Do Scope Rings Affect Accuracy: Top 6 Mounting Secrets Revealed

The question “do scope rings affect accuracy” is a topic of debate among shooters and gun enthusiasts. One of the main problems that people face when using optic rings is that they may not be properly aligned with the rifle. This can lead to a misalignment of the scope, resulting in poor accuracy.

In this article, we will discuss the best way of mounting rings, the best tools to use, and some common mistakes that people make while mounting a scope. So, let’s get right into it!

Importance of Strength Quality of a Scope Ring in terms of Accuracy

The strength of rings is important for maintaining the accuracy of a rifle. If the rings are not strong enough, they can allow the scope to shift or move, which can negatively impact the accuracy of the rifle.

  • It is important to choose optic rings that are made from high-quality materials and are designed to fit the specific make and model of the rifle and scope being used.
  • Properly tightening the screws on the rings can also help ensure that the scope is securely mounted and won’t move during use.

Secrets To Mounting A Precision Scope Ring On A Long-Range Rifle

Mounting a scope may seem easier on the surface but there are a lot more things at play. Most people think that the right amount of torque is the only key factor in getting the best fit. While torque may be an important factor, there are a lot of other things that you should know about too.

Secrets To Mounting A Precision Scope Ring On A Long-Range Rifle

1. Building The Perfect Bond

In order to get the perfect bond with the mounted scope, follow these instructions:

  • You need to combine degreased receiver with a similar base.
  • Then you need to tighten the base screws with a torque wrench. This will hold the screws in place during extensive firing sessions.
  • Use a single-piece Picatinny rail for all of the scopes mounted on the rifle. It provides max strength and stability to either a low or high-mounted scope.

2. Bedding the Scope Base(s)

When it comes to hunting rifles or any ar-style rifle, bedding the scope is a crucial thing to do. The process is really simple as you only need to bed the base rail with the Marine Tex compound.

This is the best thing that you can do for a lower-mounted scope. Make sure to use a release agent on the scope tube so that it doesn’t get permanently attached to the rear ring.

3. Bedding the Scope Rings for a Low Mounted Scope

This is a very similar process to the bedding of the base and you need the same Marine Tex bedding compound.

  • Use about 1/16 of the compound on the inside of the rings.
  • Also, use a release agent to avoid permanent bonding.
  • Then you need to tighten the ring screws with a torque of about 22 inches/pound and you will get the best contact.

4. Torquing Base and Ring Screws

If you want the highest strength and a lot of consistency then you need to properly torque the base and ring screws. You can approach this in the following way:

  1. Start by tightening all of the screw holes to a point where they catch the receiver
  2. When torquing the screws, start with the forwardmost one and work backward until there is no free spin
  3. Keep torquing until you reach 18 to 22 inches/pound of torque and the bedding compound has seeped out

5. Systematically Torquing Scope Ring Screws

You need to use a systematic approach to torque the scope screws. For the rings, torque in short increments until you need the desired torque of 18 to 22 inches/pound. But if there is a Picatinny rail, then alongside short increments, use a back-and-forth movement as well.

Systematically Torquing Scope Ring Screws

6. Scope Alignment – Lower Mounted Scope

It is necessary to get the best alignment when using high-quality scopes for long-range shooting. Even if you have a low-mounted scope, one of the common frustrations is to find an offset crosshair after you have torqued the screws.

An easy solution to this problem is by using a bubble level. This ensures that the scope is at the level when you are taking a shot.

7. Well Worth the Time and Effort

If you want the best precision when taking your first shot, then you should follow all of the above-mentioned techniques. The processes are a bit time-consuming but the end result is complete satisfaction with each shot.

A slight shift in an optic that is mounted poorly, can ruin your shot and your confidence. So, in our opinion, it is best if you put in some time, use the techniques and enjoy the end result.

Importance of Scope Height to Barrel

It is necessary to align the sight height with the barrel. You need to make the desired elevation adjustments as it will increase your consistency and accuracy. Sight height is important and if it is too low or high for the barrel, then it can cause the bullet to go in a different direction.

How to Properly Mount a Rifle Scope (Avoiding High Mounted Scope)

Properly mounting a scope base and sight is not hard as you might think.

  1. The first thing is to decide on the rings and bases that you require. You can either use rings to attach a scope like a red dot to the gun.
  2. The other way is to use a Picatinny rail that attaches directly to the gun’s receiver. Make sure to take note of the cheek weld and the sight height should be according to it. Simple screws the rings or the Picatinny rail using the above-mentioned techniques and you’re good to go.

Calculating the Right Scope Ring Height

If you are confused about how to calculate the right scope ring height, then we’ve got you covered.

Calculating the Right Scope Ring Height

Why is Scope Ring Height Important?

A general rule is that the sight height should be as low to the rifle as possible without it touching the receiver. Because contact between the rifle and the sight, can either damage the scope bases or the scope itself. Therefore, for making sure that the scope is mounted correctly, you can use the following formula:

How to Calculate Scope Ring Height for Your Rifle

There are three things that you need to determine in order to find the right sight height:

  1. Tube Radius
  2. Objective Bell Radius
  3. Thickness of Scope Base/Rail
The formula is: Mrh= Or-Tr-Bh

Or= Objective Radius, Tr= Tube Radius, Bh= thickness of base/rail.

