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Old February 22, 2018, 11:55 PM   #1
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QD Mount Comparison/Review feat. Larue, AMD, MWI, with a mention of the Burris PEPR

I am going to do a little comparison and review of three QD mount systems. These will include Larue, American Defense Mfg, and Midwest Industries. I haven't really seen a thread where someone directly compared them. I have seen a few where people ask about which is best, with a lot of "X is best" posts, with little detail or any explanations... I will also give a brief mention of the Burris PEPR mount.

These seem to be the most widely used among most gun owners, especially those with ARs. There are others, but they are less common, usually due to price.

I will mostly be focusing on the QD system differences, as the rest is mount type dependant. Between comparable models, they are fairly similar in most respects, other than the QD systems they use.

I will include some pics to give some close ups of the latch itself.

I am not equipped to test dimensional accuracy and tolerances. Needless to say, they all fit the optics as they should. They also worked as advertised. Anodizing was excellent with all of them, as well as overall fit and finish.

Return to zero... I did not test that claim. They all claim to do so, and others have tested them and said they do return to zero. There is not really a true return to zero in systems like these, there is "return very close to zero"... What one shooter finds to be good return to zero, may be horrendous and unacceptable to say a benchrest competition shooter. I did remove and remount my MWI mount once, and it was very close to zero. Just inside or just a bit more than my margin of error anyway.

Expect the need to verify zero and a few rounds to tweak your optic, but it would be close enough for social work inside a few hundred yards, if forced into doing so.

So... Larue vs American Defense vs Midwest Ind... Is there a winner?

Latch Mechanisms:

The Larue has the most unique latch type. The others are more similar. The Larue uses a sloped cam surface to apply pressure to the underside of the rail, rather than applying latching pressure from the sides. Basically, the Larue gets its clamping force by pulling the mount tight against the top of the rail, while the other two mostly focus on pulling tight against the sides of the rail.

The latch surface area for clamping force is smaller on the Larue than the other two. Is this a problem? I can not say for sure. It does concentrate the forces into a smaller area, but it doesn't seem to be an issue from what I have been reading.

It does, on the other hand... from a combination of being smaller, and rotating directly against the rail itself... Means that there is potential to damage the rail, by basically rubbing into the rail. This is worse, if you over tighten the adjustment.

I have found, that adjusted properly, and using a small dab of grease on the area that the latch will press against, prevents damage from metal on metal rubbing friction.

The latch adjustment mechanism, that you use to adjust the tension in the mechanism when fitting it to the rail, is very finely adjustable on the Larue, basically infinite, as it is a simple nut. You can really nail down the tension to be just right very easily. You do need a tool to make the adjustment. Its just a simple wrench, and it only needs to be done once, unless you move the optic between firearms a lot.

To remove the Larue mount, the latch must be pulled to extend the latch longer. This disengages the latch lock. Then you rotate the latch open, and the mount comes free of the rail. A simple system, I don't see it coming loose on its own from snags or other forces.

The American Defense latch cams against a locking block, to press the locking block tightly against the side of the rail.

Adjustment of the latch to fit the rail with the correct tension is done without tools. It uses an 8 sided nut that sits in a recessed area on the mount body. This prevents the nut from rotating loose during use. Whinin each full rotation of the adjustment nut, there are 8 possible settings for adjustment. This works well, but it is not as finely adjustable as the Larue system. That being said, method of applying the clamping force is not as dependent as the Larue at being just right... At least if you want to avoid damage to your firearm rail with the Larue.

Removal of the ADM mount is simple. Press the safety lock button that is in the center of the latch lever, and rotate the latch open. It is simple and smooth to use. It is not likely to come loose during use.

The Midwest Ind latch works basically the same as the ADM. The principles are the same, but with some minor differences in execution. Between the ADM and MWI, the locking block, that applies pressure against the side of the rail, may be slightly longer on the MWI. So, it will have a slightly larger surface area to distribute the clamping pressure. The difference is not very much though.

