How to Mount a Rifle Scope

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If you know how to mount a rifle scope, you can ace perfect shots with your rifle. Additionally, mounting a rifle scope by yourself means you can adjust your rifle according to your shoulder size.

Before setting up a rifle scope, follow the steps discussed in this guide; otherwise, you will give yourself more work by making fitment errors. 

As soon as you mount a rifle scope, you can head to the shooting range to test your rifle. 

Mounting a Rifle Scope by Step-By-Step Process

Step 1: Collecting the Suitable Tools

Like any other task, mounting also requires the right tools. This step will show you a list of required and recommended tools and their significance. The list also includes tools that aren’t requisite for mounting to make the task easier. 

  • Torque Wrench: This is an essential tool for mounting rifle scopes. If you don’t have one already, you need to buy one.
  • Leveling Kit: Many leveling combos are available on the market. You can get any leveling combo of your choice. Just make sure it works precisely and is all-inclusive. 
  • Gun Stabilizer: You need to stabilize your gun to get the mounting job done right. You can stabilize your rifle without using a “gun vice.” Just use a couple of bipods and some sandbags to rest your stock. 
  • Gun Butler: A gun butler offers a cleaning and storage place for your gun. It consists of two non-marring folks fixed at both ends to hold your gun in place.

Step 2: Choose the Accurate Base and Rings 

  • Scope Base: The scope base is significant as it can break or make the optics setup. Just as you wouldn’t compromise on the quality of scope, you shouldn’t compromise on the base’s quality. Generally, you can choose from a single-piece base and a two-piece base. A one-piece scope base will boost the stability of your scope. One piece is perfect for you if you want to shoot frequent long-range shots. A two-piece base, however, will help give extra clearance as you load your bolt action rifle. The two-piece base would be ideal for shooters wearing gloves and needing to reload.
  • Scope Rings: Now, you must couple your scope and scope base with perfect-sized scope rings. Select the scope rings that will let you mount your scope nearest to the gun. This helps in the maneuverability of the firearm.

Step 3: Mount the Scope Base

It is wise to dry-fit the scope base and rings before you use any torque wrench. The position of the base and rings may need to change to meet the eye-fitting requirements. Therefore, you must know where your base and rings must be put before permanently sitting them down. 

  • Get a cleaning cloth dipped into a degreaser or isopropyl alcohol to clean dirt and debris from the receiver, bases, rings, and optics. 
  • Ensure that the screw holes in the base line up with the holes in the receiver. One base point must stick out the ejection point if you have a two-piece base. 
  • If your base has screws of specific measurements, ensure that you put them in the correct position. The longer screws sit in the rear orientation, while shorter screws fit in the front.
  • Add gun oil to the contact surfaces before fitting the scope base. This will prevent rust formation between the receiver and scope base.
  • For added durability, you can use a thread locker on the base screws before fitting them in. Get your torque wrench and start tightening the base screws into the receiver. You can go through the manufacturer’s recommendations for torque specs. Fix the rear and front screws one by one to distribute the force. Ensure you use the correct screwdriver tip since scope mounting screws are easy to ruin. 

Step 4: Fix Scope Rings to the Base and Level the Scope

Now as the scope base is mounted, it’s time to fix the scope rings.

  • Loosely set the scope rings on the base. Just to hold everything in place.
  • Unfasten the upper halves of the rings and arrange them in a set.
  • Now place the scope at the bottom of the rings.
  • Fasten the upper halves and loosely secure the screws. This is how you can alter the scope’s position for better eye relief. 
  • Set the optic to lower power settings, rest your rifle on your shoulder, aim at the target and see through the optic.
  • To see the complete picture of the target, shift the optic forward or backward.
  • Now set the optic to the highest power and see through.
  • As soon as you position the optic correctly, mark it for when you return to tighten the screws.
  • Get your leveling tool, as you need to level your gun with the ground for mounting.
  • For leveling the scope, you can hang a plumb bob or weight with a string at the end of the room. Use the optic to see the plumb bob and adjust the scope, so the reticle is plumb.

Step 5: Secure Screws

Now that your scope is leveled and the reticle is, it’s time to secure the screws. Try fixing rings individually for a better result.

  • Detach the upper half of a single ring.
  • Like the base, apply some thread lockers on the screws and lightly snug screws successively. 
  • Do the same with other rings.
  • Once you put all screws in place, start tightening them with a torque screwdriver. For torque specs, look at the manufacturer’s recommendations. Generally, 15-20 pounds appear to be enough. However, it all depends on the design. 


Now you can say you are a pro at mounting rifle scopes. Even if you have got a new rifle or need to change the scope of your old gun, you won’t need the help of a gunsmith. Lastly, follow each step with proper attention and caution to avoid damaging your firearm.

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