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July 09, 2012
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Dennis Haworth Firearms Training & Equipment
with Dennis Haworth

Product Review: The Battle Comp Mossie Midnight Mount

As technology continues to advance, some old tools and gear get left behind or replaced with new models. Cell phones, computers, and cars are prime examples of this in the law enforcement world. Some items like desks and paper pads tend to continue to function year after year with little change. Then there are items that are considered “legacy” purchases. That is an item purchased once and presumed to fill a need for decades with little thought of evolving technology requiring an upgrade.

Firearms often fall into this category.

Over the years I have often asked firearm manufacturer armorer instructors when an agency should replace existing issued handguns. Most of the top manufacturers seek Military contracts so there answers will often be that there handguns have a service life of so many thousands of rounds. But, this does not take into account that most Law Enforcement handguns suffer wear not just from shooting but from day to day carrying and the abuse related with the job nor does it take into account evolving technology.

With handguns the introduction of a railed frame to allow the attachment of a weapon mounted light or other device is one of the most prominent examples. It’s true that there are rails available to upgrade some models, but this is not optimum nor does it take into account that holster, duty and off-duty, are limited for these retrofitted handguns.

To my eye, the rifle suffers the most from this “we bought it now we can forget it” mentality. With the 1033 program many agencies were given M16A1 rifles by the Federal Government. Some agencies have taken the initiative to upgrade these rifles into a modern rendition, but far too many have left them as they were built in the 1960.

Some of these same agencies have upgraded their issued handguns to ones with rails to allow the attachment of weapon mounted lights. So we know that they are aware of the tactical usefulness of weapon mounted lights and the need to upgrade equipment to embrace new technology.

Agencies large and small in the United States are operating on tight budgets these days. Agencies must find cost-effective ways to upgrade equipment to meet current needs of their officers. Large agencies do not have the luxury of smaller agencies to easily change or add equipment agency wide. Decisions must be well thought out and take the entire system into account. Purchasing new upper receivers for every rifle may not be economically feasible, and when you add the cost of modifying or purchasing new locking racks for every car, the cost skyrockets.

So what could they do to upgrade their rifles that will not change how the rifle fits in the rack, is economical and will improve the effectiveness of the rifle?

Well let’s look at what an officer actually needs on a patrol rifle. First we start with a solid, reliable, well made rifle. The M16A1 fits that definition. We can all argue barrel length and twist rate but in the end the M16A1 will get the job done reliably. Optics are not cheap and most likely not feasible at this time. Slings are something to be researched and a solution arrived at in light of how the rifles are deployed and how to address the needs of officers who are not assigned an individual rifle.

This leaves us with an area in which I believe a cost-effective solution exists: weapon-mounted lights.

The use of weapon-mounted lights has become commonplace in the military and law enforcement. This was not always the case but fortunately the benefits of weapon mounted lights have proven themselves time and again to the point that an argument against the use of them seems laughable. The market is flooded with various lights and mounts for just about every weapon and application. Not all of these options are cost effective.

What is needed is a way to securely mount a vast array of lights to the rifle that does not change its overall physical layout so that it does not require modifications to existing equipment such as locking racks.

Enter the Mossie Midnight Mount made by Battle Comp Enterprises.

The Mossie mount was the brain child of a southern California police officer who wanted to add a light to his patrol rifle. Many agencies do not allow officers to modify their issued rifles and others do not have the funding to replace the hand guards with rails to allow the attachment of a light or other equipment. The Mossie mount addresses this by simply attaching to the face of the front sight base on any AR15 type rifle. The base rifle is left unaltered.

The mount attaches with two 8/32 x 1/4 self-locking set screws, one on the top of the mount and the other on the bottom, that securely hold the mount to the front sight base. The mount uses a slot designed to work with all Universal locking bars. This is important as most pistol rails use a Universal slot vs. rifle rails that usually use the Picatinny rail design. The Mossie Mount allows you to use a light made for pistol use and install it with no modification. In fact you can take the light off of your handgun and attach it to the Mossie and back again if you needed to. 

I installed a Mossie Midnight Mount provided for review by Battle Comp Enterprises on an old standard AR15 carbine and an M16A1 upper receiver for testing. Installation was straightforward and I suggest you follow the directions that come with the mount. The only trouble I had was with the provided 5/64 Allen wrench when tightening the set screws. It was a bit short and was taking too much time, so I used a longer T-handled wrench to make the installation easier and faster.

Once mounted, the Mossie was solid with no vertical or lateral play. I installed a Surefire X300 and began using the rifle and light to search and clear my home. It took a bit to get used to, but it worked very well. Having the light mounted at the 12 o’clock position is arguably the best position for a weapon mounted light. The controls on the light were accessible with the left or right hand which allowed shoulder transitions to have no effect on the availability or operation of the light.

Once on the range one issue that I had not considered arose. With extended shooting the front sight base heats up. To activate the light the shooter has to reach around the front sight base. To keep from being distracted from the heat I chose to wear gloves to continue testing.

The mount was solid and stayed in place throughout testing. Recoil and head appeared to have no effect on the mount. Horizontal and vertical pressure from activation of the light did not result in any shift or loosening of the mount.

I like this mounting solution for its simplicity, effectiveness and cost.

The Mossie Midnight Mount, combined with a Surefire X300, Streamlight TLR1, TLR3, M3, or any other quality light, will give an agency a cost-effective way to add a weapon mounted light to their patrol rifles that requires no permanent modification or change to the base weapon. The Mossie Mount should not require modification or changing locking racks allowing a seamless integration of the light into the existing system. The controls for the light are accessible ambidextrously allowing any officer to operate the weapon and the light easily.

These unique contributes combined make the Mossie Midnight Mount a winner. 

About the author

Dennis Haworth is a police officer with a California state law enforcement agency. He has been a law enforcement range master and armorer for more than a decade. Haworth has served as a police academy instructor and has taught specialized courses on several subject matters. He has been involved in product testing for professional associations, manufacturers and law enforcement agencies. He has a BS in Criminology and an MPA with a specialization in human resources management. Much of his free time is spent as an advisor to the Shooting Sports Club at his local University of California campus.

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