If you are a beginner hunter or shooter, then you must have asked yourself this question at one point or the other while trying to mount a scope on your rifle, and the question is, “What size scope rings do I actually need?” Many shooters have had difficulty measuring the size of their scope ring because they really do not understand how scope ring sizes are selected.
The field of hunting and rifle scopes has evolved significantly over the years. Before now, riflescopes were constructed in 1-inch tubes, and objective lens diameters were rarely larger than 42mm, to mention a few examples. Today, the number of sizes of riflescopes may be bewildering, and selecting the correct rings has become much more difficult.
In this article, I hope to solve some of the concerns associated with the process of selecting a scope ring. This is not the only method for selecting a riflescope ring, but it should assist. I’ve also included a formula to assist you in determining the best ring height for your rifle. However, the computed amount may vary slightly based on the type of chassis measured.
- What Size Of Scope Ring Should I Get for My Firearm?
- Types of Scope Rings
- Scope Rings: Frequently Asked Questions
What Size Of Scope Ring Should I Get for My Firearm?
So let us begin with a hypothetical example. Let’s say I recently acquired a new Burris 3-15×50 and would like to complement it with a scope ring. So, how do I pick the best scope rings?
The first and most significant step in the selecting procedure is to ensure that the scope tube diameter fits the scope rings. For instance, if you have a 40mm scope tube diameter, you have to ensure that the ring has the same size. Getting a ring that cannot accommodate the 40mm scope is a waste of money because it will not be useful.
Since the Burris 3-15×50 scope has a 30mm tube diameter, you should use 30mm scope ring as well. (For example, if you want to mount a 1-inch scope tube on your firearm, you’ll need a 1-inch ring, and so on.)
The second factor to consider is clearance. In my perspective, clearance means two things: objective clearance and bolt clearance. When you want to mount a scope on your rifle, the biggest part of the scope is usually the objective lens diameter, sometimes called a scope bell.
The size of the bell determines the size of the ring you will use. In other words, you must check the scope objective lens to ensure it can sit properly on the ring without touching the barrel of your rifle.
The space between the objective lens of the scope and the rifle’s barrel is what is called Objective clearance. There are three major heights of rings; low rings, medium rings, and higher rings.
In the case of the scope we chose above (Burris 3-15×50), you will need a high ring. Higher rings are required to ensure that the scope objective does not touch the barrel. Most 50mm objective lenses or scopes with larger objectives need a high ring to effectively mount on the rifle. With this kind of scope, you will need a ring that is between 1 inch to 1 1/2 inch high.
The other type of clearance I’d like to discuss is the bolt clearance. Bolt clearance ensures that the bolt action of your rifle can open, turn and complete a full cycle when you want to load or unload a cartridge. This process must be easily carried out without hitting any part of your scope.
Eye Relief and Cheek Weld
Finally, when it comes to scope ring selection, the features that differ and are most unique to every shooter when mounting a ring are cheek height and eye relief. This is due to the fact that everyone is unique. When you get to this stage of the process, you do not have much to do about the Scope; however, you can do something about the cheek weld.
You have to make sure that the scope is mounted as close to the end of the barrel as possible. This will help you, especially if your rifle doesn’t have adjustable cheek weld. The purpose of this section is to ensure that you see through your scope in a straight line whenever the rifle is positioned for a shot in any given circumstance.
The final component of the decision is determined by the shooter’s preferences and has to do with the ultimate usage; long-range, hunting, tactical, and so on.
When you want to mount a scope on your firearm, you have to consider the size of the ring you’re choosing. The size of a scope ring needed to successfully mount a new optic on your rifle is determined by the model, size, and other components of your weapon.
The quickest approach to determine which scope rings you want is to perform a fast calculation using any of the listed models.
- Standard Evolution chassis – (objective diameter)/2 + 0.9 – (action diameter)/2 – length of base = Needed ring height
- Evolution HD – (objective diameter)/2 + 1.05 – (action diameter)/2 – length of base = Needed ring height
* All measurements are in inches. The correct height is determined by measuring from the base top to the scope’s centerline. Slopped bases add up to .035″ to emphasize every six inches of target length from the base.
These equations may be tough for complete novices to understand. To make things easier, we’ll plug some values into these equations to arrive at a result for a certain rifle scope ring.
Are you looking for a good 30mm scope ring for your rifle? Check out this article to find the best one for you.
Types of Scope Rings
Here are some examples of scope rings used with different rifle models for a variety of functions.
Weaver Base and Ring
The most prevalent form of scope mounting mechanism is the weaver rail design. This weaver rail mounting method has a 7/8 inch flat, wide base with transverse recoil holes.
The recoil slots on the base are precisely designed to match Weaver-style rings, which have corresponding size of recoil lugs at the bottom. The two elements of the mounting system fit like a jigsaw piece and prevent movement during recoil.
The Weaver base is constructed with steel and aluminum and is available as a single-piece mounting system or as two separate rings. The scope may be used with another rifle or removed from the firearm anytime you want.
When you want to construct a weaver mount, the weaver base and Weaver rings must match each other. In other words, the recoil slots and recoil lugs of a weaver mount have a width of .180 inches.
