AR-15s are some of the most versatile rifles you can buy and customize. Many of us love to add red dot optics and specialty scopes to our AR-15’s to boost our accuracy and tailor our rifles for specific uses, like tactical training or hunting tools.
However, some AR-15s come with poorly positioned fixed front sights that get in the way of mounted optics. Other AR Rifles have unique rail systems or frames that make positioning your optic trickier than normal.
The solution to either case is usually an AR-15 riser mount: an attachment that allows you to boost an optic’s sitting height or scope on your rifle. While these attachments can be useful, it’s tough to find AR-15 riser mounts worth your time.
Fortunately, we’ve done the research so you don’t have to. Let’s break down the 8 best AR-15 riser mounts for the money now.
Our Guide To The Top 8 Ar15 Riser Mounts You Can Get Today
AR-15 riser mounts are everywhere, and it can be tricky to separate the best picks from the lackluster options. Fortunately, we did a lot of research to ensure that the below 8 riser mounts are worth your time and money. Just be sure to read through each carefully to ensure that the mount you pick will fit your AR-15 rifle.
UTG Super Slim 3 Slots Picatinny Riser Mount
The UTG Slim riser mount for AR-15s has it all: a Picatinny base, three slots for easy mounting of an optic or scope, and a precision-machined body.
Specifically, the body is made from aircraft-grade aluminum, which grants it exceptional durability without making the riser mount too heavy for comfort or so heavy that it’ll throw your balance off.
Even better, the riser mount is made with a black anodized finish. The matte black finish will both ensure that it doesn’t flash and glare in the sun, which can give away your position, but it’ll also reduce the likelihood of corrosive damage. Thus, it’s a perfect choice for use with an AR-15 that you frequently use in inclement weather (for instance, as a hunting rifle).
But we also really like the well-designed, scalloped Picatinny slots. This allows you to quickly and easily mount any accessory you choose with a minimum of fuss. It even includes a wrench for making adjustments. While the default riser mount size is 0.5 inches, you can also get it in 0.75 inches or 0.83 inches depending on your needs and preferences.
All in all, there’s a lot to like and almost nothing to dislike. The one minor downside is that some users have found the items shipped to be defective, so you might get a dud by accident and have to contact the manufacturer.
Made with lightweight but durable aircraft-grade aluminum
Has a matte black anodized finish to prevent sun glare and corrosive damage
Has distinctive slots for easy mounting of optics or scopes
Very easy to mount on to your AR-15
Comes in multiple sizes for different users’ needs
Some of the riser mounts are reportedly shipped defective
13 Slot UTG Super Slim Picatinny 1″ Riser Mount
This riser mount is a little more expensive than the last, but it’s also slightly higher by default at 1″ even. Like the previous UTG offering, this AR-15 Picatinny riser mount comes constructed with precision CNC-machined aircraft-grade aluminum and a matte black anodized coat on top. Again, this imbues the riser mount with the same lightweight but durable and corrosion-resistant qualities.
It also comes with scalloped Picatinny slots so you can quickly and easily mount most optics and scopes on to your AR-15 rifle without too much finagling. This longer UTG riser mount will allow you to install multiple accessories at once or install multiple riser mounts depending on your unique build and goals.
It’s an AR-15 riser mount designed for those enthusiasts who like to continually tinker with their rifles and build unique guns that you can’t find in shops. The only “downside” is that once secured, it takes quite a bit of effort to remove the riser mount from your Picatinny rail. So be sure that you place it perfectly the first time to save yourself some time.
Made with aircraft-grade and precision machined aluminum
Has a matte black anodized coating to reduce corrosive damage
Made to fit long AR-15 rifles and can fit alongside multiple accessories or attachments
Has enough room for multiple scopes and optics
Very easy to initially install
Very difficult to adjust the position of the riser mount after initially placed since it’s so tight
UTG 3 Slot Med-Pro Compact 0.83″ Riser Mount
UTG makes our list once again with this affordable AR-15 riser mount. What’s most interesting about this accessory initially is its compatibility with both Weaver and Picatinny rails. This means you can use it on most modern AR-15 platforms today without having to worry about compatibility.
