In my last post, Maximizing Real Estate on the Yugo M70 Ultimak, I talked about making room on the AK (M70) Ultimak rail for a light mount. In this post, I will be looking at one of the mounts you can use on the AK Ultimak and still maintain your co-witness, Impact Weapons Components Thorntail SBR Offset Adaptive Mount.
** Be aware that IWC offers several versions of this Mount, so if you are going to be using this on an Ultimak Rail on a AK, be sure and select the SBR version with the shorter cantilever arm.**
This was my first Impact Weapons Components product, and I gotta say, my first impressions of both the company and product, have been top-notch. I was familiar with Travis Haley’s outfit, Haley Strategic and was pleased to discover that Travis and IWC worked hand in hand in designing the Thorntail mounts. I will also add that Earl at IWC is a pleasure to deal with. He knows his stuff and to have AMERICAN customer service with such expertise and a great attitude to boot is invaluable in a world where the consumer sometimes is treated as just another entry in the “debit column” instead of a person. IWC also offers a very competitive Veterans Discount Program, which is something I really appreciate in ANY company, but especially in companies that deal in weapons and weapon accessories and swag (Brownells being another).
As for the initial impressions of the quality and workmanship of the mount, you can tell right away this is NOT some cheap, dinky Chinese UTG crap! It is made right here in Colorado, USA, is CNC machined and made entirely out of Billet 6061 T-6 Aluminum, so it is lightweight (1.52 oz) and sturdy. It is coated in black anodized type III, which is classified as a “hard coat” in the anodizing reference guide. In short, this thing is built to go through hell and back and give you decades of service. The mount comes with all necessary hardware, including an allen wrench and detailed instructions.
IWC offers three different size flashlight mounting brackets: .830″, 1.000″ and 1.030″. They have a very general guide to what flashlights will fit with what mounts HERE. But if you are in doubt, email Earl and he will get you sorted out very quickly. I will say that MOST flashlights will fit in the 1 inch mount but in no way take my word on that! Find out the dimensions and specs on your light, then double-check with Earl before ordering. Another up side to the Thorntail is the mount is modular and in two pieces; the cantilever rail and the light ring mount itself, so if you goof and need a different size light ring mount, Earl can ship one out to you ASAP without having to send you an entirely new mount.
As for the flashlight I mounted temporarily, it is an older out of production model 5.11 ATAC L2. It can blast 222 lumens on high and strobe and 10 lumens on low. It can run on high beam for 4 hrs before having to change batteries. It also has a lockout switch which is mandatory for ANY gun mounted light. The only drawback is it uses CR123 Lithium batteries. As most of my readers know, I prefer to use a flashlight that is rechargeable or that uses AA or AAA for the simple fact of cost and compatibility. I will most likely be switching to either a Fenix AA model or Streamlight in the future. BTW, I had to remove the clip and roll bezel before mounting as if that was not obvious…:)
As for mounting, I prefer to have the tailcap of the light directly above my left hand thumb when mounting the rifle. Some lights that are longer, like this one, will have to be mounted near mid-line to prevent “rocking” when working the light. You will have to find that “sweet spot” when mounting so the light does not move during operation. Overall, the more compact your light, the more stable it will be, regardless of how secure or tight the mount is.
In closing, the profile of the mount on the gun is superb. Unlike other mounts, it is not big and bulky, nor is the weight even noticeable. I did a few drills going through doors and slicing around corners just to see how the mount handled in tight spaces, and it was as smooth as silk. As I was debating on whether to blue loctite the screws for fear of them backing out during those 500 round training sessions, I don’t think it is a necessity with this mount. After 3 mags and some pretty rough handling of the gun, the mount remained as tight as when I installed it.
I give this mount a green light for the CO!
Stay Alert, Informed, Armed and Dangerous!