How To Drill And Tap A Shotgun For A Scope

Is your shotgun resting for too long? Or are you getting tired of bird hunting? Then it’s time to go for a big game.

This time, your shotgun demands a scope. Hence you need to take this a step further by drilling and tapping the gun for the scope.

Approaching to drill and tap your shotguns without considering the related facts is always a risk.  The barrel thickness, type of the materials used in it, and the type of shotguns you have, everything should be in the cart to consider. However, this step-by-step guide on how to drill and tap a shotgun for scope can help. Let’s dive in!

Is It Safe To Drill A Shotgun for A Scope

Yes, it is safe to drill the shotgun for scope if you are maintaining the right process. Guns are sensitive tools and are made by following different measurements. And the most sturdy and essential part of the shotgun is the receiver.

Is It Safe To Drill A Shotgun for A Scope

As we know, the power of the shotgun is on the receiver. So, drilling it wrong can ruin the chamber wall and the whole functioning of the gun can get disrupted.

And in a matter of safety, you have to drill the receiver evenly and keep in mind that it doesn’t get weakened by the uneven holes. All in all, if you maintain the proper guideline and proceed to drill and tap after knowing your gun, then it is entirely safe.

What You’ll Need To Drill And Tap A Shotgun For A Scope

Before you approach to drill and tap for scope mount, you need to prepare. As a part of this preparation, you’ll need some tools and gear. The thing’s you’ll be needing are:

  1. Drilling machine
  2. #31 drill bit
  3. 6-48 Tap tool
  4. Center Punch
  5. Holding Tool
  6. A ruler
  7. A pencil/Marker
  8. Hand Gloves
  9. Safety Glasses
  10. Cutting Fluid

Note: Most of these tools mentioned here you can find in the nearest machinist shop within an average price range.

How To Drill And Tap A Shotgun For A Scope

Here’s the process to drill and tap the shotgun for a scope. We have organized these steps after practically applying them. However, before you approach, make sure you have ensured safety fully. Let’s proceed:

How To Drill And Tap A Shotgun For A Scope

Step 1: Disassemble the Gun And Get it Prepared

First, you have to disassemble the gun. After you disassemble it, use the pencil or the marker and draw a straight line on the receiver’s center. Also, mark the points you want to drill.

Step 2: Punch The Marks

After getting the drilling points exactly not time to punch them, take the center punch and, with a hammer, make the marks deeper gently. Do not use the hammer so hard. It can damage the gun’s body.

Steps 3: Set The Gun

Now place the gun on the holding tool which is properly set on your drill press table, so it doesn’t move. When you place the gun, make sure it is at the right perpendicular angle and secure enough. However, you can use a saddle mount if you are using a hand drill.

Step 4: Drill the Point

Then put some cutting fluid on the marks and start drilling. Remember not to drill more than 5/32 of an inch for the scope base holes. As well, maintain proper distance among the drill hole position and don’t press the drill press pulley so hard.

Step 5:  Tap The Holes

Finally, get the tap tool and start tapping the holes. Be slow on this process; otherwise, you will not get the proper screw threads one the screw hole. Remember the base screw shouldn’t cross the receiver body all away. And once you finish tapping, your shotgun is all drilled and tapped for scope mounts.

Things To Remember When Drilling And Taping  A Shot Gun Scope

There are certain things you have to keep in mind when drilling and tapping the slug gun. Remember, these things are important, and missing one of them can ruin the whole thing.

  1. Ensure you have the proper safety gear on. Mostly the eye protection.
  2. Never drill holes that are more than .100 to .120 in depth. It means the screw heads shouldn’t get their bottom out.
  3. Before you start drilling, make sure the drill bit is steady and tight enough.
  4. When drilling, do not keep anything inflammable near.
  5. Grip the drill firmly and do not put so much pressure otherwise it can damage the receiver surface.
  6. Use only hand taps as the body of the gun is not so thick. Other stronger taps like spiral tap and forming tap will not give you the proper receiver threads.


Shotgun is one of the most powerful of all guns. They do not fire a single bullet but several projectiles. So, they are mostly used for short-range firing. However, in modern shotguns, it is possible to fire at long range. In this case, you will need a scope.

And, long-range scopes need to be mounted perfectly in the gun. Otherwise, the scope mount will wobble, and you will miss the target. And in mounting the scopes the steps we have demonstrated on how to drill and tap a shotgun for a scope will be your icing on the cake.

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