Picatinny Mount and Picatinny Rings
Picatinny rings are similar to Weaver rings in appearance, likewise, a Picatinny rail looks much like a weaver rail, but the key difference between these two scope mount is the breadth of the recoil lugs.
These two types of rings are developed and manufactured in accordance with the specifications established by the United States Navy. The military uses them to mount their optics.
The recoil lugs and recoil slots are thicker and wider in a Picatinny rail than in a Weaver base or ring. The recoil slot in a Picatinny mount is about .206 inches wide, while the recoil slot of a weaver mount is .180 inches, as stated above. Nonetheless, Weaver rings are compatible with Picatinny bases, while a Picatinny ring cannot match or be compatible with a Weaver base.
Leupold Rings and Mount
The kind of rifle scope base used by Leupold is different from the two we have mentioned earlier. Different manufacturers produce their own versions of this Leopold ring or mount.
This plate type is available in both single-piece and two-piece mounts. These riflescope mounts are composed of steel and are exceedingly sleek and sturdy. They are quite dependable and will not give you issues when you mount them on your rifle.
The two sections of a Leupold ring have a loosely assembled joining. To transform the Leupold ring into a scope base, you’ll need some scope ring tools. It is not something you can accomplish by hand.
The mounting technique used in Leupold rings is not as simple to disassemble as other designs. To remove a riflescope from this ring, the Leupold rings top half must be separated.
Dovetail Rings and Bases 3/8″
Dovetail rings are typically employed in grooved receivers, which may be found on a .22 airgun/rifle. These are cuts on top of your gun that go lengthwise.
The cuts on the base are deep enough for a dovetail ring to grasp securely onto the gun as well as a tight connection with the dovetail ring claws.
Instead of cutting grooves into it, a 3/8inches base is bolted to the receiver. 3/8 inches dovetail rings are available in a range of sizes with different diameters to accommodate scopes with a tube diameter of one inch, 30mm, or more.
A few common 22 rings are known as “1-inch tip-off,” “1-inch 3/8-inch dovetail ring,” and so on.
Some drive receivers may be used with Weaver bases, which are already tapped and drilled. If your firearm has a large base, these rings will have more surface area to grasp.
Do you need a solid 34mm scope ring to mount your scope? Check this article to find your rifle’s match.
Scope Rings: Frequently Asked Questions
Which scope rings are best for you?
The best scope ring for any shooter is determined by the firearm and personal preferences of that shooter. Rifle scope rings differ greatly in size, they have different scope ring height, are made of different materials, and come in various colors, and designs.
It is quite difficult to pick just one ring type as the finest when that ring may not be compatible with other weapons or shooters.
Investing in a reputable brand like Vortex Optics or Leupold is the best way to get the greatest scope ring for your rifle. By purchasing from a reputable brand, you can be confident that you will get the perfect ring for your firearm, and it will be composed of long-lasting materials. Furthermore, several of these well-known businesses provide warranties for their products.
Is it a good idea to use Quick detach scope rings?
Yes, many shooters love to use Quick detach scope rings for their riflescopes because it allows them to easily remove and replace a scope. However, if you are using a very expensive or high-end scope, this type of mount is not advisable.
There are several other quick-detach systems currently on the market, and a few of them, such as those from Warne, do provide decent features if you wish to utilize the same scope on more than one rifle or more than one scope on the same firearm.
In practice, however, the Point Of Impact of most detachable mounting systems are seldom as accurate as they should be. Using these mounting mechanisms means giving room for a possible scope shifting when you take a shot. This, on the other hand, will mean that you’ll need periodic re-alignment of the sight.
Regular scope rings provide better stability, and they are a better option for pricey scopes and assure accurate performance.
How should the riflescope rings be tightened?
The tightening of a scope ring may vary depending on the type of ring you choose. The standard recommended tightening for scope rings is between 15 – 20 in/lbs, although they may get to about 30 in/lbs.
Torque weight refers to the force with which rings are fastened to the scope. The force used by a torque wrench or screwdriver is measured in in/lbs.
The torque recommended for riflescope rings varies depending on the kind of ring. Most rings come with a suggested torque range, which makes it easier for the scope owner when mounting the scope or rings.
It’s also necessary to think about the torque settings needed to secure the rings to the gun. The torque weight is distinct from the force required to attach the scope’s ring.
To secure lightweight rings to a rifle platform, a 17-220 in/lb may be required. If you’re using a fixed steel ring, the bottom ring screws would need a 30 in/lb force, while the top ring screws would need a 20 in/lb force.
The torque weight varies depending on whether the ring is removable or quick-release. These mounts require a weight range of 20 in/lb – 30 in/lb to be secured firmly to your firearm.
You can try any of these reliable scope rings for your rifle, Vortex Optics Precision Matched Rings, Seekins Precision Rifle scope mount, Warne Rifle scope mount, Leupold Rifleman Ring mount, and Talley Scope Mount
Mike has been shooting, reloading, and bullet casting for over 40 years. He lives in rural Indiana where he has a backyard target range. Married for almost 40 years, Mike and his wife teach adult education in their home county and have four sons with their families, totaling 10 grandkids.