How to Mount a Rifle Scope for Long Range Shooting

How to Mount a Rifle Scope for Long Range Shooting

Long range shooting is now a current craze and shooters are getting out of their way to make the bullet hit the target no matter how far it travels. However, for anyone to succeed in shooting beyond 1000 yards, one thing you need to take care of is how you mount a rifle scope.

Since it’s a miscellaneous process, everything to do with proper mounting is critical to long-range bull’s eye aiming. You need to know how to level the scope. If the crosshairs are not in the right working order, the connection can mislead you to impact at 200 yards after setting for 100 yards. With that, it means there you are more prone to errors when you aim further than 500 yards.

As you look forward to mounting a scope for long range shooting on your 6.5 creedmoor, .308 or AR 15 rifle, we will help you cover the basics of successful installation and leveling before you start making shots.

Scope Bases Mounting Basics

Here, we are going to cover the standard bases you will find as you try to fix the scope on your gun.

Direct Mounting

As the above phrase puts it, direct mounts refer to ring bases being attached directly to the scope and rifle. While you are bound to achieve stability with this installation form, switching the viewing instrument when you need to can be problematic. So, if you are not fond of removing the scope once in a while as you use it, this set up will serve you right.

Dovetail Mounting

The rail on dovetails is an inverted trapezium which resembles how a dove’s tail looks like. If you don’t need the scope out of the connected rings, the dovetail makes it easy for you to work on your scope installation without altering the point of impact. While that’s an advantage, make sure that the bases are tight to the core. Otherwise, the scope will always move forward during recoil.

Picatinny Mounting

It is today’s standard where you get more slots or recoil lugs perpendicular to the rail. It is somehow similar to Weaver style (still coined from dovetail). After the US military adopted it, it is now considered in almost every other optics mounting exercise. The standardization involves numbered slots which aid in scope remounting without interrupting the point of impact.

Adjusting your scope to make the most out of the height and distance needs a rail that permits MOA adjustments beyond the acceptable limits. Some advanced rails come as tapered. This means that you have the back part of the scope raised higher to increase the distance of elevation travel. As the bullet travels further, the drop becomes larger, and if you want to compensate for that, you need tapering on the rail. That increases the adjustable elevation view.

Mounting The Rifle Scope

First, before operating on any gun, it is essential to make sure that the firearm is unloaded and the chambers are clear. That way, it is safe to work with. If you are purchasing customized rings, check the installation manual that comes with it for proper installation.

Once you consider the above, here are the necessary instructions to get you through it.

  • Before you place the scope, move the rings further forward to pave the way for the recoil distance. The last thing you want is the back hitting your face as you shoot.
  • Next, tighten the rings to secure them on the barrel. To make the screws tight, apply some thread locker before driving them down, but that will be later. For now, just screw to a hand tight position.
  • Place the scope in the rings and use the rings’ tops to tighten it. As you screw, the nails should tighten in a way that the scope can still rotate.

Eye Relief and Reticle Adjustment

Now, it time to adjust the rifle scope. You can set it on a flat surface if you will be lying low or take it to shoulder position if you are standing. The aim here is to place the gun in a normal shooting position.

After positioning, continue with the following:

  • Slowly, move the scope towards the rear until your eyes see a full field of view. The dark circle via the objective should be the guideline as you do so.
  • Once you achieve the above step, it means you have set the eye relief.
  • Without interrupting with the eye relief distance, rotate the scope until you attain a correct reticle level. Use the elevation dial at the top.
  • Now, you need to align the vertical crosshair so that it’s perpendicular to the firearm. Some use the iron sight as the guide, but a plumb line will do a better job. Attach a string with some weight on it to resemble a plumb line on the scope and use it as a guide.
  • After that, confirm that the reticle is indeed vertical. Move the stock back and forth while on the rest as your eye looks through the scope. The reticle should go up and down without scope canting. If it’s angled, you won’t have a consistent point of impact.
  • Once the reticle and relief are all set, it’s time to tighten the screws.
  • As you tighten, take out one screw at a time, apply some locking glue and drive them down to sturdy tight. Do not fasten too much to prevent damaging the scope’s body.

For more installation tips, check the video below.

Other Considerations

It is advisable always to choose the lowest mounting position possible. A high position distracts your view as you position your cheek rest. Unless you have proper compensation for the cheek, choose a lower scope location.

If the scope’s objective is too wide, that may prevent extreme lower positioning. At that point, improvise on raising your scope, and the cheek rest position.

Earlier, we mentioned about applying some thread locker on the screws before tightening them the last time. Using it makes sure that your scope sits tight during recoil as opposed to forward movement when it’s not securely fitted.

Do you want to join the best long-range shooters in the next competition or do you want to train how to do it? Whatever it is, long-range shooting needs your scope to be correctly mounted if you need the bullet to go beyond 500 yards.

It’s all about making sure that the scope is in the right position on your gun, it stays tight during recoil, and you have no problem seeing through the objective lens since the level is precise and the reticle is in the right position.

Once everything is set, start working on the range and take that creedmoor to furthest distance possible!


Let me know your thoughts on this topic!