Best AR-15 Scope Mounts of 2020 – Ultimate Round-up

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The AR-15 is a standard rifle and has been around for almost fifty years.

In all this time, it has gone through a myriad of alterations and configurations, the latest one being a “flat-top” version. This has confused many people on what the best scope mount could be.

In case you need guidance with accuracy, finding and holding zero and generally improving your precision at shooting, we believe this review can help you judge the best mount to suit your needs.

Comparison of the Best AR-15 Scope Mounts

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Best overall made from extruded aluminum
  • Scope ring size of 30 mm
  • MIL-A-Type 3 black hard coat anodize
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  • Runner-up scope mount offering Quick Detach
  • Hard coated with T3 Mil-Spec anodize
  • Features an ingenious cantilever
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  • Best for the money with an ergonomic build
  • Built with aircraft-grade aluminum and coated with an anodized black matte finish
  • 4-screw medium profile “tiger” ring
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  • Best AR-15 carry handle scope mounts
  • A single 8-slot Picatinny rail
  • One inch diameter and 3.3 inches in length
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  • Best AR-15 quick disconnect scope mount
  • Has a mounting surface of 4 inches
  • A backbone connects the vertical rings together
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  • Best AR-15 30mm scope mount
  • Allows about two inches of forward scope positioning
  • Provides a full-ring and base mounting solution
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  • Best AR-15 Weaver Scope Mount
  • Double scope ring mount for Weaver and Picatinny rails
  • Ring is suitable for most scopes in the one inch/25.4mm scope tube
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  • Best AR-15 Picatinny scope mount
  • Comes in different diameter sizes from 30mm to one inch
  • Built with aircraft-grade aluminum and coated with an anodized black matte finish
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Are All AR-15 Scope Mounts the Same? 

Scope mounts are not a “one-size-fits-all” product. Although many mounts on the market have modifiable lengths and other features, there are many other components that need to be considered. 

One of these components is the type of attachments for the mounts that is the rail on your AR-15. Some may have Keymod or M-LOK rails while others are equipped with Picatinny rails. Moreover, there may be differences in the tube length and width as well, depending upon the scope you use.

Mainly, there are two types of mounts: one-piece mounts and scope rings.

One-piece mounts are straightforward and easy to mount and dismount. They are built to suit more modern rifles, although they can be heavy. So, in case you’re trying to trim ounces, stay away from this type.

Scope rings are just two rings that can be attached to the AR-15 and then the scope. They’re more rugged, lighter, and cheaper than one-piece mounts. This type of scope mount is usually used for long-range shooting

Mount height is another thing that differentiates different scope mounts. A short mount that is close to the barrel of the gun but does not touch it is an ideal choice, but this factor depends on the barrel. If it is thick, it may require a higher mount.

How to Choose an AR-15 Scope Mount

Before we enlist the best AR-15 scope mounts on the market for you, let’s go over some factors to suit your needs, that you may need to look into before surveying the market. 

Quality

Often, people splurge on an expensive rifle but cheap out on a quality scope mount. Getting a good quality scope mount is just as important. You need one that is strong, durable, and made by a renowned manufacturer. You can find good quality ones for cheaper too.

One or Two-Piece

As elaborated above, there are two types of scope mounts: single and two-piece ones. One-piece mounts are on the pricier side and more suitable for modern rifles, whereas two-piece mounts are much cheaper and lighter in weight. 

Aero Precision Ultralight 30MM

Fixed or Detachable

Fixed mounts, as the name claims, get fixed to the rifle and cannot be removed without the use of tools. On the other hand, detachable mounts can easily be removed in case the optic fails or if you wish to use another scope, and it can just as easily be attached. 

Mount Height

Scope mounts and rings have various sizes and heights, including ultra-high, high, medium, and low. The shorter the height, the more accurate your shoot as it gets easier to sight in. However, different kinds of scopes require the mounts to have a higher height, such as long-range shooting rifles.

Quick Take | Best AR-15 Scope Mounts

Review of the Best AR-15 Scope Mounts

Now that you have an idea of the features you need to keep in mind, you must be ready to make your purchase. However, the wide variety of mounts offered by dozens of different brands can be intimidating. So which is the one product that was designed for your use? Let’s go over our favorite picks. 

