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How to Determine Scope Ring Height?

How To Determine Scope Ring Height?

While hunting, you do not want to be distracted by a fuzzy scope or a scope hitting your cheek. Hence, it is mandatory to determine the proper ring size, before purchasing scope rings for your rifle. This task has always been puzzling for a lot of customers because of disparities that exist between scope ring manufacturers.

If rings are positioned higher than usual, you won’t be able to position your cheek correctly, in-turn affecting the shooting precision. And if rings are positioned lower than usual, before resting on the front scope ring, the scope can hit the barrel of the rifle. 

Incorrect height of the scope ring compels you to hold the weapon in an uncomfortable position which leads to heavy recoil damage. The most recurring problem is that people don’t actually know what they need to adjust. By the end of this article, you’ll learn how to figure out the exact scope ring height.

What is Scope Ring Height?

Scope ring height is basically defined as the distance between the centre of the scope and the thickest area outside the tube. Before placing the scope on to the rifle, ensure that the ring height is properly adjusted. 

The perfect scope ring height should ideally be in the middle of the two limits so as to maintain the most secure adjustment and shooting accuracy.

How to Choose the Correct Scope Ring?

How To Determine Scope Ring Height

Ensure that you interpret the height correctly while buying scope rings. Low, medium, high is random terms, and the actual size largely differs from company to company.

The diameter of the scope 

diameter of the scope

Choosing the scope ring of the perfect fit can be done by making sure that the width of the ring is the same as the scope diameter. Generally, the diameter of a scope tube is 34mm, 1 inch or 30mm. 

Pricier scopes usually are heavier and of larger diameters. This should preferably be your first guideline for selection a scope ring. 

Dovetail, Picatinny, and Weaver

If you have chosen Dovetail for the slots on your scope, then only Dovetail rings can be adjusted on it. And if the slots are by Weaver, the rings should be of either Weaver or Picatinny, but it can not be vice versa. This is the second criteria you should keep in mind while purchasing scope rings.

Permanent vs removable scope rings

There are two types of scope rings available, one which is fitted permanently and the other which is removable. Removable scopes are always recommended since each scope is distinct and most scopes need adjusting.

Horizontal vs vertical split rings

There are two other types of rings, i.e horizontally split and vertically split. Vertically split rings are more difficult to position while horizontal split rings are easier to position or adjust. But vertical split rings make a fuller connection with the scope tube and are of more robust attachment. 

Scope rings are typically quite expensive, though some affordable alternatives are also available for purchase. Your choice should be according to how you’re planning to use the scope. If you are a hunting professional, then you should purchase the finest quality ring for outstanding execution.

It is always advisable to do some digging before actually buying it so that you know absolutely what you are looking for.

How to Deduce the Scope Ring Height?

Generally, in most weapons, the scope ring is installed at the lowest possible level, but it should not make contact with the base. The height of the scope ring required to properly affix the scope is influenced by the diameter of the objective lens. 

The diameters of most objective lenses are around 30mm to 40mm. In this size, the scope provides exceptional precision without excessive light interference. 

Currently, the diameters of the objective lens are also found to be 56mm and above. To ensure that the front lens can be attached to your rifle, the scope ring height has to be of this size. 

The height of the scope ring depends on the size of the scope, i.e larger the scope, higher the scope ring and the converse. If the front lens has a large diameter, like 50mm, the scope ring should be higher, which is observed in a 1000 yard scope. Scope ring heights of rifles which contain a bigger scope are required to be adjusted, on account of the type of weapon being used. 

Mounting the ring on to the scope properly is an important task as it ensures proper clarity. While mounting, make sure that your rifle is unloaded to refrain from causing accidents. 

It is recommended to buy both the scope ring and base of the same company so as to avoid differences in the sizes. You should fasten your rifle with a gun rest so that it does not rock while fixing the scope ring. 

How to Measure Scope Ring Height?

Before measuring ring height, you should measure the scope height. The formula for measuring scope height for most rifle scopes is given by:

[(minimum magnification) – (maximum magnification)] x [ objective lens diameter in mm ]

For measuring scope height, calculate the diameter of the objective lens in mm, then add 2-4mm to account for the thickness of the scope. 

Divide the resulting number by two to get the scope height. This can also be defined as the distance between the centre of the scope body and the thickest point of the exterior of the tube. 

If the measurements are in inches, you can convert them to millimetres by multiplying with 25.4. Another method to do this calculation is by measuring the diameter of the scope tube at the objective lens and dividing the result by 2.

The scope ring height differs from seller to seller, i.e one seller’s low ring may be of a different height to another seller. Typically, there are two methods of calculating the ring height followed by the manufacturers:

1. Measuring from the bottom of base to ring centre

Measuring Scope Height and Determining Scope Ring Height -

This method is comparatively easier than the other one and requires lesser calculation. 

First, find out the base height and add ring height to it. If the result is the smaller combination at hand, which is greater than the scope height, then this outcome is the optimum size.

2. Measuring from edge of base to ring edge

Measuring Ring Height

This method of measuring the ring height from edge of the base to edge of the ring requires a slightly more calculation. 

For scopes with 30mm tube, 15mm is added to the total height of the scope base and ring to establish if the scope height is lesser than this value. 

For scopes with 1 inch tube, 12.7mm is added to the total height of the scope base and ring to establish if the scope height is lesser than this value. 

For scopes with 35mm tube, 0.69 inches is added and for scopes with 34mm tube, 0.67 inches is added.

Note: The above mentioned methods do not take into account factors such as the presence of open sight and other supplements, or bolt action clearance. Hence, while calculating, you should always keep these situations in mind and add them.

Beginners can take the help of several online calculators available on the internet to calculate the height of their scope rings. Here, you only have to supply the calculator with the diameters of the scope tube and the front lens respectively, and it will calculate the scope ring height for you. 

After calculating the scope ring height, you should always double-check your solution. After this, you have to fix it on the rifle. 

Step 1: The rings should be as farther away from each other as possible based on your scope. Once you have placed the scope rings on their particular position, dislodge the scope, then thrust the ring in the forward direction and screw each of the circles with a half-inch nut. 

Step 2: For fastening, a torque wrench of 65 inch-pound is required. You can also use the half-inch wrench if you do not have this wrench. 

Step 3: Turn it 90 degrees after one finger fastening. Be mindful not to transcend this limit or work with a foot-pound wrench, otherwise you might over-tighten it.  

Step 4: After fastening the screws and fixing the rings properly in position, continue to adjust the scope in the rings. The remaining screws will at first be fitted loosely and then tightened with the short end of the T-15 wench.


For determination of scope ring height, the scope height is estimated first and then the scope ring is chosen according to this. 

Most hunters recommend rings with a lower mount but you should always choose the scope ring which suits you the best. If you’re using rings that are perfect for you, you should be able to place your cheek conveniently on the rifle and also be able to have a clear view through the lens. Your accuracy will suffer if your scope is inconveniently positioned and this will dampen the thrill of shooting.

You should ensure that the scope rings you finally purchase are appropriate for your scope and its base coincide with your preferred scope height. Whichever you choose, always remember not to fasten the scope too tightly.  

You can always alter the height of the scope ring if you think your image is not clear enough rather than straining your neck. Calculating the scope ring height accurately such that the scope height is appropriate is crucial for precise aim.

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