Can a quick release mount hold a zero after being taken off?

Bulletski

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Got a question on "quick release" scope mounts.

I have a quick release scope mount; I don't remember the brand but the quality is good. I zeroed the rifle ( and AR 15 ) for 100 yrds and all went well.
Anyway, after taking the scope off and putting them back on, the zero was way off. Now this didn't' surprise me but my question: can any quick release mount hold a zero after it's been taken off and then put back on?
I've seen a bunch of movies over the years ( and I'm sure you have too ) where it shows some guy with a fancy rifle who is going to pull of a long distance shot. He opens a case and the rifle is in parts. After putting it together he then snaps the scope on. I can't believe that the scope is going to hold its zero. Isn't this just Hollywood?
 
They can hold zero as long as it is a quality mount and if you reinstall it exactly the same each time. I have used red dots and low power scopes with quick release mounts without much issues. But I always push the mount against the rail from the solid side and also push the cross bolt back against the slot each time. At most I have only had to adjust the sights by one or two clicks.
 
They can hold zero as long as it is a quality mount and if you reinstall it exactly the same each time. I have used red dots and low power scopes with quick release mounts without much issues. But I always push the mount against the rail from the solid side and also push the cross bolt back against the slot each time. At most I have only had to adjust the sights by one or two clicks.

^

This!

I have several:

ADM Recons (3)
Steyr Mannlicher (2)
Warnes (2)
Leupold (1)
Larue Tactical (3)

They all work well, but you get what you pay for. All of the ones I have will hold well within 1/2 MOA or less. Also as Bravo said, consistency when remounting is important. I use the same technique, push forward and against the rail from the solid side.

My precision stuff wears non-QD mounts, but for hunting rigs, they work very well. A couple of my rifles have 2 scope setups depending on the terrain/game. The dual scopes allow me to tailor to the conditions, and even use different loads if I want to.
 
My only experience is with a Weaver TipOff mount on a Remington 742. Between the rifle not being very accurate and the mount being fairly inexpensive the rig did not return to zero. Not even close. Like the others have said, you get what you pay for.

Now, I have some Varmint rifles with Picatinny Rails and Tactical style rings that do return to zero after being removed and reinstalled.
 
Small bore prone shooters have been removing scopes from rifles for decades, if not a century. Mounts and rings have been developed that zero changes from removal and installation are less than positional changes.

I installed long, Redfield Big Bore mounts, and used Redfield Big Bore rings on this BSA rifle.

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Redfield long tube scope on top

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Steve Earle makes dovetail mounts for the older scopes.




Original, pre WW2 mounts on the barrel of this Remington M37.

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The scope is externally adjusted for windage and elevation. As long as the scope rings are installed in the exact same place, windage and elevation is spot on.

Steve Earle makes these replacement rings for these vintage scopes.

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I installed the long Redfield Big Bore bases on this H&R M12, because the longer bases allowed a bit more adjustment.

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this monster scope takes taken off before the rifle is put into the safe.


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Scopes were expensive before and after WW2. At the time, a new Win M70 was $110, so this scope was almost the cost of a new rifle.


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B&L came up with the idea of having windage and elevation adjustments on the base. You installed bases on as many rifles as you wanted. The scope was screwed to the base with that large star nut. Interesting idea that faded away.



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This scope can be taken off the base, so the shooter can use the pistol in iron sighted CMP EIC matches. And re installed without a zero change. The rings are not removed from the scope, but as long as the rings are put into the same slots on the base, zero is unaffected.

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I'd check the zero, if at all possible, after I put it back on. If I had to make a shot that counted, I'd always have some doubt no matter how high quality the mount that I had. was.
 
Ive used ARMS, Leupold and LaRue with good results. They have all been really close to what they were previously, although I dont know that you can ever say they are perfect. They arent if you never take them off. :)

One thing with the AR's, even with mounts that arent supposedly QD, Ive taken them off and replaced them and when I went to get them rezeroed, they were pretty much right there and needed little if any adjustment.

Ive also taken red dots Id taken off of one gun and had the sight sitting around, and got a new gun and just threw it on it, so I had a sight while checking the gun for function, and it too was pretty much on. And Ive had that happen a number of times.
 
Anyway, after taking the scope off and putting them back on, the zero was way off. Now this didn't' surprise me but my question: can any quick release mount hold a zero after it's been taken off and then put back on?

Way off would surprise me unless one was switching between to different uppers, even with some rings that are fairly inexpensive.

I rigged this up years ago for that. Clamp to barrel move dot to zeroed optic, then swap optic and move to dot.

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On stuff that might get different optics depending on time of day, I keep pistol lasers somewhere on them to confirm zero without shooting.

