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May 09, 2020 | 07:02 pm 3223 0

How To Mount a Rifle Scope

How To Mount a Rifle Scope

Maybe shooters rely on their gunsmiths or even the factory to have the scope mounted on the rifle. Although it may be mounted properly to the rifle there is no guarantee it's actually gonna fit you. We like to equate this to buying a top-of-the-line sports car and then never adjusting seats or mirrors for their factory positions. You are not gonna get the performance you want no matter how nice the equipment is. In this article, we are going to tell you how to mount a standard scope on a standard bolt action rifle.

What do you actually need to get started? First of all,the scopes Allen key for the actual rings (when you buy rings you'll get an Allen key with it). Another very handy device that we would recommend you to use is the segway reticle leveler. Some other things just to remember that we'll talk about very briefly before we show how to do this are your rings. Keep in mind, that you are going to have different types of rings.

Getting Started

The first thing you have to do is make sure the gun is clear and check your magazine if you have one. Then make sure that you have the scope at the correct eye relief. This is something that people get stumped on. So, make sure the reticle is as level as possible. Correct eye relief will vary by scope and individual but should be around 2 ½”, the correct eye relief will be the point where you do not strain to see a clear picture.

Installing Rings

The next thing you are going to do is naturally take the top part of the Rings off. Place your scope on the bottom half of the rings. You don't have to make sure it's completely level at this stage but just in the rough area. Place the top half of the rings over the scope and fust start to tighten up the screws, however, don't make them tight, leave some place for the movement in the scope you can adjust it to your correct eye relief and level. Just tighten it down until you feel the slightest bit of resistance. If you have a Leupold turn-in style you will need to assemble the top half of the ring onto the bottom ring, set it in the base, and use a wooden dowel or non-marring screwdriver handle to turn the ring 90 degrees. If using a dual dovetail system, repeat this procedure for the rear ring.

Scope and Ring Alignment

Use your alignment bars and install the ring tops. You need these points to line up. Just snug these bars up. There is another way you can do it. Use the back end of the bars. It seems to be a little easier to determine. You can manage a hammer to align the rings. Remove the top halves of the rings and place your scope in the bottom ring halves. The scope should fall to the bottom of both rings. You can lightly install your top ring halves.

Sight in the Scope

There are other devices that will let you adjust your scope. For example, magnetic or laser bore sights. We would recommend using the second one because the green color is many times more visible to the human eye than a red laser. Click it on and all you need to do is to adjust your windage and elevation dials so they meet the dot in that distance. This takes the guesswork out of sighting in and does get you close to center. After getting on paper with the boresight, remove the unit from the chamber, and take 3 shots with minor adjustments to ensure your scope is sighted in.

Windage and Elevation Adjustments 

Windage refers to the effect of the air or wind in deflecting a bullet from its intended path. It can happen any time you’re outside a controlled environment like an indoor range and should always be taken into account when hunting (or you may risk missing or even wounding an animal.)

If you can simply adjust your scope when boresighting to approximate center without meaningful manipulation of the windage and elevation knobs on your scope you are equipped to move forward.

If your windage is off a lot and you have standard Leupold type bases with windage screws, take your scope back out before you move the bases equally so you don't misalign your rings and damage your scope. Move the rear base and realign both rings with your alignment tool or put your scope back in the bottom ring halves and ensure the scope drops to the bottom again. Lightly place the top halves of your rings and check the boresight again. With dual dovetail systems you have no option for base adjustments, so if your adjustments are at their maximum, switch to a base with windage screws.


Lapping the inside of the scope rings can help improve holding power and also prevent scratching the scope. This process includes removing the metal around the interior of the rings so you get really a 360-degree purchase on the scope. Let us tell you how to do this time-consuming process!

When you have your bottom half of the rings mounted to the bases, it's time to get ready to lap. You need to get the appropriate lapping bar to set it in there with some of the grips. What you do first is put a handle in the middle and tighten the screws. Remember, we put one notch loaded up with the slapping compound and dropping the screws using a three-millimeter long wrench. The reason we notch them is to make a custom fit because lapping will make the diameter uniform and will also help with the alignment.We can improve contact by carefully lapping the rings. Go by hand and move back and forth slowly pulling up and pushing down.

Once your resistance starts to drop (you'll feel it) just keep your spaces equal and tighten down your screws a little each time. Such a hand method is nasty and messy but id does a better job to have good and neat results. Then, take it out and take a look and clean the rings. Try with the centering rings and see what you did. If the ring surface area has been completely smoothed out and becomes less burnished means you did it!

Final Adjustments

Just after lapping, you can make some final adjustments. Take your gun, open eyes. The picture you'll see should be full. We recommend measuring twice to get persuaded that you did everything right. Ensure that your ring gaps are the same on all four sides before you get too tight make sure your radical is straight. The next step is very significant, so bring the rifle up to your shoulder, close your eyes, get a comfortable cheek well and then just simply open your right eye (naturally if your right eye is dominant).

When you are looking through the scope, make sure it's at the correct eye relief. If it's too close or too far away you are going to have a lot of the black ring around the circle. You need to bring it back or adjust it forward so you get that clear full scope picture. When you have got actual eye relief sorted you need to actually level the reticle. To use the reticle leveler is a great idea because it's very straightforward: on one side you've got thick bars and on the other side you've got thinner bars.

Depending on how thick your reticle is you can marry it up and find the optimal level for your optic. How to do it right? All you need is to put the flat bar over the top of the receiver (which is also flat), put it back together, hook the elastic band that comes with the reticle leveler, hook from side to side through the trigger guard. Then just simply look through the scope and make the adjustment until it marries up the horizontal crossbar with the bars on the side of the reticle leveler.

Tighten top screws down to don't have an uneven distance between the two rings. Now, when you make sure that everything is nice, aligned and snug using the longer length of the Allen key to tighten down both rings sides.

Remember, the mark of a professional job is when all the details are correct.

Sometimes, you'll need to remount the scope two or three times to get it absolutely perfect.

Everyone's eye is different. Your eye is going to tell you if your gun is straight or not. Hope, our article helped you to obtain the knowledge you needed!

More information here:
How to clean a rifle scope
How to Choose and Install Rifle Scope Mounts, Rings & Bases
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