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Best Scope Mount

Best Scope Mount – What The Pros Use

I’m currently publishing a series of posts that highlights the gear the top ranked shooters in both the Precision Rifle Series (PRS) and the National Rifle League (NRL) are running in long range rifle matches. (Learn about the PRS & NRL.) This group of over 150 competitors represent the best precision rifle shooters in the country. My last post focused on the rifle scopes this group of shooters was running, and I intended to also include what scope mount/rings they were using … and one of my astute readers noticed I forgot. My bad! This post will quickly cover scope mounts! 😉

Most Popular Scope Rings & Mounts

I know so many shooters who save and save for their first precision rifle, and then save and save for a capable scope … but then buy whatever cheap rings the local gun shop has that fit. The scope mount is the bridge connecting what you’re using to aim with what is actually firing the bullet. I’d strongly recommend that if you buy a nice rifle and scope, please don’t cut corners on the mount. That’s like a player in the NFL who has a unbelievable kickoff return, but he starts celebrating a little too quickly and accidentally fumbles on the 5 yard line instead of scoring a touchdown. Doh! Cheap rings can allow the scope to move under recoil (in erratic ways that are hard to diagnose) or even damage the tube of your scope. That’s doesn’t mean you have to spend $400, but it probably does mean more than $50 – probably closer to $120. (Read on to learn which one that is!)

With that said, let’s dive right in! Here is the data on what these guys are currently running:

Best Scope Rings

On the chart above, the various colors represent where a shooter landed in terms of rank. For example, black indicates shooters who finished in the top 10 in the PRS, the darkest blue is people who finished 11-25 in the PRS, and the lighter the blue, the further out they finished in overall standings. The green colors represents the top shooters in the NRL, where the darkest green is the top 10, medium green is 11-25, and light green are the shooters who’s season rank landed from 26th to 50th. The chart legend itemizes the league and ranks each color represents, but basically the darker the color, the higher up the shooters placed.

There was a clear favorite scope mount: the Spuhr Ideal Scope Mount. No surprise there for a lot of us. When I asked the top shooters this same question on the 2014 survey, Spuhr was the most popular brand then too – although this time Spuhr has a much more commanding lead. 27% of the shooters trusted the Spuhr scope mount! It took the next 3 brands combined to outnumber the shooters running Spuhr mounts. The street price on these scopes is around $400, which is pretty steep … but I’ll highlight several of the compelling features of the Spuhr mount in a section later in this post. The Spuhr mount is available in a ton of different models for various heights, scope tube diameters, and can mount to picatinny rails or a host of other interfaces.

Spuhr Mount

Behind the Spuhr mount, there was a tie for 2nd most popular scope mount, between Masterpiece Arms (MPA) and Seekins Precision. MPA was more popular among the guys at the very top, so I’ll touch on their product first.

MPA is all about testing the crap out of their products, getting feedback on what works and what doesn’t, and making incremental improvements. They’re more committed to that than any company I’ve ever seen. When it comes to their scope mount, a bulletproof connection to a picatinny rail was top priority, so they tweaked on how the mount locks onto the rifle … until they could pretty much park a car on top of it! 😉 The MPA scope mount provides over 3.5” of rail interface, with multiple locking lugs on the bottom of the rail interface for absolute return to zero. MPA’s mount has a unique NATO spec rail interface system that pulls the mount onto the top of the pic rail, which they say provides over 200% more rail contact than other competitive mounting systems that pinch the rail. The Masterpiece Arms BA Scope Mount can be seen below, which is what 13% of these top shooters were running. The street price is currently $250, which means it’s 40% less expensive than the Spuhr mount!

Seekins Rings ReviewSeekins Precision scope rings are legendary. To know how serious Seekins is about their rings, just listen to how the company started: Glen Seekins was on a deer hunt in 2004, which ended unsuccessfully due to broken scope rings. Drawing upon his mechanical design background, Glen returned from the hunt, fired up his CAD program, and spent the next few evenings designing Seekins Precision’s flagship product: Seekins Precision Scope Rings. He took his design to the machine shop that employed him at the time, and together they manufactured the first set of rings. Glen Seekins is very serious about his scope rings, which must be why 13% of these top shooters trust his product on their match rifles. The street price on these rings are around $120-140, which makes them not only 70% less expensive than a Spuhr mount, but about half of the cost of the MPA mount too. If you are looking for the best value out there when it comes to rings, look no further than these Seekins Precision Rings!

