Elk NetworkRing Materials and Styles, Does it Matter?

Sponsored Content | November 1, 2023

There are many options when it comes to rings and mounts. Differing materials and styles may leave you wondering if there’s really much of a difference, or if it’s all just an attempt to get you to buy something. As manufacturers of multiple options, we can assure you there’s a reason for each one, otherwise, we wouldn’t bother making so many! To clarify some reasons for such diversity in rings we’ll break them down by material and style.




Aluminum: The 7075 Aluminum Warne uses in the Mountain Tech line is pound for pound stronger than steel. As the name suggests, these rings are intended to help reduce weight for shooters that have experienced how ounces become pounds and pounds become pain. Our aluminum rings are strong enough for most applications and the material has proven to be slightly gentler on scopes as it has some natural give and resilience during recoil. The hardware for this line is stainless steel.

Steel: Classically known for strength at the cost of a bit of extra weight. Steel rings are an ideal choice for high-recoiling applications such as a lightweight magnum. The extra stiffness and holding power of steel means your rings will be the last of your concerns.


Horizontally Split: This is the classic design that most are familiar with. They are easy to install, but what many don’t realize is they do not provide the ultimate in holding power. As horizontally split rings come together, they only apply pressure on the scope body at the top and bottom of the ring. For most, this is good enough, but some want or need more.

Vertically Split: While seemingly complicated the first time you install these rings, (see our installation videos for the easy way) vertically-split rings provide a more even grip on the scope. The two halves of a vertically-split ring wrap around the scope tube with their holding force similar to how a hose clamp works. Even when the total clamping force is the same it’s distributed more evenly on the scope than a horizontally split ring applies.

Cantilever: Cantilever mounts allow the optic to be held forward while still using a rearward mounting position. These are popular on modern sporting rifles such as an AR-15 because there is a need to have the mount as far rearward as is reasonable but still permit the use of the charging handle. A more forward optic position is also handy when shooting from improvised positions or at an angle, as long as your optic’s eye box permits.



We hope this simple guide helps clarify the reason for so many different types of rings and mounts. Beyond what we’ve covered here there are variants and even some crossovers of application. We’ve taken the guesswork out at www.WarneScopeMounts.com by including “key feature” and “best uses” indicators on each product. You can also contact our knowledgeable staff with any questions or special applications.