Before you can mount a scope, you need to know what a scope is. And even if you’re already familiar, it never hurts to review the basics. So here’s a rough summary!
What Is a Rifle Scope?
A rifle scope is a telescopic sight normally mounted on top of a rifle.
Scopes are used for improving the aim of a firearm by magnifying and pinpointing a target.
Varying on dimensions, heights, and settings of your sight, you can use these tools to take out targets over 500 yards away.
This makes them the perfect attachment for any avid gun fanatic!
Here’s a History Lesson
Did you know the first-ever rifle scope was a failed attempt? It’s true!
In 1776, Charles Peale took a crack at his own prototype of a rifle scope.
However, his early model was unusable, as it sent the sight flying back into the user’s eye when the recoil kicked in.
Talk about having your eye on the prize!
In the end, the first success at the rifle scope was awarded to Morgan James, who lived in Utica, NY, during the 1830s.
The scope was instantly regarded in high respects and used in the wars that closely followed, such as the American Civil War.
Eventually, soldiers were specifically trained in long-distance, tactical fighting, and put their sole focus on using scopes.
These soldiers later became known as ‘Snipers’ and are still used in the modern-day military.
What Parts Do We Need?
As seen in this AGA article, there are three primary pieces to collect before you can even think about mounting a scope.
1. A Base
First up is the base.
Bases connect straight onto the gun through a series of screws, bolts, and other attachment tools.
It’s their job to hold all of the other pieces together.
Firearms normally already come with base holes to connect the component, but if not, you’ll need to drill the holes yourself.
Some rifles also come pre-equipped with the base itself, but those are few and far between.
Rings are important for holding down your optic sites above the bore of your firearm.
They differentiate based on size and height, but their purpose remains the same.
The height of the rings can range from low to high.
However, the medium is the average pick among most firearms.
With diameters ranging in scopes and rings, the important thing to remember is pairing the two to match, meaning you’ll need to find rings big enough for your optic.
Be careful during this part – size definitely matters!
Obviously…the scope itself is incredibly important. Good luck mounting one without it!
As for choosing a scope, it mostly depends on your type of firearm and personal scope preference.
There are a variety of different scope types, so be sure to check them all out thoroughly before making a purchase!
Are Rails Important?
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Referencing back to the AGA article shared above, you’ll notice it mentions rails.
The purpose of rails is to replace the ‘Base’ component we mentioned earlier.
Its entire purpose is to make your life easier, especially if you love swapping attachments on your firearms.
Rails allow for quick ‘sliding’ functions with your scope and let you take attachments off quickly.
They skip the hassle of long screwing and mounting processes you normally get with bases and are often a fan-favorite among the firearm community.
If you’re sticking with rails, you should know there are two different types:
- Only has 1 or two different rail slots
- Can place slot anywhere on the base of the firearm
- Thinner and more lightweight
- Have more standardized slot arrangements along the entire rail
- Much more surface area to mount rings
- Thicker and heavier
Keeping this information in mind, rails have a lot of benefits for your personal firearm, and offer a variety of great features!
It’s ultimately up to you what you prefer to use (a base or rails).
Enough Stalling – Let’s Build!
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For the purpose of this article, we’ll go over how to mount a scope on a ring-base system rather than the rail.
Once you have all of the parts required, mounting the scope is a very simple and easy process.
Using the base holes we mentioned earlier, drill the base onto the receiver of the firearm.
Then, carefully screw the rings onto the base.
You can use a variety of objects ranging from a Swiss army knife to a hex tool – provided you measured your diameters and sizes appropriately.
If you’ve done your job right, one side of the rings should still be open.
Use that end for sliding on your firearm scope.
Once secure, tighten the rings on either side to ensure it’s not loose.
When mounting a scope using the rail system, the process is fairly similar, just without the base.
Either way, never fully tighten your parts until the scope is completely attached.
Once the scope is on the firearm, grab your tools and methodically tighten every screw, bolt, and ring you can find.
You want everything tight and in place, so go over the entire receiver of the gun until you’ve checked every piece.
Made it this far? Congratulations! You successfully mounted your scope.
You’ll Get the Hang of It with Practice
While scopes have been around for centuries, they’re only becoming more and more advanced in modern society.
In fact, some scopes now come with digital, thermal, and x-ray scanning capabilities!
The possibilities are truly endless when it comes to this firearm accessory, and as you now know, mounting a scope isn’t hard!
And hopefully, thanks to the instructions in this article, you’re now a master!
Do you have issues with mounting a scope? Let us know in the comments section!
- Scope Mounts: Everything You Need to Know
- What Is A Sniper Scope & How Do You Use One?
- A Hunter’s Guide: How to Sight in Your Scope