What is an AR-15 Scope mount?

The AR-15 is a great rifle for its modular capabilities. Virtually any attachment is accessible to the AR-15 when it comes to stocks, grips, and optics. When it comes to scope mounts for the AR15, there are a few you might want to take a look at.

A scope mount is a device found on many firearms, especially those requiring the use of a scope for long distance shooting. Depending on the size of the scope, whether it is recommended or not, will require a scope mount that is sufficient enough in its design to mount it on to the gun. There are a series of different scope mounts people can use, that either make detachment easier, or the mounting more convenient. AR-15s are equipped with picatinny mounting rails.

Many of the AR-15s most fundamental attachments are designed around the picatinny rail system. And while there are some optics out there that have integrated mounting systems on them, there are many that don’t. These typically end up being scopes that are much larger in comparison to the regular red dots and flip sights. 

When it comes to the effectiveness of an integrated mounting system there is some debate. That is because these attachments may be suited well enough for the picatinny system and really require a better system for mounting to provide the same effect. Scope mounts are made to connect the scope to the picatinny rails on the AR-15.

The scope mounts provide the connection to the picatinny rails without damaging or harming the scope which is often made of sensitive, and expensive materials. Not only does the scope mount help the scope remain securely fastened, it is also pivotal to have one that is to the right dimensions of your scope. 

Why buy a scope mount?

Scope mounts are often bought and sold along with scopes. This has been a common way of buying scope mounts, yet also a method that is not necessarily cost effective. Scope mounts bought separately can actually heavily impact the overall pricing of your build. It is much more cost effective to buy a scope mount separately from the scope, or even the AR-15 you are planning to buy, as these are factored into the prices when you go for the final check out.

Scope mounts come in different shapes, sizes and levels of quality. When you buy a scope mount separately you put yourself in control of the level of quality of your scope mount, ensuring that your mounted scope will remain securely fastened. Or say you have a particular scope in mind, but the scope mount for the scope you have is not correct. You can definitely go get a better scope mount, that mounts differently, yet perfectly for the scope you want. 

What are some of the best Scope mounts for an AR-15?

Nikon P-Series Riflescope Mount
Nikon P-Series Riflescope Picatinny Mount for 1 Inch Tube

1. Nikon P-Series Riflescope Mount

The Nikon P-Series Riflescope mount is the best overall. This takes affordability and reliability and mixes them into one of the best commercially available AR-15 scope mounts. It is a picatinny mount set, with two rings not actually connected to each other, making this great for a multitude of different scopes. However, its low profile build may not be suitable for all scopes. If this is able to fit with your AR-15 and scope set up, then it will definitely be the best bang for your buck on this list. 

Product Description:

  • Allows Proper Height, Eye Relief and Forward Position for AR-15 Charging handle Access on Virtually Any Rifle
  • Strong-Yet-Lightweight Alloy Construction
  • For One Inch Tube Diameter Riflescopes, Fits flattop picatinny rails
  • Reversible 2-Piece Mount Provides Extreme Mounting Flexibility
  • Made in the United States of America

Monstrum Offset Cantilever Scope Mount
Monstrum Offset Cantilever Dual Ring Scope Mount | 1 inch Diameter

2. Monstrum Offset Cantilever Scope Mount — Best Value

This is an affordable scope mount option perfect for most scopes o the AR-15. It is a two piece design that is able to slide, and securely fasten itself to the picatinny rail of the AR-15. Furthermore, it has 2 inches of extension for better eye relief and efficiency while shooting. Be careful though,  or else the screws could be stripped with prolonged use if the screws fastening the rings are too tight. While this is an affordable option, its cosmetic features, the finish, has been known to strip with prolonged use. 

Product Description:

  • Dual ring scope mount for mounting standard 1 inch tube rifle scopes
  • Mounts to any flat top Picatinny rail equipped rifle
  • 2 inches of forward extension allows extra flexibility for optimum eye relief and shooting position
  • Lightweight 6061 grade aluminum construction
  • All Monstrum Tactical optics mounts come with a lifetime guarantee

Vortex Optics Sport Riflescope Mounts

3. Vortex Optics Sport Riflescope Mounts

Vortex is absolutely known for its amazing scopes. Many vortex scopes have been purchased specifically for the AR-15. However, while Vortex typically makes a cost effective scope with good quality, you may end up coming out of a Vortex scope having spent a little more than you wanted. On top of that it does not have any adjustments for forward extension. It has a great finish that is durable, and has a set of rings for different sizes. While it is a little more expensive, you likely won’t need another scope mount for your AR-15. 

