I recently picked up a scope
with a 30mm tube that, among other things, was going to be mounted on my
Anschutz Exemplar 22 rimfire to do some ammunition evaluations. That
immediately created a problem in that all my scope rings are of the one inch
variety. Another factor complicating things is the fact that the Anschutz
uses the traditional European dove tail scope mounting system. Now I, like
most shooters looking for 30mm dovetail scope rings, was faced with a puzzle
i.e. where to find good quality, larger than normal rings at a reasonable
Dovetail scope rings
generally fall into two extreme categories i.e. cheap/junky types that are
normally used on equally junky air guns and rimfire rifles, and super expensive
types ($100+) that are used on benchrest rifles. Now, wouldnít it be nice if
you could buy dovetail scope rings that were every bit as good as the
expensive types for half the price? You bet! However, wouldnít it be even
nicer if you could buy dovetail scope rings that were actually BETTER than the
super expensive types for just one third of their price? Well, I found out
that we can.
Iíve written about BKL rings
in the past and probably will do so again in the future because these are a
very high quality products that are sold at a extremely reasonable price. (Shhhhhhhh.
Donít tell them about this. They might raise their prices if they find out how
good their stuff really is.)
In fact, BKL has a well
earned reputation as THE scope mount to use in the airgun competition world,
and that kind of buzz doesnít come easily.
However, I would guess that
the first thing that youíll probably be wondering about is whether dovetail
rings will be sliding around under the recoil generated by a 22 long rifle
cartridge. The answer is absolutely not. Anschutz hasnít been putting all
those dovetail rails on its guns for all these years as some kind of long
running gigantic mistake. Dovetail scope mounting systems have been
successfully used on 22ís in Europe for many, many generations.
mounts and rings are overwhelmingly used for benchrest competition because
there are fewer gun/scope alignment problems. Additionally, as you probably
know, the most common cartridge used in benchrest competition is the 6 PPC,
which is a case that is only around 7% smaller than the 6 BR. Even though itís
noted primarily for its laser like accuracy, the 6 PPC is no wimpy pussycat,
and can easily drive an 80+ grain bullet over 3000 fps. Lighter bullets used
in competition typically are moving around 3400 fps. There are two points
here. One is that these bench guns produce a fairly decent amount of
recoil. The second point is that dovetail mounts have no problem handling that
recoil and and are rock solid.
So letís look at the
features that make BKL rings so well regarded. Ok, the first thing thatís
going to catch your eye is the fact that the BKLís are definitely beefy, and
beef equals strength and durability. The top strap of most scope rings is the
thinnest and weakest part of the assembly. BLKís measure .125Ē thick, and
everything else on the ring is equally oversized and heavy duty. In scrounging
around in the closet, I found and measured perhaps a half dozen different
rings from several manufacturers. They included both dovetail and Weaver
styles, and were for both airgun/rimfire and center fire applications. They
all measured between .075 and .085 inches. I then got hold of a set of the
super expensive benchrest type rings and measured their top strap. They came
out at .058Ē - substantially thinner than even the standard type rings. Iíll
go with the thicker, stronger top strap thank you because I wonít have to
worry about it twisting when everything gets torqued down. Yes, the thin stuff
really will bend when torqued and even flex under recoil.
Youíll also notice that the BLKís use big #8 screws for both the top straps and to clamp the unit to the
dovetail. The #8ís provide a hefty 78 inch pounds of torque when theyíre
tightened up, which means you have a substantial increase in holding power
over the #6 screws used by almost all other manufacturers.
This is one of the prime
reasons why these rings aren't going to move. Note: If you feel that youíd
like even more holding power, opt for the BKL double rings with double
clamping screws for double the grip. I tend to gravitate more toward these
mainly because they look so darn sexy.
The next thing thatís going
to catch your eye is the soft, satin finish of the silver rings. After CNC
machining, the rings are then tumbled. This process gives the rings their
very, very smooth, silky finish and also gets rid of any burrs left over
from the machining. It also rounds off all the sharp edges, insuring that
the rings wonít be cutting into your scope and then leaving behind those
nasty, ugly gouges (I really hate having my scopes
chewed up by the rings.)
rings solve scope placement problems."
The rings are also hard coat
anodized giving them a surface hardness of around 60 - 65 on the Rockwell
scale. The hardness really goes deep as well - around .003Ē. The black
anodized BKL rings even go up to 67 Rockwell. So hard is that? Itís as hard or
even harder than most of the hand tools on your work bench. Well, you might be
saying to yourself ďOK, thatís nice, and so why is having a rock hard surface
important?Ē Because aircraft grade aluminum, even the 6061-T6 type, is
relatively soft compared to steel. Consequently when you use steel screws on
an aluminum product, you want to make sure that those steel screws aren't
going to grind up your rings when you really tighten them down. You also donít
want the steel screws to strip out the aluminum threads either. I had a set of
tacky aluminum rings that I foolishly bought at a gun show that suffered that
exact fate because they were not hard coated. I donít intend to waste my money
again by buying no name rings that canít stand up to hard use. Iíll stick with BKL.
These rings also have a nice design feature that sets them apart from many
other dove tails, and that is a horizontal stress relief slot that is cut into
the ring stem or post. When dovetail rings are being tightened down against
the gunís mounting rail, tremendous force be being applied to the base. This
force can actually distort the base on other rings and throw off the alignment
of your scope. If there is a stress relief slot, the base wonít be distorted
and alignment will be preserved. Additionally, the inside diameter of
the rings wonít be twisted either. The result is a perfect wrap around the
scope with no high/low spots or gaps.
"BKL 30mm single strap rings are stronger
and better than the high dollar competition rings."
O.K., say youíre the
skeptical type, and youíre saying to yourself ďI still donít believe that
rings mounted on a dove tail rail wonít move under the recoil of a 22. That
kind of ring is good only for airguns.Ē What if I told you that you can
mount BKL rings on a center fire silhouette gun and that they absolutely wonít
move. Itís true. As I mentioned before, dovetails are used all the time on
center fire benchrest guns. But what about handguns where the recoil is
heavier because the guns are lighter in weight. Well BKL makes a dovetail
adapter rail for TC Contenders. Just take off the rear sight, attach the
adapter rail and then mount the BKL rings. Piece of cake.
Just as a spur of the moment
experiment, I put together a set up with my 14Ē SSK 357 Mag barrel. I used BKLís double strap rings basically because my single strap rings were already
mounted on a rifle. For a scope, I used my Simmons Presidential 2.5X - 7X.
Unfortunately this scope was made for only about 2 years, but it was one of
the very best pistol scopes available at the time.
straps equal double the holding power. Really look nice too."
For a load, I cooked up
something stout. It consisted of 17 grains of H110 and a 200 grain Leadhead (The
very best commercial cast bullets on the market.). I then proceeded to the range
to shoot some groups. If the rings moved on the rail, the groups would be all
over the place. As these 50 yard groups show, that didnít happen. The bottom
line here is that these rings are very high quality, very tough, and they donít
move. The icing on the cake is that theyíre very reasonably priced as well.
Visit their web site at (www.bkltech.com). You
wonít regret it.