In the search for a budget mount to use for my GoPro camera during Carbine training classes, I came across one rail mount that was inexpensive and appeared to be versatile. The KZ Weapon Camera Mount was a simple system to mount any camera that has a tripod mount socket to a Picatinny rail on a firearm. Since I had the tripod mount for my GoPro, it looked ideal. And at 1/2 to 1/3 the price of other cantilevered GoPro mounts, I figured I had nothing to lose in trying it out.
Let’s start with the Good.
It works. The Picatinny clamp allows you to place the unit on your rail without having to slide it on (allowing for slightly deformed rails without issue). It will also hold your camera in place with a single screw into it’s tripod mount point. It allows you to pick whichever hole you want to mount the camera through, so you can be sure it has enough clearance for whatever you’re mounting it to. It even has o-rings to fit into recessed spots inside each hole to help absorb vibrations and give your camera a non-slip surface so that the camera won’t rotate on you. It even has a plastic knob to let you tighten the screw by hand to your camera. The Picatinny clamp is pretty darn secure (while it didn’t loosen for me, you can always blue Locktite it if you want).
And now, the bad.
I broke parts of it within about half an hour of receiving it. You see, it’s designed so that the camera sits on the mount on the opposite side from the clamp. That means if you clamp it to your top rail with the clamp on the bottom, your camera will sit on top and not be inline with your barrel. Since I don’t have a bottom rail to mount it on, and want to keep the camera as close to inline with my barrel as I can, I figured I could jut flip the screw over and mount the camera to the other side. Easy as pie, right?
You see, it turns out that only one side has the recessed holes for the O-rings. I figured I wouldn’t need them but I was wrong. The screw they give you has a small plastic washer. Well, that washer was now on the wrong side and was pulled into the O-ring spot, permanently deforming it. Not only that, but now that there was no O-rings under the camera, there was nothing stopping it from spinning. So while trying to get the screw tight enough to hold the camera in place, the plastic knob decided to warp and popped off the screw. The knob simply fitted into the Hex key hole in the head of the screw and would no longer stay in. So now I had to get an Allen wrench to tighten it.
In the end, I replaced their washer and retainer system with a lock washer and while it’s not perfect, it holds the camera reasonably tight. I plan on putting a piece of Talon Grip Tape on it where the camera rests to give it a no slip surface to prevent rotation.
I really wanted to like this mount – it would have been a damn inexpensive alternative to most of the other mounts out there. Unfortunately while it now mostly works, there are too many minor design flaws for my tastes. Simply removing the O-Ring grooves and including pieces of rubber on each side would allow the unit to be more versatile in allowing the camera to sit on it or hang from it as you choose. Getting rid of the flimsy plastic washer and replacing it with a metal washer would have helped as well.
So, does it work? Yes. Does it work well? Mostly. Will I keep it around? Yes, but not on my rifle – I’ll use it as a loaner when doing training, or when a non GoPro camera needs to be mounted. Do I recommend it? Sigh. Yes. _IF_ you are on a tight budget AND need a tripod socket mount AND understand the basic design flaws, it will serve you well. No to any of that though and I’d say to save your pennies for a different mount.