Wood AR 15 Build Optic Mount: Scalarworks Low Drag Mount
The Optic Mount: Scalarworks Low Drag MRO Mount
Attaching the looking glass.
We had selected the Trijicon MRO for the rifle’s optic (here is the reasoning) and now needed a mount. As with many of the most popular red dots, there are a variety of manufacturers who make mounts for the MRO. To sort through the possibilities we selected four criteria: 1. Durability 2. Weight 3. Quick Detach-ability 4. Appearance.
Before we could start eliminating options based on the four criteria, we needed to decide what type of co-witness we wanted. Co-witness is the term used to describe how your fixed sights are visible through your optic. There are two types of co-witness: absolute and lower 1/3rd. In an absolute co-witness setup, the red dot (or other type of optic) aligns perfectly with the iron sights so that the red dot appears right on the tip of the front sight post. Alternatively, in a lower 1/3rd co-witness the optic is mounted higher than the iron sights so that the red dot centers above the front sight post. In this configuration, when aiming with the red dot, the iron sights are visible in the lower 1/3rd of the optic.
The debate about which is better and why rages on, but it really comes down to personal preference. The advantage of the lower 1/3rd setup is that the iron sights block less of the field of view when looking through the optic. The advantage of the absolute co-witness is that you don’t need to adjust the placement of your head when switching between the optic and iron sights. We like the idea of not having to move our head/eyes to utilize either the optic or the iron sights so we chose the absolute co-witness. Additionally, we knew we would be using folding iron sights and are planning on usually leaving the rear sight in the down position with the front sight up. This will provide us with a clear view of the MRO which will co-witness with the front sight post.
Absolute co-witness it was. Now which mount?
Right side, strong side
As mentioned above, there are many manufactures who make quality MRO mounts; nearly all of which are available in absolute and lower 1/3rd co-witness. We chose the Scalarworks Low Drag Mount (LDM) because it best fit our four criteria.
Durability: The main body of the LDM is made from single piece of 7075-T6 Aluminum, the same material as the MRO’s housing and then finished with Mil-A-8625 Type III Hard Coat Anodizing.
Weight: At just 1.21 ounces the LDM is more than half as light as many competitors and the lightest quick-detach mount we could find.
Quick Detach: It has it and, as mentioned above, it’s the lightest of the quick detach MRO mounts.
Appearance: It looks good. Such a small component will have a minimal impact on the overall aesthetic of the rifle but we wanted to make sure the fit and finish of the mount is a similar quality as the rest of the rifle.
Full co-witness height
Price: $149 (MSRP)
Material: 7075-T6 Aluminum Alloy (steel screws)
Coating: Mil-A-8625 Type III Hard Coat Anodized / Black Nitride
Optic Center Height: 36mm
Weight: 1.21 Oz (with screws)
Made in the USA
Quick detach on the left side
We want to give a big thanks to Scalarworks for sponsoring the Low Drag Mount for this build. The craftsmanship of the LDM is top notch and looks great when paired with the MRO. Even though we knew all the specifications of the mount, when it arrived we were surprised by how light and well-built it is. Stay tuned to the Wood AR-15 Build to see how the mount aligns with our iron sights and how it holds the MRO’s zero on the range.