I align and lap mine. For one, if not aligned, and if the offset is severe enough, I think the scope tube can be torqued. Maybe not, but it seems it could through time and recoil, thereby affecting the scope's performance.
Then lapped to take care of any slight variance that the alignment couldn;t cure, AND to give the snuggest fit between rings and tube. Also, with rings properly aligned and lapped, if you ever take the scope off to sell it or reuse it, it won;t have ring marks, or at least they'll be minimal.
Both processes only take a few minutes....45 minutes at most.
i have in the past and now i use the burris signature rings whenever possible. the inconsistancies in the interior of a pair of rings would surprise ya, even the best name brands have caused a raised eyebrow a time or two for me...
it's not absolutely necessary but it certainly does not hurt anything...
I recently started to lap my rings. The first time I performed this I was very surprised at the lack of concentricity in the rings. I've now done this on four of my rifles and never had the lapping bar removing material from more than 20% of the inner ring surface at onset. On two of the rifles, less than 10% of the rings inner surface were providing a grippping surface prior to lapping.
Now that I've started to lap, it makes perfect sense. It provides a substantial increase in the ring's surface area that actually applies grip to your scope tube. This alleviates ring marks caused by having to over-torque ring fasteners to prevent scope slippage.
Through personal experience, I've found the rings supplied by Ruger to have sharp edges which need to be "broken" with emery cloth prior to snugging down the screws; otherwise, you'll leave ring marks on the scope tube. Since the gun vaults hold a number of Rugers I've performed the ring lapping on them and extended it to other makes of rings.
As stated above, it seems no set of rings fit perfectly and lapping solves the inconsistencies. I think a lot of the tap holes aren't really aligned with the bore's center and causes a lot of grief when folks are trying to get sighted in. In fact, there was an old time 'smith by the name of White in Wheatland, Wyo. that made a pretty good living straightening up the tap holes on Remington 700's back in the 80's and 90's.
Has anyone ever had a scope badly misaligned, as a result of rings that were not lapped? I think back to the days when I did not lap in the rings and how it seems I had to adjust the scope a lot more, to get zeroed in. Maybe that's just fanciful thinking, on my part.
I havent done any lapping, but have only had to change the POI on my scopes over the years once on my .338 WM, other than that, only when im switching scopes. I would be surprised if any decent scope mounts made the scope slip from not being lapped, but i could definitly believe it happens once in a while. Also think it makes sense on not having to worry about scope marks from the rings.
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