Adjustment works the same as well, but the MWI uses a 12 sided nut. This gives you a bit more fine tuned adjustment than the ADM.

To remove the MWI mount, you press the safety lock tab on the side of the latch, while rotating the latch open. It may be slightly more vulnerable to coming loose than the other two, with the larger and easy to use safety lock release, but I doubt it. It is on the opposing side of the latch that the lever, and the lever sits low against the firearm. So a difference of Extremely unlikely, and very unlikely... No real way to quantify this... Basically, I have no fears of it happening.

Other Factors:

Size/bulkiness, versatility, perceptions, etc...

The Larue latch mechanism seems to be the largest and bulkier of the three.

Measured from the side of an AR reciever... The Larue sticks out 0.8-0.85 of an inch.

The ADM is 0.6-0.875 of an inch... Slightly more than the Larue at its widest, but the majority of the latch is tucked up closer to the firearm, so it does not stick out. It is only the widest part of the curved cam surface that manages to be 0.875, and the whole portion that is somewhat sticking out, is only 1/4-3/8in wide.

The MWI is the most sleek and trim of the three. It sticks out only 0.5-0.675 of an inch from the side of the rifle. It is fairly flat and low against the receiver. it looks good, and seems tucked away to prevent snags, and would not cause a high spot to rub against your body when carrying the rifle slung.

Of the three... Only the ADM can be swapped to pivot/rotate open from either direction on the mount. You can flip the lever to point to the front or rear of the mount easily... The others are made in such a way that they are directional. The components only fit together one way.

Why this matters...

For me... I prefer the QD latch to be on the left side of the firearm, especially on an AR. I want it away from the ejection port. Practically, it likely makes no difference, but I like to keep things away from the path of ejection, or even near it... And I think it looks better to have the latch on the left side of an AR.

I also prefer the latch to be pointing to the rear when closed. This is likely not much of a concern from a practical standpoint, but is a personal preference. Some may feel that the chance of snags are lessened when the latch is pointed to the rear.

For the ADM and Larue... On their cantilever scope mounts, the latches are on the left side of the mount... No worries there.

On the MWI the latches are on the right side. Unfortunately, a cantilever mount can only be mounted in one direction, so the latches are right side all the time.

On the ADM, you can at least choose between the latch pointing front or rear when closed. The unidirectional installation of a cantilever mount simply limits the side the latches will be on...

For something like the Trijicon MRO mounts, they are symmetrical front to rear, so you can easily mount them with the latch on either side you choose...

But, due to the inability to rotate the latch around on the Larue and MWI... You are limited... If you want the latch to point to the rear with either of them, the latch must be on the right side. Installing the mount with the latches on the left side, means the latches will point forward, when closed... If you want them on the left side and pointing rearward, you are out of luck.

On symmetrical mounts like the MRO mount... The ADM's versatility means that the mount can be installed with the latch on either side of the rifle, and with them pointing forward or rearward as your preference dictates.

Pricing... Between the three, its pretty close. Larue is the more expensive, with a Larue costing between $15-30 more for an equivalent mount. I did not compare every model to their counterparts, so the price difference may be higher for some mount types. Larue may offer some higher end mounts without comparable options from the other two... I am not familiar enough with all of the options to know for sure. I compared the more common mounts, like the MRO, Aimpoint Micro, and AR cantilever mounts.

As far as perceptions go... I find them all easy to use and adjust. With the MWI being the easiest, and the Larue being the most difficult.

If online talk is to be taken at face value... At least a good few, have difficulty with the Larue and adjusting it properly without causing marring of the underside of the rail. I found that following directions, plus a dab of grease, made for an easy install.

So who wins?

For me... The Larue, while a nice mount... I do not think I would choose one over the other two. It's just easier to use the other two, with much less potential to mar up or damage the rail. They are slightly cheaper as well.

So, You could say it is the loser of the group... But I would not call it a bad mounting system.

So between the ADM and MWI... It really is a tough call. It may come down to subjectives. If you prefer the horizontal split ring for scopes, the MWI is your best bet. If Vertical split rings are your thing, ADM.

