How To Mount A Riflescope

If you are a shooter or hunter, this is the right time to prepare for your next breaking in the field. Then you will need to get your rifle and scope ready to enhance your accuracy as well and extend your reach. Therefore, you will need to adjust your scope setting where necessary to ensure that you set for an adventure. The best thing is to learn how to mount a riflescope.

If you have recently acquired a new gun, then the big challenge for you is how to mount the scope. Most people would prefer a professional gunman doing it for them to ensure that it correctly installed. But, that could be costly as the gunman has to earn a living through the same practice.

If you have been going to the gunman for every rifle you buy just to be sure that it has a professional touch, then it might be time you start doing it yourself. Mounting a riflescope can be both tough and easy, depending on how good you are in following instructions. It is also good to first ask yourself how does a rifle scope work.

You also don’t have to pay someone to train you on how to mount your scope. Instead, ensure to get the right tools for the job and follow this step-by-step guide on how to install the riflescope as a professional at the comfort of your home.

How to mount a riflescope

Tools Needed For the Job

  • Screwdriver
  • Scope rings
  • Scope mounting base
  • Gun oil
  • Degreaser
  • Removable threadlocker
  • Torx wrench
  • Gun
  • Scope
  • Small level

The Mounting Process

  • Keep the Rifle on a Stable Ground

For you to effectively put your riflescope in good use, ensure that you place the rifle on stable ground as you align or adjust the settings. Mostly, when mounting your scope on the gun, your ground of balance plays a significant role. When you place the rifle at a ground that is even you are guaranteed that the scope will not only be secure but also will facilitate accuracy while shooting.

Therefore, it is essential to avoid mounting the scope while holding your rifle with your muscle. Although you can still achieve the required mounting ability, the scope might not be as secure compared to when you place it on a balanced surface.

  • Match Rings and Bases

Almost all modern rifles come pre-drilled for scope bases. Therefore, as you consider mounting the riflescope, you don’t have to worry about drilling the gun in preparedness for installation.

However, you will require to ensure that your mounting system is a perfect match for your rifle. This way, there is time for you to replace the system if it doesn’t fit before you get busy with installation. Ensure that the rings are the perfect diameter to enhance the scope positioning on the rifle. Remember, certain types of rings are specifically designed to match with specific scope bases.

Therefore, taking a few minutes to countercheck, your mounting system will save you the frustrations while mounting. Additionally, it is essential to note that scope rings come in different height, and it might be confusing if you learn about that while installing the riflescope.

  • Mount Bases

Securing the base gives you a defined compass on mounting the scope. Ensure that the distance between the ring areas will also fit the tube space on the scope. This will guarantee that the scope will fit perfectly and you will not keep screwing and unscrewing the base.

Before you tighten the screws, ensure the alignment of the rifle and base is as per your expectations. Also, ensure that the receiver taps are aligned on the mounting holes to ensure the process is smooth and effective.

Clamp the base and tighten each screw for a secure setting. Therefore, ensure you have the right size of screws that will hold the base and keep the rifle in place for better performance. However, be careful not to overtighten the screws to avoid stripping the threads or worse breaking the heads.

Work with only the recommended screws for mounting rifle scopes. Additionally, the distance between the rifle and the riflescope should be as low as possible. However, you also need to ensure that the objective bell doesn’t touch the barrel for better clarity at the eyepiece. If you are unsure of the right base that will make the perfect alignment, asking a gun savvy operator will not do any harm.

Also, before you attach the base or even screw the thing together, lubricating with gun oil can be a great deal. This will ensure that the screws will flow, and you will not have to worry about rust development. Lubricating also guarantees that the system will be secure and will hold your scope correctly in place.

  • Mount the Rings

Before setting your scope on the rifle, it feels good to be sure that the rings are secure. Start by screwing the ring center for easy mounting. Once the center is safe, turn the ring into a position to ensure that it is secure and will hold the scope in place without risks.

Ensure that the ring’s bottom weaver style aligns on the slot of the base. You don’t want to stress your screws while trying to mount the rings. This will also ensure that the ever screw will count, and your scope will serve its purpose right.

The cross-bolt and windage screws often vary. Therefore, before you start screwing them together, ensure to check on the package to be sure which screw goes where. It the instructions are not clear, kindly contact the manufacturers for clarification. Placing screws in the wrong places will minimize your abilities to ensure that the scope is secure.

Before you place the scope, ensure that the rings fit perfectly. This will eliminate the possibility of scratching the scope as you mount. Depending on your findings, you can choose to file lightly to remove left burrs form machining.

