When it comes to mounting optics on your rifle, there are various platforms available. Each mounting platform has its unique advantages and disadvantages, and the choice of platform depends on your personal preferences, the type of shooting you intend to do, and the rifle and optic you are using. In this blog post, we will explore the different mounting platforms for rifle optics and their characteristics.
Picatinny Rail Mount
Picatinny rails are the most popular mounting platforms for rifle optics. The standard Picatinny rail has a series of slots that allow for multiple attachment points, making it compatible with a wide range of optics. The Picatinny rail mount is sturdy and reliable, with a high level of repeatable accuracy. Every OuterImpact Picatinny Rail meets and exceeds Mil-Spec, are Type III hard anodized and designed to be snag free and lightweight. It is also easy to install and can be removed quickly if necessary.
One disadvantage of the Picatinny rail mount is that it is relatively heavy, adding extra weight to your rifle. This weight can affect the balance of your rifle and make it less maneuverable in the field. Additionally, the Picatinny rail mount can be bulky and may interfere with other accessories, such as iron sights or night vision devices.
Dovetail mounts are an older style of mounting platform that was popular before the introduction of the Picatinny rail. Dovetail mounts feature a narrow channel that runs the length of the mount and requires a matching dovetail groove on the rifle receiver. Dovetail mounts are reliable and provide excellent accuracy, but they are not as versatile as Picatinny rails.
One disadvantage of the dovetail mount is that it is more challenging to install and remove than a Picatinny rail mount. The dovetail groove is precisely machined to fit the specific receiver, making it difficult to use with other rifles. Additionally, the narrow channel of the dovetail mount may limit the range of optics that can be used with it.
Weaver mounts are similar to Picatinny rails but have a narrower spacing between the slots. Weaver mounts are compatible with a wide range of optics, and their narrower profile makes them lighter and more streamlined than Picatinny rails. Weaver mounts are also relatively easy to install and remove.
One disadvantage of the Weaver mount is that it is not as versatile as the Picatinny rail. The narrower spacing between the slots may limit the range of accessories that can be used with it. Additionally, the narrower profile of the Weaver mount may affect the balance of your rifle and make it less stable.
Quick Detach Mount
Quick detach (QD) mounts are a popular option for shooters who need to remove their optic quickly and easily. QD mounts allow you to remove your optic and reattach it without losing zero. QD mounts are available in a variety of styles, including Picatinny rail, Weaver, and other proprietary designs.
One disadvantage of QD mounts is that they are more expensive than standard mounts. Additionally, QD mounts can be more challenging to install correctly, and if not installed correctly, they may not hold zero. The extra moving parts of the QD mount can also be a potential point of failure in the field.
Choosing the right mounting platform for your rifle optics is an important decision that depends on your personal preferences and shooting style. Each mounting platform has its unique advantages and disadvantages, and it is essential to weigh these factors carefully before making a decision. The Picatinny rail mount is the most popular option and provides excellent versatility and accuracy. The dovetail mount is a reliable option but may be more challenging to install and limit the range of optics that can be used. The Weaver mount is lighter and more streamlined than the Picatinny rail but may not be as versatile. Finally, the QD mount is an excellent option for shooters who need to remove their optic