How To Mount a Cantilever Scope Mount

Over the past ten years, rifle scopes have advanced significantly. Stronger, more dependable scopes that last even under the worst situations were created by new materials and relentless engineering. However, no matter how costly a scope is, it all has the same flaw: the mount. 

The mount for an optic is the most frequent area of failure for any rifle configuration. The issue is not if a scope will slide on an improperly configured mount, but rather when. A vital 3-gun stage may be in the middle of it, or it may be on the first trip to the range. A broken scope mount is a serious failure that may rapidly ruin a nice day in any case.

It doesn’t have to be difficult to mount your scope. To assist, we have put together a guide to help you spend less time at the workshop and more time at the range. This post will showcase the cantilever-style scope mounts and offer a step-by-step tutorial for creating a secure connection between your scope, your rifle, and your mount.

One of these single-piece mounts is the cantilever. These mounts have grown in popularity as the go-to method for installing variable-power scopes on sports rifles, especially the AR-15. Cantilever mounts are preferred since they are consistent and stable under even the worst circumstances. Consider choosing a one-piece mount if you want to place sight on a duty rifle or if dependability is your top priority.

Depending on your demands, one-piece mounts are available in a variety of styles and dimensions. Each rifle mount is tailored to fit your scope tube’s diameter. On rifles with short top rails, cantilever mounts have a smaller footprint, making it simpler to place the sight for the best eye relief. Precision rifles with long, solid top rails are more commonly used with non-cantilevered mounts. For some long-range rifles, cantilever mounts with built-in elevation can increase the scope’s range of adjustment.

The quick-detach or permanent attachment distinguishes cantilever mounts from one another. Quick-detach scope mounts (QD) fasten to the rail via a cross-bar and an adjustable throw lever. With just the lever, users may rapidly connect or detach the scope from the rifle, making it possible to switch out the optics in the field without the need for any equipment. 

The usefulness of this functionality for a duty rifle where a broken optic would need to be removed cannot be overstated. However, QD features increase the mount’s price and weight. If rapid detachment is crucial to your system, look into tried-and-true options from trustworthy suppliers.

How To Mount a Cantilever Scope Mount

Scope rings

The tried-and-true standard for attaching a scope is a ring. Rings were the only practical alternative for the majority of shooters since dovetails were the standard mount attachment method for bolt-action rifles. One-piece mounts are more common now that the Picatinny rail is so widely used, but rings still have a lot to offer precision shooters. 

Users may choose the ideal mounting height for their scope by using rings since they are lighter than one-piece mounts and are available in several heights. This helpful calculator can validate which rings will work with any specific rifle and sight configuration so that you can achieve the best fit for your weapon and yourself as a shooter.

Parts Required

To configure a mount properly, you need a few essential components and equipment. You will want a screwdriver, Torx bits, your mount, and more to attach a cantilever scope to your rifle.

Bit driver/screwdriver torque wrench

There are recommended torque levels for every mount. Too much torque might shred screws or damage the scope. The scope might become loose if there is insufficient torque. An electric torque screwdriver is preferable to a bit driver because it allows you to swiftly adjust each bolt and screw to the manufacturer’s specifications. The preferred torque wrench among gun owners is the Wheeler FAT.

You can get the proper tension for the cross bolts on your scope by using the Wheeler fat wrench.

Bits for screwdriver

Only the components that make up a driver matter. Hex keys are typically included with lenses and mounts, but they are not nearly as accurate as a specially designed screwdriver bit and driver. The necessary parts are available at most hardware stores. Since Torx heads are less prone to shred under tension than hex heads, they will be used in the strongest mounts.

Average Level

A bubble level will be required. Two little bubble levels would be ideal so you can confirm a match by concurrently checking the alignment of the rifle and scope. In a pinch, a ruler level can be used, but you’ll need to move it carefully between the rifle and the optic. We employed a digital level, as you can see above. If you require really precise measurements, they are a touch more costly but well worth the investment.

Degreaser + Blue Loctite

Major screws and bolts must be tightened with BLUE Loctite. Although it may be broken by hand, blue Loctite is strong enough to keep everything in place. If you purchase red Loctite, you can get a small surprise if you ever attempt to remove the screws. Red Loctite has to be heated to be removed, such as by using a very powerful hair drier. We advise most gun owners to stick with the standard since it’s just a nuisance. The blue stuff, please. Before you start, use a degreasing agent to clean the mount’s threads.

To guarantee that your Loctite dries correctly and that your scope is clean and ready for mounting, use a degreasing agent.


You’ll need a sizable work area and a means of keeping your rifle level and upright while mounting the optic. For this, a workstation and cushioned gun vise are ideal.

