Why swap out a mount from standard to aftermarket? What possible benefit can be gained from swapping one bit of metal for another? Well, there’s a number of reasons. Accuracy, durability and weight are three reasons why many shooters decide to put aside the standard mount that their optics come with, in favour of specialist mounting products that offer what the standard mounts do not.
In the case of Geissele’s Super Precision T1 mount, it’s usually down to accuracy and durability. They might not be the lightest mounts, but damn they’re tough.
Seen in the hands of shooters across the globe, it’s no surprise that Airsofters and civilian shooters are looking to replicate the same look, but without Geissele’s price tag.
The HAO mount is comprised of a single piece of 7075 billet Aluminium which has then been machined to the shape of the mount, echoing the primary method used to create the real Super Precision T1 mount.
The shape of the mount is it’s biggest novelty, it curves narrowly in the middle and creates a rather organic element to an item that is often obelisk-like in its appearance.
HAO’s mount replicates the shape very closely, their usual method of design is to take extensive measurements via 3D rendering software, not just guess the measurements and backwards engineer the model like many other companies do.
HAO’s mount is available in either Black or DDC (Desert Dirt Colour) and at a single height option of Lower 1/3 co-witness, which is very much the standard size for most shooters. While it would have been nice to see the 1.93″ height mount replicated, as I’ve personally seen the benefits of a taller height over bore optic, but for many users, Lower 1/3 is what’s wanted, so I can see why they’ve stuck with this single height design.
The top of the mount is machined to accept the majority of T1 profile mounts, with the industry standard four holes to accept whatever bolts you require. HAO provide four spare T10 Torx bolts with what appears to be the Aimpoint correct M3x6 sizing to mount your optic (make sure your optic accepts these bolts before using if you want to avoid damaging your sight). A pair of blind bored shafts in the mount provide a degree of weight saving, although it’s still a weighty little mount.
A slim radius cut out on the left side provides a recess for optics that have a side mounted battery compartment, although it doesn’t detract from the aesthetics when using a different profile sight. This is produced using HAO’s EDM wire cutting process which provides a crisp and burr-free profile, something other airsoft manufacturers seem reluctant to do.
With Geissele’s Super Precision series, the large mounting bolt is a signature part of their design. Noticeably large compared to the competition, and I’d say that Geissele are missing a trick by using such bulky mounting bolts, but if accuracy and strength are your key selling points, these bolts are perfect. Geissele’s reviews seem to indicate that their mounts are incredibly strong and the mounting bolts are certainly a key reason why, a key case of “if it works…”.
The underside of the mount incorporates a pair of recoil lugs that both aid in placement, whilst also securing the optic against the shock of a firearm’s recoil.
This isn’t a feature you see on most lower tier optic mounts and it’s arguably overkill for most Airsoft replicas, Both Holosun and Vortex use only their cross bolt attachment as a makeshift anti-recoil lug, which will simply not offer the same benefit as a dedicated anti-recoil lug. The rear recoil lug has “1/3” stamped into its surface, denoting the height of the mount.
The remainder of the markings and trades are crisply laser etched onto the surface of the mount, appearing as a subdued light tan against the brownish DDC of the hard coat “tanodise”. This DDC colour is variable from batch to batch, much like real tanodised DDC or FDE items, the colour is dependent on so many variables that a high range of colours can be seen in the final product. The colours and markings are a close match for those found on real Geissele SP T1 mounts, although a keen eye would spot the few minor differences between real and repro.
If getting an exact colour is important to you, I’m afraid DDC/FDE just isn’t for you. The hard coat anodise is relatively resilient to marks and scratches, I’ve only managed to take the surface off of one edge which was caused by clumsy use of a screwdriver whilst changing a battery. Aside from this, it’s remained blemish free.
So the big question is, can I recommend it to a friend? The answer is a resounding yes, it’s as close to the read deal as your going to find, I’d go as far as saying that it’s likely to cause more than a handful of people a bit of a headache when buying theirs second hand online… It’s a struggle to know if it’s a real Geissele or a HAO mount, which is both reassuring to owners and yet concerning to potential buyers looking for the real thing.
The mount is available direct from HAO on their website (haoptwart.com) and with normal shipping times, usually arrives within 3/4 weeks pending stock availability.