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 Post subject: Tactical Light "must haves" - momentary on? pressure switch?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:30 pm 
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So I got a 20" Mossberg 500. I've been looking at different grips and stocks, but after reading I think the light is a higher priority money and timeline wise. The standard Stock and grips will do just fine I believe.

Ok, so I honestly have been reading a lot of the threads here based on tactical lights. There are just so many options and types it's a lot to digest. So I'm trying to get everything answered into 1 thread that I can understand :)

So what are "must haves" for a tactical light?

Thoughts on:
1. Momentary on/off seems necessary as I want to quickly shoot the light out there and then have it go dark instantly again.
2. Thumb push vs side finger?
3. Always on push cap vs screw cap?
4. Pressure switches good or bad?
5. Do pressure switches allow you to click it always on and always off or do you have to maintain pressure to keep the light on?
6. As Dr. Evil would say are "frickin' lasers" really good?

I like the Streamlight PolyTac I think for $37 - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0026R ... oods&psc=1

Then there is the UTG 2 in 1 for $62.50 - http://www.amazon.com/UTG-Tactical-LED- ... 604&sr=8-1

Of course everyone here seems to recommend the TLR-1 but it's like $103.


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 Post subject: Re: Tactical Light "must haves" - momentary on? pressure swi
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:41 pm 
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TheNinja wrote:
Of course everyone here seems to recommend the TLR-1 but it's like $103.


Experience talking.

For a dedicated weaponlight, they are very, very hard to beat.

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 Post subject: Re: Tactical Light "must haves" - momentary on? pressure swi
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:58 pm 
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FMD wrote:
TheNinja wrote:
Of course everyone here seems to recommend the TLR-1 but it's like $103.


Experience talking.

For a dedicated weaponlight, they are very, very hard to beat.


Yeah, Ninja, FMD is right, it is a good light and value, but I like traditional long gun weaponlights lights better than pistol lights on a shotgun or rifle. That said, if $103 is too much for you, I don't know what to tell you. Either way, your going to get some half a$$ solution to a problem that shouldn't be half a$$'d.

I'd rather have a G2L in one of CDM's mounts, but that is personal preference AND experience talking.

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 Post subject: Re: Tactical Light "must haves" - momentary on? pressure swi
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:30 pm 
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There's always this http://www.ebay.com/itm/Surefire-G2X-Ta ... 2a134527ec
and, no I'm not the seller.
I got mine off flea bay for $63.00 and couldn't be happier. FWIW


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 Post subject: Re: Tactical Light "must haves" - momentary on? pressure swi
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:49 pm 
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j500hp wrote:
There's always this http://www.ebay.com/itm/Surefire-G2X-Ta ... 2a134527ec
and, no I'm not the seller.
I got mine off flea bay for $63.00 and couldn't be happier. FWIW


The G2x is a good light, but I wouldn't put it on a 12ga. The electronics are not protected from the batteries. That is usually a bad combo when they try to occupy the same space. I haven't seen one fail yet, but I would think it is just a matter of time.

Just look down the tube with the batteries out. You will see what I mean. Yep, bare circuit board.

The Pro versions of the G2X and the 6PX are two stage and I wouldn't recommend any 2 stage light be mounted on a weapon.

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"It does not take a majority to prevail... but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen to setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men." -Samuel Adams, Father of Our Revolution

"In the empire of lies, truth is treason!" -Orwell


Last edited by Racked 870 on Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Tactical Light "must haves" - momentary on? pressure swi
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:19 pm 
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It is tempting sometimes to go cheap on stuff. Almost every time I do it I regret it, and wind up spending more to get the more expensive item, plus I lost $ and time messing with the cheap one. Sometimes you can get a cheap item, fix it up, play around with it and get it working. Not something I would recommend on a HD item. How much would that light be worth to you if you heard a window break and footsteps at 2AM?

Pressure switches are nice, but mine kept falling off. YMMV. The cable on the switch could be a reliability. I see them as one more thing to go wrong. Maybe Mr. Murphy just likes me. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Tactical Light "must haves" - momentary on? pressure swi
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:26 pm 
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Racked 870 wrote:
j500hp wrote:
There's always this http://www.ebay.com/itm/Surefire-G2X-Ta ... 2a134527ec
and, no I'm not the seller.
I got mine off flea bay for $63.00 and couldn't be happier. FWIW


The G2x is a good light, but I wouldn't put it on a 12ga. The electronics are not protected from the batteries. That is usually a bad combo when they try to occupy the same space. I haven't seen one fail yet, but I would think it is just a matter of time.

Just look down the tube with the batteries out. You will see what I mean. Yep, bare circuit board.

The Pro versions of the G2X and the 6PX are two stage and I wouldn't recommend any 2 stage light be mounted on a weapon.


Thanks for the heads up, my G2x is single stage and has seen at least 700 rounds and still works flawlessly.... this is on a Mossberg 12ga. Gonna go pull my batteries out now and take a look {hs#


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 Post subject: Re: Tactical Light "must haves" - momentary on? pressure swi
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:58 pm 
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Yup, bare circuit board... still workin' though :D


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 Post subject: Re: Tactical Light "must haves" - momentary on? pressure swi
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:07 pm 
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j500hp wrote:
Racked 870 wrote:
j500hp wrote:
There's always this http://www.ebay.com/itm/Surefire-G2X-Ta ... 2a134527ec
and, no I'm not the seller.
I got mine off flea bay for $63.00 and couldn't be happier. FWIW


The G2x is a good light, but I wouldn't put it on a 12ga. The electronics are not protected from the batteries. That is usually a bad combo when they try to occupy the same space. I haven't seen one fail yet, but I would think it is just a matter of time.

Just look down the tube with the batteries out. You will see what I mean. Yep, bare circuit board.

The Pro versions of the G2X and the 6PX are two stage and I wouldn't recommend any 2 stage light be mounted on a weapon.


Thanks for the heads up, my G2x is single stage and has seen at least 700 rounds and still works flawlessly.... this is on a Mossberg 12ga. Gonna go pull my batteries out now and take a look {hs#


Like I said, I haven't seen one fail, but all the purpose built weaponlights I have feature protected electronics of some form or other, even if it's just a big spring, and exposed circuit board can't be a good battery stop under 12ga recoil's persuasion.

700 rounds would make or break one I would think, but I still doubt I could trust one mounted on a gun.

BTW- I'm not knocking the light. I have one on my nightstand. It's a hell of a lot of light for the money.

_________________
"It does not take a majority to prevail... but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen to setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men." -Samuel Adams, Father of Our Revolution

"In the empire of lies, truth is treason!" -Orwell


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 Post subject: Re: Tactical Light "must haves" - momentary on? pressure swi
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 3:22 am 
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TheNinja wrote:
Thoughts on:
1. Momentary on/off seems necessary as I want to quickly shoot the light out there and then have it go dark instantly again.
2. Thumb push vs side finger?
3. Always on push cap vs screw cap?
4. Pressure switches good or bad?
5. Do pressure switches allow you to click it always on and always off or do you have to maintain pressure to keep the light on?
6. As Dr. Evil would say are "frickin' lasers" really good?


1. Momentary is a must have.
2. I'm not entirely sure what you're asking here, but if you're asking about which finger to use, this is preference/ergonomics. As long as it's reliable and repeatable.
3. I don't go in for always on clicky caps. Kind of defeats the momentary bit.
4. Pressure switches on a cord for pump = bad. Pressure pads on a semi = workable as long as there's no dangly bits of wire to get caught on things.
5. Most pressure pads require you to hold them down to maintain light and are primarily used in a momentary on role.
6. Lasers are mostly useless. There is the argument for the laser in that it can help you aim from compromised shooting positions but they should never replace training to use sights. Further, the more complicated a things becomes, the more training it requires and the slower operation becomes due to an increase in the number of available options for a given choice. I am a fan of IR lasers and some gen IV NODs, but I like most don't have 8,000 to spend on such things for a shotgun...

