From an SDI Instructor: Mounting a Rifle Scope

  • Caleb Tillery

The rifle and scope should be a match made in heaven! However, it’s up to the user to make that connection. The process of mounting a scope is relatively straightforward, but it does require some specific tools and a bit of knowledge.

Let’s dig in, shall we?

First, we must understand the relationship between a scope and rifle. When a scope is mounted to a rifle, the shooter is creating an angular relationship in which the projectile and reticle meet at a determined distance. For this relationship to remain constant the scope needs to be mounted in such a way where it does not shift during recoil. 

Have a shiftily-mounted scope? You’re setting yourself for inconsistent ranged shooting.

When mounting the scope, the shooter must use rings to attach the optic to the rifle. These rings should be spaced apart as far as possible on the scope tube as well as on the rifle rail.

The scope position should allow the shooter to get a full sight picture when in their natural shooting position. Once the distance from the eye to the scope is determined, the shooter can torque the ring bases to the rifle rail, following the manufacture’s weight recommendation. The rings should be pressed up against the grooves in the rifle rail during this step to prevent shifting during recoil. 

From here, the shooter must ensure the rifle and scope are leveled.

A common method is to use a bubble level on the scope turret as well as a bubble level on the internal action rails of the rifle. Once level is established the ring tops can be torqued to the manufacture’s recommendations over the scope tube. 

After all steps are rechecked and level if verified, the rifle is ready to be taken to the range for the final zero!

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