Pros

  • Affordable for every user
  • Holds zero upon detachment from rifle
  • Light in weight and rugged construction
  • Mounting rings are pushed forward 2 inches for better eye relief
  • Made from strong 6061-T6 extruded aluminum and coated in black hard coat anodize, making it strong and durable

Cons

  • Does not offer a QD (quick detach) option
  • Does not come with proper instructions for use
  • When tightening scope rings, the mount can pull the scope to where it is no longer in level with the receiver

What Recent Buyers Report

Users enjoy the ultra-lightweight of the mounts and it's easy attachment and detachment. It has great eye relief and comes with a star wrench tool that can be used with other devices with the same nut size as well. Mostly, users love that it is affordable.

Why it Stands Out to Us  

Lightweight and affordable, the Aero Precision Ultralight is ranked as the best mount we’ve used. It is well-built using strong 6061-T6 extruded aluminum and coated in black hard coat anodize, rendering it sturdy and durable and suitable for use with most AR receivers. It also holds zero after detachment, regardless of how many times you do so. 

Who Will Use This Most  

The Aero Precision Ultralight is perfect for both target shooters and hunters. It is lightweight and comes with a tool to install the base and rings. It can be used with the AR-15 easily and offers better eye relief than other mounts on the market. 

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a lightweight scope mount, this is the lightest you’ll get. At an extremely reasonable price, the Aero Precision Ultralight works seamlessly. It is well crafted, its sturdy build making it tough and long-lasting. For these reasons, it is the best mount overall on our list. 

Pros

  • Does not require any tools for adjustment
  • Lever can be aligned to lock to the rear or front 
  • Offers Quick Detach, holding zero upon detachment
  • Can easily be adjusted with your finger or a flat blade screwdriver
  • Can be used with scopes with Objective Housings as large as 2.2 inches

Cons

  • Tightening the mount can be a problem
  • Setting up the mount can initially be a little perplexing
  • There have been complaints about missing items when the mount is ordered

What Recent Buyers Report

Users are highly pleased with the high-quality, well-built scope mount, especially for the affordable price. It is perfectly curated to allow for variations in scope and rail tolerances and provides rock-solid and repeatable mounting. It can easily be adjusted with your finger or a screwdriver. Users also recommend this mount to others.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We love the American Defense AD-RECON for its strong build and accurate functioning. It provides the right eye relief as the cantilever throws the scope out front. Moreover, it is made for putting high power glass onto a flattop style gun and is built using 6061 T6 aluminum. It is finished in hard coat T3 Mil-Spec anodize, which gives it its robust construction.

Who Will Use This Most

The scope mount is best for you if you’re looking for something that operates smoothly and is robust. It is great for hunting as it provides great eye relief, and it’s easy to use and understand by beginners. So, both professionals and beginners can benefit from it. 

Bottom Line

The American Defense AD-RECON is one of the best scope mounts on the market. If you are seeking something that will last you long and is easily detachable, look no further. It is easy to adjust without any additional tools required and is suitable for beginners, too, as it comes with an easy set of instructions. 

Best for the Money:
UTG 1"/2PCs Med Pro 

Pros

  • Holds zero upon detachment from rifle
  • Robust construction and easy ergonomic build 
  • Lock lever can easily adjust to fit on any Picatinny rail
  • Comes in different sizes to suit different kinds of rifles
  • Offers Quick Detach feature for ease in attaching and removing the mount

Cons

  • Slightly heavier than other mounts
  • Might be loosely attached to the rails
  • Holding zero down requires some technique which can take time to acquire 

What Recent Buyers Report

Users love the mount, especially for the price. It is one of the cheapest and easiest to use on the market. Buyers say they don’t have much to complain about when it comes to the UTG 1"/2PCs Med Pro; it is well-built and strong. Detaching and attaching is easy, especially since it retains back to zero.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The 22mm wide ring is a popular one among users. We find it to be the best scope for the affordable price it comes at and what it offers. It has a positive locking system to allow re-zeroing upon detachment and feature tight tolerance control. It does the job, and there’s not much reason to reject this mount.

