Gear Test Warne scope mounts
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- Last updated: 13/12/2016
This test came about as I was looking for some QD mounts for my 375 Ruger Hawkeye African. As the African is a dangerous game gun I wanted the facility of a scope, but also the iron sights, so required the aforesaid easy on/off system. Speaking to Warne at the IWA confirmed they offered such an item, it then occurred to me why not look at their range, which was duly sorted.
Warne are well known in the UK and are distinctive by their vertically split style of ring. Using sintered, steel construction, which allows for high build precision and strength, their Maxima rings join together by four Torx T-15 screws with an Allan key provided. Designed for the standard, 1”, Weaver-type base with cross slots, a square, stainless steel recoil key is fitted to each ring for maximum stability. Typically the standard sizes of 1” and 30mm are available, though they now offer a 34mm set up, which is aimed mainly at the tactical community. But it’s good to know that for a civilian shooter this bigger size is readily available.
Easy On, Easy Off
The Maxima QD rings follows the same build, though and as opposed to the fixed version that clamps both scope body and base as one, it has a sliding claw and indexing, locking lever base section. The lever is big enough to allow you to apply full tension with just thumb pressure and it can be unlocked (indexed) from its spindle and re-positioned so that it does not get in the way.
Warne offers the QD Maxima rings for both Weaver/Picatinny bases and Ruger’s dedicated/integral ring system for their M77 rifles. In the latter the recoil key is rounded and shaped for the receiver slots. These come in the Ruger-compatible, twin-height set, as the action is stepped and requires different height rings front and back.
Warne says that the QDs offer a repeatability of mounting within ¼” @ 100-yards. Typically rings are available in various heights and in a choice of matte or shiny blue and silver. For the flat-top, AR15 shooter they also offer sets of Ultra-High, QD rings which do look good. Plus a Tactical Ring with a nut closure base, Picatinny rails with the option of parallel or 20 MOA angle for longer range use. They even do a single/deep clamp to fit a 30mm bodied Aim Point red dot sight.
Bases are made from steel and offer two-pieces sets, though there are also one-piece units for long and short action rifles too. Useful is their Ruger, Picatinny rail adaptors, made to fit Mini 14, 77/22 etc, which have same height bases as opposed to the staggered types used on the M77 centrefires. It offers a single dovetail that converts these rifles to this conventional mounting system. Certainly useful if you want to fit a Weaver-based, night vision scope.
Naturally they offer a ring and base fitting chart as to rifle makes, and it covers a lot - and that even includes some shotguns, should you wish to fit glass to them for slug use. The list goes from Benelli to Weatherby with every major make in between, there’s rings with 16mm bases for the CZ 527, many rimfires and even the new Browning X-Bolt. It also includes handguns, which is perhaps not such a big concern to us in the UK, though pistol calibre and fullbore lever-actions are not forgotten either.
If you are used to horizontally split rings with separate base attachment the Warne Maximas are just that bit different. In effect you have to put one side of the ring on then offer it up to the base and slide in the recoil key, then put on the second half and loosely screw together. Do not initially do it too tight as you will not be able to rotate the scope to get it upright. Typically you get a back drive (scope rotates as the rings come together) so keep an eye on how you tighten them down. But once on properly the Warnes represent a solid and secure design.
To aid mounting Warne offer two useful tools. First is the Scope Mount Torque Wrench (#TW1), this T-handled driver shows a T-15 Torx drive and is pre-set to disconnect (click) at 25 inch/pounds of pressure, which is the recommended poundage required for correct fitting.
Equally useful is the Mounting & Scope Adjustment Tool (#ST1) this is a multi tool that offers T-10, T-15 and T-20 Torx drives, a 5mm slot head screw driver and 0.05, 1/16, 3/32, 1/8 and 5/32” Allan keys. All swing out from a large, plastic grip/handle. Both are must have items for your range bag or gun bench in my opinion.
Testing for me covered a Weatherby Vanguard Sub-MOA and Nosler M48 with standard, fixed rings and their bases, plus my Hawkeye African and the new Ruger M77 Compact Magnum (RCM) both using the QD Maximas. With the latter all you need to remember is that the positioning of the recoil bar places the locking lever on the right of the action. So you need to be setting them up so they can be angled down and out of the way. The Weaver-based QD rings have the recoil bar in the middle so the levers can be positioned left or right of the action as you prefer.
Overall no complaints; well built, easy to fit, tough, innovative and available in the UK, there’s not much wrong with Warne mounts….
Maxima fixed 1” - matt £40.95, stainless £49.95
30mm - matt £55.95, Stainless £61.95
Maxima QD 1” - matt £73.95, stainless £81.95
30mm - matt £91.95, Stainless £99.95
34mm fixed - £72.45
2-piece bases - £34.00
1-piece bases 20 MOA up to £149.95
Torque Wrench TW1 - £27.95
Mounting & Scope Adjustment Tool ST1 - POA
Steel precision air-rifle 2 piece mounts - £34.45