Properly mounting a rifle scope

01 May

Though it may not seem like it, properly mounting a riflescope is one of the most critical things one can do to insure accuracy out of the rifle. The link between the scope is one the most essential on the entire gun and with these steps you too will be able to guearantee that you have properly mounted your scope.

Selecting the scope rings:

One of the most important steps is selecting the scope rings you wish to use. Scope rings come in all different shapes and sizes. Be sure to get the scope rings that fit your scope tube, generally 1 inch or 30mm. Also to be taken into consideration is the space that will be needed for the objectionl lens of the scope (the big end). When selecting rings a good rule of thumb is low bases fit up to 42mm, medium bases fit up to 50mm and high bases fit anything after that.

There are also many different kinds and styles of scope rings. The main style of rings are vertically split rings and horizontally split rings. Both rings have there benefits. Vertically are known to provide a stronger mount but are more difficult to install, why horizontal split rings provide most the strength one will ever need and are generally quite easy to install. Quick detach rings are also being produced which allowes the shooter to remove their scope at anytime and reattach it with the confidence that it will return to zero. Many different companies are making high end scope rings that will suite the needs of every shooter. We always recomend Leupold, Warne and Talley Rings.

Once you have selected your rings you may also have to get bases for your scope mounts. Some rifles come with bases and others you have to buy. Most scope rings will fit the standard Weaver style scope bases. Yet others, such as the Talley Rings, require custom bases that are also available through the scope ring manufacturer.


Once you have the desired rings and bases that you choose to use, you will need a few tools to insure that the mounting job is done correctly.

Gun smithing screwdriver set- Don’t let this scare you away, a gun smithing screwdriver set can be purchased online for about $15.

Adjustable torque screwdriver- These can also be bought online and are a little bit more of an investment at around $50. The benefits and rewards of such a tool will be well worth the money though.

1 inch or 30mm lapping bar with lapping compound- Purchased at for around $15, or you can also get a complete scope lapping kit for around $90.

Scope rings alignment tools- Not critical to have these but they do help. These tools can be purchased online for about $15.

Gun Vise- If you don’t have a gun vise you can improvise with sand bags or even a heavy jacket.

Getting Started

1) The first thing that needs to be done is the gun needs to be locked securely into the gun vise. If you don’t have a gun vise set the forearm on a sandbag or a heavy jacket and pack another heavy jacket around the stock of the rifle to insure it does not move when being worked on.

2) Once your gun is secured to be worked on first remove the filler screws in the top of the reciever.

3) After removing the filler screws from the receiver you can now install your scope base. Use blue loc-tite on the screws for the bases to insure they done come loose over time. Be Sure to evenly torque all the screws down to 35 in/lbs using your torque screwdriver.

4) That that you have the bases installed its time to install and lap your rings. For demonstration purposes we will give instruction for horizontally split rings. Install the bottom half of the rings and torque down to 20in/lbs using the torque wrench.

5) Next place the lapping bar on the bottom section of the rings and place the top half of the rings in their desired positions. Drop the scope ring screps into place and lightly tighten, be sure to leave enough room to move the lapping bar freely.

6) Now its time to add the lapping compound. The lapping compound is the actual grit that is going to remove the metal from inside the rings to insure a perfect fit with your scope. Rub some of the lapping compound on the lapping bar in front and behind each scope ring.

7) Next is the actual lapping process. To lap the scope rings gently tighten the screws down evenly just tight enough to where you can still move the lapping bar but with a little more resistance now. Move the bar back and for while rotating it. Stope periodically to check your progress. Tighten the screws as needed to take off more metal inside the rings. Once about 80 percent of the finish is rubbed off the inside of the rings the job is complete.

8)Now that the lapping process is finished remove the top half of the rings and the lapping bar. Wipe down the inside and out of the rings and remove all excess lapping compound from the rings and the lapping bar.

9) Place the scope in the bottom pieces of the scope ring. Set the top halves of the rings in place and alighn the screw holes. Place the screws inside the holes. To insure that no unwanted stress is added to the scope you must tighten the screws in an alternating pattern. Start with the front left screw and tighten it only snug, then move to the back right screw of the back scope ring and tighten it only snup. Repeat this process with the front right screw and then the back left screw.

10) Now that the screws are snug, repeat this pattern and torque the screws down to 15 in/lbs. Once you have completed torquing the screws down to specifications the instalation is complete.

11) Now its time to head to the range and zero the rifle.


Shooters often spend a lot of money on their rifle and scope and then buy the cheapest scope rings they can find. Scopes are put on the rifle and usually overtightened, sometimes even causing damage to the rifle or the optics in the process. This method is tempting but should not be the way things are done. To insure that you are getting the most out of your rifle and scope, the scope should be properly mounted and torqued down to the recomended specifications. Properly mounting and lapping your scope rings may require a small start up cost, but as an end result you will have a exceptionally accurate rifle that is sure to provide years of accurate shooting to come.

Leave a comment

Posted by on May 1, 2012 in Uncategorized


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: