Until I looked at Clay Spenser’s 416 for the SEAL Team piece last year I hadn’t a clue what it was… Now I’m familiar enough with the more well known mounts such as those offered by Haley Strategic, S&S Precision and Larue Tactical etc but I’d never seen an option quite as customisable as this before. I am of course talking about the Unity Tactical Fusion Hub.
Unfortunately, Unity Tactical do not currently have a UK distributor. I’ve poked the guys at Tactical Kit UK regarding their stuff and recommended they have a look over their wares at Shot Show 2019 but nothing so far has been brought in (Understandable as most of unity’s business is in firearm parts such as their Atom slides for Glock pistols).
PTS Syndicate however have built the first version of the Unity Hub under licence from Unity Tactical with a selection of attachments to provide you with a number of options for mounting lights, optics, sights and other devices that might be best placed in an area that’s not available with the standard mounting points on your replica.
So what do you get and what are they useful for? The contents of the pack include the following parts:
Firstly the Hub itself, the core component that everything bolts onto. The Hub is secured to the rail of your choice by a single through bolt at the rear of the Hub, a conventional design and one people will be familiar with. There are mounting points on the top of the Hub and offset on both the left and right hand sides to allow the attachment of one of the many other components that are supplied or indeed in certain situations the direct mounting of lights and sights etc.
The Hub slides into place over your rail and once you’ve found a suitable position, simply thread the bolt into the RIS channel and tighten it down. I’ll mention one potential drawback right now… You need to be able to access the end of a rail in order to mount the Hub, on replicas that have an obstruction such as a fixed foresight it’s tricky to mount without removing the rail itself or all the accessories before installation.
Once it’s on though, there are a number of ways in which it can be used. The mounts themselves are able to be attached via a bolt on system which uses a dot-dot-dash hole configuration which sits within a channel, adding a degree of security and keeping the mounts very low profile, A great idea and one that should allow for a number of different options as to how it’s mounted and how things are mounted on it. This brings me onto another other fantastic design detail, the hole spacing and channel width works perfectly with Surefire Scout Lights, allowing a potentially very low profile option, and also one which allows for some very unique combinations to be made up.
The second accessory and one of the most likely to be used is the flip up iron sights. What can I say about these? Well they are somehow the best and worst thing about the whole package. The flip up mechanism is positive and snaps either up or down without wobble and in my opinion as good as you’d expect real steel irons to be.
However… the actual sight post pin itself is beyond a joke, poorly made, mid-shapen and without the usual spring loaded retention pin that prevents the sight pin from rotating and coming loose. That in itself is a massive let down and necessitates the use of threadlock to keep it in place. It’s tough to argue why this was done, on an otherwise well thought out design it’s distinctly lacking.
So, moving on… The Offset Wing Mount. This short section of rail provides a 90 degree offset from the rail the Hub is bolted to, Its likely that this section will comprise one of the key components of most people’s set up, wether you use it to directly mount something or as a base for the rail extension it gives you a nice offset position, perfect for a tactical light.
Next up, the Front Rail Extension. An unusual addition but one that actually is very worthy to the package. It took me a while to understand how it actually worked but with a little google fuelled knowledge injection I had a second look. Adding this section gives you extra “rail estate” on the exact same line as you’ve bolted the Hub to.The applications you would use this part for might not fit everyone’s requirements but if you’ve ever run out of top rail space then this might solve that annoying issue. The channel and holes match that of the Hub, allowing the direct attachment of certain accessories and other Fusion Hub components.
Probably one of the most unique looking components is the Hub Extension, This unique item can either be mounted directly to the Hub or will fit into either the Offset Wing Mount or the Front Rail Extension. The Extension has the same channel and hole configuration as the Hub, Especially useful when mounting a light as it keeps the weight and bulk down in an area you certainly don’t want excess.
