Best Gun Vise for Mounting Scopes


best gun vise for mounting scopes

A Complete Guide to Selecting the Best Gun Vise for Mounting Scopes!

One of the most overlooked aspects of achieving optimum accuracy is a correctly mounted scope. When it’s time to install that new scope on your rifle you will need the best gun vise for mounting scopes to do the job right.

Do I Really Need a Gun Vise to Mount my Scope?

You might be asking yourself if you really need a gun vise to mount your scope.

Before pulling the trigger (figuratively speaking) there are a few things you should consider. For example, what are your present and future goals?

If you just need to mount an inexpensive scope on an off-the-shelf hunting rifle and aren’t to concerned about pin point accuracy you might get by without a gun vise. Hunting whitetail deer in the hills of Pennsylvania usually presents shots at less than 25 yards. So if you just eyeballed the cross hairs of your scope you might be good enough.

If, on the other hand, you are installing a scope on a high-end precision rifle and want the maximum accuracy you definitely need a gun vise to do the best job possible.

If you are an avid shooter like I am and are routinely adding new firearms to your collection a gun vise would be a smart investment.

What Are the Best Gun Vises for Mounting Scopes?

My Recommendations

Below you will find 5 different gun vises for you to consider.  Each one is unique and is designed to accommodate multiple firearms for performing multiple tasks.

Since there are literally thousands of firearms in existence in all different shapes and sizes, no gun vise will fit each one perfectly.  Each model has different features that you may find fits your needs best.

All 5 of these gun vises will work well for many routine gunsmithing tasks including scope mounting. Additionally, each one is designed to serve as a firearm cleaning and maintenance station.

These are currently the 5 best gun vises currently available for mounting scopes.

#1 BEST OVERALL

CTK PRECISION P3 Ultimate Gun Vise

Features

CTK PRECISION P3 Ultimate Gun Vise

  • Heavy-Duty Welded steel construction
  • Built in the USA!
  • Multi-Functional as Shooting Rest, Cleaning Station, and Gun Vise
  • Excellent for Bore Sighting
  • Great for Scope Mounting
  • E-Coat Finish protects against solvents and rust
  • Knurled Thumb Locks hold adjustments securely
  • Closed Cell PVC Foam Padding on all touch points prevent marring
  • Y-Rest Front Support adjust vertically for rifles and pistols
  • Rubber Feet prevent sliding and protects work surface
  • OPTIONAL Shooting Rest Attachment
  • Hook for holding Cleaning Rod
Overview

The CTK PRECISION P3 Ultimate Gun Vise is a world class piece of equipment designed for serious shooters as well as professional gunsmiths. Its straight-forward T-Frame design provides excellent stability and versatility.

This vise is intended for Cleaning, Gunsmithing, and Bore Sighting firearms and can be used for scope mounting. It will accommodate most Rifles including Bolt and Auto-loaders, Pump Shotguns, and Pistols.

Welded Square Steel Tubular construction assures this gun vise will last a lifetime. Most metal surfaces are covered with E-Coat for superior protection from solvents and rust. (E-Coating is a metal finish developed by the automotive industry. It is electronically applied and provides outstanding adhesion and corrosion resistance.)

A Rear Support utilizes one stationary vertical jaw with an opposing hinged jaw. A cross bolt with a large plastic molded grip enable the user to apply powerful clamping pressure to the stock area. Each jaw is covered with thick Closed Cell PVC foam pads for excellent protection against marring and scratching.

A telescoping Front ‘Y’ Forearm Rest is held in position by a heavy duty set screw with a large molded grip. The touch points are covered with Closed Cell PVC foam for protection.

Three Thumb Screws with Jam Nuts serve as legs on the ends of each tube. Thick rubber pads help prevent the vise from slipping and protect the work surface.

There is very little assembly required for this vise and can be completed in less than 15 minutes.

The overall dimensions are 25 inches long x 18 inches wide x 8 ¼ inches high and weighs 8.7 lbs.

