How Burris Saved My Butt,
And My Scope
Some years ago, I had a custom special 22LR SS Bull barrel, and custom wood stock built by Chief AJ for shooting in silhouette and other types of competition. Chief AJ was a Marine Sniper and knew what he was doing when building firearms. You can learn about him in the internet. The next part of the puzzle was to find a scope to do justice for the rifle I had built. At the time, Sheppard Scopes were state of the art, and they were building special scopes for 22LR. I decided to lay out the cash for what they were making and I wasn’t disappointed.
More recently, I had been shooting in my 20 yard basement range with that gun to check it out for a shoot I was going to. During the course of doing some shooting, I went to put some new targets up, and when I heard a terrific crash, I was afraid to turn around. The whole gun had somehow slipped in the rubber part of the gun rest and fallen onto the floor, concrete. It was barrel heavy. I could see where the front bell of the scope had been scratched when hitting the floor. I decided to shoot it to see how and if the scope had been affected by the fall. The answer was yes. It was shooting over a foot high and roughly 6-7″ left at 20 yards. When I took the scope out of the rings I could see how bent it was. It was a $600 scope and I just didn’t want to throw it away. I contacted Sheppard Scopes and they told me if the serial number of the scope started with a letter, it could be repaired, if with as number, it could not be repaired. The good news, mine started with a letter. The bad news, it would cost over $225.00 and anywhere from six months to a year before I could get my scope back. It had to go to Japan to be repaired.
With today’s scope technology, you could buy a new 22LR Burris or Redfield for under the $225 that was state of the art and with features that didn’t exist 20 years ago. I was in a dilemma, what to do. In talking to some friends about what happened, someone mentioned the fact that they thought Burris had some kind of ring system that could correct the problem. As I investigated, I found out it was true. They are called Burris Signature Zee Rings, part nr.420521 and the come with eight different sized spacers which fit into the rings complete with Torx screws, wrench and the two rings for a Picatinny rail or Weaver rail.
First, I worked at taking some of the bend out of the scope by just putting body weight on the scope while holding it at about a 45 degree angle on the direct opposite side where it impacted the floor. It worked, I reduced the bend in the scope by over half. I decided not to push my luck and end up breaking the scope, but there was a definite change in the point of impact. From there, in using negative and positive spacers, I was able to get the front of the scope just about perfect in vertical alignment. Then I worked on the rear and got just about what I would call a perfect horizontal alignment as well. The whole process took a little over a couple of hours. With a Sellmark Bore Laser I did about ten clicks down and about ten clicks right and took my first test shot. See the single hole in the black. I then did five clicks right and another five down and fired two shots which are still a little high, which I do so it’ll be just about right on at 25 yards. At the second target, to the right, I fired five rounds in a nice little group. The gun and scope will shoot better than that, but I was pleased that both firearm and scope worked perfectly. When sighted in at fifty yards, it’ll shoot a smaller group than the last group in the photo.
The Burris rings are about $40.00 to $50.00 a set depending on finish, etc. But they saved me about $200.00 and six months or more on waiting for a scope to return. If you have a damaged or bent scope it might be saved by using the Burris ring system. It’s worth the try.
For the long range shooter, this might also be an easy way to get more travel in the scope for those really long shots, instead of installing a 20 minute rail. They are available in one inch or 30mm rings and in black glossy and matte along with a silver finish.