View Full Version : Mounting rails and the M16 family

October 28, 1998, 06:58 PM
I am starting this thread to respond to the discussion that grew out of the Bushnell Holosight thread.

There are some that feel that the M16 (which we shall use to designate all of the myriad variations of the weapon) should not even be available with the A3 removable carry handle, as it is redundant. The opposite extreme loves to hang everything on these guns, and are probably seen with one of the Reed Knight Rail Interface Systems (RIS) on their gun.

I'm against hanging 8 extra pounds of high speed lightweight gear on a 7 lb carbine, but do feel that a white light system and electronic optics mounted in line with iron sights make for a versatile system. Beyond that is a waste. I don't favor the use of the A3 flat top upper or relevant mounting systems to swap out a million different gizmos. This runs the risk of forgetting what you have mounted on the weapon, enhancing the likelihood of operator error.

As for the Mark Brown mount, which places an Aimpoint Comp in front of the A2/A3 rear sight assembly, it seems to be the most elegant of the various designs. The A2 mounting system seen in the Gunsite catalog looks robust, I only hope the A3 version is as good. The next best thing is one of those SWAN or GG&G rails with the flip up rear sight. Both sighting systems require that the scope be mounted on top of the bolt on rail, but I haven't heard of too many problems with the stacking of the rails (as far as structural integrity issues). If I recall, there may be one or two flip up sights available that will attach directly to the receiver rail, but then you need to flip them up before you can use them (they're a little flimsy to be up all the time).

[This message has been edited by Hilton (edited 10-28-98).]

Rob Pincus
October 28, 1998, 07:14 PM
The SBR I am building will have a flat top, other than that all of my ARs have (or have had) a crrying handle. Including the CAR type that I have the Holosite on. I use one of those little screw in deals that sits in the top of the carying handle and allows you to look through it, therefore leaving the iron sites operational. This unit has rails which any scope can be mounted on.

I really like that method for a tactical gun, it does make the weapon rather tall, and the variance between the bore and the scope is about 3-4 inches, but the range that you are likely to use the weapon allows for that kind of variance.

I guess I just don't think of the AR as a platform to build a precision rifle on, so I see no reason for a flat-top with a traditional scope.

Rosco Benson
October 28, 1998, 08:23 PM
One of my shooting partners just set up a 16" Colt flat-top (post-ban...couldn't hurt a fly
of course). He mounted an ARMS swan sleeve (the normal 8" one) and then mounted a Leupold 1.5 x 6 using ARMS QD rings (in the "high" model...with "inserts" to adapt the 30mm rings to the 1" scope tube). It has worked out well for him. The high rings were needed so the scope's ocular bell would clear the folded down sight on the swan sleeve. This results in the centerline of the scope being just a little bit higher than the normal A2 aperture. For me, I would go with a 10" swan sleeve and medium height ARMS QD rings. This would let me get the scope a bit lower and a bit farther forward (I tend to really climb a stock).

The rifle's front sight does not show up in the scope.

You won't be seeing any more GG&G mounts with the flip-up sight. ARMS sued 'em and they had to cease production. They do offer rails with removeable rear sights (but then you have to stow the thing somewhere). I find it a little amusing that Hilton would gripe about having to flip up a rear sight, in the same paragraph with mentioning a "red dot" sight that one must "turn on" before use.


October 29, 1998, 08:13 PM
Rosco: The Aimpoint sure does need to be activated manually, but the iron sights would be in place already such that the weapon has *something* with which to sight. If hurriedly shouldering one of the flip up rear sight setups without activating the electronic sight first, there's nothing in place.

Rosco Benson
October 30, 1998, 06:55 PM
I knew that, Hilton. I just can't resist poking fun at sights that one must "turn on". I mean...jeeez...how many years have these things been around. One would think that some maker would have fitted them with a remote pressure pad, a la Surefire lights, but no. We see the sights still requiring being "turned on". One might as well fit their weapon with a safety that takes a skate key to disengage.

All that said (ranted?), it would seem that the Mark Brown mount or the similar arrangement that is being offered by J.D. Jone's SSK outfit would seem to be the best bet for quick use and for dealing with a dot failure, as one can use the irons sights right thru the dot sight's tube.