One of our favorite options; are quick detach mounts or QD mounts. So what are QD mounts and why do we love them?
That’s what this guide is all about.
We’ll start by going over some basics on QD mounts, move on to how to choose good QD mounts, and finish up with our top five QD mount recommendations.
You can get a sneak peek of our recs below before we dive on in.
What Are Quick Detach Scope Mounts?
Quick detach mounts exist for a variety of firearm accessories, including slings, iron sights, bipods, red dots, and, yes, scopes.
A quick detach mount allows you to remove the mount from your rifle virtually instantaneously and without tools. Of course, the scope comes along with the mount when removed.
Rifle mounts are the most common type of QD scope mount and what we’re focusing on here. However, handgun and shotgun QD scope mounts also exist.
What Are The Different Types of Quick Detach Scope Mounts?
Quick detach mounts are either-single piece scope mounts or a pair of ring mounts.
A single piece scope mount has two rings attached to a single base. A major advantage of this setup is that it ensures that the scope rings are always in line with and the correct distance from one another.
They tend to be very rigid and durable and are great for high recoil setups.
They also allow the scope to be cantilevered, or pushed forward. This allows the scope to sit farther forward on the rifle, with the front above the handguard on many modern semi-autos. This positions the scope where it won’t block anything important. It also allows you to take full advantage of extended eye relief scopes.
Two-piece scope ring mount sets have to be aligned, but fortunately doing so isn’t difficult. It can be made even easier by leaving the mounts on the optic if you move it between guns.
Scope rings are lighter than one piece mounts and tend to be cheaper. They’re great for bolt action rifles since single piece scope mounts can impede access to the action.
How Does a Quick Detach Scope Mount Work?
Typically, you remove the detachable rifle scope mount using quick-release levers. The levers are typically large and manipulatable enough that they can be operated under stress or while wearing gloves. They’re also easy to reattach after you’ve removed them. However, you may need to re-zero your scope once you do.
QD mounts typically attach to dovetail rails, like picatinny, or Weaver rails. However, there are also mounting systems like the Magpul M-Lok that attach directly to the handguard.
Quick detach mounts hold the scope with two rings that encircle the scope’s main tube.
What Do You Look For In The Best Quick Detach Scope Mount?
When choosing a high-quality quick detach optic mount, there are a few things to look for:
The centerline of your scope system is an imaginary line right through the center of your scope from the objective lens to the optic lens. It corresponds with the center of your reticle.
When looking at scope mounts, centerline measurements tell you how high the centerline is above the rail.
Choosing a scope mount with the right centerline height is important for establishing a firm cheek weld. If you have folding backup iron sights, a high enough centerline is essential to make sure the sights don’t block your view through your scope.
If your scope mount puts the centerline too low, you may be able to use a riser to increase it. However, if the centerline is too high, there’s nothing you can do other than buy a new, shorter mount.
Another important measurement is the ring diameter.
The rings on a scope mount go around the scope tube, so the ring diameter needs to match that of the scope tube. If rings are too loose, they won’t hold the scope well. This causes the scope to lose zero or even become damaged. If the scope rings are too tight, they can damage your scope.
1 inch and 30mm rings are the most common, but there are plenty of other diameters as well.
Scope mounts are pretty simple items, so they tend to be quite durable. Still, look for a scope mount made out of a sturdy material that won’t rust or corrode. All parts of the scope should fit together firmly and securely to make sure that they don’t come apart with use.
Scope mounts may also have their own set of recoil lugs. Recoil lugs help absorb the shock from drops, hits, and, yes, recoil. This keeps the scope mount whole and in place.
Best Quick Detach Scope Mounts Reviewed
Now that all the background is out of the way, let’s talk about some of our favorite QD scope mounts.
1. Burris Optics AR-P.E.P.R.Scope Mount (Our Top Pick)
It’s another single-piece scope mount. It has a 1.87 cantilever and a 1.5-inch centerline height. The ring mount for the model linked above has a 30mm diameter. There are also 35mm, 34mm, and 1” diameter rings also available.
It’s quick and easy to install. It maintains zero well but is also easy to adjust.
One of the primary draws of this ring mount set is the number of heights available. The medium is linked above, but it also comes in low, high, and ultra-high profiles. They range in height from .25 inches to .935 inches.
The rings have a vertical split design for superior grip and easier, more precise alignment. Each ring has four bolts to hold the scope securely in position. These mounts have a matte black finish.
Maxima QD Rings with a square stainless steel recoil control key
Rotatable QD levers
Vertical mounts are a little tricky to initially install
This single piece scope mount is precision machined from a single block of 6061 T6 aluminum. This makes the mount durable yet lightweight. The rings are skeletonized to remove even more weight. The quick detach levers can be aligned either forward or backward.
Like our last pick, these rings have vertical splits and four bolts per ring. This allows better alignment and stronger grip. The rings are easy to adjust without any proprietary tools.
Easy to mount and adjust
Firm grip on the scope
Durable and lightweight
Vertical mounts are a little tricky to initially install