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Why you don't see more WMLs on the top rail? Login/Join 
Oriental Redneck
Picture of 12131
posted
I know there are not too many options for WMLs on the top rail, because most are too long and thick (this obscures the iron sights). But the compact ones that folks use for their handguns are perfect, and I'm a big fan of this set-up, especially on rifles with long handguards. I hate to add bulk on the sides of the handguard. I have the Surefire X300, Streamlight TLR-7, and the TLR-1 HL set up like this. All feel natural for me.

Does anyone on here set up your WML similarly? Or, I am just an odd duck?


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Posts: 26521 | Location: TEXAS | Registered: September 04, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have a 516 pistol, and have an x300 on top!





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I left "practical" behind many years ago. It was covered with my first Glock 19. (Fredward)
 
Posts: 2500 | Location: Kentucky | Registered: July 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Fighting the good fight
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quote:
Originally posted by 12131:
I know there are not too many options for WMLs on the top rail, because most are too long and thick (this obscures the iron sights). But the compact ones that folks use for their handguns are perfect


If you're using a handgun lights on your rifle, then go ahead.

But many folks choose to use rifle lights on their rifles.

You don't need the compactness of a handgun light as much on a rifle, and therefore you're not really gaining anything in exchange for the handgun light's compromises in brightness/throw/battery life/etc.

Rifle lights also tend to have more options for activation switches, many of which are better suited for use on rifles than the handgun lights' toggles/buttons.
 
Posts: 32562 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Frangas non Flectes
Picture of P220 Smudge
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Yeah, the best use case for a pistol light on a rifle, in my opinion, is if you’ve got an SBR and are really short on “rail estate.” I had a TLR1-HL and now a TLR VIR II on my Scorpion. Once I get a chance to confirm the zero on everything (been swapping stuff around), I plan to pull the backup sights and put the VIR on the front at 12:00. I had it at 3:00, but getting the laser cowitnessed with the dot just requires more cranking on one of the adjustments than I like doing.

There was a bunch of footage leaked about two months ago of special ops guys doing special ops guy stuff. One of those clips was an airborne interdiction where they shot up some guys in a truck. One of the guy’s helmet cam showed a short rifle with no irons and an Insight WML out front at 12:00. So at least one of the real deal guys thinks it’s a good idea.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: P220 Smudge,


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Posts: 17228 | Location: Sonoran Desert | Registered: February 10, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Fighting the good fight
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quote:
Originally posted by P220 Smudge:
Yeah, the best use case for a pistol light on a rifle, in my opinion, is if you’ve got an SBR and are really short on “rail estate.”


Even then, there are compact rifle lights like the TLR RM1 or Inforce WML available.

Same size as a TLR-1/X300, but intended for rifle use, with a larger thumb activation button and more robust rail mount.

A handgun WML on a rifle is better than nothing if that's all you've got to work with, but not something I'd purposely build towards.

I have a TLR RM1 on my Scorpion. It's just the right size for that compact PCC. (But I ]have it on a 45* mount at about 10:30, rather than directly on the top rail at 12.)
 
Posts: 32562 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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FWIW Larry Vickers has been in some videos with a surefire X300 mounted on a rail in front of a fixed front sight. Example. He really doesn't state a reason. He does say the it his optic can see the target, so can his light. Meaning his light would be unobstructed by a door frame or barrier.

From the .mil side, the 12 O'clock position is where I hang my IR laser so, the white light goes off on the sides.
 
Posts: 4592 | Location: Where ever Uncle Sam Sends Me | Registered: March 05, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I agree, I like the setup too, and have it on one of my SBRs. With something like a TLR, the switch placement is perfect to operate with my left thumb, and no need to mess with tape switches that can malfunction. The placement also means less likely to snag and is just overall cleaner.

Interesting that Vickers uses this setup too. Frankly, for inside HD use, any modern pistol light is bright enough. I don’t need 75 yards of throw to hunt coyotes at night, and the lighter weight of a pistol light is always welcome when it’s mounted way out on the end of the rifle.

I’ve also always wondered why you don’t see it more often.
 
Posts: 838 | Location: Volunteer | Registered: January 16, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This was all the rage around 2008-2015 or so. I think the biggest reason it's not as popular now is that lights intended for rifles have gotten away better. Brighter, more throw, much better switches, lots of mount options, the rise of modular handguards, etc. As I think about my work guns over the years, I went from a dedicated rifle light (Surefire M910) to a 12 o'clock X300 (pre-Ultra), to one of those stupid Inforce WMLs (cue video of Travis Haley saying that 200 lumens is all you need), to Cloud Defensive OWL, to Cloud Defensive REIN on an offset mount.