Note: A few shooters indicated they use Vortex rings. Seekins is one of the OEM providers of Vortex rings. You can easily notice that the Vortex Precision Matched Rings are virtually identical to the Seekins rings above. Vortex buys them from Seekins and simply rebrands them. Rebranding OEM parts like that is common in the industry. But not all Vortex branded rings/mounts are made by Seekins, so if a shooters said they used “Vortex” and not “Seekins” I kept those broken out into the Vortex category, but it’s very likely that some (if not the majority) of rings branded “Vortex” were actually made by Seekins Precision.

Just over 50% of the competitors were running a scope mount made by one of those 3 brands. There were also many shooters running rings/mounts made by Hawkins Precision, American Rifle Company (ARC), Vortex, Nightforce, and Badger. If you add those 5 brands to Spuhr, MPA, and Seekins, that group of 8 brands account for 88% of the top shooters!

The remaining 12% were divided among 15 other brands. All of those other brands are clearly also capable of producing reliable rings, or these guys wouldn’t be able to perform at the level that they are. So I don’t want to claim they aren’t as good, but they just weren’t as popular as those other brands.

The Spuhr Ideal Scope Mount

Because the Spuhr mount is so popular, I wanted to highlight a few features to help people understand why they’re so compelling. Since it’s priced around $400, which is significantly higher than all the other rings and mounts on this like, what in the world could be so special about it? I’m glad you asked! 😉 From an engineering standpoint, the Spuhr mounts are brilliantly elegant. It is so well thought-out, with a ton of features packed into a streamlined and rugged product. Their Ideal Scope Mount System is a one-piece mount that is precisely machined from a single billet of aluminum, which means there is no need to lap the rings. The rings are perfectly aligned, which ensures more surface contact with the scope tube and prevents stress on the scope tube, which can dent the tube, distort the reticle, and even cause adjustment problems.

Spuhr Scope Mount

Best Scope RingsTodd Hodnett, arguably the most respected sniper instructor in the world, says he sees more people miss a shot at distance because the rifle was canted than any other reason. It seems to drive him crazy, because you can avoid that problem altogether with a simple bubble level! The Spuhr mount has you covered there, with a bubble level integrated into the rear of the mount that is easy to see from behind the rifle and doesn’t add any bulk. I personally don’t like the idea of attaching a ring-mounted level to my scope, because those typically need to stick out away from the scope to be visible, and if it gets hit or caught on something … it basically becomes a lever that is applying mechanical force to bend the scope tube. Scopes are too expensive to be damaged by a cheap bubble level. This is an elegant solution.

The rings on the Spuhr mount are low profile and cut at a 45 degree angle, which keeps the mount from obscuring the knobs. This makes it easy to see your exact adjustment with very little head movement.

The Spuhr mount also has built-in extensibility with attachment interfaces covering it for mounting accessories directly to the mount. This could include dope card holders, cosine indicators, reflex sights, lasers, other rails, nightvision equipment, etc. There are really no limitations to what can be attached – I’ve even seen a GoPro camera mounted to a Spuhr. The extensible interfaces provides maximum flexibility with minimal footprint.

The clamping surface of the Spuhr rings is very wide. This helps ensure a solid grip, but also means they won’t work with every scope out there. They definitely work with most scopes, but if you have any doubts you might contact Spuhr directly and they can help you out.

Now do all those features make it worth $400? That depends on your situation. There isn’t a right or wrong answer there, just your answer. About 1 in 3 of these top shooters would say “Yes, it’s worth it.” Of course, most of them shoot 5,000+ rounds every year, and that’s not the situation for most of us. Ultimately there are a lot of great options out there for scope mounts, at a range of prices from around $100 to over $400, and you can pick whatever product works for your situation and budget. God bless America! 😉

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About Cal

Cal Zant is the shooter/author behind PrecisionRifleBlog.com. Cal is a life-long learner, and loves to help others get into this sport he's so passionate about. Cal has an engineering background, unique data-driven approach, and the ability to present technical information in an unbiased and straight-forward fashion. For more info, check out PrecisionRifleBlog.com/About.