You can also line inside the ring surface with an electrician tape or rosin. This will ensure that the ring is secure and safe for your scope. The last thing you want is to scratch the scope after spending all that money to buy it. Once you have secured the inside, trim the tape carefully with a razor to eliminate showing on the outside or peeling. Repeat the same on both rings to ensure that the entire scope tube is protected and will not experience any possible scratches while you are in the field.

Now place the scope and evenly lock the ring and tighten the screws. Ensure to tighten each screw gradually to avoid overtightening or damaging the scope. Also, aligning them interchangeably guarantees that you will tell when the scope is perfectly secure. Therefore, ensure to keep your eyes open as you screw through each thread.

  • Check Alignment

Your scope is a great addition to the rifle. It provides you with accuracy while releasing bullets. Therefore, for each shot to count, ensuring that the scope is perfectly aligned is not optional. You have to ensure that the objective lens and the ocular lens are evenly aligned. Also, consider that there are times when the scope will have parallax error by simply shifting position or changing the eye.

To eliminate all this, you need to ensure that the rings are aligned and are compatible with your scope. Before you are completely settled, ensure that the rings are parallel to the main tube. You can also use a pointed rod to align them if you are not sure of your accuracy.

The main point while aligning the rings is to ensure that when you place the scope, it will give a precise performance. You also want to be sure that the scope will be secure while on mounted and will not keep shifting from one position to the other. Also, using the pointed rods enhances your prowess in aligning and guarantees minimal shooting mistakes.

  • Position the Scope

Once you are satisfied that the rings are aligned and will not damage the scope, its time to now position it, carefully, place the scope tube on the rings, and allow it to rest perfectly. Tighten the ring screws evenly to keep the scope secure on the rifle. However, when tightening, it should leave it on a slack position for easy optic adjustments and reveling the reticle.

Level the reticle to have a relative balance with the base for ease of using the scope. When positioning the scope, also ensure that the rings have an even pressure to avoid damaging the scope from one side.

After working this hard, you don’t want to damage the scope while at the last bit of the mounting process. Therefore, be careful and ensure that your riflescope is flexible and has even pressure while rotating the scope.

Once you have installed the scope on your rifle, then its time for you to get it into use. However, your scope is not yet ready if it is not effectively adjusted to meet your shooting threshold. Therefore, take your time to effectively sight your scope in a way that will allow you comfort while in the field.

  • Adjust The Eye Relief

Ensure that there is a significant distance between the eye and the ocular lens to avoid eye fatigue. Keeping a safe from recoil also assures you that your scope is set for enhanced performance.

Also, ensure that the distance between the eye and the scope allows effective viewing through the scope. Adjust the reticle to enhance your ability to view as well as guarantee that you get image clarity.

  • Align Reticle

There is no one setting that as effective to all shooting or will work for any hunting adventure. Therefore, even after getting the scope rightly installed, you still need to get it aligned effectively. The reticle allows your scope to have sufficient light transmission to enhance object viewing.

Adjusting the reticle also gives you the guarantee that when you position your eye through the scope will effectively perform. Therefore, you should ensure that the ring does not hold the scope tightly but rather allows you to rotate the reticle without risking the scope of general performance.

  • Bore-Sight

Also, while mounting the scope on a rifle, bore-sighting is a significant role that you must not forget about. It gives you the ability to have a clear aim and shots on your target without missing. Bore-sighting also guarantees that you get adequate performance from your rifle on various distance ranges.

Therefore, adjust the vertical and horizontal axis to meet your desired point of aim while on the field. Although, by bore-sighting, you get the aim points on a paper, it gives you a clear indication of how the scope will perform on the field.

However, it is also essential to you fire a few rounds to guarantee that you get the relevant results from the scope. As you fire, keep adjusting your sight until you can be guaranteed you have the right coordinates for fieldwork.

Also, while sighting, ensure to use the same ammunition you will use for either target shooting or hunting. The quality of the ammunition often provides varying results, even if you use the same rifle and setting.

How to mount a scope on different bases

If you are an outdoor shooter or hunter, then you understand the importance of a precise scope on your rifle. It enhances your accuracy and gives you extreme confidence even at the range shooting. However, the process of installing the scope is not as easy, and it takes time to perfect.This blog will discuss a detailed step-by-step guide to ensure that you understand how to mount your scope on different bases.

There are different mounting techniques, and they all work, depending on your expectations. For most hunters, the hustle of installing scopes on their rifle is often intense, and they prefer seeking professional assistance to handle the risks for them. However, if you have chosen to follow the installation steps, you have come to the right place.


