Rifles are incomplete without their scopes. Without a scope, you are entirely dependent on your iron sights. And let us tell you, you do not get the accuracy of an optic from them.
To mount a scope over your rifle securely, you need quality scope rings and bases. If you do not buy proper scope rings, the chances are that the scope will move out of place or move during shooting. This will ruin your precision throughout shots. So we decided to review the best rifle scope rings and bases to help you out.
Whether it is hunting or shooting in a range, you need a reasonable scope. But the scope is only good as the glue that adheres it to the gun or rifle. That glue, in this case, is the scope rings and bases. Depending on the type of mount attached to the gun, you can use different scopes.
The problem is, when you are shooting, a gun produces recoil. Specifically, a rifle, which shoots a higher caliber bullet. It is designed to shoot far, and thus, it requires more gunpowder than usual. Because of that, a rifle shot has more kick to it than a standard gun does. So you would need a good set of scope rings and base that will not lose its zero after every shot.
What to Look for in Quality Rings and Base
When buying scope rings and bases, there are a few things that you might want to consider checking out before buying one. Some of these will depend on your personal preference, but a lot of times, you will have to buy these based on how your rifle is set up.
When it comes to scope rings, the option is to choose between two things. There are two most common types of bases, but there are other options. Lastly, we have QD mounts, and we will talk about them in a moment too.
But there are also some general factors, like durability, compatibility, resilience, and budget.
1. Types of Scope Rings
There are two types of scope rings from which you can choose from. One of these is standard scope rings, and these are in the set of two. The other is one piece in which two rings are integrated into one large piece. These are typically easier to install than scope rings. That is because there are never any alignment issues when it comes to these. Also, these are comparatively newer to the scope rings, and most modern rifles accept them.
Most of the time, when installing a scope, you will be using scope rings in older rifles. This is the older method compared to one piece. But one-piece rings are also pretty standard, specifically in assault rifle scopes. The type of scope rings you buy will depend on the gun’s compatibility with them. Of course, the mounting mechanism plays a massive part in this as well.
2. Picatinny and Weaver Style Rails
Talking about scope bases, rails are the most common base. But even amongst rails, there are the Picatinny and Weaver-style ones. Now, most modern rifles and guns have opted for a Picatinny rail in their designs. That is because most accessories are supported on that system. Meanwhile, The Weaver style is a bit older compared to the Picatinny style railing system.
The advantage of the Picatinny style lies in its design. The design is so that the grooves in the rail are equal, and so is the distance between them. But in the weaver system, the space between the grooves is always uneven. Because of that, most Picatinny-style railing mounts never have alignment issues when mounting a scope on them. But in the weaver style, there can be some issues.
But at times, most scopes and accessories support both these railing systems. However, that will not always be the case, so before buying your scope, do check that out.
3. Other Type of Bases
In other mounts, we have dovetails, integrals, and quick detach. The dovetails are two-piece mounts that are available in various sizes. The most common being the 3/8 dovetails. These are simple, affordable, and pretty much available almost everywhere. It uses a rotating locking base, and mostly bolt-action rifles use these.
The integrals are when the base or mounts and the scope rings are all one piece. Now, these are pretty common too and easy to install, specifically for beginners. If you are planning on using one scope on your rifle, then these are perfect for you. There aren’t any alignment issues in these either, and ARs use them a lot of times.
Lastly, we have the quick detach mounts, which are getting very popular these days. That is because, as the name suggests, this kind of mount separates very quickly. These lock into the place and can easily be unlocked as well and taken off. The reason for their popularity is that these allow changing scopes very quickly. So if you want to use multiple scopes with your guns, these are perfect for you.
Now a scope ring and base have to be durable. Most of these are made from solid metal and are pretty sturdy. Even the cheapest ones are pretty sturdy, to begin with. But if we are talking about rifle scopes, rifles pack quite a punch. ARs can put constant strain on scopes, scope rings, and bases. So sturdiness is part of the description if you want to be an attachment on a rifle.
But being durable is not the only criteria. These also need to be light. So mainly for these applications, metals like aluminum are used, which are light and pretty durable.
Most rifle scopes, rings, and bases are pretty inexpensive. The most expensive ones will still cost you under $100. One-piece scope rings and quick detach mounts are rather costly. Otherwise mostly cost around the $50 budget. So keep that in mind when you are purchasing your scope rings and bases.
Your rifle might not be compatible with some scope rings and bases. You need to ensure that you buy ones that are more compatible with the gun you own. If you own an old rifle, then you will have to choose the mounts and rings accordingly. You cannot just mount a modern base and scope ring on an older gun unless you modify the weapon, of course.
