You’re locked in. You’ve got all your bad boys ready. You just can’t wait to start shooting.
BUT WAIT — do you even know how to install or mount it all correctly?
I’ve got you. I’ll save you the frustration with our best scope mounting kits buying guide!
Having one of these is a good investment since you’ll be getting all the essential tools you need.
- 5 Best Scope Mounting Kits and Tools
- How to Use a Scope Mounting Kit
- What to Look for in Scope Mounting Kits
- Other Rifle Scope Tools You Might Need
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Our Winner Picks
5 Best Scope Mounting Kits and Tools
1. Wheeler Scope Mounting Kit Combo
This is THE go-to rifle scope mounting kit, and it’s got a lot of people who can vouch for it, myself included!
Containing every little thing you need to mount a scope — from installation to modification — the Wheeler Scope Mounting Kit Combo is a perfect choice!
- Dimensions: 3.62 x 4.13 x 4.13 inches
- Weight: 2.4 pounds
- Compatible devices: Handgun and shotgun
- Night vision: No
The More, The Merrier
The Wheeler Scope Mounting Kit is the ONLY kit in the market that includes lapping bars and alignment pins for both one-inch and thirty-millimeter scope rings.
That’s convenient if you have multiple optics with a different scope tube diameter!
With this kit, you also get the Wheeler Torque Wrench. This is essential as lapping rings will provide you with maximum contact between the rings and the scope.
When done accurately, lapping will take off just enough material to “true” them up, giving you full contact.
But Wait, There’s Even More!
This kit also comes with four additional bars with pointed ends.
Nope, those are not extra lapping bars. They are test fit scope alignment bars.
PRO TIP: These tools are used before and after lapping. You mount them in each scope ring with the pointed ends facing each other.
This simple tool provides great help in testing scope-to-ring fit without actually damaging the rifle scope.
Should You Buy the Wheeler Scope Mounting Kit Combo?
This is a no-brainer as this may just be the BEST scope mounting kit on the market.
I say this with confidence as the scope leveling system is SUPERB with great quality.
Everything you need is included in this complete kit — from the thread lock to the grit compound.
You may be thinking that you already have a screwdriver or bit set, but trust me, it won’t hurt to get this kit too.
- Comes with a bottle of Loctite
- Can last a long time since it comes with both one-inch and 30mm scope rings
- Lapping bar handle is small, making it harder to keep a good grip
2. Weaver Deluxe Scope Mounting Kit with Lap Tools
Another great option I recommend is the Weaver Deluxe Scope Mounting Kit with Lap Tools.
This full kit has tons of tools, all made with the highest quality materials.
- Dimensions: 15.25 x 9.25 x 3 inches
- Weight: 6.8 pounds
- Compatible devices: Handgun
- Night vision: No
Best Lapping Bar Handle
Users prefer their lapping bar handle.
Weaver’s is larger, better shaped, and easier to hold, which is ideal for those who have bigger hands.
Case for Care
One of the things the Weaver Deluxe Scope Mounting Kit can boast about is its durable carrying case made of plastic.
Aside from serving its purpose of storing all pieces in individual compartments, I can say that it’s sturdy and well-built.
This carrying case is perfect for those who are always on the go and are very protective of their precious tools.
Should You Buy the Weaver Deluxe Scope Mounting Kit with Lap Tools?
The Weaver Deluxe Scope Mounting Kit is your best choice if you already own other Weaver products or plan to buy some.
Additionally, if you only have 1-inch scopes and rings, you can opt for this one too.
It’s fairly similar to the first option above; however, it only comes with one set of lapping bars and alignment pins.
I’d recommend it more for those with 1-inch or other rings.
- Better lapping bar handle than the Wheeler's
- Durable and protective case
- Contains tools for one-inch scope rings only (if you own a 30mm scope, you will need to purchase lapping bars separately)
3. Wheeler Engineering Ultra Scope Mounting Kit
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This Wheeler scope mounting kit is NEXT LEVEL.
Unlike my first two choices, which are pretty similar, the Wheeler Engineering Ultra Scope Mounting Kit contains a different set of tools.
This one is more advanced, more elaborate, and of course, more expensive.
- Dimensions: 2.8 x 10.5 x 8.5 inches
- Weight: 2.2 pounds
- Night vision: No
This Wheeler Kit doesn’t contain lapping tools like the other scope mounting kits.
