How to Properly Mount a Scope to Your Rifle

Are you ready for the hunting season? If so, you’re definitely not alone.

It might still be warm outside right now, but cold weather will be here before you know it. That means it’s time to prepare your gear for the best hunting season ever.

types of rifle scope mounts

Buying the right rifle scope will provide your best chance of bagging that trophy buck you’ve been dreaming of. This article takes a look at how to properly mount a scope so that you’ll be ready to make an accurate shot when the big moment arrives. Keep reading to get the inside scoop.

The Right Tools for the Job

Before you get started, you’re going to need a few basic tools for getting the job done right. 

First, you’ll need a screwdriver with a variety of heads depending on the screws that come with the mounting kit. Most kits feature Allen head screws and Torx head screws, so you’d be wise to have at least those two on hand. Your best bet is to invest in a quality set of gunsmith bits just to make the job as uncomplicated as possible.

Next, you’re going to need a reliable torque wrench, a tube of Loctite, rubbing alcohol, cleaning patches, a dial caliper, bubble levels, and a gun vise.

You might be tempted to save a few bucks and skimp on your collection of tools on your tool bench, but it’s important to remember that the right tools will make the mounting process go much more smoothly and increase the accuracy of the final product.

Matching the Rings with the Base

The first step in the mounting process is to match rings and bases. 

Keep in mind that most modern rifles come pre-drilled and tapped. In other words, they are designed and manufactured to be fitted with scope bases and other attachments. 

So the first thing you need to do is make sure the mounting system you’ve chosen is the proper fit for your rifle. It’s important to note that certain types of scope rings will only fit specific types of bases. That’s why you need to be very certain that your scope components are designed for your specific rifle.

Here’s a resource for the best types of rifle scope mounts.

Mounting the Base

Once the rings are in place, it’s best to mount the scope as low on the rifle as possible. Just be careful that the objective bell isn’t resting on the barrel. This will allow for proper clearance for the eyepiece of the scope and provide ample room to operate the bolt action.

If necessary, contact a gun shop for expert advice.

Prior to attaching the base, clean the surface with a thin coat of oil or rust preventative. Clear away any burrs that might be leftover from the machining process and line the inside surface of the ring with a small piece of electrician’s tape to prevent potential scratches.

When you’re ready to precede, you’ll need to use socket heads or Torx wrenches to make sure the fit is nice and secure. Double-check that you’re not attaching them backward, and then gently secure them into position.

Making Sure the Base is Locked Down Tight

This is where you’ll want to apply a small amount of Loctite or some other type of thread-freezing compound. Why? Because there’s nothing worse than the screws of your scope to slowly become loose and negatively impact accuracy.

Keep in mind that you only need to apply a small drop. After all, you will probably want to remove the scope at some point and you won’t want to make the screws impossible to loosen.

Aligning the Reticle

Once the base is in place, go ahead and attach the scope. 

Always remember that the key to accuracy is to make sure the reticle is precisely vertical and horizontal. This means that you’ll need to position the scope, and then tighten the upper halves of the rings only enough for the scope to move back and forth and rotate slightly.

It’s important to limit the amount of movement so that each adjustment can be as incremental as possible. That’s because even slight adjustments to a scope will make significant changes to the accuracy of your rifle

Adjusting Your Eye Relief

Now let’s take a quick look at eye relief. This term refers to the amount of distance from your eye to the scope’s eyepiece as you’re looking through it.

The key to proper eye relief is to make sure that your eye is safe from recoil when the rifle is fired. A good rule of thumb is to move the scope a solid inch further forward than you think you need. After all, better safe than sorry.

Never aim or fire with your eye placed against the eyepiece. This could result in serious injury, especially if your rifle produces major recoil.

You might consider yourself tough, but no one wants to come home from the hunt with a black eye.

Tightening the Screws

Double-check the scope. Are you happy with the way everything is positioned?

If so, it’s time to tighten down the screws. The key is to alternately tighten them in order to guarantee even spacing between each of the ring halves.

Tighten them nice and firm, and then reassess the position and look through the eyepiece. When you’re happy with what you see, you should be officially ready for action.

Inserting a Bore Sight

Another accessory you might want to consider for your rifle is a bore sight. This can be attached using an insertion pin that matches the caliber of your rifle. Then you can make vertical and horizontal adjustments as needed.

Now it’s time to head to the range to get in plenty of target practice before venturing into the woods this winter.

The Hunter’s Guide on How to Mount a Scope on Your Rifle

It will only be a few weeks before outdoorsmen from across the country head out to their favorite hunting spots. Fortunately, these tips for how to mount a scope on your rifle will help make this the best hunting season ever.

Keep scrolling to discover more great tips for spending time in the outdoors on our blog.

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