BEST SCOPE MOUNTS FOR AR-15 RIFLES – THESE WON’T FAIL YOU

Scope mounts for AR-15s are a tricky subject. Everyone has their own opinions and there’s a lot of talk out there about which mounts are actually the best of the best.

Well, we wanted to put those opinions to the test.

In a Hurry? Here is Our Top Pick

Burris-Optics-AR-PEPR-Mount

Burris Optics AR-PEPR Mount

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We tested and reviewed all of the most popular AR-15 scope mounts, from traditional  to cantilever mounts, to find the ones that actually work the best.

ar15 scope

If you’re curious about our results, don’t worry. We’re going to go over our testing criteria and the general requirements that you should be looking for in any scope mount that goes on your AR. 

PRODUCT

DETAILS

Products

Vortex Optics Tactical

Vortex-Optics-Tactical

Vortex Optics Tactical

  • Ring Quantity:Single
  • Weight: 28.8 oz
  • Size: 30mm

Aero Precision Ultralight Mount

Aero-Precision-Ultralight-Mount

Aero Precision Ultralight Mount

  • Ring Width:0.65 in
  • Weight: 3.27oz
  • Size: 30 mm

Burris Optics AR-PEPR Mount

Burris-Optics-AR-PEPR-Mount

Burris Optics AR-PEPR Mount

  • Ring Quantity:Pair
  • Weight:8.7 oz
  • Size: 30mm

Primary Arms AR-15 Basic

Primary-Arms-AR-15-Basic

Primary Arms AR-15 Basic

  • Optic Type:30mm / 1
  • Weight: 6.6 Oz
  • Size: 30mm

UTG Med Pro LE Grade

UTG-Med-Pro

UTG Med Pro LE Grade

  • Ring Quantity:Pair
  • Weight:2.8oz
  • Size: 22mm

Warne Scope Mount

Warne-Scope-Mount

Warne Scope Mount

  • Matrial:Aluminum
  • Weight: 6.7 oz
  • Size: 30mm

Trijicon AC22033 30mm

Trijicon-AC22033

Trijicon AC22033 30mm

  • Ring Screws:8x 
  • Weight: 7.92 oz
  • Size: 30mm

American Defense AD-RECON 30

American-Defense

American Defense AD-RECON 30

  • Finish:T3 Mil-Spec Anodize
  • Weight: 8.4 oz
  • Size: 30mm

Nikon P-Series Ar-15 Mounts

Nikon-P-Series

Nikon P-Series Ar-15 Mounts

  • Material:Aluminum
  • Weight:6.1 oz
  • Size: 2.25mm

CCOP USA 30mm

CCOP-USA

CCOP USA 30mm

  • Finish:Matte Aluminum
  • Weight: 8.8 oz
  • Size: 30mm

Trijicon AccuPoint Quick Release

Trijicon-AccuPoint

Trijicon AccuPoint Quick Release

  • Dimensions : 1 x 1 x 1 
  • Weight: 7.92 oz
  • Size: 30mm

And then, of course, we’re going to show you all the best options that are available and why we put them on this list.

Let’s dive right in.

Scope Mounts Are The Heart Of Rifle Accuracy

No matter how accurate a rifle’s barrel and action are, and no matter how crisp and clear your scope may be, the whole house of cards can come crashing down if your scope mount isn’t up to snuff.

Scope mounts are the critical link between the firearm and its sight system. Any element that is not correct regarding this link will mean an interruption in performance, and the end result is an inaccurate weapon

Almost every time I find a shooter at the range who is having problems zeroing a rifle or getting a decent 1 MOA group at 100 yards, the fault can be traced back to the mounting of the scope, and either mistakes that were made during the mounting process, or a failure with the mount itself.

marine shooting

Today you can buy rings, bases, and one-piece cantilever mounts from piles of very low-grade, cheap manufacturers that produce poorly-machined bases and rings that are paired with very low-grade screws that strip and fail, and will result in a poor mount that causes the scope to lose zero and perform extremely inconsistently

Bad scope mounts can mean poor results when you set up your optics on the AR-15 rifle. While you don’t need to sell the family farm to pay for a new mount, you do need to pay attention to how that rifle will be used and how much accuracy you need out of it.

