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What You Should Know About Attaching New Optics To Your Hunting Or Target Rifle

A new scope or particular set of optics for your rifle can increase the firearm's performance and improve its accuracy. Installing a new scope or other optics is not overly complicated, but it requires the proper hardware and patience to get everything working correctly.

Scope Mounts

If you are adding a scope to a rifle that has never had one, you need to look at the top of the barrel and receiver to see if a rail is already there to accept the scope mounting rings. The scope mount is often a flat area milled into the receiver or a bracket mounted to the firearm and has dovetail edges for the rings to clamp onto. 

If your rifle does not have an integral or add-on mount already, you will need to purchase a scope mount rail and have it put on the gun by a gunsmith so that it is done correctly. Some firearms have mounting holes already drilled in the receiver; adding them is precision work that needs to be perfect to avoid structural issues later.

Mounting Rings

Once the scope mount rails are in place, you will need a set of scope rings to secure the scope to the scope mount on the rifle. The size of the rings can be different from one scope to another because the barrel size of the optics may be different. Most scopes you buy list the outside diameter of optics or scope, so you can choose a set of rings that will hold them firmly without damaging anything inside. 

Because there are many different custom scope mounts on the market, it is essential to check the rings to ensure they fit correctly on the mount. Most scope mounts adhere to a standard size, but some are out there designed for special situations that are slightly different, so taking this step is the best way to ensure you don't have a problem mounting the rifle on the gun. 

Bore Sighting

Once the scope is attached to the rifle, it needs to be adjusted so the reticle aligns with the bullet's impact. Using a bore sighting tool allows you to position a rod in the bore of your rifle that has a target on it and then adjust the windage and elevation of the scope until they line up with the bore sighting target. 

Bore sighting a new scope is the fastest way to get it close to accurate, but before attempting it, make sure the rifle scope mounts and the scope rings are secure because if there is any movement in them, the bore sighting process will be off. If something is loose or misaligned on the gun, that could make the firearm less accurate. Once the rifle is bore-sighted, you will need to take it out to the range and shoot it, making adjustments with each shot until the rifle scope is accurate.

For more information about rifle scope mounts, contact a company that sells them near you.