The 5 Best AR-15 Scope Mounts
For long-range shots, a good scope is vital. But if you do not have the right AR-15 scope mount, you cannot make accurate or precise shots no matter how good the scope.
The best scope mount for an AR-15 is the Vortex Optics Sports Cantilever mount. It is a quality-made mount that will give you the accuracy and precision needed for your scope.
If you are looking for a scope for your rifle, you might be interested in reading about the Top 10 Best Rifle Scopes – Reviews & Buyer's Guide that will give you advice on scopes to put on your mount.
Buying Guide For AR-15 Scope Mounts
While you don't want to overspend on scope mounts, you also don't want a cheap mount to put your expensive scope on. Even the best optic and rifle combination will fail with cheap rings and mounts.
When looking for the proper scope mount, it should provide the following:
- Must align with the bore of the rifle.
- Mounts need to maintain perfect alignment while absorbing recoil forces.
- The mounting system must place the optic at the correct height for the body of the scope and the larger objective lens.
- Mounts need to position the scope longitudinally so correct eye relief is maintained.
- Mounting systems must be machined with tolerances tight enough to ensure no uneven pressure is applied to the scope body as the mount tightens into position.
When purchasing a scope mount, choose one of quality materials. Inexpensive mounts will be made from pot metal and low-quality aluminum alloy.
A hard coat anodized aluminum is the preferred material. It should be 6061 aluminum in particular, as this is one of the best-extruded aluminum alloys for scope mounts.
It is best to mount your scope as low as possible to your AR rifle without touching the barrel. This helps in keeping your adjustments accurate.
The size of your scope's objective lens will determine your ring height. A thicker barrel may require a higher mount, but some companies produce optics with a nearly flat bottom objective lens, and this will allow you to mount a larger objective lens lower.
Quick Attach/Detach Mounts
You might want a quick-mount if you are swapping optics in the field. This design allows easy removal and reinstallation of your optic, usually by using a throw lever.
The benefit of a quality quick-detach system is that they will maintain zero through removal and to remount if you put them back in the same rail position.
Correct Eye Relief
The correct distance from your eye to the scope is "eye relief." If your eye is too close or too far from the lens, you will get a distorted picture. This usually comes in the form of shadow rings in your field of vision.
A quality scope mount will give you the correct eye relief necessary when you shoulder your rifle.
Product Review For AR-15 Scope Mounts
Here are the 5 best AR-15 Scope Mounts for 2021
Perfect for flat top AR-15 rifles
Aero Precision Ultralight
Designed for AR type upper receivers
34mm size with 20 MOA of built-in cant
Patented QD auto-lock
Dual 0.5 in tactical nut attachment
The Vortex Optics Sport Cantilever AR-15 scope mount allows you to equip and properly use a rifle scope on your flat top rifle. The Vortex ring mounts feature a two or three-inch offset orientation, which gives you the ability to install your telescopic sight in a forward location.
With its offset position, you can maintain the correct head placement and eye relief when looking through the rifle scope. This is almost impossible to do with an AR-15 that has a straight mount.
The Vortex Cantilever scope ring mount is a one-piece construction that includes the riflescope mount and two integrated rings with a 30mm diameter. This mount is capable of accepting a wide range of scopes.
Built out of rugged aluminum, this Vortex offset mount is lightweight and will not impede the accuracy of your AR-15. A limited lifetime warranty backs the Vortex Optics Sport.
The Vortex Optics Sport features:
- Perfect for flat top AR-15 rifles
- 2" offset for correct eye relief and head placement
- Positions the center of the riflescope tube at 1.59 inches high
- Only 6.7 ounces
Check out this video from Vortex that will show you how to select the right amount: VortexLIVE: how to Select Riflescope Rings and Mounts
The Aero Ultralight Scope mount is a rigid, lightweight design that complements many high-end optic platforms. This scope mount will fit AR-type upper receivers.
Built with Mil-Spec 1913 Picatinny rails, the Aero features a cross-slot keyway that offers excellent recoil protection.
This Aero Precision is exceptionally light. It has a mounting weight of 3.07 ounces, which is over half the weight of comparable models.