FD9FA673-7480-405E-B4EE-CCFBB0CAFF60.jpeg A070BD5C-E382-469D-9DC1-5F56CF2E1067.jpeg

Any of those would ease your concerns or verify them in a few minutes of removing/replacing and confirming aim points co-witness or not.
 
And high price point is not always a guarantee of high quality.
Which makes it tricky to assert one over another without practical experience.
You are correct that price does not always equal quality. I've had expensive mounts and rings that were junk and cheap mounts and rings that were good to go. One can not always go by price alone.
 
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I picked up this Kinetic Sidelok for a deal and it does pretty good in my testing. As long as you make sure you lock into the same slots in the picatinny rail it seems to return to about a 1/2 MOA or better when taken off and back on. Given the rifle is only about a 1.5 MOA gun and the mount is worth about 5 times more than the crappy scope I have in it I have been more than happy with it.
 
Having guided and helped guide a lot of hunts, I can tell you from my experience that removing scopes from rifles and replacing them works very well with the correct mounts and correct procedures. However, probably 7 or 8 times now that I have seen people show up to hunt and miss their quarry at chip shot distances (inside 150 yards) and EVERY time, the exclamation is the same sentiment, "I don't know what's wrong." We set up a target at 75 or 100 yards and see how well they can hit it. Sometimes, they can't even hit the target. Why? The did something wrong in the mounting and then they committed the fatal flaw of not verifying their zero before hunting.

I have seen this happen with dedicated scopes that were removed from rifles before checking in at an airline (because thermal scopes are pricey and so the scope was hand carried and the rifle was shipped as law requires). More commonly, I have seen it with clip-ons. It is more common with rail mounted clip-ons, but have seen it with scope adapter-mounted clip-ons. I have never seen it for a clip-on that screws into the day optic directly (versus having an adapter mounted to the day scope and then the clip-on screws into it).

I think the problems occur because of the nature of people and what appears to be a very simple process, but what people forget is that it is a very precise process that can be significantly impacted by a mismounting in a ever so slightly different position or by a change in tension on the mounting hardware.

Honestly, I don't think you should be out and about with a gun you are planning to use that has an optic for which you haven't verified zero since mounting the optic, but that is my opinion. I would argue that if you are just plinking on a range, it won't matter if you didn't verify your zero. If it is a defensive gun or your favorite hunting rifle that you are flying cross country with on a trophy hunt of a lifetime, things where your shots truly matter, verify your zero before deploying the gun.
 
I agree.

Verifying zero, with the right equipment takes seconds to accomplish. I use a Leupold Zero Point magnetic boresighter and record my zeros in a notebook using enlarged grid sheet:

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I simply take a picture with my phone of the sheet and carry the ZeroPoint in my backpack or in the truck. Should something happen, I simply put the boresighter on my muzzle and compare, I usually get my warm/fuzzy back instantly.

With the QD stuff I use it to practice remounting to ensure my technique is working.
 
I didn't see this posted so please add to the list of mounts that return to zero: the Blaser Saddle mount.
I have 2 scopes and 2 barrels for my Blaser R8 Kilombero and have attached and removed the scopes numerous times with return to zero.
I remove the scopes for transport and storage.
Each scope is dedicated to its barrel; I don't switch them but probably could.

REF: https://www.blaser.de/en/products/blaser-optics/optics-scope-mounts/

From top to bottom:
  • .375 H&H Magnum Safari barrel
  • Zeiss Victory 1.5-6x42
  • .300 Winchester Magnum Safari barrel
  • Zeiss Victory 4-16x50
  • Blaser R8 Kilombero
IMG_3477s.jpg
 
For ARs I like and have used a solid one piece QD scope mount from American Defense. They guarantee their mounts will hold zero and they do.

I also like Warne Maximo QD rings. I have them on my SFAR for my Leupold Compact Vari-X scope. I have removed and installed scope several times and I cannot detect a change in zero, but to be fair I have been breaking the gun in with Norma and PMC 150 grain military grade ammo, not precision ammunition.
 
I have Leupold QRW rings on my in-line muzzleloader. They have worked just fine for me since I am very unlikely to take a shot at a deer beyond 125 yards or so with the ML. I remove the scope every time I clean it and since I clean it after every time I fire it, that means I'm heading out into the field without rechecking zero. It has never been a problem.
 
I have Leupold QR mounts on both my Browning BAR's........one in '06, one in .338. Both are two piece bases and I have never had an issue relative to zeroing when removed and replaced.
 