Adjustments

The CTK PRECISION P3 Ultimate Gun Vise is equipped with 3 adjustment points.

A Rear Clamping Support is adjustable length wise along the main square tube frame member. It is secured in place by a CTK PRECISION P3 Ultimate Gun Vise for Mounting Scopesset screw with a molded knurled handle.

The front ‘Y” Forearm Rest can be adjusted vertically to bring the barrel up to a level position. Each of the three legs can be used to adjust the vise from side to side in order to position the firearm in a true vertical position

These adjustments make CTK PRECISION P3 Ultimate Gun Vise a viable option for mounting scopes on most rifles.

Aligning a rifle with an unusually wide modular-type stock could be problematic. Since the Rear Support utilizes a fixed jaw on one side and a hinged jaw on the opposite side, it can tilt the firearm slightly out of the vertical position.   The front leg adjustments have enough travel to compensate in most cases.  For those few occasions that require more adjustment, a little bit of ingenuity such as adding a wooden shim or piece of leather canCTK PRECISION Optional Shooting Rest Attachment remedy the issue.

Optional Modules

In addition to serving as a gun vise the CTK PRECISION P3 can also serve as a rigid Shooting Rest for zeroing in a scope.

An OPTIONAL Shooting Rest Attachment is available that provides an adjustable steady rest. It also works great as a Pistol Shooting Rest.  This is an important feature for supporting and working on AR’s.

Check Out this Cool VIDEO Demo!

Pros

  • Solid Welded Steel Construction
  • Heavily Padded Touch Points protects from marring
  • Built in the USA
  • 3 Adjustment Points for gun leveling
  • Can be used for Scope Mounting
  • E-Coating Protects metal from solvents

Cons

  • Clamping Jaws can tilt firearm out of alignment
  • No tray for cleaning items
My Thoughts

When it comes to ruggedness the CTK PRECISION P3 Ultimate is the best built gun vise currently available. With welded steel construction and heavy duty components, it doesn’t get any better than this!

This gun vise works well as a cleaning station and it serves the purpose as a rock solid gunsmithing vise.

As a firearm cleaning station it will hold most rifles, pump shotguns, and pistols just fine.   The optional Rest Module will improve its adaptability.

It lacks any compartments or trays for holding patches, jags, screws, and tools which is something to consider.  It does have a clip for holding a cleaning rod.

The CTK PRECISION P3 Ultimate Gun Vise also works great as a shooting rest with the OPTIONAL Rest module.

Criticisms and Issues

Although not a big issue, the rear clamping support is can present a problem when leveling some rifles for scope mounting.  Because of the one stationary jay it can tilt the firearm to one side slightly.  If the adjustable legs do not provide enough travel to correct the misalignment, it can be easily compensated for with a shim of some sort.

Customer Reviews

Over 85% of Customer Reviews on Amazon are positive. Most of the negative reviews are in regards to the clamping issue which I consider totally valid, although minor.

Recommendation

When you consider the welded steel construction and industrial quality components of this gun vise, I believe the CTK PRECISION P3 Ultimate Gun Vise for Mounting Scopesprice point is fully justified. It’s not cheap, especially if you add the Optional Shooting Rest.  It’s built in the USA by an established and reputable company that specializes in shooting accessories.

This gun vise is a professional grade piece of equipment and will last a lifetime!

If your primary need is for a shooting rest that can also be used as a cleaning station the CTK PRECISION P3 Ultimate Gun Vise is hard to beat.

