How Do YOU Choose Scope Rings?


April 20, 2011, 09:33 PM
I ordered a cabalas Alaskan Guide Premium Riflescope in 6-20x40mm.
I understand that in addition to simply keeping the objective lens off the barrel that you want the scope to line up comfortably to your eye.

So I assume low rings will keep the lens off the barrel, but maybe medium would be a more comfortable position.

How do you figure this out? Do gun shops let you bring your gun in and try them out? I assume you cant return them after your screw them on your rifle. Just order 2 sets and take the $30 hit?

What procedure do you use?

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April 20, 2011, 09:56 PM
If at all possible, try to take the rifle in and see what will work best for you. I know of a few local shops that will let customers do that. You should be able to find the ideal set of rings for your gun that way.

April 20, 2011, 09:58 PM
I would suggest that you try the leupold website for ring heights. They have charts that will assist you with their brands of rings. This is a good guide, but be aware, ring heights vary from manufacturer. On a standard rifle, medium rings are a good bet for a 40mm scope.

The best bet is to have the scope as close to the bore as possible, but this isn't always the case. AR15 rifles are a good example. The rifle design makes high rings almost a neccesity.

April 20, 2011, 10:16 PM
The advice of taking it into a gun shop is probably a good idea.

Failing that, I'd say you can ballpark it depending on the objective size. I mounted a 3-9x40mm on my Savage 10 with low Burris XTR rings on a Warne 1-piece Piccatinny base and had plenty of clearance over the barrel. Assuming your base is similar in high, I think you'd be fine with low rings.

Actually, the bigger consideration for me was adjusting for proper eye relief while still getting the objective bell and eye piece to clear the scope base since it's the full length of the receiver. It fit fine, but there wasn't much room to move it back or forward.

April 20, 2011, 10:22 PM
There are a lot of factors. If you have a fat head like I do, you may need medium just because your cheek bones keep your eye from getting low enough? If you have added close celled foam cheek pad on top of your stock, same applies? 40mm objective is close to the break point between LOW and MEDIUM. It depends on your barrel taper too. Bull barrel may push you up one height. Light weight hunting taper easier to mount low rings.

One piece base with rings on top, or fixed ring screwed straight to the receiver? It'll make a difference.

April 20, 2011, 10:25 PM
I have had a gun shop mount mine up in low rings to make sure they would clear before I bought them. That was a nice courtesy.

I think if your rifle comb is straight style like an "American" style stock, then medium rings are pretty good. If you rifle stock drops off sharp to the shoulder then you want low rings or you will have no cheek weld.

I agree with you that medium rings are a little more comfortable than low rings for me. Also sometimes a base will play into this. I have seen high one-piece bases like a tactical base that do raise the scope up some vs. other mounts.

One thing I have noticed about rings and bases is that some setups just look right on a particular rifle while some others wont and its hard to tell how its going to look without putting it together and taking a look. I remember some Warne Maxima rings I had that didn't look right on a gun but when I put them on a Savage 110 FP I had they looked like they were built for the gun. (thats just one example.) Same thing with some el cheapo Weaver grand slam rings I had. They looked just perfect on a Bushmaster with mini-risers.

April 20, 2011, 10:26 PM
Just an aside, my rifle does have a heavy barrel and the low rings still worked fine with the 40mm objective. The critical factor is probably whether you have a railed base or screw-in rings, like Broc said.

April 20, 2011, 11:26 PM
From experience, I can say beware of too low scope rings. The danger I found was a tendency to lower my forehead and look through the "top" of my eye, that is with my eyeball rolled up toward my upper eyelid, with head tilted forward to compensate. This is bad for scope bite, and I have the scar to remind me. Moral of the story: Head should be more or less upright versus tilting too far forward. (To train correctly, you could put some strips of black electrician's tape horizontally on your shooting glasses to force your line of sight to be more or less straight ahead with head upright.)

From tales told here on THR (I might be able to find the posting again, if needed) it is also a good idea to keep your nose pointing more or less straight ahead. That is, pointing same direction as the bore and to the side of it. Do not let nose get in line with the bore. Rarely, but possibly, severe recoil can bring the back of the bolt to strike your nose, particularly if you mounted the scope too far forward toward the muzzle. To sight with your nose behind the bore, you'd have to turn your head to the side and be looking on a line of sight very close to the nose, i.e., with your eyeball rotated to the inner (nose-side) corner of the eye socket. (To train correctly, you could put some strips of black electrician's tape vertically on your shooting glasses to force your line of sight to be more or less straight ahead with head rotated to face forward.)

April 20, 2011, 11:37 PM
It is all about cheek weld and varies wildly from one rifle to the next. A firm weld is important and you will never know what height to get for a particular rifle until you try it. I shoot shotguns a lot. I want to be able to use the same cheek weld as I do on my bird gun and be looking through the center of the scope instantly. Raising the rifle with your eyes closed and then opening them is one way to see if your scope height is of the correct height.

April 20, 2011, 11:38 PM
I have a set of high cheap rings that I keep around. I use them to mock up a scope on a rifle. I measure how much of a gap I have (feeler gauges work well). I know how high the mock up rings are, so that minus the gap is the minimum ring height you need.

April 20, 2011, 11:43 PM
Not all scopes with a 40mm objective have the same outside diameter. Not all Low, Medium & High Scope rings from different mfgs are the same either. So the best way to figure all this out is with a pair of calipers.

Measure the OD of the scope and divide by 2 i.e. 2.200"/2 = 1.1"

measure the tube diameter most will be 1" tube or 30mm=1.181" divide by 2 i.e. .5"

measure scope base height i.e. .250"

here's the formula:

To work out the bare minimum ring height required
(Objective diameter/2 - Tube diameter/2)- Base height = min ring height (add .125" or more for clearance.

Looks like this: (1.1 - .5) - 0.250 = 0.350"

.350" + .125" = .475" (this would also assume your barrel doesn't taper lower than the receiver and most barrels do taper down so you'll need to fudge this a little or measure the barrel and do some more math.)

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