For the price the TLR-1 is heard to beat. As youve seen in this thread some people have had good success with SureFire G2s and 6ps provided they are LED. Incandescent bulbs generally don't play nice with recoil. I have a SureFire M600c scout light that is built like a tank, but that definitely represents a frivolous expenditure, it's also WAY brighter than I need for a shotgun so it lives on an AR.

As for necessity in a weapon light, it should:
Use a momentary switch.
Be of quality solid construction from a reputable brand
Preferably be designated as a weapon light
Provide between 60-100 lumens, anymore and the splash back will hurt your eyes too.
Mount solidly to the weapon
Not turn on accidentally under recoil
Be positioned to ensure ease of activation while avoiding a light ND under stress
Use a battery type that is readily available to you

That's just off the top of my head. The TLR-1 fits that role pretty well, but there are other lights out there that will do it too. If the price stings, go check out some offerings from SureFire first to cushion the blow.

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 Post subject: Re: Tactical Light "must haves" - momentary on? pressure swi
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:14 pm 
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Thanks for the replies so far everyone. I understand what many are saying now I guess. I mean I can either spend $60 on something that is "OK", or $110 on something that is great and proven. I mean over a lifetime, or even a few years, the extra 40-50 bucks isn't worth it if the time comes when I would need to have a reliable light.

I guess I was thinking the pressure pad with the cable would be better, but I can see where that might be a problem on a pump shotgun. I was just thinking it would be easier to squeeze the pressure pad rather than try to manipulate the light with my finger by trying to slightly push the pressure switch on. It seems if you shoot it while pushing the back of the light that you'll smash it into your finger??


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 Post subject: Re: Tactical Light "must haves" - momentary on? pressure swi
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:23 pm 
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I went through the same thing you are going through. I finally settled on a dedicated weapon light that was designed from the ground up to do what I wanted. I got a a Hellfire X-8 with both the momentary and constant on push button mounted just in front of my front grip on my pump. Easy to get to, and bright. More money, but the last thing I wanted is the thing to break when I need it the most.


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 Post subject: Re: Tactical Light "must haves" - momentary on? pressure swi
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:25 pm 
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TheNinja wrote:
Thanks for the replies so far everyone. I understand what many are saying now I guess. I mean I can either spend $60 on something that is "OK", or $110 on something that is great and proven. I mean over a lifetime, or even a few years, the extra 40-50 bucks isn't worth it if the time comes when I would need to have a reliable light.


You got it now! {hs#

Quote:
I guess I was thinking the pressure pad with the cable would be better, but I can see where that might be a problem on a pump shotgun.


Murphy's law says so, yes.

Quote:
I was just thinking it would be easier to squeeze the pressure pad rather than try to manipulate the light with my finger by trying to slightly push the pressure switch on.


Training. Hardware solutions to software problems are almost always a bad idea. Being "easier" makes light negligent discharges much easier as well. Light ND's are really bad things.

Quote:
It seems if you shoot it while pushing the back of the light that you'll smash it into your finger??


Sometimes, yeah. This ain't patty cake we're engaged in here, though. :wink:

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"In the empire of lies, truth is treason!" -Orwell


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 Post subject: Re: Tactical Light "must haves" - momentary on? pressure swi
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:31 pm 
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I purchased a Coast 7736TS ($45.07 from underbid.com):
http://underbid.com/product/586-46333/KA-FL-LL7736TS/oast_LED_Lenser_Convertible_Tactical_Weapon_Mount_Light_LED_Flashlight.html?ref=base

tape switch to fit the above ($12.95 from smokewagongear.com):
http://www.smokewagongear.com/p-1020-coast-tape-switch-for-7736ts-light.aspx

And a flashlight mount ($18.63 from optic-sales.com)
http://www.optic-sales.com/proddetail.asp?prod=SCTFLS

And this tri-rail mount from combathunting.com ($21.00):
http://www.combathunting.com/product.cgi?group=259&product=4675

So this is all for around $100 out the door, mounted...

