If you are reading this it is likely that you already know how important good rings and bases are to any shooting system though, like me, you probably still see guys at the range who somehow feel it is OK to get buy with the “Made in China” see-through ‘sniper rings’ they got off of Ebay for $20 . If, by chance, you are one of those guys who uses such cheap stuff then please heed this gentle reminder that the rings and bases are as important to the shooting system as any other component.
I have used many different rings and mounts and a glance around the gun-room shows that while most of my scoped rifles wear TPS there are a fair number that the Burris Signature Zee’s and a few that use the Vortex-branded Seekins Precision, one that has the excellent Badger Ordnance rings and one that has the very fine Cadex one piece mount so, yes, there is quite a variety. After reading a number of favorable comments online I decided to invest in a SPHUR mount to see, for myself, if they lived up to all the hype.
SPHUR bills their one-piece mount as the ISMS – Ideal Scope Mount System and speak of it as follows: “Extremely sturdy scope mount, with possibility to attach multiple optical accessories directly to the mount. Built-in level. 45-degree split of the rings provides unobstructed view of the knobs.” How close to this description the product comes was my objective in buying one and testing it out.
Made in Sweden by SPHUR AB (http://www.spuhr.biz/) the first thing you need to know is that these mounts are not cheap – here in Canada one can expect to pay over Can $500 so that may come as a shock for any shooter used to the brands one usually sees at the range on any given weekend. As one might expect with something so pricey it arrives nicely packaged and with a set of instructions though most users will not find instructions to be necessary and for those that do the ones supplied are , to be perfectly honest, not particularly useful.
Unpacking the mount however one cannot help but notice how well made the SPHUR is – Made of 7075 aluminum it really is a beautiful piece of equipment and even going over it with a magnifier I couldn’t see any single thing that was less than perfectly machined.
Available either canted or flat and in both of 30 mm and 34 mm configurations I chose to purchase the flat 30 mm version as all my rifles already have either 20 or 25 MOA rails and other than my S+B’s my scopes are, in the main, 30 mm tubes.
I think most readers of an article like this will by now find scope mounting to be pretty easy but for those who still find the task a little troubling the SPHUR mount makes it quite easy as a milled line on the mount corresponds to a centre mark found on the elevation turret of nearly all scopes.
SPHUR also provides a handy little tool that one can use to ensure that the scope is properly indexed and level.
Each of the clamshell rings are attached by six screws and while SPHUR recommends the use of Rosin (or, I assume a similar product) to provide additional adhesion on heavy recoiling rifles since I decided to put the SPHUR on my PGW Coyote in .308 I figured the rings themselves would provide more than sufficient tension to hold the scope in place just like any regular set of rings would.
Mated to the PGW and with a Nightforce NXS 8-32×56 firmly in its grasp I took the SPHUR out to my favorite shooting spot and over the course of a morning fired fifty rounds of .308 at both of steel and paper. I made a point of adjusting both of elevation and windage turrets from the prone and found it easy to do so with no obstruction from the mount. Also, and as advertised the way the mount is constructed makes viewing the dials easy – a small point but one worth mentioning as I had a couple of other rifles with me and noticed – perhaps for the first time – that regular rings do, indeed, sometimes obstruct turret markings.
I noticed no movement or shifting of the mount ( I would, quite frankly have been very disappointed had there been any ) and at the end of the session the screws remained tight (25 inch/pounds) none having come loose.
My feeling is that, while expensive, the SPHUR is a very solid mount that like other one-piece mounts offers some advantages over the traditional two-ring way of mounting a scope. For the kind of shooting I do I can’t really say that the SPHUR is noticeably any better than the other one-piece mounts I have used ( Near Manufacturing and Cadex ) but other users may see a big advantage when it comes to adding other devices onto the mount. SPHUR have been able to drill and tap the mount so that it is possible to mount small Picatinny rails in a number of spots and then attach such things as cosine indicators, night vision support brackets and any other devices a user may feel would help them make the shot.
The last feature to be mentioned is that the SPHUR comes with a built in bubble level that is mounted low enough to be easily seen with a quick glance so that a shooter can quickly see the cant of the rifle and scope which, again, may help make that important shot.
In summation, I think this is a good piece of kit that, provided you can swallow the cost, should be a welcome addition to any serious shooters equipment.