If you are looking for true precision in your rifle scope setup you must ensure that the rings are in true alignment. And if you have invested in a quality 35mm scope, (also available in 1″, 27mm, 30mm, 34mm) then your choices are limited, but Kokopelli Products has the answer and you will learn how other systems may be inferior and allow you to note problems as small as .002”.
What you get:
• Patented Kokopelli scope alignment bars – 6061 T-6 Aircraft Aluminum knurled ends to allow good grip
• Lapping bar
• Pointer rod
• Lapping compound
• Foam lined high quality case
• Step by step instructions
• Price: $144.50
The Good: Excellent instructions, a truly high quality setup for those interested in getting the most from their rifle/scope combination. I just love working with quality tools and taking pride in doing the job right the first time. With the rings properly aligned I will not be bending my scope tube or creasing/indenting it.
Before we get started basics: Scope rings are typically cut and shipped in pairs, mark them that way, don’t mix them up, not front to back or flipping them around left to right. Mark them and keep them in proper orientation at all times.
• Take the two scope alignment bars, hold them in your hand with the smooth ends together. See how perfectly they mate up? That is what we are “shooting” for on the final scope alignment.
• Personally I think you need to do some testing with the rings and your scope lightly attached to the rifle so you determine proper eye relief and ring placement forward and back for proper comfort. Once you are comfy with the placement then tighten down the scope base rings. I used a sweet Seekonk precision torque wrench following manufacturers guidelines for the scope rings. (I chose the 10” TSQ-75 which handles 0-75 inch pounds $175.15 Seekonk Torque Tools)
• I’m not going to go through all the steps here, as the directions are that good. However, I’ll give you the basics. Next lightly install the top rings to the base rings with plenty of room and properly matched. Then come the alignment bars, pointer rod fits in the end allowing you to start with the best possible starting alignment. Basically the pointer rod extends about a foot and lets you see how the scope will align to the barrels axis.
• Then snug the rings down lightly and have the alignment bars against each other. You can easily see how far off the alignment was on mine, not good! And you will not see that in your normal alignment tools. If you can tweak alignment with adjustments in the rings, get it as good as you can.
• Loosen rings a tad, slip out alignment bars and insert lapping bar with the lapping compound in contact areas.
• Rotate slowly wearing into the rings, tighten rings slightly as needed. Periodically remove and clean off rings and note your progress. You’re looking for 75% – 80% contact area for that precision fit to your scope. Repeat as necessary, thoroughly clean the rings up. Did I mention keeping the rings in proper pairings? Note the progression in the attached photos and the absolutely perfect alignment when complete. This rifle and scope combination is now as good as it is going to get and had I just slapped the scope on and torqued it down who knows what damage I may have done to a stellar scope.
• Install scope per manufacturer guidelines with proper progressive rotating torque values. Meaning, don’t just tighten them down and move on. Creep up on it, in 5 inch pounds increments; tighten this one, then the opposite one on the other side of same ring etc. This will take a while.
• Realize that this set of rings and their placement is set to this receiver, move them and you have to start over.
The Bad: Well, this is a slow and tedious process and for a new guy I had to sit back and think about some of it and check it out before plunging in. Oh, and then there is the price, but I have long ago forgotten about that.
Summary: If you’ve investing in good equipment then you might as well use it right. I was startled by the offset found with my initial ring setup and extremely pleased with how quickly I got a professional setup. Calling Kokopelli was also a joy, super easy to work with and gave me some quick pointers and had the product right out. Good American business folks that like gun “stuff”.
What’s in the box.
Before, clearly out of alignment. As the bars get further away from the rings they magnify and deviation and make it easy to see.
In process of lapping – easy job, just took it slow.
Early in check.
Calling it quits – keep them paired and properly mated!
Sorry for the blurry picture, but it was crazy dead on aligned!
Scope Viper Razor HD all mounted and meticiously torqued down.