Tag Archives | Impact Weapons Components

E93 Finds Another Use for the IWC QD Micro Flush Sling Mount

I’ve mentioned the QD Micro Flush Sling Mounts from Impact Weapons Components here on JTT before. They are about as handy as a widget can be and it seems like I am always finding new ways to use them.

Echo Nine Three just found a new way to use them that might just take the cake. They were able to install one on a Russian triangle stock with some very slight modifications. The mod places a QD sling socket on the stock near the receiver where it works for both single and 2 point slings. The installation is very clean with most of the QD Micro Flush Sling Mount tucked inside the triangle of the stock.

IWC and HSP Go M-LOK

Impact Weapons Components and Haley Strategic Partners just dove head first into the deep end of the M-LOK pool with the release of 8 M-LOK compatible hand stops, light mounts, sling mounts, and more. You can view the entire line on IWC’s M-LOK product page and we will highlight a few items below.

The new QD Rotation Limited Sling Mount for M-LOK is likely the lowest profile sling mount IWC has made yet. It has a slick, angular design and weighs in at 1/3rd of an ounce. It, like several of the new M-LOK items from IWC, makes use of a captive screw system that retains the fastener inside of the mount.

IWC’s M-LOK Hand Stops and Barricade Stops are similar to past versions and the new captive screw design allows them to sit extremely close to the rail. The edges of the mount basically melt into the rail.

The flagship of the IWC and HSP collaboration has always been the Thorntail line of light mounts. All of the Thorntail variants are now available for M-LOK and many of them boast new features that are worth checking out. The Thorntail2 M-LOK Light Mount, for instance, features a new mounting system that allows adjustability in the way the Scout compatible light is attached to the cantilever arm. It provides .250″ of adjustment in order to accommodate other accessories like sights and lasers that might otherwise be in the way.

Streamlight ProTac Rail Mount 1 and 2 Mount Compatibility Check with IWC

Impact Weapons Components (IWC) produces a huge variety of mounts that are compatible with the Surefire Scout mounting interface. So, when it was announced that Streamlight would be producing lights that would share this mounting interface, IWC had a vested interest in ensuring the new ProTac Rail Mount lights are compatible with their entire line of mounts. They tested the lights themselves and then boxed up a ProTac Rail Mount 1 and 2 for me to test since I already own a wide variety of IWC light mounts.

protac rail mount 1 on functional AK setup

This article will not necessarily be a full review of the ProTac Rail Mount lights though there will be elements of a review. The main thrust here is how these lights work with IWC’s mounts. I tried these lights on several different light mounts and on several different firearms.

The following mounts were tested and found to perfectly:

  • SMC
  • SMCXL
  • THORNTAIL KeyMod
  • THORNTAIL
  • THORNTAIL SBR

I will share specific thoughts about each combination below.

SMC and SMCXL

Tested on the following:

  • AR-15 with MOE SL Hand Guards (MLOK)
  • AR-15 with MOE Hand Guards
  • AKM with MOE AK Hand Guards (MLOK)

In my opinion, this is the most exciting combination of mount and light that I tested. The SMC and SMCXL best represent the entire point of the ProTac Rail Mount lights – affordability. These are mounts that do not require a rail in order to achieve excellent light placement which makes the entire combination of hand guard, mount, and light very affordable.

This is a functional front end for any rifle. The SMC Light Mount makes the light easy to operate and leaves plenty of room for a sling mount, even on a short hand guard.

This is a functional front end for any rifle. The SMC Light Mount makes the light easy to operate and leaves plenty of room for a sling mount, even on a short hand guard.

The combination of the SMC light mount with Magpul’s MOE Hand Guards is pretty well vetted at this point. It works. The SMC and longer SMCXL move the light forward and offset it from the mounting point. This serves to clear gripping space on the hand guard and places it where it can be activated easily. It’s not just an affordable option. It’s a very good option that is hard to top with any other mount/handguard combination.

You can spend more on a hand guard, mount, and light combination but you will not necessarily get a more functional setup than what this represents. Additionally, this entire setup (for AR-15s) can be executed in such a way that there is no permanent change to the host rifle which may be attractive or necessary for some users.

