How To Mount A Rifle Scope

Most casual shooters prefer a professional gunsmith to mount their scope on their rifle. But some rifle owners prefer to mount their scopes on their weapons themselves. Apart from being relatively hard work, it brings joy to many serious gun enthusiasts. Mounting a rifle scope by oneself comes with its benefits as well. The shooter can fit the scope using the measurements properly and according to their own specific needs. 

There are some steps involved in mounting a scope on a rifle. Following these steps cautiously and properly is essential for success.

Steps Required To Mount A Rifle Scope:

  1. Rings and Base should match: The selected mounting system should match the rifle. The diameter of the ring should match the base for appropriate positioning. Rings come in many shapes and sizes. The first task is to make sure that the ring and the base are matched. 
  2. Mounting the base:  The scope should be mounted on the rifle as low as possible so that the objective bell does not touch the rifle’s body. There should be clearance at the eyepiece for free operation of the bolt. The attaching surfaces should be wiped clean using a thin coat of oil. Then begin attaching the base. Check the bases so that they are properly aligned and not attached backward.
  3. Locking the base: To lock the base, it’s recommended that you use small drops of a thread freezing compound such as Loctite. Tightening the screws will give an even fit.
  4. Positioning the crosshairs: Now that the bottom half of the rings are in place, position the top half of the ring in a way that allows the scope to rotate and move back and forth. Now, holding the rifle level, rotate the scope until the reticle is exactly vertical and horizontal.
  5. Positioning of Eye Relief: Eye Relief is the distance between the eye and the eyepiece. Positioning the eye relief to a proper distance is essential to avoid injury. With a gun with high recoil, short eye relief might injure the shooter. Eye relief should be adjusted according to gun recoil. Positioning the scope further ahead will ensure long eye relief. At least an inch of eye relief is recommended. 
  6.  Fix the screws: At this point, double-checking the screws is necessary, along with the scope’s position. Tighten the screws when satisfied that the scope’s position is correct. 

If you follow the above steps, you should successfully mount your scope all by yourself. 

How to mount a rifle scope

How To Mount A Rifle Scope On A Picatinny Rail

Picatinny rails are one of the most popular accessories when it comes to rifle shooting. Many rifles on the market come with a pre-mounted scope on a Picatinny rail, making the rifle lightweight. 

Picatinny rails have many advantages, such as having wider and deeper slots compared to other kinds of mounts. 

Picatinny rails have an ejection port & a locking bar to avoid too much surface contact. 

The mounting on a Picatinny rail can be arranged in a variety of ways. It is possible to prevent canting issues in the case of bipod rail on a Picatinny rail. Picatinny rails give improved sight and grip on the field. The rail stays rigid over time. 

Since Picatinny rails bring these many advantages, it is important to know how to mount a rifle scope on a Picatinny rail properly:

  1. At first, rings of the upper sides of the Picatinny rail must be opened while keeping only the rings of the lower side.
  2. Spot and mark the ends of the upper and the lower sides with tape to avoid the chances of mixing them up once the mounting process is over. 
  3. Put the rings on the rail loosely. Tighten them ever so slightly so that adjustments to alignments concerning the scope can be made later. 
  4. Put the scope over the rings and check for eye relief position. Make alignments according to the shape and size of the scope. Make sure it fits the right position.
  5. At this point, you can adjust the power of the scope.
  6. Depending on the model of the Picatinny rail, adjust the gap between the rings. Either put the rings closer or further away from each other. 
  7. Now, tighten the screws on the rings using a torque wrench.
  8. Adjust the torque wrench according to the Picatinny rail model. 
  9. The ridge of your rail should fit in the rail toward the front. This is because when the weapon recoils, the scope thrusts backward. 
  10. Double-check the precision of the rings.
  11. Place the upper sides of the rings in place. Use the markings made earlier.  
  12. Position the scope backward or forward as needed to achieve the best eye relief. Set the magnification to the maximum.
  13.  Position the vertical crosshair pointed directly towards the center of the bore while keeping the magnification to the minimum.
  14. Tighten the screw properly at the upper part using the torque wrench.

With these steps completed, the mounting process should be over.

About the Author Steve

I'm Steve & I've been handling firearms and hunting most of my life. I'm passionate about sharing what I've learnt with anyone who is interested, from beginners to seasoned marksmen and hunters. Riflescopely helps me do just that!