Product Description:

Base Clamp Screws20 in/lbs
Ring Screws18 in/lbs
  • Center Scope Height: 1.59 inches (40.39 mm)
  • Weight: 6.7 oz
  • Mount Compatibility: Picatinny
Ade Advanced Optics PS001C Rifle Scope Mount
Ade Advanced Optics PS001C 30mm Offset Cantilever One Piece Rifle Scope Mount

4. Ade Advanced Optics PS001C Rifle Scope Mount

This is a great scope mount for most situations. It has a great mix of affordability, quality, and performance. The great thing about the Ade scope mounts is that they are under a lifetime warranty, and the have the ability of clamping down on your scopes with a lot of force. You shouldn’t need to tighten this thing after it is set in, without even needing to use lock tight or any other thread tightening solution. It has an aerodynamic design to boot. The only caveat to this is that you will likely need your own tools to maximize its clamping power. 

Product Description:

  • This is a 30mm one piece riflescope rings. Mounting rings are pushed forward 2″ for better eye relief.
  • ADE Cantilever Mount was designed by the experienced merchandise experts and ADE is able to get it from OEM manufacturer to sell at a fraction of cost compare to other brands where purchase this same mount and resale for a lot higher
  • Our 3-bolt clamping systems with over 6,500 lbs of clamping force hold your scope firmly to the rail. Relief cuts designed into the scope tube bearing surfaces prevent scope pinching and ensure clamping forces are evenly distributed along the top and bottom of the scope body.
  • The Mount has no protruding levers, bolts, or knobs to rap your knuckles, or get caught on clothing, gear, and surroundings
  • Height” 1.5″. Weight 6oz. Screw Torque – 15 in-lbs. We are so confident in these mounts they are covered under our excellent Lifetime Warranty.

5. Aero Precision Ultralight Scope Mount

Aero Precision is known for its quality and affordability. Many of our favorite AR-15s have Aero parts on them.  While not on the same level as some of the others on this list for optics, it is still a great and affordable brand. This one is a lightweight, durable scope mount made of polymer. It is a higher profile than the Vortex scope mount. It is a little more expensive though for what you are getting, especially when its overall quality is in question. However, it is a viable option if you are looking to lighten your AR-15 build even more. 

Product Description:

  • Mounting rings are pushed forward 2″ for better eye relief
  • Designed for mil-spec upper receivers with 1913 Picatinny rail
  • 6061 T6 extruded aluminum construction
  • MIL-A-Type 3 black hard-coat anodize
  • Ridged and lightweight; Made in the USA

Leupold Mark Scope Mount

6. Leupold Mark Scope Mount

Leupolds are generally known as a bit more expensive option for whatever optics they have. While that is the case, its affordability is the only downfall of this scope mount. The Leupold is verified American made for the picatinny rail design. It has a durable construction utilizing only 4 parts with screws for clamping down on the mount and the scope itself. It will likely not need to be maintained for a long time before it gets loose. However, there are very few instances of these loosening even with prolonged use. 

Product Description:

Base CantNo
Ring Diameter1 inch
Ring Height (in)1.4
Weight (oz)5.8
Length (in)5.43
Rear Offset (in).68
Ring Depth (in).65
Length Within Rings (in)3.46
Keeper Length (in)3.68
Front Offset (in)1.75
Ring Width (in)1.59
Ring Height (in)1.4

Division G4 M556 Scope Mount
Division G4 M556 Series, 30mm SPR Cantilever Scope Mount

7. Division G4 M556 Scope Mount

This is an extremely affordable option for your scope set up that has a 2” extension design. It is an alright option for those who do not want to spend all kinds of money on a more expensive version. There is no warranty on this one so if it breaks, you will have to buy a new one. While the clamps work very well, the extension design quality is not up to par with others on this list. You need a torque wrench in order to tighten this mount effectively as well. You might want to get a better one, but this is still a semi viable option for your AR-15 build if you are on a budget. 

About This Product:

  • Fits 30mm Scope Tubes – Mounts on any flat top Picatinny rail
  • Super-Tough Mil-Spec Type-3 Non-Reflective Hardcoat Anodized Black Finish
  • Cantilever style pushes rings forward 2” for improved eye relief
  • Precision-machined from 6061-T6 Aluminum For Extreme Rigidity
  • Includes Torx wrench that fits all screws on the mount

American Defense AD-RECON Riflescope Optic Mount — Premium Choice
American Defense AD-RECON 30 STD Riflescope Optic Mount, Black

8. American Defense AD-RECON Riflescope Optic Mount — Premium Choice

This is a very expensive option, but worth noting if you really want to maximize the performance of your scope mount. American Defense really went to town on this tool free design, meaning it is suitable for many different tools. It has a lifetime warranty, backed by a great company.

Despite its ability to be tightened with many different tools, it still works very well and displays a lot of clamping force. It has a robust design for the picatinny mount, and will likely never need to be readjusted, provided the initial attachment was done properly. It also has a 2” forward extension and you can configure the locking lever on both the front and the back of the system. 

Product Description:

  • Does not require proprietary tools for adjustment
  • Can be adjusted with your finger or a flat blade screwdriver
  • Lever can be configured to lock to the front or the rear
  • Superior clamping surface to insure maximum rail engagement
  • The AD-Recon works with scopes with Objective Housings as large as 2.2 inch

Also Read: What is better than an AR-15?

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