History of Zeiss inner rail
In the past, a lot of European scopes were mounted to the rifles with the use of a traditional prismatic rail under the scope housing. This type of rail is today called LM rail, however, most of the scope manufacturers later decided to develop a new type of mounting rails for their scopes. The old LM rail needed cross screws for mounting and that meant that the gunsmith had to drill holes in the rail to mount it. To avoid this procedure new mounting rails were designed that are easier to mount.
Need Zeiss ZM/VM rail mount?
Almost all major scope manufacturers in the EU have their own mounting rail standards, however no other was as successful with their design as was Zeiss with ZM/VM rail. Their Zeiss ZM/VM rail standard is known also as
- Zeiss M rail
- Zeiss Inner rail,
- Zeiss Integral rail,
- Zeiss 45° rail or also simply called
- Z rail.
Scopes with ZM / VM rail
Today this type of mounting on a scope is used not only by Zeiss but also by the following manufacturers:
Interested in scopes with ZM/VM rail?
Advantages of Zeiss ZM / VM mounting rail
Even though that ZM/VM rail mounting of Rifle Scopes is not as popular and common as mounting with rings there is really hard to find any disadvantage of this type of mounting. Maybe the only two objectives that are still better at rings mounts are the price and availability.
However, in all other regards rail mounting of the riflescopes is a better solution. Zeiss ZM / VM rail offers the following summary of advantages over ring mounting:
- Better stability of the riflescope
- Better robustness and reliability
- No stress on the scope tube
- No distortion of optics due to mounting stress
- Perfect horizontal leveling
- No mounting marks on the scope
- Easier adopting of the correct eye relief
Watch our video about Zeiss ZM/VM rail below
General design features of Zeiss ZM / VM mounting rail
Zeiss ZM/VM mounting rail is designed as a 45° prism with the inner niche for mounting elements. You can see the basic schematic representation of the Zeiss ZM / VM rail in the following picture.
Mounting elements for this rail in most cases consist out of at least 2 or 3 pairs of outer and inner mounting parts which hold the scope tightly. Mounting is easy and with some technical skills, a gunsmith is not needed.
Mounts for ZM/VM rail
Mounting with Zeiss ZM / VM rail is still only really popular in Europe, even though it has so many advantages over other mounting solutions. This is also the reason why almost all mounts for Zeiss ZM / VM rail are produced in Europe. There are mounting solutions for almost any type of mount type that include Zeiss ZM / VM rail mounting elements.
Need Zeiss ZM/VM rail mount?
To my knowledge the following producers of mounts are producing such mounts:
1. Pivot mounts for Zeiss ZM / VM rail producers
2. Weaver/Picatinny mounts for Zeiss ZM / VM rail producers
3. One-piece monoblock mounts for Zeiss ZM / VM rail producers
4. Suhl Claw mounts for Zeiss ZM / VM rail producers
This list is certainly incomplete and if you have any valuable information on which manufacturer should be added to this list, please write to us or mention this in the comments below.
This article is intended to highlight the Zeiss ZM / VM rail mounting system and offers as much information as possible to the users. If your search over the internet information about this rail is dispersed and in most cases insufficient to give a clear understanding. To make things short, I will write that rail mounting of the Rifle Scopes is one of the best ways of mounting and that Zeiss ZM / VM rail is among the best rail mounting solutions. I also think that in the future much more scopes will be mounted this way than they are now. There are just too many benefits to ignore.