sighter,

Thanks for the detailed instructions. It will help. But when you mention "alignment pins", are you referring to those pointed alignment bars? If so, I already bought a set of 30MM solid aluminum scope alignment bars on Ebay a couple of months back. However, I had never realized the importance of lapping rings, and so didn't buy a lapping bar. I always thought that lapping rings was an unnecessary option and exercise by those who do anal follicle examination....and that deep scratches on scopes was a normal occurrence and unpreventable. The more I hang out in these kind of places and check archived threads....the more I learn. (....and the broker I get too. :D )

If it weren't for guys like you and others that share their vast collective knowledge over the internet, I'd still be using standard RCBS dies exclusively, and checking for bullet run-out by rolling a cartridge accross the table top.

crb
01-17-2008, 08:12 PM
The Davidson/Kelbly combo IS silver and is probably the most functional design.

Sighter
01-17-2008, 10:06 PM
Sighter,

Thanks for the detailed instructions. It will help. But when you mention "alignment pins", are you referring to those pointed alignment bars? If so, I already bought a set of 30MM solid aluminum scope alignment bars on Ebay a couple of months back.


Yes the conical pins will help you get the rings on straight as far as left and right. They won't help any variance up and down, lapping will cure that.

Davidson / Kelbly set up is also hard to beat and a great way to go to save weight. They look great too. The rings are a bit higher but worth it, especially on a competition weight gun. I set up a 40x in 22PPC for my son to shoot and used the Kelbly / Davidsons. Very nice set up.

alinwa
01-17-2008, 10:13 PM
Get'cherself a set of these ( http://www.kokopelliproducts.com/scopeb.html ) and a set of these ( http://www.kokopelliproducts.com/lapp.html ) and you'll never have to wonder again............they rock.



al

chino69
01-18-2008, 07:11 AM
Get'cherself a set of these ( http://www.kokopelliproducts.com/scopeb.html ) and a set of these ( http://www.kokopelliproducts.com/lapp.html ) and you'll never have to wonder again............they rock.



al

Or save yourself the money and reverse the pointed alignment bars you already have so that the perpendicular faces are face to face, not the points. The face to face alignment will allow you to get a more thorough and proper alignment. The points will get you close. Many people have condemned the point to point method, pointing to the Kokopelli method as being superior and they are correct as this method will show parallel and angular misalignment. They fail to realize, however, that reversing the points will accomplish the same thing without buying another piece of equipment. Just a suggestion.
Chino69

alinwa
01-18-2008, 11:50 AM
The pointed ones are just stupid, they won't "get you close" they'll get you into trouble :mad:


Of course you're right............if you've already GOT the pointy ones, just use them backwards.


Use the handle end to do the job that the working end was designed to do and you'll be ok :D


LOL


al

chino69
01-18-2008, 01:25 PM
[QUOTE=alinwa;378392]The pointed ones are just stupid, they won't "get you close" they'll get you into trouble :mad:
alQUOTE]

Al,
I don't understand how they can get you into trouble. You put the pointed ends into your rings and see that you have parallel misalignment by viewing from the side and angular misalignment from the top. You lap the bottom rings in until the misalignment is gone. Remove alignment tool, relap with top rings loosely installed; tight enough not to bind lapping bar. Matchmark your rings. Clean all lapping compound from rings and lapping bar. Re-install lapping bar and tighten down top rings to pre-form rings to bar. I then remove bar and rings and lay a piece of 1/2" masking tape in the bottom saddle of the rings. Re-install lapping bar, tighten top rings and trim excess masking tape along edge of rings with X-Acto knife. You now have a compressed cushion for your scope to lie in that has some non-marring tooth. Align your scope and put a small dab of Permatex Ultra Blue in the center of top rings. Tighten your top rings, allow the RTV to cure and remove excess with fingernail. I've never stressed a scope or had one move.

I use the pointed alignment tools from Brownell's. They'll take care of 1" & 30mm rings. I chucked them up in a four jaw chuck, dialed them in with no runout and took a skim cut off the reverse end with the crossfeed. I have both the Kokopelli type tool as well as the pointed tool, in one tool. After lapping in with the pointed ends, I'll reverse ends and check alignment. The alignment is usually dead nuts on.


