Haley Strategic Thorntail Offset Adaptive Light Mount Review

Finding the right place to mount a weapon light on a carbine rifle can always be a challenge. Different shooting techniques, shooting positions, gas systems, rail platforms and accessories all have an effect on where a weapon light is mounted. In the latter part of 2011 Haley Strategic teamed up with Impact Weapons Components to create a series of light mounts. The mounts were designed to complement modern weapon manipulation, accessories such as lasers and IR illumination and leave room for proper hand placement. From their very successful genesis to the present, the mounts have continued to evolve. The Thorntail and the Dropwing were the first mounts available. The Dropwing was designed to attach to a rail via the rail slots and has various ring sizes to attach to “tubular” flashlights. The Thorntail was designed to attach to MIL-STD-1913 rails and is tailored for short barreled rifles. The Thorntail mount also utilizes a ring attachment method and was designed to push the weapon light forward to leave space for proper hand placement. The next mount that Haley Strategic launched was the Mil 620 Light. The light mount was designed for the Surefire Millennium and 620 series of lights.

HSP Offset

Haley Strategic Thorntail Offset Light Mount

The Thorntail Offset mount was launched by Haley Strategic in October of 2012. The Thorntail Offset mount is a canted section of picatinny rail that attaches to a MIL-STD-1913 rail. Though the mount was designed to be a platform for weapons lights I found that it could also be used for back up iron sights as well as red dot sights. Like all the other Adaptive Light Mounts, the Thorntail Offset was designed to be extremely low profile.

 

 

The Thorntail Offset mount is marketed as one of the lowest profile and compact light mounts on the market. Here it is compared to a similar mounting solution.

The Thorntail Offset mount is marketed as one of the lowest profile and compact light mounts on the market. Here it is compared to a similar mounting solution.

 

The Thorntail Offset mount is machined out of 6061 – T6 aluminum (Ultimate Tensile Strength 45,000 PSI)…which is a very strong grade of aircraft aluminum. The Thorntail Offset mount weighs 1.06 ounces. Haley Strategic includes a 9/64 Allen wrench to assist in mounting. I torqued the test sample to my Troy rail at 10 in/lbs and had no movement during testing. Haley Strategic recommends using Loctite to keep the screws from coming lose. Be aware that if you are running a piston gas system make sure the heat isn’t venting directly on the mount/light.

After testing the Thorntail I found that I was most efficient and comfortable with my light mounted in the 11 o'clock position.

After testing the Thorntail I found that I was most efficient and comfortable with the light mounted in the 11 o’clock position.

I traditionally like to run a light at the 12 o'clock position. By shifting to the 11 o'clock I found that had a better field of view through my red dot sight.

I traditionally like to run a light at the 12 o’clock position. By shifting to the 11 o’clock I found that I had a better field of view through my red dot sight.

Smith and Wesson M&P 15...rebuilt with Colt internal parts. Lucid M7 Micro Dot. Streamlight TLR1S mounted on a  Haley Strategic Thorntail Offset light mount. Excellent rifle.

Smith and Wesson M&P 15…rebuilt with Colt internal parts. Lucid M7 Micro Dot. Streamlight TLR1S mounted on a Haley Strategic Thorntail Offset light mount. Can’t wait to shoot that rifle again. In the words of Pat McNamara…”Lets gas it up and burn it down…

After watching the Haley Strategic promotional video, Travis made a point to demonstrate the Thorntail Offset mount as a possible platform in which a shooter can mount back up iron sights. I was anxious to try this out. The first thing I noticed is that the sight does not sit directly over the bore. For close up shots I didn’t find this to be a problem. From the prone position at 100 yards I found that if I held an inch to the right I was able to accurately hit what I was aiming at.

The Thorntail Offset mount proved to be an awesome platform for Lucid's new red dot.

The Thorntail Offset mount proved to be an awesome platform for Lucid’s new red dot. I am currently reviewing the Lucid M7. So far the sight is bomb proof.

Due to the size of the scope mount the only place to attach back up sights was on the rail. The gun needs to be canted a lot more but if you are lacking a quick detach scope mount and you still want to use your iron sights...this is a solution.

Due to the size of the scope mount the only place to attach back up sights was on the right side of the rail/handguard. The gun needs to be canted a lot more but if you are lacking a quick detach scope mount and you still want to use your iron sights…this is a solution.

Streamlight TLR1S mounted on my Remington 700 SPS tactical. If you live in a jurisdiction that allows you to hunt predators or feral hogs at night the Thorntail Offset allows you to utilize your existing lights. A green or red lens paired with the Streamlight TLR1S would be an awesome combination.