For a hunting, competition, or defensive rifle, you need the very best AR-15 scope mounts possible.

What To Look For When Choosing the Best AR-15 Scope Mount

There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes time to pick a Best scope mounts for AR-15s. 

Quality Construction

First and foremost, the quality of materials and construction is of paramount importance. These cheap mounts made of pot metal and low quality aluminum alloy will let you down every time.

The devil is in the details here as well. The screws and the machining on the inside of the rings can mess you up if the manufacturer decided to skimp on parts and finishing. 

Going with something that’s made in the USA isn’t a bad idea, but it’s not a guarantee of quality here, nor is a part guaranteed to be crap if it’s made overseas. 

Materials matter here too, as do the finish. A hard coat anodized aluminum is generally preferable. The thing you want to look for here is typically 6061 aluminum in particular as this is one of the best extruded aluminum alloys used for this type of picatinny mount.

ar15 with scope mount

Clamp Diameter

This one may seem kinda obvious, but it’s important to make sure your cantilever mount has a clamping system that matches the diameter of your scope tube. In other words, if you have a scope with a 30mm tube, make sure you have a 30mm mounting system. If you have a 1-inch tube, same deal. Make sure things are the right size.

Mounting Interface

Of course, a great quality scope mount is no good if you can’t actually put the damn thing on your rifle properly (and securely) so you want to make sure that you go with the mount that works for your rifle.

With an AR in particular, picatinny rings don’t always work because the receiver and handguard are two separate pieces. Instead, you typically want to go with a cantilever mount, something like the Vortex Optics Sport Cantilever mount. These one-piece mounts keep all the mounting hardware on the receiver itself, which is of course solid.

vortex cantilever mount

You’ll also want to make sure that whatever mount you go with, it provides the proper eye relief for your particular optic, but that’s mostly a function of where you mount the optic.

Here are some of the best scope mounts for ar15 that can do the job when it comes to setting a scope on a rifle accurately.

1. Vortex 30mm Cantilever Riflescope Mount - Best 30mm Scope Mount

The Vortex 30mm Cantilever Riflescope Mount is the gold standard for value when it comes to AR-15 scope mounts. This mount is very flexible, and is available with either a two or three inch offset to give you more options to get the proper eye relief.

vortex cantilever sport

This mount holds the center of the scope at a height of 1.59” from the base, so it is fairly high profile, and it’s a good height for most optics you’d want on an AR-15. 

The rings and base are machined out of aluminum and the whole thing weighs a scant 6.7oz. It can mount on any Weaver rails or picatinny rail system, which is also great for the AR platform.

It’s also just a really great option for any Vortex optics, so if you’re already running a Vortex Strike Eagle or something along those lines, this is a great option. Just about any of the best ar scopes with a 1” inch or 30mm scope tube out there will work well with this mount though.

Vortex-Optics-Tactical

Vortex 30mm Cantilever

The price of Vortex 30mm Cantilever varies, so check the latest price at

2. Aero Precision Ultralight Mount - Best Lightweight Mount

The Aero Precision Ultralight Mount is a great addition to any AR-15 rifle you want to add a scope to. 

aero precision ultralight

These mounts are extremely lightweight at just 4oz, making this one of the lightest mounts in the industry. It uses a cross-slot keyway to keep the scope secure even under heavy recoil, making this a good AR-10 option as well.

The dual-screw tighten from the side to provide excellent grip to maintain your zero. They’re crafted from 6061-T6 aluminum that is then Type III hardcoated black or FDE depending on your preferences. 

We really like this particular mount for lightweight builds, so if you’re going to try for a light build, this is the option to go with.

Aero-Precision-Ultralight-Mount

Aero Precision Ultralight Mount

The price of Aero Precision Ultralight Mount varies, so check the latest price at

3. Burris Optics AR-PEPR Mount - Best Scope Mount For AR 15

The Burris AR-PEPR Scope Mount is outstanding when it comes to mounting glass on your AR-15.

burris pepr mount

The possible choices in positions are many, leaving the door wide open for any and all individual options to accommodate the eye relief you need and the amount of glass you want hanging over the receiver.