THORNTAIL KeyMod

Tested on the following:

  • AR-15 with Fortis REV 12 Rail
  • AR-15 with Parallax Tactical FFSSR KeyMod Rail

The THORNTAIL KeyMod is a unique mount in the IWC line. It mounts to KeyMod and accepts standard tactical lights via a flashlight ring, Scout pattern lights, and rail mounted lights. Like the everything else in the THORNTAIL line, it places the light in an offset position.

IMG_0836

Interestingly, the Protac Rail Mount 1, is functionally and dimensionally similar to another light that IWC played a role in developing, Elzetta’s Mini CQB. I compared the two lights directly and while the Mini CQB is certainly the better made light, they are both functional options. The Mini CQB offers bomb-proof quality with a more flexible integrated mount. The ProTac Rail Mount 1 offers acceptable quality, a lower price, and AA battery compatibility.

If you need to place the ProTac Rail Mount light even closer to the rail than the THORNTAIL KeyMod allows, you can check out any of IWC’s inline mounting options. These mounts will mount on a similar footprint but hold the light closer to the mounting surface.

THORNTAIL and THORNTAIL SBR

Tested on the following:

  • AKM with Ultimak Railed Gas Tube
  • AR-15s with various rails

This is likely the most flexible mounting setup that I tested simply because of the proliferation of mounting rails. This brings the forward and offset light position of the THORNTAIL line of mounts to any firearm with a standard Picatinny rail. I tested it on the usual suspects but it could also be used on anything from a Ruger 10/22 with the right rail to a Marlin 336 with a XS Sight Systems Scout Rail.

IMG_0837

Wrap Up

I am impressed with these lights and the various mounts that IWC offers (which is why I own so darn many of them). The ProTac line of hand held lights has been used in weapon mounting and CCW applications for years before the release of the Rail Mount lights and seem to be trustworthy at a very attractive price. I think the various combinations represented here offer some very good budget options for shooters who aren’t ready or able to drop the coin on a premium light like a Surefire Scout or Elzetta CQB Mini.

If you are concerned that these may be “knock offs” of the Surefire Scout lights, please read my previous post on this topic.

To see more thoughts on the unique functionality of the Rail Mount 1, please read here (especially if you like the idea of a AA compatible weapon light).

Thank you to Impact Weapons Components for providing these lights for mount compatibility testing. The lights are available from Impact Weapons Components. All of their compatible light mounts may be viewed on their light mount page. You can use the discount code “triggerjerk” to save 5% on your purchase of IWC branded items.

IMG_0838

The ProTac Rail Mount 2 is shorter overall than a Surefire M600 Scout but heavier and wider.

Initial Impressions: Streamlight ProTac Rail Mount 1

I have been working with both the new ProTac Rail Mount lights from Streamlight for a couple of weeks now. I have spent more time with the Rail Mount 1 in particular. This post should not be considered a full review given the short time they have been in my hands. Consider it something like my initial impressions and perhaps an answer to some common inquiries that I receive here often at JTT – AA battery powered weapon light availability and a more general question about affordable lighting set ups .

These lights were sent to me by Impact Weapons Components (IWC) for the express purpose of testing them with a variety of IWC mounts of which I own several. That article will come later and will have plenty of pictures of the lights on various IWC mounts and impressions of the combinations.

Initially, I have had the Protac Rail Mount 1 mounted in an IWC SMC Light Mount on an Arsenal SGL-21 with Magpul MOE AK Hand Guards and also on an AR-15 with Magpul MOE SL Hand Guards. This setup has proven to be very useful in both cases.

protac rail mount 1 on IWC SMC

AA Battery Compatibility

I commonly receive questions regarding the availability of AA weapon lights. While alkaline AA batteries are generally less suitable for weapon lights than lithium CR123A batteries, I do understand that gun guys also tend to have a prepper streak. The perceived long term availability of AA batteries makes a weapon light powered by them attractive. I am happy to report that the ProTac Rail Mount 1 can be powered by a single AA battery without modification (the documentation specifically mentions alkaline and lithium chemistries).

