Our motor officers (all 3 of them) are getting 11.5" Colts in their motor units. They are going in a saddlebag mount - the saddle bags lock, and there's an electronic lock inside the saddlebag. This has taken forever for us to get set up.

So - does vibration (Harleys - they vibrate a lot from what I can tell) effect the ammo, or does it screw up the optics (Aimpoint pro is our standard issue). These rifles will be rolling around 40+ hours a week on the bikes. Due to the size of the saddlebags and the mount, I don't see how I can mount a light on them at all. 

I'm concerned about powder breaking down, primers being desensitized, or optics rattling loose due to vibration. 

Any issues that I should be looking out for, or need I not worry? We qualify with rifles every 6 months, so the ammo should be replaced at that interval.


It's easy to make assumptions about puppies strapped to missiles, but good science requires research.


Joined: 12-2005          Location: Central OK

Original Post

Is it mounted like this

or this?

Aside from the fact that it's a Hardley ... the CHP traded in all their BMW R1200 RT-P's for HD's in January 2018 and I haven't heard any issues.  My local PD is riding RT-P's and I haven't heard of any issues with their rifles.   Stuff like optics are pretty hardened, especially MILSPECed optics.








Trajan Aurelius



When violence is the local language, be fluent.


“Governments may think and say as they like, but force cannot be eliminated, and it is the only real and unanswerable power. We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.“   Lt. General Paul Carton de Wiart, British Army


My preference would be the former just for style points, but it’s neither. 

And I gotta say, I know NOTHING about motors. At all. There was so much arguing over how they were going to mount their stuff, and I couldn’t have cared one bit less. We’re not LAPD - there are 3 motors. Get together in a room and fist fight for what you get. Winner decides. 

I do know we didn’t do external mounts because they’re scary looking. At about that point I tuned out and started thinking about soup. 

PS - our County SO has two 1921 Thompsons with drum mags in their vault. That makes them cooler than us. 


It's easy to make assumptions about puppies strapped to missiles, but good science requires research.


Joined: 12-2005          Location: Central OK

Alot of our ATV guys roll with M-4’s...usually slung though, those rifles get beat up a lot. Never heard of any issues. The rest of us are in 4 wheeled vehicles on mostly shitty roads with the rifles getting battered and vibrated to no end. Again no issues. Always been curious about the powder and primers though...

Joined: 13AUG2010        

Location: Southern Arizona 

My agency's motors section recently started down this path also - specifically 11.5 carbine (w/ LAW folder) mounted in a MotorSAFE case to the rear of the seat (Harleys)  We originally had similar concerns about ammo, remaining zeroed, and - not yet mentioned here - whether the constant vibration would adversely effect battery springs/contacts in the WML.

So, the first one they got mounted, we set up a zeroed carbine, with optic & light (fresh batteries in both), and a couple of loaded mags, and sent the guy out on the road for 30~days.  Had him religiously log both miles and engine runtime (knowing that they simply sit and idle alot).   Found no issues after that 30 day period (of which bike saw activity for about 22).

I realize this was a sample of one, with a limited testing window, but provided some comfort in our presumption that anything 'mil-spec' (ie Aimpoint, quality gun and ammo) should stand up to reasonable/daily shock and vibration.  That said, we're still suggesting quarterly inspection and test-firing as part of the regular PM program on these - knowing that every 6 months will be the reality due to optempo.



"Of every one hundred men, ten shouldn't even be there; Eighty are nothing but targets; Nine are real fighters... We are lucky to have them... They make the battle. Ah; but One; One of them is a Warrior... And he will bring the others back." - Heraclitus (Circa 500 B.C.)


Joined:  6/10/09          Location:  WDC area  (most of the time...)


I’m not a motor, but I interact with them frequently. Never heard of ammo or optic issues. Only optics I've seen on scooters in so cal are some variant of Aimpoint, so there’s your answer. As others have said I’d do extra PM as the carbine will be out in the elements much more often. 

Only issue I’ve heard of was a motor at a nearby PD had a round chambered and the agency had mounts which allowed access to the trigger. Took that setup to a school fair, and little Timmy pressed the trigger cuz why not right!? ND’ a round into the ground, no one injured. 

Theres at least one PD in the area that hosts a class for motors to train shooting pistols and carbines off the bike. Including while seated across the handle bars, retrieving the carbine because it’s in a different position than in the car,  etc. I’d look at something like that as well. 

I rode motors early in my career for a few years in the warm months, when I did it we have the Kawasaki KZ1000 (Chips bike, mustache, does it get any better?).      

You are thinking along the right lines when looking at possible issues when it comes to the vibration on the Harley as compared to other bikes like BMW's .  I might suggest considering the Larue optic mounts with the locking throw lever, also I would suggest thread locking any screws on the mount and any others on the rifle as well (follow them up with a little paint for witness marks to give you a visual inspection reference to see if anything is coming loose).

When teaching Armorer courses, we always suggest that Officers shoot all of their carry ammunition (Rifle, shotgun, pistol) annually. 

By shooting it annually, it gives a chance to:

1.  Show that Officers have shot and qualified with their duty ammunition for court purposes

2. Show that the firearms are zeroed with the duty ammo, and that the firearm runs reliably on the duty ammunition.

3.  Allows you an opportunity to shoot & replace everyone's duty/carry ammunition.   This gets the old ammo off the streets, in theory old ammo could have been exposed to solvents, moisture, been deformed, etc, which could result in performance issues. 

