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How to choose scope rings (overthinking things)

PostPosted:Sun May 02, 2021 3:02 pm
by 7aull
I'm new to the scope world, and have read many great article and threads on choosing scopes, the difference between them, what to look for, and what features are good for what applications.

It turns out, I need similar resources for buying scope rings. I figured they're just rings, how hard could it be to get my new scope mounted? Well, looking into it I am bewildered by the insane amounts of choices for rings. Thin, thick, steel, aluminum, two screw, six screw, ten dollar, two hundred dollar... Such bewilderment put me into engineer/overthinking mode, so bear with me...

Disregarding differences in mount type, diameter, and height (things that are all more or less options for each mount of scope ring) the way I see it, the factors/variables of interest would be:

-Geometric Quality: Straightness, roundness, and other geometrical tolerances, lack of burrs, flashing, other poor finishing that would cause stress or damage or misalignment

-Material: Strength (resistance to recoil as well as external forces on scope), hardness (resistance to scratching), weight

-Clamping surface area: I'm assuming more area touching the scope is "better" at supporting it and preventing damage or scope shift?

-Number of clamping screws: More screws = more surface area and more even distributed clamping pressure = better for support, preventing damage?

-Aesthetics: Surface finish, color, looks tacticool or heavy duty or fancy or whathaveyou

Am I missing anything?


Then the big question, what price do you pay to ensure what you're getting is adequate for your scope/application? Ignoring weight and aesthetics for a moment, what are you missing by getting cheaper rings? Does paying more just prevent mounting issues, scope stress, and possible scope damage? Or are there actual accuracy gains to be made from buying nicer rings? Another way to put it: Are the most expensive rings geometrically perfect and as you go down in price they suck more and more? Or is there a price where rings are geometrically awesome and then above that, you are just buying fancier features?

Overall, what price do you have to pay to ensure a scope stays put without putting undue stress or possibly damage onto a scope?