Hi Rusty and welcome to the Forum.
I used to live in Franklin and though not that close, spend a good amount of time sucking down BBQ in Memphis.
A lot of what you do to mount a scope is personal preference. But lets start with the basics.
What rifle are we talking about? (Important to know the action we are talking about)
Is it a single shot or repeater?
What Caliber (I ask this because of the size of the opening of the action for extraction?
What type of shooting will you be doing?
What scope are you thinking about using? Power and Objective size will influence the ring size you need.
My benchrest rifles are all single shot and to be able to get off many shots quickly if the winds are changing, I do not like a rail across the action if it is top opening like a Remington 700. If it is a side port, than that is a different story.
A rail will help align your mount better if the screw holes in the receiver are slightly off. If they are way off (which some times does happen) get new ones drilled and tapped by a competent gunsmith if you don't want problems.
If you are going to shoot Long Range - 500 yards or more, than you should have a mount with some elevation already built into it like a 20 MOA rail. Scopes work best when the adjustments are somewhere in their mid point range, not cranked all the way to the most adjustment they can have.
If you are doing precision target shooting a long ranges, most shooters will hand lap or even bed their scope rings. I find that the Burris Signature Z rings with MOA adjustment inserts will do a few things for you.
First you will not have to lap your rings and the inserts will slightly compress and eliminate that need.
Second, you will end up with NO, ZERO, NADA ring marks on your scope
Put on a 20 MOA mount and depending how you set the rings, you will be able to make adjustments and use your scope at a broad range of yardages say 50 to over 1,000.
I only use a hand torgue driver so I can set the screws at exact pounds to make sure the scope is effectively mounted, but not damaged.
Now, I am a purist when it comes to rifle accuracy. If you will be using the gun for hunting at 50 - 150 yards etc., many will go to the store, bout a set of Weaver Standard Mounts for the action they have and a package of rings in the appropriate height for the size of the objective of the scope they are using.
Give us some input and I think you will get plenty of suggestions.