Surefire Glossary Of Terms

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Technical terminology in any specialized class of products, from racing boats to jet fighters, can be confusing to the uninitiated. SureFire uses technical terms in its WeaponLights, and you may find this catalog easier to read if you know the jargon. Here is a basic lesson in SureFire-ese.

At its simplest, a SureFire WeaponLight system consists of a mount, a housing and a lamp module. Lithium batteries are included in the system, usually contained in the housing, but sometimes in an auxiliary component or extension.

A switch controls the activation of the light, turning it on and off. The switch can be either built into the housing or connected to it by a length of cable. SureFire switches are mostly pressure-activated by either finger or thumb pressure.

SureFire switches are critical to the performance of a tactical light. We have probably paid more attention to switches over the years than anything else, except the development of brighter lights. Proof of the amount of work we have put into our switches is found in the number of patents we have been issued related to both our hand-held flashlights and our WeaponLights.

Ideally, a WeaponLight or flashlight should incorporate three types of switches, which we refer to as momentary, constant-on and disable. The momentary switch activates the light only when pressure is applied, the light going off the instant the finger or thumb is removed from the switch.

On a WeaponLight, the momentary switch needs to be located such that an operator can apply finger or thumb pressure without changing his grip on the weapon. It also needs to be ambidextrous.

The constant-on switches are two-position switches, either on or off. They provide the ability to turn the light on and have it stay on until it is manually turned off. On WeaponLights, they are of a rocker, rotary, or shuttle design.

On shoulder-fired WeaponLights where the switching is usually done with the support hand, pressure switches provide the operator with the means to keep his light on when he removes his support hand from the weapon, to open a door or control a suspect.

The disable switches are two-position switches, either allowing the light to be turned on by the momentary switch or totally disabling the light. They are wired in series with the other switches and their purpose is to deactivate the other switches to prevent any unwanted turning on of the light, what we call a "white light AD."

All SureFire switches have been tested in the most rigorous conditions. All are watertight and some are totally waterproof, down to 100 feet.

There are three types of tail-cap switches that mount directly to a Millennium Universal System's housing: a conventional momentary switch and a new momentary switch with a second constant-on "click" position. The latter, new for 2002, was developed at the request of one of our Special Forces customers.

A remote-momentary switch is also available. We call this a tape switch and it consists of a small rubber-coated tab attached to the WeaponLight by a length of electrical cable. A tape switch can be placed anywhere on the weapon that the operator desires. Most frequently, operator's pick either the gun's pistol grip or its forend.

The lamp module contains a shock-isolated lamp assembly and the reflector. The lamp module

Reflecting a growing trend in police training, these officers from multiple departments practice how to respond to an "active shooter" scenario. They arrive at the training site with a variety of weapons utilizing SureFire WeaponLight systems. They learn to communicate and coordinate.

Reflecting a growing trend in police training, these officers from multiple departments practice how to respond to an "active shooter" scenario. They arrive at the training site with a variety of weapons utilizing SureFire WeaponLight systems. They learn to communicate and coordinate.

Surefire M500b Weapon Mounted Flashlight

may also hold some of the batteries. The term shock-isolated refers to a mechanism by which we cushion the lamp from the weapon's recoil, which could otherwise shatter the bulb or break the filament.

The mount is what interfaces with the weapon, attaching the WeaponLight to a firearm. The mount can be either separate or integral with the housing. An example of a separate mount is found in the Millennium Universal System which can be ordered with either an A.R.M.S. throw-lever or a twin thumbscrew mount. An example of an integral mount is our dedicated forend that replaces a weapon's factory forend.

When we say our WeaponLights are modular, we mean that some of the components are available in different, interchangeable versions. For example, most SureFire lamp modules are modular as are the mounts utilized with the Millennium Universal System housings. Some of the switches are modular, meaning you can swap a momentary tail-cap for a tape switch.

We offer a multitude of different lamp modules, which provide the ability to utilize one, two, three, four or six lithium batteries with either standard or extra-large size bezel sizes. We refer to an extra-large bezel as a TurboHead. The bezel is the portion of the housing that contains the lamp module. There are 1.4" and 1.6" diameter standard bezels. A TurboHead is a 2.5" bezel.

