Good or Bad Idea in Scope Mounting?


September 16, 2009, 04:20 AM
I gather that the first bright idea to solve the scope-versus-iron-sight dilemma - see-thru or see-under scope mounts - isn't actually that great an idea. The scope is too high off the barrel, it won't hold zero, etc.

How about two other solutions:

scope-sights - the Millett idea of putting open sights on the top half of the rings

quick-release scope rigs - so you can get your scope off really quickly if it breaks, and go back to your trusty iron sights

Are these worth the trouble? Do they have problems holding zero? Some of the quality makers have quick-release options (e.g. Leupold), but I don't know if Millett has any competitors for open sights on scope rings.

If you have any personal experience, please share.

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September 16, 2009, 10:40 AM
I think the question that must be answered is under what circumstances is this setup necessary?

If you are on a hunt and your optic gets destroyed, are you still in the mood/mindset to hunt?
(did the event that destroyed your scope also damage your rifle? you?)

If its a matter of using irons for close range shots, perhaps a low power variable scope is a better option...

Of the options listed, I like sights over scope; but I also have experience and faith in Larue QD products.

September 16, 2009, 02:31 PM
I agree with Highorder.

50 years ago, iron sight back-ups for those old scopes was a necessity, because sooner or later, they were probably going to break or fog up in the middle of a hunt.

Todays better quality scopes are so reliable, you would likely have to bust the rifle around a tree or have a horse roll on it in a saddle scabbard to damage the scope beyond use.

Mount a high quality modern scope in a low mount and it will very likely work perfectly far longer then you will.

If you have a lingering doubt, sight in a back-up scope on identical rings before the hunt, and you can change out a damaged scope in a minute or two.


September 16, 2009, 03:47 PM
Hunting isn't my priority, actually. It is more just a general pro-readiness thing, wanting a rifle as versatile and durable as possible. If I got a rifle with iron sights and a scope (maybe in IER-and-receiver sights configuration, or conventional-scope-and-open-sights), I would want to practice with both, but I probably wouldn't, or wouldn't often, do so if it were a regular slow-detach mount. Make sense?

Right now, one of my rifles is iron-only and one is scope-only. Speaking of the latter, how difficult (expensive) is it to put open sights on a naked barrel?

I'm looking up LaRue now. Yet another company I've never heard of....

September 16, 2009, 04:18 PM
Are we talking about AR-15's or Weatherby's?


Zak Smith
September 16, 2009, 04:42 PM
The LaRue mounts hold zero and are repeatable. (
............... Larger version of above photo. (

The one-piece base on my AI rifle comes off with an allen wrench in less than 5 seconds (
............... Larger version of above photo. (

September 17, 2009, 03:05 AM
Gorgeous photos!

The first rifle I'm going to do this to will probably be a cheapy centerfire boltgun along the lines of the Stevens 200 or the comparable Marlin or Mossberg products. Use it maybe for silhouette shooting (if I can find a match) or the appropriate "any rifle" division of High Power. Until then I'll just be practicing and I'd like to be a "generalist".

September 17, 2009, 03:08 AM
Zak Smith, is that an intermediate eye-relief mount on the AR? Never seen one of those....

Zak Smith
September 17, 2009, 12:50 PM
The LaRue SPR-E mount is pictured. They also have the SPR mount which puts it back a bit more.

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