Best Way to Determine Scope Ring Height

Best Way to Determine Scope Ring Height

A Sure Fire Method of How to Determine Correct Scope Ring Height!

Before ordering scope rings for your rifle it’s necessary to determine the correct height. In this article I will show you exactly how to determine scope ring height for your rifle and eliminate any guessing orshep trial and error.

Over the course of my career as a Marine Scout Sniper, Federal Officer, and Certified Shooting Instructor I have installed more rifle scopes than I can recall. Determining the correct height to order your rings has always been a confusing task because of the inconsistencies between Scope Ring manufactures.

I have devised a simple fool proof method that makes determining scope ring height both accurate and easy.

Shep’s Easy and Accurate Method for Determining the Correct Scope Ring Height for your Rifle!

Step #1 The first step is to install your scope Mount on your rifle. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Before you install your scope mount make sure to degrease all male and female threads thoroughly. Now, carefully torque each screw to recommended spec using a high quality Torque Wrench graduated in Inch lbs. I prefer the Vortex Optics Torque Wrench because it is accurate and comes with a Calibration Certificate.

I also highly recommend that you use some BLUE Loctite 242 on each male thread. This will eliminate your scope mount coming loose. A little dab with do ya!

Step #2 Using washers, shims, coins, etc., create two equal stacks on top of the scope mount, approximately where your rings would be. Check the height of the stacks by placing your scope on top of the stacks. Adjust the height of the stacks by adding or removing spacers, insuring that you keep enough height for scope covers and to clear operation of the bolt, if applicable.rcbs dial caliper for measuring scope ring height

Step #3 Measure the height of your spacer stack, preferably with calipers. I use the RCBS Dial Calipers because they are accurate and relatively inexpensive.   They come in handy for lots of different projects. I use mine constantly. If you do not own calipers, the average penny is .0593” thick.

This measurement will give you the desired “saddle height”, which is the measurement from the top of the scope rail/mount to the bottom of the scope tube. In the illustration below, the saddle height is labeled “B”.

Ordering Your Scope Rings

When ordering rings, make sure you read the heights carefully. Do not go by Low, Medium, etc. This is an arbitrary term and varies greatly from one manufacturer to the next. Also, some companies list their ring heights by using saddle height (“B”) and some use a measurement from the top of the scope rail to the center of the ring. In the below illustration, that is labeled as “A”.

If you are looking at rings that are measured by the “A” height, you need to add the below figures to your “B” measurement.scope ring drawing

  • Add .5″ for a 1″ scope tube
  • Add .59055″ for a 30mm scope tube
  • Add .66929″ for a 34mm scope tube
  • Add .688975″ for a 35mm scope tube

Of course, you could also subtract those numbers from the “A” height of the scope rings, that would also give you the “B” height.

Once you have purchased the proper rings, it’s time to install them and mount your scope.
If you follow these instructions you should end up with scope rings that are the correct height for your rifle scope.

Professional Firearm Training

shep giving one on one shooting instructionInstalling scopes is just one of the many topics I cover in some of my Firearm Training Courses.

Our certified instructors are highly experienced shooters who have trained with some of the most prestigious military units and law enforcement agencies in the world.

If you, or somebody you know wants professional instruction in a variety of shooting disciplines check us out at Precision Applications, LLC.


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