How to Mount A Scope with Ease

Mounting a scope is easy. But it’s even easier with the Tipton Ultra Gun Vise.

I see people all the time paying the minimum-wage counter guy at the local box sporting goods store to mount their rifle scope. As a rifle shooter, this is absolutely something you should be able to do yourself! More than able, you should want to do it!

If your equipment fails you on the shot of a lifetime, don’t let it be the fault of an over-glorified Walmart greeter. Fortunately, this is not a difficult process. All you will need in addition to your rings, scope, and rifle is a torque wrench. Easy day.

I like the Wheeler FAT Wrench, I have been using it in one version or another for years. As I explain in the video, you can get by with just a backpack and some bipods to get the mounting done, though tools exist to make it easier.

SEE ALSO: Clean Your Guns With the Ultimate Setup: Tipton Ultra Gun Vise and Max Force Rod

I used the “whatever is laying around” aka field expedient method for the last two decades, with no problem. That is the military way. Twenty million dollar all-terrain shower truck, no bench rests for snipers. Makes perfect sense.

Accu-Tac scope rings come with a built-in bubble level.

The Accu-Tac rings retail for about $160.

Recently I upgraded to a Tipton Ultra Gun Vise, which I must admit makes the job a lot faster. Watch the video above for step by step instructions on how to get the job done.

Wheeler FAT Wrench sells for around $50.

For a modest financial investment and a little bit of time, you can skip the line for scope mounting and head straight to the zero range. And you will be expanding your DIY skills.

To pick up Accu-Tac scope rings click here.

Shop for a Tikka T3x TAC A1 on GunsAmerica.

About the author: Clay Martin is a former Marine and Green Beret, retiring out of 3rd Special Forces Group. He is a multi-decade and -service sniper, as well as 3-Gun competitor and Master ranked shooter in USPSA Production. In addition to writing about guns, he is the author of “Last Son of The War God,” a novel about shooting people that deserve it. You can also follow him on twitter, @offthe_res or his website,

{ 22 comments… add one }
  • nelson November 14, 2017, 2:06 pm

    thanks for your video excelent, what pressure do you put in the wrench

  • Gill November 12, 2017, 12:42 am

    Coming to Shot 2018. Talk about the lords work. F these non reg fools. Let’s kick it bro. Gill

  • Big John November 11, 2017, 1:00 am

    The last time we went down this road you were assembling an AR lower with a pair of vice grips and a P-38 can opener or some such shit. Can’t we just let Bravos be Bravos and Echos be Echos or do I have to start doing videos on the advantages and dis advantages of the AS-2259/GR vs. the SORAK vs. the ELPA-302A vs. the SOF230???

    Have a great Veterans Day Brother!!! nous défions

  • Mike B November 10, 2017, 1:49 pm

    Talk about old school 70s crap, skip the levels, rests, and all of that. Buy quality optics and mounts and then use a feeler gage to parallel the bottom of the erector with the top of the rail. I can do it upside down, sideways, or anywhere in between and it still works with no fancy jigs or rigs. You have to level the rifle to shoot it accurately, but the only thing that matters in the scope mounting relative to the rifle is that the scope’s reticle travel is parallel/perpendicular to the bore. To that end, those bubble levels represent nothing. It’s the planarity of the machined surfaces of the scope and rifle you are after, making a feeler much more accurate in the long run and way simpler in the field or on the bench. That’s why the Sphur notch and wedge system is so awesome. JMHO from mounting and zeroing hundreds of rifle scopes over the last 30+ years.

  • JIM November 10, 2017, 1:32 pm

    Hey, wise azz, why don’t you lay off the barrage of negative comments about retail gun department people (“minimum-wage counter guy”)? Are you not getting enough attention without having to belittle people who are working for a living (“over-glorified WalMart greeter”). By the way, it is “glorified”, not “over-glorified”.
    Many of the folks who work Gun Department counters are retirees who enjoy meeting people who like guns. Yes, there are some who don’t know an over-under from a side-by-side, but why pick on them? Your article has merit. You do not need to make others look stupid so that you look smart.

  • Robert November 10, 2017, 10:05 am

    That’s a pretty good video, especially if you have that exact set up… except for a few glaring issues. First, most of the scopes I see getting mounted by counter people are on traditional hunting rifles. They don’t have adjustable everything on the gun. Eye relief is best set by lightly putting enough torque on the cap screws so the scope is held in place but can moved forwards or backwards. Get the eye relief right then get everything put back in the vice or rest, level it all, THEN torque your caps.

    Secondly, what does a person do who doesn’t have steel scope caps? I own the Wheeler Fat wrench and levels. The level that was used on the scope cap in the video actually belongs on the rails in the action with the level sticking out the side. The other level belongs on the turret of the scope. Sadly, this set up only works some of the time. For instance, the one I own will not fit into the action of a Howa 1500/Weatherby Vanguard but does fit a push fed m70 (i know this from yesterday, as a matter of fact). Then some scopes are impossible to use the Wheeler set on. Take a Meopta Meopro/Cabelas Euro Instinct for example. The scope caps are convex. You can’t get any semblance of an accurate level reading from the cap… magnetic or not. So when you unscrew the cap to expose the turret, you discover a small plastic tab on the top of the turret that further prevents turret use for leveling. There are better scope leveling systems out there than the Wheeler.