Other design differences can push you one way or the other.

The low profile nature of the MWI latches, does not trigger my OCD on wanting the latches on the left side too badly, and having the latch point forward doesn't bother me too much either.

Generally though, due to my preference, I would most likely go with ADM more often than with MWI...

But my last purchase, for a Mini ACOG mount... Practical reasons made me choose the MWI version. As I wanted a centerline mounting height for the sight, to be at the same level as a lower 1/3 cowitness red dot would sit.

The ADM options resulted in a centerline height that was the same as standard AR sights... I wanted the more heads up position of lower 1/3 hight... I even played around with the choice between the low base ACOG and the tall base ACOG.

In the end, the MWI standard Mini ACOG mount, with the tall base sight worked out the best.

So not much of a conclusion... ADM or MWI... pick the one that is on sale, or looks best to you, or otherwise works with your intended setup... Both are great mount options.

Now... about the Burris PEPR mount...

Really you only get one option... A cantilever scope mount.

The latching mechanism is similar to the ADM... But the safety lock release is pulled axially away from center, rather than pushed inward.

It saves you between $100-130 off of the other three... So if you need a cantilever QD mount, for under $100, it is your best option.

On the whole, it is much less sophisticated than the other three. You can tell it is more cheaply made. The latches are not as smooth and easy to use. The safety lock latch is harder to use.

The adjustment nut has twelve positions per rotation... But the method used to prevent rotation during use, makes it a pain to adjust. I found that it interfered with getting the right tension, as I needed a click or two more tighter, but the anti rotation tab was causing interference. I had to use pliers to get it to rotate the last couple clicks needed.

So... that's it... It is more cheaply made, not as easy to use, and unrefined on the whole... But it works decent enough.

ADM Mount Latch

Attached Images
File Type: jpg ADM 1.jpg (165.3 KB, 767 views)
File Type: jpg ADM 2.jpg (200.7 KB, 755 views)
File Type: jpg ADM 3.jpg (188.1 KB, 756 views)
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Old February 22, 2018, 11:57 PM   #2
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Midwest Industries Latch Mechanism

Attached Images
File Type: jpg MWI 1.jpg (157.1 KB, 722 views)
File Type: jpg MWI 2.jpg (177.2 KB, 742 views)
File Type: jpg MWI 3.jpg (138.4 KB, 731 views)
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Old February 22, 2018, 11:59 PM   #3
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Larue Latch Mechanism

Attached Images
File Type: jpg Larue 1.jpg (182.6 KB, 745 views)
File Type: jpg Larue 2.jpg (185.8 KB, 744 views)
File Type: jpg Larue 3.jpg (157.5 KB, 734 views)
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Old February 23, 2018, 03:41 PM   #4
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Great write up. Thanks.
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Old February 25, 2018, 03:34 AM   #5
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I have not really explored the QD type.For myself,I leave the scope in place.
The thumb screw type mounts come off quick and easy if need be.In my experience,zero repeated pretty darn well.

I just don't see "precision" when I look at the mounting surfaces of the Burris PEPR.

I have used Armalite mounts.They don't give them away. Repeat well.Big thumb nuts on the ejection port side.
I don't have any 45 deg auxiliary sights,but if I wanted that option the Armalite nuts might be an issue.

What has become my "go to" is the Rock River cantilever mount. Its about $65
Clampnuts on the left side,opposite of the ejection port.

Critical surfaces are cleanly machined and hard anodized,not painted like the Burris.
This is not a sleak,sexy mount.Its a bit blocky /bulky in the rings.I got over that when I figured out those rings tend to help protect the fragile ocular and objective bells.
Its a good,economical ring mount,if nothing fancy.
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Old February 28, 2018, 12:38 PM   #6
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Yeah, on a rifle that will not see the optic come off often, no need for QD.

I have QD as part of the package... The rifles are setup for practical uses... Unlikely or not... They are ready to go in a bad situation.
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