I hold a free scope clinic at local ranges twice a month and I install lots of scopes. Installing the scope is the easy part. Getting the rings boresight aligned to the muzzle can be a challenge on production rifles. At HighPowerOptics we supply several tools in our rifle scope installation rental kits (which are still in beta test while we work out packaging issues). If you're investing in tools, I recommend:
- solid gun vise that will hold the rifle in a level orientation. Tipton's Best Gun vise works well.
- 12-18" steel ruler and a set of thin feeler gauges (0.001-0.010") for checking the fit and alignment of bases.
- Wheeler FAT wrench. High quality bits, but the FAT wrench is missing two common bit sizes. HighPowerOptics includes those bits with the FAT wrench that we sell.
- Kokopelli alignment bars. Expensive but very useful, especially with windage adjustable bases. The more common pointed alignment bars are basically useless.
- reticle alignment tool (EXD or our RingTrue alignment tool).
- compact, accurate level (the RingTrue tool includes an accurate spirit level). Most consumer grade levels are not accurate and need to be lapped.
- 1" and/or 30 mm lapping bar and valve lapping compound.
- boresight collimator. This an extremely useful tool for measuring boresight alignment of rings and measuring point of aim on a scoped rifle before installing a new scope.
- 3"x5" rear surface mirror for optically centering your scope reticle to create an alignment scope (for checking boresight alignment of rings). You can use a bathroom vanity mirror, but a small rectangular mirror allows you to center the scope at the range or while it is mounted on the rifle.
- blue thread locker. Sidecar Flip made a great suggestion about putting Locktite under the base to prevent base movement. In my experience base movement is only a problem on magnum rifles.