Gun light recommendations

27 posts / 0 new
Last post
beam0
beam0's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 days 8 hours ago
Joined: 12/20/2011 - 23:18
Posts: 1243
Location: Pennsylvania
Gun light recommendations

Looking for recommendations on low cost options for an “off the shelf” gun light with remote pressure switch for my brother’s new Colt AR-15

ATM we’re looking for decent quality, low cost options, under $50, including the pressure switch. At some point he may upgrade to a more expensive light. On the higher end we’ve looked at the O-light M2X-UT / M20SX Javelots and the M3X-L2 Triton, the XTAR TZ-60 & TZ-20 and the Klarus XT11

Plus I’m sure there are more options in that range and from others Mfg’s as well. If and when he decides to equip his AR with a more expensive light and we need recommendations I’ll start a new thread.

I’m aware some people’s opinion on the subject runs along the lines of “I wouldn’t trust my life on anything less than a SureFire” etc. etc. etc. …however to propagate that discussion would not be relevant here. And of course I agree that you want the highest quality light you could afford for use in a life or death situation.

…………………..

…………………..

What I didn’t like about the Olights was having to double press to activate high mode. To me that seems counter-intuitive for a firearm or tactical light. We want a single click to high, always, every time, and without reliance upon mode memory. Lower modes are not so important for this so we need a either single mode UI or one that always starts on high with the first click, so the momentary pressure switch always activates high mode.

…………………..

…………………..

The low cost lights we have looked at so far are the C8 and Solarforce L2

From what I’ve read about them here on BLF, I feel these are reliable and adequate for the intended use/purpose right now, but I’d like to hear anyone’s feedback or comparison between these particular lights, well as any other recommendations.

…………………..

…………………..

The first C8 I looked at was the Convoy C8 XPL HI, however I see there are no pressure switches available for it. (at least without re-threading one) Does anyone know if it would be difficult to remove the guts from a regular C8 pressure switch and install them in the Convoy tail cap? And is the switch/wiring on these pressure switches adequate for use with the (2.8A – 3.05A?) current from the 7135×8 driver in the Convoy?

Another problem with the Convoy C8 is I don’t see any option/configuration for 1-mode (off/100%)

Also considered the Convoy M1, but again no pressure switch I know of.

Although it’s over the budget for this category I looked at the P-FlexPRO Convoy C8, a great custom build: 3.8A, DTP, fully potted and forward clicky, but again no pressure switch, and I’m not sure fully potted is 100% necessary? (the gun will not be routinely fired with the light attached)

…………………..

…………………..

Also looked at the KDLIGHT C8, they do offer a pressure switch for it.
Total cost: $21.11 with the pressure switch.
KDLIGHT C8-XPLHI Cree XP-L HI
KDLIGHT C8-L2 Cree XM-L2
Dual Mode Remote Pressure Switch for C8

It looks like I can get the “HI only” mode group on the KDLIGHT C8 by soldering across all 4 bridges:
kaidomain.com/Product/PhotoGallery/

…………………..

…………………..

The other option under consideration is a Solarforce L2 or L2T.
KD sells several 1-mode P60 drop-ins, and I’m thinking the Solarforce pressure switch may be higher quality than the generic C8 ones.

Looks like we could get the entire L2 set up from KD:
Total cost aprox. $35 for the L2 or $42 for the L2T (with drop-in & pressure switch, not including the mount)

L2 Hosts:
http://www.kaidomain.com/product/details.S022953
http://www.kaidomain.com/product/details.S022956

P6 Drop-ins:
http://www.kaidomain.com/product/details.S024261
http://www.kaidomain.com/product/details.S025096

SF Pressure Switch:
http://www.kaidomain.com/product/details.S024897

…………………..

…………………..

