Selecting the correct riflescope ring mounts is a crucial part of setting up your shooting equipment and ensuring your get the most out of your riflescope. There are several key factors to decide when making your selection. Here is a quick guide to help you through the process.
Find out more about the variety of Hawke ring mounts or learn more from the technical team at Hawke Academy
Types of Rifle or Airgun Mounting Rail
9-11mm Dovetail rails are commonly found on Air Rifles and some Centre and Rim Fire Rifles. The rifle’s rail (or receiver) has two long grooves, one either side, that run down the length of the rail. It is without any horizontal notches/grooves and often has one or a few recoil holes on the top of the rail. Find out more about Hawke scopes on an airgun here
For any riflescope being fitted on a 9-11mm Dovetail rail a set of 9-11mm Dovetail rings will be needed (as seen above).
Weaver / Picatinny Rail
Weaver and Picatinny rails are commonly found on Hunting Rifles, Assault Rifles and various other heavy recoil rifles. It is also possible to place Weaver and Picatinny adapter rails on a rifle so Weaver mounts can be used. The distinguishable feature of Weaver and Picatinny rails is the repeating horizontal grooves that run down the length of the rail. These grooves act as recoil stops for the rings that are fitted on them. See Hawke scopes in action on a rifle here.
For any scope being fitted on a Weaver or Picatinny rail a set of Weaver rings will be needed (as seen above).
The key difference between Weaver and Picatinny lies in the placement of the recoil grooves and the width of the grooves. Picatinny grooves have a center-to-center width of .394” (10mm). The placement of these grooves has to be consistent in order for it to be a true Picatinny system. Weaver systems have a .180” (4.57mm) width of recoil groove and are not necessarily consistent in a center-to-center measurement from one groove to the next.
Ring Diameter – 1” or 30mm
Most, and all Hawke, riflescope rings come in two different sizes, 1″ or 30mm. These sizes relate to the diameter of the riflescope’s tube. Find out more about the parts of a riflescope here. This is the diameter of the main tube of the riflescope.
Riflescope Ring Height
The required ring height will be determined by the size of the riflescope’s objective lens. Ultimately, correct sized rings will ensure the riflescope clears the top of the barrel, while not leaving too much of a gap.
Ring heights are often split into three different sizes:
To select the correct height ring calculate the height of half of the riflescope’s widest point (normally the objective bell of the scope), you will then need to know the height from the bottom of the ring mount to the middle of the ring mount, select the ring mount height that is just over half of your riflescopes widest point. This will ensure the riflescope clears the barrel when in the ring mounts.
Traditionally shooters will try and fit the riflescope with minimal clearance above the barrel. This helps the line of sight be nearer to the bullet trajectory which will give better results when changing target distance.
Some rifles’ rails will sit slightly higher than the barrel. If the riflescope’s objective bell is going to be above the barrel then this extra height difference can be taken into account.
Riflescope Ring Mount Measurement Example
Here is an example of how to calculate the ring mounts needed to fit an Hawke Sidewinder 30 SF 4-16×50 to an Anschütz .17 HMR, with 9-11mm Dovetail rail.
The Hawke Sidewinder has a 30mm scope tube and a 56mm objective bell and that the Anschütz .17 HMR has a 9-11mm Dovetail rail. To calculate the required height of the ring mounts, half the 56mm objective bell diameter to give a measurement of 28mm.
28mm will be the minimum height required from the base of the ring mount to the middle of the ring mount.
Hawke’s 30mm, 9-11mm Dovetail rings come in two sizes; medium and high. The medium rings measure 28mm and the high rings measure 35mm. To ensure there is enough clearance that the scope is not touching the barrel in this instance choose the high rings.
View the full selection of Hawke Ring Mounts here.
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