If you’re a professional gunsmith or a serious competition shooter the CTK PRECISION P3 Ultimate is the best gun vise you can buy for scope mounting, cleaning, sight zeroing, and other projects.

check price of the CTK PRECISION P3 Ultimate Gun Vise at amazon

 

 

#2 MOST VERSATILE

Tipton Ultra Gun Vise

Features

Tipton Ultra Gun Vise

  • Rugged Modular Chassis Design
  • Accommodates Bolt & Auto Rifles, O/U, S/S, Break Action Shotguns, Pistols, and Compound Bows
  • Highly Adjustable for gunsmithing tasks
  • Fast-Turn Knobs for quick clamping
  • Ball & Socket Articulating Clamping Pads
  • Heavily Padded to protect firearm
  • Wheeler Delta Series AR Vise INCLUDED
  • Ideal for Scope Mounting
  • Leveling Feet to level firearm for scope installation
  • Unsurpassed for Cleaning and Servicing
  • Solvent Resistant Materials
Overview

The Tipton Ultra Gun Vise is the choice of many professional gunsmiths as well as competition shooters. It’s the gun vise I use in my own shop.

The modular chassis design makes it adaptable to just about any Bolt Action, Auto-Loader, Break Action Muzzle Loaders and O/U and S/S Shotguns, as well as most pistols and Compound Bows.

Steel tubes form the rails and legs that allow the supports and service trays to slide lengthwise. 4 Tipton Ultra Gun Vise vertical supportadjustable feet enable side-to-side and end-to-end adjustment for leveling the firearm.

There are 2 identical rearrange-able support modules made from Glass Filled Nylon permit vertical adjustment. 2 heavily padded ball & socket articulating jaws adapt to irregular shapes for maximum holding power while protecting your firearm from damage.

Two compartmentalized service trays accommodate bore cleaners, patches, jags, parts, screws, and tools. A 3rd module is designed to hold the INCLUDED Wheeler Delta Series Integrated Hammer Stop for working on AR’s.

The overall dimensions of the Tipton Ultra Gun Vise are 32.5 inch long x 11 inches wide x 10.5 inch high and weighs 13.6 lbs.

Assembly

Assembly of the Tipton Ultra Gun Vise is about as simple as it gets. Although instructions are included, you probably shouldn’t be working on firearms if you need to refer to them IMHO!

Adjustments

The Tipton Ultra Gun Vise is engineered with multiple adjustments so you can position almost any firearm in the most optimum position.

Each of the identical Supports have opposing thread-activated clamping jaws to hold the firearm in place. The jawsBest Gun Vise for Mounting Scopes are made from a heavy rubberized molded plastic with groves to increase gripping ability. Each of the Jaws are attached to the injection molded screws with Ball & Socket that articulate to grip irregular surfaces.

These opposing clamping jaws allow you to adjust your gun from side to side to obtain a center position. The two supports can be manually adjusted vertically up to 2 inches. They are held in position by molded set screws the same size as the clamp screws. This allows you to adjust a rifle or shotgun so the barrel is level.

4 threaded steel feet permit you to adjust the vise to align the firearm to the vertical position.

Each of these adjustments enable the user to set up almost any firearm in an ideal position for most gunsmithing tasks including scope mounting.

Pros

  • Heavy Duty Modular Design
  • Multiple Adjustments for all applications
  • Heavily Padded Contact Points
  • Accommodates Most Rifles, Shotguns, Pistols, and Compound Bows
  • Includes Wheeler AR Vise

Cons

  • Vertical Support can slip unless heavily tightened
  • Molded Plastic Screw Assemblies are somewhat tight
My Thoughts

The Tipton Ultra Gun Vise is professional grade. I have used mine for multiple tasks including scope mounting and cleaning on various firearms in my arsenal.

Most of the construction is Glass Filled Nylon which is an extremely strong engineering material. It is ruggedly built and has very nicely over-molded gripping surfaces.

Criticisms and Issues

The two Vertical Supports can slip, even when you apply heavy clamping pressure with the large molded plastic set screws. In my opinion, this is a design issue as a result of using glass-filled Nylon for both the Column and the pressure pad.

Nylon by nature is an excellent bearing material with a low frictional coefficient and is often used for bearing applications.  That’s why the two parts two parts tend to slip slip.  A better design would be to use the same material on the pressure pad as used on the jaws.

