How Tight To Tighten Scope Rings?

The right amount of torque is necessary for you to have a good fit on the scope and rings. Just like all metal threadings, if you screw it too tight, then the threading will come off. Making it impossible for you to re-use the scope rings.

Then how do you know when to tighten the scope rings and when to don’t? Very good question. Let’s find that out.

Understanding Torque

What is torque? And why does it matter? Torque is a rotational equivalent of linear force. Simply put, it describes a twist around an axis and the force around it.

For example, when you screw in a nut on a chair, the first couple of threads go without any friction and you can even hand tighten it. Eventually, resistance will increase and you can feel the torque yourself.

For scope mounts, it’s very necessary to measure torque. And in scope mounts torque is measured in inch-lbs, not foot-lbs.

Why Is Torque Important For Scope Rings?

Just like over tightening can harm your scope rings, not tightening it enough will also cause issues. If you tighten it loosely, then the recoil of your gun will make it lose position and you will lose all of your adjustments and zero.

This is why manufacturers set the needed torque amount for their scope rings. The standard recommendation is around 20-25 inch-pounds. If your scope ring didn’t come with any instruction then you can follow this standard.

Do Not Use Any Thread Locker In Your Scope Rings

There is a fear of screws coming loose on their rings because the screws were poorly made. There is also a chance that your rings are poorly made and they don’t retain the factory recommended torque in any way.

So, people think that using thread lockers will fix their loose rings and make it tight again. Don’t do that. This is a big mistake.

The movement in scope happens in the rings due to uneven and incorrect values. If your rings are moving after putting the value provided by the factory, then your ring has issues.

Torquing The Scope Rings

Now that you know why right torque force is important, it’s about time you install the rings on your rifle.

First of all make sure that the firearm is unloaded. We don’t want any accidents. Now, use the L-shape key included with the scope ring.

Hold the short end and stick the long end in the screw and tighten the screws on the cap. If there are more than two rings on the base, do it in a crisscross pattern. Don’t force the process and adjust the eye relief level.

Now, bring out the torque made for gunsmithing. Set the torque force of the scope to 10-inch pounds. Once again, it’s important that you use inch pounds and not foot pounds.

Please, use a torque wrench and not just tighten it based on your visuals or “feel”. That’s a very wrong way of doing it. You can easily strip the threads in that way.


And that’s about it folks. Tightening the right way is very necessary. Otherwise it will do more harm than good. Sure, it’s a tedious process. But it’s a must do. You can’t skimp out on this process.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading as always. Hopefully the misconception of tightening the screws on a scope ring is a bit cleared now. Hope to see you on the next one. Till then, take care and have fun.

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