That being said, the top of the riser mount is Picatinny style and comes with three slots. That means you should only combine it with optics or scopes that are set to work with Picatinny rails, anyway. Still, there’s a lot to like here, including a slight plate function you can use to quickly and easily install the riser mount on your AR-15.
Made with aircraft-grade aluminum and anodized with a matte black coating to reduce corrosive damage and minimize the possibility of sun glare.
One last thing – the riser mount has a “see-through” design that includes a tube or tunnel through the center of the mount’s apparatus. This can let you use fixed iron sights in conjunction with your red dot optic or scope at the same time to some degree. It’s versatile and affordable – what’s not to like?
Has a see-through tunnel to let you use fixed sights in conjunction with mounted optics
Very easy to install thanks to the side plate that uses spring tension
Can fit on both Weaver and Picatinny AR-15 rifle rails
Made with aircraft-grade aluminum and a matte black anodized finish
Though the bottom is versatile, the top is still limited to Picatinny optics and scopes
UTG 3-slot Slim Picatinny Short 0.5″ Riser Mount
Here’s another exceedingly cheap but effective UTG AR-15 riser mount. Unlike the last, it doesn’t have quite the same see-through capability, meaning you’ll have to choose between using your fixed sights for your mounted optic (most will go with the latter). Even with this minor downside, this riser mount is super affordable and made with the same attention to detail and durability as the other UTG picks on this list.
For instance, this riser mount is made with aircraft-grade aluminum and features a matte black, anodized finish to reduce the likelihood of corrosive damage. It uses the same spring-loaded side plate that allows very quick installation and adjustment if necessary.
It’s set to 0.5 inches by default and comes with 3 Picatinny slots. It can also work for Weaver rails upon initial installation. Still, once more, only Picatinny optics or scopes will be a good fit here. All in all, it’s best to think of this particular riser mount and the last as essentially the same, though the first is sized for 0.5 inches of height and this one is sized for 0.3 inches.
Made with durable but lightweight aircraft-grade aluminum and a matte black finish
Works for Weaver and Picatinny rails
Very easy to install and adjust thanks to the spring switch on the side
Very affordable, even compared to other AR-15 riser mounts
Can be swapped with the last depending on your height needs rapidly
The “see-through” tunnel here barely qualifies as such since this riser mount is so much lower than the last
Monstrum UTG High Profile Picatinny Riser Mount
UTG isn’t the only good AR-15 riser mount manufacturer! Monstrum also has good pieces to consider, starting with this 1-inch riser mount that’s perfect for optimal sight clearance for larger scopes and optics over tall fixed iron sights.
At 5.7 inches in length, this High Profile Picatinny Riser Mountan is an excellent riser mount for most AR-15 weapon platforms. This mount can accommodate both Weaver and Picatinny scopes, red dot, and optics. This makes it one of the most versatile riser mounts as the others so far have been limited to Picatinny attachments. A very stable scope mount.
It only weighs 6 ounces despite its larger than average size since it’s made with aircraft-grade aluminum. Even better, it comes with a see-through tube you can use to make use of your fixed iron sights at the same time as your chosen scope. Versatility is often the name of the game for tactical engagements, so we like to see riser mount incorporating this.
It’s also relatively easy to install and adjust thanks to the heat-treated locking nut that comes built into the mount’s side. It’s secure enough that even heavy recoil shouldn’t result in your mounted optic shifting about. The only minor flaw is that the anodized finish isn’t as notable or high-quality here as it is with many other choices.
Has a hollow tube to let you use your fixed sights and mounted optics at the same time
Works with both Weaver and Picatinny optics and scopes
Only weighs 6 ounces and is made with lightweight but durable aircraft-grade aluminum
Has a heat-treated locking nut for securing the mount to your AR-15
Has good height for many larger scopes and optics
The anodized black finish isn’t quite as high quality, so corrosive damage is more of a concern.
3-slot Slim Picatinny Short Riser Mount 1″
Here we have another high-quality short Riser Mount that also features a hollow see-through design, enabling you to use any mounted optic in conjunction with fixed iron sight on your AR-15 rifle. As with many top-tier UTG pieces, this pick is pretty easy to mount since the screws only need to be slightly loosened before it should snap over any typical Picatinny rail.