A simple solution is to insert a piece of paper in between the column and the pressure pad. Works like a charm by dramatically increasing the friction.

I suspect this one issue is the source of the small percentage of negative reviews on Amazon.

The only other issue I have is that the male/female molded screw assemblies tend to be somewhat tight. This is easily remedied by brushing a small amount of silicon or any non-petroleum lubricant on the threads.

Customer Reviews

Currently, the Tipton Ultra Gun Vise has a 90% Positive Customer Review Score. Almost all of the negative reviews mention the issues I described above. I believe that the instances of plastic parts “giving up” would be prevented using the remedies I mentioned above.

Conclusion

Despite the two design issues, the Tipton Ultra Gun Vise is used by many serious shooters and gunsmiths. In myTipton Ultra Gun Vise for break action firearms opinion the pluses outweigh the minuses but obviously, not everybody agrees.

Tipton, a division of Battenfield Technologies, Inc. is a reputable company offering many high quality products to the shooting sports.

Personally, I feel like the Tipton Ultra Gun Vise offers great value as long as the user understands and can deal with the negative issues.

It’s one of the best gun vises for mounting scopes available. All the necessary adjustments are available to set up a rifle so the barrel and receiver bolt raceway are in the absolute level position.

This gun vise is an outstanding choice for the AR enthusiast with the INCLUDED Wheeler Delta Series Integrated Hammer Stop .  This gun vise excels as a cleaning station for working on a wide range of weaponry including compound bows and break action firearms.

check price of the Tipton Ultra Gun Vise at amazon

 

 

#3 BEST VALUE

Hyskore Gun Cleaning and Sighting Vise

Features

Hyskore Gun Vise for Scope Mounting and Maintenance

  • Rugged Welded Steel Construction
  • Multi-Functional Design
  • Excellent for Scope Mounting, Cleaning, and Sighting
  • Fully Adjustable to Accommodate most Rifles, Shotguns, and Pistols
  • Padded Non-Marring Touch Points
Overview

The Hyskore Gun Cleaning and Sighting Vise makes a lot of sense for the serious shooter who needs a vise for sighting in rifles, cleaning, and for gunsmithing.

It is designed primarily as a 3 shot sighting vise that also serves as a cleaning station. This gun vise also has all the features necessary for mounting scopes as well as other gunsmithing tasks.

It can easily be configured to accommodate Bolt and Auto-Loading Rifles, Shotguns, and Pistols.
Rugged welded steel construction provides rock solid support for your gun and will last a lifetime with minimal care.

Fully adjustable feet enable leveling for scope installations or for sighting in a rifle. A sliding service tray holds cleaning products, patches, and tools for easy cleaning and servicing tasks.

Assembly and Build

The straight-forward design of the Hyskore Gun Vise is easy to assemble. Detailed directions are included but you probably won’t need them.

One of the best features of the Hyskore Gun Vise is its rugged welded steel construction. Solid chrome-plated rods provide a raceway for the three cross members with linear bearings. This enables smooth adjustments to accommodate firearms of various lengths.

Hyskore Gun Vise for Scope Mounting and Maintenance IIThe front Rest is guided by two vertical steel rods and with a threaded adjustment knob. A center Rest is adjustable and has a heavy duty nylon strap for locking down the firearm once it is positioned.

The rear support utilizes braced uprights with steel screw clamps. Each pressure pad articulates to conform to irregular stock shapes. Each touch point is covered with non-marring material to protect your firearm.

Fully adjustable feet enable leveling for scope installations or for sighting in a rifle. A plastic sliding tray holds bore cleaners, patches, and tools for easy cleaning and servicing tasks.

All non-engaging metal surfaces are powder coated to resist solvents and prevent rust.

The overall dimensions are 25″ long x 12″ wide x 10″ high and weighs 11 pounds.

Sighting

Sighting in a rifle is always a challenge that takes patience and a solid rest to get done as accurately and quickly as possible. The Hyskore Gun Vise provides rigid support and plenty of adjustment to achieve shot to shot consistency necessary for zeroing.

