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Using the Midwest Industries 34mm QD Scope Mount to top off my “nostalgia” AR project makes perfect sense. At least to me. One of the first AR-pattern rifles I shot had the Ergo grip shown, and also a QD scope mount. And it packed down into a custom case with the upper, lower, and scope each having its own foam cutout. Clearly, this rifle left an impression on me. It’s been in the back of my mind for a while, even though the rest of the spec is unknown. And as I collected bits and pieces here and there, I set out to build something similar. So this rifle is a mix of things I remember, and parts that I selected because I like them, had them, or figured that they would be a good fit.
Midwest Industries 34mm QD Scope Mount description and specs
At 8.7 ounces, this is a robust mount. Overall length is 5.875 inches, with .850 inch wide rings, and 2.800 inches between the rings. From the base to the first ring, the offset is 1.400 inches, and the distance from the top of the rail to the center of the rings is 1.550 inches. So it will accommodate scopes with objectives up to 56mm. MI refers to their QD mechanism as “The smoothest functioning QD lever on the market”. I don’t have too many to compare it to, but no argument there. Super easy to use, and locks down solid. Also offers tool-less adjustment.
Its 6061 aluminum body is hard coat anodized, and this USA-made product is backed by a lifetime warranty. Current MSRP is $204.95. Midwest Industries offers this mount in 1-inch, 30mm, and 35mm versions as well.
Mounting the mount
Before reaching for any tools, take some time to read the instructions. No tools are required for attaching it to a firearm. Start by installing it without making any adjustments, to determine if it’s too tight or loose. Midwest Industries points out that it doesn’t require a lot of force, nor should it need it, thanks to their design. So whether it needs more or less, getting it just right is easy. Flip the levers open, and push them (one at a time) so that the nut on the opposite side sticks proud of its slot. Then it can be twisted by hand to make the clamp looser or tighter. Trial and error, also known as patience, is key. The goal is to go one notch or flat at a time until it’s solid on the rail, but doesn’t require gorilla strength to remove.
Once properly adjusted, the mount can be removed by pressing down on the lock in front of the lever, before pulling the lever out. The locks are the grooved sections in the photo above. With the mount installed and dialed in, it was time to add the scope. Installation is just like any other scope. Get the eye relief set, level it up, and torque it down. For this application, I chose a Vortex Venom 5-25×56 that I had in my scope drawer. It’s a chunky piece of glass, but appropriate for this project. After carefully torquing it to Vortex specs, I did a quick zero with a laser attached to the muzzle.
Rifle build sheet
Truly a “spare parts” build, this rifle is a bunch of stuff I have collected over several years. It’s got a Spike’s Tactical lower and nickel boron bolt. Generic mil-spec trigger inside. Ergo Deluxe tactical pistol grip with palm shelf. Yankee Hill Machine free-float handguard over a Daniel Defense barrel. Magpul bipod up front, Luth AR MBA-3 buttstock out back. It’s nothing special, but certainly fun to shoot.
Time to hit the range
While this rifle was intended to let me stretch my range a little farther than I can with rimfire, I was limited to 100 yards for this test. And it was super simple. Set up a 4″ steel target at 100 yards, and ring it a few times. Remove scope, remount, and try again. After three cycles, I can see no loss of zero. Granted, this isn’t quite precision shooting, but I’m using cheap pre-Covid ammo, and I’m no marksman. It’s possible the POI could change by a small amount, but it’s smaller than the usual margin of error I might get in my groups. In other words, it’s more than good enough for me. Notes: When reinstalling the scope/mount, it should go in the same spot as it was removed from. I didn’t test it on different locations, but that may or may not cause issues. I’ll also mention that when it comes to consistency, the stock I chose for this rifle certainly helps.
Midwest Industries has yet to let me down. Their 34mm QD Scope Mount is a solid piece of gear, and I’m fully expecting to get the same results at longer distances. If I need to make any adjustments to the clamps, that can be done in the field, without tools. I may spend a little more time fine-tuning the position, depending on whether I end up shooting off a bench vs prone most of the time. Meanwhile, I can take my rifle down and stow it in a compact case, with the scope getting separate, more padded accommodations. At least until I have a custom hard case.
If your use case involves a QD scope mount, I certainly suggest giving this one a good long look. Performance is definitely there, price is on the wallet-friendly end of the spectrum, and it’s American-made, backed by an excellent warranty.
I’d like to thank Midwest Industries for providing their 34mm QD Scope Mount for my testing and evaluation. This was a fun project, and I am looking forward to spending more time behind this rifle.