How to Mount a Scope - a Guide from the Expert
If you are a hunter, knowing how to mount a scope is paramount. It can also save you some money because you will not have to take your rifle to a gunsmith to do the job for you. However, remember that gun scopes are a precise business. You have to be very keen to mount the rifle just right. Here, you will see the steps to mounting your riflescope perfectly.
Gather everything that you will need
- Get your rifle, and the scope itself
- Flathead screwdriver/screws
- Scope mounting torque wrench
- Mounting bases
- Bubble level
- Some rubbing alcohol
- Clean pieces of cloth
- Thread-freeze compound
Make sure you have the matching fitting attachments
By fitting attachments, we mean the base and the top rings. There is not exactly a one-size-fit-all in the market, so you have to ensure that the top rings that you get will fit with the bases. The rings have to be of the correct diameter as they will be practically responsible for holding the scope in place firmly.
At the same time, consider getting the correct base for your rifle. Modern rifles are sold while already pre-drilled and tapped to fit the scope bases. If they are not pre-drilled, they have been grooved for the mounting fitments. If your rifle is grooved, ensure you get matching mounting systems. This stage is critical and it will actually determine the success of your scope-mounting venture.
Attaching the bases
Before you start working on your rifle, ensure it is unloaded. For good measure, remove the magazine and the bolt. It is true that guns don’t kill people, but they do go off when you are cleaning them. You can never be too careful around guns.
Clean the base bottom and the receiver, ensuring that the latter has no oil. Also, clean the rings, the screw holes on the rifle and even the screws themselves.
With the bases clean, it is time to match them to the rifle to ensure that the holes on the bases and on the rifle match. If they do, go ahead and screw the bases lightly, without tightening anything. The rings may come in different heights, so you have to know what ring goes where. However, if they are of the same height, go ahead and attach them.
Take the scope, place it lightly in the rings and check how much room you have between the turret and the rings. You also need to check the amount of room you have between the objective bell and the eyepiece. If there is need for any adjustment, this is the time to do it.
Tightening the screws
When you have ascertained that everything is well set up, you can begin tightening the screws. However, before that, just take the parts of fitment system from the rifle. Start by tightening the bases. Remember to give the screws a dash of your thread freeze product. You can then use the right driver bit to firm the screws up.
Do not tighten them with the driver bit. Just tie them up so they are firm. You can then take a FAT wrench to tighten the screws to the torque level that the manufacturer recommends or, use the good quality scope mounting torque werench, paying special attention to accuracy. The scope has to be just right, with no room of error. Fortunately, FAT wrenches are made for just this kind of precision work.
Fastening the bottom and top rings
Fasten the bottom rings to the bases, of course, following the directions provided by the manufacturer. The scope will be set on the bottom rings. That is why they must sit accurately on the base. Remember to add a touch of thread-freeze on the screws and tighten the screws to the recommended torque level.
Take the scope and place it on the bottom rings ever so gently. Take the top rings and place them gently on the bottom rings, matching ones of course. You can then screw them down but not too firmly, since you have not set the scope as required. You want to leave the rings firm but still with some allowance for the scope to turn so that you can level your reticle.
How to get eye relief
It is important to get good eye relief for the scope. To do this, mount the rifle to the shoulder and then take note of the back end of the scope in relation to your eye. If the distance between eye and scope is less than 4 inches, slide your scope as far as it will go within the rings, or until you have eye relief of 4 inches. If you cannot get 4 inches, you will have to slide your head back the buttstock when firing.
Level the reticle
This is where your bubble level comes into play. Actually, you should have two of these. You have to place one bubble level on the rail/flat receiver/action race and second one goes to the action of your rifle. At this point, you are just leveling the rifle, not the scope.
You may place another bubble level on the elevation dial of your scope. To level the scope, you have to turn it in the rings. Remember we said to tighten them to the recommended torque level so that the scope can turn easily in the rings.
Getting the scope crosshairs just where you want them can be hard and it requires all of your patience. The reason for this is that the scope will rotate in the direction that the screws turn when tightening them. Thus, you might have to untighten the screws (of the top rings) to get the scope leveled just right.
Prepare your worktable in advance, ensuring you have all the clean space that you need. Next, you will have to tackle this job step-by-step until the scope is mounted and leveled just right. Basically, that is how you set a scope on your range or hunting rifle.