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37 comments

  1. Another great post! One thing to note, Seekins and Vortex could be combined as the Vortex rings are made by Seekins, just branded Vortex. Which aligns better better with what I have witnessed this past year at matches. Most were running rings rather than a one piece mount.

    • Interesting, J-Ped. Are you sure Seekins makes all models of rings Vortex offers? I’d just hate to combine them if 90% of them are Seekins, but there might be some of those guys running Vortex rings made by some other manufacturer. All I really know is the shooters identified them as Vortex rings and not Seekins … so that’s all I have to go on. But what you’re saying totally makes sense, and doesn’t really surprise me. I just probably need to confirm that before updating the post, that’s all.

      I appreciate the tip! Thanks for sharing.

      Thanks,
      Cal

      • Looks like Vortex offers a few types of rings: http://www.vortexoptics.com/category/rings_mounts

        The Precision Matched Rings look like the Seekins design, but the Pro Rings and other models might be made by another manufacturer. Manufacturers often use OEM products like that, but may source them from a few companies … without ever disclosing which companies are actually manufacturing the product. That looks to be the case here, so I better keep the brands separate since it could skew the data if not all the shooters were using the Precision Matched Rings model of “Vortex rings.”

        I wish there was a little more transparency about who is behind OEM parts, but I understand the business’s perspective. Just seems like it wouldn’t hurt, if it’s a reputable manufacturer.

        Thanks again for sharing the insight!
        Cal

      • The precision line is Seekins, as you can see here they offer three lines.
        http://www.vortexoptics.com/category/rings_mounts

      • I would say that most if not all of those using “Vortex” rings are using the Seekins Precision rings so they should be combined.

      • Hey, Steve. You’re one of a few guys who’ve mentioned the Vortex/Seekins thing. I did go back and update the post with a note to make sure people realize that. But Seekins doesn’t make all of the Vortex rings. If they did, I’d totally combine them. But since they don’t, there is no way for me to know if the shooters who said they use “Vortex” rings meant they use one of the models made by Seekins or one of the other models of Vortex rings made by someone else. Vortex has another “Pro” set of rings they could be using, or in the past they had a really heavy set of “tactical” rings that some of these guys could be running. So if I combine the data, I’d basically be putting words in the mouths of those shooters and just making this stuff up. I have a strong stance against those things. You couldn’t pay me enough money to do it, honestly. While some people (maybe most) would do it, it’s absolutely not the right thing from a data perspective. I’m just presenting what the shooters said as honestly and clearly as I can. If they would have selected “Seekins” they’d be under “Seekins”, but they selected “Vortex” so they’re under “Vortex.” I can’t try to translate what they meant. The best I can do is try to be honest that it’s likely that some of those that are under “Vortex” were likley made by “Seekins”. I do appreciate the suggestion, but hope you understand.

        Thanks,
        Cal

  2. I love the convenience of leveling with the leveling wedge! Maybe my favorite aspect of the spuhr mount you forgot to mention….

    • Yep, that is a pretty practical and convenient way to level your scope. I still have to tweak mine in the mount very slightly when I run through the tall target test, just to ensure the elevation is 100% directly up and not canted 1 degree to the left or right … but the leveling wedge usually has it pretty close from the start. I bet it’s way closer than trying to do it without it.

      Thanks,
      Cal

  3. Thanks for the great article. I notice that most of the rings have inclination ranging from 0 MIL to about 13. MIL. Can you address which inclination is most useful in PRS and which scopes will benefit from greater inclination.
    Thanks

    • You bet, Ron. There are two competing characteristics here: 1) you want to make sure you have enough elevation travel on your turret to dial a shot way out there, and 2) the best image quality comes near the center of your scope’s adjustment range. I’m told by optics experts that are smarter than me that there can be some image distortion at the edges of a scopes adjustment range. I think this post does a good job explaining the elevation travel aspect of this, so I won’t repeat all that here. But basically because of those two factors, I think 20 to 30 MOA of inclination is ideal for the cartridges and distances these guys are shooting.

