I've always admired Ronnie Barrett. Not just for his drive and innovation applied to the .50 caliber rifle platform, but also for his staunch support and belief in our country's 2nd Amendment and how he backs his beliefs with policies and actions. Ronnie also has a flare for the artistic, as his rifles are as attractive to behold as they are to shoot.
Recently, I had the good fortune to receive a package from Kyle Lynch, Optics Product Manager for Barrett. Kyle was a customer of mine before he started working at Barrett. A dyed-in-the-wool "gun guy", Kyle served in the US Army 2nd Ranger Battalion, so he knows a thing or two about weaponry. Inside the package were two sets of scope rings manufactured in the USA that immediately intrigued me. Both were 30mm diameter, looked like they were built hell for stout and had the signature Barrett styling - good looking and aggressive. That's where the similarity ended, as it was apparent that these were two very different scope ring kits. Introducing Barrett Zero-Gap scope rings and ExRings with Zero-Gap technology.
Barrett ExRings (left) and standard 30mm riflescope rings.
First off, the above packaging is a prototype and will be replaced with an updated style.
Now, let's talk about the features of these rings.
- Constructed from 7075-T6 aluminum, hard anodized to 60 HRC (Rockwell C scale)
- Made to fit milspec 1913 Picatinny bases and accessory rails
- Massive 1.2" width rings provide over 8 square inches of scope gripping area
- Integral 1/4-32 steel cross bolt with captured 1/2" hex nut for secure clamping
- Ring caps are held in place by four T-25 Torx bolts
- Ring bore tolerances held to +/- .001"
- ZERO-GAP technology. Simply torque down one side of the ring cap to spec until the ring cap and base are touching, make sure your scope is aligned, and torque down the other side of the ring cap to spec. There will be a tiny gap between the ring cap and lower half of the ring on this side
- Available in 4 heights (measured from the top of the rail to the centerline of the scope axis): 1.00", 1.10", 1.30" and 1.40". 1-inch ring adapters will be available.
Barrett 30mm rings (1.1" tall)
The first thing I notice is that these are good looking rings. Nothing wrong with that, form follows function. The rings are massive, well finished and look built for serious business. The crossbolt is milled flat in the front and back, to maximize contact with your Picatinny rail (I've seen some manufacturer use round crossbolts in rings designed for M1913 rails. No thank you.)
The clamps have a slightly different hue from the rings and have a simple design....not too fancy or over-engineered. The ring caps have a sculpted design with lightening cuts and the signature Barrett logo engraved on top.
Top view of Barrett 30mm Zero-Gap rings
There is an index mark scored on the lower ring half on the side that is meant to be torqued until the ring cap touches...hint, it's on the same side as the hex nut that attaches the ring to the base. Underscoring the strength of the Zero-Gap design is the torque specs for the T-25 ring cap screws, a whopping 35 in-lbs!! I've never heard of such a spec on a tactical ring. The base-clamp hex nut is spec'd to be tightened to 65 in lb.
The Barrett standard rings retail for $200, but street price will likely be a little better than that.
Next in the lineup are the Barrett 30mm ExRings, which stand for Extended Range. These are an innovative "switch power" design that are designed for shooters with a zero cant Picatinny rail or AR flat-top platform. Here's the skinny: These rings function much the same as a canted base, except the rings themselves provide the added travel needed to wring out your riflescopes maximum reticle travel for long range shooting. The ExRings have a two-piece ring lower that is held together with two massive T-27 Torx bolts tightened to 50 in-lbs. Within this assembly is a stainless pin that is drilled in specific locations that align the scope rings at a precision cant without stressing the scope tube. The front ring has a single pin that acts as a pivot point, while the rear ring has two holes drilled; the cant is controlled by the location of the pin in the rear ring. The ExRings are offered in two models, 15moa/40moa and 20moa/30moa. Height is 1.6" (about 1" from top of rail to bottom of scope tube).
Barrett 30mm ExRings (15moa/40moa version shown)
Top view of Barrett 30mm ExRings
Rear (left) and front (right) Barrett 30mm ExRings. Note the slight gap in between the upper and lower ring halves in the rear ring and the "Zero-Gap" in the ring on the right. These are torqued to spec. Also note the notch just visible in the center of the junction between upper and lower rings halves...this is the side with the zero-gap.
Inside view of ring cap and lower half of ring. The standard and ExRing are identical in this regard.
Despite the mantra that simpler is better, and the likely concern among shooters of having ring halves pieced together on a tactical rig, Kyle assures me that there will be zero movement and zero backlash associated with the ExRing assembly. The T27 Torx bolts were especially designed and made for the ExRing, and the bolthead cleverly captures the head of the stainless crosspin so it can never work loose. The components are guaranteed to have zero backlash due to the tongue and groove design manufactured to such close tolerances.
Side view of Barrett 30mm ExRing showing stainless pin captured by T27 bolthead (above) and view of T27 bolts and pin removed from the rings (below).
I can tell you that upon disassembly the fit of the lower ring halves was so tight I had a hard time
seperating them even with no pins holding them together. These rings are made with precise manufacturing!
Barrett 30mm ExRing disassembled into base and ring components.
A nice touch are the enclosed Torx wrenches for either set of rings, a small detail sometimes overlooked by other manufacturers. The ExRings come with a right angle wrench with both T25 and T27 heads, so you are ready to go right out of the box.
The ExRings retail for $230, but street price will likely be a bit less.
So there you have it. Joining the impressive array of Barrett products are new rings looking to make a huge splash in the tactical market; especially the large caliber, long range shooters that represent an ever growing segment in the shooting industry. Of course, this is just the beginning. Kyle Lynch promises big things to come from Barrett's Optics Products division. If these rings are any indication, that's not just talk.
So, how well do these rings work? Check the Optics section of Sniper's Hide www.snipershide.com in the near future for full evaluation and discussion! I promise you they will be put through their paces.
Thanks for stopping by.