How To Mount a Rifle Scope on a Picatinny Rail: Step by Step Guide, FAQs, and More!

When setting up for this hunting season, the Picatinny Rail is going to be one of the most used rails for rifles. 

This guide will tell you all you need to know about how to mount a scope on it. 

Knowing how to mount a rifle scope on a Picatinny Rail will help you save a trip to the shop and possibly quite a bit of money as well.

Quick Summary

In this article, we will discuss the following things:

  • How to mount a rifle scope on a Picatinny rail?
  • Adjusting a scope on old vs new Picatinny rails

However, before we get into the process of mounting your rifle scope on a Picatinny Rail, you first need to find the perfect scope mount that you would like to use for your rifles. 

Here is a list of possible scope mounts that could be used when mounting a scope on a rail.

Note: If you want to know complete guide and tips about scopes click HERE.

Types Of Scope Mounts

Let us have a look at some of the mounts that go especially well with a Picatinny Rail:

Weaver Mount

This is one of the best mounts that you can use for a rail as they come with a flat base equipped with recoil slots that are crosswise. 

However, if you are going to use these mounts, you would require Weaver-style rings as they are the only ones that would sit properly within the lugs of the mount. 

For a bigger scope, there are weaver mounts that come in separate pieces to make it easier for you to hold them up.

Leupold Scope Mounts

One of the more reliable mounts on the list, the Leupold mount is the generic non-weaver mount that is designed specifically to help you with longer range hunts. 

These scope mounts are easier to install and can help you get a bullseye from a longer range.

Tip-off Mount

Tip-off Mounts get their popularity due to the ease of installation they bring. 

This is due to the fact that the base of these mounts sits directly into the grooves already present on your weapon and can help you mount on scopes of varying sizes. 

You can simply add these mounts to your weapon without having the need of any tools or replace them with a new one as well. 

This mount is optimal if your hunt includes targets at medium range, however, the Tip-off mount does allow you to add on larger, more complex scopes.

Note: If you want to know Who Makes Leatherwood Scopes? Click HERE.

Dovetail Scope Mount

The most beginner-friendly mount on the list as it comes with a hole on the inside of the top, to help you center it properly on the bore of your rifle. 

The Dovetail also allows you to use your standard mount rings to install a scope to your weapon and has a very standard procedure to do so.

rifle scope on a picatinny rail

How to Mount a Rifle Scope on a Picatinny Rail?

Now that you have picked out the perfect mount for your rifle, you now need to get started with the installation process. 

To mount a scope of your weapon with a Picatinny Rail, just follow this simple guide.

Note: If you want to gain information about How to Sight in a Leupold Muzzleloader Scope click HERE.


The first thing you need to do when mounting a scope to your weapon is to get the placement right. 

  1. This requires you to make sure that you are using the right size of scope rings for the rifle, and open them.
  2. Make sure that you keep the top side for the rings marked so you know which part goes on to which ring. 
  3. Place the lower part of the ring on your Picatinny Rail and tighten them slightly to leave space for adjustments later on. 

The placement of your rings depends solely upon the type of scope you are using so we suggest consulting the user manual of the scope before proceeding to do this.


Now that you have the rings placed on the rail, get your scope ready as it is time to have it installed on the weapon. 

  1. When you place the scope between the rings, make sure to get it as centered as possible before you place the upper part of your scope rings on the scope. 
  2. The easiest way to do this is by aligning the eye relief and making sure that it is in the right place. 
  3. Make sure that you don’t move the rings too much as the rings are meant to sit in a specific place that allows them to hold on to the scope and keep it steady during recoil. 

After ensuring that everything is in place properly, second check the placement of the rings on the rail and ensure that the scope is snug between the rings before moving on to the next step.

Note: If you want to know When was the First Rifle Scope Invented? Click HERE.

Tighten It Together

Now that everything has been checked and appears to be in the right place, it is time to tighten them so that they stay in place. 

  1. To do this, first, begin with the lower part of the rings and tighten them onto the rail. 
  2. This is to make sure that your setup is completely stable and that your scope doesn’t move after being tightened in place between the rings. 
  3. Now that the lower ring is secured, it is time to match the upper ring to them and make sure that the scope in between them doesn’t move. Tighten the rings securely together. 

But to make sure that everything sits correctly, we suggest that you bring out the trusty scope level, and test out the alignment of your scope after tightening every screw. 

This will eliminate all chances of errors occurring in your setup, and a few adjustments along the way will help you save yourself from a lot of wasted time doing it all over again.


And there you have it. You managed to install a rifle scope all by yourself without the help of professionals. 

Now you will be able to make it all work if there is a need for a replacement in the future without the stress about making a trip to your local store or hiring the help of somebody.

If you want to know more information about scopes click HERE.


  • John Moses

    John is the Editor in Chief here at The Outdoor Stores. His area of expertise ensures that there is no one better to suggest which rifles are most suitable for your hunting experience. He is also available for you to contact him personally to discuss the types of animals you want to hunt and the terrain you will be hunting on. Feel free to read his posts for expert opinion on Rifles, Scopes, Rangefinders, Bonoculars and Monoculars.

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