Chino69

VaniB
01-18-2008, 02:38 PM
Well guys, as far as alignment bar points being bad or good, since I already paid the $$ and have the bars at the work bench, I guess I'll soon find out how they work.

You know Al, when I was shopping for the alignment bars my mechanical mind had immediate suspicions too about the conical ends and points not being as efficient as say if the bars simply had two 90 degree butted ends. (like the Kokepelli). I summized that I woul get a broader area to examine with two 1" wide blunt ends, instead of lining up two 1/64" pin point.

But, I saw a lot of different places selling pointed bars, and figured I was a newbie and wasn't experienced enough to make a valid assesment about pointed bars. I couldn't resist buying the solid 1" bars on Ebay for $17 shipped, and the 30mm bars for $21 shipped.


Chino,
Well, I'm glad you have had all the best luck with the pointed bars. I can't help but feel at ease to know that if it has worked fine for you, then I should be able to get it to work for me too. You know it's funny....I was thinking about he bars this morning driving to work. I realized I could just turn them around. Lo and behold, I get on the internet now to hear you guys telling me the same thing. Great minds think alike! :)

However, I just checked the bars to find out that the ends are machined with knurling and are in fact probably 1/32" slightly larger then the pointed ends. So, it is unlikely I can pull off that trick as efficiently. I'll try it with the knurled butt ends anyway.

Anyway...I took note of what you detailed, and will refer to it when I' ready to do the work.

I reckon if nobody else has criticism or negative input about my desiring to go with the Leupold DUAL DOVETAIL rings and bases, then I'll proceed and order along with a Sinclair lapping bar.

Yep guys,
It pays when I wait a day or two to read what folks have to post here on this thread. If I was in a hurry, I would have already ordered the standard rings, and no lapping bar.

Your input has been great. :)

alinwa
01-18-2008, 04:20 PM
Chino69,


OK, let's just assume that the ring that you start with is crooked (and they all are ;) ) ..................you put your pointy tool in and then when you put the other one in, they don't touch? Leupold rings are adjustable on both ends......what do you adjust? Just because you get them to TOUCH doesn't mean that they're ALIGNED. (Incidentally THIS is exactically why Brownells came out with their "new and improved" sleeved pointy tools so that you could run them back and forth and check travel............HOKEY!!!) Pointy bars are the result of lathe proficient folks doing what they know how to do........for a LATHE with it's rotating headstock they ARE the proper tool but for use as a static tool they're worse than useless, they're dangerous because they lead you to BELIEVE that you've achieved something..



The Kokopelli bars are just so K.I.S.S.-simple and foolproof that I can only say "I wish't I'da thought of that!"



Inspired............all others are just wannabe's.



al

WhelenMan
01-18-2008, 08:28 PM
Just to add a little more confusion to the mix I'll tell one thing I do to mount solid rings. On 1" rings I use a 36" long 1" bar that I first tighten the rear ring down on with double dovetail rings. I then rotate the ring and bar seating the dovetail ring to the base until the bar is in exact alignment with the end of the barrel. I then do the same with the front ring and then there's a good likelihood that both will be as closely aligned as possible. I then place the bar in both sets of rings and tighten them down which will seat them a little tighter still. A little lapping will then take care of any manufacturing imperfections in the rings. Maybe a little overly anal but I'm happy with them that way.

chino69
01-19-2008, 12:16 PM
Just to add a little more confusion to the mix I'll tell one thing I do to mount solid rings. On 1" rings I use a 36" long 1" bar that I first tighten the rear ring down on with double dovetail rings. I then rotate the ring and bar seating the dovetail ring to the base until the bar is in exact alignment with the end of the barrel. I then do the same with the front ring and then there's a good likelihood that both will be as closely aligned as possible. I then place the bar in both sets of rings and tighten them down which will seat them a little tighter still. A little lapping will then take care of any manufacturing imperfections in the rings. Maybe a little overly anal but I'm happy with them that way.

It works for me! I use a different method but your method sounds good as well.
Chino69