HeNe ring-laser gyros are standard sensors in inertial guidance; mirror reflectances now reach 99.9999%. Present research instruments have an area of 0034-4885/60/6/001/img1, a passive quality factor of 0034-4885/60/6/001/img2, and a resolution of the frequency difference of counter-rotating optical beams approaching microhertz. In the Sagnac effect, this difference is proportional to the angular velocity. Present resolution is limited by thermal drifts in frequency pulling, itself reflecting mirror backscatter. The capability of ring lasers for measurements of geodesic interest, including seismometry and earth tides, and for detection of other sources of non-reciprocal refractive indices, including axions and CP violation, are discussed. In standard polarization geometries the observable is necessarily time-reversal odd. Scaling rules for dimensions, finesse etc summarizing past progress and suggesting future potential are given.