      Most targets in a typical PRS/NRL match are between 300 and 1200 yards. There are a few “ELR” matches that stretch distances beyond that, but guys usually bring different rifles to those kinds of matches than what they’d bring to the typical PRS match. If you’re going to “traditional” PRS matches, then I’d lean toward that 20 MOA inclination, but if you want to extend beyond 1200 I might go 30 MOA. If you were doing a true Extreme Long Range rifle setup, I’d go 45 or 60 MOA … but that’s not what these guys are shooting, so I’ll just ignore that.

      So let’s say you are doing “normal” PRS/NRL matches, and you want to target 20 MOA. That inclination or taper could be in your rail or in your scope mount/rings, or a combination of the two. So you could have 20 MOA in your rail and 0 in your rings/mount, 0 in your rail and 20 MOA in your rings/mount, 10 in your rail and 10 in your rings/mount, or other combinations … but I’m talking 20 MOA total. Many high-end rifle actions have an integral rail that you mount the optics to, like the actions made by Impact Precision, Defiance Deviant Tactical, Surgeon, etc. The Impact and Surgeon action have 20 MOA of inclination built into the tapered scope rail. Defiance allows you to specify 0, 10, 20, or 30 MOA. If you have the incline you want built into the rail, you just buy a mount with 0 MOA/MIL of incline built into it. That’s the way I personally run my rifles. I think the ideal amount of incline varies by rifle, but the scope should be able to move rifle-to-rifle without having to put it in a new mount. For example, my Impact Precision actions have 20 MOA rails for my 6mm Creedmoor, but my new 375 CheyTac I have 60 MOA built into the rail, because it’s designed for much longer shots. But I can keep a scope in a 0 MOA/MIL mount, and swap it to either one.

      So why do I recommend 20 MOA for most PRS style shooting? If you looked at the ballistics of a 6mm Creedmoor for shots from 300 to 1200 yards, here are ballpark adjustments:
      300 yards: 1 mils (3.4 MOA)
      600 yards: 3 mils (10.1 MOA)
      900 yards: 6 mils (20.3 MOA)
      1200 yards: 10 mils (33.8 MOA)

      Let’s take a common scenario: You have a scope with 100 MOA of total elevation travel, and you are were dead center within that elevation travel when zeroed at 100 yards (i.e. 50 MOA up, and 50 MOA down). That means 1/2 your elevation adjustment is in the wrong direction and won’t be useful to you. So if you offset that with 20 MOA of inclination/taper, then you’d have 70 MOA up (50 + 20) and just 30 MOA down. You’d no longer be looking through the optical center of your scope when aiming at a 100 yard target. But, it’s rare to shoot targets at 100 yards in the precision rifle game … so let’s not optimize for that. Basically anywhere from 600 to 1200 yards you’d be within 10 MOA of the center of your scope’s adjustment range, which is where your best image clarity is. If you start 20 MOA under the center of your adjustment range (because that is the total incline you went with), you’d dial 10 MOA for 600 yards and just be 10 MOA under the center of your adjustment range, you’d dial 20 MOA for 900 yards and be very close to the center, and you’d dial around 34 MOA out to 1200 yards and be just 14 MOA above center. You’d be able to dial a lot more than that (theoretically around 70 MOA), but you’d be right around the center of your scope’s adjustment range for the majority of target engagements you expect to make, which is ideal from my understanding of all this.

      That might be more than you wanted to know, but it’s how I think about rail/mount taper or inclination or cant (people might refer to that by any of those names), and what I personally prefer. Hope it helps!

      Thanks,
      Cal

      • I’m somewhat confused by your answer but get the basic idea. I do have 6.5 creedmore and Surgeon action, so my take home message is that a 0 incline ring should be fine?
        Thanks
        Ron

      • Sorry, Ron. Yes. You already have 20 MOA of incline built into the Surgeon action, so you should go 0 inclination on the mount. If you bought a mount with 20 MOA of incline, you’d have 40 MOA total (20 on rail + 20 in mount) … which would be less ideal. It’d probably still work, but your image quality when you look through the scope might be poorer (could be slightly distorted). So I’d go with a 0 MOA mount for your scenario.

        Honestly, I should probably just do a full post on that at some point. I’ve found that can be a pretty confusing topic. I appreciate your honesty about the answer not being as clear as I intended. Probably will encourage me to do a post about it at some point with diagrams and maybe a video or animation to help people visualize it.