Who Will Use This Most

The UTG 1"/2PCs Med Pro is perfect for those on a budget, and it is suitable for 22 mm rifles. If you’ve had issues with your mount cracking or breaking in the past, this is the one for you. Made with aircraft-grade aluminum alloy, the UTG 1"/2PCs Med Pro is strong and durable.

Bottom Line

The UTG 1"/2PCs Med Pro is unbeatable at the price it comes at. A secure grip and strong build make this one of the best mounts on the market. It works seamlessly on any Picatinny rail and offers Quick Detachment for your ease. Do not sleep on this one!

Best AR-15 Carry Handle Scope Mounts:
 Acid Tactical® 1"

Acid Tactical 1' See-Through Picatinny Riser Flat Top Rail Scope Mount - Full Length 14 slot

Pros

  • Stays tight throughout use
  • Easy to install, even for beginners 
  • Has a see-through design, allowing you to use fixed sights
  • Riser is made of aluminum and secures firmly to a weaver or Picatinny rail
  • Features a riser which allows you to alter the height of the riflescope for better sight

Cons

  • Heavier than other scopes on the market 
  • Riser seems to be too wide for certain scopes
  • Some people claim it is made too low and isn’t high enough

What Recent Buyers Report

Users really like this scope mount. It has a good build as it is made from aluminum. They also find that it stays tight throughout use and arrives in very secure packaging. The mount bar is quite strong and durable. Buyers love it for the price and would definitely recommend it to others.                                                                       

Why it Stands Out to Us  

The Acid Tactical one inch scope mount stands out because it has a single Picatinny rail with 14 slots in it. It is a see-through mount, which makes it easy to use for fixed sights. Strong and durable, its construction and design are remarkable and make it one of the best AR-15 carry handle scope mounts.

Who Will Use This Most  

Since it has a one-inch diameter, it is suitable for scopes of similar size. It comes at a low price, making it easy for anyone to buy, including beginners. Plus, the 14 slots in it allow for use with weaver and Picatinny rails.

Bottom Line

Acid Tactical is the best AR-15 carry handle scope mount. If you’re looking for a see-through mount that is strong and will last long, this is your best bet. It is suitable for weaver and Picatinny rails and has easy to install and use ergonomics. You cannot go wrong with this.

Best AR-15 Quick Disconnect Scope Mount:
Larue Tactical LT104

Larue Tactical QD Cantilever Scope Mount - LT104

Pros

  • Has a robust design for optics
  • There is no need to waste time on lapping with it
  • Locking speed levers allow to return to zero smoothly 
  • Rings have high tolerance levels that can withstand strong recoils
  • Cantilever allows its shooter proper eye relief due to its innovative design

Cons

  • Only has one locking lever
  • Rings can loosen over time and recoil 
  • Requires additional tools for mounting adjustment 

What Recent Buyers Report

Users are highly pleased with this product and can’t say enough good things about it. It comes with a full set of instructions as a guide on how to achieve the right tension. The rings mount seamlessly and remain tight throughout use. They are highly tolerant and can survive through strong recoils. They allow the optic to be removed and replaced without the loss of zero.

What Recent Buyers Report  

Larue offers some of the best products on the market, and the Tactical LT104 is just as good. With great construction and design, its quality is remarkable, especially when compared to other mounts on the market. It holds zero upon detachment, which is usually an important feature people look for.

Who Will Use This Most

If you’re willing to invest in a good quality scope mount, the Larue Tactical LT104 is a great choice. It is the best AR-15 quick disconnect scope mount on the market. However, it might not be the best for beginners since some prior knowledge of how mounts are used is needed to install and use this. 

Bottom Line

This is the scope mount to buy, especially if you’re looking for one that is easy to carry around and performs perfectly. Users have found nothing to complain about and love the design and functioning. It holds back to zero and offers quick detachment, making it easy to use.

Best AR-15 30mm Scope Mount:
Burris Optics

Pros

  • Very flexible and holds zero easily
  • Has tactical rings in case you want to mount a tiny red dot on the top
  • Quick detach feature allows riflescope to be added or removed quickly
  • Comes in different diameter sizes which means it can be used on a variety of rifles
  • No chance of slippage since it uses half-inch hex nuts to secure your AR-15 Picatinny rail

Cons

  • Can be a bit off in elevation and windage
  • Heavier than other mounts on the market
  • Some people have faced mount height problems with it and complained it was too low

What Recent Buyers Report

Users have had a fantastic experience with this mount. They love its finish and how it fits perfectly on any scopes used. They appreciate that it can be tightened or loosened with the help of nuts on either side and find it convenient for use in case someone has multiple scopes.

