Warne QD X-SKEL Scope Mount: Next-Level Stability

If you use rifles, you’ve probably gone through the process of pairing a scope mount or rings with the optic itself. You might have even wondered if the mount you use really matters. The answer is that the mount does matter. It plays a greater role in accuracy and reliable performance than you might realize. Warne is a manufacturer of scope mounts and their QD X-SKEL Mount is a stellar example of the company’s dedication to quality.

warne scope mount
The Warne QD X-SKEL Mount is a cantilever scope mount that’s ideal for precision shooting. (Photo credit: Warne)

Construction Features

The Warne QD X-SKEL Mount is made to create a stable base for your optic. It’s a one-piece cantilever mount machined from 6061 T6 aluminum. This type of aluminum contains silicone and magnesium and is traditionally precipitation hardened. The T6 designation refers to its being artificially aged rather than naturally, a process that produces a metal with fantastic strength. That’s an important feature for a scope mount because it has to be capable of withstanding serious use, bumps, and scrapes.

Other features lending to the mount’s ruggedness include steel-threaded inserts to maintain steel-on-steel contact and what is currently a patent-pending one-piece construction. In addition, it’s hard-coat anodized for resistance to scratches and scrapes.

The mount is made at MSR Ideal Height which is Warne’s standard for precision shooting perfection. After all, if the scope mount is the wrong height, it’s going to adversely affect your cheek mount. According to Warne, it’s great for LPVO (low-powered variable optic) and varied power 24-56mm objective scopes, but of course, you can use it for any optic with a 30mm tube.

As its name states, this mount has quick detach levers. There’s more than one purpose to having good QD attachment points. Not only does it make putting the mount off and on the rifle easy, but it also makes it possible to return to zero when returning a zeroed optic to a rifle.

Why a cantilever?

cantilevered portion
Here you can see the cantilevered portion of the mount and the way it rises away from the rail. (Photo credit: Kat Stevens)

Before we get into the process of placing the mount in the rifle and covering how it’s done during live fire, let’s talk about cantilevers. You might be wondering why it’s a good idea to use this kind of mount and what its purpose is, among other things. After all, not all one-piece construction scope mounts are cantilever style. Does it really matter? Yes, it does.

There are a few pros to using a cantilever-style mount, including the fact they allow the user to better adjust eye relief. To put it simply, eye relief refers to the distance your eye is from the rearmost portion of the optic. You’re going to want decent eye relief for several reasons, and a cantilever makes it easier to get what you want.

Another great reason to use a cantilever mount is that it frees up real estate on your rail that might otherwise be taken up by the length of a mount. Maybe you have limited rail space or maybe you like having a lot of accessories on your gun; whatever the case, this way you have options. And when the mount in question is designed to be relatively lightweight while delivering proven performance results, all the better.

Attaching the Scope Mount to the Rail

Warne qd scope mount secured to rail
The mount is easily secured to the rail by turning these knobs on the left-hand side of the product. (Photo credit: Kat Stevens)

For this review, the Warne QD X-SKEL Mount was placed on an Axelson Tactical AR-10 chambered in 308 Winchester, in conjunction with an Acme Machine 6-24x50mm First Focal Plane Rifle Scope. You might not have heard of Acme, but their glass outperforms its price point, and they gather light well as dusk falls.

More than a few scope mounts on the market require a ridiculous number of tools, adjustments, and related fuss. Sometimes they don’t fit the rail securely—which is a little odd with the standard dimensions of a Picatinny rail—and other times the process of tightening them down and re-attaching the tops of the rings over a scope takes forever. That isn’t the case with this Warne scope mount.

Attaching the Warne mount to the rifle’s rail is straightforward and might be the fastest mounting process ever. The mount ships with the appropriately-sized Torx key (those are the ones that resemble a star at either end). Putting it on is as easy as opening the quick detach levers, dropping it on the rail, and closing the levers. It’s simple, and efficiently tightens down with no need for tools by rotating the bolts on the opposite side of the mount.

Dropping and leveling a scope into the mount is also a fast process, and the screws are quickly placed using the Torx key. This is a fantastically easy process, especially when compared to the struggles that come with some brands.

warne scope mount rings
The rings on the QD X-SKEL Mount are solidly built, fit well together, and are angled and skeletonized. (Photo credit: Kat Stevens)

Range Performance

It only took a few shots to zero the optic, with no further tightening of the mount required. Sometimes you need to work screws down more or secure the base of a mount to a greater extent after live fire, but that wasn’t the case with the Warne QD X-SKEL.

The mount stayed snugly attached to the rifle through live fire and multiple outings to go deer hunting. It was jostled around in the truck, bumped into trees, and leaned in corners. After removing the scope from the mount and later replacing it, the scope was still zeroed.

warne qd xskel mount
The Warne QD X-SKEL Mount is designed with careful attention detail for superior overall performance. (Photo credit: Warne)

This is a fantastic mount, whatever you intend to use it for. It’s durable enough for heavy-duty and tactical use, secure enough for hunting, and stable enough for precision shooting. The simplicity with which it locks down—and stays tight—is a huge selling point.

If your rifle doesn’t have a 30mm tube, don’t worry. This mount is also made for 1-inch and 34-mm tubes. The mount reviewed was flat black but it’s also offered in other colors. Burnt Bronze, red, OD green, Flat Dark Earth, blue, and Tactical Gray are options for the mount style itself with certain colors not being available with the quick detach levers. It ships in a plastic clamshell package and includes the correct size of torx key for adjusting the eight screws that hold the rings together.

quick detach levers
The quick detach levers are simple to operate and require no tools. (Photo credit: Kat Stevens)

Warne created their QD X-SKEL to be streamlined and sleek to reduce overall weight but tough and solid at the specific spots where it matters most. If you want a scope mount capable of surviving serious use that’s easy to put on your rifle, this one’s worth considering. And, of course, it doesn’t add unnecessary bulk, it provides excellent eye relief, and it frees up more space on your rail.

Don’t lose zero or end up with a damaged scope because you tried to use cheap rings or a subpar mount. It’s well worth investing in a high-quality mount to make your time shooting easier and more efficient, not to mention the edge in accuracy you get with a mount like this. Take your shooting to the next level of stability with the Warne QD X-SKEL. We think you’ll be pleased.

MSRP for the Warne QD X-SKEL is set at $224.99.

Kat Ainsworth Stevens is a long-time outdoor writer, official OGC (Original Gun Cognoscenti), and author of Handgun Hunting: a Comprehensive Guide to Choosing and Using the Right Firearms for Big and Small Game. Der Teufel Katze has written for a number of industry publications (print and online) and edited some of the others, so chances are you've seen or read her work before, somewhere. A woman of eclectic background and habits, Kat has been carrying concealed for over two decades, used to be a farrier, and worked for a long time in emergency veterinary medicine. She prefers big bores, enjoys K9 Search & Rescue, and has a Master's Degree in Pitiless Snarkastic Delivery.

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