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  #1  
Old 06-15-2017, 04:38 PM
Hikaru Hikaru is online now
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Weapon Light For HD

Hey all, need advice on a weapon light for my home defense AR. There are three I'm looking at and trying to narrow it down to the best one for me. They are:

Streamlight Rail Mount 1
-350 lumens, only costs ~$100, comes with all mounting supplies and tape switch, longest, heaviest, made in China

Arisaka Defense 300 series light
-300 lumens, $180, shortest, lightest, interchangeable with surefire accessories, no tape switch included, made in USA

Elzetta Alpha
-415 lumens, $140, in between weight and length of the other two, fully potted electronics, bomb proof reputation, no tape switch included, made in USA

Any choice will be mounted on an Arisaka mount ~$45. Elzetta tape switch is $40. Surefire tape switch is $80. Anyone have opinions on any of these lights? This is just for HD and I guess SHTF?
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  #2  
Old 06-15-2017, 10:44 PM
Hawkeye fan Hawkeye fan is offline
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I like the Arisaka Defense 300 series light mainly because it works with Surefire weapon lights. I'm a Surefire guy but Streamlights are great to.

If you do go with a tape switch check out Cloud Defensive, they have a mount for tape switches that is pretty awesome. It has a channel to clamp the cable out of the way, no more need for zip ties or stuff like that.

They make them for Surefire and Streamlight switches.





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  #3  
Old 06-16-2017, 07:34 AM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is online now
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Streamlight TLR-1HL, very light and compact. Over 800 lumen and adds nearly no additional weight and bulk to a setup.
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  #4  
Old 06-16-2017, 08:02 AM
Grizzman Grizzman is offline
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At what ranges would the rifle be used.....indoors only, or on a large acreage?
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  #5  
Old 06-16-2017, 08:22 AM
Hikaru Hikaru is online now
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Ok so there is an idea I hadn't thought of with the TLR HL, considering I already have one on my pistol.

Hawkeye I love that tape switch mount! Thanks for the heads up on that. I think it's reasonable to assume the TLR switch would fit in the cloud mount as well.
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  #6  
Old 06-16-2017, 08:23 AM
Hikaru Hikaru is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grizzman View Post
At what ranges would the rifle be used.....indoors only, or on a large acreage?
Indoors only. Nightstand gun for a single family home.
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  #7  
Old 06-16-2017, 08:49 AM
Hawkeye fan Hawkeye fan is offline
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I love that mount it works great. I'm not sure if they've got one that works with the TLR series of lights. Here is the link to their website https://clouddefensive.com/.

On my BCM rifle I've mounted on it at the 12 o'clock position an X300U. No, need for a tape switch and I can activate the light with either hand. It doesn't get in the way for the front iron sight or noticeable when looking though the tube on my MRO.

Just another idea if you're going to use your pistol mounted light on the long gun.

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  #8  
Old 06-16-2017, 09:52 AM
Hikaru Hikaru is online now
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Great info as well Hawkeye! My current rifle is my Daniel 16". So I was going to mount a light at about 1:30 and as far forward as possible on the 15" rail to avoid a little shadow as possible and be out of the field of view of my MRO. Great to hear the light is not in the way of the optic! I might still need a switch as I don't run my hand as far forward as you do. I'm waiting on my SBR stamp (10 months so far ugggg) so the final setup will be a 9" .300 suppressed and my hand will be right at the end of the barrel to operate the light with a regular switch. All food for thought. Thanks again for the ideas!
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  #9  
Old 06-16-2017, 10:03 AM
Grizzman Grizzman is offline
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I own the older 315 version of the Alpha, and its optic gives a very diffuse distribution of light....not a bright central spot surrounded by dimmer spill. It works very well indoors, and really lights up a room. Naturally, the current 415 lumen version would be even better. It's got a yellow-ish beam tint, which I find less obnoxious at 2 am than a completely cool (blue-ish) tint.

Streamlights have a solid reputation, but I've got no personal experience with them. Their floodiest version should be a good choice, which I would trust more than an Arisaka Defense. An Arisaka Defense, or other E-Series compatible body, paired with a Malkoff Devices E1/Scout head is another reliable option.
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Last edited by Grizzman; 06-16-2017 at 10:08 AM.
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  #10  
Old 06-16-2017, 01:28 PM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkeye fan View Post
I love that mount it works great. I'm not sure if they've got one that works with the TLR series of lights. Here is the link to their website https://clouddefensive.com/.

On my BCM rifle I've mounted on it at the 12 o'clock position an X300U. No, need for a tape switch and I can activate the light with either hand. It doesn't get in the way for the front iron sight or noticeable when looking though the tube on my MRO.

Just another idea if you're going to use your pistol mounted light on the long gun.

That's literally how I have mine setup except my light in below the barrel far forward.

My TLR is powerful enough to enable the rifle to get hits at night at about 150 yards.

