UTG PRO Scope Rings: American Made & Budget Friendly

I got started in precision rifle shooting when it was common logic that if you paid less than $50 for scope rings you shouldn’t expect to get much out of them. Thankfully, modern machining processes have improved to the point where that’s becoming less and less the case. Now I strongly advocate that you should buy the best equipment that you can afford but I also realize that in the real world we’re often working with tight budgets. Back in the spring, I found myself in this situation while looking for a set of rings that could live on a shelf until I needed them for rifle or scope reviews. I was trying to keep my spending to under $100 and that’s when I more or less stumbled across the UTG Pro POI rings while cruising the interwebs.  

I know what a lot of you are probably thinking at this moment. The UTG brand is likely to elicit some pretty negative connotations about this product’s quality and origin. Don’t let that fool you though, the UTG Pro line is designed, manufactured, and assembled in Michigan and I can tell you that the quality is pretty amazing for the price. 

Design and Construction

The first thing that I noticed about the rings is the surprising level of fit and finish. The ring caps have a slightly domed top with very clean lines that flow down perfectly to where it meets the main ring body. The sides of the ring caps and the edges of the main body have a radius so there are no sharp or uneven edges, lending to its good looks. 

The UTG Pro line is designed, developed, and manufactured in Livonia, Michigan.

Both the main body and ring caps are made from 6061-T6 aluminum, a material that’s commonly used to make scope mounts because it is lightweight and strong. Lower quality aluminum rings will often have a keeper that’s made from the same material as the main body. On the Pro rings, this keeper is actually made from 4605 steel so there is steel on steel contact when you tighten down the cross bolt. 

The steel keeper is guided by two steel pins on either side of the cross bolt. This ensures perfect alignment when clamping the rail during mounting.

When fully tightened, the cross bolt and keeper sit almost flush with the main body of the scope rings. All of the fasteners also use the same T-25 bit so only one tool is needed to tighten everything down instead of having to switch between different bits.

A detailed look at the clean interface between the steel cross bolt, keeper, and hard-anodized aluminum body of the ring.

The UTG Pro rings also have an integral recoil lug on the bottom of the ring to engage the rail slot and the cross-bolt threads directly into the main body.  

Such attention to detail was paid to the design that even the edges of the recoil lug are chamfered…on $50 rings.

Instead of using a Type-II anodized finish that is normally found on less expensive rings and bases, the Pro rings use a Type-III hard anodizing.  Type-III hard anodizing penetrates deeper into the aluminum to create a very durable, abrasion-resistant finish. Type III anodizing is used throughout the firearms world on AR-15 receivers, tactical handguards, weapon lights, and optics. The matte black finish is very consistent and matched up well with the anodized finish on my Nightforce and Vortex scopes.

Mounted Up

At the time of this writing, I’ve used these rings extensively on review rifles but before I ever dropped my scope into them I had to make sure they weren’t going to do more harm than good. To check this I attached both rings to the integral rail of a Performance Center TCR22 that I was reviewing. This ensured there would be a minimal amount of runout in the base that could affect the ring’s alignment. When I torqued the ring caps down to 18 in/lbs on my Wheeler alignment bars, the conical ends were lined up perfectly. This told me they were machined concentrically like a quality set of rings should be and they wouldn’t otherwise damage my scope.

The rings are approximately 7/8″ wide, providing plenty of clamping force around a scope tube to prevent the scope tube from slipping in the rings.

The wide footprint of the rings provides plenty of clamping force to keep the scope in place under recoil. Out of the hundreds of rounds fired, miles of getting bounced around in vehicles, and use on multiple rifles, if the scope was going to come loose I feel it would have by now. The smooth anodized finish and fine machining also contributed to the lack of any ring marks when I did finally take my Vortex scope out of the rings for examination. A quick wipe down with a rag and you would be hard-pressed to tell if the scope was ever mounted up at all.

The only downside that I can find with the rings is that they aren’t available in as low a height as some of its contemporaries. However, with so many rifles now coming with adjustable cheek rests and the easy availability of an aftermarket cheek riser I don’t see it as much of an issue.  

Ring DiameterLowMediumHigh
1.0″.90″1.10″1.30″
30mm.98″1.18″1.46″
34mmN/A1.26″1.46″

The heights of the scope rings listed above are measured from the top of the Picatinny rail to the centerline of the scope when mounted. The height ranges should work out with most long-range rifle and optic combinations that are currently popular.

Conclusions

I’m not so foolhardy as to say that these rings are as good as the sets of Nightforce and Badger Ordnance rings that I have on my other optics. That being said, they are pretty good in most respects and they fulfilled their role very well. If you ignore the UTG branding for a moment, I believe you’ll see these rings for what they are, a quality piece of Made in the USA hardware that’s a very good value. As much as I‘d like to have Nightforce and Badger Ordnance gear on all of my optics, like a lot of people I simply can’t afford that. The UTG Pro rings offer a lot of bang for the buck for the shooting community at large.  

For more information visit Leapers Inc website.

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About the author: Ian Kenney Ian is a lifelong firearms enthusiast and veteran of the Global War on Terror. For over a decade, he has been actively competing in precision rifle and action shooting competitions. Ian has also contributed to multiple online publications, covering general firearms topics, precision rifles, and helping to improve the skills of shooters.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • J West October 17, 2019, 4:00 pm

    I have have two of their Accu-Sync offset mounts one on an AR-308 and the other on a .224 Valkyrie AR-15. Both have been rock solid since they were mounted. They both hold zero with Vortex 6-24×50 Vipers PST & HST and are more accurate than I am with their Wilson Combat barrels. I also have a pair of Aero Precision Ultra lite mounts (which are also great mounts) but the ease of leveling and mounting scopes in the UTG’s more then compensates for the fee ounces of weight I pick up with them. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anyone who isn’t hiking long distances up and down mountains where weight becomes a limiting factor. The price is right the options are many and availability is hard to beat in the sub $100 Rings, mount & bases. I’d buy them again. They make some great quality affordable bipods as well.

  • Loughsun October 15, 2019, 10:48 pm

    I have UTG scope mounts on 3 of my rifles and each of them holds awesome groupings. The worst one is a 1 MOA and the best gets Sub MOA. I have some Leopold scope rings On some other rifles of mine. For my results I can’t see the need to spend more money. More especially how I am not at precision shooting competitor. I am a practical application/hunter. Great article.

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