Can A Rifle Scope Be Mounted Too High? (ANSWERED)

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This is a very frustrating question that I usually confront whenever I visit my relative who is interested in optics, and shooting. I mean, there is no rocket science, that I should explain, but still, I am going to write a complete answer for newbies.

So, Can a rifle scope be mounted too high? Yes, the rifle scope can be mounted too high, but when you mount it too high, then it affects the accuracy of your shooting as you won’t be able to focus on the target.

I always wonder why people want to mount a scope too high when there is no potential benefit. However, if you’re confused, I am going to explain everything in complete detail, so all of your confusion will be removed.

Related Article: Can You Put A Scope On A Flintlock Rifle?

Can A Rifle Scope Be Mounted Too High?

Yes, it is possible to mount a scope too high, the important question is, why would you like to mount a scope too high as it does more bad than good?

I’ve heard from many people that when you mount a scope too high, it increases your shot accuracy, and your focus on the target gets increases. This is totally wrong. If someone has told you that you should mount a rifle scope too high, it means that he is wrong.

I’ve logic – and in the section below, I am going to mention some of the logical reasoning why I don’t recommend you mount your rifle scope too high.

1- Bad Impact on Shooting Accuracy

It is totally myth that when you mount a rifle scope too high, then your shooting accuracy gets better. In fact, according to my experience, a scope that is mounted too high put a negative impact on shooting accuracy. 

When the scope is mounted too high, it cause the shooter to have to raise their head higher than normal to get a picture of the target and focus on it. So, when you raise your head, it directly or indirectly makes you insatiable, and your overall position gets affected. 

So, when your body position gets affected or changed,  then you come into a less stable shooting position, which usually results in a less accurate shot. This is why I highly recommend you not to mount the scope too high.

2- Bad impact on Eye Relief/Comfort

Look, when you mount a rifle scope too high, then your eye relief gets compromised. Don’t you know what is eye relief? Actually, it is the distance between the shooter’s eye and the scope that allows for a full field of view

When the scope is mounted too high, the distance between the shooter’s eye and the scope can increase, which can cause the eye relief to be too short. So, shorter eye relief simply means that you’ll feel discomfort while using your rifle to hit the target.

Infact, if you wear glasses due to weak vision, then you won’t be able to see comfortably through the scope due to compromised eye relief.  As I said earlier that when you mount a scope too high that you have to raise their head higher.  This will also cause neck strain and discomfort, so you must be wise while mounting the scope too high.

3- Bad impact on Shooting Technique

No matter if you’re a senior pro or a newbie, your shooting technique gets affected when you mount the scope too high which is not common. While using a heightened mounted scope, you will have to hold the rifle differently to compensate for the improper alignment. This will affect your body posture and overall performance.


So, would you mount the scope too high? Or should you? My answer is a big NO! I don’t recommend you mount the rifle scope too high as it causes multiple issues, and you’ll ultimately struggle while using the scope. 

Related: Can You Use A Rifle Scope On A Muzzleloader?

What is Ideal Rifle Scope Height?

I must say that the ideal rifle scope height is like finding the perfect seat at the movies – it’s where you feel most comfortable and can see the screen clearly. If you don’t mount a rifle scope at a suitable height, chances are high that your shooting experience be destroyed.

According to my experience, you should mount a rifle scope just 1.5” above the bore of the rifle. At this height of rifle scope, you’ll be able to see everything clearly, and you won’t get uncomfortable as well because you’ll get longer eye relief at this height.

However, this height can vary from individual to individual. What rifle scope height is ideal for me won’t be suitable for you as it depends on alot of other factors which are listed below:

  • Your Comfort
  • Your Size and Shape
  • Type of Shooting
  • Rifle Design, Shape, and Size

Your body size and shape affect how you hold the rifle and where the scope should be. So, the scope height that works for you might not be the same for someone else. So, I would say that the ideal height of a rifle scope varies – as it depends on individuals’ personal preferences and needs.

Is It Best To Mount The Scope As Low As Possible?

Mounting the scope as low as possible is usually considered to be the best approach. The reason is that when you mount a scope low, then you actually ensure that the shooter has a clear and unobstructed view of the target. This also ensures that you will be able to minimize the amount of recoil that the shooter experiences. 

However, I would say that there is no universal rule about the height of a rifle scope. Mount a rifle scope, and use your firearm to know the ideal height for yourself. Keep in mind that the rifle scope height where you feel comfortable, and focus on the target is the best height for you.

Also Read: Can You Use A Crossbow Scope On An Air Rifle?

How Much Scope Clearance Is Too Much?

Look, the scope should be mounted so that there is at least 1/8 inch of clearance between the scope and the barrel. At this height, you’ll be able to shoot and focus perfectly.

However, I always feel comfortable when mount the scope at the lower height, as it allows me to see the target without moving my body or head. So, I also recommend you keep the scope low so that you get perfect views of the target.

I am repeating – use the lower height while mounting the scope, but it does not mean that you choose the lowerest possible height. You must ensure that there should be enough clearance between the scope and the barrel. 

Point to Ponder: If the scope is mounted too low, then it would interfere with the operation of the rifle, and could even cause damage to the scope or the rifle itself. So, mount it at a low height, but don’t go too low as it can do badly.


In the end, I would say that you should always mount a rifle scope at a decent height – but don’t mount it too high as it will affect your viewing and shooting experience. When you mount the scope too high, then you’ll have to raise your head position which will make you uncomfortable. I recommend you use the scope at a lower height so that you get perfect shooting accuracy. I am signing off! See you with another useful guide.

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