Top 10 Best Scope Rings (2020) : Review & Buyer’s Guide
- Carolina Pina
When I first started rifle shooting, it was the scope rings and bases that confused me the most. I thought buying a rifle would be the most challenging part of kit buying, but I was wrong! I really didn’t know where to begin when choosing this piece of kit! I made a few rookie errors and relied largely on top rated products without thinking about whether or not they suited me and my needs. That’s why I decided to write this guide to the best scope rings.
Since becoming more knowledgable about the best scope rings out there, I have seen lots of other people have similar struggles, particularly industry beginners. There is so much new terminology to learn and get your head around and it can be pretty daunting to figure out what you need!
Without further ado, let me introduce you to this Best Scope Rings Guide and Reviews. I hope that thing guide will help you to make the best decision when choosing new scope rings and mounting basis, whatever your needs are.
What You Will Get Here
- Scope Rings vs. Scope Base – What is the Difference?
- Types of Riflescope Rings and Mounts
- Scope Rings – Buyer’s Guide
- Our Top 6 Product List
- AccuShot Picatinny/Weaver Medium Profile
- Vortex Optics Hunter Riflescope Rings
- Vortex Optics Tactical 30mm Riflescope Rings
- Vortex Optics Precision Matched Riflescope Rings
- Final words
Scope Rings vs. Scope Base – What is the Difference?
The choices you make with regards to scope choices and rifles will determine which scope mounting you have. Your rifle will have a scope base which scope rings normally attach to. There are some rifles which don’t need a base because they have pre-drilled mounts for their own manufactured rings.
There are different types of bases for different scope types. The vast majority of scope bases have lengths of mounting rail. There are different rail types available but you’ll mostly see Dovetail, Weaver, Universal, and Picatinny. Both rings and scope bases are manufactured with different heights.
In general, scopes are best when they are as close to the bore as is possible but a large lens requires a scope height that will not be impeded by the barrel. There are scope bases and rings that are combined together into a single item and this is called a scope mount.
Types of Riflescope Rings and Mounts
Weaver Style Rings
The most common mounting system for a scope is a Weaver-style ring. They have a flat base that is 7/8” wide with crosswise recoil slot cuts. These are great for swapping between guns as the scope can be removed without the mount without major loss of zero. Weaver bases are either one or two pieces and are mostly made from aluminum or steel. The two mounting system parts fit together snugly in order to stop the recoil movement.
Picatinny / 1913 rings
Feature-wise, these are similar to weaver-style mounts. One large difference though is that they are wider at the picketing base slot. These are compatible, however, with weaver bases, in general. Picatinny have standard specifications set by the U.S. Navy.
Leupold Style Bases
If you want something that is trouble-free and reliable, Leupold is the mounting system to choose. Though they are more difficult to detach than Weavers because the top section of the rings needs to be separated for removal, they offer the sturdiness of steel.
In terms of difference, Leupold’s design incorporates press-fit rings. This means that the foremost ring has a rectangular piece of metal that protrudes underneath and slots neatly into place. It is tightened by turning the ring.
Dovetail .22 rings and Bases
Dovetail rings have a wedge cut into the bottom that fits into a groover receiver on the gun. This groove means that there is a secure connection between the scope and the rifle. With Dovetail rings, you can rotate the scope through 90 degrees.
Some guns are drilled and tapped to be able to accommodate Weaver-style bases. You should use the larger bases if your gun can accommodate them as there is a greater area that your rings can attach to.
Scope Rings – Buyer’s Guide
There are lots of things to consider when it comes to choosing the best scope rings for your needs. Here are some factors you need to consider before buying:
You need to consider how adjustable your scope rings are. The design of your scope mount should allow for your scope ring to be adjusted so that you can truly customize your fit.
When choosing the best scope ring, you need one for your specific needs. If you are intending to use a scope ring on a single rifle then having a fixed scope mount would be a wise decision as it will be easy to secure. On the other hand, having a detachable mount would be a good choice if you want to swap firearms.
