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Things would be great if we could just slap an optic on top of our rifle and have it work perfectly every time. Unfortunately, it’s rarely that simple.
Something we didn’t anticipate always comes up. The optic isn’t quite the right height to co-witness with your backup iron sights.
Or the optic isn’t high enough to see over your forend rail attachments.
Or the optic is a bit too high or low on the receiver, which makes it difficult to quickly get a sight picture.
There’s always something. And a riser mount enables you to put your optic right where you need it, so it works for you and your rifle setup.
SPOILER—If you’re here for answers not discussions, get the Weaver Picatinny Riser Set. It’s a straightforward riser that will work for most configurations and sight height needs. And it’s affordable.
If you need something else, keep reading. We found all the best AR-15 riser mounts, so you don’t have to.
Top AR 15 Riser Mount on the Market Today
Best AR 15 Riser Mount Reviews - Getting the Right Sight Picture
The overall best AR-15 riser mount is first for review. The best AR-15 riser mounts based on specific characteristics are mounted in order of price.
The riser mounts that anyone can afford are up first.
The most expensive riser mounts are near the end.
Time to mount up.
1. Weaver Picatinny Riser Set - Overall Best AR-15 Riser Mount
The Weaver Picatinny Riser Set is a solid, snag-free AR-15 riser mount that accommodates the footprint of most optics.
As you may have guessed, this set actually includes 2 riser mounts: a 3-slot mount and a 1-slot mount.
This enables you to use this riser mount with both long and short optics. The 3-slot riser mount works with most compact optics like holographic sights and red dot sights. Or you can use both risers in the set for longer optics like scopes.
However, this riser set isn’t ideal for mounting a sight and a magnifier, since the 1-slot riser mount is too short for most magnifiers.
These mounts add half an inch (0.5 inches) to your sight height, which enables you to use a lower third co-witness with most optics and backup sights.
Lastly, both pieces are very well machined from 6061-T6 aluminum. And the anodized finish is better than a mil-spec finish.
Overall, this AR-15 riser mount set offers the best quality and compatibility for the money. It’s not perfect for everything. But it works for most configurations.
2. UTG Super Slim 3 Slots Picatinny Riser Mount - Budget AR-15 Riser Mount
The UTG Super Slim 3 Slots Picatinny Riser Mount is a solid riser mount that offers maximum configurability.
First, this riser mount comes in 4 heights: 0.5 inches, 0.75 inches, 0.83 inches, and 1 inch tall (here’s the 1-inch tall riser mount. same riser, different page). Between these three heights, most shooters will find the mount height they need.
All three heights have a skeletonized design that saves weight. And there’s a sight tunnel that enables you to use your iron sights, even if they’re too low for co-witnessing through your optic.
This riser has 3 picatinny rail slots, which fits most optics. However, if you need additional slots, or if you have a scope, you can simply use two of these risers to get the rail space you need.
This riser is machined from 6061-T6 aluminum and finished with a matte black anodizing that matches the finish on many upper receivers. And this mount secures with flush screws. So there’s nothing to snag or catch on your gear.
This Leapers riser mount is super affordable. So it’s easy to get the riser height and rail space you need for any optic and rifle configuration.
3. UTG Super Slim Picatinny Riser Mount - Budget AR-15 Riser Mount for Scopes
The UTG Super Slim Picatinny Riser Mount offers a longer, continuous picatinny rail for mounting scopes and longer optics with a wider footprint.
This riser mount has 13 picatinny rail slots. It’s enough rail space for almost any optic. And it works for mounting an optic and magnifier combo.
The skeletonized machining saves weight. And there’s a sight tunnel that you can use for your backup sights, if you have them.
This mount raises your optic by 1 inch. Unfortunately, it’s only offered in a 1 inch model. If you need a lower mount, you may need to get two smaller riser mounts.
But it’s machined from 6061-T6 aluminum. And it secures with flush screws that won’t present any snagging hazards.
All in all, it’s a super affordable one-piece riser mount that works great for the money.
4. Leapers UTG Universal QD Lever Lock Adaptor and Riser - Budget QD AR-15 Riser Mount
The Leapers UTG Universal QD Lever Lock Adaptor and Riser is a standard 5-slot picatinny rail riser, at its core.
However, the main thing about this riser mount is the quick detach lever. It snaps on and off your rifle in a second by just flipping the lever.