        Thanks,
        Cal

  4. Hello, are steel rings better than aluminum overall? I know aluminum is lighter, but why are all these popular rings and bases made of aluminum and not stronger steel? Thanks!

    • Great question, Brandon. I knew the mounts were aluminum, but hadn’t noticed most of the rings seemed to be that way too. Seekins rings are aluminum, so are Hawkins, and American Rifle Company, and Vortex are probably actually rings made by Seekins so they’re aluminum to. That gets you down to Nightforce and Badger, and both of those manufacturers offer rings in both steel and aluminum, so I’m not sure what version these guys are running.

      Honestly, I’m a little surprised to see so many running aluminum rings. I know aluminum is easier to machine (good for manufacturer and pricing), but if they weren’t strong these guys wouldn’t be competing with them … so they must be just as reliable. I also know aluminum is lighter weight, but the average rifle these guys are running weighs 20 pounds all in, and a bunch of them run 26″ MTU barrels for the extra weight … so it’s not like they’re trying to shave a couple ounces off their scope rings. I guess they just must be as good. I do know Ted Karagias, the founder of American Rifle Company, and he makes a really cool set of rings. He is a maniacal mechanical engineer, and I know if he thought for a second that steel would be a better material he’d be using it. He has a very “purest” engineering approach to design and material selection, and if he decided to go aluminum on his rings … I’m going to trust it’s the right call. I’ve been using the Spuhr mount since 2012, and it’s aluminum … but that makes sense to me for a one-piece mount. The rings are a little surprising, so I appreciate you pointing that out. I definitely learned something looking into that. Aluminum must be the right call for these rifles.

      Thanks,
      Cal

    • Most scope tubes are aluminum. It’s not recommended to use steel rings on an aluminum scope tube. That’s why most use aluminum over steel.

  5. Spuhr mount: Solid wide scope tube contact. Super fast and easy leveling. Solid rail clamp. What else can you ask for?

    Plus any issue you have Haken Spuhr will take care of you. He expressed mailed a part from Sweden for me. Arrived in 2 days.

    • You’re right, Jeffrey. That Spuhr scope mount is just a solid design. It doesn’t leave you wanting. If you can afford it, you won’t be disappointed.

  6. The use of Seekins rings would be higher than indicated here as most of the Vortex rings in use are rebadged Seekins rings.

    • Yes, sir. That’s a good point. Someone else had chimed into that in the comments, and you mentioning it made me realize I should probably go back and add that as a note in the actual post … so I did that. I bet you’re right. I’d think most of the rings branded Vortex are actually OEM parts made by Seekins. Thanks for the tip.

      Thanks,
      Cal

  7. You forgot DNZ Reaper mount. Marvelous mount that you cannot misalign, quality manufacture and light weight.

    • Ha! Well, Richard, I don’t think I forgot it. It’s just that none of these top shooters were actually running that mount. It might be a cool product, but I’m just trying to present what these top shooters are running … without inserting my own opinion on what they should consider or what I feel like they left out. That’s the whole “data-driven” thing I’m committed to on PRB.

      Thanks,
      Cal

  8. Thank you so much for all the hard work you put into these “What the Pros Use” articles. MUCH appreciated, Sir.

  9. Cal – I just wanted to thank you for this article, and for this entire series you’re publishing again! It’s such great material, and I know you spend a ton of time putting this together for the shooting community. Thank you for all your hard work. We are all blessed by it. And we all become better shooters – and are able to help others along the way – because of resources like this. You’re a good man. God bless you. And Merry Christmas!

  10. Cal
    One thing not covered here is how do you adjust the scope rings to optically centre the scope? I bought a top of the range set of mounts recently, but the scope and barrel of my rifle pointed in different directions, so I took the rings off and sent them back.

    I use the Burris Signature inserts on all my rifles to try and optically centre the scopes that I use. How do the PRS guys align their scopes and barrels?

    I have barrel to action misalignment.
    I have action to rail misalignment.
    I have rail to ring misalignment.
    I have ring to scope tube misalignment.
    I have scope tube to scope optics misalignment.

    I’ve been looking for ever for scope rings with inserts that allow the scope to be removed and then set back on the rifle again with out a re-zero being required as I frequently want to stalk with a rifle using one scope, then target shoot using a different scope.

