In the past decade, tactical techniques, procedures and equipment have evolved quite a bit, thanks to lessons learned from overseas and the influence from the competitive shooting community. For example, many trainers and shooters prefer controlling the gun closer toward the muzzle to more efficiently control recoil and aggressively drive the gun to the target. Another trend is the use of two point adjustable slings on the carbine.
With these preferences in mind, when setting up a carbine it quickly becomes clear that the sling mount, light mount, and the shooter’s support hand are all competing for the same piece of real estate. This is true even when running an extended forend, and is exacerbated when a shorter, 7-inch rail is used.
When it comes to light mounts, I generally shy away from tape switches as the pads are high wear items and wires can become a snag hazard. However, I want to be able to hold the carbine and run the light when shooting strong or support side. I experimented with several setups, but was never quite satisfied until Travis Haley introduced his Thorntail Light Mount. This low profile mount pushes the light forward allowing the shooter to place his hand further forward on the rail. This increases usable space for gripping the gun. It also de-conflicts the light mount from the sling mount.
In the setup above, I am using a Centurion C12 FSP rail, which has an integrated sling attachment point at the 3 and 9 o’clock on the forward end of the rail. Most traditional light mounts would conflict with the sling loop if placed forward on the rail. The Thorntail allows the sling attachment point to be used, and leaves enough room forward of the front sight base for me to hang onto.
The mount is completely modular and fully reversible. It is available in various diameters to accommodate the aluminum and polymer handhelds from SureFire, along with a model specifically designed to interface with the Scout light.
The Thorntail Light Mount is available through Brownells.