Present arms gunner's mount.
Recently Firearms News was sent a product for review that is made with attention to detail, high quality and a great degree of craftsmanship. It appears to be made as well as possible and likely will last for decades of usage. This product was so over engineered that it could have been a great example of how things were made in the early parts of the 20th century. The product is the Present Arms Gunner's Mount. This excellent product is an AR-15 workstation made to assist you in cleaning, repairing, or assembling AR-15s. Anyone who has worked on AR-15s knows that there has been a time or two when you could've used an extra set of hands. This is especially true when you're assembling an AR-15. Having a fixture to hold the rifle or its subassemblies frees up your hands for more productive uses than trying to keep the gun from falling off the work bench as you work on it.
The Gunner's Mount Kit GMK-2 features a solid base to which several fixtures are attached that holds the complete gun or sub-assemblies that support it while you work on it. The base is CNC machined from a solid 7"x20"x1.25" block of plastic. All the fixtures that attach to the base are also machined from solid blocks of plastic. There are no cheap hollow blow-molded parts in this product. Every part looks like it came out of a prototype machine shop. All the fixtures attach to the base with the aid of hardened steel dowels; there are no flimsy plastic pins here.
When I first viewed the Gunners Mount my first thought was "Wow, this thing is really built." It is an impressive piece of machined polymer. I typically don't gush over products when I review them but in this case I was truly impressed. If I was going to make a product like this with no concerns over cost, this is the way I would make it. With the versatility of today's CNC machining centers, making a product this good is actually less expensive to manufacture than by making it with very expensive injection molding die sets.
The Gunner's Mount features several fixtures that hold and secure an AR-15 or its sub-assemblies. It features a magazine well block that holds the gun in an upright position. The block can be set securely in one position or it can be rotated to almost any angle you might need. The block also allows for upside-down mounting. Another useful fixture allows the receiver and a carbine buffer tube to be securely held in alignment while the buffer tube nut is tightened down. The Gunner's Mount features several other fixtures that aid in other common tasks. There are fixtures and features that assist in installing the trigger guard and roll pin, the forward assist assembly and pin, the lower parts kit, the latch and pin of the charging handle, plus several other fixtures that help during assembly or maintaining your rifle. Besides offering fixtures that attach to the base, pockets are machined into the base to hold many of the AR-15's small parts. Anyone who has crawled around their work shop floor looking for that small pin that rolled off the bench will appreciate the parts pockets in the base.
As if all the useful AR-15 related features aren't enough, the Gunner's Mount has one more trick up its sleeve. You can purchase accessory fixtures to allow mounting several of today's popular semi-auto handguns on the base unit. The handgun fixtures replace the magazine and hold the guns in the upright position for cleaning, maintaining, or other gunsmithing chores. Just as with the AR magazine fixture, the guns can be set at any angle that is comfortable for the user.
The Present Arms Gunner's Mount is an impressive piece of quality manufacturing, but this much quality comes at a price. This is a professional-grade fixture and it comes with a professional-grade price. Depending on how many fixtures you want, the price begins at $236 and goes up to $650. At the time I reviewed this product Present Arms was running a sale that included the base unit and several of the most popular fixtures at a reduced sale price of $550. This price is easily justified for the professional gunsmith or law enforcement armorer who works on AR-15s daily but may be a little steep for all but the most dedicated hobbyist. The advanced hobbyist who builds many AR-15 rifles each year may want to consider the Gunner's Mount since it is a really handy item that greatly eases the build process. It's also worth remembering that the Gunner's Mount can be used for repairing and maintaining many models of semi-auto handguns so it isn't a single gun fixture. You also have the option of buying the base unit and then purchasing the fixtures you need when funds are available. For the AR enthusiast who likes to have the best of everything when it comes to AR products, rest assured that this item is the best of its type.
For more information contact Present Arms at P.O. Box 839, Dept. FAN, Wilbraham, MA, 01095, 413-575-4656, www.presentarmsinc.com.