SureFire’s cutting-edge innovation often places it well ahead of the technological curve, which is crucial in an adaptive world. But there are also times when a product, such as the SureFire X300V, is developed to meet a focused requirement, only to find itself well-positioned for oncoming trends in the market.
The X300V was initially developed to address the specific needs of a military customer seeking a white light/IR handgun WeaponLight, and it’s that dual-spectrum capability that also makes the X300V an ideal option for a handgun equipped with a miniature red dot optic (MRD).
You don’t have to look far to see the positive impact MRDs are having in the firearms industry. They’re quickly becoming the preferred tool for target acquisition on tactical handguns. Some experts suggest that traditional iron sights will be considered archaic by the end of the decade, only found on firearms for nostalgia’s sake. This shift is already well underway. Major handgun manufacturers such as GLOCK, FN, Smith & Wesson, and others offer MRD-equipped or MRD mounting options on factory models. Additionally, more and more law enforcement agencies continue to add select MRDs to their respective approved lists and specific training curricula for proper use of the technology.
Polarizing as it might sound to the purist/traditionalist, recall that the same shift to MRDs as the primary aiming option was seen in the carbine world not so long ago. Same as now, the transition met with opposition from naysayers, but many later became converts. There’s little debate that the MRD is far superior to the iron sight when it comes to speed and precision.
So, where does the X300V fit into the picture? The answer is two-fold: 1) As a capable WeaponLight employed on a handgun primarily used for short-range target engagements, and 2) As an IR illuminator that leaves nothing to the imagination under night vision within those same distances. The X300V’s dual-spectrum head can either be selected to emit 350 lumens of visible light, set to off for storage or lock-out, or put into the IR setting for 120 milliWatts of IR illumination that’s invisible to the naked eye.
Now, your first thought might be, “Wait, only 350 Lumens?” However, given that the X300V is ideally suited for handgun use, 350 lumens provide more than a suitable amount of light. Additionally, the X300V’s precisely shaped reflector offers a tightly focused beam that provides critically essential illumination at distances up to 225 meters.
When discussing the X300V’s IR capability, it’s important to clear up the misconception that night vision “can see in the dark.” What’s really happening is that the night optical device (NOD) intensifies the ambient light available from starlight, streetlights, or other light sources. But night vision doesn’t work in a cave (no ambient light), and while that might sound like an extreme example, consider an urban environment where dark shadows may be present along the side of a house, under a car, or in a crawl space. IR illumination is needed to search and positively identify (PID) potential targets when using night vision, whereas traditionally visible white light would be employed otherwise.
The X300V is the ideal partner for an MRD, which provides the best aiming solution with NODs. A shallow depth of field with NODs is not an issue with an MRD as it is with iron sights. It is just about impossible to align the front sight in the rear notch of your iron sights because everything is out of focus within arm’s length when you are looking through NODs.
An MRD works in all lighting conditions, giving the shooter the ability to always have a dot present for sighting. The MRD option allows the dot to float like an orb under NODs, and while the gun and shooter’s hands will be blurred, the target and dot are sharply focused, which is all that’s needed. Simply put, if you are not shooting with a red dot sight on a handgun under night vision and don’t think that having one is an advantage, you’re kidding yourself. Moreover, if you’re using an MRD and NODs without a SureFire X300V, you’re simply not equipped with all the tools you need.
Savvy SureFire users might think, “Why not just go for the SureFire X400V and have the additional advantage of an IR laser?” If it meets your specific needs that would involve extreme low-light or no-light conditions under the aid of night vision, then go for it. An X400V is an excellent solution if you dedicate one hand to carrying a shield, when shooting around a barrier, shooting with one hand, or if confronted with a nonstandard shooting position where you can’t use a traditional extended handgun sighting picture. If you feel you’re likely to encounter any of these scenarios, the X400V is worth considering.
But whichever solution you choose, SureFire X-Series WeaponLights are incredibly durable. Their machined aerospace aluminum construction and corrosion-resistant Mil-Spec hard-anodized finish can take a beating and thrive in any environment. The X300V is IPX7-rated, meaning it can be submerged in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes with no adverse effect (the X400V is IPX4-rated). In addition, its Z-XBC switching provides either momentary or constant-on function, and you can add an accessory SureFire DG switch for remote one-handed use.
The X300V thrives in hard-use environments — day or night. On a pistol with a red dot-mounted optic, it gives every advantage to the user, no matter the time or place.
SUREFIRE X300V SPECIFICATIONS
WH Output: 350 lumens
WH Runtime: 2.5 hours
IR Output: 120 milliWatts / 860 nanometers
IR Runtime: 16.75 hours
Peak Beam Intensity: 12,750 candela
Distance: 225 meters
Finish: Mil-A-8625 Type III, Class 2 Hard-Anodized
Weight (w/batteries): 4 oz (113 g)
Length: 4 inches (10 cm)
Bezel Diameter: 1.06 in (2.7cm)
Batteries: Two 123A lithium (incl.)
Switching: Ambidextrous push/toggle
Liquid Ingress Protection: IPX7
For more information on the entire range of SureFire’s world-class illumination tools and tactical gear, visit www.surefire.com.