You need to mount the scope as low as possible while avoiding touching the rifle barrel. This is because your adjustments (and shots, therefore) will be much more accurate. You must measure scope height accurately to get an insight into the lens since the height of your scope and rings will be determined by the size of the objective lens.
In general, low mounts are used with objective lenses of 40 mm or less, medium mounts are used with lenses of between 42 and 45 mm and high mounts are used with lenses bigger than 50mm.
4. Split type
There are two split types of scope rings: vertical and horizontal. The horizontal ones install easily while the vertical ones are made in a way that each half is connected to the other half at the scope’s base. This makes it more durable but also more difficult to install.
5. Scope Tube Size
Most scopes come as 30 mm or 1-inch options. You need to make sure you have the right scope rings for your scope as if they are too small, they may crush or dent your scope tube. If they’re too big, they won’t hold your scope correctly and your shots won’t be accurate.
6. Profile and See Through
It is vital that your scope does not come into contact with the lens or the rifle. Scope rings are available in many profiles (heights). A large 50 mm objective lens scope will require scope rings that put space between the rifle and the scope bells. With smaller diameters, a low-profile scope ring will give you more accurate and consistent shots.
For those using high-power magnification scopes that could happen upon game or deer at close range, a see-through feature is a great option.
7. No of pieces
Most scope rings come as two mountable rings for a single base or a two-piece individual set. A two-piece set is slightly more flexible in terms of ring placement while a single piece is slightly more durable. It mostly comes down to personal preference.
A versatile scope ring is one that can be swapped quickly between guns without you having to re-zero it.
9. Material & Durability
There are more scope rings manufactured from steel than aluminum because steel rings can be molded or machined. Steel rings are also more durable in case the rifle is dropped too. Aluminum rings are formed from a single piece of metal, which means that the rings are pretty much identical. Aluminum rings are more lightweight too.
10. Mounting Specifications
If you want to detach your rings quickly like you would on a modern-style rifle, rings should be mounted on a Weaver or Picatinny rail.
The way in which a scope mounts is just as important as the scope itself since you need to be able to secure it accurately for precise shooting.
11. QD system
QD stands for Quick Detachable systems. It means that you can attach or detach your scope really easily, allowing for a modular rifle experience. Pretty much all modern rifles are already equipped with a Quick Detachable system. Sometimes there is a drilled base, other times there is a groove.
Our Top 6 Product List
When it came to choosing our Top Pick, we looked at each product as a whole and the AccuShot Picatinny/Weaver Medium Profile came number one. We loved how easy these scope rings were to install – they have easy-to-use hex screws and retention features as well as a fill-length lock plate. Not only were they easy to fit, but they really felt secure. These can be used with all Weaver and Picatinny rails and are a two-piece instalment.
In terms of specifications, these are manufactured from aircraft-grade aluminum and are anodized with a black matte finish. The ring diameter is 1 inch and the ring width is 21 mm. The scopes outer diameter is 53 mm and there are 4 screws per ring.
We liked how these looked and felt, especially since these were the cheapest rings in our list. They are excellent value for money. What’s more, the online ratings are reviews are overwhelmingly positive. At the time of writing, these scope rings had almost 1500 reviews and an average rating of 4.4 out of 5, which is excellent. It’s clear that many others out there are buying this product and are happy with it as we are.
For those of you who are beginners or who perhaps want to try out a medium mount for the first time, you can’t go wrong with these scope rings. They are well-constructed, looked great and are great value for money.
This was an easy product to put in our number one slot. The online reviews backed up everything we thought ourselves when we tried this product: the rings are well made, easy to install and low in cost. This is a really versatile product that lots of rifle owners would benefit from.
If you’re looking for something suitable to general hunting setups, the Vortex Optex Hunter Riflescope Rings are a good choice. They can mount to either a Weaver or Picatinny-type rail and have 2 screw hunter rings, which we found super easy to fit and install. They come as a pair and are manufactured using aircraft-grade aluminum making them light but also strong.
