About 3 years ago I went on the search for a QD mount for use on some AR's. After looking around, everyone pointed me to the larue tactical stuff. I bought 2 of them, and intended to use them on a AR I had setup with a red dot, and magnified optic. Everyone told me how they were the best thing since sliced bread and how amazing they were. How can you go wrong right?
Well after struggling with these mounts for 2 years I took them off and threw them in a drawer. I tried a total of 6 different scopes in both of the mounts, and never once was able to gain a repeatable zero. I'd zero the rifle, and after a week or two of riding around in my truck, the zero would wander. Now the main purpose of this rifle is dispatching vermin on the way to and from work. I kill everything from skunks to coons to badgers, and squeeze the trigger on something virtually every single day either on the way to, or on the way home from work. So when I have a zero that wanders around, and I miss a badger at 150yds as a result, I get a little pissed. I was always convinced that it was me. It had to be something I was doing to the mounts, or the scopes, or something. Finally, I had enough. I took the larue mounts off, and mounted a cheap ass bushnell trophy red dot on there with some burris xtr rings. No more wandering zero.
Now don't think I don't realize what kind of rabid following larue tactical has. I do. However, I don't GIVE A SHIT! Something either works, or doesn't, and when it comes to holding a zero and repeating the zero when the mount is removed the larue SPR's that I had didn't work. Period, end of story... there isn't even any room for discussion. I tried the things on 4 different AR's with 6 different scopes and in no situation did it hold zero. I'm talking as much as 6" of drift at 100yds. Now, before all the fanboys come out and start screaming about my out of spec rails and how I didn't adjust them right and all that... I DON'T CARE. If it doesn't work for me, it is useless to me. 4 different guns with 6 different scopes. I tried harder to like those mounts than any piece of gear I've ever had in my life, for no good reason other than I didn't want to be the guy saying that they don't work. Why? Because anyone that says anything bad about larue mounts gets tarred and feathered. Doesn't change the facts.
So, fast forward to now, and I decide I want a magnified optic on the AR in my truck again. I buy a Horus Talon and go in search of a cantilever mount. I was determined to buy a non-QD one piece cantilever design like the nightforce or armalite. I did a bit of looking around, and found an ADM Recon. I had no confidence in it at all. However, it was under a couple hundred bucks and the design seemed to be a lot better than the larue.
The fit and finish were better than the larue SPR's I had. It comes from the factory with a light coat of oil like you would expect from a finely machined part. Pretty self explanatory.
Here you can see the nuts that are used to adjust the locking pressure. No tools are required or recommended to do this. When the levers are unlocked, you can push on the levers which will cause these nuts to protrude out of their pockets. They can easily be turned with your fingers, but a screwdriver can be used if you have trouble.
On the other side you can see the cam lock levers. Now here is where the real benefits are had. The way this mount locks onto the pic rail is entirely different from larue. Essentially, the levers have a pin through them just off-center which allows them to cam when moved. In order to unlock the lever, you must depress a secondary lever on each cam lock. So push in the button, then move the lever. Inside of that is a section of clamp that actually locks onto the pic rail. The biggest thing you will notice is that this mount clamps on just the way you would clamp on a traditional scope ring except instead of a nut or screw, you simply use the lever. As a result, you don't tear the shit out of the underside of your rails like all of the larue stuff does. (If you can even try to argue that point, you are probably a holocaust denier too.) The larue basically tries to pinch the rail from the under-side to hold it down, and does so with small levers that aren't making much contact with the pic rail. The amount of surface contacting the rail on the cam side is at least 3x more than the larue, and does so by clamping the WHOLE rail, rather than just the under-side of it. It does not mar the finish, and locks on tighter than a gila monster. I was extremely impressed with this aspect right away.
The integrated rings clamp together with 5 cap screws that all come in from the same side. Half of the rings are pinned to the base, so no more juggling halves and screwing in from both sides like with the larue. Very much improved design and much easier to work with. Both front and rear rings locked onto the Horus tightly, and came together cleanly.
From the bottom of the mount you can plainly see how the cam levers work. You can also see how the cross-bolts that are connected to the cam levers are wide and square for positive engagement with the pic rail. If you look closely you can see how the cam levers engage the clamps on the top and bottom to ensure an even load distribution. Also note how wide the the clamp surface is when compared to a larue.
Now for the test. I set up a 3" target with 1" open center at 100yds. I turned the scope to 4x, and set out to test the repeatability and zero retention capabilities of this mount.
Rifle: Custom AR15. Del-ton upper Del-ton 1:9 barrel (gun has proven MOA or better at 100yds with a 25x optic)
Optic: Horus Talon 1-4x
Target: 3" circle
Humidity: 31 %
Wind: 8-14mph @ 8 O'Clock
Ammo: Black Hills 52gr Match HP (red box - new)
Testing Procedure: Fire 1 round, abort scope, re-attach scope, fire 1 round, repeat for 20rnds total.
Center to Center: 2.164" (would have been better if not for that one damn flyer!)
Average To Center: 0.542"
What you are seeing here is basically what I would consider to be a combination of a limitation in my shooting ability with a 4x optic, and the gun which is not the most accurate specimen in my stable. Performed admirably today though. The results speak for themselves. I fired a shot, broke cheek weld, aborted the mount/optic, reassembled, and fired again for an entire 20rnd magazine. Windy conditions, with what I would call a lackluster rifle, and a 4x optic on its first outing. I fired a total of 100rnds today in various positions at various targets. This mount/optic combo has given me new-found use out of a rifle that had been sitting by the way-side.
So lets recap. It doesn't scar up my rails. It holds zero. It repeats zero when aborted and remounted. It is easy to use, and easy to adjust. It doesn't give a shit if I have the highest priced noveske upper that was made using a nuclear powered machine that is accurate down to the millionth of an inch, or some cheap ass del-ton upper that may or may not be in spec. It holds on, doesn't move, and goes right back where its suppose to in the case I intentionally move it. I could never say that about either of my larue SPR's.
Larue would seem to make a product that works... unless it doesn't.
ADM would seem to make a product that works regardless.
The AD Recon is everything the larue SPR was suppose to be, but never was, and likely never will be. I know the trolls are going to go ape shit over this one, so lets hear it.