Streamlight TLR1S mounted on my Remington 700 SPS tactical. If you live in a jurisdiction that allows you to hunt predators or feral hogs at night, the Thorntail Offset would allow you to utilize your existing light…granted you had a place to mount it. A red lens paired with the Streamlight TLR1S will be an awesome combination for calling in coyotes at night.

Final Thoughts.

There is no question about it, Travis Haley did a wonderful job designing the Thorntail Offset mount. Impact Weapons Components sourced excellent material in manufacturing the Thorntail and the machining is second to none. The Thorntail Offset is an excellent mount that gives a shooter a lot of options in regards to configuration and I look forward to utilizing the mount on other weapons platforms. Without a doubt Haley Strategic is building an awesome portfolio of products. Navigate on over to the Haley Strategic website to check it out. On my way to the Haley Strategic website I stopped by the MARSOC Foundation website and made a donation.

Do you have any experience with the Adaptive Light mounts from Haley Strategic? Tips, questions, sarcasm, gripes and jokes are welcome in the comments below!

Load that bipod…stay safe!

 

Recently hiked up Wheeler Peak. Highest point in New Mexico. Had a shot of whiskey for John Noveske. Vibrams rocked going up...not a lot of fun hiking down!

Recently hiked up Wheeler Peak. Highest point in New Mexico. Had a shot of whiskey for John Noveske. Vibrams rocked going up…not a lot of fun hiking down!

New Mexico at 13,167 feet.

New Mexico at 13,167 feet.

 





Thomas Gomez

Thomas Gomez currently resides in the mountains of central New Mexico. He has an M.B.A, an Ar-15/M16/M4 armorer certification from Specialized Armament Warehouse as well as a Glock armorer certification. Aside from writing for The Firearm Blog he works as a Clinical Analyst for a large Hospital. He spends his free time farming, ranching, hiking, fly-fishing and hunting in the beautiful forests and prairies of New Mexico. He can be reached at LOADTHATBIPOD@gmail.com


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  • Giolli Joker

    I can’t judge the tested product, but FiveFingers are great! 🙂

    • Thomas Gomez

      Cheers to the barefoot/minimalist crowd! Thanks for the comment!

  • Martin

    Yo dawg, I heard you like rail, so we put a rail on your rail …

    • gunslinger

      so you can add attachments to your attachments

      • Thomas Gomez

        You guys are hilarious! Thanks for the comments!

  • gunslinger

    got a price?

  • gunslinger

    so when running a light at 12, i’m guessing it needs to be a “slim” type so as not to interfere with the sights?

    • Thomas Gomez

      Hello gunslinger! I mount the light as far forward as possible then put a Magpul BUIS right behind it. There are numerous pictures of this setup on the internet.

      Hope this finds you well!

    • Cymond

      Daniel Defense also makes a rail-mounted fixed front sight that is specifically designed to be mounted behind a 12 o’clock light.

  • jpr

    Hey Thomas, great review! Can you tell me what pack that is that your GoRuck hat is sitting on? Thanks!

    • Thomas Gomez

      Hello jpr! That is an Eberlestock Gunslinger. Several weeks ago I took it on a 9 mile jaunt up the Mountain and it could use more padding on the shoulders. I am going to have a local saddle shop make some modifications to it….other than that it works really well. Built very solid.

      Cool thing you can do with the pack is take off the hip/waist strap…attach some mag pouches and you have a battle belt type setup.

  • ChainsawWieldingManiac

    One quibble: you should generally mount your light so it’s on the right side if you’re shooting right-handed, or the left side if you’re shooting left-handed. Otherwise, you’ve got it mounted such that it’s directly over your center of mass, and in the dark, people shoot at the light…

    • RocketScientist

      had never considered this… very interesting.

    • Police recruit schools have been teaching students about the bad guys shooting at the light since about the mid 1970’s.

    • Doc Rader

      What is the actual incidence of shooters being hit due to light placement? I know that “lesson” gets passed around (and have heard it numerous times myself) quite a bit, but no one has been able to give a direct reference to cases where it has happened.

      I’m not saying it doesn’t happen… Just wondering how often it has actually happened.

      • Samuel Suggs

        its a logically supported theorey it cannot be proven to have actually happened unless someone shoots at somone and then states that they shot at the their light. however logic dictates that they would do that so its best to eqip accordingly alla have the part of your body dirctly behind your light armoured sufficiantly to stop the sort of projectles you exspect your enemy to be using. the concept of putting the light far enough to right of your chest hoping they shoot past your arm probobly isnt going to help much.

      • Thomas Gomez

        Good question. Now if we could just find out how many people have been killed by the .22…

        • Samuel Suggs

          thats a signifcantly less worth while disscussion

          • Thomas Gomez

            Well there is that saying…”more people have been killed by a .22 then any other caliber…” You hear it repeated over and over and over…

          • Samuel Suggs

            wow thats a saying? have these guys ever heard of ww1 and the american civil war?