For a Complete Demo, Check Out this Cool VIDEO!

Scope Mounting

Mounting a scope requires a solid support with the ability to adjust the gun so the barrel and receiver centerline is level. Also adjustments are necessary to move the bolt raceway into a level position.

The Hyskore Gun Vise is ideal for scope mounting and has all the adjustments necessary to allow you to do a professional installation.

The front support allows you to adjust the fore stock up or down to bring the rifle level. Once the firearm is securely strapped down and clamped in place you use the 4 adjustable feet to bring the bolt raceway into a level position.

Now you’re ready to install the scope mount, rings, and scope so its crosshairs are in the true vertical position.

Pros

  • Heavy Duty Welded Steel Construction
  • Excellent for Scope Mounting
  • Highly Adjustable
  • Serves as Sighting Vise, Cleaning and Gunsmithing Station

Cons

  • Service Tray doesn’t attach to frame
My Thoughts

My years as a tool & die maker and tool designer help me appreciate the design and construction of the Hyskore Gun Vise. It’s about as rugged as you can ask for with all the features necessary for it to earn its keep in your garage, basement, or shop.Hyskore Gun Cleaning and Sighting Vise for scope mounting I

It serves three very important functions every rifle shooter will need at some point. When it comes to installing that new scope you will find it makes the job easy and precise. Once you get that scope installed you can carry the Hyskore Gun Vise out to the range and use it to sight in your scope the easiest and fastest way possible.

Once you’ve finished shooting, use the Hyskore Gun Vise as a cleaning station and for making those fine adjustments.

Customer Reviews

The customer reviews of the Hyskore Gun Vise are almost all positive with a few complaining about the quality. Those few negative reviews make me wonder about the experience and mechanical skill levels of the reviewers. A whole lot of highly skilled marksmen use this product and give it rave reviews with very few criticisms.

Conclusion

In my humble opinion, the Hyskore Gun Cleaning and Sighting Vise is a sturdy, well-designed product that will do the job it’s supposed to do. It’s one of the best gun vises for mounting scopes available.  You can perform many routine gunsmithing tasks on it, and with a little bit of care it will last a lifetime.

check price of the Hyskore Gun Cleaning and Sighting Vise at amazon

 

 

#4 BEST GUN VISE for the MONEY

Tipton’s® Best Gun Vise™ Maintenance and Gunsmithing Center

Features

Tipton Best Gun Vise

  • Accommodates most Rifles, Shotguns, and Pistols
  • Great for Cleaning, Maintenance, and Gunsmithing
  • Highly Adjustable
  • Rigid Construction
  • Solvent-Resistant Polymer Construction
  • Built for years of Service
  • Offset Clamping
  • Quick Release Clamping Blocks
  • Non-Marring Contact Surfaces
  • Wheeler Engineering AR Mag Well Vise compatible
Overview

The Tipton Best Gun Vise™ is probably the most practical choice when you consider the versatility and the price. It’s the ideal option for the avid shooter who regularly performs gunsmithing tasks on Tipton Best Gun Vise can be used for installing rifle scopehis/her firearms such as scope mounting.

It serves as a highly functional cleaning and maintenance center for even the most diverse arsenals. Multiple compartments hold a wide array of items such as bore cleaner bottles, patches, screws, jags, brushes and tools.

Quick release cam blocks make set-up fast and easy. Rubber-like feet help prevent the base from sliding while in use.

Check Out this Cool Demo VIDEO!

Assembly and Build

The base and main parts of the Tipton Best Gun Vise™ are injection molded from a solvent-resistant polymer. Gripping surfaces are molded from a non-marring rubberized plastic that prevent damage to finely finished wood or composite stocks. Component parts are made from steel and aluminum.

When fully assembled the Tipton Best Gun Vise™ forms a rigid platform that will last for years with normal use.

Minor assembly is required and can be accomplished in less than 15 minutes.

