AR-15 Scope Mounts – Fundamentals

Upgrades are absolutely essential to any AR-15. If you have purchased one recently, then the next logical step would be to add AR-15 accessories to your rifle to enhance its performance and precision. Buying a great rifle scope that is well suited for your specific requirements is the first step in that direction. The job does not end there as every scope needs a perfect scope mount. With an assortment of mounts available in the market, it is essential to choose wisely as improper scope mounting will only lead to diminished performance regardless of how reliable your rifle and scope is.

A scope mount is one of the most important components of your rifle as it ensures that your scope is secure regardless of the treatment it is subjected to. The AR-15 scope mount you purchase should hence be compatible with your AR-15 and its scope. While the installation can be done by anyone, if not confident, it is better to acquire requisite help from a professional to ensure it is done right.

Choosing a scope mount can be tricky and there are few fundamental points that need to be kept in mind before purchasing one for your AR-15.

  • Single or multiple weapons: If the mount is intended to be used on a single weapon, a fixed mount would be an ideal choice. A fixed mount will ensure that your scope is steady and firm. This will also ensure that all the components of the scope are secure.
  • Fixed Mounts: There are 2 major choices, the Dovetail Scope mount and the Universal Scope Mount.
    • The Dovetail has a system of rings and a base with a wedge at the bottom half of each ring. This pops into the base and allows for a 90O scope turn. Though the original model is quite bulky, especially for an AR-15, the Dual Dovetail model with a perfect stand up to recoil works well with AR-15s.
    • The Universal Scope mount, as the name suggests, can be used for a variety of weapons but lacks the strength and robustness of he Dovetail.
  • Detachable Mounts: Detachable mounts are ideal for multi-weapons use and come in 3 different varieties.
    • The Weaver Style Scope Mount is the most preferred among the lot. This model provides flexibility for the user to detach the scope without removing the mount. Hence, while the scope can be detached to clean or store or attach to another weapon, the mount remains in place to accommodate other scopes.
    • The Picatinny Style Scope Mount is in line with the Weaver style except for its wider base slots. While Weaver rings are compatible with the Picatinny base, vice versa is not true.
    • The Clamp-on Mounts are simple to add and detach and can be used on any gun, including those that have been pre-drilled for scope mounts.
  • Mount Elevation: The elevation of the scope mount should be such that it does not obstruct the view of the target at any point. Most AR-15s have A2 front sights, so the mount should be at an elevation that allows for perfect view beyond the sights.
  • Scope rings and Front Sights: The mount should be flexible with enough slots to accommodate scope ring adjustments. Few mounts are built to accommodate the front sight by way of peep sights.

High priced scopes have impeccable quality and call for equally good scope mounts. For enhanced performance, it is always good to match the quality of the scope and the mount.