It’s essential to carefully consider the type of mounts when fitting a telescopic sight to your rifle. Cheap, flimsy mounts will not hold up against recoil or demanding field use, and ill-chosen mounts may badly position your scope in relation to either your eye, or your rifle’s barrel. Poor alignment anywhere generally leads to shooting inaccuracy. 

Naturally, to cover a multitude of mounting scenarios, there is a multitude of mount designs to baffle even the most experienced of shooters – one-piece, two-piece, integral, low, medium, high… the list is a long one.

In that list is the Adjustable Mount, often shied away from due to either its expense, apparently complicated design or fear of it having ‘moving parts’. However, adjustable mounts don’t cost much more than fixed mounts and are very simple to use. And as for those moving parts… “Rubbish!” Properly engineered ones like the new Blue Print Adjustable Mount will lock securely with sturdy bolts.

Blueprint Adjustable scope mounts from MTC OpticsWhat Is An Adjustable Mount?

An adjustable mount allows the rings (the cradle base and top strap that grip the scope’s tube) to be height and tilt adjusted. Such user-made adjustments can be beneficial and, in some cases, very necessary.

A height-adjustable mount is very handy if you own numerous scopes with different sized objective bells, or rifles with different action/barrel designs. You simply adjust the mount to suit a particular rifle/scope combo without needing to own two or three sets of conventional mounts in low, medium and high format.

It can also help with achieving a precise gun fit, which is something that regular readers will be aware of, because proper gun fit is fundamental in consistent, accurate shooting. For example, a rifle with a raised or lowered cheekpiece may require a specific mount to achieve good eye alignment with the scope, but what if a high mount is too high for comfort, yet a medium mount is not high enough? With a height-adjustable mount you can set it to the millimetre for whatever scope you choose to have on board.

Likewise, height-adjustable mounts also help on rifles where there’s a protrusion above the receiver, such as the magazine on a pre-charged pneumatic (PCP). With a standard mount, you may find the magazine interferes with the scope, most commonly at its saddle. It may necessitate a much higher mount, which may then compromise your head position and, therefore, a comfortable aim. An adjustable mount can be precisely tailored for minimal saddle clearance without compromising your gun fit.

Diagram of shims and stresses placed on mounts during scope mountingNo More Shims!

Perhaps the biggest advantage an adjustable mount has to offer is its ability to ‘tilt’ – that is to angle the scope in relation to the rifle’s bore. With a few exceptions, conventional mounts make the scope parallel to the rifle’s receiver. This can pose problems on guns with a ‘droop’ barrel, or where the trajectory fall-off is especially noticeable, such as when shooting at longer distances or with an air rifle having a pronounced pellet path.

Of course, there are workarounds to deal with exaggerated fall-off, but they have their flaws. You could dial in maximum adjustment on the elevation turret, but that takes the scope’s delicate gimbal system so far from its ‘optical centre’ that it can become unstable in holding zero. Or you could ‘pack’ the base of the rear mount with a shim to angle the scope down at the front – but that puts stress points on the scope and, in the worst case, can even bend it!

By having front and rear mounts that are independently height and tilt adjustable, you can fully support the scope without ‘pinching’ it, and at the angle best suited to retain a near optical centre – the point where you need minimal clicks of the elevation turret to fine-tune your zero for any particular rifle/ammo/scope combo.

Tilt adjustment is particularly useful when shooting at longer distances, too, where the projectile’s trajectory is at its most pronounced. By tilting the scope ‘front down’, the line of sight can be brought more into alignment with the trajectory fall-off. And if you prefer to use the ‘dialling-in’ method – turning the elevation turret to a new setting for each distance – it also helps keep the clicking to a minimum, which puts less strain on the scope’s internals.

So, when you actually look at the advantages an Adjustable Mount system offers, it’s easy to conclude that it’s well worth the investment. Not only does bring a great deal of versatility to the all-important marriage of rifle and scope, and adjustable mount will even help ensure your scope’s performance, and therefore your marksmanship, is maximised without compromise.

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