Mounting:
He’s looking at this mount, the light is positioned above and ahead of the forearm hand guard (He wants to keep the stock handguard):
http://www.impactweaponscomponents.com/product/tmc-1-light-mount-n-slot/

We like where it positions the light and fits well with the stock hand guard but the only drawback is the proprietary light ring mounting (not picatinny)

We’d prefer to use a ring with thumb screw or quick release like this one from KD: http://www.kaidomain.com/product/details.S023676
(the ring with light can be readily removed/replaced quickly at the range without tools or having to loosen multiple screws)

Or this one by Olight may be even better because (it appears) you can easily remove the light from the ring with thumbscrew if you needed to use it as a regular flashlight or swap lights: Olight WM25 Weapon Gun Mount Although the offset may or may not be desirable, depending on what mounting rail we end up using.

Can anyone recommend a mount with picatinny rail (to use a quick release ring) that places the light in a similar position and works well with the stock AR hand guard?

                                      

beam0
beam0's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 days 8 hours ago
Joined: 12/20/2011 - 23:18
Posts: 1243
Location: Pennsylvania

Bumping this. Anyone??

                                      

strayz
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 14 min ago
Joined: 10/09/2012 - 18:01
Posts: 428
Location: In the land of the Midnight Sun..

You already have the link to what I was going to recommend.

Personally I would say solarforce with a good P60 drop in for a surefire replacement.

YMMV.

Yourrid
Yourrid's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 6 min ago
Joined: 05/17/2013 - 09:41
Posts: 691
Location: NE ATL

Wow, lots of info. Sounds like you’ve done more than enough homework on all of the options. Here is my current setup…


That’s a Elzetta ZFH1500 mount with a SolarForce L2 host and a P60 drop-in. Obviously you can add the momentary tailcap switch and mount it wherever you want. I’ve been wanting to get one of these InForce WMLx Lights but I can’t drop $170 on a 500lm light. I’m hoping to find a “host” or maybe one that is fried, so I can replace the internals and get a respectable output.

My 2 cents: I’m building a new AR right now, and I plan on putting a light on the front. The setup I have now is EXTREMELY heavy. Having the heavy barrel, plus the mount, and then a massive light all the way out there is really difficult to hold up for long periods. Which makes being accurate even harder. This time around, I’m going to spend the extra $$ to find a lightweight option. I’d recommend the same. Save every ounce you can because you’ll get to enjoy the rifle longer at the range.

Yourrid
Yourrid's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 6 min ago
Joined: 05/17/2013 - 09:41
Posts: 691
Location: NE ATL

This is what I was looking for… for less than half the price. One of the comments says its just like the Inforce WML light I listed above that I want.
Tactical White Multifunction Weapon Mounted Light For Hunting Shooting CL15-0072

robo819
robo819's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 45 min ago
Joined: 03/10/2015 - 21:20
Posts: 1449
Location: Deep East TX

May be a little larger than wanted , but an excellent weapon mountable light , that will let you see a lot further than you will ever shoot , is the Maxtoch 2X I have the GB going on now, but it ends in 2 days. The lights will still be available through Aliexpress though after the GB has ended for a slightly higher price.
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/46496

Click any link to see MY REVIEWS:

Maxtoch M24 Sniper / Maxtoch 2X Shooter (2016 factory dedomed) , 2X - XHP 70.2 /// ### ThruNite // Archer 2A V3 / Ti4T / TN4A HI / TH10 / TH20 / C2 Mini / TC12 V2 / T01 / MCC-4S /// ###  Olight // H2R Nova , S10R III / S30R III / H1 Nova / H1 R Nova / X7 Marauder //// Orca T11 / Nitecore EC20 / BLF A6 / Custom Convoy C8 / Lixada Triple 3800LM / Lixada 1000LM / LuxStone X30 / Manker E02 / Manker E14 II / Small Sun ZY-T43 / Warsun X60  //////// ### Thorfire /// PF03PF04 , Upgraded PF04 , C8 , S-50 ,  VG-10 , VG25 , C8s , BL30 , TK4A  , S1 , VG15 S //// Atactical A1S , A1 (original) , A2 headlamp //// Acebeam L16 /// Massdrop (Lumintop) Brass EDC

jf_smm
Offline
Last seen: 12 hours 20 min ago
Joined: 05/30/2016 - 12:29
Posts: 353
Location: NorCal

Post removed and PM’d to OP

I regret any content related issues I was not previously aware of.