    My sense is that Burris are about a third of the way to a solution, their inserts are good, but the mounts and fastening mechanisms they use are pretty average.

    • Well, I’ve never come across that problem on my own rigs. I think you can avoid those kind of problems all together by going with a high quality action with an integral rail (like Impact Precision, Defiance, Surgeon, etc.). In that case the rail is machined as part of the action, and will be square to the receiver face. Add a straight, match-grade barrel that is also square with the receiver face, and a high-quality scope mount that is centered and square … and I’m pretty sure you won’t have misalignment. But it really all hinges on the action. The action is the heart of the gun, and all the rest of it is just accessories you hang off of it. If you’re having misalignment issues, I’d blame the action first. It’s guilty until proven innocent! 😉

      Pretty much all of these guys are using high-end actions. The next post will focus on which actions they’re using, so I won’t spoil that here. But suffice to say, I doubt they run into that issue on their match rifles often (if ever). But the only way I know of to do what you’re saying is the Burris inserts, so you’re on the right track. You’re obviously a detailed, sharp guy … so you know all the places it could be.

      I would say that MPA in particular feels very strong about being about to move scopes around on rifles and have the confidence have repeatable and predictable POI shifts, so you can account for them without having to go rezero the rifle. They’re pretty maniacal about that use case actually. In fact, their custom rifles use a pretty interesting SwitchLug product that allows you to switch barrels in the field and have a repeatable POI shift. So theoretically with one of their rifles with the SwitchLug and their scope mount, you should be able to change the scope and the barrel, and account for both of those things without having to rezero the rifle. I’ve heard guys say that actually works, and I only say “theoretically” because I haven’t tested it myself … yet. But I’m pretty sure what your asking for is totally possible with the right equipment.

      Here are a few highlights from the MPA BA Scope Mount product page, which sound like they are right up your alley:
      – The interface ensures positive engagement for both in spec and out of spec rail systems. Absolute Return to Zero via multiple locking lugs located on the bottom of the rail interface. Provides the end user the ability to confidently move the optic/mount to multiple rifles with simple windage and elevation adjustments.
      – Extreme Bore Size Consistency within +/- 0.0002″
      – Roundness and Cylindricity of Bore within +/- 0.0002″

      Just a thought. Sorry I couldn’t be more help! Anyone else who might be able to help or has experience with this issue, please chime in.

      Thanks,
      Cal

  11. Cal, I too, would like to thank you for your exactness of detail and presentations in such a way that the novice long range shooter can gain useful insight (to say the least) and the experienced long range shooter can stay abreast of technological advances related to this sport. I am 76, retired from active work two years ago and have been following you ever since. So for two years I have been acquainting myself with the vernacular and equipment needs. Almost stayed with my 7mm Rem Mag for this, but recoil using my go-to hunting rifle is a bit much for this sport . Between you and Ryan Cleckner educating me, I finally feel ready to get my feet wet. Ruger PR came first, then a Bushnell ET HDMR II, 3.5-21×50 scope, Warne mount, Wiebad support pads and other “stuff”. All middle of the road equipment for long range shooting for fun and a new hobby is born! Thank you!!

    • That’s awesome, Skipper! You’re exactly the kind of guy that I’m trying to help. And I started using my 7mm Rem Mag hunting rifle for my first few matches, and I came to the same conclusion. And that equipment is very capable, so you should be proud of it. Glad you’re diving in!

      Thanks,
      Cal

  12. Hi Cal,
    Firstly, many thanks for the article – insightful as ever.

    It’s surprising to me that none of the competitors are using Era-Tac mounts. They are superb and easily on par with the Spuhr from an engineering quality, feature and usability perspective.
    Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe you’ve used an Era-Tac before?!?

    Spuhr have really gained a lot of popularity in the US – I suppose they’ve really pushed their marketing and engaged with the PRS crowd. I wonder if Era-Tac just aren’t as well known due to a lack of engagement/advertisememt. They are German and I wonder if, like Schmidt & Bender, they’ve just failed to engage/market themselves very well to this fast growing sport.

    Thoughts?

    • Hey, Konrad. I do run an ERA-TAC mount on my 300 Norma. But the reason I did that on that rifle was because I knew I’d be really pushing the limits of how much elevation adjustment the scope had. It was intended for shots out to 2000+ yards. I was able to adjust the amount of incline in that mount so that I only had 7 clicks below my 100 yard zero, which allowed me to use 98% of the elevation travel available in that Nightforce ATACR 7-35×56 scope.

