How to Mount a Rifle Scope

If you own an expensive rifle with one of the best quality rifle scopes that is poorly mounted is as useless as owning a rifle without a rifle scope. Many people pay gunsmiths to help them mount their scopes which they can do by themselves.

Before you start to mount your scope, you need some specific tools to help you do it. These tools include: a gunsmithing screwdrivers which are used to tighten the screws besides that it needs to have machined bits to avoid damage to the ring screws; you also need a gun crib that supports your gun during mounting; an electrician’s tape and or a rosin; flexible rotating force screwdriver and a scope level.

Always mount a scope as low as possible since most of the modern rifles are designed for putting your eye on the scope as you aim and the scope is normally mounted low. The height of mounting your scope will be determined by the size of your objective lenses. A high mounting is normally not good enough when the rifle rides in a saddle scabbard.

Normally after mounting you should check for the eye relief which occasionally decreases from low to high power.  The distance between your eye and the lens should remain at high magnification with a better distance remaining at low power.

Space needs to be good enough for a properly mounted scope for it not to thump your nose. About 3-4 inches between your eye and ocular lens is normally the best point to view through. The eyepiece needs to be focused, and the reticle on every new scope also should be focused.

Point your scope at a uniform surface in a few meters away to visualize the reticle clearly. Low light should be focused especially when your pupil has enlarged to the shallowest depth of your field of view, and the reticle stays sharp throughout your range of use.

During mounting, you first need to clean up the bases of your gun, and the rings need to be degreased, the screws and their holes in the receiver need to be cleaned with a scrubber. You should be stable before you start to mount your scope to avoid rides of a rifle in a saddle scabbard.

Align The Base

When mounting, the base of your scope should be aligned with the mounting holes on the rifle’s receiver and the space in the ring area should be able to fit the tube space on your scope. Then tighten the screws on your scope one by one to clamp the scope to the base firmly.

The screws threads should engage the receiver taps to ensure strength. The screws should not be over tightened, and a 15-20 inch-pounds of twisting is recommended to reduce the risk of stripping threads or breaking the heads.

mount scope

Mount The Rings

When mounting the rings, start by turning the windage screws on the rare base consistently, and the ring should be centered. A dovetail ring is pivoted with a dowel to act as a fulcrum. The cross-bolt below the Weaver-Style ring needs to engage with the slot in the base, and the rings pushed forward in base slots before tightening.

Ensure An Even Ring Fit

An even ring fit is achieved by tightening screws in an alternating way. The rings should be smooth with no burrs, and they need to be tight. If you use the rings that attach to the front base of the scope by rotating socket system, your scope should not be used as a fulcrum to pivot the ring into the position.

In this situation, you can instead use an object of a similar diameter of a wooden dowel. They should not scratch the scope tube, and the ring surface should be dusted with a rosin or an electrician tape which needs to be trimmed with a blade after lining the ring surface.

Check For Ring Alignment

With the bottom half of your scope rings in place, position the scope and tighten the rings should be tight enough only to allow the scope to rotate and it should be able to move back and forward. The rings must also be aligned accurately for your scope to fit properly. Their edges must be parallel to the main tube. It can be checked using a pointed alignment rod or by just visually checking.

Positioning The Scope

Adjust the scope by moving it forward in the rings and leave a limp to allow your optic to move for fine-tuning eye relief and leveling the reticle. The scope also needs to be forward enough for your eye to be safe from the recoil. The scope should be an inch farther than you thought it should be as this is the rule.

Tighten the screws in parallel split rings by using incomplete turns. Alternate the screws in an X pattern to prevent irregular forces from rotating the scope during tightening of the screws and for equal spacing between the ring halves.

The correct amount of torque recommended by the ring maker should be maintained during tightening. Normally about 15-25 inch-pounds is recommended for tightening your screws. Check if the gun is stable in the cradle and then look through the scope to check if the reticle is in-line with the base of the scope. Alternatively, you can use a leveling system from Wheeler engineering to ensure your reticle is level relative to the base of your scope.

Bore-Sighting

Using a proper insertion pin, insert the bore-sight by removing the bolt of an action rifle. The rifle should be stable in its cradle then look through the receiver and centrally place the bore on a small object across the room.  Then adjust the vertical and horizontal axis of the scope to your preferred point of aim.

Alternatively, you can look through the bore and scope carefully without shaking the rifle adjusts the reticle over the object. Always check your rifles’ stability and fine tune your zero at the range before starting to aim. Bore sighting allows you to get your rifle to print on paper at about 100 yards. For proper sighting of your rifle, you need to fire test the groups at the wider range.

Conclusion

You are now ready to mount a rifle scope like a pro. The benefits of a rifle scope are quite clear. Now that you can mount is successful. You are ready for hunting. Be sure to help out more brother and sisters when it comes to mounting rifle scopes.

Merrill Daley
 

Hi, my name is Merrill Daley, a Shooting expert & Part time blogger. My articles were featured on the industries biggest publications, because of the high quality of research. After shooting almost 5 years, I decided to start my own blog Scope Picks.

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