Best Rifle Scope Rings and Bases Reviewed
1. Leupold Dual Dovetail Scope Rings
Leupold is a pretty old brand and is quite popular amongst gun enthusiasts. If you are in the market for quality scopes, Leupold is amongst the top manufacturers. These dual dovetail scope rings are great for mounting over bolt-action rifles.
Rugged and durable, these dovetail scope rings are old school. People are often seen using them over their hunting rifles. People who use these swear by their quality.
Leupold is one of the only brands that makes this old-style dovetails. If you own a hunting rifle and want to mount a scope securely over it, then this is a perfect match for it.
There has been an issue with the Leupold service, though. Their recommended sizes for the dovetails have often been inaccurate, and people haven’t been pretty happy about that. Quality-wise though, these are extremely fine and usable.
- Solid and Rugged Construction
- Best for Old School Rifles
- Simple and Easy to Install
- Simple Construction Is Appealing to Some
- Inaccurate Size Recommendation by Brands
2. Vortex Optics Pro Series Riflescope Rings
Vortex has to be one of the most famous brands in the US for gun optics. They have a wide variety of products related to scopes. Also, you can find products for most budget ranges, from very high-end to low-end. Even though comparatively new compared to Leupold, it is said to be a tough competitor.
The Vortex Optics Pro Series Riflescope Rings are designed to be mounted on both Picatinny and Weaver rail mounts. Vortex makes most of its products from aircraft-grade aluminum, making them light and durable. These scope rings are no exception and are made from 6603 aluminum. So these are light but pretty sturdy.
The Pro Series Riflescope Rings use Torx-style socket cap screws to mount. These are much easier to tighten since you just have to pull them once from the top. There is no unevenness like you find in screws that you tighten from the sides. In this case, you can over-tighten one screw while the other is loose.
- Easy to Mount Because of Torx Style Socket Caps
- Works on Both Picatinny and Weaver Style
- Tad Bit Expensive
3. Warne 1 Inch Quick Detach Rings Low Matte
Thes quick detach rings by Warne are pretty decent. They use 4 Torx style T-15 socket cap screws to securely mount your scope to your rifle. They are similar to Vortex Pro in that aspect, and you get the same benefit as well.
The benefit of quick detach rings is that you get zero again once you attach the scope after disconnecting it. But make sure to place it in the same place as you did before if you want to keep the zero on it.
These are light, sturdy, and pretty easy to install. These fit most scopes with a 22-36mm objective lens. For bigger sizes, you might want to scroll through different models.
One issue with these is that they have pretty sharp edges on them. You might want to file them a bit to smoothen those sharp edges out. Which in our opinion is not a tremendous amount of work, but we would have loved to see it like that from the factory.
- Quick Detach for Fast Swapping Scopes on Your Gun
- Torx Style Screw Caps Allow Easier Installation of Scope
- Get Zero Again Easily After Detaching
- Sturdy Construction
- Sharp Edges in Factory Product Requires Filing
4. Leupold Rifleman Scope Base
This Weaver-type, two-piece scope base by Leupold has a solid construction. The two-piece design allows you to mount your scope at varying distances. We already touched upon Leupold’s resume earlier, so you would know they have quality products.
Though one fair bit of warning would be that you should not mount these on modern rifles, these do not work with current rifle models and should only be used on older models.
Leupold is one of the only manufacturers that still make products for older models of firearms.
- Accessible to Mount Scope Rings
- For Older Rifle Models
- Solid Construction
- Two-Piece Design Allows Adjustability Which Normal Weaver Mounts Don’t
- Does not Fit Newer Rifle Models
5. Nikon Black Precision 1Piece
Nikon makes the best scopes in the market that are also priced pretty reasonably. Their scopes have quality lenses, one thing that you would expect from the leading lens manufacturer in the world. This Nikon Precision 1Piece ring and base gives you the option to mount rifle scopes without hassle.
The dual-integral-ring design gives this much more scope-to-tube contact ratio than standard scope rings do. Which in return allows for the scope to be mounted securely.
It might look big and bulky, but it is not heavy since it is constructed out of aircraft-grade aluminum. And that also means it is pretty sturdy and durable.
- Dual-Integral-Ring Makes Scope Mounting More Secure
- Sturdy Milled out of Aircraft-Grade Aluminum
- Install Scopes Hassle-Free With One-piece Design
- Matte Finish for Reflective Free Surface
- Tad Bit Expensive
We believe that scope rings and bases are a vital part of your rifle. Without them mounting a scope to the gun would not be possible. Having sturdy and good rifle scope rings and bases would ensure that your scope retains zero even after shooting a hundred rounds from your rifle. Of course, your scope also needs to be sturdy. But if the riflescope rings and bases are not of good quality, even if your scope is impressive, you will not shoot accurately.