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Surefire X300U-A: Proof that Surefire has lost their way Login/Join 
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It's been a while since I last bought a Surefire weapon light, maybe 6 or 7 years ago if not longer. That past light was a X300 Ultra and it was a solid WML that went on my Gen3 G17 for no other reason than I thought that gun just "needed" a weapon light. However 'tacticool' I may have thought it was, I really didn't have any real use for that light on what was really only a range toy so eventually I sold that Surefire off.

Fast forwarding to 2022: I had added another G17 to my horde earlier this year, this one a Gen5. My past couple of years of G45 ownership have truly endured me to the full size Gen5 frame, something I've never been that particularly keen on with previous Glock generations. I'd always preferred the compact frame up until the Gen5 came along, where the reconfigured grips with their lack of finger grooves and I suppose some amount of recontouring to the remaining grip ergonomics have made my palm acutely aware of that backstrap 'hump' that my earlier G19s, G23s and G32s never bugged my psyche with. But the full size Gen5 frame with its lower-down-the-grip hump was a non-starter issue, darn near neutral to my small mitts and about as perfect a fit as I could ask, if anything about Glock ergonomics could ever be considered 'perfect'.

So as fate would have it, I again come to the notion that I "need" a weapon light for a G17. And since I remember quite fondly the Surefire that I had sold off, I think: "why not another?" So I look at one of the latest versions of the X300 which we happen to have in stock, I convince myself the need is real and ultimately to buy it. So another 'Ultra' was bought and taken home. It sat for a lengthy spell until today, when I finally had a chance to mount the thing to the Glock, a process that I never would've imagined taking as irritatingly long as it did.

Sadly all this new purchase ultimately did was to make me realize that I never should've sold the old X300 Ultra.

Sure this new 300 has a stupid high brightness spec. And yeah it looks a lot like past X300s. But only a sadist could've come up with the new mounting system. Gone was the oh-so-simple clamping screw that served past X300s forever. Replacing it is a new detachable rail system that brings micro hex screws and other bits and bobs into play, rendering an annoying amount of complication to the assembly and weapon attachment process. This X300U-A is the first WML that required me to REMOVE the slide in order to make the final attachment of the unit to the gun frame. It's also the first time that I need to keep a tiny hex key wrench at the ready to take the light off the firearm in order to change the damn batteries! No relatively quick operation, this.

The pic above shows the Surefire mounted to the weapon. See those three rounded 'engaged columns' at the top of the light where it attaches to the Glock's rail; each of those surrounds a threaded hole where one of those teeny little hex screw to fasten the light's own rail to the main body of the Surefire. Three screws on each side, six screws total. All requiring a relatively tiny hex wrench to fasten, and to remove when it inevitably comes time to put fresh batteries in. To provide adequate clearance for the hex wrench to swing unencumbered, the Glock's slide really needs to be removed. Field stripping and a required tool...fixing drained Surefire weapon light has never been so convoluted, at least for me.

At least that weapon light ain't going anywhere...except I didn't threadlock those tiny screws out of concern that I'd have a devil of time getting such miniscule screws out and off when the need arises. It wouldn't shock me if they each started walking once live rounds start going through the action. Now where was that damn wrench again?

I want to know why the old single-screw clamping system was so bad that it needed replacement. I want to know who it was at Surefire that THUNK this was a better way. The old way wasn't broken as far as I could tell. The new way IS broken, and in so many different ways. Coupled with some of their other weapon light disasters over recent years, it seems painfully clear to me that designers who are not end users have taken over the asylum. HK Disease, I believe it's called.

<End of rant>


-MG
 
Posts: 1318 | Location: The commie, rainy side of WA | Registered: April 19, 2020Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Oriental Redneck
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quote:
Originally posted by monoblok:
Surefire X300U-A: Proof that Surefire has lost their way


There are no pics in your post. Not sure why you made it sound so complicated? It is not.

This is from Surefire's website: X300U-A WEAPONLIGHT. I see nothing new here. The A model's mounting has always been like this.

quote:
Originally posted by monoblok:
I want to know why the old single-screw clamping system was so bad that it needed replacement.

Are you talking about the X300U-B WEAPONLIGHT? It's still available.


