How to Mount a Rifle Scope on a Picatinny Rail

How to Mount a Rifle Scope on a Picatinny Rail?

The scope mounts are used to attach the spotting scope on the weapon. It is important to have an appropriate scope mount because it ensures perfect optics and to let your target hit at the right spot.

There are some people who might be interested to know how to mount a scope on a rifle without a rail, however, this article explains the method of mounting the scope on a picatinny rail.

Types of Rifle Scope mounts:

Weaver Mounts

This type of scope mount has the following features:

  • You will have a wide and flat base with the recoil slots which are crosswise and are around 0.875 of an inch.
  • They only take the weaver styles rings so as to fit them perfectly into the lugs on the base.
  • Generally speaking, the width of the lugs is around .180 inches.
  • You can fit the base with the rings perfectly just like a jigsaw puzzle so that there is no movement in the coil.
  • The rail is mostly made of steel or aluminum.
  • You may find the weaver mount is either one or two pieces according to the size of your scope as the multiple pieces set is suitable for bigger scopes.

Leupold Scope Mounts

Also called Burris or Redfield, the Leupold base is a typical non-weaver mounting system.

  • They have sleek strength and shape.
  • You can use them easily for the purposes of long-range shooting sports and hunting as they are reliable.

Tip-off Mount

The Tip-off scope mounts come with the following features:

  • You can have this type of base attached directly to the grooves built right on your weapon.
  • You may opt from a variety of sizes and varieties of these bases available on the market as there is always something or everyone in this type of base.
  • Although they are not very widely used these days but still you can use it if you won a 0.22 rifle.
  • The installation of scope on this Tip-off mount is extremely easy and you can even remove and replace the scopes without using any complex tools.
  • If you are going to do a medium-range shooting with a secondary rifle, you can have the tip-off mount for your scope as you can attach more complex scopes on this type of mount.

⇒ Dovetail Scope Mount:

As the name indicates, the grooves on this rail look like a dove’s tail, which is why it is named after that.

  • This mount has an elongated hole beveled on the inner side so as to make it exactly at the right angle to the bore.
  • You can follow a standardized way to connect the scope rings with the mount with the help of the dovetail rings and the connector.
  • You can have the perfect alignment of the scope with the barrel by turning the ring to a 90-degree angle with the help of a tool.
  • It also allows you to remove and replace your spotting scope form the mount according to your requirements.

Picatinny Rail:

A Picatinny rail is the most widely used accessory to be used for rifle shooting these days. In fact, you can even find many types and models of rifles that come with a pre-mounted scope on a Picatinny rail and it not only makes the weapon lightweight but it also saves you time to mount the scope manually.

  • It has a comparatively wider and deeper slot as compared to other types of mounts.
  • It is mostly thicker than a 2-piece mount as it offers an ejection port relief which is engrooved on the bottom of the base.
  • You will find a standard spacing of the slots of a Picatinny mount extending along the entire length of the mount.

You can have the following advantages if you go for a Picatinny rail as a mount of your rifle:

  • It comes with a locking bar that comes in handy to avoid more surface contact which is mostly the case with other rails.
  • You can avoid the canting issue which you face in case of a bipod rail.
  • Since the Picatinny rail has close recoils spacing, you can adjust the mounting in a variety of ways and hence you can have improved vision and grips while you are in the shooting range or a hunting expedition.
  • As it is easier to mount the scope on a Picatinny rail, the rail does not loosen up with the passage of time and frequent usage.

How to mount a rifle scope on a picatinny rail?

Once you get to know the significance and advantages of a Picatinny rail, now let us have a look at the process of mounting a spotting scope on the pic rail at home so that you do not need to call for help from outside.

  1. Open the rings of the Picatinny rail. Remove the upper sides of the rings so that you have only the lower sides.
  2. Now before you start the mounting process, make sure that you mark the ends of the upper and the lower sides. If you do not do it, you might get them mixed up once you are done with the mounting of your scope.
  3. For this, you can simply mark the ends with pieces of tape so that you know later which end goes where at the end.
  4. Now place the rings on the rail just loosely. Do not tighten them at this stage as you might have to adjust the alignment with respect to the scope. Just tighten them to an extent that they do not get off the rail.
  5. You can now place the scope over the rings and check if you have your eye relief just perfect.
  6. Adjust the position of the scope carefully according to the shape and structure of your scope to make sure that it rests on the rail in the right position.
  7. You can make adjustments to the power of your scope to the maximum.
  8. As regards the gap between the rings, you can have a better idea from the manual that comes with the rail because some of them require you to keep the rings closer to the turrets and some do not. So, this largely depends on the specific model of your Picatinny rail.
  9. Now with the help of a torque driver, you start tightening the screws on the rings.
  10. Adjust your torque driver depending upon the rail specifications.
  11. Make sure that the ridge of your ring fits in the rail towards the forward. It is important because when the rifle recoils, the scope thrusts towards the rear.
  12. Bear in mind that you have to position the rings with precision otherwise the alignment will be disturbed.
  13. Avoid having a play in the rings when you tighten them.
  14. You have to be careful when you buy a particular rail because the quality also plays an important role in how perfectly you set up the scope.
  15. Now is the time when you will put the upper sides of the rings right in place over the scope.
  16. Remember you marked the upper sides of the rings when you were dismantling? Now you have to get the right ends together.
  17. You might have to adjust the position of your scope backward or forward as the need may be in order to get the best eye-relief.
  18. Turn the power of your rifle scope to the maximum.
  19. Now set up the scope level by adjusting the vertical crosshair pointed straight down towards the center of the bore.
  20. At the same time keep the magnification of your scope to the minimum.
  21. As the last step, use your torque driver and screw the upper parts of the rings firmly, so that the scope is completely secured and does not move around.


This concludes a complete guide to the types of mounts for your rifle scope and how you can mount the scope on a picatinny rail. You can now have a better idea of which mount is compatible with your rifle scope and which option you should go for. You can have your favorite mount from your nearest market.

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