Picatinny Vs Weaver Rails: Spec & Feature Comparison

When it comes to scope mounting, most newbies will find it quite hard to pick the proper item for them among a large variety of choices. If you are one of those who need information on this topic, drop by our post today. This is a thoughtful comparison of Picatinny vs Weaver rails. Let’s dig in detail with us now.

Picatinny Vs Weaver Rails Comparison

In this part, we will point out similar and different aspects of these rails to unveil which one is more suitable for your needs. 

Similar Side

Picatinny and Weaver are scope mounting systems that play an important role in most rifles, especially AR-15s. In general, these items are a hybrid of civilian ingenuity and military need, which have become a great standard for most edge-cutting firearms.

Furthermore, both Picatinny and Weaver versions use a slot-and-bar configuration, which combines a transverse slot and a blocking bar of their scope rings

Thus, many beginner shooters assume that either of these two rails seems likely to be evenly effective. Yet, in fact, each scope mounting brings various experiences with different features for you. Let’s move to the next section to see how different these rails are.

Different Side

In this section, we will go through five vital criteria to find which one is better, namely: basic history, rail slot and its placement, accessory rail, style rings, and some other factors.

Basic History

Picatinny rails were created in 1995 in New Jersey, where the Picatinny Arsenal American Military was stationed. US Army based on a typical military standard to invent Picatinny rails, hence it was also called MIL-STD-1913.

Actually, the number 1913 indicates the army data showing the typical sizes for Picatinny mounting system pattern.  Thereby, a lot of people got the wrong impression about this name when they supposed 1913 was the year this scope mounting was engineered. Though people originally designed this version to serve in the military, it has become increasingly more popular today than the Weaver rails in the global market. 

Meanwhile, The Weaver manufacturer built its mounting system by the mid-1990s. This item has quickly been ubiquitous among shooters thanks to its reasonable price and high quality. Until now, the Weaver rails still keep their slot in hunting forums very well.

Rail Slot And Its Placement 

Where the difference does become significant is in the Rail Slot and its placement. We will focus on the width of the rail slots to figure out the main point needed to compare.

Along the whole length of MIL-STD–1913 mounting system is an array of rail slots with equidistant space. The MIL-STD–1913 slot rail is approximately 0.026 – inch wider than its opponent. 

The Picatinny mounting systems consist of consistent and even slots on the rails, which reach 0.206 inches in width for each rail slot, and the range between these rail slots is 0.394 inches. 

However, the slot width of the Weaver rail is 0.180 inches wide and doesn’t meet the standard for space between rail slots. Thus shooters can feel free to reach various ranges between these grooves on the same rail, which will be more convenient for them. 

Accessory Rail

Another notable point on the differences between these two scope mountings is the accessory rail. Picatinny models are equipped with a recoil groove in a square shape at its bottom, whereas its rival has a moderately rounded recoil groove. 

Weaver producers didn’t allow their equipment’s accessories to glide along with the scope mounting system before being sealed. Meanwhile, Picatinny supplier did and designed their accessory rail with the slot’s depth reaching 0.118 inches.

Style Rings 

Both rail systems can run with any scope owning Weaver ver rings. Moreover, recently, a lot of suppliers have used the Picatinny rail as a standard to manufacture their scope rings. Thus, if your scope is equipped with MIL-STD–1913 style rings, the Weaver mount might not fit with it. 

In addition, the Picatinny ring and mounts would fairly be common on the military field. Nowadays, it has also started being popular in the civilian market. Meanwhile, its competitor’s ring is well-known for general shooting purposes only and is sold in the hunting market.

Some Other Factors

Besides the above differences, there are other differences.

In fact, stemming from the difference in terms of weight leads to the difference in price. Basically, the MIL-STD–1913 rail mounts have a reputation for being quite lightweight and long-lasting. This means that a Picatinny rail will be more expensive.

Regarding flexibility and variety, the Picatinny is also superior to its opponent. The deep cause for this fact might be derived from the base of their foundation and developing process. Particularly, the MIL-STD–1913 rail is not only used for army purposes but also meets the needs of many shooters in formal shooting competitions. Meanwhile, you can find the Weaver rails on usual hunting fields with ease. 

After seizing the general comparison of both rails, to better serve your decision, here we introduce a compact rundown of these items. Follow us now!

Quick Rundown Of Picatinny Rails


  • Suitable for most modern firearms
  • Super durable
  • Has a wide variety
  • Fits with most accessory products
  • Firm mounting systems 
  • Flexibility in adjusting the placement of rail accessories 


  • Quite heavy as mounting accessories 
  • More expensive

Quick Rundown Of Weaver Rails  


  • Lightweight as mounting accessories
  • Affordable
  • Varying distances between these grooves on the same rail


  • Not as long-lasting 
  • Not flexible

Which One Is Better – Picatinny vs Weaver Rails

Now is the right time to confirm which rail is the winner in this comparison for you.

Apparently, if you are a novice to the hunting field and want to look for a flexible, durable rail mounting system, you should prioritize the Picatinny rail. This option also allows you to attempt different accessories which bring much more experience for you.

In case you are a veteran who would like to accumulate specific shooting skills with rifles, the weaver rails will be a perfect option for you.

Bottom Lines 

Are you still here with us until these lines? If yes, we believe that you have reached an answer to your question on the differences between Picatinny vs weaver rails. Furthermore, you will be more confident in picking the optimal one from now on. 

Thank you for your company. If you find our content useful, don’t forget to share this with others who have the same interest. And please stay tuned for our next post! See you soon!

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