Best Scope Rings & Mounts [Hands-On]: All Budgets

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Today I’m going to show you the best scope rings.

In fact:

I’ve hand-tested over 10 scope rings alone for this review.

The best part?

I’ve sorted the scope rings by use. So whether you’re on a budget or need the best AR scope mounts, you’ll find it here.

Let’s dive in!

The 4 Best Scope Rings

If you’re pressed on time, here’s a quick list of the best scope rings:

  1. Aero Precision: Best Scope Mount for AR-15
  2. Vortex Optics Pro Series Riflescope Rings: Best 30mm Scope Rings
  3. Leupold Rifleman: Best for the Money
  4. Talley Lightweight: Best 1 Inch

1. Aero Precision: Best Scope Mount for AR-15

The Aero Precision is the best scope mount you can get for the AR-15.

It’s not only great for high-end optics, but it’s also the lightest mount on the market.

But that’s not all. Here’s why I have the Aero Precision mounted on my AR-15 to this day…


Durability

The Aero Precision mount’s lean design does not define its strength.

In fact, a bulky mount doesn’t always mean a sturdy build.

It’s constructed of extruded aluminum with a hard-coat, black matte finish.

Plus, the edges are rounded and smoothed that compliments its design.

Which makes it a lean, mean mounting machine.


Eye Relief

The eye relief will mostly depend on your specifications when mounting it to your AR-15 scope.

But this mount also works for a variety of different heights and length for your eyes.

In fact, the only issue with the eye relief was with the installation of the mount itself.

When trying to adjust for eye relief, the included mount rings were not securely holding my scope in place.

Which means you should probably switch the rings out for something more reliable.

I highly recommend these 30mm LaRue rings to hold your scope in place while adjusting it for eye relief on this mount.

Larue Tactical Optic Mount Scope Rings 30mm, 34mm,35mm & 1 Inch
  • Convert Your Optic Scope Mount To Different Sizes
  • For LaRue Tactical Vertical Split Optic Scope Mounts
  • Sizes: 30mm, 34mm, 35mm & 1 Inch

Installation

Now here’s the tricky part.

When it came to installing the scope mount, there were some issues.

Due to the integral ring’s pinch bolt style, this can cause the scope to rotate as you use a Torx tool to screw it on.

Which means the reticle can become unleveled. So torquing the mount became trial and error.

But one solution is to use a stack of gauge blocks to get a snug grip between the bottom of the scope and the mount.

And then torque the rings to keep the mount in place for a level scope.

If one thing could be improved on this mount, it would definitely be the installation.

But it’s up to everyone’s individual specifications to decide how tricky it is to properly install this mount.

So keep it in mind, but the other great qualities of this mount remain unmatched.

Who’s the Aero Precision for?

The Aero Precision scope mount is a great option if you’re looking for a lightweight and sturdy mount for your scope.

Aero Precision Ultralight 30mm Scope Mount, Standard, Anodized Black
  • 6061 T6 extruded aluminum construction
  • MIL-A-Type 3 black hard-coat anodize
  • Ridged and lightweight

Plus, it’s a high-quality mount that’s also affordable for most budgets.

So whether you’re into hunting or target shooting at the range, the Aero Precision is a versatile mount any AR-15 scope.


2. Vortex Optics Pro Series Riflescope Rings: Best 30mm Scope Rings

I’m a big fan of using rings to mount my scopes, especially on tactical rifles.

They’re time-tested, rugged, and ultra-reliable.

When you first start using them, they take some getting used to.

If you can put your first pair of rings onto your rifle the first time perfectly, I applaud you.

After you get the hang of it though, you’ll never go back to one piece mounts again.

Vortex is one of the best gun accessory makers in the business.

They offer incredible quality, precision, and durability for a comparatively low price.

Plus their warranty is unbeatable.

So when they came out with their Pro Series Rings, I had to give them a shot.

Their extra high 30mm rifle rings are now my hands down favorite type of mount.

In my opinion, they’re basically one of the best AR scope mounts you’ll find.

Keep reading and I’ll tell you why you need to give the Vortex Optics Pro 30mm Rings a shot.


Durability

Vortex is a company known for putting out high quality and insanely durable products.

Their Pro Series rings are no exception to that claim.

Made from T6 aluminum, these things are solid.

They’re thick and attach securely to your rail or rifle with 4 T-25 Torx screws per ring.

Once these rings are on, they stay on.

They’re not going to get bent, or twisted, or knocked out of place no matter what you do to them.

It’s their job to stay put and keep your zero and that is exactly what they do.

In addition, they’re coated with an anodized finish that offers a ton of weather protection.

The best part is that even though each ring is made of a solid chunk of nearly indestructible metal, they’re still super lightweight.

That means you won’t have to worry about compensating for the weight of them like I’ve had to with some one-piece mounts.

I put these on my scout rifle and after over 500 rounds, my zero is still in place.

I’ve marched this setup through the brush, up and down hills, across streams, and climbed trees with it.

