Welcome to Optics Trade debates. In each episode, we talk about a different topic and try to answer the most common questions we receive about it. Today, we are going to talk about how to mount a Red Dot Sight on a Pivot Mount.
Especially with hunting rifles, the pivot mounts are very common because they are one of the easiest mounts to use, elegant, light and very reliable. Mounting it is quite simple, there is a rear and a front ring, locking mechanism and two bases. The front base is for the key and the rear base is a dovetail for the locking mechanism. With scopes it’s really easy, you can always mount any kind of scope by rotating it 90 degrees. This is a completely repeatable mount, you can remove and reattach the scope a couple ten thousand times and it will always work.
If you have a Red dot like the Aimpoint Hunter Series H30 or H34, either long or short version, it’s very easy. You get another set of pivot rings with the front foot and rear foot for the second optics and you can easily mount it on existing bases. You attach it or remove it in the same way like a scope.
However, it’s a little more difficult if you have a red dot like a Docter sight, of the reflex type, or if you have an Aimpoint Micro or a Holosun red dot. Those can be mounted with two mounting solutions or if we are completely exact, three mounting solutions.
The first one is with a MAKlick mount. The mount goes on the front or rear base, you just move a lever and you mount your red dot on it. It looks elegant, it’s small and it works. This mount is available either for Docter red dot sights or all the clones that use the same mounts as Burris, Meopta, Delta optical devices and many others. We would say that 80% of all red dot sights use this type of mount.
It can also be used with a special adapter which comes in the package for the Aimpoint Micro. With this mount, a small adapter (about three mm thick) comes between the MAKlick mount and the Aimpoint Micro.
There is a constant debate over where’s the best position for a red dot to be mounted, in the front or in the rear. We think that this is more of a preference. The majority of people prefer front base mounting because you have to come into a more accurate shooting position to get the point visible. If it’s in the rear you can get to the point where it is visible sooner, the target acquisition is faster and you can shoot when the rifle is not properly in your hold, so the accuracy can be a little worse.
The second option is a Henneberger safe mount which is quite similar to the MAKlick mount. It goes on the front base, the lever is different and it already has an adapter for the Aimpoint Micro or the Holosun. If you remove a small plate which is about two mm thick, then underneath you can find a normal mount for the Docter sight type of red dot sights.
The third option is very unusual and very rare. Recknagel produces a rear plate with a small recoil groove and a special mount which holds the rear dovetail and it is also available for Docter sight type of red dots.
It is really hard to say which of the options is the best. They are all good but there are some differences. With the Aimpoint micro, it is almost identical if you use Henneberger solution or the MAK solution. Both of them will work and the Aimpoint Micro H1 and H2 are waterproof by default.
If you are using a Docter sight mount which needs a gasket to assure the waterproofness then the Henneberger mount is a little bit better. With the MAK mount, you have a little part on the bottom which is cut out for the lever, so the water can come into the mount from this side. Because of this, the Henneberger mount is a little more suitable but of course also more expensive.
The Henneberger is about 20% more expensive. Both of them work well and we would also say that this compromising waterproofness is not a huge problem because it’s in a position which is not exposed to a lot of water.
There are still some red dots which have no ability to be mounted on a front base of the pivot mount.
In such cases, producers like MAK are making the upper part for the pivot mount which works in the same way like with the scopes and a Picatinny rail profile on it. With such a mount, you can mount any red dot on it as you wish. But, of course, then the elegance of the hunting rifle is lost.
Some producers, like Recknagel, also produce mounts that have a Docter or an Aimpoint mount instead of the Picatinny rail on top. They are a little bit more elegant but all of these alternatives which connect the front and the rear base on a Pivot mount are a bit higher, clumsier and less elegant than the previous two solutions from MAK and Henneberger.
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Pivot mounts: https://www.optics-trade.eu/en/mounts/pivot-mounts.html
MAKlick Mounts: https://www.optics-trade.eu/en/manufacturer-mak/mount_series-maklick.html
Henneberger HMS Safe Mounts:https://www.optics-trade.eu/en/mounts/shopby/manufacturer-henneberger/mount_series-henneberger_hms_safe.html