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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb American Defense Aimpoint Mount Review

    Most people will never have heard of American Defense Manufacturing at the time of this writing, however, I suspect that will quickly change.

    American Defense Manufacturing (ADM) has emerged on the market with three Aimpoint mounts, and more importantly, an entirely new mounting system. The mounts are billet machined from T6 6061 aluminum, and hard coat anodized with a Teflon coating. The locking lever is capable of being configured to lock with the lever positioned to the front or the rear based on individual preference. The Auto Lock Lever is adjustable for rail size with the use of a coin, screw driver, or similar object.


    The AD-68L is a low profile Aimpoint mount designed for use with rails such as the Vltor CASV, ARMS SIR, POV Predator, and any other rail that incorporates a riser. According to the scale I used, it weighs 85 grams.

    The AD-68 is a standard height Aimpoint mount that allows for a direct mount to a flat top upper receiver, or Free Float rail. The AD-68 showed 93.5 grams when weighed.

    The AD-68C is a cantilever Aimpoint mount that raises the optic and pushes it out farther than its AD-68 sibling. The AD-68C came in at 98.7 grams when weighed. For comparison, my previous mount weighed in at 156.1 grams. Thats a pretty substantial difference.

    The entire line up of American Defense Manufacturing mounts is based off their QD Auto Lock Lever System. This Auto Lock is engaged simply by pressing the lever flat against the upper receiver. The QD Auto Lock Lever lays flat against the upper receiver, and if it were any more recessed, it would make removal difficult. Displacement of the mount from the rail is conducted by pressing the lock button (which is partially indented), and at the same time, pulling out on the lock lever. I see no possibility of accidental release with this system, even if your weapon is bounced around loose with gear in a vehicle, or if you can claim extra clumsy fingers. The QD Auto Lock Lever System is smooth upon installation and removal.

    Surface lock and engagement has been an issue long talked about in the realm of mounts. While all mounts engage a 1913 spec rail along one side, most find themselves camming or locking against the opposing side with a less than full, or even a minimal surface. In the case of the ADM mounts, there is equal surface area on each side grabbing the rail. There is no rotation or grinding against the rail surface as the engagement section moves directly in and out when the Auto Lock Lever is rotated.

    The mounts all feature six allen head screws, with three on each side to securely fasten the optic into place with equal pressure. As with any machine screw being mounted on a weapon, I would recommend a little of your favorite locking compound. Interior surfaces are smooth and well machined, as is the exterior of the mounts.

    Mount tension adjustment is about as easy as it comes. Almost any tool or item with an edge can be used for adjustment, but I found that a 5.56 casing fits perfectly for this task. Place the lever on the mount, and check the difficulty in closing the lever. If it's too easy for your liking, unlock, and turn the adjustment slot clockwise to tighten. If you find it too tight, turn counter clockwise to loosen.

    This review will be added to as more time is spent with the various mounts. Right now, WEVO has LE and MIL Staff who are using the different mounts, and all of us will provide a little more in depth view points as we work with them. Personally speaking, it would be hard to beat these from what I've seen so far, and my personal Aimpoint has found a new home.



    AD-68

    Last edited by Stickman; 9 April 2008 at 15:57.

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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  4. #4
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    I received the American Defense AD-68C for review. This is the Cantilever version of the mount which positions the Aimpoint optic a bit further forward, essentially straddling the upper receiver and forward rail. This locates the optic in a manor similar to the ARMS M68 with the Cantilever spacer.

    The most unique feature of this line of mounts is the mechanism that locks the unit into place. Instead of a cam engaging a small portion of the rail, an entire side of the mount makes contact. The pressure is applied over a greater area surface area and it appears to create a more secure lockup, while creating less wear on the upper.

    There is also a provision that allows the tension to be adjusted, which allows for variances in rail dimensions. I was able to drop this mount onto several uppers without issue.

    Once the tension has been set, I found that the mount was very solid. Two lugs on the underside of the mount engage two slots on the upper, giving it even more stability.

    The quick release levers lock in place and donít unintentionally come undone. No tools are required. There are no unusual protrusions from the mount, which might snag on gear.

    I installed an Aimpoint ML2 in the mount. Throughout the testing the mount remained solidly locked in place and retained its zero, despite bouncing around in a softcase in the trunk of a Crown Vic. I took the mount off and on numerous times and didnít notice any measurable shift in point of impact. I will add that Iím not a benchrest shooter and I didnít shoot further than 50 yards.

    This particular mount elevates the optic so that the irons are viewed in the lower third of the optic. Iím a bit more used to having an absolute co-witness with the iron sights and it would be a nice option to have available. I know that there are varying opinions on which configuration is preferable, but I think it comes down to personal preference.

    It will be interesting to see how these new mounts hold up over the long haul, but Iím very optimistic.
    Last edited by Eric; 5 January 2008 at 00:45.

  5. #5
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    Minor update from the last range trip.


    After getting installed, and pulled off the rail 15 times and being thrown or drop kicked each time across the range, there are no marks on the rail, and the Aimpoint stayed zeroed with the exception of one time where I put it on the wrong mount point (one notch too far back), and I certainly can't blame the mount for my mistake. Before installing the mount, I wiped the mud off with my fingers or rinsed it in a puddle if it was extra thick.

    Here is a picture of the mount at the end. I'm not sure this is a test I would want to do with most optics.

    ETA- I make no claims of this being a scientific test, but it worked out well for my own piece of mind. I won't recommend items if I know they are less than acceptable for my own use.


  6. #6
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    Update...
    I've put about 1k rounds through two different weapons using this mount/optic and no issues to report. The zero has still maintained, despite being removed and reinstalled numerous times.

  7. #7
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    How about a two year update. It's nice to know what the initial evaluation results are, but even better to how something holds up in the long run.

    With the ADM Aimpoint mount, it turned out to be a mixed bag. First of all, the early Gen 1 mount that I reviewed above is still going strong. It still lives on the same carbine and has seen some decent use. Itís a keeper.

    Since the first mount worked so well I picked up a second one for a new Aimpoint ML3. This version was ADM's updated Gen 2. It was assembled with thread-locker, but shot loose almost immediately. I figured that I hadn't snugged the screws down sufficiently, so prior to the next range trip I ensured they were torqued down and thread locker was again applied. The next range session met with the same results. The defective mount was sent back to ADM and shortly thereafter, a replacement arrived. However, the new mount experienced the same issues and was also sent back. Today I tried yet another one, just to experience the exact same problems. It shot loose within one 20 round mag. The play appears to be where the bottom of the rings secure to the base of the mount. When shooting at 50 yards, my shot group barely stayed on the 8.5Ēx11Ē paper. I was able to get about 40 MOA of vertical movement when shifting the loose mount by hand. Iím at a loss as to why the first mount performed so well and the subsequent onesÖnot so much.

  8. #8
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    I had an Aimpoint T1 mount that shot loose and a Recon-X that one of hue levers shot loose. These were also the Gen 2.

  9. #9
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    I’m happy to report that my first range session with the ADM Aimpoint Mount was positive.

    Through approximately 180rds, “Slippage Marks” on the mount screws showed no signs of loosening.

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