Why it Stands Out to Us  

Although the mount is made in China, there is no reason to doubt its structure and functioning. It offers six screws in each ring for better grip and focus on the scope. It comes in different sizes, suitable for a variety of guns, and is hence termed to be one of the most flexible and versatile scopes on the market.

Who Will Use This Most

This scope mount is ideal for shooters who spend most of their time at the range, rather than on the field since it has a much bulkier weight than most others. It comes at an affordable price and is suitable for shooters and beginners since it is easy to understand and use.

Who Will Use This Most

If you’re looking for a 30 mm scope mount for your AR-15, this is as good as it gets. It is extremely convenient and flexible to use, allowing to be loosened and tightened when needed and has a good grip on the scope. Highly recommended by most of its users, the Burris Optics scope is unbeatable. 

Best AR-15 Weaver Scope Mount:
Modkin Weaver Scope Rings

Modkin 1'' Weaver Scope Rings, Rifle Scope Mount High Profile Scope Mounts for Picatinny/Weaver Rail (1 inch, Set of 2)

Pros

  • Comes at an affordable price
  • Sits very well on many different scopes
  • Fits like a glove; there is no need to sandpaper or lap
  • Fits all the Picatinny and weaver rails of diameter 21mm
  • Each ring has fixed-in tape inside it to prevent sliding, firmly holding its position

Cons

  • Bolt thread may be loose
  • Might need to use Loctite on the screws
  • Some users feel like it sits too high on the scope

What Recent Buyers Report

Users claim this scope mount is extremely well made for its cost. It fits perfectly, without the need to sandpaper or lap. It is easy to install and maintain and holds tight on the scope. One user particularly liked the four screw ring clamps as they made it easier for the mount to hold up.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We love the Modkin Waver Scope Rings’ firm grip on the scope; once it tightens around it, there’s no budging. It fits 21 mm Picatinny and weaver rails and holds zero efficiently, improving your accuracy in the field and at the range remarkably. Therefore we rate it as the best AR-15 Weaver Scope Mount.

Who Will Use This Most

The product comes at an affordable price, making it suitable for all. It fits on 21 mm Picatinny and Weaver rails, so it would be suitable for you to buy it, depending upon the type of rail and size you own. It is perfect for both target shooters and hunters.

Bottom Line

When secured well, the Modkin Weaver Scope Rings stay put. They have built-in tape around the inside of the rings to allow for firm gripping on the scope. Their consistency and secure hold make them one of the most popular weaver scope mounts on the market. 

Best AR-15 Picatinny Scope Mount:
CCOP USA

CCOP USA 30mm Cantilever Scope Mounts

Pros

  • Has a low cost but high profile
  • Versatile and offers many different size options
  • Uses strong aluminum alloy to prevent cracking 
  • Can handle strong recoil due to the rugged build
  • Holds zero as long as you use high-quality screws

Cons

  • Weight is very bulky, restricting its use for some people
  • Loosely attaches to the scope unless high-quality screws are used
  • Screws it comes with may need to be replaced in order to hold zero

What Recent Buyers Report

Users are highly satisfied with their purchase. For the price it comes at, it holds zero very well and stays fixed on the scope. Users find it easy to use and compare it with its expensive alternatives, claiming they’d rather save their money and purchase the CCOP scope mount as it performs almost just as well.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Offering many different size options for different guns, the CCOP scope mount is easily one of the more flexible mounts on the market. It is constructed with a rugged and strong aluminum alloy to handle recoil efficiently. Its low price tag doesn’t mean it is cheaply built; rather, it surpasses expectations when it comes to performance, that too at a reasonable cost.

Who Will Use This Most

The CCOP scope mount is more suited for close-range shooting, especially if you use it with the screws it comes with. Moreover, it is primarily built for Picatinny rails and performs well on those. It is preferable to use it in the range since its heavyweight can be troublesome for use on the field.