They’ve been banged against rocks, scraped through weeds and bushes, and submerged in water.

The rings have never budged so much as a centimeter.

I’m by no means gentle on my equipment and I couldn’t put a dent in them.

To me, that speaks for itself.


Eye Relief

Vortex offers low, medium, high, and extra-high rings to fit any standard 30mm scope.

That means depending on your scope and rifle, you can customize your eye relief for the perfect fit.

My advice is to generally get a bit higher than you think you’re going to need.

It’s a lot easier to lift your eye up a bit than it is to mash your cheek onto your rifle to see through your optic.

Plus, if you pick rings that are too short for your scope, you might have to mount them farther back, compromising your eye relief.

If you haven’t picked out a scope for your scout rifle yet, check out these muzzleloader scopes.


Installation

If you’ve never mounted a scope before, check out this page for mounting basics.

Although rings require a little more precision to mount than one-piece mounts do, they’re still fairly easy.

This is a great video from Vortex Optics showing you how to tighten their rings.

One of the best things about these rings is that they have the torque specifications engraved directly onto the rings.

So even if you take them off and switch them to another rifle, you’ll always know exactly how tight to tighten them.

They’ll easily attach to any Picatinny rail or Weaver mount you have as well.

Thanks to the torque specifications and everything that you need to mount the rings included, it took me less than 20 minutes to get them on and tightened.

They’re extremely user-friendly, and you shouldn’t be intimidated.

If you have any issues make sure to take advantage of Vortex’s great customer service.


Who’s the Vortex Optics Pro Series Riflescope Rings For?

If you’re looking for unbeatable quality and durability, then these are the ring mounts for you.

They’re perfect for long-range rifles, scout rifles, and thanks to their incredible durability they even work on air rifles.

If you’re in the market for a new air rifle scope, check out these scopes.

Plus, because they come in so many different heights, they’re perfect for larger scopes.

These rings are also an excellent choice for rifles with high recoil because they just don’t budge.

To review:

  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Anodized finish
  • Made in the USA
  • Made from T6 aluminum
  • Torque setting engraved on rings
  • Comes in a variety of models to fit your needs

Plus they’re covered by Vortex’s Lifetime VIP warranty.

No matter what happens to your rings, who you give them to, or when it happens, Vortex has you covered.

They’ll replace or repair them free of charge.

It doesn’t matter if it’s been a week or eighty years, when they say lifetime, they mean it.

If you haven’t made the switch to ring mounts for your rifles yet, I urge you to take a look at the Vortex Optics Pro Series yourself.

Vortex Optics Pro Series Riflescope Rings
2,393 Reviews
Vortex Optics Pro Series Riflescope Rings
  • The finishing touch to your rifle and optic combination. Pro Series rings combine rock-solid reliability and strength with high quality machining to ensure ultimate accuracy and consistency.
  • Streamlined, lightweight and durable, these rings use four T-25 Torx-style socket cap screws for secure mounting.
  • Fits Weaver and Picatinny Rails.

Trust me, you’ll thank me later.


3. Leupold Rifleman: Best for the Money

Every shooter knows that Leupold is a reputable brand that manufactures products with excellent workmanship.

This household name is well known to design high-quality yet affordable scopes, including a line of mounts called “rifleman rings.” For less than $25, the scope rings have more than 3,000 reviews all over the internet.

The good news: You don’t need to read through thousands, just this one.

Interested? Let’s dive in…


Durability

The Leupold Rifleman rings are sturdy and reliable.

The workmanship is excellent, the fit clean, the pieces arrived without marks or scratches.

Take note:

The rings are not made of steel.

Although they’re precision-machined from aircraft-grade aluminum for strength and lighter weight, it can still create challenges.

Read the directions before mounting. Do not overtighten the scope rings on the optic. If they loosen up, use a thread-locker to prevent the scope from moving when in use.


Design and Fit

The Leupold Rifleman rings are designed for a 1-inch tube scope, and the base will fit any Weaver/Picatinny rail.

Don’t forget:

Proper ring height is needed for clearance of the scope objective from the barrel.

The Rifleman rings come in different heights. I recommend high rings for 50mm objective lenses, medium rings for 40mm, and low rings for 32mm or less.

Once fitted into my AR-15 rifle’s grooves, the mounting screws disappeared, providing the maximum unobstructed viewing area beneath the scope.

Speaking of mounting…


Installation and Eye Relief

Proper installation is crucial.

The box comes with a hex key, set screws, and a straightforward guide.

In fact:

I have a Leupold VX-6HD LPVO mounted on my Benelli semi-auto .300 win mag using the Rifleman Rings.

It took me less than 10 minutes to set up.

The Rifleman Rings also allow any optic to be mounted forward far enough for proper eye relief.

The scope held zero after 250 rounds and never budged.


Final Verdict: Who’s the Leupold Rifleman Rings for?

Are they the best in the market? Most likely not.

But do they work? Absolutely!