Last edited by Striker2237; 06-16-2017 at 01:30 PM.
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  #11  
Old 06-16-2017, 03:30 PM
US1911 US1911 is online now
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I don't have experience with any of the lights mentioned. But, I'd suggest to carefully evaluate your light's placement when using a suppressor.

I experimented with all 4 possible locations. Left/right side mount was a no-go, because the shadows from the suppressor were too heavy, ditto for bottom mounting, although I found the bottom mount more acceptable than either side mount.

The best solution for me was to top mount the light just as Hawkeye fan has his setup. I suppose the dark shadows from the suppressor could be completely eliminated by burying the suppressor within the hand guards. Perhaps another alternative would be to use a more powerful light, but that's not going to fully eliminate the shadow if your light is all the way behind your suppressor.



Heavy top shadow from suppressor with bottom mount light.


Heavy bottom shadow from suppressor with top mounted light.
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  #12  
Old 06-16-2017, 03:37 PM
Munch520 Munch520 is offline
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GREAT advice ^ on a short handguard, or when using a suppressor, you can really create a handicap for yourself if you don't carefully evaluate placement.

I always roll my eyes when people scoff at guys with upgraded rail setups, dudes are always judging without any regard for why the gun may be setup like that. Could be as simple as the shooter wanting to decrease shadowing as much as possible.
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  #13  
Old 06-16-2017, 09:35 PM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is online now
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I'll post up a picture of my rifle light setup here so you can have another idea floating around.
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  #14  
Old 06-16-2017, 09:44 PM
Fire_Chimp Fire_Chimp is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Striker2237 View Post
Streamlight TLR-1HL, very light and compact. Over 800 lumen and adds nearly no additional weight and bulk to a setup.
That's exactly what I went with. Light and bright as heck.
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  #15  
Old 06-16-2017, 10:15 PM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is online now
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Originally Posted by Fire_Chimp View Post
That's exactly what I went with. Light and bright as heck.
Yep, no point in my mind with going with a "rifle" light that weighs 3x as much when the TLR is offered with a long reflector version with remote switch if you want them. The long reflector is very useful and projects light out to over 250 yards.
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  #16  
Old 06-16-2017, 10:18 PM
Hikaru Hikaru is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by US1911 View Post
I don't have experience with any of the lights mentioned. But, I'd suggest to carefully evaluate your light's placement when using a suppressor.



I experimented with all 4 possible locations. Left/right side mount was a no-go, because the shadows from the suppressor were too heavy, ditto for bottom mounting, although I found the bottom mount more acceptable than either side mount.



The best solution for me was to top mount the light just as Hawkeye fan has his setup. I suppose the dark shadows from the suppressor could be completely eliminated by burying the suppressor within the hand guards. Perhaps another alternative would be to use a more powerful light, but that's not going to fully eliminate the shadow if your light is all the way behind your suppressor.







Heavy top shadow from suppressor with bottom mount light.





Heavy bottom shadow from suppressor with top mounted light.



Awesome points and thanks for the pics for reference! I was thinking about sinking the suppressor inside the hand guard for that reason and now that I see how dramatic the shadow can be it makes excellent sense. Plus the whole point with .300 blk is to run it suppressed all the time anyway so I don't think I'd ever remove it. The can will be a silecerco omega so I need to research a rail that it will fit under. The upper was going to be a BCM 9" with KMR rail but i think it is too narrow.


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  #17  
Old 06-17-2017, 10:31 AM
US1911 US1911 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hikaru View Post
I was thinking about sinking the suppressor inside the hand guard for that reason and now that I see how dramatic the shadow can be it makes excellent sense. The can will be a silecerco omega so I need to research a rail that it will fit under. The upper was going to be a BCM 9" with KMR rail but i think it is too narrow.
During my testing I found that with a bottom mounted light, the shadow from the suppressor significantly compromises target identification when at the low ready, because it creates a huge dark spot directly in your line of sight.

The spots were even worse with the light mounted on either side, as the suppressor created a shadow on the opposite side of the suppressor that it literally covered half of your field of view, not to mention the need to over compensate your aim in order to recover on target. I'm not crazy about the aesthetics of a top mounted light, but I feel that it gives me the best visibility while at the low ready when running suppressed. Since this is a purposely built HD setup, I really could care less about the aesthetics, well, except for my flag grip and flag ejection port cover.

The KMR rail doesn't appear to have very much room at all for burying a suppressor. I have my doubts as to whether or not the Omega will fit, because the Omega has a 1.56" OD. I dig the feel of the KMR rail, so I'm not about to swap it out for a larger hand guard. I'm running the Wilson Whisper suppressor which is oversized in diameter (1 7/8" OD), therefore I'd need a hand guard about the size of a baseball bat to bury the Whisper.
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  #18  
Old 06-18-2017, 10:19 PM
Hawkeye fan Hawkeye fan is offline
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On my sniper grey cerakote rifle I'm using from Haley Strategic their thorntail SBR light mount it puts the M600U in the offset position. It also has the light pushed a little pasted the muzzle. A friend of mine is not a fan of it that way but I'm ok with it.