Short of a strictly inside the house gun, a lot of pistol lights are pretty anemic in the throw (candela) department. I do not think the TLR-7, 9, or RM series have enough candela for any "serious" use. The existence of 50,000-100,000 candela lights from Modlite, Cloud Defensive, Surefire, Streamlight, and others have really changed low light capabilities at distance. The only pistol lights I would currently consider for use on a rifle are the X300 Turbo and Modlite PL350. Your needs may vary.

There's also a lot more laser use so the 12 o'clock position gets taken for that. Shorter barrels are also more popular probably due to a combination of the pistol brace, suppressor accessibility, and better information sharing about how to Form 1 an SBR. This has led to shorter rails for a lot of people on a lot of guns. My last two 16" work guns had 13" and 15" rails. You could do a lot more with that than a 8-10" rail on an SBR. Finally, popular rifle gripping technique has moved away from the exaggerated "C clamp" popular in the mid 2000s-2010s and that changes switch ergonomics.
 
Posts: 5169 | Location: Iowa | Registered: February 24, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Oriental Redneck
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quote:
Originally posted by Shackelford:
...and no need to mess with tape switches that can malfunction. The placement also means less likely to snag and is just overall cleaner.

Frankly, for inside HD use, any modern pistol light is bright enough. I don’t need 75 yards of throw to hunt coyotes at night, and the lighter weight of a pistol light is always welcome when it’s mounted way out on the end of the rifle.

Been meaning to write something like this, but you beat me to it. Thank you. It's not "that's all you've got to work with". Not everyone's needs/wants are the same. I have tried several rifle lights and always ended up ditching them. And, regarding the battery life, they're all about on par with one another anyway, 1.5 to 2.5 hours range, so not even worth mentioning. They ain't like RDS difference, 5000 vs 50000 hours...

Anyone remember, when the X300 come came out, it was also widely promoted for use at 12 o'clock? The only negative about it is, you have to dismount the light when it's time to change battery. No so with the Streamlight, however, which is a big positive.

ETA pics. Every single one of these feels natural to me.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: 12131,


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Posts: 26521 | Location: TEXAS | Registered: September 04, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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IMG_3931 3 by Pablo Kay, on Flickr
 
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IMG_3932 3 by Pablo Kay, on Flickr
 
Posts: 442 | Location: people republic of Crapachusettes | Registered: September 05, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've seen the Inforce WML light used on SBRs and things like the scorpion at the 12 o'clock. Never seemed like a bad idea, but I've never used a mounted light on anything but a pistol. I'd say go with what is comfortable for you.


A Perpetual Disappointment...
 
Posts: 2751 | Location: BFE, Ohio | Registered: August 05, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Frangas non Flectes
Picture of P220 Smudge
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quote:
Originally posted by RogueJSK:
I have a TLR RM1 on my Scorpion. It's just the right size for that compact PCC. (But I ]have it on a 45* mount at about 10:30, rather than directly on the top rail at 12.)


Interesting. Are you using the factory handguard? I'm not sure whether I'll keep the VIR on the Scorpion, or if it'll end up on my handgun. That RM1 is pretty tempting.


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Posts: 17228 | Location: Sonoran Desert | Registered: February 10, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Staring back
from the abyss
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I like a vertical fore grip, and have placed TLR1s on both of my ARs on the right side next to the grip where my left thumb just naturally rests on the switch without even having to think about it. I wouldn't want to be fumbling around trying to find a light switch when I really need it. At least that was my rationale. It works well for me.


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Posts: 20131 | Location: Montana | Registered: November 01, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Fighting the good fight
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quote:
Originally posted by P220 Smudge:
Interesting. Are you using the factory handguard? I'm not sure whether I'll keep the VIR on the Scorpion, or if it'll end up on my handgun. That RM1 is pretty tempting.


Yes, it has the factory railed handguard, with that offset rail mount installed on the left side rail, so the light itself is located halfway between the left side and top side.

Makes the activation button sit where my support hand thumb naturally falls.
 
Posts: 32562 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It works perfectly for me in this case, with this setup and this particular light. If I switch to an ACOG or LPVO which is where I'm leaning, it won't work the same anymore.



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Posts: 6987 | Location: Bay Area | Registered: December 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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