At 1 inch of height, it’s a good choice for short but relatively fixed scopes and thicker red dot optics. The continuous rail edge design will let you mount multiple of these riser mounts one after the other in conjunction. The scalloped slots do a good job of ensuring that mounting your accessories on the riser mount should be quick and painless.
While you won’t adjust its position without using a tool and a little elbow grease, it is a good pick if you want to combine a riser mount with your fixed iron sights. It’s a versatile and well-designed riser mount that follows many of the same construction and durability standards seen so far.
Made with a matte black anodized coating that provides great durability and longevity
Made with aircraft-grade aluminum to keep the weight down despite its size
Has a hollow see-through design so you can use your optics and fixed iron sights at the same time
Made to mount pretty quickly and easily
Can be used with multiple riser mounts for added versatility
Taking the mount off requires the use of a small hex wrench and some elbow grease
Fyland Picatinny Riser Mount – For Scopes and Optics
This AR-15 riser mount from Fyland is also sized for 1 inch of clearance, though it’s a lot shorter, slimmer and better suited for red dot or other tactical optics instead of heavy scopes. Regardless, it’s designed to fit any standard Picatinny rail, so it should go well with most typical AR-15 platforms.
This riser mount features a continuous rail design that should allow you to install multiple of these (admittedly affordable) units one after the other. In this way, you can combine multiple of these short riser mounts with small optics to give your AR-15 lots of versatility and tactical use.
Installing the riser mount is quick and easy, as all you have to do is loosen the screws, snap them out over your Picatinny rail, then screw them back into place once again. The mount uses scalloped slots so your accessory mounting is similarly snappy and fast. The only downside is that mounting and unmounting it requires the use of tools instead of a switch
Very lightweight and easy to install initially, though modifications take more time than mounts with a switch
Has a continuous rail edge design so you can use multiple of the mount at once
Has a see-through, hollow design for fixed and mounted optic use in combination
Very snappy accessory mounting thanks to the scalloped slot design
Fairly affordable compared to other riser mounts
Have to use the included tool to mount and shift the mount around
Monstrum Low Profile Picatinny Riser Mount
This last AR-15 riser mount is a particularly low-profile piece, meaning it’s better designed for red dot optics as opposed to thicker and long-range scopes. It’s sized for 0.5 inches of height and it’s 1.5 inches long, affording it good versatility in terms of the optics you can combine with it. Although it technically has a see-through model, this is so small in practice that you won’t really be able to use your fixed iron sights with your mounted optic here.
Still, it’s a solid piece of equipment that can work with both Weaver and Picatinny red dots and optics. This is a good pick for AR-15 owners who have multiple optics of both system types, so you don’t have to pick between one or the other.
It also only weighs 1.2 ounces since it’s made from aircraft-grade aluminum. This keeps the riser’s weight mount down and means it shouldn’t unduly influence the balance or feel of your AR-15 rifle. We’d recommend it as a particularly cheap and easy to install riser mount for lower red dot optics.
Made with lightweight but durable aircraft-grade aluminum
Has a quick mount and adjust switch so you can fiddle with it as necessary
Very easy to install as a result of the above switch
One of the most affordable AR-15 riser mounts
The hollow tube in the middle isn’t large enough to really be used with your iron sights.
What Is An Ar-15 Riser Mount And What It Used For?
In a nutshell, a riser mount is an added mount used for your best scope or optic. Riser mounts can be installed on the top of standard AR-15s or other rifle platforms. Then your favorite scope or optic can be installed on top of the riser mount.
A riser mount does two main things:
It changes how your optic or scope sits, which changes how you place your head and eye to look through them. This can affect or boost your accuracy.
It can lift your optic or scope above fixed front sights if your AR-15 is equipped with them
The latter function is only necessary for certain AR-15 platforms. For example, say that you have a rifle with a fixed iron sight and want to mount a red dot optic onto the rifle. When you install the optic, you find that the red dot rides just a little too low and the front fixed sight blocks the entire red dot. This defeats the purpose of the red dot optic, so you can use a riser mount to enjoy both sights as intended.
