The first thing you need to do in order to hit your target is to see it. Iron sights are fine for closer shots, but when your game is further down the range you need a scope to get a better shot.
To attach your scope to your rifle, you will need scope rings. Scope rings allow you to mount a scope or sighting device onto the top of your rifle easily.
They are made to be adjustable and can be easily removed in situations where you would like to fire your hunting rifle without the use of your scope. They come primarily in two different styles.
There are those with two separate rings that you line up along your picatinny rail and those with a one-piece with two separate rings on it.
The rings are fairly simple in their construction and are interchangeable for any rifle that has a picatinny rail along the top.
Scope rings can help with siding issues, as well as make sure that your scope is anchored correctly and that your shot is always on target.
In a Hurry? Here's Our Top Pick!
Vortex Optics Precision Matched Rings
Why is it the best?
5 Best Scope Rings
With that in mind, let’s now take a closer look at our top picks.
Let’s dive into the specifics and review each scope ring individually. You can use the list below to jump and review specific models, or you can read along and go through all the information.
Vortex Optics Precision Matched Rings
The right scope is useless without proper rings. Vortex makes some of the best optics in the world, so it only makes sense that their rings are high-quality as well.
With this set of rings available in a myriad of sizes for 1” to 30mm scopes, you simply have the best mounting system for long-range shooting.
One measure of a scope ring’s worth is how tight the rings can actually clamp down.
Vortex being the perfectionists that they are made the rings compressible down to .0005 of an inch using USA 7075 T6 billet aluminum, with a ceiling of 0.97 inches.
Vortex designed this model with vibratory tumbling technology. So it’s essentially made to be shockproof.
Anyhow, do note that since the possible compression rate is very high, there’s always room for error. While Vortex cannot control how you attach the rings, if they are fastened accurately, they can control the way vibration affects your scope. If that’s the case, it’s not going to mess with your aim or jiggle your scope out of alignment, so it goes without saying that you need to be careful.
Nikon P-Series Riflescope Picatinny Mount
Nikon’s P-series helps you to pull the scope back a bit farther, so you don’t have to lean into the scope quite so much to get a good shot. Overall, the scope will be about 0.75” closer to you, which can make all the difference.
But it’s not just the placement that’s great here. Nikon’s alloy construction makes these rings extremely tough, and partially resistant to corrosion.
I wouldn’t use these in the middle of a rainstorm, though, but they do have enough durability to withstand plenty of wear and tear.
If you feel like messing around, you can actually flip these rings —they’re completely reversible, which makes for a more versatile design.
Depending on the number of contact points you have on your scope, this can really help you out.
Last but not least, once inch diameter allows for most medium-sized scopes, though you might run into issues when 75mm+ large lenses on high magnification scopes.
Monstrum Offset Cantilever Dual Ring Scope Mount
I’ve done scope-mounting plenty of times, and getting them to properly align (without touching) is a chore.
Until you get the hang of it, you’re going to have a bit of a learning curve.
That’s why I like Monstrum’s dual ring scope, which can easily mount to any flat top. The mount includes two large and easily adjustable knobs, so if your scope is misaligned you can quickly find the culprit.
Furthermore, the central ring is perfectly straight up, while the real ring comes back and floats.
That makes all the difference in the world, in my book. If you’re spending 30-45 seconds scouting or lining up shots, that can lead to eye strain over the course of a day.
Having the scope a bit closer provides some good eye relief.
Crafted of 6061 grade aluminum, this piece remains lightweight despite its size, so you’re not throwing off your center of gravity on your gun.
I would just be careful about how big of a scope you use so you aren’t weighing down the back end.
Weaver Tactical Rings Matte
Rifle scopes usually need to float a bit in order to really make use of those optics, but for an ACOG or a short-range magnification scope, this works very well.
The scope is closer to your gun, so you need to make sure there’s nothing that’s going to block your way.
If necessary, fold down your standard sights or remove your iron sight when possible.
Rings that have multiple screw-down points are both good and bad.
For one, you have plenty of areas to adjust your scope and align it properly, but it also means you could run into more problems while setting it up in the first place.
Even so, I’d still rather have a six-hole tactical ring. It gives better control, even if you have to learn how to manage it at first.
There are no specifications available for how tight these rings can get, but after messing around with them for a bit, you’ll see that they definitely have a high pain tolerance.
A good, budget-friendly buy.
Vortex Optics Tactical Riflescope Rings
We’re back at it with Vortex again, solidifying their high-end status. Their lineup of rings helps accommodate their numerous scopes available, and the 30mm rings are perhaps the most versatile of all.
With a wide ring and total height of 0.97”, these medium-height rings connect flawlessly to the Picatinny-style railing of your rifle.
The mounting screws are large enough that you can usually tighten them without a tool.
These are the medium rings, but there are nine other sizes just in this line alone, each offering different heights from your gun and a tight connection to your scope.
Vortex recommends lapping the rings, and after installing these myself, I have to agree.