How to Mount a Rifle Scope on a Picatinny Rail

Before you get to know how to mount your scope on a Picatinny rail, it is essential to know what it is and why it is important. The Picatinny rail is a military standard rail that has an interface system, which supports the mounting of firearm accessories. The rail has consistency in the spacing of slots to ensure that every time you mount your scope, you get the same zeroed settings or pretty close.

This makes it convenient for hunters who mostly don’t store their rifles and scope mounted. It also takes less time to install, and its performance is quite dependable. What makes Picatinny rail important compared to weaver rail is that its slots are slightly deeper and wider. The standard slot spacing and how they are extended in the length of the rail is also a factor to consider.

This guarantees that when you use Picatinny rail, your chances of accuracy are pretty higher. It also takes less time to mount and reset the scope hence allowing you sufficient time to concentrate on target or hunt shooting.

Why Is It Called Picatinny Rail?

Since you are in the process of learning how to mount on this rail, understand its history is also as important. The US army in the early 1990s was dissatisfied with the inconsistency of contemporary products on the market. Since they wanted something they can depend on, they tasked Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey to develop a standardized mounting system. This, therefore, led to the name Picatinny; however, the military name for the rail is MIL-STD-1913.

Now that you know the difference and you still wish to progress to know how to mount a  rifle scope on a Picatinny rail, keep reading.

  • Get the Right Tools

This step is quite critical, but it is most overlooked. If you want to mount your riflescope and have exceptional results, then picking the right tools should not be optional. With the right tools, the process is easy, and you are guaranteed your scope will be secure, and its field performance will also be fantastic.

Therefore, if you don’t have the right tools, you shouldn’t even consider mounting the scope in the first place. Torque wrench, gun stabilizer, and levelling kit are among the most critical tools that you must have before installing.

Ensure to buy one or have someone who can lend them to you whenever you consider mounting your riflescope. However, the most appropriate option is to buy one for yourself to avoid frustrations from friends.

  • Install the Base

Some rifles today come pre-drilled for scopes, and some brands take it to another level by selling rifles with bases installed already. If your brand doesn’t come with a base, then get the base in place should be the first step in your mounting procedure.

Ensure that it is firm and secure with all the screws driven correctly. The base is the most convenient part of the installation, as it holds the scope on the rifle. Therefore, if you don’t do it right, you risk getting your scope damaged or losing focus while in the field.

Balance the rail to match with the pre-drilled holes on the rifle and tapped correctly. Unlike when using two-piece rail, one-piece allows easy positioning. Tighten each screw to keep the base secure to avoid possible damages on the scope.

Screw-in the rings on the base and ensure that you balance them depending on the size of your scope. Measure the scope tube to give you a guide on where to place your rings on the rail. Screw the center part and ensure it is secure and flexible.

However, before mounting the base, apply a light oil coating on the underside of the rail. This helps in preventing corrosion hence keeping your rifle secure. Additionally, ensure to get some oil through to the screws for the same purposes. When the base is lubricated, it gets easy even for the screws to penetrate and hold the base secure.

  • Stabilize Your Gun

Keeping your gun in a stable and secure place is critical for the scope mounting process. You can use a gun vice, bench vice, or have some homemade contraption. If you choose to use a gun vice, ensure it has some aftermarket rubber arms for perfect grip and stability.

The idea is to ensure your gun is stable and doesn’t move even while you are working on the scope. Therefore, whatever you choose to use, ensure that it keeps your gun as stable as possible. Additionally, as you work on stability, also ensure that the gun is parallel to the ground to enhance its performance.

Remember, bullets don’t travel in a straight line. Therefore, when you keep your rifle in an inclined position, your aim will often vary. In other words, this will damage your ability to hit your target even after aligning the scope as expected.

As you work on stabilizing your rifle ensure that it is parallel to the ground and if possible keep it at a close range to the ground. Working with a gun that is placed near to the ground makes it easy for you to identify where the gun is slightly inclined before mounting the scope.

  • Level Your Riflescope

Levelling your rifle scope is a critical procedure that you shouldn’t consider overlooking. It gives you an overview of where to mount your scope for enhancing performance. When you place the scope too far towards the edge of the rifle, it will stress you to see through it and still maintain a perfect shooting posture. On the other hand, if it is exceptionally behind, it will not give you the expected accuracy during your shoot.

Additionally, you have to ensure that the scope is placed right at the center of the rifle. If you don’t level the riflescope accurately either to the right or left, then you are guaranteed your aim will be slightly off to the right or left.

