I wanted to find a good GoPro mount for use with a hunting rifle, especially since a lot of hunting rifles don't have picatinny rails.
In trying to find reviews of GoPro mounts for rifles, I was disappointed that nothing I found online seemed to talk about how to mount them, or if it did, it didn't show any example photos of what the mount looked like, and what the images looked like when mounted.
Just like my earlier review for GoPro mounts for rifles with rails, this review will covers a couple different mounting options if you've got a rifle without rails. Oh yeah, and lots of pictures.
|Handle Bar Mount from GoPro||Roll Bar Mount from GoPro|
|$10.99 on Amazon Prime||$13.99 on Amazon Prime|
Unlike the previous review for railed mounts that required picatinny specific mounts, these mounts are atraight from the GoPro manufacturer. Again, the price points were resonable at with both mounts being under $15.
Since both mounts are from GoPro, I expected high quality — and GoPro delivered. Both mounts seem sturdy, and easy to adjust. They also came with rubber insulators to protect the rifles from the black plastic mounting brackets scratching the finish. However, I did run into some problems protecting from the set screws, but we'll get to that later.
Both mounts were easy to adjust, and featured the ability to remove the brackets quickly. This is done by a U shaped screw mount, seen here, that allows the machine screw to slide out and the bracket to be removed without having to unscrew it all the way.
The mounts also came with accessory pieces to help me change the angle and position of the camera. A very handy feature since sometimes I needed to rotate the camera for a better view or to move it out of the sight picture.
Overall, both seemed like good choices, with the primary difference being the size. The Roll Bar mount being the bigger brother to the smaller Handle Bar mount.
Roll Bar Mount on a Romanian AKM
There weren't too many places to attach the mount to my Romanian AKM. There wasn't enough room on the stock to attach it there and still be able to shoulder the rifle. I debated putting it further forward on the barrel or gas tube, but heat from the barrel would be a problem.
I ended up putting it on the handguard, which worked out well as it ended up being far enough forward so that it didn't interfere with my grip.
Overall it worked well, but I did have some problems with the mount scratching the handguard! Check out the gallery below to see the damage where the machine screw rubbed up against the handguard and took a bite out of the finish. I'll have to be more careful going forward! It was easily avoided by putting a small section of plastic tubing around the machine screw, which involved 45 cents and a trip to the hardware store. Overall not too troubling, but something to be mindful of.
Not too bad. I liked both the forward and rear views this mount provided, and the accessories included in the kit allowed me to several different mounting options, despite the fact that there wasn't much space to mount it on this type of rifle. Overall it worked pretty well. Just be mindful of the machine screws or any sharp edges that might rub against your finish.
Click on a thumbnail to view the full image.
Handle Bar Mount on an M16A1 Look-A-Like
Again, not too many places to put a mount on this AR15 type rifle. The Handlebar Mount being too small to use in most places, the options I had were either to clamp it to the barrel, carry handle, or front sight post. I didn't like the idea of using the barrel because of the heat and its tendency to rotate. The front sight might not have been a bad location, though closer to the muzzle than I wanted.
I decided on putting it on the carry handle, since it gave me a good view forward and didn't obstruct the sighte picture as much.
I mounted with a side view, mostly because I wanted to be able to get a shot that included the brass being ejected. It could also be mounted above the carry handle, rather than to the side. If you do end up mounting it sideways, the photos and videos can be rotated later with the GoPro software.
Overall, it was workable, but there weren't too many mounting locations since the Handle Bar mount wasn't very big. I tried mounting it on a few other rifles too, including an AK and Mosin-Nagant, but the options were pretty much limited to either the barrel or the front sight post.
The Roll Bar mount probably would be a better option, lets take a look at a bolt action rifle next.
Roll Bar Mount on a Mosin-Nagant
I wanted to include some type of bolt action rifle in this review, since those are pretty common hunting rifles. Again, there's no rail to mount anything on with this rifle, so we'll try the Roll Bar mount and see how it looks.
I had some difficulty positioning the mount so that it didnt interfere with the sight picture. I couldn't put it on the top or bottom of the rifle, since the black clamps would block the view of the sights. The only practical option was to mount it on either side.
I was a bit concerned with the number of linking pieces I used to get the camera oriented in the right direction. I wasn't sure how well they would hold up under recoil, so I'll include that in the range report. For now, check out the photos of the configuration.
I liked the mounting location, it got great pictures facing both the target and the shooter. Very happy with this one!
The only thing I didn't care for with the Roll Bar mount on a bolt action hunting rifle was that it cluttered to sight picture. There was some trouble with marring the finish, but they could be corrected with a little padding.
Both of these mounts were quality and well made products, but they definitely weren't as easy to mount as the GoPro picatinny rail mounts. It was difficult to find a way to mount any of them without interfering with the sight picture. Unfortunately, there aren't any other mounts available that would work on a rifle.
Bottom line, not bad, but definitely could be improved. It would be really nice to see some other types of mounts that would work on a hunting rifle without rails.
One more post to go, in Part III I'll post the range videos to see them in action.
Got an idea for a mount that would work better? Additional GoPro suggestion? Let me know in the comments!