How to Choose the Right Rings and Bases for a Scope?

The benefits of the right rings and bases for scope are known to most shooters and hunters. Thus, they spend a reasonable amount of time choosing the perfect one.

For securing your firearm, you need a good mounting system. And for a good mounting system, you need two rings to hold your scope to your base.

Due to the wide range of scope mounting systems, choosing suitable rings and bases becomes confusing.

So, how to choose the right rings and bases for a scope? We are here to help you with this.

Without any further delay, let’s hop in!

How to Select the Correct Rings and Bases?

scope base and ring

Imagine not being able to aim correctly because of a faulty ring or base? You surely do not want to be in that scenario.

So, here are the factors you need to consider to choose the correct equipment:


As a rifle user, the very first choice you must make is the bases. Available in 3 different styles, the bases are the easiest to choose.

Let’s see the three distinct mounting base styles – quick-detachable, Weaver, Redfield/Leupold in more detail.

  • Redfield/Leupold-Style Bases

These bases, named initially after their patent holder, keep the rear ring via two horizontal adjustable windage screws. At the same time, the base’s forward part allows a dovetail or turn-in type ring, securing it firmly into position.

This system is prevalent and secure, having the benefit of windage adjustment before using the internal settings of the scope’s windage.

A slight variation, the dual dovetail, equipping turn-in wings for both rear and front, has also gained popularity.

They are viewed as a bit safer than the basic setup. Moreover, they are ideally fit for heavy-recoiling or large caliber rifles.

  • Weaver-Style Bases

Named after the patent holder, these secure rings use a horizontal clasping claw/screw combination on either side with flat plates, which have slots.

Another popular system with a bit higher price than the Leupold-style base, Weaver, comes with versions that can be placed on any factory-made rifle available on the market.

With slots cut throughout the length of a single rail, the Picatinny is a unique variation that lets maximum flexibility while mounting on many tactical accessories and sighting devices.

If you are an AR-15 or “black rifle” enthusiast, you will love this! Also, check this review of the AR 15 scopes.

  • Quick Detachable System Base

Let’s move on to the final mounting option. This setup uses two levers to lock rings into the rifle’s bases.

The plus point of this system, as per its name, is that it can be easily and quickly removed to permit the usage of iron sights.

Later, these can be re-attached without having to lose the point of impact.

Ideal for dangerous hunting games, where close-quarters or long-range is needed, this can be used quickly.

All the bases come in either single or two-piece models. Generally, it is based on preference. Many, however, like to go for a single piece on their firearm for proper fit.

In situations where you need every ounce, for example, a lightweight rifle, two-piece models are considered to be slightly lighter and more robust.

This happens as a total of 4 screws secure the two-piece bases, whereas the one-piece bases have only 3.

Regardless of the base style you choose, it must fit the firearm. Every manufacturer makes mounting bases that align with specific models of firearms.

All you have to do is look it up on their website. For your particular rifle, they will find a suitable gun.

The good news you should know is that no matter what firearm you possess, someone out there will definitely make a mounting system that matches your device.


It’s more than evident that your base choice will largely affect your ring choice as both must align with each other.

However, you still need to consider some factors before extracting the best one!

  • Diameter

This is the fundamental choice. You must decide on the tube’s diameter for the scope being taken atop. Most standard ones are either an inch or 30 mm in diameter. However, most ring styles come in both sizes.

Visually, it is hard to notice the difference. You need to look up the websites carefully or check the rings and scope box specifications.

  • Height

Once you have determined the correct diameter of rings, you need to ensure the right height. There are usually three heights available: high, medium, or low.

It is best to keep the bore as low as possible to the scope, but how low depends on your scope.

  • Objective Lenses

Next up, you should determine the size of the objective lens of your scope.

Larger diameter ones are growing to be popular, and they need at least a medium ring and sometimes higher ones to make sure the scope’s front bell does not touch the rifle at any point.

  • Clearance

In addition to the features above, you must ensure enough clearance while mounting a bolt-action rifle. When this undergoes, make sure the bolt handle comes in no contact with the rear part of the scope.

The catalog or website of the manufacturers will most likely specify the clearance needed for the different firearms.

You need to mount the scopes using right eye relief, the distance between the rear of a scope and a shooter’s eye.

Some short scopes or definite long ones might not adjust appropriately in the rings, owing to interference from some adjustment turrets in the scope’s center, rear, or front scope bells.

As such, extension rings are used to allow more clearance room to ensure proper mounting.


A fundamental ring and base combination has recently stirred the market. Cleverly designed from a concrete block to form a one-piece base and a ring system, this lacks moving parts in the space between the scope and the firearm.


Construction questions are among the most frequently asked ones.

So you might ask, what are the rings and bases usually made of? Generally crafted with aluminum or steel, rings and bases are pretty robust.

For heavy recoil and large caliber, steel is used as the standard to guarantee the strongest construction.

As aluminum is lighter and costs less, its alloys can be used to establish setups of similar strength to steel.


Whatever finish you want – matte black, stainless, gloss, and even camouflage – many models of rings and bases offer it.

Having mentioned that, you can also gain many attractive contrast combinations like a stainless scope blended with matte black bases and rings.

Specialty Mounts

Last but not least, some specialty mounts need to be mentioned, especially the shotgun and see-through ones.

See-through rings usually have high rings. Therefore, when you hunt in high cover, they can be useful.

In comparison, shotguns are preferred for buckshot when you hunt deer.

Choosing the correct mounting system is vital for all the components to offer seamless function.

Final Words

So that’s a wrap for now! We hope this article answers all your queries on how to choose the right rings and bases for a scope.

Lastly, we would like to mention some brands you can consider. Ruger bases, Nikon S-Series rings, and Weaver rings are some of the best ones you can find in the market.

Follow our guide and find the one that ticks all the boxes in your criteria list. Make sure to test it out before buying!

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