How To Mount A Rifle Scope

How-To-Mount-A-Rifle-Scope

Picking out a scope for your gun can be pretty fun and exciting.

It is something many shooters enjoy doing.

But once you have done that, you now have to mount the scope so that you can use it.

It may be assumed, but this may be a step you are not familiar with, have not thought much about, or have not looked forward to.

To some the task of scope mounting a rifle scope correctly may seem a little daunting, but there is no need to fret.

Once you break it down, learning how to mount a rifle scope is not that hard.

Scope Mounts and Their Importance

First off, let us discuss what exactly mounts are. Scope mounts are usually a combination of scope rings and a base or a rail.

Mounts are what attach your scope to your gun with.

It will not matter if you have the best scope in the world, if you have terrible mounts or if you have mounts that are not set up correctly the scope will be of no use.

Dependable mounts are critical for your scopes success.

Mounts are definitely not something to skimp on, nor to take lightly. They are as important as the scope and gun.

Before you can learn how to mount a rifle scope though, you need to figure out which mounts you are going to use for your rifle scope.

Rifle Scope Mount Types

When mounting a gun you have three rifle scope mounts types to choose from.

scope rings

You can choose to mount your scope by attaching rings to a base, rings to a rail, or by use a one piece mount.

Type 1: Base and Rings mount:

This type of scope mount has several different pieces.

You have the base that attaches to the gun and then the rings that attach to the base.

Type 2: Rail and Rings mount

scope mount rail

This type of scope mount is similar to Type 1, except that instead of a base, you are using rails that attach to the gun.

And then the rings attach to the rail.

Note: With these first two types of scope mounts there are tons of variations in the base/rail, as well as the rings you will want to use.

Every shooter has a different opinion on the best brands and styles.

You also of course need to consider the size of your scope, when choosing the rings.

If you have too big, or too small of rings you scope simply will not fit.

Type 3: One piece mount

one piece mount

This type of scope mount is all one piece. The base/rail and rings are all one piece of metal that act as one unit.

Note: Just like with the first two types, there are tons of different one piece mounts out there for you to choose from, depending on the style and size of your gun.

Be sure to do careful research before selecting one.

More often than not, the type of rifle you have will determine the type of mount you use.

There are many rifles out there that come with holes already drilled into the top allowing for a base to be screwed in.

There are also rifles out there, like the AR rifle, that already have a rail attached to them for the rings to then be attached to.

Some people prefer base/rail and rings, while others argue that one piece mounts are better.

Once you have made your decision on the mounts you want, you are then ready to learn how to mount a rifle scope correctly.

Mounting A Rifle Scope Using A Base / Rings Mount​

*Before starting make sure to wipe down all the gun parts and the surface of the gun where you will be attaching everything.*

Step 1: Using a small screwdriver (you will want to be sure to have one with a proper fit so you do not strip your screws) screw the hardware that comes with your base into the provided holes on your rifle. Be sure to not screw them in TOO tight.

Step 2: Using a larger screwdriver attach the lower part of your rings to your base (If you use the same, small screwdriver as step one it probably will be ill-fitting and could strip your screws). You need to make sure the screws are tight enough that the ring does not move. Note: If you use rings that are secured via a rotating socket system use a wooden dowel to secure them into place.

Step 3: Once both bottoms of your rings are secured to the bases place the center of your scope on the bottoms of the rings.

Step 4: Tighten the top part of the rings. You want to tighten the quite bit, but you still need the scope to be able to move within the rings.

Step 5: Position the scope within the rings that allows enough space for your rifle’s recoil. You do not want to get hit in the eye by your scope. To be safe it is suggested to move it an inch even further than what you feel is necessary.

Step 6: Place a scope level on top of your scope and rotate the scope until it is level and then tighten the screws.

Note: You amy have to repeat this step several times to ensure your scope is level.

Mounting A Rifle Scope Using A Rail / Rings Mount

Above we discussed the steps for mounting a scope using a base and rings. However, as mentioned above not all scopes are mounted using this equipment.

You could be using a rail and rings mount.

When using a rifle with a rail already attached to you, all you need to purchase is the rings to go with it.

You then can skip step 1 and just go straight to attaching your rings to the rail.

Mounting A Rifle Scope Using A Once Piece Mount

With a one piece mount you can pretty much follow the steps listed above.

But since the rings and base are all one piece, instead of having to screw in a base and then the rings, you just screw in the one piece.

You then can continue with Steps 3-6.

After all of that is said and done, congratulations, your scope is now mounted!

Video - How To Mount A Rifle Scope 

Below is a video by Vortex Optics describing how to mount a rifle scope. Note that in the video, he only needed some scope rings because his firearm already had the rail.

If you want to know what type of rifle scope rings were used they were the Vortex precision riflescope rings

vortex scope rings

The specific rifle scope used in the video is the Vortex Razer HD 5-20x50

Vortex Razer HD 5-20x50

Final Thoughts - How To Mount A Rifle Scope

As you can see, learning how to mount a rifle scope is not as daunting of a task as you may have first assumed.

All you have to do it is review the different rifle scope mounts types, choose the best mount type for you, and then walk through the mounting process step by step.

It really is not too complicated, especially with practice. Stay safe and happy shooting!

Gary Fretwell is a 33-year-old die hard hunter and blogger from Wyoming. After serving in Iraq, he finished school to become an Asset Protection Officer and currently is learning to be a tracker to help hunters like himself find big game!