Bottom Line

It doesn’t matter what you’re looking for; this scope mount offers a variety of sizes at an extremely affordable price. Its grip is secure on the mount, and it holds zero perfectly well upon recoil. What more could you ask for? We have rated it as the best AR-15 Picatinny Scope Mount for these very reasons. 

What Do I Need to Know Before Buying a Scope Mount?

Regardless of how well your AR-15 works and how brilliant your riflescope is, getting the right scope mount can make all the difference. It is just as important to choose the best scope mount, and we are trying to help you make that decision. So what do you need to know before purchasing a scope mount? Let’s get into the specifics. 

Construction Material

The material used to make the mount contributes to its durability. Usually, aluminum alloys make for a stronger scope mount that is capable of withstanding strong recoils and does not crack easily.

Size and Position

The diameter determines the fit of the mount, and its mount height determines how low or high the mount sits on your rifle. These factors should be taken into consideration to ensure your mount suits you. Try to aim for a mount that sits low on the rifle without touching it, as this would improve your accuracy and allow for better sighting. 

Your Requirements

Of course, this is the most important factor. Before looking into scope mounts, check the specifics of your rifle, the type of railing, the size of mount that would fit, and whether the mount would be compatible with the riflescope you’re using.

How to Mount a Scope on an AR-15

You’ve bought the perfect scope mount. Now what? Well, now you need to know how to mount it. Here’s a brief guide on how your experience could be made a little smoother.

  1. Make sure that the gun is empty and prop it up on a stage.
  2. Get your tools ready, such as hex picks, torque wrenches, bubble levels, the mount, rings, and the scope. 
  3. Grab your mount and place it on the upper receiver. Ensure it is not on the upper receiver and a free-floating rail simultaneously to prevent unwanted stress on the rifle.
  4. Get your torque wrench to tighten the mount. Each mount has a specific torque limit that you need to stay within. 
  5. Grab your riflescope and place it onto the mount. Now enclose the mount with the rings and tighten them in an X pattern to make sure that the gaps are even on both sides. 
  6. Use a hex driver to tighten the rings in place. 
  7. Make sure that there’s enough room for the scope to move around.
  8. Now confirm that the rifle and the scope are level using your bubble level tool. Pay special attention to the reticle as it should be aligned both horizontally and vertically. 
  9. Use the hex driver to tighten the rings properly. Do not overtighten.
  10. You are now ready to use your rifle.

If you need visual instructions on how to mount your scope, check out the following useful video tutorial:

Conclusion

To make the most out of your AR-15 rifle, make sure you invest in the most appropriate and compatible scopes and scope mounts. They can make all the difference in performance. We hope we have described everything you would need to know in this in-depth review article and have eased your shopping experience!

People Also Ask

If this is your first time purchasing a scope mount, there might still be some questions buzzing in your mind before you decide to make your purchase. Fret not, for we shall not leave you in the dark. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions answered. 

How High Should a Scope be Mounted on an AR?

It is recommended to mount your scope as low as possible, without touching the barrel or the rifle. This allows for more precise sighting, which is usually required for long-range shooting. This is also more comfortable for you, providing a cheek rest when aiming. Although, some barrels do require you to mount your scopes high for different reasons. 

Are Weaver and Picatinny Mounts the Same?

Although Picatinny and weaver are quite similar in some aspects, they are different types of railings. They differ in the number of slots, slot dimensions, and slot placement. A weaver rail usually has one or two slots whereas, in Picatinny rails, the slots extend down the length of the rail. This is one of the more prominent differences, but there are other factors involved as well.

Where Should a Scope Sit on a Rifle?

The process is very simple, as described above. The scope mounts are placed at the top of the rifle on the railing, and the scope is then mounted on top. It is important to ensure the mounts are tight, according to the given torque, and the scope is mounted securely. You can check that they are level by using a bubble level.

How Far Should a Scope be From Your Eye?

You need to place the scope at a position comfortable for your eye. Eye relief is an important factor to consider; it is basically the distance that you need to achieve and hold by your shooting eye from the scope eyepiece in order to get the full image being produced by the rifle scope. This can be determined based on the mount you use, after experimenting with different bracing positions and what seems comfortable to you.