SMM

Solar
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 05/05/2014 - 14:27
Posts: 261

FYI- I had to change my signature for firearm related content.

jf_smm
Offline
Last seen: 12 hours 20 min ago
Joined: 05/30/2016 - 12:29
Posts: 353
Location: NorCal
Solar wrote:
FYI- I had to change my signature for firearm related content.

Thanks, I’ll delete and PM instead.

SMM

beam0
beam0's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 days 8 hours ago
Joined: 12/20/2011 - 23:18
Posts: 1243
Location: Pennsylvania

Thanks everyone for all the suggestions and info so far.

Yourrid wrote:
Wow, lots of info. Sounds like you’ve done more than enough homework on all of the options. Here is my current setup…


That’s a Elzetta ZFH1500 mount with a SolarForce L2 host and a P60 drop-in. Obviously you can add the momentary tailcap switch and mount it wherever you want. I’ve been wanting to get one of these InForce WMLx Lights but I can’t drop $170 on a 500lm light. I’m hoping to find a “host” or maybe one that is fried, so I can replace the internals and get a respectable output.

My 2 cents: I’m building a new AR right now, and I plan on putting a light on the front. The setup I have now is EXTREMELY heavy. Having the heavy barrel, plus the mount, and then a massive light all the way out there is really difficult to hold up for long periods. Which makes being accurate even harder. This time around, I’m going to spend the extra $$ to find a lightweight option. I’d recommend the same. Save every ounce you can because you’ll get to enjoy the rifle longer at the range.

Nice setup, love the desert tan! Thanks for posting. Never considered the weight so that’s a helpful point to consider. I’m going to compare the weight of the C8 compared to the L2.

I did find another fairly recent thread on the subject that may also be relevant to anyone else with the same inquiry: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/46339

                                      

beam0
beam0's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 days 8 hours ago
Joined: 12/20/2011 - 23:18
Posts: 1243
Location: Pennsylvania

robo819 wrote:
May be a little larger than wanted , but an excellent weapon mountable light , that will let you see a lot further than you will ever shoot , is the Maxtoch 2X I have the GB going on now, but it ends in 2 days. The lights will still be available through Aliexpress though after the GB has ended for a slightly higher price. http://budgetlightforum.com/node/46496
Great suggestion thanks. I have to add that one to the list of higher price options.

                                      

beam0
beam0's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 days 8 hours ago
Joined: 12/20/2011 - 23:18
Posts: 1243
Location: Pennsylvania

Allcool, welcome to the forum! Thanks for taking the time to make the detailed reply and all the great photos!

I like how you categorized the different uses/purposes for a rifle mounted flashlight:

Home Defense (close range): ………………….wide spill, flooder
Urban Assualt (close to medium range): ………wide spill, bright hot spot
Hunting (long range): ……………………………tight beam, less spill, long throw hot spot.

Great information and makes perfect sense. And to use the quick release to swap to different lights for the different uses.

I’m thinking the L2 with XPL-HI could be similar to the XT11 for around half the cost.

……………..

……………..

allcool wrote:
IMO, if the flashlight is set up correctly, pressure switches are not needed on most rifles, for most any common light use. In all but the most detailed and advance switch installations they are just problems waiting to happen imo.
I was thinking this too, if we get the light mounted so the tail is positioned where the thumb/finger will naturally be when holding the hand guard it may be easy enough to operate the light with the tail switch, and the reason I’m specifing a forward switch (for momentary activation). This is the solution I’ve decided on for my Home Defense Shotgun, for all the same reasons (pressure switch issues) you mentioned.

