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Home / Community home / Advice / How to mount a rifle scope

How to mount a rifle scope

If you’re a first-timer when it comes to mounting a scope to your rifle, it can be quite a detailed, fiddly task. It’s very easy once you get the hang of it, but it certainly takes some practice and a bit of know-how. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to help you get up and running, so that you can start mounting your new scope without as much as a second thought!

For more key tips and details, you can read plenty of extra information down below...




  1. If your rifle doesn’t have a scope mount base/rails, you’ll have to buy one that matches up with your rifle’s manufacturer and model.


  1. Attach the mount base/rails to your rifle using screws to line it up with the two holes in the top of your receiver.


  1. Buy yourself a quality set of scope rings or mounts.


  1. Set up your rifle upon a sturdy rest.


  1. Lay out your mounts with their pins/screws and an Allen key, on a table near your rifle.


single scope mount rings


  1. The mount base will have rails - get the bottom sections of your scope rings and line these up on top of the rails.


  1. Double check your alignment is correct, then proceed to tighten the screws.


  1. Carefully place your scope onto the open rings. Ensure that your scope is sitting mounted on its thin, tubular middle section, and not at either larger end where the optics are.


  1. Get the top halves of your scope rings. Carefully place them over the top of your scope and slide them down so that they fit into place with their bottom half. You can then tighten the screws so that the rings firmly hold the scope in place, but don’t fully tighten so that your scope tube is being crushed - you should be able to move the scope around a little.


  1. To allow for your rifle’s recoil, make sure your scope is at least 10cm away from your eye when holding the rifle in a shooting position. If not, slide your scope slightly further down the receiver.


  1. For extra security and accuracy, you can use a crosshair levelling kit to check your alignment and calibration - it’s like a tiny spirit level just for your scope!


a rifle scope close up image


Some Extra Tips

Try and buy at the top of your budget range.

Usually, the more expensive the mounts, the better quality they are. As your mounts are going to be a crucial part in both shooting accurately and protecting your pricey scope, it’s quite important that you get yourself a well engineered set. It’s worth spending a little bit of time researching what’s best for you.


A single-piece mount

A one-piece mount


Does your rifle recoil? Buy a one-piece.

If you get a lot of kickback from your rifle then there’s a risk that your mounts and rings can start to slide out of position. By getting yourself a one-piece mount there’s that extra bit of stability between each ring, reducing the risk of movement and loss of accuracy.

If your rifle features a recoil plate then you need to position the back of your mount is placed touching close to it. This will further increase the security of your shot.


Scope tubes come in two sizes - make sure your rings match them!

Not all ring mounts are adjustable between sizes and the tube on your scope will either be a 25mm or 30mm width - so before buying, check your mounts are compatible with your scope!


side on view of a rifle


Don’t tighten your screws fully right away!

When your scope is in place on the mount, you’ll need to run a series of visual tests to try and achieve the right eye-relief.

Get yourself in a natural shooting stance with your rifle shouldered. Now you want to slowly move the scope up and down along the rails on it’s mounts so that you can find your perfect picture. Just as if you were trying to find focus on a camera lens, you need to keep adjusting until the image in front of you is clean, clear and perfectly circle.

Make sure that when finding your eye-relief, it’s the scope that you’re moving and not your head, as this will obviously alter your results.


Now you’ve got all of the basic pointers you need in order to successfully mount your rifle scope. Give it a try - there are plenty of videos out there to help you along the way if you get stuck!

Your next step is to take it down to your local range to have a go at zeroing!

Archie Davis
Gunstar Chief Editor
Published on 04-11-2020
Archie has been on the management team at Gunstar UK since June 2018, and has since then been working to integrate the business with the shooting community. A skilled writer and self-taught country enthusiast, Archie has conducted numerous investigations into many of the industries unanswered questions to try and unify shooters all in one place; the Gunstar blog.