Even with the light in that position you'll still get a shadow off a suppressor, if this rifle was set up for suppressor use. Not sure how bad it would be since I have not yet shot a suppressed rifle with a light mounted there.


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  #19  
Old 06-19-2017, 06:52 AM
7in1911 7in1911 is offline
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This is what I use on a few of my AR's.

Easy to mount and activate. It has the typical 3-function and has a rotating switch block.

This is listed as being 800 lumens, but I think mine is 500 lumens.

http://www.ar500armor.com/flashlight...pon-light.html
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  #20  
Old 06-19-2017, 11:25 AM
FightinTXAggie FightinTXAggie is offline
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Top mounted lights...

Have any of you with your lights mounted at 12 o'clock noticed any "haze" from the gases exiting the muzzle when shooting in the dark/light on? Like high beams on in the fog?

If you haven't actually fired with the light mounted on top, make sure and do so...there is more than just shadow to worry about. The gases with a light shining through can sometimes cause a lot of "flashback".
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  #21  
Old 06-19-2017, 04:27 PM
mark2734 mark2734 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FightinTXAggie View Post
Have any of you with your lights mounted at 12 o'clock noticed any "haze" from the gases exiting the muzzle when shooting in the dark/light on? Like high beams on in the fog?

If you haven't actually fired with the light mounted on top, make sure and do so...there is more than just shadow to worry about. The gases with a light shining through can sometimes cause a lot of "flashback".
I've shot weapon mounted lights on handguns shotguns and rifles and yes this can be a real issue.

Also shooting from prone or over a berm, or over stacked crates/boxes covered by dusty tarps will cause dust to rise and the next thing you know the light is lighting up the dust cloud and your blind.

Bottom line is you have to expect this and adjust accordingly. Shoot and move if possible to deal with the dust. If your shooting smokey ammo, I once shot a night match with lead reloads out of a 45, then same thing if possible so the cloud is not right in front of you, or change ammo.
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  #22  
Old 06-19-2017, 05:37 PM
Hawkeye fan Hawkeye fan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FightinTXAggie View Post
Have any of you with your lights mounted at 12 o'clock noticed any "haze" from the gases exiting the muzzle when shooting in the dark/light on? Like high beams on in the fog?

If you haven't actually fired with the light mounted on top, make sure and do so...there is more than just shadow to worry about. The gases with a light shining through can sometimes cause a lot of "flashback".
It is an issue and for me it doesn't matter if I mount the light at 12, 3, 9 or the 45 degree offsets it's gonna be there.

Just like the more rounds you put down range the more carbon build up you'll get on your light. That'll cut down the light output and add that to an all ready smoke filled area it can be hard to identify targets.

Of course if you're in that kind of prolonged fire fight in your home all kinds of things have gone wrong.

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  #23  
Old 06-19-2017, 06:53 PM
USMM guy USMM guy is online now
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While I can certainly see the utility of a weapon mounted light.

In the right circumstances at any rate. Most of my home defense lighting is permanently mounted on the exterior of my house, facing outward. If I have bad guys in my house, then it is a whole different ballgame.

Back in the dark days of when the Hillary was all the rage with the enlightened segment of the population. When she was espousing the great triumph of the Australian gun grab. she was very careful to skirt the issue of how much home invasions increased in Australia after this occurred. This just happened to coincide with when my wife and I were doing some work on the house. We made some modifications to our plans based on this. Nobody is getting into our bedroom without giving us plenty of notice. It just is not going to happen.
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  #24  
Old 06-20-2017, 08:12 AM
Munch520 Munch520 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hikaru View Post
Hey all, need advice on a weapon light for my home defense AR. There are three I'm looking at and trying to narrow it down to the best one for me. They are:

Streamlight Rail Mount 1
-350 lumens, only costs ~$100, comes with all mounting supplies and tape switch, longest, heaviest, made in China

Arisaka Defense 300 series light
-300 lumens, $180, shortest, lightest, interchangeable with surefire accessories, no tape switch included, made in USA

Elzetta Alpha
-415 lumens, $140, in between weight and length of the other two, fully potted electronics, bomb proof reputation, no tape switch included, made in USA

Any choice will be mounted on an Arisaka mount ~$45. Elzetta tape switch is $40. Surefire tape switch is $80. Anyone have opinions on any of these lights? This is just for HD and I guess SHTF?
Just a note, be careful about fixating on lumens as a metric. A fine starting point but beam pattern and spill is much more important, if you're considering your specific uses.
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  #25  
Old 06-20-2017, 01:28 PM
dj528 dj528 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Striker2237 View Post
Streamlight TLR-1HL, very light and compact. Over 800 lumen and adds nearly no additional weight and bulk to a setup.
This is what I have on my rifle. Problem free so far.

While SL is a little circumspect about exactly what parts are made overseas, everything is assembled and inspected here in SE Pennsylvania.
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