Recently, Elzetta Design sent me their flashlight mount for tactical shotguns. Installation was ridiculously easy. The mount is designed for 12 gauge barrels, but spacers are included if you want to mount the light on a 20 gauge weapon. The mount is simple, robust and made of glass-filled polymer. It attaches easily to any tube-fed shotgun and the required hex keys are included in the package. Placement of the ZSM directly in front of the forearm is optimal. Operating the Elzetta flashlight in the ZSM is natural and requires no extra training.
One note on the installation: be careful to avoid over-tightening the mount when attaching it to your shotgun. If you over-tighten, the mount can actually compres the tube magazine to such a degree that the plug may get stuck. This will result in the shotgun failing to feed, except when it is pointed skyward and gravity causes the shells to fall towards the breech. Yes, I over-tightened the ZSM and had this problem. I was vexed and confused when my Mossberg 590 Mariner failed to feed correctly. Using the gravity-assisted method described above, I emptied my weapon and stared at it in frustration. Then I remembered tightening down the ZSM. As soon as I began to loosen the mount, I heard and felt the plug in the magazine pop free and fly down to the loading port. With the Elzetta screws tightened correctly, I have had no further problems with magazine feeding.
I love breaking things almost as much as I love shooting and handling new equipment. So, I endeavored not only to test the functionality of the ZSM, but to break the little thing. To evaluate the handling, I took my shotgun on a walk through the woods. I intentionally banged the Elzetta ZSM on trees, dunked it in a stream and dropped it on rocks. Generally, I abused the heck out of it. The result was a single scuff mark and no loosening of the mount whatsoever.
Undaunted in my quest to destroy a quality piece of American manufacturing, I attached the ZSM to a friend’s Mossberg 930 SPX and we headed to the range. The shotgun was brand new, and he wanted to sight it in. As he will be using this gun for home defense, I gave him my trusty Primary Arms Gen II AA red dot sight, though I thought the recoil might be a bit much for such an inexpensive optic. Together, we fired box after box of slugs through the shotgun. For some shots, we had the Mossberg in a Caldwell Lead Sled. For others, we shot sitting and others standing unsupported. Even after the punishing recoil of rifled shotgun slugs, there was absolutely no loosening of the Elzetta flashlight mount.
In an attempt to introduce more stress, I positioned myself next to a concrete shooting bench, so that the recoil from the Mossberg would cause the Elzetta light and ZSM to smack into the solid bench. After a few good whacks, I was sure I had accomplished at least a bit of destruction. Unfortunately, I was not able to get the ZSM to budge at all.
No matter what I did to it, it stayed rock solid. I truly considered dousing it in gasoline and lighting it on fire, but this seemed over-the-top, even for me. Instead, I hung my head in defeat and acknowledged that Sgt. Elzetta had beaten me. Though vanquished, I can at least take some comfort in the knowledge that the light mount that will be on my home defense shotgun is practically indestructible. I say, “Will be” because I have yet to get it back from my buddy with the 930 SPX. Yeah, it’s that good.
As a side note, I would like to point out that PA Gen 2 AA red dot also held zero.
By Allen Cosby