One of the reasons AR-15 rifles are so popular is their modular nature. We can swap parts and pieces on these guns and have a completely different rifle in the time it takes to push some pins and twist some levers. If you’d like to expand this aspect of your AR even further, consider a quick-detach (QD) scope mount like the ones manufactured by American Defense.
QD scope mounts allow an AR owner to remove and reattach a scope quickly and without tools, while still maintaining the rifle’s zero. This feature is handy if your AR is filling more than one role. For example, I’ve been snapping a no-magnification red-dot sight onto one of my rifles for low-light shooting and replacing it with a conventional optic for daytime coyote hunting chores. It’s a handy way to expand the capability of any AR without buying another upper. As long as there’s a mil-spec Picatinny rail on your rifle, this will work.
The mount I’ve been using is manufactured by American Defense and is one of their patented AD-RECON-SW units. I’ve been using it for more than a year now and I’m completely impressed with the design and construction. The mount holds its zero perfectly and does a good job of returning to zero when the scope is dismounted and reattached. I’ve found it’s critical to make sure the base is going into the same rail slots it came out of and to push the scope forward as the levers are locked down. Snapping the two locking levers down in the same order all the time is also helpful. Do those three things and I’m seeing no change in zero out to 200 yards.
Besides being of a tool-less design, one of the features I like best about this mount is the ability to swap ring sizes. I got my unit with both 1-inch and 30mm rings, and the mount’s ingenious design allows me to use either size. Note, however, that this particular attribute is not a quick-change feature. Switching ring sizes is, as you’d expect, similar to a full scope mounting job. Besides these two most common sizes, American Defense also makes 32, 34, 35 and 40mm rings.
I see their website is hosting a Christmas sale right now, with 10 percent off and free U.S. shipping. This makes it a good time to give these mounts a try. At a price of about $160 for the complete unit, this is a good deal.