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Which scope rings are best?

Whether you are hunting or shooting targets, you probably use a magnification scope to bring objects closer into view. But you can’t simply pop the scope onto the weapon’s rail without something to hold it there.

Unless you are proficient in iron-sights shooting, you will need scope rings to keep the accessory in place. These simple but effective devices are exactly what they sound like: rings through which the scope is secured. The perfect scope ring for a variety of weapons is the Vortex Optics Sport Cantilever Riflescope Mount.

What to know before you buy a scope ring

Compatible with your weapon’s rail

Weapons rarely have the same rail system outside of their class or manufacturer. The rail, the top part of the weapon, is the central point where the hunting scope and rings are affixed. But the rings need to be held in place by an accessory mount. Consider what kind of weapon you have, and look for a mount that is compatible with it. Some mounts available are Weaver, Picatinny, and Dovetail.

Different rings for mounting bases

Once you have the right accessory mount on your weapon, you need to find the right scope rings that go with that. If you don’t, the rings won’t be compatible or won’t be as stable as they need to be. The Weaver, Picatinny, and Dovetail rings are the most commonly used, and some are interchangeable. There is one exception though: never mount different rings onto a Weaver mount if there are multiple screws in the same base plate.

Ring height for comfortable viewing

Having the right mounting for your weapon and the correct base for your rings is only half of the journey. To get the most out of your scopes, you need to consider the height of the rings. The scope rings can’t be adjusted, so it is incredibly important that you test out different ring heights to see which ones are the most comfortable to you. When your weapon is shouldered, you shouldn’t struggle to view through the scope’s eye relief. 

What to look for in a quality scope ring

No movement when the rifle is fired

Since the scope is attached to the rings, it is extremely important that the rings don’t compromise your accuracy. Some hunters or firearms enthusiasts will buy cheap rings, but that will cost you dearly in the long run. Scope rings that don’t hold onto the scope properly can damage the tube or move under recoil. Quality scope rings will grip the sight as tightly as possible.

Compatibility with different mounts

We’ve already mentioned that there are different kinds of ring mounts, and you need to get one that is compatible with your weapon and the mounting base. But that doesn’t mean that you have to stick to one brand. Quality ring scopes will allow you to affix them onto several mounting bases, which increases their usage as they can be swapped out to different weapons.

Locking mechanism

The scope needs to be kept in place at all times, but it should also be easy to remove. There are several locking mechanisms available for scope rings, with the most common being a Torx bolt screw or a quick-release latch. A quality scope ring will be easy to operate and won’t require a lot of tools to swap out the rings on the fly.

How much you can expect to spend on a scope ring

Weapon accessories on the whole are fairly expensive, but that doesn’t mean scope rings have to break the bank. Affordable scope rings can retail for between $50-80, but top-class rings can retail for as much as $200-$300.

Scope ring FAQ

How much weight do scope rings add to the weapon?

A. This will depend on what the scope rings are made of. If they are made from hardened aluminum, they can weigh as little as 5 ounces. Other rings with a bit more heft and length to them can weigh around nine ounces. Overall though, it will be less added weight than the scope itself.

Can you put scope rings on a shotgun?

A. While the use-case for a scope on a shotgun is rather scant, you should be able to mount it if the weapon is compatible. Just keep in mind though that a shotgun has much more recoil than a long rifle, which could damage the rings and scope.

What are the best scope rings to buy?

Top scope ring

Vortex Optics Sport Cantilever Riflescope Mount

Vortex Optics Sport Cantilever Riflescope Mount

What you need to know: These are the perfect scope rings for mounting 1-inch scopes.

What you’ll love: Weighing only 6 ounces, these cantilever mount scope rings have an offset of two inches, moving them forward which allows for the correct eye relief and head placement. They are made from durable aluminum and position the center of the scope tube at 1.5 inches from the base. 

What you should consider: Make sure that you get the correct size, as these scope rings are also available with a 3-inch offset.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top scope ring

Monstrum Slim Series Scope Mount

Monstrum Slim Series Scope Mount

What you need to know: These affordable scope rings perfectly fit 1-inch scope tubes.

What you’ll love: The dual scope rings mount flat onto a Picatinny rail and have 2 inches of forward extension. This allows you to accurately adjust the distance to the eye relief for maximum accuracy and comfort. The scope rings weigh 5 ounces, and there is a 2.5-inch space between the rings. 

What you should consider: The Torx screws can be tough to remove.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Burris Optics P.E.P.R. Riflescope Mount

Burris Optics P.E.P.R. Riflescope Mount

What you need to know: These versatile scope rings are great for different optics and mounting platforms.

What you’ll love: These scope rings from Burris can be moved forward by 2 inches, allowing you to adjust the distance to the eye relief. It includes both smooth and Picatinny ring tops and can be released quickly with the latches. It is available in five different variants, ranging from 1.1-1.3 inches.

What you should consider: Users indicated that care must be taken to not over-tighten the holding screws.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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