It’s a nice setup if you have multiple optics that require different riser heights, because you can just leave the riser on the optic. That way you don’t have to change the optic and the riser when you swap optics.
And, as we mentioned a second ago, this riser mount has 5 picatinny rail slots, which is enough room for almost any compact optic. You’ll probably need two of these for larger optics and scopes. But this will work for most red dot and holographic sights.
The riser height is a bit over half an inch (0.59 inches). It’s not specific to any optic. But it works for a lower one-third co-witness with most backup sights.
This is a solid riser that offers a lot of convenience, and the matte finish matches the finish on most upper receivers. Good deal for the money.
5. TRUGLO 1-Inch Picatinny Rail 2-Piece Riser Mount - Value AR-15 Riser Mount
The TRUGLO 1-Inch Picatinny Rail 2-Piece Riser Mount is an excellent all-purpose mount that will accept most optics, even scopes and larger optics.
Both pieces of this riser mount have 3 picatinny rail slots. One mount by itself has enough rail space to mount most compact optics. Or you can use both mounts if you have a scope.
The 1-inch riser height is fairly high. But there’s a sight tunnel in these riser mounts. So you can still use your backup sights, even if you can’t co-witness through your optic.
The hollow body also reduces the weight. Both mounts together only weigh a few ounces. You won’t even notice the extra weight.
Both mounts secure with screws that sit nearly flush with the body. There’s very little chance that these TRUGLO riser mounts will be a snagging issue.
Also, the finish is semi-matte, which is kind of a nice compromise between full matte and a glossier anodizing. So these mounts look like they belong on almost any rifle.
These are a tad pricier than some other options. But the fit and finish is excellent.
6. Kinetic Development Group SIDELOK Universal Short Scope Riser Mount - QD AR-15 Riser Mount
The Kinetic Development Group SIDELOK Universal Short Scope Riser Mount has one of the quickest quick detach systems you can get. And the lockup is surprisingly secure.
The SIDELOK quick detach system is essentially a push-button quick detach mechanism. I’m usually skeptical of push-button quick detach systems. But this one seems plenty durable. It uses 3 locks to keep the optic from moving.
It almost returns to the original zero if you remove it and reattach it. You’ll still want to verify the zero. But it usually requires very little adjustment, which is pretty impressive, even if it’s not perfect.
The push button to release the quick detach mount is also on the end of the picatinny rail section, rather than the side. So there’s no snagging issues with this mount.
Speaking of the rail, there are 5 picatinny slots on this Kinetic Development Group riser mount. That’s enough to mount just about any optic. And, if you have two of these mounts, you could mount most optic and magnifier combos.
This mount is pretty pricey compared to most lever-action quick detach mounts. However, it’s faster than most other QD mounts. And it retains the zero of your optic better than most QD mounts. So the money is well spent if you get this riser mount.
7. American Defense Manufacturing EOTECH Co-Witness Riser - AR-15 Riser Mount for Optic and Magnifier
The American Defense Manufacturing EOTECH Co-Witness Riser is an ideal riser mount if you use an optic and a magnifier.
This riser mount has 2 rail sections: a lower section and a higher section.
This configuration places the magnifier in-line with your optic. It’s designed specifically for EOTECH optics and magnifiers. However, it will work with quite a few different brands. But check the alignment before you go hot.
The whole mount snaps on with a single quick detach clip. The long section of rail is stabilized with a single rail along one side of the upper receiver. It’s a very stable mount. And it attaches and detaches very quickly and easily.
The quick detach clip is also as streamlined as possible to minimize snagging potential.
However, you’ll definitely need to rezero your optic if you remove this mount and reattach it.
This American Defense Manufacturing mount is a bit pricey. So it’s probably not a great option if you’re not going to use it to mount a magnifier or night vision device.
But, if you plan on using a magnifier, this is the best purpose-built solution for that configuration.
Taking the High Mount
There are always issues when it comes to mounting optics. A riser mount is a quick, affordable solution to many of the problems you might run into with your optic configuration.
Fortunately, there are a lot of options. And you can get what you need to make almost any optic fit how you want it.
But, if you need a solution that will solve most problems without much fuss or budget, get the Weaver Picatinny Riser Set. It’s a solid set of riser mounts that will enable you to mount most optics in the configuration you want.
So, if you’re still struggling to get your optics to line up, a riser mount may be just what you need. Pick up an AR-15 riser mount, so you can shoot more than you tinker.