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How do you Correctly Measure Scope Ring Height for any Rifle Optics?

For many, hunting is therapeutic. It’s a way to unwind and relax without any worldly distractions.

But to have this peaceful hunt, you need the right equipment. You don’t want to be irritated constantly by your scope losing focus, or your scope poking your forehead. The scope has to be positioned correctly on your rifle. One of those factors is height. How are you measuring scope ring height? Let’s have a look!

Measuring Scope Ring Height - Determine the right scope ring height?

Measuring Your Scope Ring Height

Unfortunately, it often happens that you don’t even know what’s actually irritating you and what you need to adjust. Often it’s just that your scope rings are too high or too low. Read on to find out what the ring scope height actually is and how you can adjust it to your comfort so you can determine the right scope ring height.

What is Scope Ring Height?

In technical terms, the scope ring height is the distance from the scope’s center to the thickest area outside the scope tube. Its size should be close to that of your objective lens diameter.

Make sure that you adjust the ring height when you’re fitting your scope onto your rifle. If the ring height too high, you won’t be able to have a clear view of your target. If it’s too low, it might directly settle onto the barrel of your weapon.

Adjusting the scope ring height

Choosing the Right Ring for Your Scope

Make sure you select the scope ring that offers the best fit. You can do this by ensuring that the ring width is the same as the diameter of your scope.

Typically, the scope tube has a diameter of 1 inch, 30 mm, or 34mm. You can assume that a larger diameter will be for a more expensive scope that will also weigh significantly more. Your first selection criteria for scope rings is based on the diameter of your scope. The rings have to match the diameter to secure the optic to your rifle.

Different scope rings can be attached in different ways. Some can simply be screwed in by hand, but others, especially the more traditional ones, require a hex tool.

It’s a good idea to do some research before going out and buying it so you know exactly what you need.  

Getting Into the Specifics

The height of your rings to secure the scope depends on your objective lens. The average lens will be around 42 millimeters. Around this size, the scope offers excellent clarity without too much light interference. Most typical hunting scopes have objective lenses that range in diameter from 30 mm into the 40’ish mm size.

Nowadays you can find scopes with objective lens diameters of 56mm and even more. Your scope ring height has to match that size to make sure your front lens can be mounted onto your rifle – What are the Best Rifle Scopes under $500?

If you’re working with this size, you should mount your scope and scope ring at lower heights (Best Scope Mounting Kit). If you’re working with a larger front lens, such as a 50 millimeter one, you’ll need higher scope rings. This will be the case if you for example use a scope to shoot 1,000 yards out.

But with bigger size, comes bigger complexity: rifles using a bigger scope need to be adjusted to different heights based on the type of weapon you’re using to attain the height that is the best for your job.

Basically, the smaller the scope, the lower the scope ring and vice versa.

Best Mount Tools for Scopes

Rifle with scope - Position the optics by picking the perfect scope ring height

Attaching the Ring

Unload your gun entirely to avoid mishaps. Secure your weapon with a gun rest so that it doesn’t flop around while you’re trying to attach the ring.

Detach or unscrew any plugs that were used to secure the ring when you got it. Oil the base of the ring after attaching it to protect it from the elements.

Quick Tip: It’s always better to have a scope ring and scope base of the same brand so that there are no variations in the sizing.

If your image in sight is appearing to be somewhat shadowy and you’re tilting your head around to get a sharper view, you might need to adjust your scope using the rings. Don’t screw your scope rings in so tight that you’re unable to slide your scope back and forth.

Measuring Scope Height

Start off by measuring the diameter of your front lens. Increase this figure by around 3mm to account for the thickness of your scope. Take half of this number which is now your scope height.

You can also look at this as the distance from the middle of the scope’s figure to the thickest area of the exterior of the scope tube. If you’re working in inches, you can easily convert your measurements into millimeters by multiplying them by 25.4.

Scope Ring Height Measurement

Measuring Ring Height

Make sure you know what ring height means since this is different for different sellers. Manufacturers may refer to one of two measurements when talking about ring height:

  1. From the center of the ring to the bottom of the base
  2. From the edge of the ring to the edge of the base.

Make sure to keep some spare space for other accessories and bolts on your scope.

Finding the Easy Way Out

If you’re a novice, all this information has probably passed over your head. In this case, you can opt to use an online calculator to measure the height of your scope ring for the right scope height. You just need to provide the online calculator with the ring height along with the diameter of your front lens and scope tube and it’ll calculate the rest for you.

Even then, don’t screw the ring in too tight—you never know when you may need to adjust it and you don’t want to run into any problems when you’re out in the open.

Tighten Scope Rings - get the right scope ring height for your setup

Getting the Right Scope Rings

Here’s a little advice from our end that you may want to consider while purchasing your scope ring and base. If the slots on your scope are by Dovetail, then only Dovetail rings can be fitted into it. If you’ve opted for Weaver, you can use it with either Weaver or Picatinny, but not the other way around.

Scope rings may be the type that can be fixed permanently or those that are removable. We prefer the removable ones because you never know when you need to adjust your scope and every scope is different.

Scope rings can be a bit pricey, but there are low-cost options on the market as well. Base your decision on your frequency and type of use. If you hunt regularly and professionally, get the best quality ring for maximum performance.

Rifle scope rings disassembled - Check the scope ring height so it's fitting your optics and rifle

General Usage

Many shooters prefer a lower mount, but don’t just go with the flow – find the height that you’re most comfortable with. You should be able to rest your cheek comfortably on your rifle while at the same time be able to see clearly through the lens. Uncomfortable positioning of the scope can ruin the accuracy and hence your aim, and that’s no fun at all!

Whichever one you opt for, make sure that the scope rings you end up choosing are a good fit for your scope and the scope base and match your desired scope height position. Don’t plug it in too tight.

Remember, you always have the option to adjust the scope ring height. Don’t go around struggling with your rifle or sprain your neck trying to get a sharper image.

The problem might just have been in your scope’s ring height. Picking the right ring height so your scope height is perfect on the rifle is key for accurate target acquisition.

Kevin Collins