This is a quick-detach mount system, meaning just undo 2 bolts and slide up and you're off the receiver completely. This takes about 15 seconds or less if you have the necessary tools at hand.

The rifle scope adjustment options give you up to 2” of offset along with the cantilever angle that makes for a very usable mount.

In my opinion, the mount rates pretty high. When comparing 3 of them I have used in the past, these AR mounts are as good as many others that cost far more.

To be sure, this scope mount will get the job done, whether you are in the field, are shooting targets, or are engaged in combat.

Burris-Optics-AR-PEPR-Mount

Burris Optics AR

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4. Primary Arms AR-15 Basic Scope Mount - Best Budget Scope Mount

Primary Arms is another much-beloved brand in the optics world, especially when it comes to affordable options that still get the job done. The Primary Arms AR-15 Basic Scope Mount is under $30, but it will absolutely get the job done for budget builds.

primary arms cantilever mount

It mounts easily to any flat-top receiver with 1913 rails, and can fit scopes with 30mm tubes or you can use the included shim to accommodate a scope with a 1” tube as well.

Overall construction is a durable hard-coated matte black aluminum and the included torx screws are high-quality and won’t strip out. This isn’t really a QD mount, but it does attach with just a single bolt so it’s still fairly quick to swap on and off a rifle.

Primary-Arms-AR-15-Basic

Primary Arms AR

The price of Primary Arms AR varies, so check the latest price at

5. UTG Med Pro LE Grade Picatinny QD

We turn now to a mount built by UTG, the 1”/2PC Med Pro LE Grade Picatinny QD rings. This set is a 4-screw unit that is machined from aircraft-grade aluminum, uses Weaver-style mounts with quick-detach levers as lock down systems, and is priced at a novice shooter's level.

utg 1 inch ring

I have used these mounts on projects that didn't require ultra-strong  bases when heavy loads were being tested. In general, I have had good luck with them in that the screws stayed together, the mounting assembly returned good zero results, and it didn’t cost me a pile of money to get the job done.

I bought them in 10 packs at times when test work loads were very heavy. If I felt that the budget rings were going to influence the performance of the rifles, I would have never used them at all.

UTG-Med-Pro

UTG Med Pro LE Grade Picatinny QD

The price of UTG Med Pro LE Grade Picatinny QD varies, so check the latest price at

6. Warne Scope Mount

From my decades of experience with the evaluation and testing of firearms, sights, and ammunition, my "go to" mount about 80% of the time is a Warne Skeletonized 30mm, or similar, mount.

warne scope mounts

Warne is an early designer of the cantilever style scope mounting system. These are great systems for a rail-mounted rifle scope. These fit the receivers of both ARs as well as all chassis rifles.

Built of aircraft-grade aluminum and using Torx style bolts, the bases are solid as a rock. This quality mount will not fail, as some lighter materials have been known to do over time.

I rate this mount 5 out of 5 stars in my own personal rating system here at Ballistics Research & Development™.

Warne-Scope-Mount

Warne Scope Mount

The price of Warne Scope Mount varies, so check the latest price at

7. Trijicon AC22033 30mm Riflescope Quick Release Mount

Trijicon AC22033 30mm Riflescope Quick Release Mount, we are moving deeper into the professional element when it comes to gun equipment. For more than 25 years, this manufacturer has supplied the U.S. military with sights and mounts for their M-4 platform weapons and their 50 cal BMG.

accupoint

Designed as a quick-release one-piece mount, the design is simple but very effective. This scope mount can be depended on to perform in battle conditions, or even target competitions. When used in the field for hunting big game, hunters can depend on this mount. 

Prowling swamps at night for wild pigs or busting backwaters for gators, this unit will do the deed every time.

The lock system features their patented BLAC lever system that requires no manual adjustments to obtain a rock-solid alignment.

In effect, this is one of the best ar15 scope mount available today. If you want quality, go with Trijicon every time. I am always impressed with their sights and mounting equipment.

I have used their products while shooting competitively at long-range events. I have also participated in classic press-designed coyote hunts with the same equipment. Never, and I mean never, have I had any part or unit to fail me in the field. Some of this hunting was difficult in deadly nasty weather, and the Trijicon stuff held up to everything we threw at it.