Q






 
Posts: 22997 | Location: TEXAS | Registered: September 04, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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What we know as the X300 "A" mounting system is the original mounting system from the X200 light released in 2005 or so. It has been around for 17 years. That is likely why it is the "A" model. The "A" model also includes an alternatively sliding locking bar that can replace the spring loaded clamp bar.

The thumbscrew model is the X300 "B" and is still produced in both the Ultra and Turbo models.

Different users have different preferences. The "A" tends to be easier to swap between guns and the "B" is overall of simpler design with fewer "spare parts." Some users complain of the screw on the "B" model loosening. Some users complain that the clamping bar on the "A" model causes the light to come off while firing.

My experience with both models is relatively extensive. I've owned Surefire X200, X300, X300 Ultra, and X300 Turbo lights since 2006. I think that right now I have nine or ten of them. I have a mix of "A" and "B" models and like both. If I had to pick, I like the "B" just a little bit better because my lights remain on the guns and are not swapped between them. You do NOT need to tighten the six hex screws to the point that you cannot remove the light from the gun. All of my "A" lights can be removed by pulling down on the clamp bar and sliding them off of the gun.
 
Posts: 4607 | Location: Iowa | Registered: February 24, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The B model with the thumbscrew is great if you want to mount your X300 on a rifle.

The X300 ships with the "Universal" attachment installed. This worked on gen3 and gen4 Glocks but the gen5 pistols require Surefire's "Picatinny" attachment, and this means you must remove the two rails which are held secure by three small Allen screws on each rail. Not difficult at all.

And I'll say this- I've had Surefire X-series WMLs mounted on Glocks since this series of lights became available in 2004/2005, and my X300U-A locks onto my gen5 G17 tighter than Dick's hat band. With my very early production gen3 G17, Surefire X-series WMLs have a tiny bit of back-and-forth play when mounted. It's very slight, but it's there. The new setup, though, is super solid.

I'm sure you already know all this, just posting it for the understanding of those who don't own one of these WMLs.


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Posts: 98959 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Maybe it's not possible or practical, but you'd think someone would design a charging port on weapons-mounted electronics, perhaps a USB type with a cell phone type slot. Life would be simpler if I could charge my weapon as I sleep.
 
Posts: 16640 | Location: Lexington, KY | Registered: October 15, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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A lot of the long gun Surefire offerings are “dual fuel” that have a charging option.




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Posts: 36107 | Location: Logical | Registered: September 12, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Fredward:
Maybe it's not possible or practical, but you'd think someone would design a charging port on weapons-mounted electronics, perhaps a USB type with a cell phone type slot. Life would be simpler if I could charge my weapon as I sleep.


I have a Fenix on my 320 that is USB charged
https://www.fenixlighting.com/...chargeable-tac-light


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I think that when those dark voices start calling our name in the back of our head we need to remind those voices who we belong to!
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Posts: 23952 | Registered: September 06, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Fredward:
Maybe it's not possible or practical, but you'd think someone would design a charging port on weapons-mounted electronics, perhaps a USB type with a cell phone type slot. Life would be simpler if I could charge my weapon as I sleep.


I think a big factor in that is being able to use cheap, readily available cells (like 123s and 18350s) and not having to design and produce a cell specific to your light. The newest stuff (Modlite PL350 and upcoming Cloud Defensive EPL) use a front-load 18350 which I think is the sweet spot...the battery is rechargeable and front loading so you can just swap the battery with the light still on the gun.

When you look at proprietary rechargeable batteries, the pretty unpopular Surefire XSC comes immediately to mind.
 
Posts: 4607 | Location: Iowa | Registered: February 24, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'm pretty sure I don't want anything like a USB connection on my light. Not because I don't like USB but because I have spent enough time on the issue of "weatherizing" usb connections to conclude it can't be done in any way that really works for a gun.
I've been swimming with an X300 on several occasions and didn't bother it at all. FWIW>


“So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.”
 
Posts: 10216 | Registered: October 14, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by hrcjon:
I'm pretty sure I don't want anything like a USB connection on my light. Not because I don't like USB but because I have spent enough time on the issue of "weatherizing" usb connections to conclude it can't be done in any way that really works for a gun.
I've been swimming with an X300 on several occasions and didn't bother it at all. FWIW>


Both of my Streamlight Micro USBs have been through the washing machine a number of times and still work just fine. And with those the charger is on the light itself.

