So I had a problem. I had a new rifle, with a style of handguard I’d never used and the hankering for a good scope. The rifle was my standard AR lower with the Garrow Arms roller delayed upper receiver. The 17 HMR is an outstanding round for hunting squirrels, rabbits, and other pests. I knew I wanted a magnified optic and went with the ProStaff 5 from Nikon. The problem was what’s kind of mount? With so many options for rings and scope mounts it can get confusing. I knew I wanted to go low, but I needed the mount to be high enough to clear the handguards and to accommodate the ProStaff 5’s 40mm objective lens. Fellow Arms Guide writer Graham Bates pointed me to the Warne MSR XSKEL1 Gen 2 mount. My problem quickly found it’s solution.
The Warne MSR Mount – A Perfect Blend of Modern and Sporting
MSR stands for Modern Sporting Rifle, so it’s made for modern rifles like the AR 15. The Warne MSR doesn’t just do an outstanding job as a 1 piece scope mount, but it’s perfect on the AR 15 platform. Scope height is a big deal for comfortable shooting and the Warne MSR places the scope at the ideal height for use with the standard AR stock comb.
I’m using my always awesome Bravo B5 stock and the height is absolutely perfect. The optic aligns perfectly with my eye and I can keep my neck and head at a natural height. When it came to testing the Garrow Arms rifle I was in multiple positions for extended periods of time, putting round after round downrange. A normal person can typically take their time when it comes to shooting, but I had a deadline.
This meant I needed to shoot, shoot, and shoot some more. The reduced fatigue and natural alignment of scope to eye was a godsend during a long day of shooting and observing groups.
What’s Behind the Warne MSR
The Warne MSR XSKEL1 Gen 2 is a lightweight, cnc machined mount made from 6061 aluminum. It’s lightweight, easy to set up and locks your scope in nice and tight. The rings use 8 torx fasteners with steel threaded inserts. This keeps you from stripping the screws.
The mount features a 1 inch cantilever for additional eye relief, and it makes using a longer scope like the ProStaff 5 a bit easier. Especially if you want to set up the scope from an ergonomic standpoint. The mount allows you to position the controls for easy manipulation. This is another issue with the AR and its charging handle. If you want to mount a scope and still want easy access to the charging handle you’ll need that extra inch.
The last thing I want to mention is the design accommodates a folding iron sight, or a 45 degree mount for a red dot sight. Since I’m done testing the Garrow Arms upper I moved the scope and mount to my basic AR 15. It’s the rifle I’ve taken hunting this year. My Magpul MBUS sight folds perfectly out of the way. I can’t use the iron sight with the optic mounted, but the Warne MSR mount is easy to take off if the scope goes down. I still have the iron sight on the rifle at all times.
Overall the Warne MSR XSKEL1 Gen 2 is a rock solid mount. It’s held zero for hundreds of rounds of 17 HMR on an unconventional rifle design and allowed me to achieve the accuracy needed to make my AR a hunting rifle. It’s simple, lightweight, and it comes in 6 different colors.