They’re relatively simple but often valuable optical attachments that can really change the way your AR-15 feels and how accurate you are in the field. Of course, not every riser mount is perfect for every optic (let alone every mounting rail). For instance, some riser mounts are only good for Picatinny or Weaver rails, while others are more versatile.
That’s why it’s crucial to choose an AR-15 riser mount carefully.
Benefits Of Getting A Quality Ar-15 Riser Mount
Experienced AR-15 enthusiasts will often purchase a riser mount for the multitude of benefits it provides to their shooting experience and overall accuracy. While your mileage may ultimately be based on your skill level and the type of optic you use, you can expect the following major benefits from installing an AR-15 riser mount.
Better sight position
A riser mount’s first and only purpose is to lift your scope or optic so you don’t have to press your cheek closer to your rifle for optimal sighting. This, in turn, can provide numerous sub-benefits like:
Less chance of injuring yourself when your AR-15 kicks in your grip
Easier time finding perfect target acquisition or optimal eye relief point
Faster target acquisition since you don’t have to put your cheek so far down
Great for use with a raised cheek weld
Lots of AR-15 owners like to customize their firearms, sometimes by adding a raised cheek weld. These additions help you put your head and cheek with a slightly raised position that’s better for ergonomics and user accuracy. Naturally, a riser mount is a perfect counterpart to a raised cheek weld and both accessories go quite well together.
All of this basically boils down to one ultimate benefit: much better accuracy in the field. This being said, while a riser mount can change the way your optic sits and ultimately produce better accuracy in the long run, it’ll take some practice, plus plenty of trial and error, to get things fitted perfectly so you fully benefit from the riser mount as intended.
This does mean you may need to practice with your rifle more than you expect after installing a riser mount. These add-ons are small, but they can have a bigger impact than you might think!
How To Choose An Ar-15 Riser Mount
While there are lots of AR-15 riser mounts that may be worth your time and money, choosing the riser mount that’s perfect for your needs means you need to focus on a handful of major aspects. Let’s break them down now.
First, don’t neglect price! It’s essential to get something that is both affordable and not overly cheap at the same time. Failing to do so could result in you buying a piece of equipment that barely lasts a single season or that doesn’t mount properly on your rifle.
Check for an affordable price tag, sure, but go for something you can stomach, not for something that scrapes the bottom of the barrel. Cheap riser mounts can crowd the market and seem, on the surface, far better than they actually are.
Naturally, the height of a riser mount will dictate whether it works for your scope or optic. This is partially down to personal preference, but keep in mind that there’s something of a sweet spot to target. If you raise your scope or optic too high, you could make it difficult or impossible to accurately zero your rifle.
Do it too low, and you might as well not be using a riser mount at all. In many cases, riser mounts or optics will come with manuals detailing the optimal height. Use this information in conjunction with your options to pick something perfect for your needs.
A riser mount’s length could dictate whether it’s a good fit for the top of your AR-15. Some riser mounts are a little too long for comfort, while others are too short to work with the optic or scope you have in mind for this attachment.
You’ll also want to look into any extra features that might come with a riser mount. See how easy they are to install, for instance, or whether they come with a brushed coating to lower the likelihood of corrosive damage or rust from inclement weather.
Don’t forget to consider whether the riser mount you’re looking at is a Weaver or Picatinny rail model, too. Each type will only fit with their associated rail system. The easiest way to make this decision is to just look at the scope or optic you plan to combine with the riser mount and pick one that uses the same rail system that the optic does.
Standard Attachment or QD?
Your AR-15 riser mount will also come in one of two types, regardless of its other features: standard or QD, which stands for quick detach. In general, QD riser mounts are:
Easier to take on and off
May allow you to quickly alter the function of your rifle or change out a lifted optic for a more close-quarters sight if necessary
In general, the only reason you’ll want a QD mount or attachment is if you tend to modify your AR-15 platform pretty frequently. For specialized guns, QD mounts and attachments aren’t necessary since the rifle in question is designed for a single purpose or shooting range. But since many folks use their AR-15s for variable purposes (including hunting and target practice), QD mounts do have a place.
