There is 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 across forums the internet wide. However the choice is not that simple for most, especially those new to mounting optics. 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 an AR 15. In fact these mounts can add height to get the scope into 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 fact the mount can create chamber clearance issues with bolt action rifles. This can make it difficult to clear misfeeds and malfunctions as well as 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 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 the 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. 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.
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.
Scope mounts are fickle creatures, and they do require a certain amount of thought 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.