Advanced Search +

Are You Making These 3 Mistakes When Mounting Your Scope?

Posted by 
July 29, 2014
Published in News & Tips > Hunting > Firearms
7766   Comment
expert

I recently attended the Thompson Long Range Shooting School in Utah (see my previous blogs). One of the many things that I learned is that proper scope mounting is critical for long range shooting, and that I haven't been doing this exactly right all these years.

Scope Alignment


I usually use Leupold dual dovetail mounts and a Leupold Ring Wrench to align my bottom rings. Then I just lay the scope into the bottom rings and slide it back and forth while rotating to make sure that the front and rear rings are aligned. Well, that's not good enough, and even slightly misaligned rings can dent the scope tube, distort the reticles and cause adjustment problems. Properly aligned rings create more surface contact with the tube to hold it securely during heavy recoil. The proper way is to use alignment bars, along with a lapping bar and lapping compound to fix minor misalignments.

Level Crosshairs

 

ProperScopeMounting blog
The Wheeler Professional Scope Mounting Kit offer all the necessary tools, including a DVD, to properly mount your scope.

The second thing I've been doing wrong is just eyeballing my crosshairs to ensure that they are level before tightening down the rings. The alignment of a scope's crosshairs relative to the axis of the rifle bore is very important, especially at long range, and doing so with the naked eye is far too imprecise. The proper way is to use a scope leveler or reticle levelling system. Mark Thompson, the instructor at the school, also uses a hanging plumb bob to confirm his scope is mounted level.

Proper Torque


The final thing I've been doing wrong is either over- or under-tightening the screws on my scope bases and rings, or at least tightening them unevenly. Too tight and you could damage your scope tube; too loose and you risk having the scope move during heavy recoil; and uneven tightness could cause a mix of these problems, along with reticle adjustment issues. The right way is to use an adjustable torque screwdriver and adjust everything to the scope mount manufacturer's specifications.

The good news is that you can get all the necessary tools in a handy professional scope mounting kit offered by Wheeler that even comes with an instructional DVD.

Although proper scope mounting is critical for long range shooting, its benefits apply to shooting at shorter ranges too.

Good hunting.

 

Tagged under Read 7766 times Last modified on September 13, 2017
Don Sangster
expert

Don Sangster hails from Mississauga, Ontario, and is an avid multi-species angler and hunter; he describes one as his passion and the other as his obsession — which is which varies with the seasons. He's been a professional outdoor writer and photographer since 1999, and is a frequent contributor to numerous North American print and web publications.

Latest from Don Sangster

RELATED ARTICLES

You must be signed in to post comments on Bass Pro Shops 1Source. Don't have an account? Please join Bass Pro Shops 1Source.
  • Hey, looking for some help. Lifelong hunter of 50 years. Last few seasons I have been "kissed" between the eyes with my rifle scope...and has caused serious concussion issues. I need to get a new setup and am looking for advice for scopes that provide the greatest eye relief for a deer rifle, possible using an extended stock, and would going to a synthetic stock or other recoil approaches be helpful?

  • Thank you for contacting Bass Pro Shops. I can empathize with you. I have been “snake-bit” before, but in my situation, I was not paying attention to the recoil.

    Without knowing your specific rifle, scope, or how the scope was mounted to the rifle; I would agree that you probably need a scope with as much eye relief as you can get. I would suggest going with the Oculus Pro Team HD Long Range Rifle Scopes here: http://www.basspro.com/Oculus-Pro-Team-HD-Long-Range-Rifle-Scopes/product/1409301021/ These have an eye relief of 3.6” on the 4-16X scope and 3.9” on the 6-24X scope. Before tightening down the scope, check the eye relief with the scope set on the highest magnification as that is where your eye relief will be the shortest. Tighten it there, as when you adjust the magnification to a lower setting, your eye relief will be longer. I hope this information is helpful. You also may like to check in person at a local Bass Pro Shops or a local gun shop.”