Over the last 6 months, I have been using and abusing the Haley Strategic SBR Thorntail2 mount with my Surefire Scout rifle light. I’ve owned this light for the last few years with the factory mount and overall I really like the light but hated the factory mount. Putting the Scout on something like my PWS MK116 Mod 2 created issues since it has a muzzle brake and would carbon the light up every magazine since it was so close to the muzzle. Putting the Scout on my short-barreled 308 only made the carbon and abuse even worse. I have used the original Thorntail on my 10.5 AR pistol for the last year and a half so I figured I would give the new one a shot. Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of this low profile light mount.
Weighing in at just over 1 ounce, the Thorntail2 is one of the lightest mounts on the market today. Made out of 6061-T6 aluminum, the Thorntail2 has a solid lockup with around .25″ of adjustment built into the mount for adjusting around IR lasers and optics if needed. The 45-degree offset doesn’t impede any flip up or fixed iron sights. Installing the new mount takes only a couple minutes with basic tools so it’s incredibly easy to do a quick swap from the factory mount to the Thorntail2 mount. Once installed, I did feel like the light was significantly tighter to the handguard than with the factory mount. MSRP on the Haley Strategic Thorntail2 SBR light mount is $49.99
Modularity Of The Thorntail2
Since the Thorntail2 is mounted at a 45-degree angle, it can be placed in a wide variety of places on the handguard. Now I know pressure switches are a sore point for some of the readers at TFB and that’s ok. I am 50/50 on pressure switches vs using traditional end cap buttons, so I’m indifferent on the subject. If you decide to use an end cap button, there’s a variety of places to use it depending on if you shoot with a C clamp or traditional grip.
Setting your light up in this configuration lets you get extremely quick activation with your support hand thumb. In the past, if I have an IR laser and suppressor on my gun, I will typically put the light in the lower-left position to have everything available without feeling crowded. Using the Thorntail2 in conjunction with a pressure switch will give you a number of different areas to mount your light in order to make the profile as slim as possible.
When I first installed the Thorntail2, I wasn’t sure if the mount would make a huge difference when moving around at the range. I was quickly surprised by the difference in overall width between the Thorntail2 mount and the factory Surefire mount that comes on the light. when moving around and shooting on barriers, the light was no longer hitting the barrier or prohibiting movement like it was on the standard factory mount.
The biggest improvement is being able to safely use a muzzle brake without having the escaping gases and concussion abuse the light over time. Using my Scout light on a short-barreled 308 AR-10, I was rather nervous about breaking the glass out of my light due to the amount of concussion the light had to endure at the factory mount position. After only a magazine or two, the glass would be completely covered with carbon and debris from the muzzle brake. After installing the Thorntail2 mount onto my Scout light, the carbon and debris that collected on the light have nearly disappeared. Now it’s much easier to maneuver in tight spaces during drills with the 45 degree offset on the Thorntail2 and it really does make a difference in functionality at the range.
When looking at the overall benefits of the Thorntail2 mount for the price, it’s really one of the best options on the market. I’ve been incredibly happy with both the SBR Thorntail and Thorntail2 mount. Most mounts are rather expensive while not offering a ton of benefits, where the Haley Stragetric Thorntail2 light mount isn’t overly expensive but offers a good amount of options. Having the ability to bring the light closer to the handguard makes it much easier to maneuver with a large light like the Surefire Scout. Getting it away from the abuse of the muzzle brake will keep the light safer and cleaner overtime as well.
Being able to keep your gear closer to the weapon system while improving overall functionality is a big win. I think having a mount that can give the user options and modularity to the gun is a huge plus. Add in the cost of only $50 and I think you have a real winner here. Let me know what you guys think about the various light mounts on the market. Some will inevitably say there are better options on the market and that’s totally fine. I would love to hear what systems you personally use on your AR rifle and pistols in the comments below. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to my Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there.