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GUNS Magazine April 2012 Digital Edition - Page 16
STORY: Jacob Gottfredson oN, oFF, oN, oFF ow many times have you heard the statement, “These mounts return to zero… perfectly”? You’re left with the impression when the detachable mount is taken off and returned, it has no effect on zero or the grouping ability of the rifle and load. Is that true, advertising spiel, or just an aberration? To test the statement’s validity, I chose three of what I consider the best quick detachable mounts on the market and three excellent shooters. I used a very accurate rifle, capable of .3", 5-round groups. The groups were shot using a Harris bipod in the front and a competition benchrest bag in the rear. The handloaded rounds were tuned prior to the test to deliver groups in the .3" range. The same brass was loaded carefully each time, with five loadings each for the duration of the test. The test rifle was a custom built .308 from Nighthawk with a proven tactical scope. The tests were conducted at 60' elevation (approximately sea level), approximately 75 degrees F, 70 percent humidity, and a barometric pressure of 29.90" of mercury. The range was 100 yards. To set a benchmark, two of the shooters shot three 4-round groups using normal, tactical rings not removed. The aggregate for shooter one was .338" and for the second .361". The overall aggregate was .349" for six groups of four rounds each. All groups formed in approximately the same location at or slightly below the center dot. It was hoped the zero would not obliterate their aiming point (the center dot) as shots were fired. All but one shot was either in or touching the 1" inner ring. All were at approximately the same location inside the 1" ring. When we began testing the quick detachable mounts, we expected The QD Mount from GG&G was very easy in mounting the scope and fast to remove and reinstall on the rail. The GG&G gave good results on the target. The handle is long, providing excellent leverage to disengage and reengage the mount from the Picatinny rail. H How good are quick detachable mounts? The six groups produced using the Al Talbot QD mount on the Nighthawk .308 delivered an overall aggregate group size of .378". The scope was removed and replaced between each group. 16 the same aggregate and continued location of zero if the statement that “they return to zero” is true. From the statements made, it is assumed that the following would happen: 1. If the quick detachable mount is left on, it would perform as well as top-of-the-line tactical mounts. All did. 2. If the mount were removed and then replaced, it would continue to place shots into the same location as when left on. 3. The aggregate would remain approximately the same, given that everything else was equal, even when the mount was removed and replaced regardless of how often. As the three testers shot, I would remove the scope and mount either every time or at random frequency. Each mount had slightly different means of grasping the Picatinny rail and different means of removing it. I would remove the scope and mount completely and then replace it, being careful the mount was registered in the slots the same way each time. The ease and speed of removal and replacement was noted. It is admitted there is room for considerable variability in this test. I am a benchrest and tactical competitor and understand taking the scope off and replacing it robs the shooter of valuable shooting time in the exact W W W. G U N S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • A P R I L 2 0 1 2