500 Lumens on Lithium 123 batteries
By Warren Wilson
SureFire has been a mainstay in law enforcement for quite some time. In particular, the X300 weapon light has been favored by police officers for its durability and power. At 170 lumens, it was one of the most powerful at the time of its introduction and for several years thereafter. The bad news for X300 fans is that the tactical illumination tool is apparently being phased out.
The good news is that the new X300 Ultra has arrived in its place. This latest version boasts a 500-lumen LED output powered by the familiar pair of Lithium 123A batteries. Many illumination companies claim their products will produce 500 lumens, but few can compete side by side with the X300 Ultra in real-world performance. SureFire’s newest tool is compact enough for use on a duty pistol, yet powerful enough for attachment and use on a patrol rifle. Grip switches and tape switches allow activation of the light without the need to alter your grip on the weapon. Even with this kind of power output, the X300 Ultra is still good for right around 90 minutes of runtime.
The X300 Ultra activates by pressing forward on either side of the rocker switch for “momentary” use and pushing upward or downward from either side for “constant” radiance. The Ultra has slightly larger dimensions than its predecessor. It is a bit longer and wider at the bezel than its former X300 predecessor. Holster incompatibility issues may follow due to the slight size increase. However, it seems less prevalent with Kydex designs than with leather holsters.
The Ultra can be mounted to almost any gun with a Picatinny or Universal rail. Its Rail-Lock® system allows for quick and easy attachment/detachment, while SureFire also provides hardware that allows for a more semi-permanent mount. The latter option was chosen because it provides a very solid mount for those who will rarely, if ever, need to remove their weapon light from their firearm. The light is Mil-Spec hard anodized in black over its aerospace aluminum body for all-weather use. Its O-ring and gasket are sealed to make the light weatherproof as well.
It’s a good idea to always keep your light in place during live-fire training. It helps to test for how your gun/light combination will work if they’re ever really needed in a genuine incident. The addition of electrical or duct tape to the light will keep the glass from being gummed up with powder residue when not actually shooting in low-light conditions.
It used to be guaranteed that a SureFire pistol light cost about $300, because they were worth it. The X300 Ultras are regularly sold for a little over $200 online. That’s a great deal for a great light. There are a lot of tactical weapon light makers out there, but if you want quality the first time, you can trust SureFire. PM
Warren Wilson is a Lieutenant with the Enid Police Department in Oklahoma. He is a former SWAT team member/leader and has been in law enforcement for 17 years.
- The X300 Ultra offers semi-permanent and “easy on/easy off” mounts as options.
- The X300 Ultra is rated at 500 lumens and can be used in conjunction with a grip switch like the one pictured here. (Photo courtesy of SureFire.)
- The X300 Ultra is slightly larger than its predecessor, the X300, so care must be taken when selecting a holster. (Photo courtesy of SureFire.)