You can spend $100 on Leupold’s better rings, but for $20, I’d say the Rifleman Rings are pretty decent.

Here’s why…

  • Holds zero
  • Budget-friendly
  • Quick Installation
  • Reliable construction

Plus, the rings come with Leupold’s lifetime warranty. You can get them replaced if they arrive at your door with defects.

All in all, Leupold Rifleman Scope Rings are trustworthy and quality scope mounts that won’t disappoint or break your bank.

If you’re on the search for the best AR scope mounts, check out my latest review!


4. Talley Lightweight: Best 1 Inch

Do you hunt dangerous game in unforgiving territory? Do you need a scope mounting system that can take a serious beating and hold zero?

If you want a bombproof mounting system, you should seriously consider the Talley Lightweight mounting system.


Durability

If you’ve been around firearms for a while, you’ll notice that the most tried and true way to mount a scope to a rifle is a two-piece mounting system. A set of rings that wrap around the scope. Then those rings attach to a base that is screwed into the rifle’s receiver.

The base and rings are separate pieces. Sometimes that joint where the base and rings come together can be a weak spot.

The joint can be shaken loose with recoil. Or I can damage that connection when I knock my scope scrambling up a rocky hillside searching for a better shot or cover.

Talley has eliminated that weak spot.

Their rings are machined directly to their base meaning this system screws right into my receiver. There’s no joint between the bottom ring and the attached base because it is all one solid piece of 7000 alloy.

This gives me more rigidity and greater stability than any other mounting system out there. My scope will hold zero only as well as its mountings. If the mountings shake loose with recoil, then I’ll have to resight my rifle.

Not so with a Talley Lightweight.

Because this mounting system is perfectly machined as a single piece, I can beat the ever-living-daylights out of my rifle and scope and those mounts will hold steady.

Even better, the rings are coated with Cerakote and will be resistant to scuffs, scrapes, and rust. This system will not only hold your scope steady–but it will look good doing it.

The Talley Lightweight is easily the best AR scope mounts you can find.

But, if mounting without a rail isn’t your thing, then these other mounting options might be more useful to you.


Eye Relief

While Talley recommends that the rings are best mounted directionally–I found that by turning them around I can better adjust the distance between my eye and my eyepiece to get the best eye relief distance for my optic.


Installation

The Talley Lightweight rings will install a little different than you may be used to. It doesn’t matter if you have a weaver or a picatinny mount on your rifle–you won’t be using it.

If you have a rail you will need to remove it.

These rings mount directly into your receiver. If you don’t have any holes to accept the mounting, you’ll need to have your receiver professionally drilled and tapped.

After I got my gun back from my gunsmith, screwing in the bottom portion of the mounting system–the base, if you will–was simple.

I didn’t want these screws to loosen over time, so I locked them down with Locktite Blue 242. I didn’t need much.

Loctite Heavy Duty Threadlocker, 0.2 oz, Blue 242, Single
  • Advanced formula prevents loosening of metal fasteners caused by vibrations
  • Protective design protects threads from rusting and corroding
  • Medium-strength allows nuts and bolts to be removed with hand tools

Once I attached the bases, I could set in my scope then the top rings. I used a level set to keep everything lined up

and a torque wrench to make sure I didn’t over tighten.

Sale
Wheeler Manual Firearms Accurizing Torque Wrench with Inch/Pounds Measurement, Bits and Storage Case for Scope Mounting, Gunsmithing and Maintenance
  • ACCURACY: +/- 2 inch/pounds up to 40 inch/pounds; 40 – 65 is +/- 5%
  • EASE OF USE: Apply, repeatable, accurate torque settings to scope rings, guard screws, windage screws and base screws, which aids in accuracy and decreases the opportunity for problems in the field
  • RELIABLE: Torque adjustment range from 10 inch/pounds to 65 inch/pounds

Please note that while the alloy that these rings are made from is fantastically sturdy–you will strip the screws if you tighten them as much as you can. Do not over-tighten the screws! You’ll want to torque them between 17in/lbs to 20 in/lbs.


Who’s the Talley Lightweight for?

The Talley Lightweight rifle scope rings are for anyone who wants an extra-durable mounting setup. Don’t let their light 4 oz weight fool you. These rings are built tough and can withstand any abuse you can give them.

To recap Talley Lightweight’s top features:

  • Easy to install
  • Cerakote finish
  • Single piece system
  • Weigh in at only 4 oz

If you like these mounts, but still need a scope--check these durable optics out.


Now It’s Your Turn

I hope you enjoyed my best scope rings guide.

Now I want to turn it over to you:

Which scope ring will you pick for your firearm?

Let me know by leaving a quick comment down below.

1 thought on “Best Scope Rings & Mounts [Hands-On]: All Budgets”

  1. Great site Richard thank you!
    I have a Nikon P-223 that is mounted with the Nikon rings and it’s to forward for me. Could I use the Aero Precision scope mount with my P-223 3-9-40 on my newer 582 mini 556 Ranch?

    Reply

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