The unit comes from strong 6061-T6 extruded aluminum and coated in a Mil-A-Type 3 Class 2 black hard coat anodize. The Ultralight uses vertical-style rings versus horizontal with the mounting screws being on the side rather than on the top.
The Aero Precision offers a good height for typical rifle scopes with 42mm or 50mm objective lenses, placing the centerline of the scope about 1.5" above the rail surface on the upper receiver.
Aero Precision Ultralight features:
- 6061 T6 extruded aluminum construction
- Designed for AR type upper receivers
- Cantilever - ideal for 30mm red dot sights
- A rear ring pushed forward 1" results in better eye relief
- Mil-A-Type 3, Class 2, hard black coat anodize
The Burris Optics PEPR Scope Mount will make a difference in your accuracy and efficiency when shooting your AR-style rifle.
The Proper Eye Position Ready (PEPR) provides 2" of forwarding scope positioning room. This allows you to obtain proper eye relief and maintain your shooting position.
When purchasing the Burris Optics, you can choose between the permanent attachment style or the handy quick detach option. The quick detach will allow you to remove and replace your optic quickly.
The Burris Optic AR-15 scope mount includes both smooth and Picatinny ring tops.
The Burris Optics Features:
- Allows up to 2 inches of forwarding scope positioning
- Includes both smooth and Picatinny ring tops
- 34mm size with 20 MOA of built-in cant
- Quick-detach models are available in 1 inch and 30mm sizes
- Provides optimum eye relief and an entire field of view
This American Defense AR-15 scope mount will fit onto your flat-top AR15 perfectly. Made from anodized 6061-T6 aluminum, this scope mount will deliver durability and corrosion resistance.
You will be able to adjust the mount with your fingernail or a flat blade screwdriver. The patented QD Auto Lock titanium lever system has the advantage of not requiring special tools for adjustment.
This lever can be configured to lock to the front or the rear, and the superior clamping surface ensures maximum rail engagement.
The American Defense features:
- Patented QD auto-lock
- Precision machined 6061 T6 aluminum
- Hard coat anodized
- Fully adjustable to fit both in spec and out the spec of the rail system
- Finished in type 3 Mil-Spec anodize for a lasting finish
This Gen II edition offers a lightweight AR-15 scope mounting solution for your MRS-style firearm and with the durability that Warne offers. The Extended Skeletonized is CNC precision machined from 6061 aluminum.
The reduced weight of the mount utilizes a skeletonized body and ring caps. This helps provide 2 inches of forwarding cantilever and a one-piece side clamp design for additional strength.
The extra cantilever provides proper eye relief when using scopes with large eye boxes. You can get this mount in a Dark Earth color, Military green, red, or zombie green.
The Warne Extended Skeletonized features:
- #8 Torx style fasteners with steel threaded inserts to prevent stripping
- Additional 1 Inch cantilever forward design for eye relief
- Dual 0.5 in tactical nut attachment
- Lightweight, skeletonized aluminum body
As stated before, you could have the best scope in the world and be a fantastic marksman, but if the scope mount is not a quality piece of equipment, the scope and expertise will not mean much.
There are many AR-15 scopes mounts out there, and we have listed the best 5 AR-15 scope mounts, in our opinion. One of these five is sure to fit your AR-15 rifle and give you the best accuracy possible.
What does “lapping the scope rings” mean?
A gunsmith will lap scope rings by landing down the rings on the inside to make them even. This gives the best surface to surface between the rings and the scope. This process should only be done by a gunsmith, as it could ruin the rings if done incorrectly.
Should I put Loctite on my scope mounts?
As a rule, you should not use Loctite on your scope mounts. If you use Loctite it can make it difficult to take the screw out later if you have a reason to remove them. Instead of using Loctite, it is best to use a torque wrench that measures in pounds per inch.
If you feel that you really want to use Loctite, use BLUE Loctite. It is strong enough to keep things snug, but can be broken by hand. Do not use RED Loctite as that will require heat to be applied to the screws for them to be loosened.
Do I need a bubble level to attach a scope mount?
Ideally, you should use two miniature bubble levels when attaching a scope mount to your AR-15. This way, you can check both the alignment of the scope and rifle simultaneously to confirm a match.