How to Mount Your Riflescope Properly

mounting a scope properly

A riflescope can greatly improve your aim when shooting at targets from long range. However, if you don’t know how to mount your riflescope properly, even the best sighting equipment won’t be of any help. The truth is that scope-mounting systems are the weakest link in any shooting system. So, in this post, I’ll be sharing with you a few tips on how to mount a scope properly. With these tips, you can rest assured that everything is properly tightened, the reticle is dead level, and the eye relief is correct during your next hunting spree.

mounting a scope properly

First, though, make sure to have the following if you choose to mount a riflescope on your own:

  1. A well-lit and spacious work area
  2. Vise and workbench
  3. Torque wrench
  4. Screwdriver
  5. Thread freezing compound (such as Loctite)
  6. Rust preventative oil
  7. Scope ring alignment tools (like wooden dowels with pointed ends)
  8. Bore sight

Before proceeding, it’s also important to match rings and bases. Most, if not all, modern rifles come with pre-drilled screw holes for attaching scopes. Depending on the brand, some scope bases will only fit specific rifles. Therefore, make sure to check whether the mounting attachments are compatible with your rifle. By checking the bases and rings visually and pre-fitting them, you can tell whether they’re of the right height and diameter for your rifle.

Step 1: Mount the Base

Once you have the proper rings and bases, the first step is to mount the base. Begin by clamping down the barrel in the vise, but make sure to pad the jaws to prevent the vise from scratching the metal.

Next, wipe dry and apply rust preventative oil on the attaching surfaces then place the scope’s bases on the rifle’s mounting positions. The front and rear base may be different on some mounting systems, so make sure to check that you’re not attaching them backward. Now, tighten the screws that hold the base secure to prevent it from wiggling loose.

Most scope manufacturers recommend a maximum torque for tightening base screws so be sure to follow these guidelines when mounting the base if you have a torque wrench. If you don’t have a torque driver, then you’ll have to go by the feel of resistance when tightening the screws. Ideally, the screws should be tight enough so that the base doesn’t move under recoil stress. For maximum stability, you can apply a thread freezing compound like Loctite on the screws.

Step 2: Install the Rings and Scope

After the base is secured, attach lower halves of the front and back rings before screwing them into place. Avoid using your scope to measure ring alignment. Instead, use a ring alignment tool for this purpose. Two wooden dowels or metal rods with pointed ends and of similar diameter to your scope would work just fine. You’ll know that the rings are in alignment when the pointed ends of each dowel or metal rod appear to be leveled when they’re almost touching.

Next, remove the dowels and place the scope in the bottom ring halves. Gently screw on the top ring halves, leaving enough room for the scope to rotate and move back and forth. If you notice any uneven contacts between the scope tube and rings, you can try to rotate one ring. If that still doesn’t result in a perfect alignment, then lap the rings. Lapping, or polishing the inside of scope rings, ensures maximum scope-to-ring contact besides removing any sharp edges that can scratch the tube of your sighting device.

Step 3: Adjust the Reticle and Eye Recoil

With the scope properly mounted between the bottom and top rings, the next step is to align your sights. To do that, unclamp your rifle from the vise and remove its bolt if possible. Bring the rifle to eye level and look through the scope while moving it back and forward until you have proper eye relief and can see the field of view completely.

To prevent bumping your eye on the eyepiece during recoil, move the scope an inch further forward. Now, turn the eyepiece until the reticle appears in the ocular field. Align the crosshairs by turning the windage and elevation turrets while viewing an object such a vertical and horizontal mark on the wall.

You can also insert a bore sight into your rifle’s muzzle to adjust the vertical and horizontal axis to your desired point of aim. Keep in mind that bore sighting only aligns your iron sights on paper at 100 yards. Therefore, you’ll need to fire test groups to sight your rifle properly for longer distances.

Step 4: Tighten Top Ring Screws

Finally, double-check the scope’s position and sights. If you’re satisfied with the reticle’s position as well as the scope’s alignment with the rifle barrel, then tighten the top ring screws. Once the scope has been mounted securely, just bore sight it again to fine-tune the crosshairs and you’re ready to fire. Remember to check the tightness of your ring screws occasionally to ensure a successful hunt.

What You Need to Know About Scope Mounts for AR 15


Now that you have your AR 15, the next step would be to improve your accuracy by getting a rifle scope. But, even with a great AR 15 and a superb scope, you also have to choose among the many scope mounts for AR-15 available on the market. Without the proper mounting, even the perfect scope for your well-cared for AR-15 won’t let you shoot successfully.

mounting a scope

—>Check Price on Amazon:Scope Mounts for AR 15

The point of the mount is to make the scope remains in place, no matter what happens. The mount should be suitable for your AR-15, and it should also be right for the scope you want to get. And, since scope mounts for AR-15 are the “weak link” in your shooting system, you may want to get a qualified gunsmith to make sure that it’s properly installed.

