How To Mount A Scope – Walkthrough

Both the rifle and the scope are great items and together they can make any hunt a successful one. When used properly both the scope and the rifle are very reliable things, however the biggest problem comes in when attaching the two to each other. Mounting scopes or in other words, failing to mount the scope properly is the number one reason for missed shots and shooting errors. The failure to mount the scope properly is the number one problem over any other rifle issue. You can always go to a professional to get your scope mounted, but if you are really serious about it then you can do it yourself, after all it isn’t actually that hard. If you are going to be shooting then you should also know how to mount a scope.

A Helpful Video on How To Mount A Scope

The Rings And Bases

The first thing that you need to do to mount your scope on your rifle properly is to make sure that you have the corresponding rings and bases for your scope. Most of the rifles that you can find today will have either pre drilled holes or at the very least mounting grooves for most different kind of scopes. This is why you need to make sure that the rings and the base of the scope you are choosing match the style of your rifle. Not all scopes and scope rings will fit on all rifles and they come in different heights which ads some difficulty. If you don’t have the properly corresponding rings for your scope and rifle then you will not be able to mount it at all.

Mounting The Bases

The next step in mounting the scope on your rifle is to mount the bases of the scope on the rifle. The first step in this process is to wipe down the rifle and the bases of any and all grit to ensure that they are perfectly clean. After you have done this you need to add some kind of lubricant, grease, or other protectant to ensure that the base and rifle is protected from damage.

You need to mount the scope as low as can go on the rifle while leaving a minimal amount of space between the objective bell and the barrel. The objective bell and the barrel should not be touching each other. When you are putting the bases on make sure that they are aligned properly with each other and that you have not put them on backwards. Most of the bases that you can find are attached using screws and socket head or Torx wrenches.

Lock The Bases And Rings Into Place

In order to make sure that the rings and bases of the scope are firmly secured you should apply a thread freezing compound such as Loctite, of which the semi-permanent blue variety is the best. Make sure that the bases are mounted evenly by not tightening all of the screws at once. Alternate between screws while tightening to make sure that they have been tightened or else the scope may end up being crooked.

You need to start with the front ring first and then move on to the back ring. Aligning the rings properly is crucial because if they aren’t aligned perfectly then your scope will not be straight. If the front ring attaches with a rotating socket base you need to use a wooden dowel or something else to rotate it into place and be sure not to use the scope as it may get damaged.

Align The Reticle

Once you have mounted the bottom rings properly you need to put the scope on the rings and then put the top half of the rings on the scope. Don’t tighten the rings too much and allow for the scope to move around and pivot slightly up and down as well as back and forth. There may be some slight inconsistencies between the rings and bases which may need to be fixed using an emery board or some lapping compound.

Don’t tighten the screws completely and make sure that the scope is still lose enough to move back and forth in order to align the reticle properly. When you are aligning the reticle you need to hold the rifle completely horizontally and the move the scope up and down as well as left and right until you have the reticle completely centered and aligned parallel to the barrel. Aligning the reticle is perhaps the hardest part of how to mount a scope.

Adjusting The Eye Relief

For this step you need to be sure that you have mounted the scope at a great enough distance from your eyes so that you won’t get smacked in the face by the rifle or the scope from the recoil when firing. A general rule is that you should place the scope roughly 1 inch further forward than you think it needs to be. If you ignore this rule you may end up with a nasty black eye and maybe fractured or even broke facial bones.

Tightening The Screws

Before you tighten the screws completely be sure that the scope’s position is perfect for you. While tightening the screws you need to alternate between screws in order to avoid tightening one too much in comparison to the rest because this can cause the scope to be tilted and crooked. When you are tightening the screws you need to be sure to follow the recommended instructions concerning the torque which you apply.

For this it is convenient to have a torque driver so you can get the tightness of the screws just right. If you don’t have adequate guidelines or a torque driver then you will have to go by feeling and use some common sense. You need to make sure that you don’t tighten the screws too much because it will damage the rings and the base and could even cause the scope to change its position. Tightening the bases too much can make it a lot harder to remove it too. Also be sure not to leave it too loose or else the bases and rings may come loose from the recoil of firing the rifle.

Bore Sight The Rifle

The final step in the process of mounting your scope is to insert a bore sight into the barrel in order to get the tilt of the scope correct. Use the proper caliber insertion pin to avoid damaging the barrel. Once you have done this you can adjust the scope along the horizontal and vertical axis to get it perfectly straight and level. Keep in mind that this will only get you so far and will properly sight your scope to approximately 100 yards. To get your scope sighted properly you will need to fire some shots at a target that are further down range.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to how to mount a scope, if you follow the steps listed above you should have no problem at all doing it. Just remember to always follow proper shooting procedure to avoid injury!

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