How to Mount a Scope on an AR-15

by Phillip Woolgar

The AR-15, or ArmaLite Model 15, is popular semi-automatic rifle. The AR-15 rifles are highly customizable and configurable. Accessories such as collapsing stocks, bipods, a rail system and a scope are common additions. Vertical grips, laser sights, flashlights and telescopic sights can also be added. Both steel and chrome barrels are available. The M16 is the famed relative of the weapon and the assault rifle used by the U.S. military.

Mount Installation

  1. Check the AR-15 to ensure that it is not loaded.

  2. Unscrew the retaining bolt's round nut underneath the rail mount.

  3. Push the bolt on the gun through the hole on the carry handle. Rest the rail mount on the handle. The mount should line the barrel. If it does not, you might have put it on backward.

  4. Screw the nut back into position, tightening the handle to the mount.

Scope Installation

  1. Loosen the retention screws that are located on the base of the scope rings. These rings have to be compatible with the rail mounts. Spread the mounting bracket.

  2. Put the scope on top of the mount. Ensure the ring retention screws are in the grooves that run across the mount.

  3. Place the mounting bracket on the mount's sides. Tighten the retention screws.

Items you will need

  • AR-15 rail mount


  • Ensure your rifle is perfectly level when you mount the scope. If it is not, you risk throwing off the alignment of your scope when installing.

About the Author

Phillip Woolgar has been a reporter since 2008 in communities throughout western Canada. His work has appeared in Canadian national publications such as the "Globe and Mail" and the "Vancouver Sun." In 2009, he received second-place recognition in the Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association's Excellence in Arts and Culture writing category. Woolgar graduated from the Langara College Journalism Diploma program in 2008.