After measuring all of the values and using this formula, you can easily determine the minimum ring height.

Other Factors At Play

You should also keep in mind some other factors that can affect the right height. A rear sight or any other modification will require you to make additional height to put on a scope.

Quality Scope Rings Make a Difference in Accuracy

If you use high-quality rings made out of either steel or aluminum, then you will feel a big difference in the fit. High-quality rings also contain a built-in leveling system as well. So, by using high-quality rings, then you have a strong fit, and no unwanted movement, and thus your shots are more accurate.

Quality Scope Rings Make a Difference in Accuracy

1. Lapping Your Scope Rings

Lapping is a process where you get rid of any imperfections present inside the rings to get the best contact with the optic. This is a must-do and will allow you to shoot accurately,

2. Undersized Rings Will Dent the Scope

If you are not using the right rings for the optic, then the scope will get damaged. This is because due to the incorrect ring, there will be a lot of unwanted movement that can dent the scope. So, always make sure to choose the correct ring size for the scope that you want to use.

3. Steel Versus Aluminum

These are two of the most widely used materials and each comes with its advantages.

  • Steel is stronger than aluminum and can withstand high recoil and rough conditions. It doesn’t bend that easily and is also really heavy.
  • Aluminum while not as strong as steel, is very lightweight and doesn’t corrode. It is less expensive and best suited for lightweight rifles.
Verdict: Both materials are good in their own respective ways. If you have a high-caliber rifle, then steel is a better option while aluminum is good for ARs and SMGs.

4. Use the Right Tools

It is essential to use the right tools when it comes to mounting rings and bases. You will get the best fit when you have used the right tools. Some of the necessary tools are:

  • Torque Wrench
  • Bubble Wrench
  • Lapping Bar & Compound
  • Screwdriver

5. 30mm Iota Rings

If your scope has a 30mm main tube then 30mm IOTA rings come into play. These rings are used for big, powerful scopes. Adding extra stability to the optic and providing better eye relief. These rings have really good quality and excellent fit.

Common Scope Ring-Mounting Mistake

If you are a beginner and are looking to mount rings on your rifle, then you should take note of the following mistake:

Too-Tight Screws

The biggest mistake that people make when putting rings on their rifles is that they overtight the screws. This can damage the base, rings, or even the scope. The proper torque specification for rings is provided by the manufacturer and you should always follow it for the best fit.

Quick Accuracy Fixes

There are a lot of times when our gun isn’t shooting straight for some reason. Most of the time it is the shooter’s fault but what if the gun is at fault? You can use the following tweaks to make your gun accurate again:

Quick Accuracy Fixes

1. Try Different Loads

The first thing that you can do is to use try out different loads. It is best to buy a couple of boxes and then determine the best load for your specific rifle.

2. Scopes & Mounts

It is a good habit to check your scope and mount before entering the range. Often times, you are missing your shots because of a loosened-up mount. Always make sure to check the fit of the scope, so that your accuracy is not affected.

3. Trigger Pull

Many people neglect the trigger pull but even this can also affect your accuracy. If there is an overtravel in your trigger, then it will take your attention away from the crosshair and thus you’ll lose all accuracy. You can go to a gunsmith and let him adjust the weight of the trigger for you.

4. Steadying the Gun

Shooting inaccuracies are most commonly due to the people shooting the guns. It is necessary to steady the gun before you start shooting. Your feet should be flat on the ground and use all of the upper body to maintain a steady hold. If your posture is right, your accuracy will automatically be better.

Do Scope Rings Affect Accuracy – FAQ

How does scope ring height affect accuracy?

If you do not align the scope ring according to the scope then it will make the bullet go high or low of the target. So it definitely hinders the accuracy.

Is lapping scope rings worth it?

It is absolutely worth it. Lapping provides you with a better fit between the rings and the optic, thus reducing any unwanted movements.

Does scope height affect zero?

Zero is affected by the scope height. This is due to the altered distance between the optic and the bore. It directly impacts the point of contact of the bullet and the zero is also affected as a result.

Do scope rings make a difference?

It definitely makes a lot of difference in accuracy. With rings, you get a better fit and there is no movement of the optic thus your shots are more accurate.

Does a 50mm scope need high rings?

In order to clear the barrel and for better eye relief, high rings are mandatory for a 50mm optic.

What is the most common scope ring size?

The most common mount ring size is 1 inch. But it also varies depending on the type of rifle and optic that you want to use.


So, the mount rings can definitely affect the accuracy of your shots. Therefore, it is necessary to follow the secrets that we’ve told you today and mount your optic perfectly. You can also do all of the other tweaks to your rifle to make it more accurate. Regular checks and balances of the rings are necessary if you don’t want to compromise on precision.

Have you ever tried mounting rings on your rifle? Let us know your experience and any additional tips in the comments.

Tyler Purol is a professional Bowhunter. He has professional training in hunting. For many years he hunts regularly.