A riflescope can be a vital addition to any rifle for ensuring greater precision and accuracy between shots, but it will not live up to its desired potential if it is not mounted properly. Having a properly mounted riflescope ensures you get tighter rounds of shots, and locks it in position which helps it last longer. And you do not need to take your weapon back to a gun specialist to get your riflescope mounted; with the right tools, you can accomplish it yourself at home.
Now that you’ve purchased your ZeroTech riflescope and are ready to enter an upgraded world of backcountry hunting, here are some step by step tips to mount your riflescope to achieve the sharpest results.
Rifle and Scope Preparation
Preparation is often the most overlooked but also the most essential step, especially when setting up your gear for the first time. Remember basic checks; make sure your weapon is fully unloaded first before mounting the scope. Place your weapon on a secure, steady and ideally level platform, such as a gun vice or a firm sandbag.
Make sure you wipe dry the rifle and scope mounts, as excess oil and grease can cause screws to come loose and the mounts to slip and come undone. This can be done by using a clean cloth or cotton swab dipped in acetone around screws, joints, drill holes, and any other crevice most likely to accumulate grease. Then apply a thin layer of anti-corrosion fluid to prevent rust, and check that the bases are properly aligned and facing the right way.
Attaching the Mounts and Rings
When tightening any screws attached to the riflescope or mount ring, make sure to apply pressure evenly between the receiver and the scope, by going back and forth and side to side in small increments. Do not over-tighten the screws – the architecture of the mount rings is delicate and might be crushed with extended use if the screws are too tight.
If your mount base and scope ring is separate, it’s recommended to wipe dry the receiver top before applying anti-corrosion fluid to the surface where the bases will sit. Ensure that the screws used are the right sizes for the drill holes before proceeding further.
Then, apply a small amount of semi-permanent blue Loctite to the threads of the screws; this will help hold them in place, once you tighten them by following the technique described above. Use a socket head or torque wrench to attach the screws up to about 25 inch/lbs of torque. Do not use your riflescope as a lever to pivot your scope rings in place – this risks damaging the riflescope. Instead, use a wooden dowel or something of similar size.
When attaching the bottom of the scope rings to the base, push the rings towards the muzzle of the rifle to ensure the rings are mounted as far forward as possible. This will ensure there are no gaps created when the rifle recoils backwards relative to the scope. Even the tiniest of gaps can cause your scope to slide and throw off your target.
Scope Level Adjustment
Mounting the riflescope physically isn’t enough; checking the eye relief (the distance from your eye to the viewer) and making sure the crosshairs are aligned is the most crucial part. For best results, consider the position in which you will be shooting before mounting and checking eye relief; if you shoot standing up, then it’s best to mount your riflescope in a standing position. It is important to maintain consistency between positions so as not to alter the position of your cheek on the stock, which then affects eye relief.
There are a few checks to make when adjusting eye relief. The first is that when you look through the riflescope, you should not see a black halo around the crosshairs when the scope is magnified to its highest range. If you see a halo, slowly slide the scope back and forth towards your eye until it has all but disappeared, and there is full clarity around your edge-to-edge field of view. But be sure to keep your eye at a comfortable level from the scope, to avoid risk of injury upon recoil. This is why the first step of maintaining your position is important. There is a chance that you, rather than your riflescope, are crooked.
In our previous article, we covered the use of an anti-cant device and how it can help to keep your scope level when shooting. This can also be made use of when mounting the scope, to adjust eye relief along the horizontal axis. Ensure that your horizontal reticle is perpendicular to the muzzle of your rifle, else the calculated drop of your shots will be drastically different. Use the bubble level to adjust the reticle and tighten the screws evenly till they reach 18 inch/lbs of torque.
When you feel confident enough that your ZeroTech riflescope has been mounted and leveled correctly, get into a comfortable position and take a few test rounds making adjustments in elevation and windage and making sure the drop remains consistent between shots. If there are slight variations in drop, don’t fret, it means further slight tweaks are needed to the bases or the screws. The smallest of gaps can make a difference between getting the perfect shot, so don’t be afraid to take as much time and care mounting your weapon as possible. You’ll ensure your ZeroTech riflescope lasts you many years and gives you the most unmatched precision and accuracy wherever your hunting adventures take you.