Steps How to Mount a Cantilever Scope Mount

The main distinction between ring mounts and cantilever mounts is that ring mounts require two separate bases to be affixed to the rail, whereas one-piece mounts only require one.

  1. Before fastening the mount to the rifle, it is crucial to find the ideal eye relief for you and your gun.
  1. It’s necessary to level your sight in the mount, but it’s as critical to use a bubble level to make sure your rifle is level.
  1. Adjust your top caps to the proper tension, then double-check.
  1. Set your firearm aside. Take out any ammo or the magazine. Check that the chamber is empty.
  1. Clean the hardware and mount any grease. Remove any grease or smudges from the threads that might prevent the Loctite from curing correctly.
  1. On the top rail, mount the single piece. Most shooters will position the base of a cantilever mount just above the magwell when using magazine-fed rifles. Non-cantilever mounts must be positioned farther front to have the same scope positioning. To fit the scope’s size and the rifle’s available rail space, rings may each be separately adjusted.
  1. To make sure you can get the required eye relief when shouldering the rifle, take off the mount’s top caps and place your sight on it. If you are unable to control eye relief, slide the mount forward or backward on the rail until the optic is providing a complete, clear view. You may now take out the scope and leave it aside.
  1. You may secure the base to the rifle once you’ve determined the ideal location for your installation. The quick-detach mount will have a different method than the permanent mount.
  1. Apply a little dab of blue Loctite to the bolt threads of fixed mounts before mounting the device to the rail. Bolts should be tightened to the mount manufacturer’s recommended torque.
  1. To get the proper mounting strength for quick-detach scope mounts, according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Keep an eye on how tense you are. You are probably scratching the rails of your rifle if opening and closing the throw-lever demands all of your strength.
  1. After the mount has been attached to the rifle, level the weapon by placing it in a vice or other support. To ensure that the top rail is evenly balanced from front to back and side to side, place a bubble level on a part of it.
  1. Reinstall the scope in the mount after making sure you’ll have enough eye relief while firing. The majority of scopes will be somewhat adjustable for how they sit inside the mount. To ensure that you will have the optimum eye-box when shooting, you may make precise modifications to the positioning of the scope.
  1. Once you’ve found the ideal setting, secure the top caps and tighten the screws until the scope is firmly fixed in the mount. You avoid any left or right skew, be sure to uniformly tighten all cap screws.
  1. Put a bubble level on the scope’s elevation turret. Until the bubble reads level, rotate the scope either clockwise or counterclockwise. Make sure the rifle and the scope are both perfectly positioned. Your turret adjustments will be incorrect if they are not aligned, and you will have to go through the process again.
  1. After adjusting and aligning the optic, remove the top cap screw and apply a drop of blue Loctite to the threads. Insert the screw once again, then very loosely tighten. Any excessive tightness will result in an optical shift.
  1. Each screw should be balanced out after the previous step to prevent shifting. For instance, after tightening a left screw, tighten a right screw in the same manner. Shift the monitor while placing the bubble level on the scope.
  1. It’s usual for there to be a slight space between the mount base and the top caps after everything has been torqued down. Avoid attempting to entirely close this gap since doing so might strip the screw from excessive torque. Just attempt to close the distance.
  1. Make one more check to ensure the scope and rifle are balanced and in alignment after all screws have been tightened to the mount’s suggested torque.
  1. You must now wait the entire 24 hours before assuming that the Loctite has been cured. Your optic will be safe and ready for range day if everything was done correctly.
  1. After correctly mounting your optic, it’s time to head to the range for some exciting shooting!


While mounting a scope on your rifle isn’t exactly the most enjoyable task, it’s one of the most crucial ones for accomplishing your range objectives. Optics teams devote many days to studying how to make scopes as durable and dependable as possible.

Optics teams devote endless hours to finding methods to make scopes as durable and dependable as possible, but a scope is only as trustworthy as its mount. Some shooters save on mounts while planning their budget for a new optic, which negatively affects their experience. Hope this article helps you to understand how to mount a cantilever scope mount on your rifle. Have fun!

On an AR, where should a scope be mounted?

Place the scope mount on top of the upper receiver of the AR 15 while it is leveled in the shooting rest. Avoid mounting the weapon on both the upper receiver and the free-floating rail. This may put unnecessary strain on the tube.

An extended cantilever mount is what?

These long cantilevers are made to install scopes in a forward position for proper eye relief and head positioning. The cantilever ring mount places the riflescope tube’s center 1.574″ (40mm) above the ground.

Cantilever scope mounts – are they good?

Firstly, the fact that the cantilever mount pushes the optics a bit forward not only offers a better eye relief and field of view, but also clears a bit of space on the rail in the back of the rifle, making it possible to mount something else in that spot, for example, magnifiers or folding back-up sights, and so on.

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