How To Mount A Rifle Scope – What You’ll Need, The Correct Way, and Much More

how to mount a rifle scope

More often than not, the difference between a successful shot and a failed one lies with a properly mounted rifle scope. 

As most hunters would tell you, a rifle without a proper scope is meaningless; however, not everyone is aware of how to mount a rifle scope properly. 

While there are many ways you can use to mount a scope, this guide is designed to provide you with the most efficient way that is effective for both beginners and veteran hunters. 

So without any further ado, let us jump right into it.

Quick Summary

In this article, we will discuss the following things:

  • How to mount a rifle scope correctly?
  • What a rifle scope is and how it

Let’s get into it.

Why Do You Need To Know How To Mount A Scope?

We asked quite a few gun experts this question, why is it important to know how to mount a scope? The answer was unanimous. If you are using a scope mounted by someone else, the chances of it being improper for you are incredibly high. 

This is because there is also a touch of personalization when it comes to mounting a scope, and it’s different for everyone. 

If you are looking to make all your shots count, it is imperative that you know your way around mounting a rifle scope.

mount a rifle

How To Mount A Rifle Scope?

Before you start off with the process of mounting your scope, you need to get a few tools handy. It is highly inefficient running around on the lookout for a screwdriver only when the need for it arises. So here are the tools that you need to prepare beforehand:

  • A Torque Wrench
  • A Leveling Kit
  • A Gun Stabilizer
  • A Clear Working Space

Now that you have everything you would need prepared, it is time to get right into the process of mounting your rifle scope.

Step 1: Select A Mounting Hardware

There are a few options available for you to choose from when it comes to your mounting device. 

You can either opt for a scope ring and base setup or a rail and scope ring setup. 

This falls down to personal preference mainly. 

However, the most important point to keep in mind here is to buy the appropriate rings for your rifle as they come in different sizes based on your rifle. 

The most significant difference between the two options is that the rail and scope ring setup uses a single rail such as a Picatinny rail mounted on the barrel of your guns. 

This method is preferred by more tactical and long-range shooters, whereas the scope ring and base setup are more beginner-friendly and will work just fine.

Step 2: Stabilize Your Rifle

It is very important that your guns stay stable and almost parallel to the ground for the mounting process. 

You can use whatever method you can find to do that, whether you use vices made specifically for the purpose of stabilizing guns, a normal bench vice, or a homemade contraption; as long as the gun stays stable, your target has been achieved.

However, make sure that whatever method you use is sturdy enough to keep the gun stable while you play around with the scope.

Step 3: Mount The Bases

Whether you are using a rail base or a normal scope ring base, make sure to put up a thin layer of oil before you do any mounting. But make sure that you do not get any oil on the mounting screws as it may cause them to loosen up later on. 

When mounting your scope using the traditional scope ring base, we suggest that you use the lapping method as just going ahead with the procedure might cause malfunctions in the alignments. 

However, that is completely dependent upon the types of rings that you are using as nowadays, a lot of precision rings are available on the market that claims they do not need to be lapped as they will always get the alignment right, and people who have used them seem to agree.

Step 4: Level The Rifle Scope

Now that you have the base down, it is time to level your scope. There are a number of ways in which this can be achieved; however, the purpose behind all of them stays the same, to make sure that scope is on the same horizontal plane in relation to the action of your gun. 

This is amongst the most important steps without a leveled scope; your gun won’t be accurate at all, regardless of how many adjustments you make. 

Here is the time to put the leveling kit you have procured to use. 

To level your scope simply:

  1. Put the barrel clamp level on the barrel of your gun.
  2. Put the smaller level that is used as a reference on the base of your scope mount.
  3. Now move the rifle around till the little bubble in your smaller level is centered between the lines present.
  4. Here’s the technical bit, adjust the barrel clamp level using the micro-adjuster till you see it come to level as well. Once your barrel clamp level is adjusted to the reference level, you can consider your rifle to be indexed.
  5. Now place your scope in the bottom part of your ring base.
  6. Place the upper part of the ring and screw the scope in place, however, don’t tighten them just yet as you may need to rotate the scope around.
  7. Then place the rifle back into the stabilizing contraption you have set up and make sure that the barrel level is properly centered.
  8. Now place the reference level on the top of your scope, known as the turret of the scope, and move it around till the reference level is centered as well.
  9. Lastly, tighten the screws all the way and check your levels again to make sure everything went well.


And there you have it, you have successfully mounted your very first rifle scope without needing the help of a professional. 

Now all that is left for you to do is make the final adjustments. 

Set up your reticle if your scope came with one, adjust the eye relief, and you should be ready to go out in the world and try out your new scope.

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