Types of Scope Mounts
Scopes add to the accuracy and precision of your rifle by magnifying the target and giving you a wider view of the field of view. They are especially valuable in hunting and long-range shooting.
The different types of scope mounts available for securing a scope on your rifle are discussed in detail in this article.
Types of Scope Mounts
1. Weaver Scope Mounts
Most scopes are built in a way to fit the Weaver-style scope mount because it is the most common of all the scope mounts. Their base is made of either aluminum or steel which makes them durable.
In addition, the base may be made up of one piece which is used to mount smaller scopes or multiple pieces to accommodate bigger scopes. Nonetheless, these bases attach perfectly to the rifle.
The bases have crosswise recoil slots of about 180” in width and they easily accept a variety of weaver style scope rings. This ensures ease of fitting the scope mount onto the base without having to dismount the scope from the mount.
The versatility of the weaver scope mount is commendable because you can use the same scope on different rifles as long as the rifle has a compatible base.
2. Leupold Scope Mounts
The Leupold scope mounts come in either a single-piece or a two-piece steel base depending on the size of the scope being mounted on them. They are strong and durable and are therefore preferred by hunters and sportspersons who practice long-range shooting.
Some shops may refer to them as the Burris or Redfield scope mounts so it is important to keep that in mind. Note that unlike the weaver style mount which can be removed together with the scope and mounted on a different rifle, the Leupold-style mount rings are not easily detachable for mounting on another rifle.
To remove the scope from this mount, you will need to separate the top half of the rings from the bottom half using a special scope ring tool or a screwdriver, but never by hand alone like the weaver style assembly.
The main advantage of this scope mount is that it secures the scope tightly in place without the fear that the rings might unscrew during shooting action.
3. Picatinny Scope Mount
The Picatinny scope mount (sometimes referred to as the Picatinny rail) is a military-style mount and one of the most effective. It has a wide and thick highly durable one-piece base with standardized spacing between the various slots.
The slots are also wider and deeper than the weaver-style mount, offering more stability for your scope. Additionally, it features an ejection port relief at the bottom of the base.
The surface area that is available to mount the rings is a big advantage and many shooters prefer using the Picatinny rail for that. For instance, one is able to move the scope from one slot to another and adjust it with ease.
Besides, one can use the 20MOA with this mount in long-range sport shooting and they are perfectly compatible.
4. Dovetail Scope Mount
This scope mount derives its name from its shape which resembles a dovetail. It has a unique oblong-shaped slot on the base with bevels inside. The mounting system is such that the base and the rings are separate but compatible.
The scope rings feature a connector that is supposed to be turned at a right angle with a scoping tool, for it to align with the rifle’s barrel and position the scope adequately. This enables this scope mount to hold on to the mount without the risk of unraveling.
One can use different sizes of the dovetail rings on one base to mount varied sizes of scopes on it without having to change the sturdy base. Therein lies the main advantage of this scope mount.
5. Tip-Off Scope Mount
These scope mounts have no special base that is specifically built for them, unlike the previously discussed mounts. They attach to the grooves that are built into a rifle. For this reason, the mounts come in a variety of sizes to accommodate different rifle slots.
While the attachment to the rifle is easy and does not require any special tool, these scope mounts may not be ideal for attaching the more advanced scoping systems and other rifle accessories. The scope mount system can only, therefore, be used in the medium-range shooting.
6. Integral Mount
While most scopes previously discussed use the rings on a scope mount to attach to the rifle, the integral mount system is built-in, as part of the scope.
In essence, it means that instead of using mounting rings, the scope can be directly attached to the rifle rail on its own. The main advantage of here is, therefore, that there are not many parts to attach and this makes it easy to fix and carry around.
7. Offset Mount
The offset is an innovative mount system that resolves the issue of having the scope base extend back beyond the receiver. This is because the closeness exposes the user to a possibility of injury due to recoil especially when using an older rifle.
The offset mount base is directly connected to the receiver and the scope rings are located in front of the mount position. The setup ensures that the scope is mounted away from your eye even on older rifles such as the AR-15.
Read More: The Best AR15 Scopes
It comes as either one or two pieces with a front and rear ring. Each ring is fitted with its offset mount to allow for distance from the receiver.
8. 20 MOA Scope Mount
This 20 Minute Of Angle scope mount is specifically suitable for shooting at a very long-range distance. This is because the mount allows for angle adjustments that are required when one needs to increase the precision of the rifle.
The angle adjustments counter the bullet projection drop which may be negligible in mid-range shots but is quite significant in long-range shooting. This scope mount is also compatible with the Picatinny rails.
9. Quick Detach Mount
It is also called the Quick-Release mount because it features a push-button detachment system on the base. When the button is pushed, the front and rear rings open up allowing you to remove the scope and store it away or change it.
This is especially convenient when traveling and when one is in need of a fast scope change, for instance in target shooting. The downside to this, however, is that it may not be compatible with many scopes.
10. Scope Ring
Scope rings allow for fast installation or mounting onto the base with screws. The rings surround the scope and secure it in place. They come in different sizes and their compatibility with various bases differ. It is therefore important to make sure you purchase rings meant for the base of the mount.
In conclusion, when choosing a scope mount for your scope you should consider the type of attachment it requires and the type of scope you are mounting.
For instance, most scopes are compatible with the weaver style mount but may not be compatible with the quick detach mount.
Some scope mounts such as the Leupold require special tools to fix them while some, like the off-set mount help in mounting scope systems on older rifles such as the AR-15.