In terms of height, these rings make the center of the scope tube 31 mm or 1.22 inches higher than the base.
We installed these rings on a Picatinny rail base and it was a great fit with just over ¼” between the top of the barrel and the bottom of the scope. We loved how easy the QD design allowed for simple installation and removal. What’s more, these rings come with Torx hardware which makes it really easy to tighten them – much easier than other ones we tried with hex and slotted head hardware. You get a 90-degree Torx tool in the package, which is great!
When comparing to other scope rings in this Best Scope Rings guide, this set had the second-highest number of reviews on Amazon, meaning that it is a popular product. There were almost 1000 reviews at the time of writing and the average rating was 4.5, which is actually higher than our number one pick. What bumped this down the list, however, is simply the fact that this product was more expensive than our number one, although it is still the second cheapest product in our list.
These rings worked really well for us and many online reviewers think the same. We tried these with three different rifles of different makes without any complications or issues. They are simple but they do what they are supposed to do. If you’re wanting scope rings for a basic hunting rifle, these are a great buy. Vortex is a great brand too and will often help you out if you break a product. These rings come highly recommended.
If you are searching for a tactical ring for your rifle to mount your red-dot optics or magnifiers, opt for this 6-screw ring with a diameter of 30mm. This will hold any other 30mm rifle accessories that you might want to mount. It will fit your scopes comfortably at any height, just make sure you do the lapping properly and fit it while mounting a scope.
This well-made tactical ring had its six screws torqued down and machined accurately. Vortex has done a good job in building a rock-solid ring within a low price point.
The positions at which this ring puts the riflescope’s center from base is 37mm (1.46").
Todays, riflescope market is littered with a wide range of low-quality rings because the manufacturers are only ensuring high-end features and durability for their expensive models. As a result, the average users suffer greatly when their riflescope rings break in the middle of shooting.
Vortex Optics hit the right spot by ensuring quality at every price point while offering user friendly warranty policy. We hope this one will not fail you with its performance.
What is great about this product is that, as their title suggests, they are precision matched. This means that they are kept as a pair through the whole manufacturing process. This means they are perfect as a pair and we certainly confirmed that in our testing. They are manufactured using certified billet aluminum with a tolerance that is extremely tight (0.0005 inches) using a mill that is Computer Numeric Controlled. There is a long process to making these rings and they are finished off with a Type III hard-coat anodized. We couldn’t fault these rings at all. Their precision was second to none and you could tell that you were buying an excellent product that was well designed and manufactured to perfection.
These rings are positioned on the center of the riflescope tube at 19.3 mm (0.76 inches) from the base. They are mountable on any Weaver or Picatinny-style rail. They come as a set of two and have a hex wrench included in the package. In terms of torque, the base clamp screws are 45 to 50-inch pounds while the ring screws are 15 to 18-inch pounds. We found them really simple to install.
We love this product and it comes out well in online reviews and ratings. At the time of writing it had 448 reviews and an average rating of 4.7, which is the highest rating in our list. The reason this takes our 3rd spot, however, is purely because it is a high-range product that is expensive, which doesn’t appeal to most rifle owners who look for a lower-priced product.
If you want a high-quality set of scope rings and money is no object, this would be the one to go for. You simply cannot beat these rings for their precision. Obviously, these scope rings are not going to be accessible for a lot of rifle users due to their cost, however, those who can afford them will not be disappointed at all. We loved these and wish they weren’t as expensive so that more people could appreciate them!
These Warne rings were really solid and fit very well. We loved how strong they were and how durable they seemed. To attach them securely, they use a Torx socket clamp and have a square recoil key that ensures there is a maximum bearing surface. We found that the hold was really secure and didn’t slip with recoil. Unlike the scope rings in this guide so far, these are manufactured from stainless steel, which makes them really durable and robust but slightly heavier than our first three products.
These fit Warne bases (as they are Warne rings) but also fit Weaver cross slot bases and mil-spec Picatinny-style rails and bases.