So let’s take a look at what kind of scope mount you need to get:


Do you plan to use the scope mount on just a single weapon?

If you answer yes here, then a fixed mount is your best option. It will help keep your scope stable and sturdy. With a scope that’s permanently affixed. You also won’t risk damaging your scope when you move the scope from one rifle to next.

With fixed mounts, you have two options:

• Dovetail scope mount. The mounting system of rings and base has a wedge (called the dovetail) on the bottom half of each ring. It inserts into the base and enables the scope to turn 90 degrees. This mount may be a bit too heavy for the AR 15, but there’s a new version called a dual dovetail, which can really stand up to hard recoil.

—>Check Price on Amazon for Dovetail scope mount

• Universal scope mount. This system isn’t as sturdy as the dual dovetail, but you can use it for many different types of firearms.

—>Check Price on Amazon for Universal scope mount


Do you have lots of guns, but don’t want to buy a separate mount for each one?

Then what you need is a detachable mount, and you have three options:

• Weaver style scope mount. The most popular option in this category. It allows the scope to be removed while the mount is still attached to the gun. That means you can always remove the scope anytime you want. You can remove the scope when you’re travelling, when you want to clean it, when you want to use the scope on another gun, or you want to use another scope on your AR 15.

—>Check Price on Amazon for Weaver style scope mount

• Picatinny style scope mount. It’s similar to the Weaver system, but the Picatinny system has wider base slots. You can’t use Picatinny rings on a Weaver base, but you can use Weaver rings on a Picatinny base.

—>Check Price on Amazon for Picatinny style scope mount

• Clamp-on mounts. These are very easy to use. They can even work on a gun that has been pre-drilled for scope mounts. They are also easy to remove without damaging the gun or the scope.

—>Check Price on Amazon for Clamp-on mounts

How high is the scope mount?

Here you want to make sure that it clears the iron sights so you get a clear view of your target. A lot of AR 15s come with fixed A2 front sights despite the fact that most of us put scopes or reflex sights on them. But if the mount is high enough, then the line of sight of the scope won’t be impeded by the front sights.


Does it have enough slots for scope ring adjustments?

A very important feature that you should check before getting your mount.


Does the design allow you to use AR 15’s front sight?

Some scope mounts are designed with a peep sight that allows you to use the front sight as well.

How much does it cost?

While sticking to a budget is important, what’s more important is to remember that with scope mounts, price and quality tend to match. You truly get what you paid for. So it doesn’t make sense to get an expensive scope and then try to get a cheap mount to go with it.

Nikon P-Series Mount Review

nikon p-series mount

While many rings and mounting equipment have come and gone, Nikon has been offering a high-quality line of mounts for the best customer experience. With the arrival of the Nikon P-Series mount, their range of quality products has expanded even more.

This 2-piece design mount allows proper mounting height and proper fore-aft positioning for proper shooting technique with comfortable eye relief.



In terms of features, the Nikon P-Series benefits from enhancements with regards to the following:

→ 2-piece reversible design; compact scopes;

→ Compatibility with flattop Picatinny rails;

→ Proper mounting height adjustments;

→ Fore-aft positioning is convenient for better ocular functionality;



The Nikon P-Series Mount has proven to be an excellent choice thanks to its affordable price and enhanced functions for a better overall experience. Here are some of the positive aspects of this model:

√ Perfect compatibility with AR Platform rifles in terms of height;

 Solid mount means enhanced capability in holding zero;

 Tight lock up for non-shaky hold;

 Easy installation and use for novice and experienced user alike;

 Lightweight and highly-compatible with carbines;



Most of the complaints raised by buyers have something to do with either post-purchase customer service or shipping methods, instead of the product’s actual performance. There have also been some issues regarding the not so affordable price. Among the issues raised in terms of functionality and design, you may find:

χ Imperfect metal finish;

χ Compatibility issues due to slide-on nature of the device;


The Nikon P-Series Mount is an interesting choice for those who need a reliable mount for their optics. The not so many negative reviews are overpowered by the praises and appreciation it has garnered so far, and could perhaps be treated as isolated cases which do not really say anything regarding the product’s quality. Ease of use and installation have been lauded as this specific model’s strong points, while its lightweight metal finish has been the subject of some debates regarding compatibility as well as durability. Overall, the Nikon P-series mount is definitely worth considering.