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Scope Ring Selection Basics

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If you've recently acquired your first rifle, you'll want to start stocking up on some of the key accessories to make the most of it. In addition to investing in a tripod for stability when you're practicing long-range shots, you will also want to buy a scope that will help you improve your visibility. When you buy a scope, you should also invest in scope rings to fit on either end of the scope. For those who have never purchased things like this before, here's what you need to know.

Choose the Right Style

Scope rings are manufactured in a few different styles. Whether you have a Dovetail, Weaver, or Picatinny rail system, there are rings specifically for each one. Although some Weaver rings will fit Picatinny rails, the rings aren't interchangeable for the most part. The mounting keys are different between them, so you need to be sure that you know exactly what style you need before you buy any.

Consider the Construction

Scope rings come in both aluminum and steel. You can also choose from a variety of finishes, including stainless steel, high-gloss, matte, and anodized aluminum. Consider what will fit best on your scope before you buy, and decide whether you want a permanently mounted ring or a quick-connect that's detachable.

Measure Your Scope

When you buy scope rings, they are dependent on the diameter of the scope that you're using. That means that you need to measure the diameter of the scope before you can choose your rings. The diameter of the scope lens is measured in millimeters. Add a couple of millimeters to the measurement to account for the outer edge, then divide it by two to get your ring height.

Decide on Your Budget

There are scope rings available in nearly every price point, so determine your budget before you start shopping. While you can find many mass-produced rings at affordable prices, there are also options for custom produced rings that are machined with precise measurements so that they fit securely.

Have Them Professionally Installed

The best way to get a precise, even fit on your scope rings is to have them professionally installed at a gun shop. That way, you can ensure that they are level all the way around and you won't have any variation in your eye position when you're looking through the scope. Depending on the fabrication of the ring, it may need to be adjusted to ensure a proper fit, and it's best not to try to do that yourself. Instead, have services like Alaska Arms LLC assist you.