How to Mount Rifle Scope – A Step-By-Step Guide

We understand: the idea of having your rifle scope mounted professionally seems very enticing; after all, there’s always less room for error. But we’re here to tell you that this couldn’t be further from the truth at times – especially if you get it done for free.

If you’re pressed for time, then yes, there are professional services available that will do the job for you. Nevertheless, you might want to consider doing it yourself if you want to save money and gain a new skill at the same time! This way, you’ll know that everything is fitting just right to match up with your specific needs- something no one else will be able to offer.

An accurate shot depends greatly on how well a rifle scope is mounted. So here’s how to mount your rifle scope step-by-step. 

What You’ll Need

Before we can begin, please gather the following items. If you don’t read this carefully, you won’t be able to mount your scope! 

  • The scope
  • The scope mounting base (this might be optional)
  • Torque wrench
  • Scope rings
  • Degreaser
  • Gun oil
  • Screwdriver
  • Leveling kit.

How to Mount Rifle Scope

Are you prepared? Now that we have your rifle scope mounted, let’s get started!

Step 1: Place the scope rings

First things first, you will need to attach the scope base before anything else. Make sure that it’s securely fastened so you can go ahead and mount the rings onto it. Once those are on there, take apart any extra parts of the ring assembly, make sure everything is organized for later use and put it all back together again until nothing is left over.

The bottom rings should be mounted first, then the top rings should be fitted. Ensure that your rifle is secured before putting the scope in its scope rings.

Step 2: Mount the base or the ring half

For rust-free alignment of the scope base and receiver, apply a small amount of gun oil to their contact surfaces. When using a picatinny rail, apply an oil-based lubricant onto the underside of the rails. Keep away from exposed screws while doing this!

If using a picatinny rail: layer a light oil coating on the rail’s underside before mounting. Don’t get oil on the mounting screws!

Now use the screwdriver to apply pressure onto the screws until they turn. Look for a Vortex or Wheeler torque wrench, these can be used for crafts such as Gunsmithing. If you’re using both rings and bases – do what was described before, but put only the bottom half of each ring and base together so you can set your reference level straight off of one of your rings (horizontal).

Step 3: Clean all mounting surfaces

Getting ready is the first step! Residue, grease, and dirt must be removed from your rifle before the base can be mounted. In the case of any residue, the scope base may not be able to sit fully on the rifle.

By removing the plug screws located along the receiver’s top, you can access each separate screw hole and degrease it. Here, a screwdriver will come in handy.

Step 4: Set the eye relief

Is there ever a time when your rifle optic shows a smudged black ring? The eye relief should be set properly to prevent this.

When you pick up your rifle, you should shoulder it gently (as you would in the field). You should close your eyes while resting your cheek on the comb of the rifle stock. Finding a natural rifle placement is best done this way.

You should now be able to see the correct eye relief after you open your eyes. A slight forward or backward movement will adjust the scope accordingly. The black ring will disappear once you do this.

Step 5: Secure the gun

Using a lead sled or gun vise will help you secure your gun before installing the scope. While working on the gun, you must stabilize it using whatever method you choose. 

Step 6: Sight-in

It is important to adjust the ocular focus first before sighting in your scope because this offers you a clear picture of the crosshairs. If there are no adjustments made, then it becomes hard for your eyes to see and they start hurting after awhile which leads to eyestrain.

Adjust the rifle scope’s diopter by aiming your unloaded rifle at a high-contrast background until you have a clear view of the reticle. If necessary, after setting up your scopes, adjust for eye relief using the set screws on top and bottom for max comfort.

Step 7: Level the scope

First, make sure the rifle is secured in place. Position your level on the center turret and adjust it until the bore and reticle are aligned both horizontally and vertically. Next, tighten the screws of the scope rings carefully so they’re at an equal tightness across its circumference – just like tightening up a car tire or two bolts would work.

Now is the time to use my leveling kit. Levels make sure that my barrel and receiver are at the same height as each other. If it isn’t perfect, then I might be a little off target without realizing it.


Now that you know how to mount rifle scope, many new opportunities await you. If you do not succeed at first (or even a few times) do not stop there! There are other guides which can teach you more about mounting riflescopes or even videos on YouTube which explain it in-depth and from different angles. Do not give up hope; good hunting awaits those who are persistent!

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