The overall dimensions are: 33” long x 8” wide x 6” high and weighs 9.5 lbs.

Versatility and Adjustments

The versatility of the Tipton Best Gun Vise™ is only limited to your imagination. A multitude of adjustments make it extremely adaptable for working on just about any firearm including:

  • Bolt Action and Auto-loading Rifles including AR’s
  • Muzzle Loaders
  • O/U & S/ S Shotguns
  • Most Pistols

An aluminum T-track in the center of the base allow all three of the supports to be adjusted horizontally and can be adjusted vertically.

For you AR fans the Wheeler Engineering AR Mag Well Vise is designed to fit in the T-Channel.

Tipton Best Gun Vise is highly adjustable

The two padded clamping blocks on the Rear Clamp Base have two vertically-independent adjustable clamping blocks. This enables positioning to various points along the centerline. This range of flexibility allows the Rear Clamping Blocks to adjust to most all stock shapes and styles.

Setting up a rifle for scope mounting can be done precisely and quickly with this adjustment feature.

This allows you to easily compensate for cast-off while working on your prized scatter gun.

Pros

  • Accommodates Rifles, Shotguns, and Pistols
  • Precise Adjustability for Gunsmithing tasks
  • Ideal for mounting scopes
  • Excellent Cleaning and Maintenance Center

Cons

  • Plastic flexes when applying heavy torque
My Thoughts

Of all the gun vises available the Tipton Best Gun Vise™ is one of the best in terms of versatility and value.  A lot of thoughtful engineering went into this product.  This gun vise will accommodate a wide range of firearms and is designed with multiple adjustments to position and hold them securely in place.

The many adjustments enable the user to line up a rifle to perfect vertical zero for mounting a scope. It’s great for working on AR’s as well as shotguns and pistols. Unlike most other models the Tipton Best Gun Vise™ has an adjustable Center Support which adds even more flexibility.Tipton Best Gun Vise for pistol cleaning and gunsmithing

As a cleaning and maintenance center the Tipton Best Gun Vise™ is hard to beat. You can stash all your cleaning items in the multiple compartments.

Once assembled you might find yourself a little bit overwhelmed with all the adjustments. Tipton provides detailed instructions for setting up all of your firearm configurations that you can always refer to.

Customer Reviews

The vast majority of reviews for the Tipton Best Gun Vise™ are overwhelmingly positive. The negative reviews are mostly concerning the rigidity of the plastic construction.

Keep in mind, this product is not intended to be the equivalent of a 50 lb. cast iron bench vise that can withstand pounding and bending horseshoes.

Recommendation

If you are an avid shooter or hunter with multiple firearms the Tipton Best Gun Vise™ makes a whole lot of sense. It has all the adjustments necessary to handle almost any stock or custom rifle or shotgun you have in your arsenal.

Because of its adjust-ability this is one of the best gun vises for mounting scopes and many other gunsmithing tasks as well.

As a Cleaning and Maintenance Center it has all the of the features necessary to keep your items organized and make the task something to look forward to. The Tipton Best Gun Vise™ will be a valuable addition you will enjoy for years to come!

check price of the Tipton Best Gun Vise at amazon

 

 

#5 BEST ECONOMY GUN VISE

MTM GV-30 Gun Vise Cleaning Maintenance Center

Features

MTM GV 30 Gun Vise Cleaning Maintenance Center and Scope Mounting I

  • Ideal for Cleaning, Maintenance, and Gunsmithing
  • Made in the USA from rugged solvent and chemical resistant Polypropylene for long lasting service
  • Cam-Activated Clamp holds firearm securely in place
  • Non-Marring Touch Points protect finish of firearm
  • Multiple Compartments and Tray for organizing tools and cleaning items
  • Four Skid-Resistant Rubber Feet for free-standing or can be bolted in place
Overview

The MTM Gun Vise is designed to accommodate a wide variety of rifles and shotguns. Built primarily to be used as a cleaning and maintenance center, it can also be used for gunsmithing tasks.

