Today is a happy day. It’s sunny, 75 degrees, and I shot all day. After a few years of wishing it would happen and a few months of waiting, I got a small, lightweight, efficiently operated weapon-mounted light that that is almost as bright as the sun. SureFire recently released a couple of very practical lights that offer 500 lumens. I remember the day when I got my first 6P, at a whopping 60 lumens and 60-ish minutes of runtime on 2 CR123 batteries with it’s incandescent bulb. Drop in a P61 bulb and get a “scorching 120 lumens for 20 minutes of runtime” as SureFire’s specs state. If that’s scorching, they’ll have to come up with something pretty good for the lightsaber they just released.
We’ve come a long way since those revolutionary 6P lights from SureFire. The lights got brighter shortly after they released them, but they got bigger as well. You could squeeze 700 lumens out of the M900 Turbohead, but the light is 1.4 pounds and is integrated into a very large vertical foregrip housing. Now, we’re able to get a lot of light out of a small package with the P2X Fury series handheld and X300 Ultra weapon light. Each one operates on 2 CR123 batteries and offers a high-efficiency LED emitting 500 lumens of white light. Each one also gives you 1.5 hours of runtime, which isn’t too shabby for that much light.
The Fury series is roughly the same size as the 6P or G2 that may people are familiar with. There are a four current models, the functional difference of them being dual-output for the Fury and a single-output for the Tactical, Defender, and CombatLight models. Pushing the Fury tailcap alternates your output between 15 and 500 lumens, while the other three models give you a constant 500. At a suggested retail of $155, the light is a bargain. 500 lumens in such a small package is a LOT of light for the money. They’re built to SureFire’s usual quality standards, made of precision machined aluminum with a Mil-Spec hard anodized coating. They’re shock-resistant and fit in standard 1” ring mounts for weapon light usage. For around $175 MSRP, even less at street price, that’s by far the best value on the market in a light of that output level for your rifle. They’re also waterproof to boot, and can be found for a little over $100 at many online retailers. For that price, everyone should own a few.
The X300 Ultra just started shipping in the last couple of weeks and should start showing up at your retailer soon if they haven’t already. Almost everyone is familiar with the Surefire X200 and X300 series of lights. They’re the best pistol lights on the market, hands down. Released in 2007, the X300′s current form gives off 170 lumens, which is pretty respectable. Until now. The X300U pushes of almost 3 times that amount in a package roughly the same size. This really opens up the X series lights for use on a long gun as well, I never felt the standard X300 had the right beam shape or throw on a rifle. SureFire’s specs list them at 3.6 inches in length a piece, but the Ultra is about ¼ inch longer at the bezel, the main body being the same size. The diameter of the bezel is slight increased as well. The good news is that it will still fits all of the Safariland ALS/SLS holsters I tried in the holster bin. The bad news is that hard-molded kydex from many manufacturers will no longer slide in to their retention point. Raven Concealment Systems is already offering their holsters for the Ultra, and I’m thinking standard X300s will fit in the Ultra holsters just fine. Retailing at only $25 more than the X300 at $299, the Ultra is worth the price. Many retailers will sell them for considerably less as they come in stock I’m sure.
Bravo to SureFire to putting forth the effort to get these to the market. With the prices in the industry steadily climbing year after year, the Fury represents shows tremendous performance specs while keeping the price in the grasp of military and law enforcement users. The price increase of only $25 for the X300 Ultra means a huge performance boost at a relatively small price. I hope they continue this trend across their product line, I’m excited to see what comes up next. (cough 500 lumen Scout cough…)
Jon Canipe served on Active Duty with the US Army as a Special Forces Weapons Sergeant at 5th SFG(A) and was a Senior Instructor at the JFKSWCS, training SFQC students in planning, unconventional warfare, small unit tactics, CQB, and advanced marksmanship. He is a veteran of multiple combat tours, and still serves in the Army National Guard’s 20th SFG(A) in addition to working as an industry consultant and small arms instructor.