You've got your new rifle built and a quality piece of glass purchased. Do you go out to your local box store and pay $20 or $30 for some scope rings to mount it on? That's kind of like paying $100,000 on a new sports car then putting $400 tires on it. Your scope mount is what keeps the scope on your gun and maintaining a solid zero. This rifle will be taken in and out of your vehicle and used, which means it will be banged around sooner or later. You want something rock solid and secure, made by a quality manufacturer using quality materials. With an MSRP in mind, and giving you a couple of different options, here are my three choices for a solid scope mount.
So, you've blown most of your budget on the gun and scope. You don't have a couple of hundred to pay for a new scope mount, but you want something better than the $30 store special. Check out the Burris AR-PEPR. This is a 1-piece cantilever mount designed specifically for the AR platform. It mounts to standard 1913 Picatinny rails either by screws and nuts or quick detached levers. If you like the option of quickly removing and replacing the optic for more versatile use of the rifle, then the QD style will be the better option. If you are more of a set it and forget it, shooter, then I'd recommend going with the screw and nut option. Either way, you are looking at a rock-solid mount. One of the features that I like about this mount is the two sets of top rings that come with it. One option is the standard smooth feature; however, a second option is a set of top rings that have Picatinny rails machined into them. I like this option for competition guns. This gives you the ability to attach a small red dot doctor like the Burris FastFire.
I saw these mounts recently featured on a hunting show. I'm an avid hunter (I work all spring and summer to be ready for fall hunting season). I always look for ways to make my rifles do double duty for a hunt. These rings caught my eye. Not all Picatinny rails are made the same. There are slight variations between manufacturers, and these variations will affect security and your scope's zero. The Iota Outdoors Triad ZL comes with three different sized keys that mount to the bottom of the ring and are sent in 3 different sizes so you can match them perfectly with your mount base.
They are made with precision in mind, so they also have an anti-cant bubble on the rear ring to ensure the mount is level on the rifle. Also, you'll find a small LED light on the back ring that is angled to shine on your scope's turrets. This is where the hunting scenario comes in mind. Imagine night hunting coyotes and pigs, or you are hunting deer in the last few minutes of light inside a blind. Seeing the engraved lines and numbers on your turret will be impossible. If you have to dial your precision scope to the right elevation or windage for proper hold-over in that low light, you will be SOL. With this small LED, a push of a rear button will give you enough light to see your elevation and windage markings without shining your location like a beacon on a foggy shore.
This is a 2-piece set it and forget it design, not meant for quick detach. Another feature that I like is an under angled screw design. The four hex screws that attach top and bottom rings are under-mounted which keeps debris out of the screw head, reducing the chances for corrosion. Every aspect of these rings is engineered for a user who truly puts their gun through its paces. Whether an MSR or bolt rifle, these will be as secure as you can expect and hold true for years.
Bobro manufactures quality scope mounts for a plethora of scope and firearm options. My personal favorite is the Dual Lever Precision Optic Mount. This is a cantilever 1-piece mount meant with MSRs in mind. Their main benefit is their Patented Lever System. These QD levers are designed for an absolute secure fit on any standard 1913 Picatinny rail, with all its manufacturing variations. It is also designed with an Auto Index Capability. Meaning no matter who makes the rail, it'll mount rock solid with a perfect zero every time. The cant allows the use of larger diameter scopes with the forward extension that gives proper eye relief and use of back up iron sights (BUIS). The mounts are machined from a single piece of 6061 T6 aluminum and type 3 hard-coat anodized for solid corrosion resistance. Weighing only 9.5 oz, it is lightweight keeping the balance of your rifle on point.
"Don't cheap out on your optic," is something riflemen say. It is true for the glass but often overlooked for the mount. This is what holds the optic to the rifle and is every bit as important. Find the scope mount that meets your needs and make sure you get it from a quality manufacturer. After all, if your mount is not secure your zero isn't either.
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Prices accurate at time of writing