Carrying ammo too long in the field can result in catastrophic issues, where you could blow a gun up.  As ammunition is carried, the gun powder (usually stick powder on .223/5.56 type ammo) will break down into smaller granules or the consistency of talcum powder, resulting in ammunition that will way over pressure and often times the gun will blow up at over 200,000-PSI .   I would suggest replacing all ammo carried by your Motor Officers on a more often regular basis, as compared to Patrol Officers and the Office Dwellers whose guns are not as exposed to field conditions every day.  

The other issued to consider is the the 11.5" barrel is way shorter as compared to 16"-20" variants.  The shorter barrel means less velocity on the bullet being shot from it, which can result ballistic issues where barrier penetration and terminal performance is needed.  Due to a shorter barrel, you will have a bullet moving slower, which can effect the terminal performance.  If using a bonded bullet like the Federal 62gr Tactical Bonded, it may only perform on barriers out to 100yds, and after that it may not do so well.  So you may consider using a dedicated SBR load like like the Speer Gold Dot 75gr, as it would probably perform better.

Greg Sullivan "Sully"
SLR15 Rifles
(763) 712-0123


Thanks guys. Kinda got what I was looking for. I think I have two Larue mounts in the safe (before the Pro was available, that’s the mount we bought since the optics didn’t come with mounts back in the day). Buying one more won’t break my budget. 

We shoot our duty ammo every 6 months. We always shoot more than just the qual to try to burn through their mags. Oddly, as it’s set up now, the rifles are considered gear for the bikes, so the officers will have to qualify with their individually-issued patrol rifle, and the one they carry on the bike. That makes no sense, but will require a policy change or a pass from whoever becomes our new cheif (ours got retired by the city manager a few weeks ago - that was kinda fun). 

Something I never thought of was the interference of their helmets with the carbines. I guess their helmets don’t have like a QR type thing, so if they’re in a hurry,  cheek weld issues could arise.  I guess now I know why storm troopers shoot from the hip. 

Two of the dudes are lefties, so I set them up with ambi selectors. We can’t use either of our two current issue light mounts with the racks they have, so I’ll have to play with that. But with the mount and rifle in it, there is very little room left over in the saddle bag. I’ll have to give it a think. I’d like for them to have lights, as I’m of the opinion the light is the first thing you should buy for a patrol rifle. Before the optic, before the sweet-ass new stock, sling setup or whatever else. 


It's easy to make assumptions about puppies strapped to missiles, but good science requires research.


Joined: 12-2005          Location: Central OK

HOW much no room left? Could you stick a small light (e.g. X300 with the Unity thingy) somewhere unusual like on the top rail? Even more to the rear than optimal is better than no light at all, I'd think. 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt


Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

The front clamshell-like clamp takes up the majority of the front hand guard. The muzzle faces to the rear of the bike, and the saddle bag tapers to a sort of > shape. The muzzle it tucked into the back, and touches the plastic. There is precious little room. I’m sure there’s something, but it will have to be very short and tight to the center. I didn’t play with it today (pouring concrete at the range). 

We’ll figure something out. The idea just hasn’t hit me yet. It’ll just take fiddlin’. 


It's easy to make assumptions about puppies strapped to missiles, but good science requires research.


Joined: 12-2005          Location: Central OK

SPDSNYPR posted:

I guess now I know why storm troopers shoot from the hip. 

I'm constantly learning things here. 


"One of the nice things about being around other soldiers is they will suffer your bullshit gladly, knowing sooner or later you will shut up and listen to theirs." - Jim Morris, War Story


"The military was strange like that. In the middle of the night you run into a major problem that requires you to put your faith in someone you never met before and probably would never see again. But that person knocks himself out to do his job and helps you get on with yours." - Harold W. Coyle, Team Yankee

I don't know if this helps:

 I carry a 10.5 SBR in the saddlebag of my Street Glide on a regular basis.  I don't have a rack so I cushion it with a blanket.  I have a PRO mounted as well as a WML mounted on the right front of my rail, it extends about 1 in beyond my muzzle device and is out enough that I can screw on my suppressor (Silencerco Omega) with Mantis heatguard under the light.  So it isn't compact, and  I don't run the suppressor mounted.

In order to do this with room for other things, I use a LAW folder.  I seem to recall that you have trained your guys to use the Safe Tech Saf-T-Round or the Hornady Rapid Rack.  I also use either Saf-T-Rounds or Rapid Racks in every weapon I store with a magazine inserted. 

That would not work with the bag application because the folder would not close, or open, with the Saf-T-Round inserted into the chamber, so the rifles would have to be carried as most agencies do, bolt fully forward on an empty chamber.

I assume you are getting the 11.5 FBI Uppers/Rifles.  With the FSB's I like to use these light mounts:


Hope this is of some use, seems the LAW folders might open up some room or location options.




The Mossie mount posted above is great for what you're looking to do.  I've seen the Harley saddlebags you're referencing (local motorguys have them on bikes) and I believe it should fit also. 


Blessed be the Lord, my rock

who trains my arms for battle,

who prepares my hands for war.


Psalm 144.1

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