The bezel contains the reflector. A lamp assembly itself can also house a built-in reflector. The size of the reflector determines the size of the "hot spot" of the beam, the intensely bright center. Most people assume that the larger the reflector, the larger the beam, but actually the opposite is true— the larger the reflector, the more tightly focused the beam. Consequently, a TurboHead produces the smallest, brightest center of all the beam patterns.

All WeaponLights come with a choice of power— high and extra-high power, so to speak. Both are blindingly bright and capable of providing the "force option" of white light illumination that has made SureFire the choice of SWAT teams worldwide. The difference is what one operator has described as the "difference between incredibly bright and unbelievably bright."

The run-time refers to the duration of a set of batteries. Run-time varies from 20 minutes for the unbelievably bright lamp to 60 minutes for the incredibly bright lamp. Being modular, the different lamps allow the operator to change his WeaponLight's performance simply by changing the lamp assembly or lamp module, without having to replace the entire WeaponLight.

Additionally, you can replace the lamp module with an infrared illumination module or a laser sight module. The choice of SureFire lights and their options is, quite frankly, a bit overwhelming. But what a wonderful problem.

Selecting a handgun-mounted light requires a bit of education. You need to understand that attaching a light to a handgun is not simply a matter of checking-off a box on your list of Tactical Things To Do Today There are some very poorly designed, flimsy handgun lights on the market. Here's how to tell a good one from a mere box-checker.

First, insist on a handgun light with a shock-isolated lamp to withstand the punishing G-forces of a handgun's recoil. The kick of a 9mm may not seem like much, but the acceleration that's imparted to a light during recoil is not inconsiderable. SureFire engineered its Handgun WeaponLights with the same superior, recoil-tough technology that's incorporated in our shotgun WeaponLights— in other words, 12 gauge tough.

Next, make certain that any handgun light you consider is capable of one-handed, ambidextrous activation. There are too many times that you might need one free hand while holding your handgun and working your light. To safeguard a child. To hold a dog's leash. To shepherd a bystander to safety.

SureFire's unique SlimLine™ switch encircles the front strap with a pressure pad— totally ambidextrous merely by obtaining a firing grip. Squeeze your grip to activate the light. Be aware that safe gun handling demands that you keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire.

Needless to say, you want a powerful light that produces enough lumens to temporarily blind an adversary. You want a light that gives you a tactical advantage.

Lastly, you want a handgun light that is ruggedly mounted to the pistol, without interfering with the weapon's controls.

After all is said and done, you can see that the handgun light you need is a SureFire Handgun WeaponLight.

surefire handgun weaponughts

Surefire Weaponlight 2002

Trigger Guard Rail Mount

Included with the WeaponLight, easily installs on handguns without integral dustcover mounting rails J

SureFire manufactures three dedicated WeaponLight™ systems specifically designed to mount on handgun: the Nitrolon Series, the Military Series and the Millennium Series.s. Each series incorporates customized switches, batteries, lamp assemblies, and mechanical components to fit specific handgun makes and models. These dedicated WeaponLights hard-mount securely to the handgun for rugged durability.

All three series feature shock-isolated lamp assemblies with powerful Xenon lamps that accommodate two choices of lamps,

_ either high or extra-high power. The aluminum models are protected by

MilSpec hard anodized finishing.

All three series come with either a SlimLine ambidextrous, single-hand operated pressure switch or a shuttle switch. The shuttle switch must be pushed left to right to turn on the WeaponLight, thus requiring two hands to work the light and grip the pistol. This is not optimum. A better choice for tactical applications is the SlimLine switch.

The Nitrolon Series holds two batteries and accepts either a 65 or 120 lumen lamp. The Nitrolon Series, made of a space-age polymer, is lightweight yet tough.

The Military Series, made of aerospace-grade aluminum and uses a 1.47" diameter bezel. It comes with two batteries and a choice of either a 65 or 120 lumen lamp. The Military Series is totally waterproof to over 100 feet.

The Millennium Series holds three batteries and uses a 1.62" bezel. It comes with both a 125 and a 225 lumen lamp. It is the largest, most powerful handgun WeaponLight on the market.


1.62" bezel



1.47" bezel

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