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SureFire X300 LED WeaponLight

Written by Eugene Nielsen

Since its introduction of the first WeaponLight™, SureFire® has set the standard by which weapon lights are compared. SureFire has redefined that standard with its new X300™ LED WeaponLight. The X300 takes the SureFire X-Series to a new level with higher output, more runtime and a lower price. The new X300 is of the one of the most versatile weapon lights available. It’s suitable both for close-quarters and long-range applications. Utilizing a state-of-the-art, ultra-bright CREE® LED, the X300 is more than five times brighter than a two D-cell flashlight. Based on solid-state technology and consuming one-tenth of the power of an incandescent bulb, the LED has no filament to break or burn out. Recoil is the enemy of the filament in incandescent bulbs. Filaments are prone to breaking, especially when hot. The solution has been to shock-isolate the bulbs, which comes at the expense of compactness and weight.

The X300 features a new special computer-engineered focusing lens with total internal refection (TIR) focusing that is designed to provide a tightly focused central bream and an enhanced peripheral corona. The special lens allows the X300 to project a tightly focused beam at greater distances for threat identification than comparably sized lights while at the same time producing a wider corona to accommodate peripheral vision.

http://www.surefire.com

Maximum output of the X300’s CREE LED is rated at 110 lumens by the manufacturer, which is 50 lumens more than the maximum output of the X200A. It should be noted, however, that SureFire has found that there is a slight variance in output from LED to LED of the same rating. The bezel window of the X300 is constructed of tempered Pyrex glass and has an anti-reflective coating to maximize light transmission.

Runtime of the X300 is 2.4 hours of tactical level light (60 lumens or higher). Sixty lumens is generally considered to be the threshold for an incandescent tactical light. However, as the color temperature of a light source increases, the amount of light required to achieve comparable brightness and visual acuity decreases. The color temperature of the CREE LED greatly surpasses the color temperature of incandescent bulbs.

Power for the X300 is provided by two standard 3-volt 123A lithium batteries, which are included. The X300 features digital current regulation to maintain a consistent light output throughout the useable life of the batteries. Unregulated lights are subject to a steady decline in light intensity from the moment of activation. The X300 has a modular switching system. Several switching options are available.

The X300 comes with a toggle switch that has both momentary and constant-on activation. For constant-on operation, press the switch up or down. For momentary activation, press the switch forward.

The toggle switch is ambidextrous and easy to use. The switch is easily operated with the trigger finger in a properly indexed position (uniform cover position) or with the thumb of the supporting hand. It should be noted, however, that there isn’t any way to momentarily operate the X300 in one-handed firing until the pressure switch becomes available. There is no disable switch on the X300, although the design of the toggle switch makes a “white light AD” unlikely.

Weapon-specific SlimLine™ (SL) and Dev Group (DG) remote switches for a variety of popular service pistols are available from SureFire for the X300. The X Series SL Remote Tailcap Switch and X Series DG Remote Tailcap Switch allow activation of the light with grip pressure for precise control without altering the firing grip on the weapon. The SL remote switch has a wrap-around pad. The DG remote switch has minimal center-mounted pad. SureFire is also developing different switching options for use on shoulder arms.

The X300 is designed to fit the two dominant rail systems—the MIL-STD-M1913 (Picatinny) rail and the Universal Standard rail (first pioneered by GLOCK®. Although the X300 was primarily designed for use on pistols, it will fit any firearm with a Picatinny rail. However, it will be more applicable to long guns when the removable tape switch module for the X-Series becomes available from SureFire. The X300 is compatible with handgun laser sighting systems from both Crimson Trace® and LaserMax®.

The X300 mounts on the weapon using either a lever latch (standard) or Rail Lock™, which is included. The Rail Lock differs from the lever latch in that it has a bar that slides into the Universal or Picatinny slot, instead of pivoting into with spring pressure. It’s a very solid mount, but it sacrifices the quick detach and quick installation of the lever latch.

The X300 ships with the Universal lever latch in place, which will fit most handgun rails. The operator will have to reconfigure the X300 to use the lever latch on Picatinny rails or to install the Rail Lock. Reconfiguration is easy, requiring only a 5/64” Allen wrench, which is included.

The X300 includes Universal and Picatinny rail interfaces for both the Lever Latch and Rail Lock, identified with a “P” for Picatinny and a “U” for Universal. Although some manufacturers (not SureFire) advertise their Universal interfaces as Picatinny interfaces, the Universal rail and Picatinny rail have different specifications and do require different adapters for a proper fit.

The X300 is built to MIL-SPECs and is both CE and FCC rated. The X300 features a precision-machined, aerospace-grade aluminum body with a MIL-SPEC Type III hard-anodized black finish. The rails and rail adapter are a durable polymer, as is the back plate.

The X300 is O-ring sealed and is waterproof to a depth of 66 feet. The X300 is ultra-compact and lightweight. It measures just 1.39 inches high by 1.43 inches wide by 3.53 inches long (w/ standard switch) and has a 1.06-inch-diameter bezel. The total weight of the X300 with batteries is only 3.7 ounces. For purposes of comparison, that’s less weight than a loaded pistol magazine. From a practical standpoint, the differences in size and weight between the X200 and X300 are so small as to be non-existent.

Suggested retail price for the X300 LED WeaponLight is $225. As with all SureFire lights, the X300 is covered by SureFire’s lifetime “if it breaks, we fix it” warranty.

Eugene Nielsen provides investigative and tactical consulting services and is a former officer. He can be reached at esnielsen@usa.net.

Published in Law and Order, Mar 2008

Rating : 8.3


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