Which is better? It’s ultimately up to you. But keep in mind that some QD mounts are a little more expensive than similar standard attachments that otherwise don’t have any extra features or differences. Still, the convenience of quickly detaching a mount on command could be worth an extra couple of bucks depending on your budget.
What Type of Rail Do Most AR-15s Use?
While some folks use Weaver rails, the majority of AR-15 uses rely on Picatinny rails as their standard mounting platforms. These rails have a developed history that started in the 1980s, and they’re actually best thought of as an enhanced version of Weaver mounts.
What’s the big difference? Picatinny rail platforms have:
a more angular design
larger or wider locking slots
additional space between slot centers
Meanwhile, Weaver mounts usually have a wider, dovetail shape and narrower slots
All of this results in an easy to use mounting system that allows you to set even larger scopes onto an AR-15 platform. The Picatinny’s versatility has also made it a favorite for larger caliber rifles, like some sniper and other bolt action firearms.
In our eyes, this means you’d be smart to get a Picatinny-friendly riser mount if your AR-15 is standard and has a Picatinny system already.
There are other AR-15 mounting systems out there, of course, including M-Lok and KeyMod systems. These are much rarer than Picatinny mounting systems, though.
Should I Put Accessories Other Than Sights On An Ar-15 Riser Mount?
Not really. AR-15 riser mounts are designed for use with scopes, red dot, or other optics. While there might be a few obscure AR-15 accessories or attachments you can combine with riser mounts, they’re likely few and far between and defeat the purpose of a riser mount in the first place.
Furthermore, most riser mounts won’t have the grooves or slots to accept other kinds of attachments. They’re designed, through and through, for use with optics and scopes alone.
Do Ar-15 Riser Mounts Hinder Accuracy Or Reliability?
Not if you install your mount correctly. Remember, the entire point of an AR-15 riser mount is to boost your accuracy across the board by making it easier for your eye to reach the optimal distance between the scope or optic you choose to use.
Additionally, by raising the height of the optic or scope, your cheek will be in a better, more comfortable position and your face will be less likely to be hurt by sudden rifle kickback.
This being said, an AR-15 riser mount could affect your accuracy or the reliability of your shot if you don’t install it correctly or you don’t have a lot of practice with the attachment. Like any optic or addition to a rifle, adding something new can throw you off balance and make the firearm perform differently than you’re used to.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s always good to remain versatile and mentally limber – add a riser mount to your AR-15 and you’ll have to rethink how you use the weapon and may even become more accurate with it over time.
Cons To Using An Ar-15 Riser Mount
While there are lots of reasons to consider adding an AR-15 riser mount to your rifle, there are a few potential cons.
For one, some people think that riser mounts make their AR-15s look a little bulkier than they like. Granted, the aesthetics of your weapon aren’t necessarily the first thing to consider, especially when accuracy and rifle consistency are more important factors.
But some AR-15 enthusiasts build new platforms specifically for the look or feel of the gun, and so a riser mount might be against their purposes. However, there are plenty of thin, narrow riser mount on the market, many of which are described above
Some may also say that a riser mount for your AR-15 is ultimately pointless and a waste of cash. Indeed, if you can perfectly mount your rifle and optic and use a special cheek riser for added comfort and protection, a riser mount might not be necessary.
But your mileage may vary. Some people find riser mounts to be excellent additions to their AR-15s, while others don’t need them. Like all rifle accessories, it comes down to your preferences and needs
Ultimately, the big take away is that AR-15 riser mounts aren’t bad choices by any means.
In the end, each of the above AR-15 riser mounts are good choices based on how much height you need and what optics or scopes you want to combine with your rifle. We especially like the UTG Super Slim 3 Slots Picatinny Riser Mount which offers excellent benefits like scalloped Picatinny slots, a black anodized finish, and multiple different sizes to choose from. This ensures that there’s a perfect riser mount for everyone.
Still, remember what we discussed in the buying guide so that you pick a riser mount that’s perfect for your needs above all else. Good hunting!