It’s got something BETTER — a Green Laser Bore Sighter and Professional Reticle Leveling System (Wheeler Professional Leveling Kit), PLUS:
- F.A.T. Wheeler Torque Wrench with 9 bits and 1 socket
- Thread locker
- Lens pen to clean optics
This kit will provide you with superior mounting and sighting of your rifle scope. I think it’ll definitely help in getting it aligned and leveled!
Should You Buy the Wheeler Engineering Ultra Scope Mounting Kit?
If you want to go all out, then why not?
This Wheeler Kit may be perfect for you if you want to up your game.
It may be a more expensive scope kit than the first two, but it will definitely be worth it.
- More advanced and premium tools
- Does not contain your usual lapping bars
- Not recommended for beginners yet
4. Weaver 30-mm Scope Mount Lapping Kit
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Buying this scope mount lapping kit would be a big upgrade to your toolkit.
It further improves the alignment of scope rings and creates more friction between the rings and scope for rugged gripping power.
The Weaver 30-mm Scope Mount Lapping Kit is the PERFECT mounting system for your firearm.
You might find some imperfections in stock scope rings. That’s why having this lapping kit will help you adjust the fit of your scope to ensure accuracy.
I’d recommend this lapping kit for individuals who don’t want to spend money on a larger kit or those who want to enhance their thirty-millimeter scope rings or other existing lapping tools.
5. Wheeler Professional Leveling Kit System
You can get an almost-perfectly level scope with the Wheeler Professional Leveling Kit.
This barrel clamp level tool is milled from a solid block of aluminum, making it super sturdy and precise.
Another thing I like about the Wheeler Professional Leveling Kit is that it’s pretty easy to use:
- Use the barrel clamp level to clamp over the barrel close to the stock
- Place the other level over the top of the rifle’s action
- When both are matched, tighten the screws
- Mount the scope and place the level from the action on top of the elevation turret
Of course, there are various ways to mount a scope and ensure that it is level.
However, the Wheeler Professional Leveling Kit will definitely make the task EASIER, FASTER, and MORE PRECISE!
- Easy to use
- Very durable
- Accurate and versatile
- Not a full kit
- Might not be enough if you need a complete fix
How to Use a Scope Mounting Kit
Gun experts often say that the best thing you can do to improve your rifle’s performance is to mount your scope properly ON YOUR OWN.
Yes, you can have the gun shop mount your scope properly for you, BUT here’s the ugly truth:
Having your scope mounted by another person may result in an improperly mounted scope.
Here’s Scope Mounting 101, so you can learn how to mount a scope properly:
Step 1: Install Front and Rear Base
- If needed, remove the plug screws that fill the mounting screw holes.
- Apply rust preventive all over.
- Set the front and rear base on top of the receiver according to the manufacturer’s instructions
- Snug the screws in and torque them down using the torque wrench according to the torque values specifications on your kit.
NOTE: Use torque wrenches until you hear a click!
Step 2: Install and Align Rings
- Attach the top and bottom of the front ring.
- Slide in the lapping bar and turn in the ring.
- Rear ring goes in, and place back the screw
- Loosen the rear ring.
- Slide in the alignment bar with the points facing.
- Tighten the screws just enough to hold the bars in place.
- The points of the alignment bars should be just short of making contact and should be aligned both vertically and horizontally.
Step 3: Lap Rings
- Apply lapping compound to the inside of each ring.
- Slide in the lapping bar.
- Thread in the handle into the lapping bar.
- Tighten the screw to allow pressure, but the lapping bars should still be able to slide.
- Lap the rings by sliding the lapping bars back and forth
- Remove the lapping bar and clean the compound from the rings. See how much interior finish has been removed.
- Reinstall alignment bars and continue lapping until you have good alignment.
PRO TIP: Remove about 60-80% of the ring’s interior finish.
Step 4: Attach Scope
- Remove the top half of both rings.
- Lay the scope on the ring bottom and place the top halves back.
- Tighten the screw to prevent the scope from coming off.
Step 5: Adjust Eye Relief
- Slide the scope back and forth until you get the eye relief right.
Step 6: Level Crosshairs and Torque Ring Screws
- Install magnetic level and adjust gun accordingly.
- Level the scope perfectly after.
- If both are level, crosshairs should be as well.
- Remove ring screws and apply the thread locking compound.
- Turn in the screws alternating between turns for even spacing.
- Use the torque wrench to seal in the ring screws.