A cam activated clamp grips the butt stock to hold the gun securely in place while performing cleaning or gunsmithing tasks.

A secondary crotch or fork located behind the clamp accommodates a rifle or shotgun in the inverted position. This makes the MTM GV-30 ideal for performing maintenance on the bottom metal or making trigger adjustments.

11 compartments are provided to accommodate tools and cleaning items. There are 21 holes to store driver bits, cleaning jags, and brushes. A removable tray adds more utility and convenience.

The overall dimensions are 32.5″ long x 9″ wide x 7.5″ high 5 pounds.

Adjustments and Scope Mounting

The MTM GV-30 does not have adjustable feet for aligning a firearm in the true vertical and level position. This is the first important step before mounting a scope.

However, that can be accomplished by simply elevating one end or side with shims such as a book or a block of wood. This arrangement is definitely not ideal but will serve for the occasional scope mounting project.

Pros

  • Cam-Activated Clamp holds firearm securely
  • Excellent for Cleaning and Maintenance
  • Can be used for Scope Mounting
  • Made in USA
  • Multiple Compartments for Cleaning items
  • Great for AR’s

Cons

  • No adjustments
My Thoughts

Although the GV-30 is the lowest priced gun vise available, MTM put a lot of thought into the design. It’s arguably the best cleaning and maintenance center available.

MTM GV 30 Gun Vise Cleaning Maintenance Center for ARIt can be used for multiple gunsmithing tasks although with certain limitations.

Customer Reviews

The Customer Reviews for the MTM GV-30 Gun Vise are almost ninety percent positive.  The negative reviews are mostly regarding the holes for jags and brushes.  Reviewers complain they are too small to fit threaded end and require drilling out.

Another reviewer complains that there are no adjustments for setting up a scope for installation. (As I mentioned, adjusting a firearm to absolute zero vertical can be accomplished with shims.)

Recommendation

I believe the MTM GV-30 Gun Vise is the ideal option for the shooter who has a scope mounting project and can deal with the limitations.

After your scope is mounted you end up with an excellent cleaning station you will use every time you go shooting, and without spending a lot of money.check price of the MTM GV-30 Gun Vise at amazon

 

 

Are You Giving Up Accuracy?

I have known shooters and hunters who custom load their ammo to squeeze out the maximum accuracy from their rifle. But something they often overlook is they could be giving up as much as 0.2 to 1.3 MOA (Minute of Angle).

When a scope’s crosshairs are not aligned in the true vertical position with the rifle’s receiver it results in a cant or tilt to one side. A five degree cant will cause you to miss your target by 3 3⁄4″ inch at 300 yards if you make an otherwise perfect shot. That amount of error could mean the difference in bringing home a trophy buck or a wasted day and making up excuses.

That’s why its critically important to precisely align the vertical line of the scope reticle with the vertical centerline of your rifle. To install a scope with that kind of precision you need the rigid support of a good quality gun vise.

A Gun Vise is a Multi-Functional Device

If you are like me and shoot often and have multiple firearms a more elaborate multi-functional vise would be appropriate.

Keep in mind that a gun vise that is correctly designed can also serve as a cleaning station, plus a gunsmithing and maintenance center. You will be glad you have a gun vise when its time to clean your firearm or perform some routine maintenance.

I have found that it’s so easy to get caught up in a project like mounting your scope and to spend more than you should. So, unless you have  a lot of disposable income it would be wise to not get too carried away.  An economy model might be the right way to go.

Your Scope Mounting Project

Tools You Will Need to Do the Job!