This quote is from the description on one of the IWC LIGHT MOUNT-N-SLOT mounts: “you can place the tail cap … in either the 1:00 or 11:00 position on your weapon for activation by your support hand”

Your Magpul setup with the fore grip on the hand guard looks ideal for operating the light with the tail switch, as clearly seen in the last photo you posted.

……………..

……………..

As for the mount, yes there are a lot of universal quick release mounts/rings to fit picatinny rails, but I think the challenge for us is to find a way to use one with the stock hand guard and without drilling into it.

Another thing we really like on the LIGHT MOUNT-N-SLOT from IWC is how it positions the light cantilevered above the barrel. Too bad they don’t make a QR ring for it, but at least it looks like the ring can be removed with just one hex head bolt.

Also thanks for the Hog Hunting story, well written and an interesting read!

                                      

Enelooper
Enelooper's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: 03/30/2016 - 03:50
Posts: 382
Location: USA

“Another problem with the Convoy C8 is I don’t see any option/configuration for 1-mode (off/100%)”

If you order the C8 from RMM with the guppydrv upgrade, group 7 is off – 100% – off.

allcool
Offline
Last seen: 4 days 12 hours ago
Joined: 06/20/2016 - 10:30
Posts: 155
Location: Miami

beam0 wrote:
Allcool, welcome to the forum! Thanks for taking the time to make the detailed reply and all the great photos!

This quote is from the description on one of the IWC LIGHT MOUNT-N-SLOT mounts: “you can place the tail cap … in either the 1:00 or 11:00 position on your weapon for activation by your support hand”

As for the mount, yes there are a lot of universal quick release mounts/rings to fit picatinny rails, but I think the challenge for us is to find a way to use one with the stock hand guard and without drilling into it.

Another thing we really like on the LIGHT MOUNT-N-SLOT from IWC is how it positions the light cantilevered above the barrel. Too bad they don’t make a QR ring for it, but at least it looks like the ring can be removed with just one hex head bolt.


Thanks for the welcome, nice forum you guys got here, glad to be part of it..!!!

Aren’t there holes to mount the rail in the colt handguards…?
Well, if you don’t want to drill you can go magpul for not much $$.

Just for reference, the flashlight mount ($59.95) you listed cost more than a new magpul handguard, and rail, and angle quick disconnect flashlight mount. And you get a much nicer vented hand guard, with a simple strong flashlight mount located in exactly the right place, with quick disconnect. The flashlite mount can go on either side of the rifle. Add in a MOE magpul Vertical Grip and you are just a little more $ with a much nicer more comfortable rifle imo… If you go to gun shows you can probably get all the magpull stuff for under $50, and laugh at all the cheapy flashligh vendors trying to sell $5 lites for big bucks, lol.. The rail and mount get on eBay for the best price ($15).

jmo

beam0
beam0's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 days 8 hours ago
Joined: 12/20/2011 - 23:18
Posts: 1243
Location: Pennsylvania

Enelooper wrote:
“Another problem with the Convoy C8 is I don’t see any option/configuration for 1-mode (off/100%)”

If you order the C8 from RMM with the guppydrv upgrade, group 7 is off – 100% – off.

Thanks, I didn’t know.

If we decide to not worry about the ability to use a remote pressure switch then we’d get the C8 from MTN Electronics.

                                      

beam0
beam0's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 days 8 hours ago
Joined: 12/20/2011 - 23:18
Posts: 1243
Location: Pennsylvania

allcool wrote:
Thanks for the welcome, nice forum you guys got here, glad to be part of it..!!!

Aren’t there holes to mount the rail in the colt handguards…?
Well, if you don’t want to drill you can go magpul for not much $$.