One item I’ve not had a chance to fully exploit is the 1″ Ring Mount, this isn’t something I need but I can see that for certain applications it would be a real positive. The ring itself is low profile and if I had a 1″ light that I wanted to mount then I wouldn’t hesitate to use this in my configuration.
The offset rail is a necessary addition to the package and one which can be used to either provide a minimalist offset rail on the Hub or be used to add a little stand-off to your configuration. One potential application would be for 45 degree offset red dots or even a camera for those Youtubers among you.
Overall build quality is fantastic, I can’t fault the quality of the components and indeed the materials used. The kit utilises 6061-T6 aluminium which exhibits a hardness you generally won’t find with cheap Chinese components and is indeed the same as that used on the genuine Fusion Hub. Another big plus is in the provision of some fantastic hardware with the kit, plenty of it too! The Allan bolts are strong and to a professional standard, fitting well within their threads and without that cheap feel you get with many clones.
Oddly enough, PTS have made this in metric which if you look at most US manufacturers is not the standard imperial you’d be accustomed to. I can’t mark them down for this as I don’t have a clue if Unity Tactical use metric or imperial (no data to suggest either on their site) and also its handy when most airsofters buying PTS hardware will probably not be mounting genuine US built accessories anyway.
As for negatives.. Right, so there’s no easy way to say it but I feel after a brief period of use that it offers a lot of useless configurations and actually misses a few essentials in terms of ways you can configure the unit. Again, Some of this might be specific to the PTS mount or indeed my own accessories and their own differences from real steel but I’d hazard a guess that it’s pretty much the design that’s to blame as Unity Tactical have revised their Hub design to specifically allow the mounting of certain accessories.
That along with the poor BUIS design would have probably been enough to make me put it back on the shelf had I seen it in person beforehand, However I bought it online and although I have the power of Distance Selling Regulations I’ve decided to keep the unit due to its adeptness in a few key areas.
So probably my key area of frustration is that despite the abundance of accessories supplied, you can only mount a fraction of them on the Hub in a usable fashion. If for example you are using the hubs own BUIS then you are unable to place the offset rail directly onto the Hub in a usable way. Also, placing the BUIS on anything but the hub directly will mean that it won’t align correctly with the standard M4 rear sight or KAC type BUIS. So in an ideal world where I’d have the BUIS butting up against the rear of a PEQ or DBAL with a wing mount on either side for a weapon light, it’s actually not possible to do this. Also the channel is the perfect size for the direct mounting of the G&P D-BAL but due to the hole size and spacing being off, it’s a no go (without modification). The same applies to the PEQ15/LA-5 illuminator which in an ideal world you’d be able to bolt directly into one of the aforementioned brackets.
A simple solution would have been to change the hole spacing or replace with an M-LOK type slot which would have provided countless options for the end user, In fact based upon the information on Unity Tactical’s own site, the Micro Hub 2.0 has this very issue resolved in its design. Now all I need to do is bully Tactical Kit to adding them to their product line 😂.
Would I recommend it? Actually yes, I would suggest that for specific applications it’s a fantastic mount and if you resist the urge to add too many components it can provide a unique and durable mounting option for lights and optics. If you can’t control your urge to add everything that’s supplied you’ll end up with a rather odd looking mount and not entirely what the manufacture intended it be used for. Will I continue to use it? Possibly… On the MP7 it provides a good option for mounting a light alongside a DBAL, However on my current Block 2 build the mount refuses to clamp on tight enough. I can’t hold the Fusion Hub responsible though as it’s the Airsoft spec rail letting the side down for the most part but it’s interesting to see that the updated Micro Hub 2.0 dispensed with this single rear locking through bolt and goes with a dual clamped type mount with an indexing piece that prevents front to back movement.
In short, would I buy it again? Maybe not, certainly not for what I’m looking to achieve with my M4 platform, although it works well in the configuration I have on the MP7. What I would be interested in doing is maybe getting a Micro Hub 2.0 and fitting it onto a planned future 416 build… But will I ever buy one? we’ll have to wait and see.