The best ideas are often the simplest, especially when it comes to weapon accessories. Nearly anything that you can do to remove weight, bulk, complexity, failure points, and cost from a weapon is a good thing. Mount-N-Slot Direct Attach Mounts successfully do all of those things. Do I have your attention yet?
To understand Mount-N-Slot Direct Attach Mounts, you have to understand Magpul MOE Hand Guards. MOE Hand Guards are plastic hand guards for the AR-15 carbine length gas system (midlength and rifle length hand guards should be out soon) that are slotted in strategic locations in order to provide the user with a means of attaching sections of rail. The rail is then used to attach all the standard necessities like slings and flashlights. The MOE hand guards have become very successful for two simple reasons: they are inexpensive and they work.
Impact Weapon Components (IWC), the creators of the Mount-N-Slot line, build on the success and functionality of the MOE Hand Guards by removing the need for the rail sections. Their mounts are designed to mount directly to the slots in the MOE, FN SCAR, and Bushmaster ACR hand guards. It sounds simple enough, but lets think a moment about what that really means…
- Reduced Cost – There is no need to spend extra money on a section of rail to attach to the hand guard. The mounts cost about what you would pay for normal rail mounts.
- Reduced Weight – No rails means less weight. Less weight is always a good thing.
- Reduced Bulk – The sling mount is 25% lower profile than a sling mount on a rail. This reduces snag points and bulk in general.
- Reduced Complexity – When it comes to mechanical objects, especially life saving mechanical objects, it is best to have the least amount of parts possible. When you reduce parts count, you reduce failure points. That is perhaps the most compelling reason to consider the Mount-N-Slot Direct Attach Mounts.
A great concept is worthless without great execution and the Mount-N-Slot line delivers. These mounts are beautifully machined from 6061-T6 aluminum and Type III hard anodized right here in the USA. Hard anodization yields a very hard surface that resists scratching. It also gives a matte black finish to the mounts. There are less expensive types of anodizing but they are not nearly as durable.
IWC took great care in the design of these mounts. The threaded holes that the mounting screws engage are all neatly chamfered. All unnecessary material has been milled away to keep weight down. This isn’t apparent until you turn the mount over and see that large hollow areas have been machined into the mount. The mounts also have no hard edges. There isn’t a snag point to be found. There is some serious attention to detail in these mounts.
How sure is IWC that these mounts will function for you? Their warranty holds the answer. If your mount breaks, return it and they will refund your money including shipping fees! I have never heard of a company that will refund your shipping fees. That is an amazing warranty.
They attach via two head screws which are provided along with a hex key. You simply place the mount over the slot that you choose, and then screw in both mounting screws with the washers on the inside of the hand guards. A monkey could mount these, though you would probably want to supervise the monkey while it applies the thread locker. I always use a thread locker like Loc-Tite on all screws that will be on my rifle. I would suggest applying some to the provided screws as I would any accessory with screws.
Sometimes, I think the best thing that you can say about a product after you have actually used it is that there were no surprises during that use. They performed as well as they look. There are many products that look cool but end up being useless, non-functional, or, even worse, dangerous on the range. That is not the case with these mounts. They work as advertised.
I was graciously provided one of the new rotation limited QD sling mounts, a 360 degree QD sling mount, and a bipod mount. All three performed admirably.
The new rotation limited sling mount was easily my favorite of the bunch. QD sling mounts without rotation limiters work just fine, but the sling can become twisted, especially when the rifle is not slung. It isn’t as much of an issue when the rifle is slung. The rotation limited model just does away completely with any possibility of the sling twisting. It is a nice feature.
I use the VCAS Sling on most of my rifles. It is a two point design that requires a mounting point somewhere on the hand guards. I mount mine as close to the receiver as possible for both the front and rear mounting points. I find that this allows much more range of motion with the rifle to perform things like malfunction clearances. The Mount-N-Slot sling mounts work perfectly for this style of sling mounting. There are slots on the MOE hand guards that will let you place the Mount-N-Slot sling mounts just about anywhere.
The bipod mount is perfect for those who need a bipod mounted full time on their rifle. It mounts securely to the bottom slots on the MOE hand guards and provides plenty of surface area to contact the bipod. I was pleasantly surprised with how light the bipod mount is. It looks like it could be quite heavy but care was taken to hollow out unnecessary metal from the underside of the mount. I could really see this mount and bipod being ideal on a Bushmaster/Remington ACR with the longer rifle length hand guards or the rifle length MOE hand guards once they are released.
The one thing that I really wanted to check was that the mounts wouldn’t move forward and back once they were mounted in the slots. They did not move at all. I mounted the sling mounts all the way to the rear of one of the slots so that it would be impossible to move it to the rear, but I couldn’t even get them to move forward. These mounts aren’t going anywhere (especially if you are handy with the Loc-Tite).
This is the kind of idea that I wish I came up with myself. I tend to make things more complicated than they need to be. I wish I could simplify things the way the people at IWC have with these mounts. If you have MOE hand guards on your AR-15, I am not sure why you would mount a sling any other way. This concept just makes too much sense. You cut out the need for the rail which means you cut out failure points, bulk, weight, and cost. Why mount a section of rail just for a sling mount when you can just attach a sling mount directly to your handguards?
I would love to see where this product line goes in the future. There is a lot of potential here for things like vertical grips, hand stops, flashlight mounts, and who knows what else. These type of mounts can also be designed for other hand guards like the Troy Extreme Battle Rails and VTAC Rails. Jerking the Trigger will certainly keep you updated as new products are announced.