How to Choose the Correct Rifle Scope MountsMark Watts
Let’s look at the important things you need to know to choose the correct rifle scope mounts.
Rail Types for Mounting Scopes?
Dovetail Rail for Air Rifles
11mm Dovetail rails are commonly found on most Air Rifles. The rifle’s rail has two long grooves, one either side, that run down the length of the rifle. It is without any horizontal notches or grooves and often has one or a few recoil holes on the top of the rail. For any rifle scope being fitted on an 11mm Dovetail rail, a set of 11mm Dovetail rings will be needed.
Weaver and Picatinny Rail
Weaver and Picatinny rails are commonly found on Tactical Air Rifles, Assault Rifles and various other heavy recoil rifles. It is also possible to place Weaver and Picatinny adapter rails on a rifle so Weaver mounts can be used. The distinguishable feature of Weaver and Picatinny rails is the repeating horizontal grooves that run down the length of the rail. These grooves act as recoil stops for the rings that are fitted on them. For any scope being fitted on a Weaver or Picatinny rail, a set of Weaver rings will be needed.
The key difference between Weaver and Picatinny lies in the placement of the recoil grooves and the width of the grooves. Picatinny grooves have a centre-to-centre width of .394” (10mm). The placement of these grooves has to be consistent in order for it to be a true Picatinny system. Weaver systems have a .180” (4.57mm) width of recoil groove and are not necessarily consistent in a centre-to-centre measurement from one groove to the next.
What is the Ring Height?
The required ring height will be determined by the size of the rifle scope’s objective lens. Ultimately, correct sized rings will ensure the rifle scope clears the top of the barrel, while not leaving too much of a gap. Ring heights are often split into three different sizes.
To select the correct height ring to calculate the height of half of the rifle Scope’s widest point, you will then need to know the height from the bottom of the ring mount to the middle of the ring mount, select the ring mount height that is just over half of your riflescopes widest point. This will ensure the rifle scope clears the barrel when in the ring mounts. Traditionally shooters will try and fit the rifle scope with minimal clearance above the barrel. This helps the line of sight be nearer to the bullet trajectory which will give better results when changing target distance.
Some rifles’ rails will sit slightly higher than the barrel. If the riflescope’s objective bell is going to be above the barrel then this extra height difference can be taken into account.
Find out more air rifle tips on our website here at Just Air Guns.