Scope mounts aren’t an item that you can simply buy the cheapest version and live with the wobble. Good scope mounts are essential for accurate shots, and quick-detach scope mounts (that return to zero when re-attached) are even better. Unfortunately, the only rings I’ve tested so far that meet those criteria are LaRue’s QD mounts, which clock in at around $200. Until now . . .
Warne is a company name that one doesn’t hear unless they’re “in the know” with the firearms industry — much like Sirchie for investigators and Stryker for EMTs. It’s a company that makes some amazingly good products, but isn’t a household name for some reason. And I really can’t figure out why, since these things are fantastic.
Why are they fantastic? Glad you asked.
There’s a difference between cheap scope rings and good scope rings. The biggest of those differences is in how the rings hug the body of the scope.
Cheap rings will typically have only a small surface area in which they actually contact the body of the scope. The smaller surface contact points mean there’s less friction holding the scope in place, allowing it to move ever so slightly in the rings. They also typically have some pretty piss-poor rail mounts that tend to work themselves loose over time. Trust me, I’ve had my share of cheap mounts, and I know this to be the case.
Some people try to fix the contact issue by “lapping” the inside of the scope rings to make them more perfectly round. That makes them contact the entire surface of the scope. I’ve never done it myself, mainly because it sounds like a gigantic pain in the ass.
Warne’s scope mounts, though, are the exact opposite of these cheap mounts. Precision engineered in the wilds of Oregon (well, just down the street from Leupold actually) they require absolutely zero lapping in order to properly hug your scope. In fact, they’re designed to have a little “give” in the rings so that when you put them on and torque down the screws, the rings will flex slightly to perfectly fit the scope tube.
There is, however, a small issue I have with their construction — not from a technical point of view, but more of a practical one.
On most scope rings, they come in a “top” and “bottom” section. Meaning that you can attach the bottom section of the rings to the rail, and then work on centering and leveling the rings before you tighten them down. Warne’s rings, on the other hand, come in a “left” and “right” section, meaning that mounting the scope to the rail is a bit tougher.
Also slightly annoying: the center piece of the base of the mount, the one that locks into the rail and keeps the mount from moving back and forth, isn’t permanently attached. So when you open the rings to cram your scope inside, be prepared for it to fall out.
The real question, though, is if you can take the scope off the rifle and put it back on again without losing zero. Its the same claim LaRue made with their rings, and so I figured I would re-create the same test I used for LaRue’s mounts and see if they perform as well as the more expensive variety.
Results? Every single round impacted the brand new, freshly painted steel plate within an area about the size of a baseball. At 250 yards. Given that I wasn’t trying to be particularly accurate I’d say that’s a “pass” in my book, especially since the rings performed as well if not better than LaRue’s rings.
What it really boils down to then is what kind of design you prefer. LaRue’s low profile rings seem slightly lower than Warne’s low QD rings (they need room for the screws in the base), plus LaRue’s rings slightly easier to mount and with less worry about losing small pieces. But the whole thing about having a spare $100 is nice, especially when these work just as well.
Warne Quick Detach Scope Rings
Tube: 30mm, 34mm or 1 inch
Overall Rating * * * * *
Half the price of LaRue’s rings and working just as well? Sign me up! So long as you can stand the left / right split instead of the up / down split, that is.