Here at the Firearms Insider, we've reviewed a lot of rifle accessories. I've seen my fair share of flashlight mounts, in polymers and pot metals alike. Like flashlights themselves, the options for mounting solutions that exist in the firearms market come in all shapes and sizes.... with lots of terrible, cheap and faulty options on the market. Lucky for you, I was in the market for a quality "cry once, buy once" light mount about a year ago, and have only positive results to report back.
In picking up quite a few "modern sporting rifles" as well as pistols and a scattergun or two, I was in the market for a quality mount that had a quick detach function so my light could jump from weapon to weapon as I see fit. What I landed on was the VLTOR SM-O: Scout Mount Offset QD. The VLTOR SM-O comes in a QD cam lever version, which is made by American Defense. If you are looking for rock QD solid mount that will hold up on all weapon platforms - from rifles and carbines to even the jarring recoil of the shotgun, ADM makes some fantastic mounts. In my experience with buying cheap mounts and then later replacing them with better quality versions, almost everything made by American Defense straight up rocks! Seeing this mount was a combined effort between VLTOR and ADM was almost reason enough to give it a shot.
The SM-O is unique in that it's clamping mechanism simultaneously grips the picatinny rail AND tightens the one piece ring around the light. When adjusted correctly to your light's body diameter, it secures the light when the cam locks down, but easily releases the light when the cam is unlocked, allowing for easy adjustment for your ergonomics.
Adjusting the SM-O for your specific light does require some light tinkering. This is the only time a tool is ever really needed. Basically you need to adjust a bolthead when the light is removed, then try inserting the flashlight into the ring body, and throw the QD lever to check for difficulty and resistance. Too hard to throw completely 180 degrees and you'll need to unlock the cam and remove the flashlight to loosen the fit. Too loose and your light can spin in the ring body and the cam won't snug that rail like it should. Its a bit of a back and forth dance to find the proper balance of secure fit, but once you find it, its clear sailing.
I've been primarily mounting a pair of SureFire G2X Pro lights on just about every railed part I own over the last year, from AR-15 handguards, AK-47 forends, Tavor MLOK rails, shotgun barrel clamps, and even tactical scope rings. The SM-O worked on everything, and the tension never loosened from my initial configuration no matter how many times I played musical picatinny rail with this thing. Removal and replacement can be done in seconds, and with just one single hand. If the offset is putting the light too high or low for your liking, just invert it and reverse the flashlight. No one will call you out on the VLTOR logo being upside down.
Even if you don't have a tactical plinker decked out in all the bells and whistles, this simple mount is quite handy for the varmint hunter as well. Mounted on a railed scope ring cap or tactical accessory scope ring, this mount provides a perfect offset light that will hold up to whatever you can throw at it. And if you find yourself needing and handheld light for not shooting purposes, you've got one in seconds.
All in all, this product leaves me conflicted. I wish I could afford more of these for each one of my modern sporting rifles. Then again, I don't need to because of how easy it can jump from gun to gun. So until this one blows up or grows legs and runs away, the SM-O will always have a home in my arsenal.
Firearms Insider Reviews – 8 Key Points
Claim to Fame: The Offset Scout Mount is manufactured in conjunction with American Defense Manufacturing, and is a fully ambidextrous, offset light mount available with either conventional thumb screw mounting or throw-lever quick disconnect.
Target Market: Civilians and Professionals with railed rifles or carbines
FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):
- Either thumb screws or throw lever mounting
- Made from 6061 T6 aluminum
- Hard coat anodized
- Adjustable tension
- Minimal / Low Profile
What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Black Only
What others are saying?: "I've tried a lot of light mounts over the years. This is by far the best. The unique mechanism of the American Defense cam lever is easier on rails that the LaRue mount, making this mount better in my opinion, and less expensive. The cam makes for a secure mount that will not loosen like thumb screws, and because of the large bearing surface does not require much pressure to hold it securely in place. I also like that the caming action also holds the light in place. This enables the light to be quickly and easily removed from the mount, turned around or reconfigured. This enables it to work with every rifle I've tried it on. I've now got a box full of used light mounts for sale." Brownells User Review
"I love this QD flashlight mount. I've bought several flashlight mounts for my rifles and shotguns. I have had the cheaper plastic mounts that just can't hold the flashlight securely with the recoil of a shotgun. This mount is also much easier to use than others due to the QD feature. The off-set angle mounts the flashlight at an angle I prefer, keeping it out of the way of a DBAL or other accessories you may also want to mount. I plan on replacing several of the mounts with this model.
." Amazon User Review
- Very durable finish
- Mount can be removed easily for attaching to another position or weapon
- Light itself easily removable when cam in unlocked for maintenance or reconfiguration
- Minimal footprint on the rail
- Minimal instruction for adjusting tension