The output is reduced to 150 lumens on high for the lower voltage AA batteries but, according to Streamlight, the light will provide regulated output for 1.5 hours on an alkaline AA and an impressive 4.5 hours on a lithium AA. Compare those numbers to 350 lumens for 1.75 hours with a CR123A. That 150 lumen performance for 4.5 hours with a lithium AA may actually be very appealing to those who prefer a light in the 120-150 lumen range (though lumens don’t tell the whole story of what makes a light bright enough or too bright).

Remember that it wasn’t that long ago that 120 lumen LED weapon lights were the bleeding edge. 150 lumens from a single AA battery is impressive especially considering this is one of the very few dedicated weapon lights that can be powered from a AA battery.

Affordable Options

Questions about affordable versions of this or affordable versions of that are some of the most common questions received here at JTT with weapon lights being a frequent topic. I like to point out that you must also consider the price of not only the light but the mount and hand guard in that discussion. Additionally, your weapon light must be useful regardless of how affordable it is or isn’t. If you find a cheap hand guard but it requires a jerry-rigged mounting solution to work with a light, that isn’t a good value. If you have a high end hand guard but you are limited by your light’s integral mount (or lack their of), the usefulness of the total package can suffer.

This is where I believe these lights can really stand out due to their use of the Scout Light mounting system. The lights themselves are affordable and are compatible with a variety of affordable, high-quality mounts that can be mounted to affordable, high quality hand guards.

You could add Magpul MOE Hand Guards to you rifle (AR or AK), use an SMC Light Mount, and a ProTac Rail Mount light. Add a vertical grip or IWC hand stop if you are so inclined. All of these items are quite affordable but this isn’t just an affordable light mounting option. It’s a very good option. The light falls right where it should for easy operation. It is relatively lightweight. The hand guard is cleared for establishing a good grip. This is just a solid front end set up for your AK or AR that is all made possible by the compatibly of the ProTac Rail Mounts with existing light mounts.

This is a functional front end for any rifle. The SMC Light Mount makes the light easy to operate and leaves plenty of room for a sling mount, even on a short hand guard.

This is a functional front end for any AK or AR. The SMC Light Mount makes the light easy to operate and leaves plenty of room for a sling mount, even on a short hand guard.

Other Impressions

In general, I have been impressed with these lights over my short time with them. There is certainly no replacement for time and repetitions over a large sample size when it comes to establishing the reliability of something like a flashlight so these impressions are very preliminary. On the other hand, the Streamlight ProTac handheld lights are fairly well vetted at this point.

The Rail Mount Lights use a large collimating lens in order to shape the lumens that are pushed out the front. The lens itself is quite large compared the reflectors found on the ProTac handheld lights (about the size of the lens found in the Streamlight TRL-1 HL). The beam shape is very good with a nice hotspot for good throw and a wide corona for taking in a wide view of your surroundings.

I am impressed with the value that these represent much like the Streamlight TLR-1. These lights come with an integral mount, a tape switch, a tail cap, and various other items for mounting and routing the tape switch. The Rail Mount 1 comes with both a CR123A and AA battery. The quality is on par with what I have come to expect from the ProTac line (I own several of the hand held lights). Part of the value is also Streamlight’s customer service which in my experience has always been excellent with quick responses and satisfying outcomes.

I will continue testing and trying different mounts. In the mean time, you can check out the ProTac Rail Mount lights and various IWC light mounts at Impact Weapons Components. They will be offering combo deals on these lights with their mounts soon so stay tuned. Remember to use code TRIGGERJERK at checkout to save 5%.

IWC QD End Plate RL

Impact Weapons Components has upgraded their QD End Plate RL a few times now. They recently changed their machining processes slightly to further improve the finish. The changes will be difficult to see unless you are a machinist yourself but it is always cool to see a company improve their products – even in small ways.

iwc qd end plate improvements

I use these end plates extensively and I prefer them to others because of their thicker steel construction that is easy to stake. They are also one of the few rotation limited QD end plates on the market. With most sling swivels, the receiver extension (buffer tube) will prevent full rotation. However, smaller “D” shaped QD swivels will spin freely unless your end plate is rotation limited like this one.

Check out the QD End Plate RL at Impact Weapons Components. Remember to use code “triggerjerk” to save 5%.

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