    • David McGuire

      Heres a thought, dont use a light and then try to raid a house in the dark. No, how about we mount a light and learn how to shoot. With a 500 lumen tac light, they wont be able to aim at the light because they wont be able to see.

      • Thomas Gomez

        Thank you for contributing to the discussion! Hope this finds you well!

      • Cymond

        That’s may be a valid tactic for clearing houses, but I find that even 100 lumens is WAY too much when I hear a noise at 3 AM and roll out of bed, barely able to open my eyes. Unfortunately none of the lights on the market seem intended for people whose eyes aren’t adjusted to the light.

    • Thomas Gomez

      Thanks for the comment and starting a valid discussion!

    • Cymond

      I may eventually switch, but I have a TLR-1s right now, and I strongly prefer mounting it on the right side of the hand guard. It’s much easier to hit the “momentary on” lever with the light on the right.

    • Beaumont

      Point well taken, but unless your flashlight mount has a six-foot offset, it’s still close enough to you to keep you in the “beaten zone” of an opponent’s fire. Momentary switches, and fire-and-movement maneuvers, are of value in negating your enemy’s urge to shoot at the light.

  • Friendly Neighborhood Gunsmith

    I have one of the Thorntails with the extended arm and flashlight ring, rather than the purely rail offset type. It’s a great unit and screams quality, but does cost a fair bit. I got one of the Brownells branded 250-lumen lights (the BVL280 model) and realized the OD was listed incorrectly after receiving it… it wouldn’t fit the 1″ ID Thorntail ring! Haley Strategic, and through them Impact Weapons Components who makes it for them, were extremely helpful and sent out a 1.03″ ID ring at no charge. Really stand-up folks!

    • Thomas Gomez

      Thanks for the comment! Haley Strategic has excellent customer service. How is that light holding up?

      • Friendly Neighborhood Gunsmith

        I’ve been moving it around trying to find the ideal place for it to sit on my 18″ Tavor. The Brownells light is very well built and plenty bright, though it’s no Surefire certainly. It’s held up well and taken some bumps and bruises along with the mount. My only issue is now that it’s on the Tavor, I would really like a light with a tape switch option to run into the handguard seeing as there’s a spot for a pressure switch built into it.

        The most optimal place to stick the Thorntail that I’ve found unfortunately blocks the front backup sight. I may be able to shift the light forward in the ring and move the entire mount back a bit though. I like it in this position because I can easily wrap my thumb over the rail (almost AR-15 style) and hit the button on the light.

        Here’s an imgur gallery of the setup as it sits right now: http://imgur.com/a/Nm1Jb#0

  • JessB

    Vibrams downhill? Hellllooooooo stress fractures…

    • Doc Rader

      Actually they are not bad. It’s all about conditioning and foot placement (emphasis on the “conditioning”). I usually ruck with Luna Sandals for weights < 35lbs.

    • Thomas Gomez

      Hello JessB! As long as you build up to the shoe and try to keep the pack under 30 lbs you should be okay. My pack weight was only around 20-25 lbs.

  • Samuel Suggs

    so yeah its a more exspencive version of the GG&G offset weaver jobby honestly if I was just gonna throw a flashlight on it I would go with the chear option but for backup sights I see the utility http://www.gggaz.com/45-degree-offset-accessory-rail.html

    • Thomas Gomez

      GG&G makes a good product. I prefer the Haley Strategic mount because I don’t have to move my thumb very much to toggle the switch on my TLR1-S. Thanks for the comment!

      • Samuel Suggs

        Your welcome thanks for responding.

      • Cymond

        Just a thought: I also have a TLR-1S, and I have it mounted at the 1 o’clock position on a Magpul Moe handguard with Scout light mount. I find it easier to put the thumb over the handguard and press down on the momentary activation lever. Previously, I had it mounted at 11 o’clock, and had to press upwards to get momentary-on.

        Try it, you might be surprised.

        • Thomas Gomez

          I will give it a shot! Thanks for the tip!

  • Doc Rader

    Great post! Its good to see more discreet dressings coming out.

    Also, that looks suspiciously like a Tac-hat and Goruck Tough patch. Nice!

    • Thomas Gomez

      Doc Rader! You have a good eye! Goruck is awesome…they are currently helping the Green Beret Foundation raise 1 million dollars. Awesome company.

  • Sarah Christian

    Thanks for the shout out to the MARSOC Foundation, Thomas! Appreciate the support!
    http://www.marsocfoundation.org

    • Thomas Gomez

      Hello Sarah! Big thanks to all the men and women that have served, or are serving in the Armed Forces…especially the KATN Marines and the Navy Corpsman who fight alongside them!

  • Beaumont

    So it’s a rail that attaches to a rail….I may have missed the point of this product.