    Third, lapping rings is old 70s stuff? Really? I usually lap rings, although admittedly less so when using picatinny rails but here’s what I’ve found… Every… and I mean EVERY set of rings that I’ve lapped have shown some amount of misalignment towards the beginning of the lapping process… some more than others. Now how much effect this has in the end, I don’t know. What I do know is that if I’m mounting a nice chunk of glass, I feel much better knowing my rings are making even contact with and putting even pressure on my scope’s tube as opposed to putting undue pressure on just one concentrated area of the ring.

  • Jay November 10, 2017, 9:51 am

    This video has some bad scope mounting proceduress. It begins at 00:01 showing the rifle on the workbench with the bolt installed and locked. Is it locked and loaded? We find out it is not loaded half way through the video.

  • MadDog Mike November 10, 2017, 9:50 am

    Haters gotta hate.

  • Davis November 10, 2017, 9:38 am

    Thank you for the video.
    You showed us that $300.00 will buy you nice gun vise and the tools needed.. Not cost effective for Joe shooter with one rifle.
    The bigger box stores have FACTORY trained, certified gunsmiths mounting scopes and they never have worked as a greeter.
    Sighting through a scope? Please mount and position yourself so your head is vertical and centered to the scope so your eye is pupil centered or you induce a error factor that you can’t blame on the gun heretofore know as the proverbial “flyer”

    • Robert November 10, 2017, 10:51 am

      As much dubious information as I found in this video, in all fairness, he did say the nice gun vice is best reserved for those doing several rifles.

  • Dr Motown November 10, 2017, 9:37 am

    Not sure you’re going to be able to see the ring level bubble when you’re looking through the scope….there are other options out there that attach to the scope or rail, and can fold up when not in use, that appear to be better for keeping your reticle level. The Sig Whiskey 5 scopes also have built in levels to check your cant.

  • JR November 10, 2017, 9:30 am

    Don’t forget the lock tite.

  • Pat November 10, 2017, 9:16 am

    I quit watching after he said there is no need to lap the rings. In a perfect world that would be true. I have yet to mount a scope where the rings were perfect and even if they were perfect that’s the only way to know. There are two many variables not to check. I don’t want any uneven pressure on my scopes. Just my .02

  • old number20 November 10, 2017, 9:06 am

    Scope ring lapping is 1970’s crap? That’s is where I realized who is teaching the minimum wage, over-glorified Walmart greeter to mount scopes. Anyone who suggests I mount a scope be it a $1200 or a $50 piece on my, or worse yet a customers gun without at the very least checking ring alignment may well be untrainable to be a Walmart greeter.

  • jim November 10, 2017, 7:53 am

    At hunter-sight-in days on the range, scopes mounted by the near-by large chain store are almost always poorly mounted; so often that if the hunter says that’s where he got his optic mounted we just break out the levels before he even attempts to get on paper!
    Question: No lok-tite on any of the screws?

    To William, above: what?

    • Davis November 10, 2017, 9:43 am

      Loc tite is NOT preferred by “real” gunsmiths. We use VC-3 Vibratite

  • William November 10, 2017, 5:24 am

    All Gun manufacturers, the world over, use special screws just to mount scopes! These special screws are only available from a gunsmith! The gun manufacturers had to use the special screws for warranty reasons! Gun buyers were installing their scopes wrong!
    Again you wrote an artical about something you know little about!

    • David Nord November 10, 2017, 7:56 am

      First of all, ii is “article”. Secondly, there is NOTHING “special” about any of the screws used to mount any scope. Specific, yes, special, no. I have a full lit of them, purchased from Midway. You can, too. Do your reseasrch before you spew nonsense, please.

    • Confused November 10, 2017, 8:55 am

      What gun manufacturers are making scope mounts, and how does mounting a scope improperly affect the firearm’s warranty? Are you talking about torx screws/bolts when you reference special screws? They have become quite common-place; the same screws that are in my scope mounts (Warne, ZroDelta, Bobro, Larue, Aadland, Nightforce, ADM) are available at my local Ace Hardware, except a couple that are custom for the purposes of quick-release mounts. Then again, I don’t have any scope mounts made by the gun manufacturer, so maybe that’s why? I think your comment is similar to people who say you have to have your oil changed at the car dealership, because they have tools not available to us. It’s just an oil change, and it’s just mounting a scope. But seriously, use an in-lb torque wrench and double-check the recommended torque!

    • Davis November 10, 2017, 9:36 am

      Special screws? No. They are uncommon for household use but not so special and found at my local ACE under the heading Gun Screws. They are small fine thread and the heads are either Torx or Hex(Allen). They are also high quality.

      • clem cadiddilhopper November 10, 2017, 10:44 am

        Ducktape works best…just don’t cover up the trigger. Bungee cords make great slings too

    • Danny G. November 10, 2017, 10:54 am

      William, you really should stay in bed at 5 am.. Get more sleep man, you’re writing nonsense when you say “special screws that only gunsmiths can get”.

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