Shooting More Accurately – How to Mount and
How to Mount Your Riflescope
Note: The secrets to shooting accurately include choosing
the best rifle for your hunt, the correct ammunition
and the right bases and rings, mounting your scope properly
and then sighting-in your scope correctly. To gather
the best information on how to make rifles shoot more
accurately, I talked with Russ Sockwell of Mark’s
Outdoors in Birmingham, Alabama, a gunsmith with 10
years of experience who mounts scopes and sights-in
thousands of rifles each year.
“I use Leupold bases and rings for mounting riflescopes,”
Russ Sockwell says. “I like them because they
can adapt to mount on any rifle, and they’re very
strong. Too, Leupold bases and rings have windage capabilities
in the rear to insure that even if the gun’s drilled
off-center, you still can make the needed adjustments
to make the rifle shoot accurately. All of my personal
rifles have Leupold mounts
on them. The cost of these rings and bases is about
$50. I believe that a hunter needs to invest in quality
rings and bases. If your scope isn’t securely
attached to your rifle, you won’t be able to shoot
accurately. Here’s the procedure I use to attach
the bases to the gun, the rings to the bases and the
riflescope to the rings.
* “Have your gun drilled and tapped by a qualified
gunsmith, if your gun’s not drilled and tapped
to accept bases.
* “Degrease the gun with Gun Scrubber made by
Birchwood Casey, before attaching the bases to the barrel
of the gun. Don’t forget the screws and screw
holes. Gun Scrubber removes all the oil, dirt and grime,
evaporates quickly and leaves a clean surface.
* “Apply Loctite Threadlocker to the screws before
screwing the bases to the barrel. If you don’t
use Loctite, then over time, the guns will vibrate the
screws and the scope loose, and the gun won’t
* “Screw the bases to the gun.
* “Attach the front ring to the front base with
a Leupold Mounting Tool. Attach the rear ring to the
rear base using a Leupold Ring Wrench. Tighten the screws
with the torque bit, a style of Allen wrench that allows
you to apply more torque to the screw to make it tight
without stripping the screw that comes with the base-and-ring
set. Next turn the front ring into the dovetail fitting
on the base with a Leupold Ring Wrench, which also prevents
scratching the rings, which can scratch the scope.
* “Lay your scope in the rings. Although various
guns and scopes need to be mounted in different positions
to give the shooter the correct eye relief, generally,
you can start by laying the front tube of the scope
in the front ring about 1 inch from the front bell of
the scope. Once you get your scope set about where you
think it needs to be on the rings, put the top half
of each ring over the scope tube. Snug them down but
not too tightly. Then you still can square-up your crosshairs
and adjust your eye relief if needed.
* “Tighten-down the windage screw on the back
of the scope to
keep the rings in place.
* “Mount the rifle, check-out your eye relief,
and make sure your crosshairs are straight. Always keep
both eyes open when you’re looking through the
scope, adjusting your eye relief and lining-up your
crosshairs. Since you’re in such close quarters
when you’re looking through the scope, often the
objects will appear blurred. However, by keeping both
eyes open, you can better see your reference points.
Correct eye relief means you have a full picture inside
the scope with no black moving around inside the scope.
To make sure the crosshairs are straight, aim the gun
at a straight edge like a doorframe, and determine whether
your crosshairs are straight up and down with the doorframe.
* “Tighten-up the four screws that hold the rings
in place, once you’re certain the eye relief is
correct, and the crosshairs are straight up and down.
At Mark’s Outdoors, if a customer buys a scope,
a gun or rings and bases, I’ll mount the scope
for free and bore-sight it.”
To learn more, go to www.marksoutdoors.com,
email Sockwell at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call (205) 822-2010.
Tomorrow: How to Sight-In Your Scope