In addition to a gun vise there are a few other items you will need to mount and align your scope and do it correctly. Assuming you already have your rifle and scope you will also need the following:

  • Scope Mount: A scope mount provides the foundation for the scope rings. Cheap ones are usually cast and not that precision because of shrinkage. A machined mount is always the better choice. The model you choose depends on the rifle you have.
  • Scope Rings:  For the best accuracy choose rings that hold the scope the closest to the rifle possible. (SEE: Best Way to determine Scope Ring Height)
  • Degreaser: It’s important to use a Degreaser to remove any oil or grease from tapped holes and screws before inserting a screw.
  • LockTite Thread Locker 242 Blue (Removable):  After degreasing the tapped holes and screws, use LockTite on each screw to prevent loosening. (NOTE: Make certain and ONLY USE 242 REMOVABLE formula or your scope will be permanently mounted!)
  • Scope Leveling Tool: There are multiple products available for leveling a scope.  A simple and inexpensive Leveling Bubble will work.  A better choice is a Scope Mount Leveling Tool like the one I use.  This is the best option for achieving the most precise alignment.
  • Torque Driver:  I highly recommend that you invest in a good Torque Driver for this project.  Keep in mind that over-tightening a scope ring can ruin a scope or strip out a thread.  (SEE:  Best Torque Wrench for Mounting Rifle Scopes )

Non-Conventional Ways to Mount a Rifle Scope

When I was a younger man and an aspiring tool & die maker I had very little discretionary money to spend.  I didn’t have the luxury of buying a new accessory for ever gun project I decided to tackle.  I recall that I mounted several scopes without the aid of a gun vise.

One occasion I used a couple of cushions to support my rifle plus an extra pair of hands. It was awkward at best and I probably didn’t align the scope precisely.

Another occasion I used front and rear bench rest bags to steady my hunting rifle while I installed the scope. Although this makeshift arrangement worked out OK, I had no way of knowing if the scope was aligned to perfect zero. So, as I recall it required some trial and error to finally get it close enough for my satisfaction.

One instance I used a conventional bench vise to hold on to my rifle. I had to place a couple of wood blocks between the jaws to protect the action from marring. It worked out OK for me but it’s an easy way to do damage to your rifle and optics.

When you’re short on cash you do the best you can with what you’ve got.  There are probably other non-conventional ways to mount a scope but a good Gun Vise just makes the job so much easier!

What to Look for When Selecting a Gun Vise!

As you decide on which vise is best for your needs be sure and take into considerations factors such as:

  • Rigidity:  When installing optics on your firearm you want a rigid and stable base.  A heavier gun vise with the widest and longest dimensions provides the most stability.  Also, it’s important to consider the product’s ability to clamp and grip your gun so it doesn’t move while you are working on it.
  • Build Quality:  The type of materials a gun vise is built from plays an important role in how long it will last and how well it will perform.  Steel construction is obviously stronger than plastic but it also adds considerably to the price.  Plastic construction using the right polymers such as glass-filled Polypropylene or Nylon is amazingly strong but it does have limits.  When it comes to the application of a vise bed, jaws, and even the screws, injection molded plastic is plenty strong as long as you don’t over do it with tightening.  Keep in mind the objective of a gun vise is to rigidly hold your firearm, not crush it!  Also, a plastic product will be significantly less expensive than a similar one made from metal.
  • Versatility:  Its important that a gun vise has adjustments to be able to adapt to the irregular shapes of various firearms.  A gun vise should also serve as a maintenance station and have trays for items such as tools and cleaning implements.  Some of the high-end models can be used as shooting rests with optional add-on modules.
  • Padding:  A quality firearm accessory should be made with materials that prevent scratching or gouging your valuable firearm.   A soft over-molded plastic on the jaws, leather, or industrial felt make good padding that will prevent damage.

Other Factors to Consider

Something else you should consider before buying a gun vise is your budget. Also, do you feel comfortable with your skill level at working with tools.  If you’re not sure or confident you might want to consider taking your rifle and scope to a qualified gunsmith.

Keep in mind, a gun vise is a relatively large accessory that takes up a significant amount of space.  Have you considered where you will store your new piece of equipment when not in use?

Do you anticipate future scope installations or other tasks that require the support of a gun vise?

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