January 07, 2011
Two mounts that will come to the rescue if you run out of rail.
ADM's AD-Recon is a cantilever mount with skeletonized, vertically split rings and features two locking levers on the left side of the mount.
While the flattop receiver has made mounting optics onto an AR-15 rifle easier, there is still one issue to consider. When mounting either a long scope or a scope with long eye relief you may run out of rail space on the upper receiver.
The solution is either to piggyback a rail extension onto the receiver or to use a cantilever mount. I'm not a big fan of putting a ring onto a mount sitting on a perfectly good integral scope rail, so I tend to run cantilever mounts.
Simple in concept, this type of mount simply extends forward, providing the additional space required. In the last few years, there has been an explosion of new mounts of this type for the AR-15. Some are better designed than others and some are more economical, so I decided to take a look at two new designs readers might like.
American Defense Manufacturing, better known simply as ADM (AmericanDefenseManufacturing.com), offers a wide array of mounting solutions for the AR family of rifles. The heart of ADM's line is its patent pending Quick Detach Auto Lock System. This system utilizes a rotating side lever to securely lock the mount into place.
It consists of a transverse locking bolt and does not require any proprietary tools for adjustment. ADM's system can be easily adjusted to tightly fit individual rails with a flat-blade screwdriver or even just your fingers. The side lever can also be configured to lock to the front or to the rear. Once the side lever is fully rotated home, a spring-loaded keeper locks the lever in place.
The mount I chose for review was ADM's AD-Recon mount. This cantilever mount features distinctive-looking skeletonized rings. Rather than just being offered in one inch and 30mm, it's also offered in 32mm, 34mm, 35mm and even 40mm. Each vertically split ring is retained by five screws. The mount itself locks to the rifle's integral 1913 rail by two side levers.
The mount itself is CNC machined from a block of 6061 T6 aluminum. It then receives a hard-coat Type 3 mil-spec anodize finish. Height with 30mm rings is 1.47 inches, and it tips the scales at just 8.4 ounces. Machined here in the USA, it retails for $190.
The AD-Recon mount was nicely finished, but I did note the front rings did not line up perfectly. Even so, a Carl Zeiss 6.5-20x50 Conquest scope slipped neatly inside with no fuss. Adjusting the side levers to precisely and tightly fit a number of different upper receivers was easily accomplished.
Once mounted onto a heavy-barrel AR-15, the AD-Recon performed well and helped to provide sub half-minute groups at 100 yards. Removing the mount and reinstalling it did not noticeably change point of impact at 100 yards.
Warne's R.A.M.P. permits low mounting of a scope for a good cheek weld and also offers a mounting point for a red dot sight.
The ability to quickly and easily remove and reinstall an optic while retaining zero is a plus. While this is a feature everyone will not need, it can be handy. All in all, ADM's AD-Recon mount performed well and looked good.
While ADM is a relatively new name in the game, Warne (Warne ScopeMounts.com) is an established, respected name. In years past, Warne rings were seen only on handsome sporters. Today, though, Warne offers an entire line of heavy-duty tactical rings and mounts. One of its latest offerings is the Rapid Acquisition Multi-Sight Platform, or R.A.M.P. This is a simple, rugged yet elegant-looking mount that positions the front ring 1.75 inches forward of the receiver.
The machined aluminum mount attaches securely to the rifle's receiver by two half-inch nuts that bear up against a retaining plate. Four Torx-head screws retain each ring cap, and the mount is nicely machined and finished.
What sets this mount apart from the crowd is the ability to mount a small red dot sight for use in close quarters. The rear of the mount accepts bases that can be removed or used to mount a small red dot at 45 degrees. The bases come with the mount and can be placed on either side. The downside is the mount leaves no room for a conventional backup iron sights.
I mounted a BW Optics 2.5-10x42 scope and a Burris FastFire red dot sight onto a Bravo Company AR and put the R.A.M.P. to work.
The first thing I noticed is the R.A.M.P. is slightly lower than most of the AR mounts out there. By not having to worry about clearing iron sights, Warne was able to lower the mount. While the distance is small, it's noticeable. This provides an improved cheek weld, which makes for more consistent shooting.
Another small touch is Warne placed the locking nuts on the right side of the mount so they are out of the way when reaching for the charging handle.
Running the 2.5-10x42 BW Optic went smoothly. I was able to obtain an unusually good cheek weld using a Magpul ACS or a Vltor E-Mod stock, and this was one aspect of the system I really liked.
You could cut the fancy micro red dot sight mount off the R.A.M.P., and I'd still be happy. However, the red dot mount is a slick take on how to add a micro red dot onto a scoped rifle. The sight is out of the way and fairly protected until you need it. Then you just roll the rifle slightly, rotating the magnified optic out of view and the red dot into view.
Field of view is fairly good, and the dot is easy to pick up. Once you get the hang of it, which doesn't take long, you can rapidly transition back and forth between the two optics while making rapid hits.
Suggested retail price for the R.A.M.P. is $220 for the one-inch model and $235 for the 30mm.