There are a lot of up-and-down arguments regarding the supposed ‘perfect’ scope mount for a rifle. The war of the one- or two-piece scope mount has been waged online forums.
However, the choice is not that simple for most, especially those new to mounting optics. So, what’s best for you? Well, there are a few considerations for both styles of mounts…..
One Piece Scope Mounts
One Piece scope mounts tend to offer a few advantages, especially when scoping a AR 15. In fact, these mounts can add height to get the scope into a proper and comfortable position on the AR.
And can push the optic forward over the hand guard for longer scopes to acquire proper eye relief. With a one-piece mount, the scope rings are automatically aligned.
A one-piece mount is typically stronger and more rigid but is also heavier. For someone building a lightweight weapon, this may be an issue.
However, if weight isn’t an issue, or you are building a rifle in a powerful caliber like 338 Lapua and using a heavy scope, a one-piece mount will work much better.
The one-piece scope mounts offer more support and, like the AR, allow longer scopes to be pushed forward.
A few disadvantages include the mount’s ability to create chamber clearance issues with bolt action rifles. This can make it difficult to clear misfeeds and malfunctions and make it difficult to load single rounds.
One major factor to be aware of is the alignment of the holes drilled to mount an optic. If these holes are misaligned, you can create undue stress on the rifle’s receiver and cause vertical stringing on targets.
That being said, one-piece mounts are better for tactical rifles like the AR 15 and bolt action rifles designed as bench shooting weapons.
With a one-piece scope mount, you are spending a little extra money, but you have the ability to get a bit more out of your scope.
Two Piece Scope Rings
Two-piece scope rings have their own place in the rifle world, and while they are not as fancy or tactical as one-piece mounts, two-piece mounts offer numerous advantages. Two-piece scope rings are much lighter, perfect for a carbine or light rifle.
Two-piece scope rings also allow clearance to access the chamber of a bolt action rifle, making them better for hunters (and their hunting scopes) who may need quick access to the chamber or mag well.
Two-piece scope mounts are easy to align, but they still require alignment. However, two pieces scope rings do allow a lower mounting of optic on bolt actions and lever actions.
Scope rings tend to be much more affordable than one-piece mounts and are more commonly available. In addition, scope rings are typically interchangeable between rifles.
For example, the rings used on your bolt action hunting rifle can swap over to your plinker Mini 14 easily, but a one-piece scope mount may not interchange so easily.
Two-piece scope rings are much better for hunting. They are lighter, allow easy access to the chamber, and are a bit more affordable.
Last but not least, you need to consider the height of your rifle scope when choosing rings. Of course, the size of the objective lens determines your scope’s ring height the most, but rifle scopes come in all shapes and sizes.
A little homework is required for this step, but don’t worry. It won’t take you long. A scope ring manufacturer typically offers three heights: low, medium, and tall (or high).
It is important to confirm that the objective lens of your scope will be able to sit on top of the receiver without touching the barreled action since these aren’t exact measurements.
Look at the product page and measure the exact height of the rings from the top of your receiver to determine whether the rings will fit your rifle scope.
It may seem obvious to use tall rings for all your scopes, but that’s not a good idea. It is important to mount the scope as close to the receiver as possible in order to take full advantage of the scope’s elevation adjustment range.
Your cheek weld is an exception to this rule. High-scope rings are necessary if your cheekbones are low, or you cannot get low enough on the rifle stock for you to view the scope comfortably.
Note From The Author:
Because of the larger surface area making contact with the receiver, single-piece mounts are generally considered more suitable for precision applications.
Most hunters prefer two-piece rings because they provide more contact but add more weight. Your search for rings will probably lead you to the word “tactical.” Tactical can refer to a product or manufacturer designed for law enforcement or military use.
The term “tactical” is often associated with products with a more robust design since our armed forces, and law enforcement agencies tend to place more emphasis on precision than weight savings.
Scope mounts are fickle creatures, and they do require a certain amount of thought to be put into what choice you’re making.
Like rifles, scope mounts are different and designed to do different jobs. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, and the best thing to do is identify what your rifle will be used for.