Having guided and helped guide a lot of hunts, I can tell you from my experience that removing scopes from rifles and replacing them works very well with the correct mounts and correct procedures. However, probably 7 or 8 times now that I have seen people show up to hunt and miss their quarry at chip shot distances (inside 150 yards) and EVERY time, the exclamation is the same sentiment, "I don't know what's wrong." We set up a target at 75 or 100 yards and see how well they can hit it. Sometimes, they can't even hit the target. Why? The did something wrong in the mounting and then they committed the fatal flaw of not verifying their zero before hunting.

I have seen this happen with dedicated scopes that were removed from rifles before checking in at an airline (because thermal scopes are pricey and so the scope was hand carried and the rifle was shipped as law requires). More commonly, I have seen it with clip-ons. It is more common with rail mounted clip-ons, but have seen it with scope adapter-mounted clip-ons. I have never seen it for a clip-on that screws into the day optic directly (versus having an adapter mounted to the day scope and then the clip-on screws into it).

I think the problems occur because of the nature of people and what appears to be a very simple process, but what people forget is that it is a very precise process that can be significantly impacted by a mismounting in a ever so slightly different position or by a change in tension on the mounting hardware.

Honestly, I don't think you should be out and about with a gun you are planning to use that has an optic for which you haven't verified zero since mounting the optic, but that is my opinion. I would argue that if you are just plinking on a range, it won't matter if you didn't verify your zero. If it is a defensive gun or your favorite hunting rifle that you are flying cross country with on a trophy hunt of a lifetime, things where your shots truly matter, verify your zero before deploying the gun.
This is good advice. Because I am shooting my match 22lr rifles a couple of times, sometimes three times a month, in matches, I am very familiar with the foibles of the Redfield Big Bore mounts and rings. I have found, through trial and error, that it is possible to have cant in the scope, because I attached the rings incorrectly to the base dovetails. It is important to verify that the base is square with the mount. Also, I have paint marks on the dovetails to ensure that the rings are attached to the exact same locations. I also tighten the ring base screws to the same tension. Plus or minus as the base screws are coin slotted. I have found that if the base screws are a little loose, the windage will be off by a tiny amount. And if I get a strange windage change, I will immediately grap the scope, or the front and rear irons, and try to see if there is wobble. There has been, the screws that hold the scope base, and the iron sight bases, have all loosened over time.

I don't trust a scope base that is only held on with screws. Regardless of the Loktite you use, the screws will come loose. First time this base loosened up, I cleaned off everything with mineral spirits, and used a two part epoxy between the slide and base.I am not sure there is glue in this picture, but there is glue now.

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I use a good two part epoxy, such as JB Weld, or Marine Tex. I have also used a Devcon epoxy.


I am sure I glued on this base, you can't see the glue joint in the picture.

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The rear of the base is tiny because it has to fit behind the clip slot. The front is slightly better. Hey, it is a military action.

This is a much better rifle scope mount, a dove tail on top of the receiver

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both the front and rear dovetails are machined to the receiver, and the dovetails have a taper so the rings are pushed tighter into the dovetails during recoil. As you can see, the rings come off easily, once you get them loose from the base.

But, you have to be familiar with your equipment. It is worth taking the scope on and off to verify if there is zero change, and that your assembly procedure is consistent, and you check for errors.

You want to keep your Choo Choo on the tracks.

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Me too. I use them on my CZ455, BMR, and Scout to have access to the ghost ring sights if need be.
+ 1 on Warne Maxima QD rings. I have these on three long guns that I want to have iron/fiber optic sights as backup including my M1A. I have been using them for about 20 years and they will hold zero.


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I use Burris P.E.P.R. mounts on some of my Ar-s and 22lr. Never had a problem with them. I've maybe had to make a couple clicks of adjustment at 100yds, usually not even that.
 
My ADM Recon mount definitely holds zero when taken off and remounted. As others have said, make sure it goes on the same place and same tension each time.

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I have pre-zeroed more than one scope for a rifle many times in the past. I've removed a scope to use irons, then later replaced it many times. Never had a problem with it not being zeroed. I've done so with Weaver, or Weaver Style rings or a rail. I usually need a screwdriver or other tool to remove/replace the scope which takes a little longer than using QD rings. But it is a lot cheaper, and IME works just as well.

The key is to replace it exactly as it came off. If using a rail, you have to put it back into the same slots. As the rifle recoils backwards, the scope and the bases try to move forward. Any time I'm initially mounting a scope I push the rings as far forward as possible in the slot in the base before I tighten the rings to the base. You have to make sure the scope is tight in the rings. This way it cannot move during recoil.

When re-installing the scope as long as you do that and get it in the same slots it should be perfectly zeroed.
 
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