Vis/IR Laser mounting position help

I scoured this subsection for a thread on the mounting position of an IR/Vis laser on a carbine and hope this isn't a duplicate.

I'm very new to the lasers on rifles game and am seeking tips/tricks on the ideal position for mounting on an SBR. Does anyone have experience with the laser mounted towards the muzzle vs. back towards the optic/ejection port area?

My current set-up is: 10.5" SBR, BUIS and Eotech 512 on ADM riser, Surefire 951 on 3 o'clock rail. Will be using UNITY Tactical TAPS Sync for vis/light activation and the laser "FIRE" button for IR.

Thanks in advance. If this is a duplicate, could you point me in the direction of the thread already discussing this?


Most lasers are designed to be mounted on the 12:00 rail. They can be side mounted though. As far as muzzle end or receiver end, their are pros and cons to each.
Muzzle pro- doesn't interfere with slings, sights etc. Cons rail depending there will be deviation when the rail is loaded up in some shooting positions.

Receiver end pro- creates space to grip the forearm further out, is generally a more solid mounting point due to being right over the barrel nut and rail interface. Cons laser depending, you will get splash off of everything that is in front of the laser.

Obviously that list isn't all inclusive. What it boils down to is what the mission set is. That should dictate the gear used and it's placement.
I'm more inclined to the receiver end mounting option, as this would give me more natural thumbs forward grip on the AFG. However, I'll probably have to try the various options and see what works. Thank you for your input.


Receiver mount gives you more hand space, but (depending on your laser) you could block your laser with your hand. Same goes for the 3 o'clock light. If you have a laser / illuminator and are going to use it with NVG you can also get splash / shadow.
Have you thought about zeroing? Parallel beam, or specific distance makes a big difference.


Are you planning to actually use the rifle in its maximum effective set up for night fighting using NVG?

Or do just want the laser on there to look cool and primarily shoot it during the day with little regard to how effective the laser and illuminator will be under NVG?

If the latter, then mount it toward the receiver and rock on. It will be out of your way while shooting on the range, but will still be there to impress the gun bunnies & geardos who don’t know any better.

If the former, then I would strongly recommend you mount the laser/illuminator further toward the muzzle in order minimize the chance of interfering with the laser or causing excessive IR splash from the illuminator.

If you’re right handed, like most folks, you likely won’t have issues with blocking the laser itself by placing it toward the receiver since the laser is on the right side of the housing.

However, this in my opinion is actually the least problematic issue with rearward mounting of the laser. The larger issue in my opinion is two fold:
1. blocking the IR illuminator either partially or all together by placing your hand/arm in front of it. You are shining that IR illuminator at something for a reason, why limit or eliminate that capability all together by using poor laser placement?
2. IR splash off of either your arm/hand or the rifle itself. This splash can drastically limit your NVG’s ability to “see” down range due to the IR light being splashed back toward you. It’s the same as shining a flashlight down range and having some or all of that light reflected back at you. It’s going to hamper your ability to see what you were shining the light at.

So to recap, you can absolutely mount the laser rearward to minimize interference with your daytime shooting grip. However you will be compromising your laser & illuminators ability to do what they are there to do in the first place.

For me, I run a laser/illuminator on my rifle professionally in order fight at night under NVGs. As such I mount it in such a way to maximize its effectiveness for this purpose.

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Another reason to run the laser up front is to mitigate any issues having to push the IR beams past the heat given off by a gas block after a string of fire.

And older post from Lightfighter, but still relevant:
rgrgordo said:
The short of it is lasers placed in the center of the rail system cause several issues with equipment interface which can (in some instances has) led to near tragic or tragic consequences. I'll try to list them:
  • The more center mounted a laser is the more chance there is of user equipment causing unattended activations due to user equipment mission placement.
  • When lasers are mounted in the center of the rail, you limit the ability to diverge the illuminator/designator. This will cause unintended sparkling that will lead to target masking and shadowing, further leading to target mis-ID.
  • Lasers mounted center of the rail can cause target confusion. When activating on a target the laser/illuminator can sparkle off of the front sight or another piece of user equipment that will cause mis-identification of bad guy targets. To the users standing near the designating laser, causing sparkle reflection, the reflection looks very confusing under NODS and can (in some instances has) caused blue on blue mis-ID. Mostly seen by over-watch elements, support a/c, and supporting friendly Units - real bad situation to be in.
One last point, the lasers adjust-ability allows for plenty of trajectory tweaking anywhere on the rifle. The key to remember is the further back on the rail the laser sits the more you narrow the lasers ability to adjust to accommodate variable trajectories.

There certainly can be an argument to be made for optimizing the gun for daylight combat, depending on what you're doing, but it's pretty niche, IMO (though let's face it, using NODs in general is pretty niche):

Yes, yes, we all hate SOFREP. Doesn't mean everything published there is of zero value.


Regular Member
I have struggled with this issue for some time. You will see many set ups with LAMs. Personally, I mount at 12 O' clock as far forward as possible. My WL is at 2:30-sh, right under LAM. I use a dual pressure switch at 10:30, right under LAM. This just works the best for me and what I'm doing.

But I did read an old thread here (on rifle set ups from 2015) where a well-know shooter went to a 3 O' clock mount, so he could mount a pressure switch at 12 O' clock for both hand manipulation. So obviously he knows more than me; if you think your situation would be similar to his, then there you go. Not sure if he has since updated that or not? I've seen that more recently on long guns, where the main aiming optic might be occluded by the LAM so it's put on the side. But then you have higher mounts (or even an additional riser) that raise the glass up, to keep the LAM at 12 O' clock.

In my case, I'm in a semi-rural area, where most of my shooting would probably be from classic positions, meaning a hand under the bbl. I don't anticipate (nor am I capable) of doing any high-speed CQB, with side switches to shoot from behind barriers and so forth. But that's just me; if you might be doing this kind of shooting, then you might want to consider putting your switch(es) where you can get at them with either hand. In this case I would still mount LAM as far forward as possible at 12 O' clock with switch right behind it. That seems to be the school solution these days.