- 1 Scope Mounting Systems
- 2 Best Scope Mounts
- 3 Best Scope Mounts Conclusion
When people are on the market for a good quality scope or optic for their rifle, something they can sometimes forget about is that they also need an equally high-quality scope mount to go with that scope. In fact, it doesn’t really matter how high quality your scope is – if it doesn’t use the right kind of mount to attach it to the rifle, you won’t be able to make any kind of accurate or precise shots.
In other words if you buy the incorrect mount for your scope, it will waste you time, money, and a lot of ammunition. It will only be after multiple bullets downrange that you realize that there is a problem. To avoid this problem early on, take the time and invest just as much effort into finding the best mount that you can as you would with your scope.
In this article, we are going to discuss the differences between the kinds of scope mounting systems in great detail and discuss four of the best scope mounts on the market.
Scope Mounting Systems
It can be difficult to select the right mounting system for you based on all of the different types and models that are out there. However, practically all scope mounts fall into two categories: detachable and fixed. A detachable mounting system includes scope rings and bases, which allows you to swap out scopes between rifles very easily. While you can remove the scope from a fixed mount, it is much more difficult to do so and is primarily designed to be left there.
As far as materials are concerned, all rifle mounts currently available on the market are made with two kinds of material: aluminum and steel. Between the two, aluminum is by far the more lightweight, but on the flipside steel is stronger and more durable. If you want something that won’t add any weight to your rifle, aluminum is the way to go. Otherwise, if you want something a little stronger and are willing to put up with the extra weight, there’s no denying that steel is your best bet.
Detachable Mounting Systems
Two prime examples of a detachable mounting system would be the Weaver rails and the Picatinny rails. Weaver rails comprise of perpendicular slots in flat rails that correspond with weaver rings. The rails will run underneath the rings and fit right into the slots that you will find on the base.
Picatinny rails look practically identical to Weaver rails on the outside, but the difference is that the size of the slots width on Picatinny rails are set to a military standard with a specific spacing. In contrast to this, the spacing on the weaver rails can vary. Weaver accessories will generally be able to fit on a Picatinny rail, but not vice versa. All in all, Picatinny rails will be some of the best scope mounts for an AR-15 as well as some of the best M1A scope mounts due to them sticking to military standards.
There are two main kinds of scope rings that you can use with your detachable mounts: horizontally split rings and vertically split rings. When a ring has been split horizontally, it means that the bottom half of the ring will engage with the base. In contrast to this, a scope ring that is vertically split, both halves of the ring will engage with the base or rail. Between the two, the vertical split rings are more difficult to install onto the rifle.
The purpose of scope rings, horizontal or vertical, is to ensure that there is a very tight fit when you place the scope against the rifle’s barrel. The rings themselves will be two pieces, with one half attached to the scope base and the other half attached to the bottom side of the scope, allowing it to be held securely. The size of your rings are dependent on the size of your scope. Find the best scope rings on the market here.
The base of the scope can be either a one piece or a two piece based, assuming that the base is not actually built into the gun itself.
Fixed Mounting Systems
A prime example of a non-detachable mount, or fixed mount, would be the dovetail mounts. This is an older system than Weaver and Picatinny, but they are still not as detachable. Nonetheless, a dovetail mounting system will work beautifully on an older bolt-action rifle that does not come with rails. This would make the dovetail mounting system one of the best scope mounts for an older Remington 700 or Winchester Model 70.
Another advantage to dovetail mounts is their durability. Whereas some scope mounting systems are not designed for the heavier recoil of Magnum calibers, the dovetail mounts can easily absorb the recoil of these kinds of calibers without issue.
In recent years, the popularity of dovetail mounts have been waning due to modern rifles such as the AR-15 or M1A that practically require quick detachable mounting systems. In addition, many bolt action rifles such as the Remington 700 have been selling with mounting rail systems that permit the use of quick detachable systems as well.
Quick Detachable Scope Mount Systems
The best thing about quick detachable (abbreviated as QD) scope mount when it comes to precision shooting is how you can remove the optic from the rifle and then reattach it later. Assuming you’ve reattached it at the exact same position that it originally was at, your rifle will still be sighted in. This means if you would like to alternate between open sight shooting and scope shooting for your AR-15, for example, you can easily do without having to re-sight in your rifle every time you remount the scope.
Now before we go into the specific best mounting systems, there are a few more factors about QD scope mounts that we need to talk about. QD scope mounts are most commonly used in tactical systems and equipment. In other words, the best QD scope mounting systems are those that are truly modular in their design so that you can switch back and forth between components without any hindrance.
In addition, the best QD scope mounts are those that come with a riser, because you will almost certainly have to have one if the objective lens of your scope is over 34mm in diameter (which most are). You’ll also want to keep in mind the specific type of QD Mount that you will want as well. For example, do you want a complete base or would you be more satisfied with just having a couple of quick detachment rings? Do you want rings that you can also mount other accessories on such as lights or lasers or do you just want the simply models? For tactical purposes at the very least, it may be very preferable to have an accessory on top of or on the side of your scope.
Best Scope Mounts
Best Quick Release Scope Mount:
Best Long Range Scope Mount:
Best 2 Piece Scope Mount:
Best Budget Scope Mount:
Best Way To Add Quick Release To Your Mounting System:
Best Scope Mounts Conclusion
As you should be able to tell by this article, there are many different scope mounting systems out there. The best scope mounts for today’s modern world and tactical needs are the QD mounting systems, such as Picatinny or Weaver rails, that make your rifle more modular. Just remember to make sure that the dimensions of the rings and bases match up with the dimensions of your rails or else it will throw your accuracy off. The good news is that once you find the right scope mount for your needs, all that it takes at that point to become an accurate long range shooter is a lot of practice on the range.
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