Just for reference, the flashlight mount ($59.95) you listed cost more than a new magpul handguard, and rail, and angle quick disconnect flashlight mount. And you get a much nicer vented hand guard, with a simple strong flashlight mount located in exactly the right place, with quick disconnect. The flashlite mount can go on either side of the rifle. Add in a MOE magpul Vertical Grip and you are just a little more $ with a much nicer more comfortable rifle imo… If you go to gun shows you can probably get all the magpull stuff for under $50, and laugh at all the cheapy flashligh vendors trying to sell $5 lites for big bucks, lol.. The rail and mount get on eBay for the best price ($15).

jmo

Good point. Yes I believe there are the holes in the top of the HG. So we could mount a Picatinny rail there and the use an offset light mount with quick disconnect. But I think the hard part is to find a mount that positions the light a bit forward like the IWC mount does. IIRC I believe I have seen something of the sort at the gun shows. That’s one thing I liked about the IWC mount, it puts the light out forward of the hand guard rather than along side it. (better position for tail switch operation)

Agree on the cost of that IWC mount, it’s too expensive. I was already thinking it’s probably double what we’re going to pay for the light!

Yes we try to hit all of the local gun shows faithfully, especially the larger ones, however there’s not a good one around the area until I think August. Love the Magpul stuff, been considering their MOE forend for my HD 12ga pump. Usually around 30 bucks at the shows.

……………….

……………….

allcool wrote:
If you go to gun shows you can ….. laugh at all the cheapy flashligh vendors trying to sell $5 lites for big bucks, lol.
Yeah, that and all the $40 a pound jerky! Silly

                                      

beam0
beam0's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 days 8 hours ago
Joined: 12/20/2011 - 23:18
Posts: 1243
Location: Pennsylvania

beam0 wrote:
allcool wrote:
Thanks for the welcome, nice forum you guys got here, glad to be part of it..!!!

Aren’t there holes to mount the rail in the colt handguards…?
Well, if you don’t want to drill you can go magpul for not much $$.

Just for reference, the flashlight mount ($59.95) you listed cost more than a new magpul handguard, and rail, and angle quick disconnect flashlight mount. And you get a much nicer vented hand guard, with a simple strong flashlight mount located in exactly the right place, with quick disconnect. The flashlite mount can go on either side of the rifle. Add in a MOE magpul Vertical Grip and you are just a little more $ with a much nicer more comfortable rifle imo… If you go to gun shows you can probably get all the magpull stuff for under $50, and laugh at all the cheapy flashligh vendors trying to sell $5 lites for big bucks, lol.. The rail and mount get on eBay for the best price ($15).

jmo

Good point. Yes I believe there are the holes in the top of the HG. So we could mount a Picatinny rail there and the use an offset light mount with quick disconnect. But I think the hard part is to find a mount that positions the light a bit forward like the IWC mount does. IIRC I believe I have seen something of the sort at the gun shows. That’s one thing I liked about the IWC mount, it puts the light out forward of the hand guard rather than along side it. (better position for tail switch operation)

Agree on the cost of that IWC mount, it’s too expensive. I was already thinking it’s probably double what we’re going to pay for the light!

Yes we try to hit all of the local gun shows faithfully, especially the larger ones, however there’s not a good one around the area until I think August. Love the Magpul stuff, been considering their MOE forend for my HD 12ga pump. Usually around 30 bucks at the shows. EDIT: wow I just realized that link shows the shotgun forend for $14.95 discontinued while supply lasts! I better get on it!

……………….

……………….

allcool wrote:
If you go to gun shows you can ….. laugh at all the cheapy flashligh vendors trying to sell $5 lites for big bucks, lol.
Yeah, that and all the $40 a pound jerky! Silly

                                      

Eth90
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 03/12/2016 - 07:20
Posts: 71

Do Klarus flashlights seem tougher/ more reliable than other brands?

Up

BrianK
Offline
Last seen: 4 days 10 hours ago
Joined: 06/23/2016 - 08:14
Posts: 879
Location: Central Maine, USA

Possibly not a solution for the OP, but for others there might be another way to go. I can only night hunt in Maine for coyotes. But I do have other times when vermin need to be eliminated and they are nocturnal.