Also not sure the light itself needs the charger. I believe someone mentioned a front loading WML.

My Surefire is USB rechargeable but the charging port is on the battery itself.


————————————————
I think that when those dark voices start calling our name in the back of our head we need to remind those voices who we belong to!
Andrew Schwab - Project 86
 
Posts: 23952 | Registered: September 06, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Fredward:
Maybe it's not possible or practical, but you'd think someone would design a charging port on weapons-mounted electronics, perhaps a USB type with a cell phone type slot. Life would be simpler if I could charge my weapon as I sleep.

Olight makes WMLs that use magnetic charging ports. I have a PL-Mini 2 Valkyrie. It is the easiest WML to recharge and easiest to swap between guns.

Be warned that they are the anathema of the tacticool crowd, and wannabe oper8tors will shame you to no end if they catch you using Olight.
 
Posts: 2733 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 17, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I won't use a handheld that can't be recharged, but I've not found it to be a big deal on my WMLs. Even working nights, the weapon light didn't get actuated often enough or for long enough for it to be an issue...in fact, it got used infrequently enough that I imagine the regular CR123As I use in it probably hold their charge better and longer than a rechargeable cell would.

Handhelds, now that's another story. I'd have gone bankrupt long ago just from buying batteries if those weren't rechargeable.
 
Posts: 6128 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yeah, I don't use rechargeables in WMLs.
 
Posts: 98959 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
For real?
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I have the fenix on my duty gun. When/if we switch guns again soon, I’m going back to replaceable batteries. I don’t like recharging it. I hate having to leave the gun out to charge.



Not minority enough!
 
Posts: 7543 | Location: Cleveland, OH | Registered: August 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This may not work for anyone else, but here's how I keep my batteries fresh in my WMLs.

I have WMLs which take either one CR123 battery, or two. I have task lights I use around the house which take either one CR123 battery, or two. The task lights get used more than the WMLs, but if a particular WML has any usage at all with its batteries, here's what I'll do: When the batteries in one of my task lights needs changing, I'll pull the batteries from that WML, put those batteries in the task light, and put the new, unused batteries in the WML.

In this way, I keep my WMLs "topped off". In these lights, rechargeables are just not for me.
 
Posts: 98959 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Chowser:
I have the fenix on my duty gun. When/if we switch guns again soon, I’m going back to replaceable batteries. I don’t like recharging it. I hate having to leave the gun out to charge.


If you like the light enough to keep it add an outlet in the safe or get one of those battery power pack things in the safe.

If you don’t care about taking the light off extra rechargeable batteries work too.
That is what I do now and had not thought about the power pack until your post.

Also what Flashlight pattern are you using for for holster with the Fenix?
Need to get a holster for my 320 but have never seen anyone list the Fenix light as light option for the holsters.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Black92LX,


————————————————
I think that when those dark voices start calling our name in the back of our head we need to remind those voices who we belong to!
Andrew Schwab - Project 86
 
Posts: 23952 | Registered: September 06, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I actually love the A models and dislike the thumb screw. Different strokes.
 
Posts: 2790 | Location: Pnw | Registered: March 21, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I agree, but the B model allows you to clamp the light onto a rail, whereas the A model requires the light to be slid onto the rail, which is not possible in some rifle setups. To me, this is where the B model makes sense.


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"You know, a long time ago, being crazy meant something. Nowadays everybody's crazy." - Charles Manson
 
Posts: 98959 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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And as it just so happens, a timely video.

 
Posts: 3063 | Location: Kansas City, MO | Registered: May 28, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Fredward:
Maybe it's not possible or practical, but you'd think someone would design a charging port on weapons-mounted electronics, perhaps a USB type with a cell phone type slot. Life would be simpler if I could charge my weapon as I sleep.


I was thinking the same and I did find this Olight on amazon - does anybody have experience with them? I have a few of their regular flashlights and they've been great so far.

https://www.amazon.com/OLIGHT-...c7-93deae8f9840&th=1
 
Posts: 8 | Location: Bronx/NY | Registered: June 21, 2022Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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