When first received I was impressed by the quality of the Steiner eOptics DBAL-D2 Dual Beam Aiming Laser with IR LED Illuminator and thought the QD mount one of the smoothest I’ve experienced. And I’ve experienced a few different types. However, word from a reliable source came back to me advising it might be prudent to find a new QD mount because the stock Steiner mount is a bit fragile.
It didn’t take much research to find a quality replacement mount. I went straight to the Larue Tactical website and seeing they recommended the LT271 mount for the DBAL series went ahead and ordered it. Reliably, it arrived 2 days later with a fresh supply of BBQ Rub and some bumper stickers sure to endear me to my university professor neighbors.
Once on the workbench I discovered the stainless 10-32 5/16’s bevel head screws were on very tight. So tight I prudently removed a fresh Allen head wrench and ensured it fit tightly which it did. This was a 6 inch wrench and there wasn’t enough leverage to remove the screws. Using a micro-torch I heated from the center of the screw until I could feel the other side if the D2 start to get warm. Somehow I managed to break the mount with just my hands and the springs and spring clip and other small pieces came apart in my hands. This might be forgivable in Airsoft, but not much else. I now understood the warning.
If you know electronics, you know heat damage fights power surges for the number one failure reason of electronics. I had to be sure not to heat the D2 too much, especially considering its initial high cost. On/off/on/off I went with the torch heating the D2 as much as I dared and still I couldn’t get the screws off. I used a combination wrench on the end of the Allen wrench as a cheater and managed to get one screw off. Unfortunately the other had to be drilled out. You might be willing to heat yours more, but I wasn’t. There was an extreme amount of RED locktite on the threads of the screw I removed. I carefully drilled the hole using my drill press and tapped the hole using first a 10-32 regular and finally a 10-32 bottom tap. I wasn’t happen having to do this and firmly blame the tech and his liberal use of red locktite.
As I went to install the new Larue LT271 mount I discovered it didn’t fit. Closer examination showed the large illuminator of the D2 requires the bottom leading edge of the mount to be beveled 45 degrees to a roughly 5/16’s flat. I searched for another mount from a quality manufacturer and couldn’t find one so I was committed to beveling the Larue LT271.
The QD mount is small and needs to be held firmly while making the bevel. It’s times like this where I miss my vertical mill. I didn’t feel like making a jig so I put the QD mount on an empty AR upper and put the upper in my Crosstac block receiver and chucked the assembly in my vise. I’m sure most of us have quality files. Don’t use them. Instead, see if you have an older crosscut file you don’t mind loading up with aluminum. Also, put a piece of PVC tape on the end of the upper rail just in case..
5 minutes later I had the bevel formed after only 2 test fits. Using some emery strips I smoothed it out and did a final test fit.
I’d prefer the LT271 was nitride coated, but decided to coat it with Birchwood-Casey Aluminum Black until my next Cerakoting project. All in all Aluminum Black is a decent finish I use often to touch up AR flubs and after all, this was on the bottom where no one will set it without disassembly…
Make sure you have enough room for a thick piece of paper to fit between the bevel and the D2. They should not touch, nor should there be excess space. You can see in the picture one screw is not perfectly centered. This is from where I drilled out the hole and miss-calculated a few thousandths. If this happens to you just take a small file or rotary and elongate the appropriate side of a hole in the mount and all will be good.
The completed assembly is finished and I now have more confidence in the mount. I regret the screws wouldn’t come out easier and that the LT271 didn’t come with a bevel to fit the D2. But who said it was supposed to be easy?