I use a Surefire M1 (Millenium) IR light and night vision connected to the rifle between the eye and the red dot. I believe the light is only 5mw which is more than enough for night vision use. I also use subsonic ammo and a suppressor so that I don’t bother the neighbors. That’s in a 5.56. It won’t cycle the gun, but in a .300 Blackout chambering one can go to a heavy bullet for the same silence and it will cycle the gun. Bear in mind that the point blank range with this sort of setup can short due to the slow moving bullet and rapid bullet drop. Too, the bullet can destabilize. My 5.56 subsonic load is only good out to about 50 yards which is plenty of range for my use around the homestead.

BTW, my Surefire M1 IR light has to be old tech at this point. No doubt there is something better available today.

giorgoskok
giorgoskok's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 20 min ago
Joined: 11/13/2015 - 10:46
Posts: 2343
Location: Greece
robo819 wrote:
May be a little larger than wanted , but an excellent weapon mountable light , that will let you see a lot further than you will ever shoot , is the Maxtoch 2X I have the GB going on now, but it ends in 2 days. The lights will still be available through Aliexpress though after the GB has ended for a slightly higher price. http://budgetlightforum.com/node/46496

+1

beam0
beam0's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 days 8 hours ago
Joined: 12/20/2011 - 23:18
Posts: 1243
Location: Pennsylvania

Just an update, when I started this thread I emailed KD about a 1-mode C8 with XPL-HI, they replied a few days ago that they now have one available:

http://www.kaidomain.com/product/details.S025181

I assume it’s the same driver as the others but with the bridges pre-soldered at the factory.

                                      

BrianK
Offline
Last seen: 4 days 10 hours ago
Joined: 06/23/2016 - 08:14
Posts: 879
Location: Central Maine, USA

beam0 wrote:
Just an update, when I started this thread I emailed KD about a 1-mode C8 with XPL-HI, they replied a few days ago that they now have one available:

http://www.kaidomain.com/product/details.S025181

I assume it’s the same driver as the others but with the bridges pre-soldered at the factory.

That would be ideal IMO.

timbuchanan
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 2 days ago
Joined: 06/12/2016 - 18:26
Posts: 37
Location: NZ

I have a convoy c8 with a dedomed XML u4, which will be doing approx 60kcd throw. Its a great wee light for close/medium range, happily shooting rabbits at 100m and full view of behind the animal for a safe firing zone. Cost $30 incl mods by someone else. I have got on order a maxtoch 2x, 360kcd so 1200m ‘range’ and looking forward to getting that out. These are $95

wacki
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 1 week ago
Joined: 12/03/2014 - 15:07
Posts: 33
Location: Indiana

Bumping this. I can’t believe there are no surefire gun light knock offs yet

KawiBoy1428
KawiBoy1428's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 22 min ago
Joined: 04/11/2014 - 18:05
Posts: 2317
Location: The Motor City

wacki wrote:
Bumping this. I can’t believe there are no surefire gun light knock offs yet

Of course there is….https://www.aliexpress.com/category/200003561/weapon-lights.html

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=surefire+tactical+light&_osacat=0&...

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_sacat=0&_nkw=tactical+light+s...

You have to look, there are some 961/962 knock offs that are really close to the originals!

KB1428 “Live Life WOT”

Jack Kellar
Jack Kellar's picture
Offline
Last seen: 24 min 53 sec ago
Joined: 03/09/2014 - 14:21
Posts: 1102
Location: Throwing bolts at anomalies

beam0 wrote:
Just an update, when I started this thread I emailed KD about a 1-mode C8 with XPL-HI, they replied a few days ago that they now have one available:

http://www.kaidomain.com/product/details.S025181

I assume it’s the same driver as the others but with the bridges pre-soldered at the factory.


Biscotti on mode group 12 does exactly this. Felt it was worth mentioning.

wacki
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 1 week ago
Joined: 12/03/2014 - 15:07
Posts: 33
Location: Indiana

KawiBoy1428 wrote:

You have to look, there are some 961/962 knock offs that are really close to the originals!

Yeah but Aretha any good? I trust convoy but a lot of these other brands … who knows.