How to mount a scope on a rifle without a rail?

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How to mount a scope on a rifle without a rail

The modern rifles are pre-drilled, and most of them have rails. It’s easy to mount a scope on these modern rifles.

On the other hand, a classical rifle doesn’t have a rail, and that’s why it’s not easy to mount a scope up. Though older rifles haven’t railed, these are not nugatory if you slacken them.

You can easily use them as the modern ones. An older version of a gun needs several changes in its setting to work as a modern one. But the problem is how to mount a scope on a rifle without a rail?

We have the solution & today, and I am going to share it with you. Let’s dig into the topic and learn how to mount scope on a rail-less rifle?

It’s not a complicated process or impossible action. You need to be creative and maintain some techniques properly. Follow this complete guideline to mount your scope on a rail-less rifle.

Before going to the mounting process, let’s see the equipment you need.

The Tools You Need for this Process

1. Your Rail-less Older rifle

You are going to mount a scope in a rail-less rifle. That’s why, of course, a rifle gun is needed for you that doesn’t have a rail for mounting a scope. I think you have that one. 

2. A Scope You Choice

Then, obviously, you have to assemble a perfect scope that works and fits your shotgun. Choose the perfect one for mounting on your rifle.     

3. Mounting Rail and Scope Ring

Older rifles don’t have rails and enough features to mount your scope with rail. But it’s not possible to mount a scope without rail. As it is a crucial part of a rifle, you have to buy a mounting rail and scope ring. A lot of rails and scope rings are available on the market. Take help from an expert gunsmith and choose your mounting rail and scope ring those suits with mounting your scope.    

4. A Skilled Gunsmith or Necessary tools to Do it Yourself

Screwing up your rifle is not an easy task. But some people do that work very smoothly and correctly. If you feel it’s hard for you and cannot do this job, hire an expert gunsmith who can do it accurately. You know, a gunsmith is skilled in this field. But it doesn’t mean that you are unable to do this. If you can do this by yourself, I encourage you to do it. It will minimize the cost. An expert gunsmith drills your rifle and taps the new base plate with it, install the plate and rifle’s rail, then scope.  

5. Boresighter

Finishing these initial processes, the gunsmith goes forward to ensure everything lines up correctly and straight pointing for this purpose, a smith uses a bore-sighter.    

6 Steps of Mounting a Scope on a Rifle without a Rail

Once you have the preparation and the tools mentioned above, it’s time to go forwards to mount a scope on a rifle without a rail. Follow the following process step by step for mounting scope properly. Let’s start-

1. Left You Gun to a Skilled Gunsmith

Have you a rail-less rifle? Are you in great trouble with that one to mount a scope? Don’t worry. The easiest and hassle-less way is to take your gun to a gunsmith and tell you to mount your scope. He will do it accurately without any nuisance.

It may be costly; that’s why you can follow the 2-6 steps for mounting your scope and minimize the cost.  

2. Drill and Tap the Receiver

If you are doing it yourself, first and foremost, you have to take your receiver and secure it in a vise-like a gunsmith. Then, place a special jig on top of your rifle that has a pre-drilled hole in a perfect line. If it’s an old rifle and hasn’t any holes, you need to drill through into your gun’s receiver. Most of the modern rifles are pre-drilled, and it’s a great feature of today’s gun. So, if you have a pre-drilled one, then skip this process and go forwards. You can discuss and take suggestions from an expert gunsmith. 

3. Base Plate Installation

The next and third step is to install the base plate. This installation process is to attach the rail with the gun’s receiver. Since Loctite confirms no moisture getting underneath the mount, put some Loctite on the base plate before screwing down it. Moreover, it’s also helpful for the more permanent and stable coalition.  

4. Rail Attachment

Now, it’s time to attach the rail with your base plate. Remember, it’s a semi-permanent fastening stage that depends on your installing rail type. Gunsmiths usually use a Picatinny rail in this installation step. Keep patience and keep attention when doing this important task.

5. Put the Scope Rings on and Scope

After completing the steps mentioned above, it’s time to set the scope and scope ring simultaneously. Please select the best scope that’s proper for your rifle and set up it using the rings. 

6. Boresighting

Once you have completed these steps correctly, it’s time for boresighting. You can use a laser bore sighter for testing the scope if it’s working or not. It will help you to improve the visual accuracy of scope sight. You can decide on proper alignment and setting.


From reading the above process, you know how to mount a scope on a rifle without a rail. You can ignore the whole process and hire a gunsmith to do this without any headache. But, if you like to take the challenge then, follow the process mentioned above properly.

Once it’s done, you can go for a shoot. Sight in the riflescope and determine your focus. A significant aim will help you for the most fabulous hunting as well as shooting. Have fun. Boom!

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I drill the rifle for a Scope?

Sure, you’ll have to drill the rifle.

What’s it cost to drill?

It depends. Talk to your gunsmith.

How do I adjust eye relief after fitting a new rifle scope?

Maintain the distance from recoiling and then place the scope as close as possible to your eye.

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I quit my job as a high-powered lawyer to pursue the outdoors. I spend most of my time fishing and hunting but am also an avid shooter with two years experience writing about firearms related topics.

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