Now you can go hunting!
What to Look for in Scope Mounting Kits
Choosing the best scope mounting kits isn’t easy.
Here are a few things to watch out for to find the perfect option for you:
Invest in high-quality tools. This may not be so easy on the wallet, but it will definitely save you in the long run.
Make sure they work, and don’t go for cheap items that will easily break. This will lead you to spend even more!
Go for reliable scope mounting tools with accurate torque settings using the torque wrench.
In my experience, it’s essential to accurately mount your scope and apply an adequate amount of clamping force.
This’ll prevent damage or slippage in other components and ensure that everything stays in place.
Overtightening one ring is never good, as this can damage your scope or even the rings themselves.
You don’t need to stress about saving up money to get the best, most premium scope mounting kit.
If you don’t think you’ll be mounting and re-mounting your scopes daily, you don’t need to go for expensive kits.
Regular tools that have great quality will be just enough for you!
Other Rifle Scope Tools You Might Need
Along with your scope mounting kits, you may need other standalone rifle scope tools to help with your scope mount leveling and alignment.
Yes, you may have a screwdriver or bit set on hand, but you never know — the right tools just might get the job done easier.
1. Wheeler F.A.T. (Firearms Accurizing Torque) Wrench
The Wheeler Digital Torque Wrench is an integral tooling system that provides the most secure and accurate setup on your firearm.
You need a good torque wrench for any kind of gun work, and this might just be one of the best ones I’ve tried.
That’s because you can dial in the amount of torque you need digitally. With the Wheeler Digital Torque Wrench, you can dial in the exact poundage you need.
Not only that, but this Wheeler Digital Torque Wrench also shows real-time torque measurements!
You can monitor the poundage you’re currently running regardless of what torque you have the digital torque wrench set to.
This Wheeler Firearms torque wrench might just be what you need!
2. Wheeler Professional Laser Bore Sighter
Are you having trouble with the bore sight process? Without this tool, sighting your rifle can be more frustrating than fun.
When sighting your firearm, the Wheeler Professional Laser Bore Sighter can help minimize wasted ammunition.
You can use the laser of this bore sighter to align your rifle and scope to zero in. The laser covers up to 100 yards!
Plus, what makes this tool stand out is that the laser sits at the end of your rifle, unlike some other bore sighters that are chambering or bore-specific.
NOTE: This is not a zeroing substitute. You still need to shoot your rifle to verify zero, although it will get you within a couple MOA.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Far Back Should a Scope Be Mounted?
Many factors determine the best position to mount a rifle.
But in my experience, this is mainly a question of eye relief and how it relates to your normal shooting position.
To get a full image of your rifle without any black rings on the edges, mount the rifle so that you’re shouldering it at its normal position.
The critical factors are:
- Eye relief and its relation to scope position
- Position of the rifle for a shot
Will Any Scope Fit Any Rifle?
I know I’ve sometimes wished for a universal rifle scope. However, it doesn’t work that way.
You need to ensure that your scope matches your mount.
You’re looking at around 11 different mounts that could be THE ONE for your rifle.
If you’re interested, I have a full guide on mounting scopes on AR-15s.
What Happens If Your Scope Is Not Level?
Scope level is part of the basic gun setup.
When it’s not properly or perfectly level, you can have an inaccurate point of aim, and your shots will be off.
Furthermore, the uneven reticle leveling may be distracting.
I’d strongly recommend having a solid mount for optimum performance.
Our Winner Picks
Best Overall – Wheeler Scope Mounting Kit Combo
This Wheeler kit has got you covered from start to finish, giving you the best complete kit.
It provides you with two sets of mounting systems!
Whether you’re a newbie or a pro, you can’t go wrong with this choice.
Runner Up – Weaver Deluxe Scope Mounting Kit
This is a step down from the best overall, but it doesn’t disappoint.
If you already have Weaver products and have one-inch scope rings, this might be the most suitable option for you.
Premium Pick – Wheeler Engineering Ultra Scope Mounting Kit
This is a fairly pricey Wheeler kit, but it’ll be worth every penny.
It’s more premium with higher quality, so you can definitely expect more from all the tools and overall experience of usage.
You now have a rundown of the best scope mounting kits, as well as your choice of a supplementary scope leveling tool to go along with it.
Now, you can head to the range and start shooting with the utmost confidence.
Changelog: November 30, 2022 - minor formatting edits