This is covering the review on Tactical Light options for both Pistols and Carbines.  As in last weeks episode, click the "READ MORE..." option to read the whole article about this and scroll down to see the link for the video component of this article

Tactical Lights

by Jessie Indracusin

I have been asked many times about different light options.  This is one area of firearms that the options are pretty much endless.  You can buy lights from $20 to $200 easily.  At the end of the day, is the extra money worth it? Someone needs to evaluate their needs to determine what is the correct option for them.  For example, if you are using the light in a tactical combat situation, you may care more about durability versus someone who wants to put one on their gun because they think it looks cool.  The other concern is to evaluate the features you are looking for.  I will be covering two primary lighting options; pistols and carbines.

Tactical Pistol Lights

I have been a big fan of Insight Technologies when it comes to Pistol mounted lights.  The products they produce are on the higher end of the cost scale, but they are battle proven options.  These lights are used by Military, Police and Private Military Industries across the globe.  They  are extremely rugged and reliable to no end.  I have owned one of the M3 models of there UTL (Universal Tactical Light).  The M3 has some very key features.  One of my favorites is the easy on and off.  You can do this without any need of a hex wrench to take the light on and off.  No screws to lose.  The light comes on and off by pulling down on two pads to slide it.

From this model, I was at a Low Light Combat Handgun course a few weeks ago and a few of the participants had newer LED lights.  Since I have been very happy with the Insight, I looked to see what Insight had to offer in this variant.  That brings us to the XTI Procyon light.  The light operates on three modes.  They are a constant on, a rocker on and a strobe.  The constant on would be a very typical flashlight mode, the rocker on is a more tactical quick on to identify the target, take your shot and let the light go off.  This is the safest mode to operate for a shooter.  This provides minimal exposure of yourself to the shooter and will give the benefit of typically blinding someon, especially with these newer LED models.  The XTI is rated at 125+ Luminens and if you watch the video that goes along with this article you can see the difference in power.  It has a 90 minute light life off the 2 x 123 batteries it uses.  These same 123 batteries are very common use in military and police electronics.  I would encourage you to buy these in packs off the internet versus trying to find them in the store and getting ripped off at nearly $15 for 2 batteries.  I bought an 8 x pack at a gun show for $15 recently.  This is a very solid design.  It slides on and off very easily but stays firmly on.  There is no wiggle room when it is mounted, no rattle, just a solid fit on the two I tried it on, the HK45 and the FN 57 pistol.  It retails for $169.99 but well worth the extra bucks.  Insight also offers additional models with red and green lasers integrated in their products. 

I am not a big fan of lasers since I treat them more as a gimmick rather than having any practical use.  Although, lasers have one benefit if you have any second thoughts of the need to shoot and kill and intruder.  The laser tends to make people freeze in place.  Somehow, pyschological, people have watched so many movies and think they can dive away from a moving gun.  When someone sees a laser on them, they tend to freeze in place and feel the option of a "Matrix" move escape of a bullet doesn't exist.  Of course this is B.S., but a lot of suspects believe if the laser is on them, they are guaranteed to be dead versus being able to dodge the bullet of a gun that does not have a laser on them.

All being said, this is a solid option and I highly encourage anyone to at least look at this model and make your own decision.  I am sure you will be very happy withi it.

Carbine Tactical Lights

In the previous portion, we covered Insight Technologies.  They are great options for both pistols and smaller, SMG style carbines.  From Insight I want to get to the grand daddy of high impact/high abuse lighting options.  When a ANYTIME, ANYWHERE, attitude comes to lights, there is only one brand to speak of.  That is Surefire.  The company has been around for what seems like forever.  Almost to the point that I  joke with some friends that the first Surefire's were actually minature lanterns attached to lever action rifles in the Wild West.  They are so well known, I have never met a law enforcement person who has not owned at last a few in his life.  If you want a light you can drop in the water, mud, operate in freezing temperatures and high dust desert areas, Surefire is the way to go.  Pretty much this company has been around since 1984 and is used extensively by the military.  I have had numerous Surefire's over the years and wanted to continue the discussion of their newer LED models and mounting options for the AR Carbines.

I recently upgraded to the Surefire G2 LED.  This is a very powerful light from a very small source.  People over the years have come and go, making lights that they claim are brighter than a Surefire, but when the thing breaks after you drop it for the first time, what good is a flashlight that now produces zero lumens.  The Surefire G2 LED is an excellent option for the price.  Listing at $69.99, this fits everyone's price range.  There are other models they make, but the price point and performance, this is an excellent light weight, durable and bright light.  This light runs off the 123 batteries also.  There are numerous options of how to attach this light to an AR, including some that Surefire sells, but you can get a cheaper option for mounting it from FAB Industries.  The mount I use is called a FAB Tactical T-Grip.  They run around $59.99 and can be a little bit of a bitch to slide onto your lower rail.  Here is a little advice on how to make it a little easier though. 

To mount the FAB, have some sand paper and scrub down the inner rail on the grip to allow it to slide on your gun a little easier.  I had to do this a few times with mounting it on the S&W M&P15T.  There was a lot of cursing, screaming, four letter words and a little "hammer time", but once the thing is mounted, Brock Lessnar could pull the thing off of the AR.  It pretty much is permamently affixed to the gun.  This mount works wonderfully with the G2 and allows you to use the forward pistol grip trigger to turn the light on for the duration of the trigger in the forward pistol grip is depressed.  There is also a switch on the side that lets you keep it locked on the "ON" position if you wanted too.

This combination worked great in a Low Light Combat Carbine course I took with the older Surefire and I am really anxious to do a similiar course now with the newer Surefire G2 LED.  It makes an excellent option for under $150.00 that is durable and combat ready.  

Video Link is below.




Last Updated (Monday, 08 December 2008 12:29)