  • Position the Scope

Once the base and rings are effectively placed on the rifle, insert your scope gently on the rings. Be careful while inserting to avoid scratching or damaging the scope tube. Therefore, it is essential to loosen the rings to facilitate smooth scope penetration slightly.

Additionally, once you are guaranteed that the scope is secure, gently tighten the screws until the scope is tightly in place. However, you don’t have to keep it as tight to facilitate easy adjustments when you are considering to change the settings.

Also, while positioning your scope, ensure you have sufficient observation, and both the objective and ocular lenses are perfectly aligned to facilitate easy viewing. Additionally, once you are satisfied with your scope positioning, take time to sight it effectively to great performance in respective ranges. If possible, load your rifle with ammunition and take a few shots as you adjust.

How to Mount a Scope on a Rifle without a Rail

Most guides on mounting rifle scope speak of rifles that come pre-drilled for scopes. However, there is limited information on how to mount a riflescope on a rifle that does not have a rail. If you have such a rifle, you don’t have to replace it for the new model for the sake of installing a scope.

Most old rifle is unique, and their performance is extremely on another level. Therefore it wouldn’t be justice to replace the rifle to a newer model due to lack of rails. There is always room for modification, and we are here to help you and get your rifle ready for scope installation.

What You Need

On top of the usual tools that are necessary for mounting, you will need to have extra tools for the job to be perfect: mounting rings and rails, a good gunsmith, your scope of choice, rifle, and boresighter.

A gunsmith will drill and tap your rifle for a new base plate for easy mounting of your scope. Therefore, you have to ensure that your gunsmith of choice is well versed with such tasks to ensure that they don’t do a shoddy job or temper with your rifle.

Additionally, most of the job will be done by the gunsmith from drilling and tapping, placing the base plate, the rail, scope rings and finally boresighting. Therefore, the professionalism of the gunsmith is essential and will determine the type of results you get.

If you have the means, it is often essential to contact the initial manufacturers of your rifle and find out whether they can do the job or have recommendations. Since this is a slightly complex adventure, you don’t want it done by a person who is not sure.

However, if you have the necessary tools and have been using the rifle for a while or you have basic knowledge on how to drill and tap for scope, it won’t hurt to give it a try. The main point is to ensure you drill on the right spots and don’t overdo it or have someone to help you through.

This process is, however, costly, depending on the smith of your choice. Some gunsmith will charge you on hourly while others will charge depending on the rife. Therefore, it is essential to get prepared to pay for the job. You can also do quick research on cost and only go for the gunsmith that can do a better job and still work within your budget range.

How to Mount a Rifle Scope with Perfectly Vertical Crosshairs

While mounting your riflescope, it is essential to ensure that the crosshair is perfectly levelled for the scope to perform better. Some hunters often try to change ammunition to correct the errors they make while hunting rather than adjusting the reticle for better alignment.

For instance, if your scope is sighted in at 100 yards and the crosshair are canted at one degree, your aim will be at least 2” on one side when you increase the distance. Therefore, you will likely miss your target with a few inches to either left or right.

Therefore, after successfully mounting your scope on the rifle, aligning the reticle should not be optional. Ensure that you take each measurement seriously and you don’t assume or round off figures. Your accuracy will progressively differ as you increase the shooting distance.

You can either choose to level the reticle manually or adjust using technological tools. This will ensure that you not only improve your shooting, but your accuracy and confidence will also grow. A perfect level crosshair also guarantees that your scope will perform wonders on both short and long-distance shooting.


The mounting process can be challenging especially if you are doing it for the first time. However, once you mount a few scopes, eventually, the process will be easy, and you never know, people might start to come to you for professional tips on how to mount their scope.

Therefore, be keen on the following instructions and always remember there is no harm in trying. Whenever you feel as if you are unsure of what should be done, seeking professional assistance is not showing weakness. Additionally, if you are uncertain of your ability to follow instructions from this blog, you can find an expert or someone with relevant mounting skills to take you through the process.

Mounting riflescope and doing it perfectly guarantees that you will get exceptional performance while in the field. However, having a scope on your rifle does not clear you to be a sharpshooter or even guarantee that all your shots will be precise and accurate.

Therefore, it is essential to take your time and keep practicing using the rifle efficiently to acquire those particular attributes. If you are unsure of how particular accessories interject while mounting the scope, feel free to have someone assisting you or better doing it for you. Getting the mounting process right ensures that you have exceptional confidence in yourself while shooting.

The benefit of mounting your riflescope yourself is that you have the opportunity to use your measurements in the exercise. However, when someone else installs it for you, there are chances that the scope will be aligned to fit their description, which might not work effectively for you. But with the above guide, you are now set to do the job yourself.

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