There are all types of rifle scope mounts out there. If you’ve been a one-scope person for a while, you may be just discovering this for the first time. Scope mount manufacturers have become pretty good at innovating while not forgetting about the old-school scope consumer.
Some mounts are interchangeable with different platforms, and some are not. Some are so simplistic you’ll be surprised at how effective they are. A lot of scope mounts are really simplistic. Some so much that it’s often difficult to figure out how they both attach to the rifle and hold a scope.
One thing is for sure—there are bound to be a few innovative changes around the corner. Fortunately, we have all the rifle scope mounts listed right here for your enjoyment. Well, at least the ones that matter.
Types of Rifle Scope Mounts
1. Quick detach mounts
These are made for those who have a whole collection of different optics and like the idea of a quick swap. They’re easy to change and are designed to maintain your zero.
Most of them come with a throw lever. If not, you can purchase one separately, and it’s pretty simple to install.
2. Dovetail scope mounts
The Dovetail scope mounts are relatively popular. They’re designed to allow scoper changes by sliding one off and sliding the next one. Simple as that. Dovetail mounts are often built onto the rifle. If not, you can purchase a separate one if it’s your thing.
Dovetail mounts are often used for rimfire rifles, and there are a bunch of different sizes, though the most common dovetail size is 11mm.
3. Integral Mount
Integral Mounts are the new kids on the block. They’re a little bit weird too because they are made to mount directly to the rifle. For instance, an Integral Mount is not designed to mount to a Picatinny, and then hold the scope within its own mount.
That means each integral mount has to be manufactured for specific caliber rifles. That also means you have to be aware of what you are buying because Integral Mounts are the furthest thing from universal you can get. The Integral Mounting system is supposedly the best, hands down, for a hunting rifle setup.
4. Standard Mounts
Otherwise known as STD Mounts, it’s not very easy to find these bad boys anymore. They’re standard, and they’re old-school. However, they work, and they work well. Unfortunately, they’re also kind of a pain to use.
Unless you are going for a classic-looking rifle, they may not be your best choice. Standard Mounts come in four pieces, with the two base plates mounting first. The scope holds the front ring on, which is itself screwed into the front plate. The back ring is attached via tiny screws.
5. Picatinny Mount
By now, everyone should be familiar with the Picatinny scope mounts. It’s easily one of the most popular mount-surfaces out there. In fact, it’s rare to see an AR-15 come off the assembly line today without some sort of Picatinny arrangement on there.
Picatinny is based on the original Weaver design, which we’ll cover next. They’re often interchangeable. In other words, all Weaver scopes will fit a Picatinny mount, but not all Picatinny scopes will fit a Weaver mount.
6. Weaver scope mounts
Weaver mounts are pretty old-school. They were the primary design before Picatinny arrived on the scene and stole their thunder. For the undiscerning eye, Weaver looks like a Picatinny mount, but they’re typically random, in terms of width.
7. Integral scope mounts
Integral mounts are designed so that both the rings and the baseplate are a part of the same mechanism. The only drawback with integral mounts is that the rifle has to be designed to accept them, which you will most often find on bolt-action rifles or what some might call the bolt and lever.
They’re an excellent design, however, and they’re solid once you bolt them down.
8. Offset Mounts
Offset mounts are just pure fun. Most people don’t even put traditional scopes on them, just laser sights, flashlights, or the hundred other various accessories they manufacture for rifles these days. This is especially true with the AR platform.
The beauty of the offset is that you can install one and never have to mess with your iron sights or your rear sight aperture.
There are a ton of scope mounts out there, and if you pick the one you want (it matches your scope and rifle), you’re probably going to be satisfied. That’s because it’s hard to find a scope mount out there that isn’t effective and good at what it does.
The only problem is finding the one that does what you need it to do. Some didn’t make the list you should check out as well, including QR Mounts, Dual Dovetail Mounts, Cantilever Mounts, One-Piece Ring Mounts, and Tip-Off Scope Rings.
Most of that list are mounts that are essentially variations on the listed mounts, but they’re worth checking out if you have a unique scope mount platform you’re looking at.
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