      While I used that 300 Norma Mag in the Q Creek Extended Long Range PRS Match in Wyoming, that was a non-traditional PRS match. 99% of PRS/NRL matches have targets from 300 to 1200 yards, but that one had targets out to 2,000 yards with the average target distance was around 1100-1200 yards. How you’d setup a rifle for those kinds of distances is very different than a rifle shooting a mid-sized cartridge like the Creedmoor or Dasher at 300 to 1200 yards. It’s not as critical to have all of your scope’s elevation adjustment available. In fact, you only need about 10-12 mils max to reach out to 1200 yards … so even if you had 0 incline, most scopes could reach that far.

      I go into a detail on what I think the ideal amount of incline is for the type of rifles and shooting these guys are doing in this comment. You might find that helpful.

      And don’t feel bad if you’re running an ERA-TAC. As you said, I am … and I don’t feel any different about that being the right decision, just because none of these guys chose to run one. You know a big reason they weren’t is probably the $500 price tag for that mount. It’s funny how many people think these guys are all sponsored shooters … but they’re not. The majority of them have to buy all their gear, and spending $500 on a mount probably seems excessive.

      And honestly, Spuhr’s marketing among this crowd is pretty much nonexistent. I can’t remember ever seeing a Spuhr banner at a match, or one of their products on the prize table. Even if there was one, I’d bet it came from a distributor sponsoring the match, and not Spuhr directly. I have met Hakan at SHOT Show (really sharp guy), and I’m sure a lot of these other guys have too … but I think they’re just using it because it’s a great product. I think that’s his marketing strategy: make a really great product and people will find it. I’m not saying that is right. I heard a quote one time that said “Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does.” Ha! So there could be some truth to your statement about ERA-TAC and Schmidt and Bender.

      I appreciate you sharing your thoughts!

      Thanks,
      Cal

      • Hi Cal,
        I was actually referring to the non incline Etta-Tac mount, just their one piece mounts. I have a set of their 20MOA QD mounts for my S&B 5-25×56 and couldn’t be happier. They are beautifully machined and totally repeatable. Plus they’re cheaper than the Spuhr.
        I suspect brands like Spuhr gain traction with little to no marketing because of this blog and the like. All it takes is a few competitors being featured using a particular product and everyone out there reading it thinks said product is THE best out there and that THEY must have it to also be a top competitor. I suspect other top quality products simply aren’t heard about unless they shout over the noise with by marketing themselves better.
        Anyway, thanks as ever for your work in digesting and presenting your gathered insight Cal 👍

  13. Cal once again unreal article. I have a question regarding scope mounting. To get the most from a 5×25 or 7×35 ATACR how much MOA are you guys using on your rail and mount?

    Cheers,

    Kurt

    • Hey, Kurt. Great question. I have a NF ATACR 7-35×56 F1 on my 300 Norma Mag, and have a total of 60 MOA of incline on that rail/mount .. and it’s perfect. I’m able to use 98% of my elevation travel! I have 36.3 mils available to dial from my 100 yard zero, out of the 37.0 total on that particular scope. I am building a custom 375 CheyTac for Extreme Long Range and ordered a NF ATACR 7-35×56 for it too, and chose to go with a 60 MOA integral rail on that rifle for the same reason. I go into quite a bit of detail on the scope/mount setup in that post on my 300 Norma rifle setup, so if you find this interesting I’d recommend you go read that post. Also, here is another good article that shows some of the cool gear you can use to maximize the amount of elevation travel you have on your scope: Extreme Long Range Tips 1: Optics & Mounts.

      Now for a dedicated precision match rifle chambered in a mid-sized cartridge like the Creedmoor or Dasher … I wouldn’t recommend 60 MOA of inclination. You don’t need 36 mils of elevation … you need a max of about 10-12 mils even for the farthest targets set at 99% of the NRL/PRS matches out there. So I recommend 20 MOA for most people, and 30 MOA if you plan to regularly stretch it beyond 1200 yards. I went in to a lot of detail on why I think 20 is the right answer in this comment.

      Hope this helps!

      Thanks,
      Cal

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