Preventing ‘snap on’ scope rings scratching your scope tube

ask the experts

ask the experts - Credit: Archant

How do I stop ‘snap on’ scope rings from scratching my scope tube? Chris Parkin replies...

Q: I have just bought a new rifle with rings that seem to clip over the tube, requiring some force to snap them in place. I’m worried they will scratch the tube of my scope when I clip them on. How can I prevent this happening?

CHRIS PARKIN replies: As you can imagine, I set up a lot of scopes on rifles and as I often mount and re-mount the same optic several times, I must be very careful not to mark them as they are usually on long-term loan. The type of rings you mention virtually always seem to mark scope tubes as they snap into place, but there is one little trick to stop it happening. Take a piece of plain paper, fold it over and make two strips about 20-25mm wide. Set the scope on a firm supporting surface and sit the ring’s upper second/third section on top of the tube, with a piece of the paper under each ‘wing’. Then, as you press down to clip it over (when it must be effectively forced apart by the cylindrical tube), the two pieces of paper will slide smoothly to prevent scratching. Obviously, you need to check any rings for burrs and alignment before fitting the scope but this trick stops the scratches – just make sure any little pieces of torn paper are pulled out from the tube/ring before further mounting; it will usually be quite tight and tear easily. I have used Sellotape and electrical tape in the past, folded over on itself so that the sticky sides are together, but if it tears it gets stuck in place and is a faff to remove. If you need to take the rings off, very carefully slot two long screwdrivers through the bolt holes and pinch them together as you lift the upper ring segment off the tube but be really careful. It is possible to put fresh strips of paper back under at this point to reverse the process but take your time.