I used 2-sided automotive tape to cushion the mag tube and barrel from the tri-rail mount. I've put 1500+ rounds downrange with this setup - no issues with reliability/stability.

This is the same setup that has been on my HD gun for a couple of years, and has held up to a lot of recoil, and works perfectly. The tape switch is still hanging on by its original adhesive, and I've never snagged the wire on anything either. I'm not a brand snob, and I don't cater to any vendor. Do your research - opinions are great, but they are also like bellybuttons.

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 Post subject: Re: Tactical Light "must haves" - momentary on? pressure swi
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:41 pm 
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I have a TLR-1 mounted in the plastic Streamlight mag tube mount at 3:00 in front of the forearm of my 500. With the rocker switch on the back of the TLR-1 it's momentary in one direction and constant on in the other. My finger rests perfectly on the switch from a normal firing position and it's really fast and easy to hit momentary and let go.

Re: stuff holding up for thousands of rounds. There is a difference between thousands of rounds shot on a square range and time spent moving and shooting and getting in the dirt and behind cover and SLTT. What holds up just fine at the range may not when put through more than just shooting from one spot.

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 Post subject: Re: Tactical Light "must haves" - momentary on? pressure swi
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:09 pm 
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So on the TLR-1, I see the manual here - http://www.streamlight.com/documents/op ... TLR_op.pdf

So am I correct in assuming this

When you move it to momentary on position, you have to hold it there. When you let go of it, it springs back into the off position?

When you move it to the constant on position, it will stay on until you manually move it back to the off position?

That's what I think I"m looking for.

I don't really want an end cap where you press halfway for "momentary" and all the way for always on. I feel in a tense sitution I'd just jam it forward to always on.

I also REALLY don't like the idea of an end screw cap for always on. I feel like I don't want to release my grip on the trigger to try and fumble with a screw cap.

I do theoretically like the idea of a pressure switch though, I think squeezing to momentary on would be ideal. But as other have mentioned, more pads, cables, etc. to snag, come loose, or break.

Sorry, maybe I"m overthinking $100, but I guess I would need a rail or holder of some kind with this too though. Probably holding the light stright down or likely off to 3 oclock. I'm a right handed shooter.


Last edited by TheNinja on Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Tactical Light "must haves" - momentary on? pressure swi
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 3:46 pm 
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Your assumptions re: the operation of the TLR-1 are correct.

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 Post subject: Re: Tactical Light "must haves" - momentary on? pressure swi
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 10:09 pm 
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TheNinja wrote:
Sorry, maybe I"m overthinking $100, but I guess I would need a rail or holder of some kind with this too though. Probably holding the light stright down or likely off to 3 oclock. I'm a right handed shooter.


Correct. You can get away with a streamlight mount (<$20), or something more better like the CDM (~$40, IIRC). You can also just screw a short section of picatinny rail to your forearm, though I no longer do that myself.

I've run the TLR at 9 (thumb operation), 6 (index knuckle operation), and 3 (index finger tip operation) as a right-handed shooter. I currently prefer 3'oclock.

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Either you are a weapon and your gun is a tool, or your gun is a weapon and you are the tool. - Tactical Response
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 Post subject: Re: Tactical Light "must haves" - momentary on? pressure swi
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 11:18 pm 
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LA Police Gear has the TLR-1s on sale for $99.99. http://www.lapolicegear.com/streamlight ... light.html

If you don't want to use the strobe function, you can program it out. This version is 160 lumens.

I use my light at the 9 o'clock position, having tried 3, 6, and 9. That's the nice thing about Streamlight's mount...you can pick what works best for you.

bc

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 Post subject: Re: Tactical Light "must haves" - momentary on? pressure swi
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:52 am 
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sjohnny wrote:
Re: stuff holding up for thousands of rounds. There is a difference between thousands of rounds shot on a square range and time spent moving and shooting and getting in the dirt and behind cover and SLTT. What holds up just fine at the range may not when put through more than just shooting from one spot.


Whew. Good thing I haven't just squared off on the range and shot low-recoil loads to run up my shot count. :roll:

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