How to Mount a Scope: 5 Easy Steps

Your scope plays the most important role in increasing your shooting speed and accuracy. So it’s critical that you set it up properly. If you just bought your scope, congrats! Just follow our instructions for how to mount a scope, and you’ll be all set. 

How to Mount a Scope: 5 Easy Steps

Choose a Mount

Choose a mount that’s compatible with your rifle scope, your gun, and your budget. You can buy your scope and mount at the same store and at the same time so you’re sure that they’re compatible. If you prefer buying online, then do proper research and buy from known brands with a good reputation.

Cheap rings or a dodgy mount can ruin your accuracy no matter how much you spend on your scope and rifle, so stick with quality components here.

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Monstrum Precision Scope Rings | 1 inch Diameter | Picatinny | 1.00...
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Last update on 2023-01-04 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Check the Fit and Placement

Before doing this step, make sure the receiver surface you’re mounting on as well as your mount bases and rings are clean from dirt or excess oil. Unwanted substances can compromise the way the base adheres to the thread-locking compound (such as Locktite) you’ll be using to mount the scope. You can use alcohol and cotton or a piece of cloth to prep the surfaces. 

Place the base with the correct side facing the receiver port. All the holes should be aligned properly so you’ll know you’re using the right one. 

Place the scope in the lower mounts, and make sure the bell or scope housing does not interfere with placement. Carefully shoulder the gun and check your eye relief to make sure the scope is a good distance from your eye. This is critical for the best clarity and field of view through your scope.

Work the action on the gun and make sure nothing interferes with the operation (like the throw of a bolt).

You can remove the scope now and attach the bases now that you’ve confirmed they’re in the right place.

Secure the Mount Bases 

Once you’re happy with the position of the scope on the rifle, you’re ready to semi-permanently mount the bases. Always use the correct screwdriver and torque specifications to prevent the screws from getting deformed.

Before completely tightening the screws, operate the receiver action one more time to make sure that there aren’t fitment problems. Once you’ve confirmed that there are no issues, apply Loctite 243 to the screws to keep them from loosening when firing and insert them, torquing to the level provided in the instructions for your mount.

Apply the same process with the scope rings. Mount them on the base but don’t tighten the ring screws at once because you’d need to do some adjustments once you mount your scope. Don’t forget to check if the rings are properly sized for the scope tube and aligned correctly. Then, remove the ring hands using a screwdriver. 

Level the Scope

Place the scope on the base and partially secure it with the upper rings. Before completely tightening the screws, verify that you have room for enough eye relief. Then, secure the gun and use a level to make sure the gun and the scope are perfectly aligned. Any rotation can cause difficulty sighting in and small errors at larger distances when doing adjustments.

Secure the Scope to the Gun

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Once you’re satisfied with the eye relief, apply a thread locker to the ring hands, screw them back in, and tighten them. Be careful of overtightening the rings as it can damage your optic and compromise its reliability.

Now, you’re ready to your zero your scope!

FAQs

Can I mount a rifle scope myself?

Yes, it only takes a few minutes as long as your gun is compatible with your scope mounts.

Do you need special tools to mount a scope?

Not really. If you have a small level and a screw driver, you have what you need for most mounts. If you really want to be careful, you could use a Torque screwdriver to get the screw torque just right, but many people get along fine without one. 

Where should scope rings be placed?

Scope rings come in two parts, the lower half should be mounted on the base, and the upper half (or the ring hand) is attached to the lower half to secure the scope. The rings can contact the scope in any position as long as they can close around the tube and not interfere with the bell or adjustment housing on the scope.

How far forward should you mount a scope?

This depends on your preference. Your scope will have an ideal eye relief. Mount it so that you get enough eye relief in the position that you’ll be shooting from most often. For instance, your eye position will be slightly forward when prone vs when you shoot from a bench or standing..

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