In terms of reviews, this was the joint highest rated product with a rating of 4.7 out of 5 coming from 437 reviews at the time of writing. This wasn’t placed any higher in our top product list owing to the fact that is is the second most expensive product and it has fewer reviews.
All in all, this is a great set of scope rings from a decent brand. The stainless steel is nice in that you know it is durable and won’t break. The alignment key is great too. Online reviewers certainly agreed with our findings however, since this was the 2nd highest priced product, we felt it was better placed in our 3rd slot. If money isn’t limited, it’s a really good product.
What we loved about these scope rings was how user-friendly they were. Even beginners will find using these pretty straight forward. They have a Quick Detachment feature and are fully adjustable, meaning that they can fit on any Picatinny and Weaver rails.
This is a 4-screw “tiger” ring that is a medium profile ring. They are made from an aircraft-grade aluminum alloy and are, therefore, strong and light. They are anodized and have a black matte finish that looks great. What’s more, on the internal surface of the rings, they have a protective tape that is made from high-quality synthetic material.
In terms of reviews, these rings have the 2nd highest average rating in the list with 4.6 out of 5. They do, however, just have the fewest number of reviews at 403 at the time of writing. As well as online reviews, though. These rings have been well received by law enforcement personnel and field experts who work in extreme conditions.
For something that is robust and easy to use, you can’t go wrong with these scope rings. They are good value for money, have good reviews and easy installation and adjustment features. Whether you’re a beginner or just wanting to be able to use these between different rifles, these scope rings are great, especially if you don’t mind a marginally heavier set of scope rings.
When mounting optics to firearms, people often overlook the importance of scope rings. Finding the best scope rings is vital for consistent and accurate shooting as well as for a secure scope mount.
When choosing scope rings, you need to look at the ring height profile, the mounting system that they work with as well as the diameter of the scope tube. You might also want to consider whether you want detachable rings or fixed ones.
We hope this detailed guide and reviews have helped you to decide which scope rings to buy. If you do decide to choose ones on this list, you should certainly have a positive experience. If you’re struggling to decide, our Top Pick is the all-round number one choice that is great for most people.
1. What Torque Should Scope Rings Be?
Each brand of scope will be manufactured differently. Torque is really important as if it’s too loose, you won’t be firing accurate shots and if it’s too tight the ring will break.
The ideal range is between 15 and 18 inch-pounds. This is pretty standard to be safe but each brand will have its own specifications. For example, Nilon scopes are usually around 20 to 25 inch-pounds while Seekins are around 50 to 55 inch-pounds.
2. How Are Scope Rings Used?
You attach scope rings on upside of the rifle on the Picatinny rail. This space is used to mount lots of attachments including traditional sights, laser sights and sniper scopes. Fitting scope rings is quite simple as they will fix to the rail and will be screwed into place often with side clamps.
If two separate scope rings are being used, you need to ensure you fit them at the correct distance. There are benefits to having separated scope rings – you can choose how far apart they are and can, therefore, use them for different sights and scopes. A dual ring, on the other hand, is less likely to become unscrewed or misaligned.
3. Do I Have to Lap My Scope Rings?
It is not a necessity to get lap scope rings but they do give the best results. When scope rings are lapped, it means you will be helping with the vertical alignment – there is very little effect on horizontal alignment. With brand new mounts, you probably won’t even need to do this. It’s a good idea to see what the alignment is like before making the decision to lap the scope rings.
4. How Many Inches/Pounds Do I Need to Tighten a Scope Ring?
If you’re using a new rifle or ring, aim for around 15 inch-pounds. Avoid going above 18-inch points as it might crack your rings. If you notice gaps appearing, you might need to try overlapping them. This is called farm handing.
5. at What Distance Should I Mount My Scope?
This is up to you. Some people will feel more comfortable with the scope being further back and others will want it further forward. It’s important not to feel too much pressure on the arm when pulling the stock back. Also, be wary of kickback – a scope knocking into your eye is no fun!