Trijicon-AC22033

Trijicon AC22033 30mm Riflescope

The price of Trijicon AC22033 30mm Riflescope varies, so check the latest price at

8. American Defense AD-RECON 30 STD Riflescope Optic Mount

American Defense offers a series of AR scope mounts. These are all overhanging units with setups for 1” through 35 mm tube sizes, making this a great option if you have a scope with a larger tube diameter.

American Defense offers a series of AR scope mounts. These are all overhanging units with setups for 1” through 35 mm tube sizes, making this a great option if you have a scope with a larger tube diameter.

The American Defense AD-Recon Riflescope Mount is built for flat-top AR-15/M-16 applications and is flexible in terms of positioning as a stand-alone system, or with other top rail options like a PEQ box or other laser device/illuminator.

ad recon

Machined from 6061 T6 aluminum and anodized coated in black, this is a good-looking and well-built scope mounting option.

The mount makes use of the “Auto-Lock” patent pending lock system. This lock accommodates both mil-spec and non-mil-spec rails.

The outside forward ring to the outside rear ring measures 4.48". The length inside of the forward ring to the rear of the rear ring measures 2.52“.

American-Defense

American Defense AD-RECON 30 STD

The price of American Defense AD-RECON 30 STD varies, so check the latest price at

9. Nikon P-Series Ar-15 Mounts

Nikon, the manufacturer of all types of optical equipment, markets 2 types of rail mount for the AR-15. The first is the two-piece Picatinny rail mount. The second is the one-piece AR-15 mount that uses a cantilever design.

nikon cantilever

Made in a black finish with aluminum, the two-piece mount is all set for your AR-15. 

These mounts are designed for the standard 1” scope tube or 30mm scope tube, and are solid metal mounts, without any external adjustments. This mount is not built to be used on police and military sight systems that have larger tube sizes.

This mount was built for sporting purposes, and will excel in the hands of hunters or competitors.

Nikon-P-Series

Nikon P-Series Ar-15 Mounts

The price of Nikon P-Series Ar-15 Mounts varies, so check the latest price at

10. CCOP USA 30mm Cantilever Scope Mounts

The CCOP USA 30mm Cantilever Scope Mount is another cantilever mount scope system. This mount is a 30mm mount designed for any optic with a 30mm tube.

ccop

This mount is made from hardened 6061 aircraft-grade aluminum and is an enhanced one-piece mount. It provides a 2” forward extension for good eye relief.

The mount has high-quality anodization and a durable matte black finish. It includes Torx screws with a Torx driver included in the package, which is great for an optic at this price point.

All in all, this another great budget option that is CNC machined for a high degree of precision.  

CCOP-USA

CCOP USA Cantilever Scope Mounts

The price of CCOP USA Cantilever Scope Mounts varies, so check the latest price at

11. Trijicon AccuPoint Quick Release Flattop Mount - Best High-End Option

The Trijicon AccuPoint Quick Release Flattop Mount is available in a variety of different sizes and configurations to accommodate just about any scope on the market. The one we tested was a 30mm scope mount, which is perfect for most AR optics, but there are options out there for 1 inch scope tubes as well.

trijicon accupoint

Again, we have a Trijicon product so it is, of course, extremely high quality, but it is also fairly expensive. 

This mount costs more than a lot of AR optics, to be honest, especially red dots, but if you’re looking for the very best of the best, this is the one for you.

Trijicon-AccuPoint

Trijicon AccuPoint Quick Release Flattop Mount

The price of Trijicon AccuPoint Quick Release Flattop Mount varies, so check the latest price at

Final Thoughts

The choice of scope mount can make or break an AR-15 build. The wrong mount can easily make accuracy impossible, while the right mount is truly a thing of beauty, helping you, your rifle, and your scope work together in a beautiful concert.

These scope mounts are all great options, and there should be something here for every AR-15 owner that wants to mount a scope on their rifle. 

Which of these scope mounts do you like the best? Is there one you think we left off the list? Let us know in the comments! Also, be sure to check out our list of the best AR-15 scopes for more.

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