The process is simple though, which is why Vortex is one of the most versatile brands out there.
Here are five more rings that are definitely worth mentioning:
- Warne Quick Detach Rings, designed to be used on Weaver rails, are a good option for those who want their rings to be quickly detachable.
- Weaver Modkins is another ring made for Weaver-style rails and it has a special design that ensures your scope tube is not damaged during installation. The piece mounts to your rifle as accurately as you’d like. But the downside is that it might not be ideal for heavy-recoil rifles.
- Burris Optics PEPR is a versatile ring which can be mounted to different rifles without any adjustments due to its high degree of tolerance for any changes in rail machining. It also has a 20 MOA angled top plate allowing you more elevation during long-range shooting.
- Leupold Dual Dovetail Rings are not for any rail system; they are simply mounted to the holes on the rifle and won’t come off if forged, which means they are a long-term investment. They also have a low-profile design, which means they don’t have a high compatibility rate. But they are highly durable and rock solid.
- Lastly, UTG 1” Two-Piece Medium Profile LE Grade Combination Base and Rings are a low-price and easy-to-use option, and it might be the best deal for you if you’re a rookie. Unlike the others, they’re not really viable for long-range shooting, but still, it’s a bargain compared to their competitors.
Scope Ring FAQ
WHAT IS THE PROPER TORQUE FOR SCOPE RINGS?
It’s safe to say that 15-18 inch pounds is the golden range of alignment for your rings. That’s the standard amount to go off of. A safe zone, if you will.
But, every brand is built differently. For instance, Nikon scopes are much more different from Seekins scopes.
The average inch pound rating for a Nikon is around 20-25 inch pounds, but Seekins scopes are usually around 50-55 inch pounds.
The torque rating on your ring is very important. Too tight, and the ring might break, while your alignment will surely be off. Too loose, and you’ll hit everything but your target.
HOW DO YOU USE SCOPE RINGS?
Most commonly, they’re attached to the top of your rifle along a picatinny rail system.
This area is used for mounting a wide range of gun attachments, from laser sights, sniper scopes, as well as more traditional sights.
They are easy to install, as they simply attach to the picatinny rail and are screwed in place most often using small clamps along the side.
If you are using two-piece rings that are not attached at the base, it is important to make sure that they are at a good distance to fit your scope of choice.
The benefits of using two-piece rings are that you are able to determine the distance between them, allowing them to be used for a wide range of scopes and sights.
While a dual ring offers a bit less flexibility for the scope that is attached to it, it has a lower chance of becoming misaligned or unscrewed.
DO I NEED TO LAP SCOPE RINGS?
You don’t need to, but it will provide the best possible results. Lapping is when two objects have force and friction between them, to put it plainly.
When you lap your rings, you’re helping with vertical alignment more than anything.
Lapping doesn’t really affect your horizontal alignment much and not every single mount is going to require lapping, though.
If the mount is brand new and there’s no wear and tear, you may be able to skip lapping altogether. Inspect the scope’s alignment first before deciding what to do.
HOW MANY INCHES/POUNDS DO I NEED TO TIGHTEN A SCOPE RING?
Using a torque driver, you should aim for 15 inch pounds, especially if it’s a brand new ring and/or a new rifle.
You should try to avoid 18 inch pounds if you can. This is a bit too much pressure, and the rings could crack or simply stop working.
If you’re still noticing gaps, you may need to consider overlapping them to get the desired effect. This is called farm handing.
HOW FAR BACK SHOULD A SCOPE BE MOUNTED?
As far back as you want is okay. Everyone is different, so some people need the scope further back to comfortably and naturally line up with their eyes.
When you pull your stock back, you don’t want to feel immense pressure on your arm, especially if it starts cutting off circulation after about twenty seconds.
That means you’re leaning too far into the scope. Pull it back to a comfortable position, but be aware of potential kickback. You don’t want the scope to knock you in the eye, either.
Choosing The Right Scope Rings For Your Rifle
When it comes to choosing the right one for your hunting rifle, it is important to take into account what kind of scope you are looking to attach to the rifle.
If you have a wide range of scopes in various sizes and lengths that you are looking to change between various rifles, investing in a pair of independent scope rings may be best for you.
Independently mounted rings allow you a wider range of freedom when it comes to installing your scope along the picatinny rail.
However, if you have one or two scopes of a similar size that you are looking to use for precision shooting, using an attached set of rings may be best for you to provide the additional stability that you are looking for.
As with any purchase for your hunting kit, it is best to do your research to make sure that you are getting the best quality item possible, as well as to find out if that item works well for the specific type of rifle you have in mind.
Making sure that your scope is properly attached to your rifle can help improve your shot accuracy, and a good set of rings can make sure that there is little to no misalignment issues after carrying your rifle into your hunting site of choice.
All in all, a good set of scope rings can ensure that your hunting trip goes off with a bang.
Scope Ring Video
Here is a YouTube video explaining how to determine the proper scope ring height: