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 Picatinny and Weaver rails.
The Picatinny rail has slots every 5 mm, while the Weaver rail has only a few slots and their positions are determined by the manufacturer. The profile of the Picatinny and the Weaver rail is the same. The Picatinny rail standard was developed from the Weaver rail and the only difference between the two is that the Picatinny rail has 5 mm gaps which are 5 mm apart and across its whole length.
The Picatinny rail is much more flexible than the Weaver rail. Because of the lack of versatility, the Weaver rail will probably disappear.
All mounts can be used on the Picatinny rail, but the mounts that are specially made for Picatinny can’t be mounted on Weaver rails. The slots on the Weaver rails are 3.8 mm wide while on the Picatinny rail they’re 5 mm wide. Most newer mounts have 5 mm recoil stoppers, so they just don’t fit onto the Weaver rail.
Most two-piece bases are still Weaver rails.
Most producers don’t make the Weaver rail anymore. There is more work associated with the production of the Picatinny rail and that’s why the Weaver rail is a little bit cheaper.
All Picatinny rails have the same standard footprint, while there is no standard to follow for Weaver rails and the placement and the number of the slots is dependent on the producer.
We would definitely recommend a Picatinny rail over a Weaver rail.
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Picatinny rail: https://www.optics-trade.eu/en/mounts/picatinny-rails.html
Weaver rail: https://www.optics-trade.eu/en/mounts/bases/shopby/base_type-weaver.html